These plugs went into the bottom of the dories that Grand Banks Dory Fishermen used back in the old days. They were used to drain water from the dories once they were brought back aboard the schooners. But they also served another purpose. Geno tells me that the loop that comes off the bottom was used in case the dory flipped over in the ocean. Capsized, there would be nothing for the dory fisherman to hold on to once the dory was upside down. So that loop which would be through the bottom of the boat would be used for the capsized fisherman to pull himself onto the upside down boat in the water.