from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An old dismasted ship, with a pair of sheers mounted on it for masting ships. Also shear-hulk. See cut in next column.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The first person known to have observed any thing was a young midshipman in the Cambridge guard-ship, lying not far distant from the place where the Amphion blew up; who having a great desire to observe every thing relative to a profession into which he had just entered, was looking through a glass at the frigate, as she lay along side of the sheer-hulk, and was taking in her bowsprit.
Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy A weird series of tales of shipwreck and disaster, from the earliest part of the century to the present time, with accounts of providential escapes and heart-rending fatalities.
The sloop of war was a new ship lately launched from the stocks of Plymouth dock-yard, and Daly and Bates found her lying alongside a sheer-hulk in Hamoaze, getting in masts, &c.
"They that took the masts out of the 'Caroline' can put them in again," rejoined a grinning seaman; "it will not be an hour after we leave you, before a sheer-hulk will come alongside, to step the spars again, and then you may go cruise in company."