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Difference between Fire ship and Fireboat

fire ship —(hist.) a ship carrying explosives sent among the enemy’s ships to set them on fire:

  • In order to protect them against fire ships, stockades, raised on piles, were placed higher up the river.


1. a boat equipped with pumps for extinguishing fires on boats and piers:

  • Her tenure as a fireboat served the maritime community proudly by responding to major fires in the harbor.

2. = fire ship:

  • Navy flotillas conducted fireboat raids against invading enemy forces on the Potomac, and participated in the successful defense of Baltimore.