Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing and
(11th and final edition, 1913)
- Una Boat.--
- This is a centre-board boat with one sail
introduced from America, where they are known as
"cat boats." The mast is stepped close to the stem
(sometimes with a rake aft),and the sail is laced
to a boom and gaff. The name Una was given them
because the first boat introduced at Cowes, from
America, was so named. These boats vary from twice
to three times their beam in length, and are very
shallow. If handled with care, they are sate
enough, very fast, and in smooth water very
weatherly and handy. In squalls they should always
be luffed up in good time, or they might be driven
under. (See Fig. 110.)
- FIG 110
- The term "Una rig is now commonly used in
England to denote a one-sail boat. Undoubtedly the
word "Una" refers to one sail, and not to the type
of boat; hence we hear of all sorts of boats being
"Una rigged" and in America the corresponding rig
(termed "cat rig") is applied to both deep-bodied
and shallow craft. Whether or not any single sail
could ho properly classed under the term Una can
only be decided arbitrarily. The one sail boat
brought over here in 1853 and named "Una" had a
gaff sail, and no other sail. Cowes Unas wore
famous in their day, but since the advent of small
"Raters" none have been built.
- Unbend.-- To cast loose a sail from its gaff,
yard, &c. The opposite of bend.
- Under Bowing the Sea.--
- When a vessel is close hauled sailing in a
cross sea, and gets the worst of it on the lee
- Under Canvas.-- Proceeding by means of sail.
With sail set.
- Under Deck.-- Below.
- Under Hatches.-- Below deck.
- To follow up a rope, chain hawser, or cable, by
hauling it in from a boat which moves in the
direction that the cable, &c. is laid out.
- Under Sail.-- See "Under Canvas."
- Under the Lee.--
- Sheltered from the wind by the sails of another
vessel. Under the lee of the land, sheltered from
the full force of the wind by the land.
- Moving through the water under the influence of
the wind, steam, or oars. Sometimes wrongly written
under-weigh. It is said a vessel may be under-weigh
when she is getting her anchor; but even then it
would be the anchor, and not the vessel, that would
- In Admiral Smyth's "Sailor's Word Book,"
(edition revised by Admiral Sir E. Belcher, 1867),
is the following :-
- "UNDERWAY.-- A ship beginning to move under
canvas after her anchor is started; some have
written this underweigh, but improperly. A ship is
underweigh when she has weighed her anchor; she may
be with or without canvas, or hove to. As soon as
she gathers way she is underway. This is a moot
point with old seamen."
- The obvious objections to using underweigh in
this limited sense is that a man might find himself
saying. "We got underweigh at noon, but were not
underway until two hours later." The fact is,
underweigh is never written by seamen except
through carelessness; but the odd thing is that
greenhorns take to the word more kindly than they
do to underway, probably because they have enough
knowledge to know that to get underway the anchor
must be weighed. The best naval writers never
describe the operation of heaving in up the anchor
as getting underweigh but always write "she
weighed," or she weighed anchor," or "we weighed,"
&c. To get underway" is by them used in the
sense of making preparation to get way on, and when
the anchor is aweigh the ship may have way on or
not. Dana (who may be taken as an unimpeachable
authority) does not admit the word underweigh at
all in his Seaman's Manual (revised edition by the
Registrar-General of British Shipping) but in the
instructions for making sail &c. underway is
always used thus "Getting underway from a single
anchor," "getting underway, riding head to wind"
&c. So also underway is the term used in the
Merchant Shipping Act.
- In William Falconer's Marine Dictionary (the
edition published 1779) underweigh is not to be
found, but we come upon the following sections
- "UNDERWAY.-- If it be in a tideway and with a
leading wind, so that the ship can stem the tide,
let it be a rule when the tide serves to get
underway and sail against the flood, which gives
time to clear a ship of her moorings, and affords a
more powerful effect to the helm to clear of other
- "WAY.-- The course or progress a ship makes in
the water under sail. Thus, when she begins her
motion she is said to be underway, &c."
- "RIDING AT ANCHOR.-- When a fleet of many ships
is moored in a port or road care must be taken to
preserve a considerable distance between the
vessels, not only for the purpose of keeping them
clear of each other, but to prevent them from
running foul when getting underway."
- "WEIGH.-- To heave up the anchor of a ship in
order to prepare her for sailing."
- William Falconer, besides being a distinguished
author, was a thorough seaman, and after long
service in HM's Navy, was lost in the wreck of the
Aurora, 1769, aged 39.
- Hutchinson (master mariner), in his "Practical
Seamanship," published in 1795, uses the term
"underway," and underweigh is not to be found in
his book. B.H. Gower, in his "Seamanship,"
published 1808, also uses underway. Admiral Sir
George Nares, in his "Seamanship" (6th edition,
published 1882), always uses underway, and so does
Admiral De Horsey in his writings.
- A person who attaches his name to a policy of
insurance by the side of the amount he will share
of the risk. The under part of some policies may
have two or three hundred names attached, as the
principle of underwriting is to have very little at
stake on any one ship. To become an underwriter at
Lloyd's a deposit of 5000£ cash is required,
for which interest is paid. The entrance fee is
100£, and the subscription is 12£ 12s.
per year, together with 5£. 5s. for a seat in
- The national flag denoting the union of
England, Scotland, and Ireland. The Jack is a small
flag -- a diminutive of the Union only flown from
the jack staff on bowsprit end or fore part of a
ship. In the merchant service it must have a white
border. When flown from the mast with a white
border it is the signal for a pilot, and is called
the Pilot Jack. To no other union flag is the term
Jack applied. The "Union" is flown on forts,
Government works, &c. The flag of England is
the St. George's cross (+) red on a white ground.
The national flag of Scotland is St. Andrew's, a
white cross (x) or saltire on a blue ground, and on
the union with England these two were combined. The
Scottish flag remained unchanged; the English cross
was merely placed over it, the white ground of the
English flag giving place to the blue ground of
that of Scotland. This was the first Union
- On the union with Ireland the Irish saltire
(St. Patrick's cross (x), red on white) was added,
being placed side by side with that of Scotland;
but for a requirement of heraldry, to be presently
noticed, the flag would consist of a blue ground
with one band of white representing the Scottish
cross, and one of red of the same breadth beside
it, representing the first cross, with a red cross
over both-nothing more. But it is a law of heraldry
that colour cannot be placed next colour, nor metal
next metal, and so, to meet this, the red Irish
cross has a narrow hem or border of silver (white)
to separate it from the blue ground of the flag,
and for the same purpose the red cross of St.
George has, or rather should have, a similar narrow
border of white of the same breadth as the border
of St. Patrick's cross. In arranging the two
saltires they are "counterchanged," that is,
Scotland has precedence in the first and third
quarters by its white cross being placed above the
Irish one, while in the second and fourth quarters
the precedence is ceded to Ireland by the red cross
being placed over the white.
- The words of the heraldic blazon contained in
the Order of the King in Council of Nov. 5, 1800,
and announced to the nation by the Proclamation of
Jan. 1, 1801, prescribes the form in which the
national flag is to be constructed in these words:
"The Union flag shall be azure, the crosses
saltires of Saint Andrew and Saint Patrick,
quarterly per saltire, counterchanged, argent and
gules; the latter fimbriated of the second,
surmounted by the cross of St. George of the third,
fimbriated as the saltire." To these distinct words
of the verbal blazon in the Proclamation all
questions as to the form and proportions of the
flag must be referred.
- The Order in Council refers to a "draft" or
drawing of the flag, and of this drawing, the one
which accompanies the Admiralty Memorandum
professes to be a copy, both the drawing and the
Admiralty measurement obviously disconform to the
blazon proscribed in the Proclamation. That blazon
expressly directs that the cross of St. George
"shall be fimbriated as the saltire" that is, it
must have a border the same as that of the Irish
saltire; but, so far is this from being the case,
that, while in the drawing the hem or border of the
cross of Ireland is less than one-sixtieth the
width of the flag (which is quite as broad as it
should be), the measurement given in the Admiralty
Memorandum for the breadth of the border of the St.
George's cross is one-fifteenth, and it is nearly
the same in the drawing said to be a copy of that
in the Council Records. This palpable error has
been followed in almost all our flags. It will be
seen in the diagram made from the Admiralty
regulations given further on, but a border so broad
is not a fimbriation at all. It really represents
two crosses -- a white one with a red one
- Mr. Laughton, the accomplished lecturer on
naval history at the Royal Naval College, thus
speaks of it: "A fimbriation," he says, "is a
narrow border to separate colour from colour. It
should be as narrow as possible to mark the
contrast; but the white border of our St. George's
cross is not, strictly speaking, a fimbriation at
all. It is a white cross of one-third the width of
the flag surmounted of a red cross."
- There is another error equally calling for
correction, and for which the Admiralty Memorandum
is responsible. When two saltires are directed to
be represented on the sanse shield or flag, they
must be of the same breadth. The crosses of
Scotland and Ireland therefore, which on our flag
are side by side, ought to be of precisely the same
breadth. In the official drawing of 1800 they look
nearly the same, and they were perhaps intended to
be so ; but the Admiralty Memorandum, disregarding
the drawing and the verbal blazon alike, directs
that the Scottish saltire shall be one-tenth the
breadth of the flag, and that the Irish
- SCALE 1/4in=1FT.
- Blue, light shade (horizontal lines); red, dark
shade (vertical lines).
- FIG 111.
- saltire shall be only one-fifteenth. If the
diagram of the Admiralty were altered, so as to
make the Irish saltire as broad as that of
Scotland; if the border of the Irish cross were
made narrower; and if the border of the St.
George's cross were reduced so as to make it of the
same breadth as that of the Irish cross, it would
more correctly show what the flag ought to be
according to the heraldic blazon. Flags in the
Royal Navy are measured by the number of breadths
they contain in their widths, a breadth being equal
to 9in. An eight breadth Jack will therefore be
6ft. wide and 12ft. long, being in length double
- (See Fig. 111.)
- ADMIRALTY SCALE FOR MARINE "UNION JACKS."
- St. George's Cross. Red cross to be one fifth
the width of flag, borders to be one fifteenth the
width of flag, or one-third the width of red
- St. Andrew's Cross to be one fifteenth the
width of the flag, or one-fifth the width of St.
George's Cross, or equal to the border of St.
- St. Patrick's Cross. Narrow white to be
one-thirtieth the width of the flag, or one sixth
the width of St. George's Cross, or one half of St.
Andrew's Cross. Broad white to be one-tenth of the
width of the flag, or one half of the red of St.
George's Cross, or equal to red of St. Andrew's
Cross and narrow white together.
- Union Down.-- An ensign with the jack
downwards, hoisted as a signal of distress.
- With anchors a-weigh. A vessel is also said to
be "unmoored" when she is riding to a single
anchor, as to be moored two anchors must be down,
or she must be fast to a permanent mooring.
- Unreeve.-- To haul out a rope from a hole,
- Unrig.-- To dismantle a ship or any part of
her, as to unrig a topmast or bowsprit.
- Unship.-- To remove a thing from its
- Up and Down.--
- Vertically. The wind is sometimes said to be up
and down the mast, when there is none at all, like
- Upper Mast, Upper Stick.-- A topmast, a
topgallant mast, &c.
- Upper Strake.--
- The top strake running round a vessel at the
deck edge under the covering board, usually stouter
than the general planking, and almost always of
bard wood to better bold fastenings.
- Usages of the Sea.-- Customs of the sea in
relation to commercial pursuits, which are held in
law to be binding.
- Van.-- The advanced part of a fleet.
- Vane.-- See "Dog Vane."
- A rope used to keep a gaff from sagging to
leeward. On a schooner's foresail a block is lashed
to the mainmast head, through which the vang is
rove and made fast to the fore gaff end; the fall
of the rope leads to the deck. In square-rigged
ships vangs are generally used on the spanker gaff.
Sprit sail barges also use vangs.
- Variation of the Compass.--
- The departure the compass needle shows from
true North at certain parts of the globe. The
difference between magnetic and true North usually
expressed in degrees on charts. The variation
widely differs, thus : in the English Channel it is
about 230, at New York only 5û. The deviation
of the compass is doe to local attraction. A chart
called a 'Variation Chart," shows by curved lines
the changing variations of the compass needle for
different parts of the globe. Variation must not be
confused with the deviation due to local attraction
in iron and composite ships.
- Black Japan: 1oz. lamp black, 2oz. bitumen,
1/2oz. acetate lead, 1/2oz. Turkey umber, 1/2oz.
Venice turpentine, 12oz. boiled oil. Dissolve the
oil in turpentine; powder the other ingredients,
and stir in gradually. Simmer on slow fire ten
- Copal Varnish: Copal 30oz., drying linseed oil
18oz., spirits of turpentine 50oz. Briskly fuse the
copal; heat the oil to close on boiling point, and
pour it hot on the copal; mix thoroughly; allow the
mixture to cool a little and add the turpentine,
mix 'thoroughly. When cool strain for use. Only
first class varnish should be used.
- A Quick-drying Varnish: 7lb. copal (fused), hot
linseed 1/2 gall., hot turpentine 1.5 gall.
Carefully stir and boil together.
- Oak Varnish: 7lb. pale resin dissolved in
2gall. oil of turpentine.
- Varnish for Metals: Powder 1lb. of copal and
dissolve in 2lb. of strongest alcohol. A very
- Varnish for Iron: Mastic (clear grains) 10lb.,
camphor 5lb., sandarach 15lb. elemi 5lb. Dissolve
in sufficient alcohol.
- Black Varnish or Polish for Iron: Resin 4oz.,
lamp black 2oz., beeswax 3oz., shellac 2oz.,
linseed oil 1qt. Boil together one hour, and then
stir in 1/2pt. turpentine.
- Tar Varnish for Iron: Coal tar 1pt., lamp black
1oz., heel ball 1/2oz., spirits turpentine 1/4pt.,
beeswax 1oz. Dissolve the heel ball and beeswax in
the turpentine, add the lamp black and tar, warm
and mix it thoroughly. This mixture should be
- Tar Varnish for Wood or Iron : 1 gallon coal
tar, 2oz. oil of vitriol; mix thoroughly, and add
1/2pt. of turpentine; mix, and apply immediately.
This dries quickly, and only quantities sufficient
for use should be made.
- Varnishing a Bright Boat.--
- Rub down the wood thoroughly and put on four
coats of copal varnish. If size is used for
priming, the varnish will peel off. To clean off
varnish : take a mixture of soda (2lb.), soap
(1lb.), boiled together, it will remove varnish
from spars, &c. It should be applied hot. (See
also "Caustic Soda.")
- To pay out chain. Veer is also used in the
sense of wearing or gybing. The wind is said to
veer when it changes in direction with the sun; to
back when it changes against the sun, the wind is
said to veer when it draws more aft. To haul when
it comes more ahead.
- Veer and Haul.--
- To slacken up a rope, and then haul on it
suddenly, in order that those who are hauling on it
may acquire a momentum. Pulling by jerks.
- Veer out the Cable.-- The order to pay out or
slack away cable.
- Veering a Buoy in a Vessel's Wake.--
- Throwing overboard a buoy in the wake of a ship
when a man has fallen overboard, in the hope that
he may get to it, and pick it up.
- Vertical.-- At right angles to the horizon, or
perpendicular to the horizon.
- Vessel.-- A name for all kinds of craft, from a
canoe to a three-decker.
- Victual.-- To supply with provisions for a
- Voyage.-- The passage of a vessel by sea. A
short voyage is called a trip or a cast.
© 2000 Craig O'Donnell
May not be reproduced without my permission.
Go scan your own damn dictionary.