(11th and final edition, 1913)
Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing and
- Inside a ship or on the deck of a ship. "Come
aboard, sir," is a sailor's way of reporting
himself on board after leave of absence. To run or
fall aboard a vessel is for one vessel to come into
collision with another. A sail is said to fall
aboard when, from the lightness of the wind or
other causes, it ceases to blow out. To haul the
boom aboard is to haul the boom in by the mainsheet
from off the lee quarter.
- Having tacked. "She's about!" she is going to
tack or has tacked. "Ready about" is the signal
given for the men to prepare to tack the ship.
"About ship!" or "'Bout ship !" is the order given
to tack, that is to put the vessel on the opposite
tack to the one she is on when the order is given
to tack. To go about is to tack.
- Synonymous with "Abeam." Side by side. To
Breast.-- To come abreast.
- 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.
- Accommodation.-- The cabins of a vessel.
- Accommodation Ladder.--
- A side ladder, with platform, for boarding
vessels. In the case of yachts, they are usually
made to fold up on the bulwarks when the yacht is
- Acker.-- A tide coming on the top of another
- Ackers' Scale.--
- A graduated time allowance on a tonnage
incidence computed by the late Mr. G. Holland
Ackers in 1850, long since superseded by other
- A-Cock Bill or Cock Bill.--
- An anchor hanging from the cat head ready to
let go. The situation of yards when one arm is
topped up as a sign of mourning.
- Across Tide.--
- Crossing the stream of the tide so that it
comes broadside on. 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. (See
- An old-fashioned expression for the builder's
tonnage of a ship calculated by length and breadth,
and abbreviated O.M. (old measurement) and B.M.
(Builder's Measurement), which see.
- The highest rank in the Navy. Formerly there
were admirals of the red, white, and blue, with the
intermediate ranks of vice and rear of the red,
white, and blue. When the white ensign was taken
exclusively for the Royal Navy in 1857, the red,
white, and blue divisions were done away with.
Admirals now fly a St. George's Jack, which is a
white square flag with red St. George cross in it
at the main, fore, or mizen, according to their
rank. A vice-admiral has a red ball in the upper
(hoist) canton of the flag; a rear-admiral two
- Admiral of the Fleet.--
- An honorary distinction bestowed on admirals
for long service, &c. If an admiral of the
fleet has a command, he hoists the "union" at the
- Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron.--
- His Majesty the King is Admiral of the R.Y.S.,
and flies the St. George's Jack with the Imperial
crown in the centre of the cross.
- Admiralty Flag.--
- A red flag with yellow fouled anchor
(horizontal) in it, flown by the Sovereign and
Lords of the Admiralty.
- Admiralty Warrants.--
- Warrants granted to clubs and the members
thereof, granting permission to fly the white
ensign, or the blue ensign, or the red ensign with
device on it. The Admiralty warrants granted to
yachts are of two kinds:
- (1) The Warrant granted to the Club.
(2) The Warrant granted to the individual
Yacht owner who is a member of the
- Thus in order that a yacht may have the right
to fly X the White Ensign, Y the Blue Ensign, or
the Blue ensign with a device, or Z the Red Ensign
with a device it is necessary that the club to
which the owner belongs must hold Warrant No. 1 and
that the owner must obtain through the secretary of
the club and hold for his yacht Warrant No. 2.
Warrants will only be granted to yachts which are
registered according to the provisions of the
Merchant Shipping Act. [This entry
- Floating with the tide. Generally driving about
without control. Also a vessel is said to be adrift
when she breaks away from her moorings, warps,
&c. The term is also applied to loose spars
rolling about the deck ; sheets or ropes which are
not belayed, &c.
- The state of being waterborne after being
aground. To be on board ship.
- Afore.-- The contrary of abaft. Towards the
forward end of anything.
- An abbreviation of abaft, generally applied to
the stern. To go aft is to walk towards the stern;
to launch aft is to move a spar or anything else
towards the stern. To haul aft the sheets is to
bring the clew of the sail more aboard by hauling
on the sheets.
- After.-- The state of being aft, as after-sail,
after-leech, after-side, &c.
- After Body.-- The part of a vessel abaft her
- After End.--
- The stern end of a vessel or anything else, or
the end of anything nearest the stern of a
- Men stationed aft to work sheets, &c. 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. (See "Waisters.'')
- After-most. -- A thing or point situated the
most aft of all.
- Afternoon Watch.-- The watch between noon and
- After Part.-- The stern extremities of a vessel
or anything else.
- After Peak.--
- The hold of a vessel near the run. A small
cuddy or locker made in the run of a boat aft.
- After Rake.--
- Contrary to fore rake. The rake or overhang the
stern post has abaft the heel of the keel. To
- Aftward.-- Towards the stern ; contrary to
- Against the Sun.--
- An expression used to show how a rope is
coiled: from right to left is against the sun, from
left to right is with the sun. 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.
- The document executed, when a vessel is built,
by the builder and the person for whom the vessel
is being built. The following is a form of
agreement which has been used: [The
specification relates to a wood yacht of about 22
tons; deleted, it's very long.]
- Agreement with Crew.--
- A form of agreement provided by the Board of
Trade for yacht sailors to "sign articles" on. The
agreement forms can be obtained of Messrs. Eyre and
Spottiswoods, King's Printers, London, E. C. (See
- A vessel is said to be aground when her keel or
bottom rests on the ground.
- Ahead.-- Forward; in advance of.
- Ahoy .--
- An interjection used to attract attention . In
hailing a vessel, as "Cetonia Ahoy!"
- A ship under bare poles, with her helm lashed
a-lee. An abandoned ship.
- Airtight Cases for Small Boats.--
- By airtight cases are meant cases that will
keep out water. The most general form of case is
made of zinc, copper, or Muntz metal. Macintosh
bags have been used; they are put inside wood
lockers, and then inflated, the object of inflation
being of course to fill the lockers, and thus
practically making the lockers impervious to the
influx of water. As any kind of bag is liable to be
punctured or otherwise damaged, metal cases are to
be preferred -- they should be fitted inside wood
lockers. To render a boat unsubmergeable she must
be provided with cases which will displace a
quantity of water equal to the weight of the
material used in the construction of the boat or
which may be on board and will not float. Usually
an ordinary fir planked boat will not sink if
filled with water, the gunwale just showing above
the surface ; if, however, she has ballast on board
or other weight, she would sink. Also the spare
buoyancy would not generally be sufficient to
support her crew.
- A ton of salt water is equal to 35 cubic feet
of the same: now suppose a boat 16ft. long and 6ft.
broad weighed 15cwt (3/4 ton) with all passengers,
gear, airtight cases. &c., on board, then she
would require airtight cases equal in bulk to
26-1/4 cubic feet, as there are 26-1/4 cubic feet
of water to 3/4-ton weight. But it may be taken
that the wood material used in the construction of
the boat, the spars, and wood cases, would be
self-supporting. Say that these weighed 5cwt, then
10cwt. (1/2-ton) would remain to be supported; 1/2
a ton is equal to 17-1/2 cubic feet. A locker 6ft.
long, 2ft. broad, and 1ft. 6in. deep would contain
18 cubic feet, and so would support the boat with
her passengers on board, or prevent her sinking if
filled to the gunwale with water. Of course it
would be rather awkward to have such a large locker
as this in so small a boat, and the airtight spaces
are usually contrived by having a number of
lockers, some under the thwarts, in the bow end and
stern end of the boat, and sometimes above the
thwarts under the gunwales.
- Some boats are made unsubmergeable by a cork
belting fixed outside below the gunwale. One ton of
cork is equal to 150 cubic feet of the same, and
will support 3-1/4 tons in water. Thus, roughly,
cork will support three times its own weight in
water. Supposing it is sought to support a boat
equal to 10cwt., as stated above; then a belting of
cork will have to be used equal to 17-1/2 cubic
feet, plus a quantity equal to the weight of the
bulk of the cork. Say the boat is 16ft. long, and
the measurement round the gunwales will be 32ft. A
tube 32ft. long to contain 17-1/2 cubic feet would
require to be 10-1/4 inches in diameter. [The
contents of a tube are found by multiplying its
length by the area of one end. This area is found
by taking the square of the diameter and
multiplying it by 0.78 (See "Areas of Circles'').
- The 17-1/2 cubic feet of cork would weigh (17.5
x 15) 262-1/2lb. equal to 4 cubic feet of salt
water, and so an addition would have to be made to
the tubing to that extent. Thus, in round numbers,
22 cubic feet of cork would be required to support
10cwt. net. A tube 32ft. long and 11in. in diameter
would contain 22.0 cubic feet. The tubes that
contain the cork are usually made of canvas and
painted. The weight of the canvas tube would have
to be added to the general weight to be supported.
Solid cork should be used, and not cork shavings,
for filling the tubes ; cork shavings get more or
less saturated, and lose their buoyancy, and
generally have less buoyancy than solid cork, in
consequence of the multitude of spaces between the
shavings which would admit water. (See "Cork
- To leeward. The helm is a-lee when it is put
down to leeward. Hard a-lee means that the helm
must be put as far to leeward as it can be got.
(See "Helm's a-lee.")
- A prefix put to many words to show that the
whole is included, as "all aback," meaning all the
sails are aback; "all-ataunto," meaning that the
ship is fully rigged and fitted out, with
everything in its place; "all hands," the whole
ship's company; "all standing," with everything in
its place, nothing being shifted, &c.
- All Aback For'ard.--
- A cry raised when a vessel is sailed so near to
wind that the head sails lift or shake.
- The channel made in the after part of a
steamship for the propeller shaft is termed the
shaft alley. The passage under the bridge deck of a
steamer is an alley, or alleyway. (See
- Up the mast ; overhead. "Aloft there !" is a
manner of hailing seamen who may be aloft on the
mast, tops, yards, &c.
- Along shore.-- Close to the shore, by the
shore, or on the shore.
- Along the land.--
- To lay along the land is when a vessel can hug
or keep close to the land without tacking.
- Along the wind.--
- Sailing along the wind means to sail with the
wind from a point to four points free, or with the
- By the side of the ship. "The gig is alongside,
sir," is a common way of informing the owner,
master, or other officers that the boat is manned
and by the gangway, in readiness to take people
off; also said when a boat is brought to the
gangway so that passengers can embark.
- The Y.R.A. has always refused to adopt any
definition of an amateur, on the ground that in
British yacht racing no such definition is
required. The only official declaration by the
Y.R.A. on the subject is as following :
- "The recognition of a Yacht Club does not
necessarily, nor of itself, qualify a member of
that club as an Amateur." This declaration by the
Council of the Y.R.A. means that if a yacht's
skipper were to be elected a member of a recognised
yacht or sailing club he would not be thereby
qualified to steer a yacht in a race in which the
conditions said "Amateur Helmsmen. "
- In 1908 the British Olympic Council defined an
amateur for the Olympic Yacht races at Ryde and on
the Clyde as follows. "No person can be considered
an Amateur who has ever been employed for wages in
the handling of a sailing yacht (whether racing or
otherwise) or of any fore-and-aft rigged
- In 1912 the Swedish Olympic Council employed
the following definition in their games at
Stockholm "Every member of a recognised sailing
club, who never has carried on yacht sailing as a
profession, nor during the last five years followed
other sailing as a trade, is an Amateur. "
- Officers in the Navy, gentlemen who are engaged
in business as yacht designers and builders or in
making sails are always regarded as "Amateurs" in
this country and rightly so. (See
- America's Cup.--
- A much discussed trophy in the possession of
the New York Yacht Club. The Cup was originally
offered by the R.Y.S. for a race at Cowes on August
22, 1851, the course sailed was round the Isle of
Wight ; 15 yachts started. The schooner America,
built in New York by George Steers and owned by
Commodore Stevens, won the Cup, beating the second
vessel, the Aurora, by 18 minutes. The America was
170 tons and the Aurora 47 tons; there was no time
- The Cup was not originally a challenge trophy
but it has since become such, and has been named
the America's cup after the schooner which won it.
The following are the conditions of the America's
Cup known as the Deed of Gift:
- This Deed of Gift, made the twenty-fourth
day of October, 1887, between GEORGE L. SCHUYLER
as sole surviving owner of the Cup won by the
yacht America at Cowes, England, on the
twenty-second day of August, 1851, of the first
part, and THE NEW YORK YACHT Club, of the second
part, [much deleted, very long.]
- GEORGE L. SCHUYLER
THE NEW YORK YACHT CLUB
By Eldridge T. Gerry, Commodore,
John H. Bird, Secretary.
In the presence of H. D. HAMILTON.
[Seal of the New York Yacht Club.
The following are the results of the
America's cup races :-
[Long table in very small type
- The middle part of a ship. The middle part of
anything. To put the helm amidships is to bring it
in a line with the keel. Generally the word has
reference to the middle fore-and-aft line of the
ship, and to a middle athwartship part of a
- For small open boats the anchor should weigh
1lb. for every foot of length up to 20ft. For other
boats anchors would be chosen according to the
total weight of the boat, including her ballast and
equipment, &c. thus:
- The size of link of chain would be about 1/4
in. Anchors for small boats, and indeed for all
sailing yachts, should be long in the shank, and of
the old-fashioned fisherman's pattern.
- A sort of grapnel has been in use many years by
fishermen for small boats (Fig. 1). E is the shank,
D the usual ring, working in an eye (not shown in
the engraving), B the bottom pair of claws, A the
top pair of claws. The bottom pair of claws are
welded on to the shank, but the top pair slide up
and down, and it is usual to make the part under
the ring D square so that the grapnel can be
converted into an anchor by fixing the part A under
the ring D by aid of a small key. A small portion
of the bottom of the shank, shown by the shaded
hues, is wrought square, and through the centre of
the top pair of claws is a square hole, as at F.
The sketch represents the grapnel lying flat, and
in its present position it is, of course, useless
as a holdfast ; it lies snug.
Before heaving it overboard, take hold of the top
pair of claws and slide them up the shank, till you
get to the round part when turn them round, and
drop them down upon the lower pair of claws on
another square. You have now a most effective
four-clawed gripper, which will hold like a
bulldog. About 1lb. per foot of length would be the
weight for an ordinary boat. They are made by
Messrs. Blake and Sons, Gosport, or obtainable from
most of the ship chandlers or yacht fitters.
- Thomas and Nicholson's Patent
(Camper and Nicholson, Gosport).
- The patentees claim it to be by far the
strongest disconnecting anchor ever yet introduced,
and this opinion has been endorsed by many owners
of sailing yachts; and with the long but
proportionate shank and the convex and elongated
palms to have the very maximum of holding power,
and may consequently be used considerably lighter
than any other anchors.
The two taper bolts at the crown enables any
person to disconnect or connect the anchor with the
greatest despatch and certainty, as a taper bolt
never requires any driving or drifting, inevitable
at times with parallel bolts. The anchors are made
in all sizes from 6lb. to 27lb. (See Fig. 2.)
For all sailing yachts Thomas and Nicholson's
anchors are the best examples of a good holder on
the old-fashioned stock principle, and a
hundredweight anchor of their pattern is, we
believe, only 4ft. 6in. in length of shank, with
3ft. spread of arms. The length of shank must exist
to get the holding power, and the arms ought not to
be shorter than .4 of the shank, nor make a less
angle than 50° with the shank.
Camper and Nicholson's, Gosport, make anchors of
this pattern to order, up to weights of 1cwt, which
will hold a yacht of 20 or 25 tons, and can be
stowed in quite a small bundle.
Fig. 2 represents a 40lb. anchor, suitable for
an 8 or a 10-tonner.
Gales' Improved Trotman.
- This anchor was shown at the Inventions
Exhibition, 1890, and the following is the
inventor's description of it : "This invention (see
Fig. 3) is an improvement upon the class of anchors
known as Porter's, Trotman's, and others. In common
with those referred to, the shank is so formed and
proportioned as to receive at its crown the arms
and flukes. Either arm or fluke is so arranged to
work from a central point or pivot at the extremity
of the shank, that upon its being canted,' instead
of taking the pressure or bearing from the pivot,
the entire bearing is given as parallel with and on
to the shank, thereby giving additional holding
power and strength, and materially helping to
relieve the ordinary undue strain upon the fluke
and bolt connection. The improved anchor will be
found very compact and snug, when berthed, and for
yachts, torpedo, and other craft of that class
would be found very efficient in shallow water, and
specially adapted for vessels of a larger
- Mr. Sinnette's anchors are of excellent
proportions, and the arms are of the length and
angle most suitable for holding. The spread of the
arms is much the same as Thomas and Nicholson's;
but being hinged, the spread, when the bills touch
the shank for stowing, is only 1ft. in a
hundredweight anchor. The usual objection to hinged
anchors is that the crowns are weakened but the
long record of service of Trotman's and Porter's
has shown that the objection is not a serious one.
With regard to Sinnette's, the crown joint is so
exceptionally strong that the objection may be said
not to exist at all.
(Fig. 4) A shows the anchor as prepared
for use by removing a contra tapered bolt the arms
can be closed, as shown in B ; the bolt is then
replaced to lock the arms in the position shown, so
there is no chance of fingers being injured through
the arms opening and shutting. Thomas and
Nicholson's anchor has also a tapered pin and
tapered hole to receive it ; this plan is found to
answer much better than the parallel pin, which
will always jam more or less, and require something
to hammer it out with. The stock is also unpinned,
and stows alongside the shank as shown.
In another form of this anchor the arms are not
locked when in use, but only for stowing. The arms
have back flukes, and the upper arm falls on to the
shank when the lower one is in the ground. It thus
becomes a non-fouling anchor with all the
advantages of a Trotman in that respect, but with
more compactness for stowing.
(Fig. 5) C shows yet
another form of the anchor, the shank being jointed
as well as the arms, the whole being made immensely
D shows this anchor stowed. For facility in
shifting about through hatchways or doors, nothing
could beat this anchor in compactness, and it ought
to be a great favourite among owners of small
Wasteneys Smith's Stockless.
- This anchor is recommended by the patentees for
the following reasons : It takes immediate hold;
cannot foul; requires no stock ; can be 20 percent
lighter than other anchors ; always cants properly;
great strength; easily worked; lies flat on deck;
stows in small space ; easily tripped. The anchor
is shown in the cut, Fig. 6.
- The sizes recommended for yachts are, for
The anchors are made by Mr. Wasteneys Smith, 58,
- Anchor, Mushroom.--
- This is a kind of moorings or anchor shaped
like a mushroom, which holds well for moorings in
mud or sand.
- Anchor Shackle.-- A shackle which connects the
chain with the anchor.
- Anchor, Tripping an.--
- If an anchor is let go on very firm
holding-ground, or on ground where the anchor is
likely to get foul, a tripping line is made fast to
the crown of the anchor; to the other end of the
line a buoy is made fast, and when the anchor is
"wanted" it can be broken out of the ground by
hauling on the tripping line if it cannot be got by
hauling on the cable.
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.")
- A watch kept constantly on deck when a ship is
at anchor, to be ready to veer out or take in
chain, or to slip, make sail, give warning to the
hands below, &c., if the vessel be in danger of
collision or other mishaps. One hand may keep an
anchor watch, and call up the officers and crew if
- To repeat an order after an officer; thus, if
the order be to the helmsman "No more away," he
will repeat, "No more away, sir" ; or to the
jib-sheetman, "Check the jibsheet," he will answer,
"Check the jib-sheet, sir." Thus the crew should
always "answer every order to show that they
- Answer Her Helm.--
- A vessel is said to answer her helm when she
moves quickly in obedience to a movement of the
rudder. 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."
- A-Peek or Peak.--
- An anchor is said to be a-peak when the cable
has been so much hove in as to form a line with the
forestay; "hove short" so that the vessel is over
her anchor. Yards are a-peak when topped by
opposite lifts. (See "A Cock Bill.")
- Seaman's slang for knightheads, bollards,
&c., for belaying warps to. They formerly had
carved heads to represent the upper part of the
- A piece of timber fitted at the fore end of the
keel at its intersection with the stem and up the
- Arch Board.--
- The formation of the counter across its extreme
aft end, being a continuation of the covering
board, and covers the heads of the counter
- A vessel is said to be ardent when she gripes
or shows a tendency to come to against a weather
- Areas of Circles.--
- The area of a circle is found by multiplying
the square of the diameter by the fraction 0.7854.
The areas of small circles in decimals of a foot
are given in the following table :
- Arms.-- The extremities of anything, as yard
- A vessel is said to be ashore when she is
aground. To go ashore is to leave the ship for the
- A-stay.-- Synonymous with a-peak.
- Towards the stern. To move astern ; to launch
astern ; to drop astern. An object or vessel which
is abaft another vessel or object. Sailors never
use the word "behind" to represent the position of
- An ancient instrument for measuring the
altitude of the sun, superseded by the quadrant and
- With all the masts on end, and rigging
completely fitted. (See "All a-taunto.")
- Transversely, at right angles to fore and aft ;
across the keel. Athwartship is thus across the
ship from one side to the other. Athwart hawse is
when one vessel gets across the stem of
- When the anchor is broken out of the ground or
is a-weigh. A topmast is said to be a-trip when it
has been launched and unfidded.
- Stop, cease, hold, discontinue. As avast
heaving (stop heaving), avast hauling (stop
- Awash.-- Level with the surface of the
- A general order to go, as "away aloft" for men
to go into the rigging; "away aft," for the men to
move aft, &c. "Gigs away there," or "cutters
away there," or "dinghys away there," is the common
way of giving the order to get the boats ready and
manned. "Away with it," to run away with the fall
of a tackle when hauling upon it. "Away she goes,"
said of a vessel when first she moves in launching.
"Away to leeward," "away to windward," "away on the
port how," &c.
- The situation of the helm when it is hauled to
windward. To haul a sail a-weather is to haul the
sheet in to windward instead of to leeward, to form
a back sail, to box a vessel's head off the wind or
put stern way on her. Generally to windward.
- Said of the anchor when it is a-trip or broken
out of the ground. The anchor is weighed when hove
up to the hawse pipe.
- Axioms for Yachtsmen (from an American).--
- Don't: stand up in a boat; don't sit on the
rail of a boat; don't let your garments trail
overboard; don't step into a boat except in her
middle ; don't stand up in a boat before you are
alongside ; don't pull under the bows of a ship--it
looks green, and the consequences might be fatal;
don't forget to "in fenders'' every time you shove
off; don't forget that a loaded boat keeps headway
longer than a light one; don't make fast with a
hitch that will jam; don't lower away with the plug
out; keep the plug on hand by a small lanyard to
it, so that it cannot be "led astray" and have to
be hunted up when needed.
- Do: hoist your flags chock up -- nothing
betokens the landsman more than slovenly colours ;
do haul taut all your gear ; do see that no "Irish
pennants" are flying adrift aloft; do have a long
scope out in a gale; do see that your crew keeps in
its place and does not boss the quarter deck ; do
keep your men tidy and looking sailor-like; do keep
to leeward of competing yachts when you are not in
the match yourself.
- Aye Aye, Sir.--
- The response made by seamen when an order or
direction is given them, to show that they
understand and will obey.
© 2000 Craig O'Donnell
May not be reproduced without my permission.
Go scan your own damn dictionary.