Keeping a vessel shipshape involved a number of essential tasks, such as checking the state of the hull, shoring up seals, repairing the pumps, mending blocks and patching torn sails. Most often, a sailor owned only a knife and a marlin spike, but woodworkers aboard had a much more complete set of tools, including implements for sawing, drilling, planning and sculpting. The ship-owner would entrust these tools to the master artisans who accompanied the ship.
A large number of tools were discovered on both wrecks, including such items as a frame saw, adze, axe, plane, trying-plane, mace, mallet, auger, gimlet, gouge and marking gauge. Certain tools, such as a large carpenter's auger, a cooper's compass and caulk scrapers, were trade-specific, but others would have been for general use. A functional analysis of these tools based on their find-spots gives us a better understanding of the spatial organisation of the two ships. The data produced have helped us to identify the nature and exact use of tools that were previously only known from ships' inventories, but whose physical nature and use were mysteries.