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A gripe is a simple form of clamp used in building a clinker boat, for temporarily holding the strake which is being fitted onto the one to which it is to be attached. The strake is relatively thin and wide so that it is necessary for the tool to have a long reach while only a small movement is required. This is achieved by taking two pieces of dense timber, typically oak, each of a length a little more than twice the widest width of the strake. A coach bolt (see carriage bolt) is fitted through the middle and adjusted so that the gripe will fit onto the land (the joint between the adjacent strakes) while admitting the point of a wedge between the free ends of the two parts of the gripe. The wedge is then tapped in so that the gripe grips the land, using the bolt as a fulcrum.
The name is pronounced with the 'i' as a long diphthong and is a form of the word 'grip'.