Definition of a Keelhauler

What is a Keelhauler?

 Keelhaul (v. i.) To haul under the keel of a ship, by ropes attached to the yardarms on each side. It was formerly practiced as a punishment by the Dutch and English navies.

Keelhauling was a form of corporal punishment that was formerly practiced as a punishment in the Dutch and English navies. It was used as a way to punish members of the crew who were guilty of serious breaches of the ship's code of conduct. Keelhauling involved tying the hands of a crewmember to a rope and hauling him under the keel of the ship. While the practice of keelhauling was formally abolished in 1853, the Keelhauler lives on as the official mascot of Cal Maritime athletics.

 As you can imagine, Cal Maritime's Keelhauler is one of the most unique mascots in intercollegiate athletics. In fact, in years past, it has earned the distinction among national and regional media outlets as one of the top 25 nicknames in intercollegiate athletics.