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A bumboat is a small boat used to ferry supplies to ships moored away from the shore. Originally referring to a scavenger's boat, the name comes from the combination of the Dutch word for a canoe—"boomschuit" ("boom" meaning "tree"), and "boat".
In Tobias Smollett's 1748 novel The Adventures of Roderick Random, a "bumboat woman" conducts business with sailors imprisoned on board a pressing tender moored near the Tower Wharf on the Thames River, London, England.
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