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Encyclopedia > Glossary of nautical terms

A list of nautical terms; some remain current, many date from the 17th-19th century. See also Wiktionary's nautical terms

Contents


A-B

  • Above board - On or above the deck, in plain view, not hiding anything..
  • Act of Pardon / Act of Grace - A letter from a state or power authorising action by a privateer. Also see Letter of Marque.
  • Abaft - Towards the stern ("to go abaft")
  • Abaft the beam - The half of the ship between the amidship section and the taffrail.
  • Abeam - 'On the beam',the widest part of the ship at right angles to the centerline of the ship's keel.
  • Abel Brown - A vulgar sea song.
  • Aboard - On or in a vessel. Close aboard means near a ship.
  • Absentee pennant - Special pennant flown to indicate absence of commanding officer, admiral, his chief of staff, or officer whose flag is flying (division, squadron, or flotilla commander).
  • Accommodation ladder - A portable flight of steps down a ship's side.
  • Admiralty - Body of law that deals with maritime cases.
  • Adrift - Unanchored and not under control, therefore goes where the wind and tide take her, (Loose from moorings, or out of place).
  • Advance note - A note for one month's wages issued to sailors on their signing a ship's articles.
  • Aft - Towards the stern (of the vessel)
  • Afternoon watch - The 1200-1600 watch.
  • Aground - Resting on or touching the ground or bottom.
  • Ahead - Forward of the bow.
  • Ahoy - A cry to draw attention. Term used to hail a boat or a ship, as "Boat ahoy!"
  • All hands - Entire ship's company, both officers and enlisted personnel.
  • All night in - Having no night watches.
  • Aloft - Above the ship's uppermost solid structure; overhead or high above.
  • Alongside - By the side of a ship or pier.
  • Amidships (or midships) - In middle portion of ship, along the line of the keel.
  • Anchorage - Suitable place for a ship to anchor. Area of a port or harbor.
  • Anchor's aweigh - Said of an anchor when just clear of the bottom.
  • Anchor ball - Black shape hoisted in forepart of a ship to show that ship is anchored in a fairway.
  • Anchor buoy - A small buoy secured by a light line to anchor to indicate position of anchor on bottom.
  • Anchor cable - Wire or line running between anchor and ship.
  • Anchor chain - Heavy stud-linked chain running between anchor and ship.
  • Anchor detail - Group of men who handle ground tackle when the ship is anchoring or getting underway.
  • Anchor light - White light displayed by ship at anchor. Two such lights are displayed by a ship over 150 feet in length.
  • Anchor watch - Detail of men standing by at night as a readiness precaution while ship is in port.
  • Armament - A ship's weapons.
  • Ashore - On the beach, shore or land.
  • Astern - Toward the stern; an object or vessel that is abaft another vessel or object.
  • ASW - Anti-submarine warfare.
  • Athwart, athwartships - At right angles to the fore and aft or centerline of a ship
  • Avast - Stop! Cease or desist from whatever is being done.
  • Awash - So low in the water that the water is constantly washing across the surface.
  • Aweigh - Position of an anchor just clear of the bottom.
  • Aye, aye - Reply to an order or command to indicate that it first heard, and second is understood and will be carried out. ("Aye, aye, sir" to officers)
  • Azimuth compass - An instrument employed for ascertaining the sun's magnetic azimuth. The azimuth of an object is its bearing from the observer measured as an angle clockwise from true north.
  • Azimuth circle - Instrument used to take bearings of celestial objects.
  • Back and fill - To use the advantage of the tide being with you when the wind is not.
  • Backstays - Long lines or cables, reaching from the rear of the vessel to the mast heads, used to support the mast.
  • Bar - Large mass of sand or earth, formed by the surge of the sea. They are mostly found at the entrances of great rivers or havens, and often render navigation extremely dangerous, but confer tranquility once inside. See also: Touch and go, grounding. Alfred Lord Tenneyson's poem 'Crossing the bar' an allegory for death.
  • Bear - Large squared off stone used for scraping clean the deck of a sailing man-of-war.
  • Bear down - Turn away from the wind, often with reference to a transit.
  • Before the mast - Literally, the area of a ship before the foremast (the forecastle). Most often used to describe men whose living quarters are located here, officers being housed behind (abaft) the mast and enlisted men before the mast. This was because the midships area where the officers were berthed is more stable, being closer to the center of gravity, and thus more comfortable. It is less subject to the up and down movement resulting from the ship's pitching.
  • Belaying pins - Bars of iron or hard wood to which running rigging may be secured, or belayed.
  • Berth - A bed on a boat, or a space in a port or harbour where a vessel can be tied up.
  • Between the Devil and the deep blue sea - See Devil seam.
  • Bilged on her anchor - A ship that has run upon her own anchor.
  • Bimmy - a punitive instrument
  • Binnacle - The stand on which the ship's compass is mounted.
  • Binnacle list - A ship's sick list. The list of men unable to report for duty was given to the officer or mate of the watch by the ship's surgeon. The list was kept at the binnacle.
  • Bitt, plural Bitts - Posts mounted on the ship's bow, merely comprising two wooden uprights supporting a crossbar, for fastening ropes or cables; also used on various ships to tie boys over for painful (posterior) discipline, more informally then kissing the gunner's daughter.
  • Bitter end - the anchor cable is tied to the bitts, when the cable is fully paid out, the bitter end has been reached. The last part of a rope or cable.
  • Bloody - An intensive derived from the substantive 'blood', a name applied to the Bucks, Scrowers, and Mohocks of the seventeenth centuries.
  • Blue Peter - A blue and white flag hoisted at the foretrucks of ships about to sail.
  • Boatswain or bosun - A non-commissioned officer responsible for the sails, ropes and boats on a ship who issues "piped" commands to seamen.
  • Bollard - From 'bol' or 'bole', the round trunk of a tree. A substantial vertical pillar to which lines may be made fast. Generally on the quayside rather than the ship.
  • Bonded Jacky - A type of tobacco or sweet cake.
  • Booby - A type of bird that has little fear and therefore is particularly easy to catch, hence booby prize.
  • Booby hatch - A sliding hatch or cover.
  • Boom - A spar used to extend the foot of a sail.
  • Booms - Masts or yards, lying on board in reserve.
  • Boom vang (vang) - A sail control that lets one apply downward tension on the boom, countering the upward tension provided by the mainsail. The boom vang adds an element of control to mainsail shape when the mainsheet is let out enough that it no longer pulls the boom down. Boom vang tension helps control leech twist, a primary component of sail power.
  • Bow - The front of a ship.
  • Bowline - A type of knot, producing a strong loop of a fixed size, topologically similar to a clove hitch. Also a rope attached to the side of a sail to pull it towards the bow (for keeping the windward edge of the sail steady).
  • Bowse - To pull or hoist.
  • Bowsprit - A spar projecting from the bow used as an anchor for the forestay and other rigging.
  • Brail - To furl or truss a sail by pulling it in towards the mast, or the ropes used to do so.
  • Brake - The handle of the pump, by which it is worked.
  • Brass monkeys or brass monkey weather - Very cold weather, origin unknown. A widely circulated folk etymology claiming to explain what a brass monkey is has been discredited by several people including Snopes [1] and the Oxford English Dictionary.
  • Bring to - Cause a ship to be stationary by arranging the sails.
  • Broaching-to - A sudden movement in navigation, when the ship, while scudding before the wind, accidentally turns her leeward side to windward, also use to describe th point when water starts to come over the gunwhale due to this turn.
  • Buffer - The chief bosun's mate (in the Royal Navy), responsible for discipline.
  • Bulkhead - An upright wall within the hull of a ship.
  • Bull of Barney - A beast mentioned in an obscene sea proverb.
  • Bumboat - A private boat selling goods.
  • Bumpkin - An iron bar (projecting out-board from a ship's side) to which the lower and topsail brace blocks are sometimes hooked. Chains supporting/stabilising the bowsprit.
  • Buntline - One of the lines tied to the bottom of a square sail and used to haul it up to the yard when furling.
  • Buoyed Up - Lifted by a buoy, especially a cable that has been lifted to prevent it from trailing on the bottom.
  • By and Large - By means into the wind, while large means with the wind. By and large is used to indicate all possible situations "the ship handles well both by and large".
  • By the board - Anything that has gone overboard.

A privateer was a private ship (or its captain) authorized by a countrys government to attack and seize cargo from another countrys ships. ... Letter of marque of the First French Empire given to captain Antoine Bollo, via the ship owner Dominique Malfino from Gena, owner of the Furet, 15-tonne privateer. ... A fer is a large beam around which the hull of a ship is built. ... Azimuth is the horizontal component of a direction (compass direction), measured around the horizon toward the East, i. ... Compass in a wooden box A compass (or mariners compass) is a navigational instrument for finding directions on the earth. ... On a sailing vessel, a backstay is a piece of standing rigging which runs from the mast to the transom of the boat, counteracting the forestay and jib. ... Look up berth in Wiktionary, the free dictionary The term berth is used to describe a bed on a boat or a location in a port or harbour used specifically for mooring vessels while not at sea or for describing playoff positions for teams with no initial competition in sports. ... Coils of rope used for long-line fishing A rope is a length of fibers, twisted or braided together to improve strength, for pulling and connecting. ... Spanking (or smacking, whacking, etc. ... The bosun of a civilian sail-training ship. ... A bollard blocking a path at Princeton University. ... In sailing, a boom is a spar (pole) usually made of aluminum or wood, is connected to the foot of the mainsail and allows the crew to control the angle of the sail to the wind. ... A boom vang is an item of rigging in a sail-powered vessel (usually small ones, but it is sometimes found on larger ones as well). ... A sail is any type of surface intended to generate thrust by being placed in a wind —in essence a vertically-oriented wing. ... In sailing, a boom is a spar (pole) usually made of aluminum or wood, is connected to the foot of the mainsail and allows the crew to control the angle of the sail to the wind. ... A mainsail is the most important sail raised from the main (or only) mast of a sailing vessel. ... In sailing, a boom is a spar (pole) usually made of aluminum or wood, is connected to the foot of the mainsail and allows the crew to control the angle of the sail to the wind. ... The bow is the foremost point of the hull of a ship or boat: the point that is ahead when the vessel is underway. ... Bowline Canonical Name: Bowline (pronounced bow -lin or bow -line) Variant name(s): Death knot, Rescue knot, French bowline, Boland knot. ... Bowsprit of the Falls of Clyde, showing the dolphin striker, the use of chain for the bobstays, and three furled jibs. ... The phrase cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey is sometimes used by English speakers. ... Folk etymology (or popular etymology) is a linguistic term for a category of false etymology which has grown up in popular lore, as opposed to one which arose in scholarly usage. ... The title page of snopes. ... The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP). ... A bulkhead is an upright wall within the hull of a ship. ... Yokels, also called bumpkins, are unsophisticated country people. ...

C-F

  • Cable - A large rope. Also a measure of length or distance - (UK) 1/10 nautical mile, approx. 600 feet; (USA) 120 fathoms, 720 feet (219 m); Other countries use different values.
  • Cape Horn fever - The name of the fake illness a malingerer is suffering from.
  • Capstan - A rotating wheel mounted vertically, used to wind in anchors or other heavy objects; and sometimes to administer flogging over.
  • Careen - Cause the ship to tilt on its side, usually to clean or repair the hull below the water line.
  • Cat - 1. To prepare an anchor, after raising it by lifting it with a tackle to the Cat Head, prior to securing (fishing)it alongside for sea. (An anchor raised to the Cat Head is said to be catted). 2. The Cat o' Nine Tails (see below). 3. A cat-rigged boat or catboat.
  • Catamaran - A vessel with two hulls.
  • Catboat - A cat-rigged vessel with only one sail, usually on a gaff.
  • Cat o' nine tails - A short nine-tailed whip kept by the bosun's mate to flog sailors (and soldiers in the Army).
  • Cat Head - A beam extending out from the hull used to support an anchor when raised in order to secure or 'fish' it.
  • Centreboard - A removable keel used to resist leeway.
  • Chain shot - cannon balls linked with chain - used to damage rigging and masts.
  • Chase guns - Cannons mounted on the bow or stern. Those on the bow could be used to fire upon a ship ahead, while those on the rear could be used to ward off pursuing vessels.
  • Chock-a-block - Rigging blocks that are so tight against one another that they cannot be further tightened.
  • Clean bill of health - A certificate issued by a port indicating that the ship carries no infectious diseases.
  • Clean slate - At the helm, the watch keeper would record details of speed, distances, headings, etc. on a slate. At the beginning of a new watch the slate would be wiped clean.
  • Cleat - A stationary device used to secure a rope aboard a vessel.
  • Clew-lines - Used to truss up the clews, the lower corners of square sails.
  • Coaming - The raised edge of a hatchway used to help keep out water.
  • Compass - Navigational instrument that revolutionised travel.
  • Corrector - a device to correct the ship's compass.
  • Courses - The mainsail, foresail, and the mizzen.
  • Coxswain or cockswain - The helmsman or crew member in command of a boat.
  • As the crow flies - A direct line between two points (which might cross land) which is the way crows travel rather than ships which must go around land.
  • Crow's nest - The highest lookout point on a mast.
  • Cunningham - A line invented by Briggs Cunningham, used to control the shape of a sail.
  • Cunt splice - A join between two lines, similar to an eye-splice, where each rope end is joined to the other a short distance along, making an opening which closes under tension.
  • Cuntline - The "valley" between the strands of a rope or cable. Before serving a section of laid rope e.g. to protect it from chafing, it may be "wormed" by laying yarns in the cuntlines, giving that section an even cylindrical shape.
  • Cut and run - When wanting to make a quick escape, a ship might cut lashings to sails or cables for anchors, causing damage to the rigging, or losing an anchor, but shortening the time needed to make ready by bypassing the proper procedures.
  • Cut of his jib - The "cut" of a sail refers to its shape. Since this would vary between ships, it could be used both to identify a familiar vessel at a distance, and to judge the possible sailing qualities of an unknown one.
  • Daggerboard - A type of centerboard that is removed vertically.
  • Deadeye - A round wooden blank which serves a similar purpose to a block in the standing rigging of large sailing vessels.
  • Devil seam - The curved seam in the deck planking closest to the side of the ship, next to the scuppers. A sailor slipping on the deck would be "between the Devil and the deep blue sea".
  • Devil to pay(and no pitch hot) - 'Paying' the Devil is sealing the devil seam. It is a difficult and unpleasant job (with no resources) because of the shape of the seam (closest to the hull).
  • Dogwatch - A short watch period, generally half the usual time (eg a two hour watch between two four hour ones). Such a watch might be included in order to slowly rotate the system over several days for fairness, or to allow both watches to eat their meals at approximately normal times.
  • Downhaul - A line used to control either a mobile spar, or the shape of a sail.
  • Draft - The depth of a ship's keel below the waterline.
  • Draught - See draft.
  • Dressing down - Treating old sails with oil or wax to renew them, or a verbal reprimand.
  • Driver - The large sail flown from the mizzen gaff.
  • Earrings - Small lines, by which the uppermost corners of the largest sails are secured to the yardarms.
  • Embayed - The condition where a sailing vessel is confined between two capes or headlands, typically where the wind is blowing directly onshore.
  • Fathom - A unit of length equal to 6 feet, roughly measured as the distance between a man's outstretched hands.
  • Fireship - A ship loaded with flammable materials and explosives and sailed into an enemy port or fleet either already burning or ready to be set alight by its crew (who would then abandon it) in order to collide with and set fire to enemy ships.
  • First rate - The classification for the largest sailing warships of the 17th through 19th centuries. They had 3 masts, 850+ crew and 100+ guns.
  • Fish - 1. To repair a mast or spar with a fillet of wood. 2. To secure an anchor on the side of the ship for sea (otherwise known as "catting".)
  • Flank - The maximum speed of a ship. Faster than "full speed".
  • Fluke - The wedge-shaped part of an anchor's arms that digs into the bottom.
  • Fly by night - A large sail used only for sailing downwind, requiring little attention.
  • Foot - The bottom of a sail.
  • Footloose - If the foot of a sail is not secured properly, it is footloose, blowing around in the wind.
  • Founder - To fill with water and sink → Wiktionary
  • Fore - Towards the bow (of the vessel).
  • Foremast jack - An enlisted sailor, one who is housed before the foremast.
  • Forestays - Long lines or cables, reaching from the front of the vessel to the mast heads, used to support the mast.
  • Freeboard - The height of a ship's hull (excluding superstructure) above the waterline.
  • Furl To roll or wrap a sail around the mast or spar to which it is attached.

Nautical capstan A capstan is a rotating machine used to control or apply force to another element, usually linear. ... A leather cat o nine used for BDSM play The Cat O Nine Tails is a type of multi-tailed whipping device that originated as an implement for severe physical punishment as in the British Royal Navy. ... For other uses, see Whip (disambiguation). ... Whipping on a post Flagellation is the act of whipping (Latin flagellum, whip) the human body. ... A centreboard is a form of movable keel on a small sailing boat or dinghy which can be moved to lower the draught (or depth) of the vessel. ... In artillery, chain-shot is a type of ammunition formed of two balls, or half-balls, chained together. ... A digram showing three cleats. ... diagram showing the names of the parts of a sail The lower edge of a triangular sail is called the foot of the sail, while the upper point is known as the head. ... Compass in a wooden box A compass (or mariners compass) is a navigational instrument for finding directions on the earth. ... CORRECTOR is a Latin word, meaning he who practices correction (see that disambiguation page, also for etymology). ... A foresail refers to one of several types of sail set on the foremost mast (foremast) of a sailing vessel: Any triangular sail set forward of the foremast, such as a jib. ... The coxswain (pronounced cox-ən; often called the cox) is the person in charge of a boat, particularly its navigation and steering. ... In sailing, a cunningham or cunninghams eye is a type of downhaul used on a Bermuda rigged sailboat to change the shape of a sail. ... Briggs Swift Cunningham II was a victorious Americas Cup sailor and inventor, as well as, being a racecar enthusiast, driver, team owner, racecar owner, and racecar builder. ... The cunt splice is a knot of the splice variety, similar to the eye splice. ... A daggerboard is a type of centreboard used by various sailing craft. ... A centreboard is a form of removable keel on a small sailing boat or dinghy which can be removed to lower the draught (or depth) of the vessel. ... A deadeye is an item used in the standing rigging of old sailing ships. ... In sailing, a block is a pulley or a number of pulleys enclosed in sheaves so as to be fixed to the end of a line or to a spar or surface. ... On a sailing boat, the standing rigging is that collection of lines which are fixed. ... In marine or naval terminology, the dog watch is the period of time (or work shift) between 1600 and 2000 (see ships bells). ... The downhaul is a line (or rope) which is part of the rigging on a sailboat; it applies downward force on a spar or sail. ... This article is about the convenience store. ... In nautical parlance, draft is the depth below waters surface of the lowest part of a ship or boat. ... In nautical parlance, draft is the depth below waters surface of the lowest part of a ship or boat. ... A fathom is a unit of length equivalent to 6 feet or 2 yards. ... This article is not about the fireboats that fight fire Defeat of the Spanish Armada, 1588-08-08 by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg, painted 1796, depicts Drakes fire ship attack on the Spanish Armada. ... This is one of six ratings (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th) in the rating system of the Royal Navy. ... The Guppy, also known as guppie (Poecilia reticulata) is one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish species in the world. ... (A) Fluke is another name for trematoda, a class of flatworms, for example: the liver fluke Skin or Gill Flukes. ... Fly by Night is the second studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush, released in February 1975 (see 1975 in music). ... diagram showing the names of the parts of a sail The lower edge of a triangular sail is called the foot of the sail, while the upper point is known as the head. ... On a sailing vessel, a forestay is a piece of standing rigging which keeps a mast from falling backwards. ...

G-L

  • Gaff - The spar that holds the upper edge of a sail.
  • Garbled - Garbling was the (illegal) practice of mixing cargo with garbage.
  • Grapeshot - Small balls of lead fired from a cannon, similar to shotgun shot on a larger scale. Used to hurt people, rather than cause structural damage.
  • Grog - Watered-down rum. From the British Admiral Vernon who, in 1740, ordered the men's ration of rum to be watered down. He was called "Old Grogram" because he often wore a grogram coat), and the watered rum came to be called 'grog'.
  • Groggy - Drunk from having consumed a lot of grog.
  • Gunwale - Upper edge of the hull.
  • Halyard or Halliard - Ropes used for hoisting a spar with a sail attached.
  • Hand over fist - To climb steadily upwards, from the motion of a sailor climbing shrouds on a sailing ship (originally "hand over hand").
  • Haul wind - To point the ship so as to be heading in the same direction as the wind, to maximise speed.
  • Hawse-hole - A hole in a ship's bow for a cable, such as for an anchor, to pass through.
  • Head - The toilet or latrine of a vessel, which for sailing ships projected from the bows
  • Headsail - Any sail flown in front of the most forward mast.
  • Heave - A vessel's transient up-and-down motion.
  • Heaving to - To stop a sailing vessel by lashing the helm in opposition to the sails. The vessel will gradually drift to leeward, the speed of the drift depending on the vessel's design.
  • Heave down - Turn a ship on its side (for cleaning).
  • Hogging - The distortion of the hull resulting from the strain imposed when the crest of a wave is amidship.
  • Holystone - A chunk of sandstone used to scrub the decks. The name comes from both the kneeling position sailors adopt to scrub the deck (reminiscent of genuflection for prayer), and the stone itself (which resembled a Bible in shape and size).
  • Horse - Attachment of sheets to deck of vessel ('Main-sheet horse).
  • Hounds - Attachments of stays to masts.
  • In the offing - In the water visible from on board a ship, now used to mean something imminent.
  • Jack - Either a flag, or a sailor. Typically the flag was talked about as if it were a member of the crew.
  • Jack Lines or Jack Stays - Lines, often steel wire with a plastic jacket, from the bow to the stern on both port and starboard. The Jack Lines are used to clip on the safety harness to secure the crew to the vessel while giving them the freedom to walk on the deck.
  • Jack Tar - A sailor dressed in 'square rig' - (now) with square collar - (formally) with tarred pigtail.
  • Jib - A triangular staysail at the front of a ship.
  • Killick - A small anchor.
  • Keelhauling - Maritime punishment: to punish by dragging under the keel of a ship.
  • kissing the gunner's daughter - bend over the barrel of a gun for punitive spanking
  • Know the ropes - A sailor who 'knows the ropes' is familiar with the miles of cordage and ropes involved in running a ship.
  • Land lubber - A person unfamiliar with being on the sea.
  • Lanyard - A rope that ties something off.
  • Larboard - The left side of the ship - cf. starboard.
  • Large - See By and large.
  • League - A unit of length, normally equal to three nautical miles.
  • Leech - The aft or trailing edge of a fore-and-aft sail; the leeward edge of a spinnaker; a vertical edge of a square sail. The leech is susceptible to twist, which is controlled by the boom vang and mainsheet.
  • Lee side - The side of a ship sheltered from the wind (cf. weather side).
  • Lee shore - A shore downwind of a ship. A ship which cannot sail well to windward risks being blown onto a lee shore and grounded.
  • Leeway - The amount that a ship is blown leeward by the wind. See also weatherly.
  • Leeward - In the direction that the wind is blowing towards.
  • Let go and haul - An order indicating that the ship is in line with the wind.
  • Let the cat out of the bag - To break bad news (the "cat o' nine tails" being taken out of the bag by the bosun was bad news).
  • Letter of marque and reprisal - A warrant granted to a privateer condoning specific acts of piracy against a target as a redress for grievances.
  • Liner - Ship of The Line: a major warship capable of taking its place in the main (battle) line of fighting ships. Hence modern term for most prestigious passenger vessel: Liner.
  • List - The vessel's angle of lean or tilt to one side, in the direction called roll.
  • Loaded to the gunwales - Literally, having cargo loaded as high as the ship's rail; also means extremely drunk.
  • Loggerhead - An iron ball attached to a long handle, used for driving caulking into seams and (occasionally) in a fight. Hence: 'at loggerheads'.
  • Luff - 1. The foreward edge of a sail. 2. To head a sailing vessel more towards the direction of the wind.
  • Luffing 1. When a sailing vessel is steered more to windward. 2. Loosening a sheet past optimal trim. 3. The flapping of the sail(s) which results.
  • Lying ahull - Waiting out a storm by dousing all sails and simply letting the boat drift.

In sailing, a gaff is the upper spar used to control a fore-and-aft sail set aft of the mast, such as a mainsail. ... Grapeshot was a kind of anti-personnel ammunition used in cannons. ... A small American Civil War-era cannon on a carriage A caun is any large tubular firearm designed to fire a heavy projectile over a considerable distance. ... A pump-action and two semi-automatic action shotguns, 20 boxes of shotgun shells, a clay trap, and three boxes of clay pigeons. ... Grog issue on board the HMS Endymion; circa 1905 Rum measure reputed to be from Trafalgar Black Tot Day, on board the HMS Phoebe; 31 July, 1970 For other uses, see Grog (disambiguation). ... Grogram is a coarse fabric of silk mixed with wool or with mohair and often stiffened with gum. ... The gunwale, pronounced gunnel to rhyme with tunnel, is a nautical term describing the top edge of the side of a boat. ... In sailing, a halyard is a line (rope) that is used to hoist (pull up) a sail or a yard to which a sail has been attached (bent on). ... The head is a ships water closet (toilet). ... Boeing 747 toilet A toilet is a plumbing fixture and a disposal system primarily intended for the disposal of the bodily wastes; urine, fecal matter, vomit and menses. ... A latrine is a method of disposal of human waste used in rural areas and much of the developing world. ... A headsail is any sail set forward of the foremost mast of a sailing vessel. ... mizzen mast, mainmast and foremast Grand Turk The mast of a sailing ship is a tall vertical pole which supports the sails. ... In sailing, heaving to (also heaving-to) is a way of waiting out a storm, usually by dropping all sails, fixing the helm to a set position, and using a sea anchor to avoid the boat drifting too far. ... Hogging is the stress a ships hull or keel is placed under when a wave is the same length as the ship and the crest of the wave is amidships. ... In any branch of science dealing with materials and their behaviour, strain is the geometrical expression of deformation caused by the action of stress on a physical body. ... Holystone is soft friable sandstone that was formerly used for scouring and whitening. ... Sandstone near Stadtroda, Germany Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. ... A typcial jib on a small yacht A jib is a triangular staysail set ahead of the foremost mast of a sailing boat. ... A staysail is a fore-and-aft rigged sail whose luff is affixed to a stay running forward (and most often but not always downwards) from a mast to the deck, the bowsprit or to another mast. ... A ships or boats anchor is used to attach the vessel to the bottom at a specific point. ... Keelhauling, from Dutch language kielhalen (to drag along the keel) was a severe form of corporal punishment meted out to sailors at sea. ... Kissing the gunners daughter can refer to: an expression meaning taking a painful punishment (literally a spanking in a typialistion, or metaphorially) the novel Kissing the Gunners Daughter This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... a lanyard fixed on an infantry sabre handle A lanyard is a rope or cord often worn around the neck or wrist to carry something. ... Port is the nautical term (used on boats and ships) that refers to the left side of a ship, as perceived by a person facing towards the bow (the front of the vessel). ... Starboard is the nautical term (used on boats and ships) that refers to the right side of a vessel as perceived by a person facing towards the bow. ... League is a unit of distance long common in Europe and Latin America, although no longer an official unit in any nation. ... A nautical mile is a unit of length. ... Leeway is the lateral movement of a ship to the leeward of her course; drift. ... Leeward is the side of a boat away from the direction where the wind is coming (i. ... A letter of marque and reprisal was an official warrant or commission from a national government authorizing the designated agent to search, seize, or destroy specified assets or personnel belonging to a party which had committed some offense under the laws of nations against the assets or citizens of the... A privateer was a private ship (or its captain) authorized by a countrys government to attack and seize cargo from another countrys ships. ... A liner is a big passenger ship where the passengers can sleep onboard. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Luff has two separate, but closely related, sailing-related meanings. ... Windward is the side of a boat into which the wind is blowing. ... In sailing, a sheet is a line (or rope) used to control the moveable corner(s) of a sail. ... In sailing, lying ahull is a controversial method of weathering a storm, by downing all sails, battening the hatches and locking the tiller to leeward. ...

M-R

  • Mainmast (or Main) - The tallest mast on a ship.
  • Mainsheet - Sail control line that allows the most obvious effect on mainsail trim. Primarily used to control the angle of the boom, and thereby the mainsail, this control can also increase or decrease downward tension on the boom while sailing upwind, significantly affecting sail shape. For more control over downward tension on the boom, use a boom vang.
  • Man of war - a warship from the age of sail
  • Man overboard! - A cry let out when a seaman has gone overboard
  • Master - Either the commander of commercial vessel, or a senior officer of a naval sailing ship in charge of routine seamanship and navigation but not in command during combat.
  • Master-at-Arms - A non-commissioned officer responsible for discipline on a naval ship.
  • Midshipman - A non-commissioned officer below the rank of Lieutenant. Usually regarded as being "in training" to some degree.
  • Mizzenmast (or Mizzen) - The third mast on a ship.
  • Mizzen staysail - Sail on a ketch or yawl, usually lightweight, set from, and forward of, the mizzen mast while reaching in light to moderate air.
  • Nipper - Short rope used to bind a cable to the "messenger" (a moving line propelled by the capstan) so that the cable is dragged along too (Used because the cable is too large to be wrapped round the capstan itself). During the raising of an anchor the nippers were attached and detached from the (endless) messenger by the ship's boys. Hence the term for small boys: 'nippers'.
  • No room to swing a cat - The entire ship's company was expected to witness floggings, assembled on deck. If it was very crowded, the bosun might not have room to swing the 'cat o' nine tails' (the whip).
  • Oilskin Foul-weather gear worn by sailors.
  • Outhaul - A line used to control the shape of a sail.
  • Overbear - To sail downwind directly at another ship, stealing the wind from its sails.
  • Overhaul - Hauling the buntline ropes over the sails to prevent them from chaffing.
  • Overreach - When tacking, to hold a course too long.
  • Over the barrel - Adult sailors were flogged on the back or shoulders while tied to a grating, but boys were beaten instead on the posterior (often bared), with a cane or cat, while bending, often tied down, over the barrel of a gun, known as (kissing) the gunner's daughter.
  • Overwhelmed - Capsized or foundered.
  • Ox-Eye - A cloud or other weather phenomenon that may be indicative of an upcoming storm.
  • Parrel - A movable loop, used to fasten the yard to its respective mast.
  • Part brass rags - Fall out with a friend. From the days when cleaning materials were shared between sailors.
  • Pay - Fill a seam (with caulking or pitch); see 'The Devil to Pay', or to lubricate the running rigging: 'pay' with slush (qv) or protect from the weather by covering with slush.
  • Pipe down - A signal on the bosun's pipe to signal the end of the day, requiring lights to be extinguished and silence from the crew.
  • - Pitch - A vessel's motion, rotating about the beam axis, so the bow pitches up and down.
  • Poop deck - A high deck on the aft superstructure of a ship.
  • Pooped - 1. Swamped by a high, following sea. 2. Exhausted.
  • Port - Towards the left-hand side of the ship facing forward (formerly Larboard).
  • Press gang - Formed body of personnel from a ship of the Royal Navy (either a ship seeking personnel for its own crew or from a 'press tender' seeking men for a number of ships) that would identify and force (press) men, usually merchant sailors into service on naval ships usually against their will.
  • Preventer (Gybe preventer, Jibe preventer) - A sail control line originating at some point on the boom leading to a fixed point on the boat's deck or rail (usually a cleat or pad eye) used to prevent an accidental jibe while sailing downwind.
  • Privateer - A privately-owned ship authorised by a national power (by means of a Letter of Marque) to conduct hostilities against an enemy. Also called a private man of war.
  • Reach - A point of sail from about 60° to about 160° off the wind. Reaching consists of "close reaching" (about 60&deg to 80°), "beam reaching" (about 90°) and "broad reaching" (about 120° to 160°)

mizzen mast, mainmast and foremast Grand Turk The mast of a sailing ship is a tall vertical pole which supports the sails. ... In sailing, a sheet is a line (or rope) used to control how much wind a sail (or part of a sail) gathers. ... A mainsail is the most important sail raised from the main (or only) mast of a sailing vessel. ... In sailing, a boom is a spar (pole) usually made of aluminum or wood, is connected to the foot of the mainsail and allows the crew to control the angle of the sail to the wind. ... A boom vang is an item of rigging in a sail-powered vessel (usually small ones, but it is sometimes found on larger ones as well). ... A man of war (also man-of-war, man-o-war or simply man) is an armed naval vessel. ... Diagrams of first and third rate warships, England, 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... The age of sail is the period in which international trade and naval warfare were both dominated by sailing ships. ... Man Overboard refers to several different things: Man Overboard is a term generally related to situations where a person has fallen off a boat or ship, and the need exists to rescue that person. ... Master Mariner is the official title of someone qualified to command a ship; the qualification is colloquially called a Masters Ticket. The term was introduced in the mid 19th century, and is usually held by the chief officer/first mate as well as the captain). ... A Master-at-Arms (MAA) is a rating responsible for discipline aboard a naval ship. ... A non-commissioned officer (sometimes noncommissioned officer), also known as an NCO or noncom, is a non-commissioned member of an armed force who has been given authority by a commissioned officer. ... A midshipman is a subordinate officer, or alternatively a commissioned officer of the lowest rank, in the navies of several English-speaking countries. ... A non-commissioned officer (sometimes noncommissioned officer), also known as an NCO or noncom, is a non-commissioned member of an armed force who has been given authority by a commissioned officer. ... A Lieutenant is a military, paramilitary or police officer. ... mizzen mast, mainmast and foremast Grand Turk The mast of a sailing ship is a tall vertical pole which supports the sails. ... A staysail is a fore-and-aft rigged sail whose luff is affixed to a stay running forward (and most often but not always downwards) from a mast to the deck, the bowsprit or to another mast. ... Square Topsl Gaff Ketch Hawaiian Chieftain on San Francisco Bay A ketch is a sailing craft with two masts: A main mast, and a mizzen mast abaft the main mast. ... Yawl sailing vessel. ... Oilskin jacket (left) and high trousers (right). ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Traditional wooden barrels in Cutchogue Modern stainless steel beer barrels - also called casks or kegs - outside the Castle Rock microbrewery in Nottingham, England Barrel redirects here. ... Spanking (or smacking, whacking, etc. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Port is the nautical term (used on boats and ships) that refers to the left side of a ship, as perceived by a person facing towards the bow (the front of the vessel). ... Impressment (colloquially, press-ganging) is the act of conscripting people to serve as sailors. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the senior service of the British armed services, being the oldest of its three branches. ... A jibe (also spelled gybe) is when a sailing boat (yacht) turns its stern through the wind, such that the direction of the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other. ... A privateer was a private ship (or its captain) authorized by a countrys government to attack and seize cargo from another countrys ships. ... A letter of marque and reprisal was an official warrant or commission from a national government authorizing the designated agent to search, seize, or destroy specified assets or personnel belonging to a party which had committed some offense under the laws of nations against the assets or citizens of the... Points of sail is the term used to describe a sailing boats course in relation to the wind direction. ...

R-S

  • Reef
    • 1. Reef: To temporarily reduce the area of a sail exposed to the wind, usually to guard against adverse effects of strong wind or to slow the vessel.
    • 2. Reef: Rock or coral, possibly only revealed at low tide, shallow enough that the vessel will at least touch if not go aground.
  • Reef points - Small lengths of cord attached to a sail, used to secure the excess fabric after reefing.
  • Reef-bands - Long pieces of rough canvas sewed across the sails to give them additional strength.
  • Reef-tackles - Ropes employed in the operation of reefing.
  • Rigging - The system of masts and lines on ships and other sailing vessels.
  • Roll - A vessel's motion rotating from side to side, about the fore-aft axis. List (qv) is a lasting tilt in the roll direction.
  • Rolling-tackle - A number of pulleys, engaged to confine the yard to the weather side of the mast; this tackle is much used in a rough sea.
  • the Ropes' refers to the lines in the rigging; a Rope's end is a summary punishment device
  • Rummage sale - A sale of damaged cargo (from French arrimage).
  • Running rigging - Rigging used to manipulate sails, spars, etc. in order to control the movement of the ship. Cf. standing rigging.
  • Sagging - When a trough of a wave is amidship.
  • Sail-plan - A set of drawings showing various sail combinations recommended for use in various situations.
  • Scud - A name given by sailors to the lowest clouds, which are mostly observed in squally weather.
  • Scudding - A term applied to a vessel when carried furiously along by a tempest.
  • Scuppers - An opening on the side rail that allows water to run off the deck.
  • Scuttle - A small opening, or lid thereof, in a ship's deck or hull. To cut a hole in, or sink something.
  • Scuttlebutt - A barrel with a hole in used to hold water that sailors would drink from. Also: gossip.
  • sennet whip a punitive implement
  • Shakes - Pieces of barrels or casks broken down to save space. They are worth very little, leading to the phrase "no great shakes".
  • Sheer - The upward curve of a vessel's longitudinal lines as viewed from the side.
  • Sheet - A rope used to control the setting of a sail in relation to the direction of the wind.
  • Shrouds- Standing rigging running from a mast to the sides of a ships.
  • Skysail - A sail set very high, above the royals. Only carried by a few ships.
  • Skyscraper - A small, triangular sail, above the skysail. Used in light winds on a few ships.
  • Slush - Greasy substance obtained by boiling or scraping the fat from empty salted meat storage barrels, or the floating fat residue after boiling the crew's meal. In the Royal Navy the perquisite of the cook who could sell it or exchange it (usually for alcohol) with other members of the crew. Used for greasing parts of the running rigging of the ship and therefore valuable to the master and bosun.
  • Slush fund - The money obtained by the cook selling slush ashore. Used for the benefit of the crew (or the cook).
  • Son of a gun - The space between the guns was used as a semi-private place for trysts with prostitutes and wives, which sometimes lead to pregnancies.
  • Spanker - A fore and aft, gaff-rigged sail on the aft-most mast of a square-rigged vessel.
  • Spar - A wooden pole used to support various pieces of rigging and sails.
  • Spinnaker - A large sail flown in front of the vessel while heading downwind.
  • Spinnaker pole - A spar used to help control a spinnaker or other headsail.
  • Standing rigging - Rigging which is used to support masts and spars, and is not normally manipulated during normal operations. Cf. running rigging.
  • Starboard - Towards the right-hand side of a vessel facing forward.
  • Square meal - A sufficient quantity of food. Meals on board ship were served to the crew on a square wooden plate in harbour or at sea in good weather. Food in the Royal Navy was invariably better or at least in greater quantity than that available to the average landsman. However, while square wooden plates were indeed used on board ship, there is no established link between them and this particular term. The OED gives the earliest reference from the U.S. in the mid 19th century.
  • Stay - Rigging running fore (forestay) and aft (backstay) from a mast to the hull.
  • Staysail - A sail whose luff is attached to a forestay.
  • Steering oar or steering board - A long, flat board or oar that went from the stern to well underwater, used to control the vessel in the absence of a rudder.
  • Stern - The rear part of a ship, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter to the taffrail.
  • Stonnacky - a punitive device
  • Studding-sails - Long and narrow sails, used only in fine weather, on the outside of the large square sails.
  • Surge - A vessel's transient motion in a fore and aft direction.
  • Sway - A vessel's motion from side to side.
  • Swinging the compass - Measuring the inaccuracy in a ship's magnetic compass so its readings can be adjusted.
  • Swinging the lead - Measuring the depth of water beneath a ship using a lead-weighted sounding line. A sailor who was feigning illness etc to avoid a hard job was said to be 'swinging the lead'.

To reef the main sail means to reduce its sail area. ... A reef surrounding an islet. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Running rigging is the term for the rigging of a sailing vessel that is used for raising, lowering and controlling the sails - as opposed to the standing rigging, which supports the mast and other spars. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Sagging is the stress a ships hull or keel is placed under when a wave is the same length as the ship and the ship is in the trough of two waves. ... A sail-plan is a formal set of drawings, usually prepared by a marine architect. ... Look up Gossip in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Coils of rope used for long-line fishing A rope (IPA: ) is a length of fibers, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pulling and connecting. ... In sailing, a sheet is a line (or rope) used to control the moveable corner(s) of a sail. ... On a sailboat, the shrouds are pieces of standing rigging which hold the mast up from side to side. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the senior service of the British armed services, being the oldest of its three branches. ... Slush fund is, colloquially, a term which has come to mean an auxiliary monetary account or a reserve fund. ... Spanker may refer to several things: A disciplinarian (often an educator) who spanks, i. ... This article is about the convenience store. ... A spinnaker is a special type of sail that is designed specifically for sailing downwind (with the wind behind the boat). ... A spinnaker pole is a spar used in sailboats (both dinghys and yachts) to help support and control a variety of headsails, particularly the spinnaker. ... A headsail is any sail set forward of the foremost mast of a sailing vessel. ... On a sailing boat, the standing rigging is that collection of lines which are fixed. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Starboard is the nautical term (used on boats and ships) that refers to the right side of a vessel as perceived by a person facing towards the bow. ... Stays are the heavy ropes on sailing vessels that run from the masts to the hull. ... A staysail is a fore-and-aft rigged sail whose luff is affixed to a stay running forward (and most often but not always downwards) from a mast to the deck, the bowsprit or to another mast. ... diagram showing the names of the parts of a sail The lower edge of a triangular sail is called the foot of the sail, while the upper point is known as the head. ... The steering oar or steering board is an oversized oar or board to control the direction of a ship or other watercraft prior to the invention of the rudder. ... The worlds oldest depiction of a rudder. ... Aft of the Soleil Royal, by Jean Bérain the Elder. ... Rattan cane Caning is a physical punishment (see that article for generalities and alternatives) consisting of a beating with a cane, generally applied on the bare or clad buttocks (see spanking), shoulders, hand(s) (palm, rarely knuckles) or even the soles of the feet (see falaka). ... USS Monongahela with a full set of studding sails set A studding sail or studsail is a sail used to increase the sail area of a square rigged vessel in light winds. ... General Name, Symbol, Number lead, Pb, 82 Chemical series poor metals Group, Period, Block 14, 6, p Appearance bluish white Atomic mass 207. ... A sounding line or lead line is a length of thin rope with a weight, generally of lead at its end. ...

T-Z

  • Taken aback - An inattentive helmsmen might allow the dangerous situation to arise where the wind is blowing into the sails 'backwards', causing a sudden (and possibly dangerous) shift in the position of the sails.
  • Taking the wind out of his sails - To sail in a way that steals the wind from another ship cf. overbear.
  • Tally - The operation of hauling aft the sheets, or drawing them in the direction of the ship's stern.
  • Teazer - a punitive device
  • Three sheets to the wind - 1. On a three-masted ship, having the sheets of the three lower courses loose will result in the ship meandering aimlessly downwind. 2. To be drunk, and meandering aimlessly.
  • Timoneer - From the French timonnier, is a name given, on particular occasions, to the steersman of a ship.
  • Toe the line or Toe the mark - At parade, sailors and soldiers were required to stand in line, their toes in line with a seam of the deck.
  • Togey - a punitive device
  • Topsail - The second sail (counting from the bottom) up a mast. These may be either square sails or fore-and-aft ones, in which case they often "fill in" between the mast and the gaff of the sail below.
  • Touch and go - The bottom of the ship touching the bottom, but not grounding.
  • Towing - The operation of drawing a vessel forward by means of long lines.
  • Travellers - Small fittings that slide on a rod or line. The most common use is for the inboard end of the mainsheet; a more esoteric form of traveller consists of "slight iron rings, encircling the backstays, which are used for hoisting the top-gallant yards, and confining them to the backstays".
  • Trick - A period of time spent at the wheel ("my trick's over").
  • Turtling - When a sailboat (in particular a dinghy) capsizes to a point where the mast is pointed straight down and the hull is on the surface resembling a turtle shell.
  • Under the weather - Serving a watch on the weather side of the ship, exposed to wind and spray.
  • Wales - A number of strong and thick planks running length-wise along the ship, covering the lower part of the ship's side.
  • Weather gage - Have a favorable position over another sailing vessel to with respect to the wind
  • Weather side - The weather side of a ship is the side exposed to the wind.
  • Weatherly - A ship that is easily sailed and maneuvered; makes little leeway when sailing to windward.
  • Weigh anchor - To heave up (an anchor) preparatory to sailing
  • Wells - Places in the ship's hold for the pumps.
  • Wide berth - To leave room between two ships moored (berthed) to allow space for maneuver.
  • Windage - Wind resistance of the boat
  • Windbound - A condition wherein the ship is detained in one particular station by contrary winds.
  • Windward - In the direction that the wind is coming from.
  • Yard - The horizontal spar from which a square sail is suspended.
  • Yardarm The very end of a yard. Often mistaken for a "yard", which refers to the entire spar. As in to hang 'from the yardarm' and the sun being 'over the yardarm' (late enough to have a drink).
  • - Yaw - A vessel's motion rotating about the vertical axis, so the bow yaws from side to side.

Coils of rope used for long-line fishing A rope (IPA: ) is a length of fibers, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pulling and connecting. ... Coils of rope used for long-line fishing A rope (IPA: ) is a length of fibers, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pulling and connecting. ... A topsail is a sail set above another sail; on square-rigged vessels further sails may be set above topsails. ... A mechanical traveller is a moving part of a machine, typically a ring that slides between different positions on a supporting rod when the machine goes through its operating cycle. ... The phrase to have the weather gage (or gauge) describes the favorable position of a sailing vessel relative to another with respect to the wind. ... Windage is a force created on an object by friction when there is relative movement between air and the object. ... Windward is the side of a boat into which the wind is blowing. ... The fore royal yard on the Prince William. ...

External links

  • A Glossary of Nautical and Sailing Terms

  Results from FactBites:
 
Journeys in Time: Ships - Glossary (1613 words)
Tack: the nautical manouevre of bringing a sailing vessel on to another bearing by bringing the wind round the bow; during this manouevre the vessel is said to be 'coming about'.
Tide of Flood: the flow of the tidal stream as it rises from the ending of the period of slack water at low tide to the start of the period of slack water at high tide; its period is approximately six hours.
Weather: in a nautical sense (rather than a meteorological) this is the phrase used by seamen to describe anything that lies to windward.
Glossary of Nautical Terms (1795 words)
The term comes from the fact that the gangplank, to shore or "port", is usually lowered on the lefthand side of the ship.
After the eighteenth century, the term also applied to a small vessel with four to twelve cannon on her upper deck, sixth rate, and rigged with up to three masts.
The term is a corruption of "steerboard", a primitive rudder usually mounted on the righthand side of the ship.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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