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I found the term sub-base in To Have And Have Not by Ernest Hemingway (1937):

"We'll have to steal the boat. You know they ain't got her fixed so I can't start her."
"How you going to get her out of the sub-base?"
"I'll get her out."

I can't find this word in any dictionaries, either online or offline. I guess this is a kind of basin for boats or yachts. Is it a building for holding boats?

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    Sub-base is short for submarine-base, just like sub is short for submarine. – John Lawler May 21 '14 at 1:38
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    I've edited your question to include a link to the original. Please make it a habit to provide full context, always. – choster May 21 '14 at 2:30
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Well, the answer CAN be found on multiple different websites ranging from Wikipedia to The Free Dictionary Site.

According to Wikipedia:

A submarine base is a military base that shelters submarines and their personnel.

According to The Free Dictionary,

A base providing logistic support for submarines.

So, your definition is partially correct, but instead of boats and yachts, subbases hold submarines.

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Like the others have said...

As a submariner myself, and still living 15 miles away from the Groton, CT Sub Base (we don't hyphenate it, for some reason), I can tell you that if subs were in context, then everyone else is correct.

I'm no grammar authority-I just rode them for 6 years! :)

pat :)

P.S. There might well also be a term out there for a sub- (as in sub-division) base of any kind. That is, a base of operations that has nothing to do with subs (submarines). I'm no Hemingway expert, so I don't want to rule that possibility out in my answer.. :)

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