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A whaleman's share of the profits of a whaling voyage. Instead of being paid wages for their work, crew members contracted for a fraction of the profits of the entire voyage before sailing. Any expenses they incurred (such as their food and any clothing and equipment they were given) was subtracted from their lay. The owners, Captain, mates and boatsteerers usually received the largest shares, followed by the cooper, carpenter, cook, ordinary seamen, greenhands and cabin boy. A lay that was "shorter" than 1/100 (or a larger share) was considered good wages. Those lays that were "longer" than 1/100 (a smaller share, such as 1/150) were considered mediocre wages.

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