When we had Jolly Jack Tars all over the British Empire and other exotic Colonial parts, it was thought that prostitutes spread venereal disease through contact with their pubic area ,so the women were made "bald" in that area for health reasons.
However ,Jack me Hearties didn't like the look and business began to suffer. Therefore pubic wigs, called merkins, were manufactured for the prostitutes.
The merkins were made out of beaver pelts hence the term beaver
The ships name HMS Beaver raised a few eyebrows at the time. What effect that had on the ship's company I know not.