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May be watertight. Originally sails were made of canvas. Unlike a daggerboard, which lifts vertically, a centerboard pivots around a pin, usually located in the forward top corner, and swings up and aft. Not found on round-bottom boats. The cabin roof, raised above the deck to provide headroom in the cabin. Compound sheer , curving up at the front of the boat and down at the stern, and straight sheer are uncommon.

Boating Glossary

Apr to be long in older designs, and short in more recent boats. Flattens the sail. Cutter Rig: A sail plan with two headsails, a main jib and a smaller staysail set between the jib and the mast. I am maneuvering with difficulty. May be completely removed for beaching or for sailing downwind. About every seven to ten years it extends down the coast of Peru , where it has a devastating effect.

Refers to that portion of the cabin which is farthest forward. In square-riggers often used as quarters for the crew.


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Often used for anchor or sail stowage. Most often it will vary along the length of the boat. A spinnaker pole, for example, has one end attached to the mast, while the free end is moved back and forth with a guy. Gybing : turning the boat so that the stern back of the boat crosses the wind, changing direction.

Glossary of nautical terms - Wikipedia

Also a marine toilet. The primary purpose is to provide continuous support of the luff of the sail, but it may also help support the forestay. Lines pull down the luff and the leech of the sail, reducing its area. The stay runs from the top of the mast forward over a short jumper strut, then down to the mast, usually at the level of the spreaders. To haul the boom aboard is to haul the boom in by the mainsheet from off the lee quarter. To go about is to tack. Absence Flag - A rectangular blue flag hoisted below the starboard crosstree to denote that the owner is not on board the yacht.

When the owner steps on board the flag is lowered.

This is an American custom which is gradually being adopted in Europe. It is a most useful regulation. In the case of yachts, they are usually made to fold up on the bulwarks when the yacht is under way. If a vessel in beating to windward crosses a tide fairly at right angles on one tack, she will stem it on the next or have it stern on, according to whether the tide be lee-going or weathergoing.

Appendix:Glossary of military slang

Builder's Measurement , which see. Still used in measuring ships for passage of the Suez and Panama Canals and is done by the Admeasures Office. To be on board ship. Towards the forward end of anything. In racing yachts, if there be any amateurs on board, they are generally made use of as an after-guard. In merchant ships the ordinary seamen or landsmen enjoy the distinction. A small cuddy or locker made in the run of a boat aft. The rake or overhang the stern post has abaft the heel of the keel.

To incline sternwards. The wind is said to blow against the sun when it comes from the westward, and to back when it changes from west to east by the south. In hailing a vessel, as "Cetonia Ahoy! If access hatches or ports are provided, they will be gasketed for tight sealing. Opposite of windward. The helm is a-lee when it is put down to leeward.

Table of contents

Hard a-lee means that the helm must be put as far to leeward as it can be got. See "Helm's a-lee.

Edited by Ben Ford, Donny L. Hamilton, and Alexis Catsambis

The passage under the bridge deck of a steamer is an alley, or alleyway. See "Lane. Generally the word has reference to the middle fore-and-aft line of the ship, and to a middle athwartship part of a ship. Another plan is to "scow" the anchor by bending the end of the cable to the crown instead of to the ring or shackle.

The cable is then "stopped" to the ring by a yarn. When the cable is hauled upon the stop breaks, and, of course, the cable being fast to the crown, the anchor is readily broken out of the ground. A boat should not be left moored with her anchor "scowed," as, if any unusual strain came upon the cable, the stop would break, and the boat would probably go adrift.

The trip line should be used in such cases. See "Scowing. One hand may keep an anchor watch, and call up the officers and crew if necessary. Air pressure is measured in millibars. Long, deep vessels, and full quartered vessels which have not a long clean run to the rudder, are slow to answer their helm. A vessel cannot "answer her helm" it she has not way on through the water, hence "steerage way.

They formerly had carved heads to represent the upper part of the human body. The motion, of an underway vessel, makes an effective wind. When moored, a weathervane shows the true wind, but shows the apparent wind when moving. To go ashore is to leave the ship for the land.

To move astern; to launch astern ; to drop astern. An object or vessel which is abaft another vessel or object. See "All a-taunto" under the all- heading.


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  • Athwartship is thus across the ship from one side to the other. Athwart hawse is when one vessel gets across the stem of another. Methods include GPS-controlled motors, windvanes, and rigging the steering tiller to the jib or main sails. As avast heaving stop heaving , avast hauling stop hauling. Often a vessel is worked up a narrow channel with a weather tide by backing and filling: that is, the helm is put down slowly, and the vessel kept moving until she is nearly head to wind; the helm is then put smartly up, and the vessel filled again.

    Care must be always taken to fill before the vessel loses way. Figuratively, to back and fill is to blow hot and cold, or assent and dissent, or to go backwards and forwards with opinions. The stays that support the topmast with a beam or stern wind. The topmast shrouds or rigging. See "Shifting Backstay" and "Preventer. The water that appears to follow under the stern of a ship. To back water is to move the oars of a boat so that the boat moves astern instead of ahead. About one-twelfth of the sail is on the fore side of the mast, and thus "balances" on the mast, requiring no dipping when going about; apparently adapted from the Chinese lug sail.

    Airport Vocabulary

    The reef is taken in by lowering the jaws down to the boom and lacing the sail along the reef band to the boom.