Re: What's the top paint stripe on some boats called?
Originally Posted by KayZee
According to Patrick O' Brian, the "devil" is the seam of the lowermost plank that butts into the rabbet in the keel
. It's next to impossible to get at from inside the boat
and a leak there is serious indeed hence the saying, "The devil (seam) to pay (fill) and no pitch
(tar) hot." meaning to be in serious trouble with no obvious remedy. It has been bastardized by landlubbers into "Hell to pay" which makes no sense except to people that don't know what it means to pay a seam with tar and fiber. This use of devil still fits with "Between the devil and the deep blue sea."
To be somewhat more pedantic, some disagree with Patrick O'Brian's understanding of the "devil".
Here are a couple of other meanings.
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence