This Glossary is not intended to be in
any sense exhaustive, but merely to give the sea terms
used in the foregoing pages, with the particular meanings
attached to them in the text. Sea terms have altered
greatly with the passing of the old wooden square-rigged
ships, and the great development in small fore-and-aft
rigged fleets, due to the expansion of deep-sea fisheries
and coast trading during the last century, has resulted
in the modification of many old sea terms, and the
substitution and creation of not a few new ones which
were unknown to our grandfathers.
abaft: behind, inferred relatively
from the stem, and continuing towards the stern or hinder
part of the vessel.
about: circularly; the situation of a
vessel after she has gone round and trimmed sails on the
aft: an abbreviation for abaft; the
hinder part of a vessel.
amidships: in the middle of the
baggara: a lateen-rigged Arab trading
vessel used in the Red Sea.
balance lug: a lugsail with a boom, to
which it is laced, at its foot. From one-sixth to
one-third of the sail area is usually before the mast,
and helps to balance the remaining portion abaft the mast
The tack is fixed to the boom abreast the mast, and
perpendicularly under the halyard.
baldie: a small class of Scotch lugger
used on the east coast.
barge: a cargo vessel with flat bottom
and straight sides for navigation in shallow waters, the
mast being usually stepped in a tabernacle for lowering
when passing bridges, etc. Leeboards are generally used
to increase the draught of water when sailing.
barquantine: the diminutive of barque.
A vessel carrying a barque's full square-rigged foremast,
but fore-and-aft rigged on main and mizen
batten: a scantling of wood, or small
spar, sewn into and extending across a sail so as to
extend the leech; generally a scantling of wood tacked to
a spar to strengthen it.
bawley boat: a cutter-rigged Thames
Estuary fishing-boat, without main boom.
beam: the breadth of a vessel taken at
the widest point, the centre of the vessel's
beat: to turn to windward; the
operation of making zigzag tacks against the direction of
belay: to make fast, or fasten a
bend: to fasten; used of a sail when
fastened on to the yard or stay by which it is
bilge, or bulge: a vessel's bottom on
either side of the keel.
bilge-keel: an additional short keel
placed outside the bilge of boats to protect the skin in
grounding, and also, especially abroad, to enable them to
hold a better wind when sailing and heeling
billyboy: a barge-built coaster of
some size, of east coast origin.
bitt: to fasten on the bitts, a strong
framework fitted upright in the deck for fastening the
anchor cable, etc., to.
block: a pulley ; a shell of wood (or
metal) enclosing the sheave or wheel upon which the rope
bonnet: an additional part laced to
the foot of a sail in fine weather to increase its area
boom: a spar used to extend the foot
of a sail.
bow: the fore end of a vessel, where
the planks of the side round up to meet the prow or
bowline: a line leading forward from a
cringle in the fore edge of a sail, ill order to extend
it taut forward.
bowsprit: a large spar projecting out
over the stem of a vessel in order to extend the jibs or
head-sails. It may be standing, i.e. fixed ; or running,
i.e. movable, so that it can be reefed in.
bragagna: a lateen-rigged trader of
bragozzi: a lug-rigged trader of the
brail: a rope leading from the leech
of a sail through a block on the mast or yard by which it
call be trussed or gathered close up for
brig: a two-masted vessel
square-rigged on both main and foremasts.
brigantine: diminutive of brig, having
a brig's full square-rigged foremast and main and
main-topmast staysails, but a fore-and-aft rigged
bulk-head: a partition built up in a
vessel to separate off various portions of it below
bumkin: boomkin, a small boom of great
strength, usually at the stern, for extending the foot of
the foresail, or aft for the mizen sheet.
bunt: the middle part or belly of a
carvel-build: the method of
boat-building by which the planks are all laid edge to
edge, so that they present a flush and smooth surface,
the seams being caulked.
cat: the name given to the large class
of old Deal luggers, probably of old Norse origin when so
applied; also used for a typical American rig.
centre-board: a deep plate of wood, or
usually, in Western Europe and America, of metal, which
is hoisted up or lowered through a case built over a
longitudinal aperture in the keel of a boat, for the
purpose of giving greater draught of water on certain
points of sailing.
cleat: pieces of wood, with generally
two thumbs or arms, used for fastening ropes
clinker (or clench)-build: the method
of boat-building by which each plank is laid on so as to
overlap the one below it, so that they present a series
of ridges running longitudinally.
close-hauled: when all the sheets of
time sails are hauled in close in order that the vessel
may sail as near as possible against the direction of the
coaming: a raised piece of wood-work
running round the cock-pit, or any opening in the deck,
to keep water from getting below.
coble: a type of lug-rigged
fishing-boat on the north-east coast, with high bow, deep
forefoot, low, shallow stern, and deep rudder.
cock-pit: the opening in the deck of
small, decked sailing-craft in which the steersman or
crew can sit without the liability of falling overboard,
which sitting on the deck would entail.
counter: a method of building out the
stern of a vessel above the waterline, and beyond where
the rudder-head comes through the deck. It enables the
lines of the quarters to be carried out and finished off
gradually into a round, overhanging, and graceful
course: the lowest square sail on a
fully square-rigged mast.
crutch: a forked or twisted upright
stanchion fixed in the side of a boat to support an oar
cutter: a fore-and-aft rig consisting
of gaff and boom mainsail, fore staysail, and jib, with a
gaff topsail and jib topsail, according to weather, set
upon the topmast.
In the Navy a cutter is a form of
ship's-boat for rowing or sailing, rigged with lugsails
strongly built, and capable of carrying heavy weights of
men or stores.
dahabia: a lateen-rigged, long-hulled
houseboat used on the Nile.
dandy: a cutter or sloop-rigged vessel
with a jigger or mizen-mast abaft. This mast in a true
dandy would be fitted with a lugsail, but a gaff and boom
mizen is now often used.
davit: a piece of timber or iron, with
sheaves or blocks at its end, projecting over a vessel's
side, to hoist up and suspend one end of a boat
dhow: the generic term applied to all
the Arabic lateen-rigged, grab-built vessels of the
dinghy: a small boat attached to
vessels for the use of the crew for going ashore, etc.
Generally owing to their small length they are very broad
in proportion to length to ensure stability. Also a
passenger boat on the Hugli.
dip: to lower, generally with the
intention of hoisting again.
draught: the depth of water required
by a vessel to float her.
drift-net: a long net, the top floated
by corks, and the lower edge sunk by lead sinkers by
which mackerel, herring, and pilchard are caught. A
number of nets, to the extent of a mile or more, are used
by each boat, and are left suspended vertically in the
water for some hours after sunset, when they are usually
' shot' or set in the water in the neighbourhood where
fish are thought to be schooling, the boat riding to a
warp at the leeward end of the line until the nets are
driver: a fishing-boat engaged in the
drift-net fishery. Also the term applied to the mizen
fore-and-aft sail in a square-rigged ship.
drogue, or sea anchor: an arrangement
for preventing drift and keeping a vessel's head to sea
in bad weather. A drogue can be made by some canvas and a
few spars, but most fishermen now carry a ready-made
canvas bag spread at its mouth by a bamboo or iron ring,
and fastened to a bridle. This can at any time be bent on
to a warp and used either for heaving-to in bad weather,
or for checking the boat's way when running into a
earing: an eye spliced into the
bolt-rope of a sail, usually for reefing
felucca: a single-decked,
lateen-rigged vessel of the Mediterranean.
fifie: a Scotch lug-rigged fish
fishing-vessel with straight stem and stern
flare: a flanching or leaning outwards
of the side of a vessel, usually at the bows, above the
waterline, for throwing off head-seas; in
contradistinction to a tumble-home or
fluke: the triangular palm inside the
point of the arm of the anchor, which on entering the
ground holds the ship.
flying sail: a light sail set aloft
for light weather, which is not furled or stowed
fo'c's'le: for forecastle, a short
upper deck forward, above the main deck; in small vessels
the quarters for the crew down forward; sometimes also
foot: the lower edge of a
fore-and-aft: in the fore-and-aft line
of a vessel from stem to stern. Usually applied to sails
which are normally set in this line as opposed to square
sails, e.g. gaff and boom sails, lugsails, staysails, and
forefoot, also gripe: the foremost
piece of the keel, connected with it by a scarf, the
upper end curving into the lower portion of the
foresail: in square-rigged vessels the
lowest squaresail on the foremast; in lug-rigged vessels
the principal sail on the foremast; in a cutter, ketch,
or dandy, the name is given to the staysail, which is of
second importance to the mainsail, and is set on the
forestay to the stem-head.
freeboard: the side of the vessel from
the waterline to the gunwale.
furl: to roll up and bind a sail upon
its stay, yard, or mast, as the case may be.
gaff: the spar used to extend the head
of a fore-and-aft sail which is not set on a
gaiassa: a lateen-rigged
cargo-carrying boat of the Nile.
galley: a flat-built, one-decked
vessel of the Mediterranean, propelled by oars or sails;
a term also used by British seamen for a long
clinker-built boat which can sail or row.
galliot: a type of Dutch ketch rigged
gharawa: small Zanzibar outrigged
gig: a light form of galley-built boat
to row or sail.
gripe: see forefoot. Often a
projecting piece added to the forefoot for the express
purpose of making a vessel hold a better wind by creating
more lateral resistance at the fore part.
grommet: a ring of rope, usually
placed round a mast or spar, and seized or tied with
small yarn to fit a spar which is supported by its means.
In this sense more correctly a becket.
gudgeon: a metal brace with an eye
bolted upon the sternpost for the pintle of the rudder to
work in as upon a hinge.
gunwale: the horizontal plank fitted
along, and covering or binding the heads of the timbers,
and so forming the top of the boat's side.
gybe: the act of swinging a
fore-and-aft sail from one side to the other by
permitting the wind to come on what was the lee quarter,
and so hit the sail on that side, and throw over on to
the opposite side of the vessel. It may be caused by a
change of course due to putting the helm up, or by a
change of wind, and owing to the violence with which the
sail often comes over, there is a risk of carrying
half-deck: a deck which only covers in
a portion of a boat, usually extending from the stern to
the mast, and as a water-way along the sides.
halyard: a rope or tackle used for
hoisting up sail.
hatch-boat: a half-decked boat with
hatches for covering in all or portion of the open part,
formerly much used in the lower Thames.
head: the upper edge of any sail; the
fore part of a vessel
heel: to list or lie over or incline
at an angle from the perpendicular, as when a vessel lies
over to the wind.
heel, the: the lower or butt end of a
spar; the after end of a vessel's keel where the stern
post meets it-generally the place of greatest
hoggie or hog-boat: an old
fore-and-aft rigged clinker fish fishingboat of great
beam used at Brighton in the last century. Probably
connected with heck-boat, an old term for a pink, but
also used for a clinker-built boat with covered
foresheets. Probably of Dutch origin.
horse: a wooden or iron bar which
spans the vessel from side to side close to the deck. The
sheet of a sail comes to a thimble which runs on the
horse, the sheet thus being able to traverse from side to
side according to the tack.
hoveller, or hobeller: a Cinque-Port
term for pilots and their boatmen; still used at Deal,
and applied to luggers on the look-out for jobs among
shipping. In Cornwall, applied to boatmen who ply for
hire and are not true fishermen. The Sailor's
Word-Book says, applied colloquially to sturdy
vagrants who infest the sea-coast in bad weather in
expectation of wreck or plunder.
hvalor baad: a Norwegian fore-and-aft
rigged boat, xxxxx but with little sheer and great beam,
used on the south coasts.
jib: a triangular sail set forward on
a bowsprit. It may run on a stay or be set up taut by the
halyards yards, the strain being taken by its own strong
jib-boom: a spar forming a
continuation of the bowsprit forward to extend the jibs.
It is fitted to the bowsprit by a cap and saddle, much as
a topmast is set on a lower mast, and like it can be
reefed in or it can be topped up out of the way in
junk: the generic name applied to all
the decked seagoing vessels of native construction, with
high poop and overhanging bow, used by the Chinese, as
well as to the old-fashioned craft of the
keel: the lowest and principal timber
of a vessel running fore-and-aft its whole length, and
supporting the frame or ribs like the backbone in
quadrupeds. It is usually first laid on the blocks in
building, forming the base of the
Also applied to vessels on the
north-east coast used for cargo-carrying. An old British
name for the long vessels used by the Danes and Saxons,
from ceol and cyulis -usually written keele and sometimes
keyle. Iceld. kjoll, barge or ship. Dan. and Swed. kiel,
vessel. Swiz. ceol, barge or small vessel.
ketch: a vessel of the galliot order
equipped with main and mizen masts, and usually
fore-and-aft rigged, although formerly often
square-rigged. The Spanish queche the Portuguese queche
and the old French quaiche.
knee: an angle of strong wood or iron
for giving strength in construction, e.g. securing deck
beams, thwarts, etc., to the sides.
lacing: rope used to lace a sail
through eyes in the bolt-rope to a mast or
lateen: a long triangular sail bent by
its fore leech to a long yard which hoists obliquely to
the mast, much used in the Mediterranean and by the Arabs
; the latter, however, generally cut the sail so that a
short luff stands below the h eel of the yard.
lead: an instrument for discovering
the depth of water, consisting of a tapered cylinder of
lead attached by means of a strop to a long
lee: the opposite side to that on
which the wind is blowing; the direction toward which it
leeboard: wooden or iron wings fixed
by a stout bolt at the fore-end to the side of
flat-bottomed vessels. When the after-end is lowered the
leeboard stands up and down in the water, making the
draught greater, and by its flat side tending to decrease
leeway or drift to leeward.
leech: the borders or edges of a sail
which are more or less perpendicular. The fore-leech is
generally called the luff, and consequently on
fore-and-aft vessels the leech is nearly always the
after-edge running from the peak earing to the
leeward, or leward: on the lee
leeway: the drift which a
sailing-vessel makes to leeward.
leg-of-mutton: a three-cornered
fore-and-aft sail with its luff laced to a mast; very
handy and safe, particularly for a mizen.
list: to lie over or incline at an
angle from the perpendicular.
lodsbaad: Norwegian pilot-boat
long-lines: used in deep sea line fishing for such fish
as cod, halibut, etc.
luff: the fore leech or edge of a
luff to: to bring a vessel's head
nearer the wind.
lugger: a vessel rigged with
lugsail: a powerful form of
fore-and-aft sail hoisted on a yard which is slung from
one-quarter to one-third of its length forward of the
mast The end of the halyard is usually fastened to all
iron hoop or traveller which keeps the yard to the mast.
The sail is set taut up on Its luff-rope, which is swayed
up so as to stand rigid. It is much used by fishermen as
being simple and involving but little rigging.
dipping lug: in the case
where the tack of the sail is made fast at some
distance in front of the mast, the sail has always to
be hoisted on the lee side of the mast to get the best
results from it, and consequently it must be dipped on
each fresh tack and hoisted on the new lee
standing lug: when the tack is
fastened at the mast it is not necessary to dip, but
the sail can be left standing as the mast does not
interfere with its set.
balance lug: a lugsail laced to a
boom at its foot, has its tack at the mast, and also
requires no dipping.
lumber iron: a forked crutch or
stanchion fixed upright in the gunwale to hold oars,
spars, or sails when-not in use.
mainsail: the principal sail on the
malar panshi: a country boat of the
masthead: the portion of the mast
above where the shrouds or main rigging are secured to
the truck or cap.
mizen: the aftermost mast of a vessel
of two or more masts, generally the smallest; often
called jigger by fishermen.
mizen sail: the sail set upon the
nabby: a Scotch lug-rigged boat with
very raking mast and a jib, used on the west
nagar: a cargo-boat used on the upper
nordlandsbaad: a Norwegian
north-country boat, stem and stern alike, with high ends
and low waist, and a single squaresail.
outhaul: the rope used to haul out a
sail along a spar on which it is set.
outrigger: a boom or spar rigged out
over the side to extend a sail; a
counterpoising log of wood rigged out
by cross-pieces from a canoe or boat and floating on the
water to prevent capsizing.
paranzello: a small lateen-rigged yawl
of the Mediterranean.
parrel: a band of rope for keeping the
yard into the mast, often fitted with a number of
bull's-eye blocks of wood to prevent friction in
hoisting. Wooden ribs were fitted between the bull's-eye
blocks in square-rigged ships for facility of
pattamar: a lateen-rigged dhow type of
cargo-vessel used by the Mohammedan seamen on the Bombay
peak: the tipper outer corner of a
gaff-sail or lug; the upper outer end of a gaff or
peter boat: an open fishing-boat of
Norse origin long used in the Thames. They were clinker
built and stem and stern alike, as were the old Norway
yawls, and had a fish-well amidships, generally spritsail
pintle: metal hooks bolted into the
rudder which fit into the gudgeons fixed in the
pole-mast: single spar mast, without
poop: from the Latin puppis; the
aftermost portion of the hull, often raised above the
general line of the gunwale.
pooped, to be: the breaking of a heavy
sea over the stern or quarter of a vessel when running in
port: the left side looking
prahu: a Malay term for boat pulwar: a
country boat of the Indian rivers.
punt: an Anglo-Saxon term for a
flat-bottomed boat; generally used at sea for a broad,
beamy boat of small size, such as a dinghy. Also a large
class of deep-ballasted half-decked boat at
purchase: a mechanical contrivance
which increases the force applied. At sea generally a
combination of pulleys for moving and hoisting heavy
weights such as spars, sails, etc.
quarter: the portion of the vessel's
side between the stern and the beam, abaft the middle
rake: a fore-and-aft inclination or
deviation of mast or spars, or stem or stern post, from
redningskoite: a Norwegian seakeeping
lifeboat for assisting the North-land fishing fleets in
reef: to tie up a portion of a sail in
a hard wind so as to reduce its area, by means of
reef-points, reef-earing, reef-cringle, etc. Also to
shorten in a topmast or bowsprit
reeve: to pass a rope through an
aperture such as the channel of a block or sheave for
rib: the timbers which rise from the
keel of a vessel to the top of its side upon which the
skin planking is fastened.
rig: the method in which masts, sails,
and ropes are fitted to a vessel.
rigging: a general name given to all
ropes and chains employed to support the masts and trim
and set the sails. Standing rigging consists of those
ropes which are seldom handled, such as stays and shrouds
which support masts; running rigging, of those which are
constantly handled in making, shortening, or trimming
rua: the Siamese word for boat: the
prefix for all boat names.
ruffles: a hole cut in the keel of
boats which have to be hauled up a beach on landing. A
chain is rove through and taken to a capstan. Hauling on
this pivot tends to lift the boat over the sand and
run: the curvature of the lines of a
vessel's hull towards the after part.
runner: the tackle used in tautening
up the backstay; hence the backstay itself in small
running: applied to a bowsprit, or
other spar, which can be run in and out, and can so be
reefed, having in the case of a bowsprit fid-holes in it
for the purpose. Applied to rigging which is constantly
handled in working the vessel. Also a vessel when sailing
before the wind.
sagg: to give way under pressure,
usually of the wind.
sampan: generally applied to all
small, open, or half-decked boats of Chinese
scandalise: to clew up, of a mainsail
when the peak is lowered, and tack hauled up.
schooner: a two-masted fore-mid-aft
rigged vessel, the foremast being the smaller of the two
masts, the principal or mainsail being on the after-mast,
which is stepped very near the middle of the
schuyt: a Dutch one-masted
sea-anchor: see drogue.
seine: a net which is shot by a boat
round a school of fish, the ends being brought together
and the lower edge of the net pursed up. The
circumference of the net is reduced by hauling in the net
until the fish are all brought into a bunch and can be
settee: long, sharp, single-decked
lateen-rigged vessels of the Med iterraijeazi without
shank: the bar or shaft of an anchor
constituting its main piece, at one end of which is the
stock and at the other the arms.
sheave: the wheel on which the rope
runs in a block, or in a mast or spar pierced for the
sheave-hole: the channel pierced in a
mast or spar for a rope to be rove through.
sheer: the hang or curve in a vessel's
side which generally rises towards the stem and
sheet: the rope fastened to the clew
or lower aft corner of a sail by which it is controlled
and trimmed to the wind when sailing.
skaffie, or scaith: a type of Scotch
lugger with raked stem and stern posts, used principally
on the coastline between Fraserburgh and Dornoch, and
apparently of Norse origin.
skidds: pieces of wood laid under a
vessel's bottom for launching her off from the
skiff: a light open boat, generally
for rowing, and built with considerable flare
sliding gunter: a light spar running
on gunter-irons up and down a mast on the afterside to
increase its height. A high peaked sail can thus be set
reaching above the masthead.
sloop: an old term applied to a vessel
rigged as a cutter but with a standing bowsprit and one
or more jibs set on standing stays. Also when the
foresail and jib are ill one, and set on a short standing
smack: originally a cutter-rigged
vessel of considerable tonnage used for trading or
passenger traffic, such as the old Leith smacks. The term
has been applied by fishermen to all large fishing-craft,
fore-and-aft rigged in contradistinction to lug-rigged,
whether cutter or dandy or ketch rigged, as most of the
modern trawlers have become.
snaekke: A Norwegian skiff.
spiller: a set line with a large
number of baited hooks, much used by coast
spinnaker: properly a large triangular
sail of very light material for setting from the
masthead, goosewinged with the mainsail when going before
the wind. By the Thames bargemen applied to the flying
jib set on the topmast stay in fine weather.
spreet: a spar used to extend the peak
of some fore-and-aft sails. The head fits into the roping
at the peak of the sail, arid the heel into a snotter or
grommet low down on the mast, the spar thus standing
diagonally across the sail.
spritsail a fore-and-aft sail usually
without boom and fitted with brails, which is set by a
spreet in place of a gaff.
squaresail: a four-cornered sail
extended by a yard slung by the middle.
square-rigged: a vessel rigged mainly
with square-sails as opposed to fore-and-aft sails. The
square rig lends itself to use in the largest sailing
vessels, and has been the rig of the finest fighting
sailing fleets the world has seen.
stanchion: a fixed upright
standing: applied plied to a bowsprit,
or other spar, which is kept in its place and is not run
in or unshipped or reefed ; also to rigging, such as
shrouds, and stays, which is not constantly handled in
working a vessel.
starboard: the old stjornbordi, or
Norse steering side. The right hand looking forward. The
stay: a strong rope extending from the
upper part of a mast in a fore-and-aft direction to hold
the mast and prevent it from springing when pitch ing
deep, or from bending when with a weight of sail upon it.
A stay in a forward direction is a forestay, and those
brought to the side abaft the mast are backstays. As part
of the standing rigging these are generally made of steel
wire when possible. Colloquially the term is often
applied to the shrouds, or standing rigging supporting
the mast laterally.
stay: to tack, or bring a vessel's
head up to the wind for going about on a new
staysail: a triangular sail hoisted
along a stay on which the luff travels attached by hanks
or lacing, and by which the luff is rendered rigid, e.g.
for topmast staysail, fore staysail, etc.
stem, or stempiece: the cutwater or
foremost piece of a vessel on which the curves of the bow
unite, and which is scarfed into the keel.
step: the place where the mast or
other fixture is set up.
stern: the afterpart of the vessel
where the quarters are rounded off and converge. It may
be sharp, i.e. with stern-post similar to the stem and
rudder hung outside; or a counter stern q.v., or a square
stern-post: the opposite to the stem ;
scarfed into the keel. The gudgeons carrying the rudder
are usually bolted into it.
stock: the crossbar secured to the
upper end of the shank of an anchor at right angles to
strake: one breadth of planking in a
vessel taken longitudinally, e.g. a wash-strake, added to
the gunwale or upper strake to keep off water or
sweep: a long, heavy oar used in a
sailing-vessel by one or more men in case of
swig, or swing, or sway up: to pull on
to a bight of a rope by jerks when its lower end is fast;
or to gain on a rope by jumping a man's weight down, e.g.
in setting up a lugsail or jib or any other sail which
has to be set up very taut along its luff.
tabernacle: a strong trunk built on
the deck of barge-built vessels, in which the foot of the
mast hinges so that it can be lowered aft by the forestay
for passing under bridges, etc.
tack: the lower fore-angle of a
tack: to go about, or change course
from one board to another, by which the windward becomes
the leeward side, and vice versa
tackle: a purchase formed by the
connection of a fall or rope with two or more
thrash: to beat to
throat: the widened and hollowed end
of a gaff next the mast, the opposite end to the peak.
Hence also the upper fore corner of the sail.
thwarts, athwarts: seats or benches
athwart a boat on which rowers sit.
tiller: the piece of wood or metal
which is fitted into the rudder head by means of which
the rudder is worked.
top: the platform on the head of the
lower mast upon which the heel of the topmast stands, and
to which the topmast shrouds are spread.
top: to raise one end of a boom or
topgallant: applied to the mast and
sail, which in square-rigged vessels come above the
topmast and topsails.
topmast: an upper mast raised at the
head of the lower mast to give greater height than would
be possible with a single spar.
topsail: the sail set on the topmast.
It may be a square topsail set on square yards, as in a
topsail schooner; or a gaff topsail extended on the
mainsail gaff as in a cotter-which may further be a
jib-header, jackyarder, etc. ; or a jib-topsail, set on
the topmast stay.
topside: the portion of the side of a
vessel which comes above the sheerstrake.
trabacola: a trading coaster of the
trammel: a set net used by fishermen,
with stone anchors at the ends to keep it extended. Fish
coming against it get caught by the gills.
tramp: a slang expression for a cargo
steamer not engaged upon any regular run, but taking
freights as they offer.
transom: a thwartship bulkhead. Many
boats are built with a transom-stern, which consists of a
bulkhead placed across the stern-post, the quarters being
ended off abruptly, and thus carrying the body shape of
the boat further aft above the waterline than if they
were rounded into file stern-post.
trawl: a bag net, dragged along the
bottom by a vessel propelled by sails or steam. Its mouth
is either extended by a strong beam or by an 'otter'
which has been latterly perfected by steam trawlers,
which can keep up a considerable and undeviating
trinchetto: French, arbre le trinquet
; Arab. trinkeitte. The old foremast of Mediterranean
tumble-home: the reverse of flare-when
the section shows a curve inward of the vessel's side
above the point of extreme breadth.
under way: when a vessel is moving,
and has gathered way.
vang: a guy or rope leading from the
end of a gaff to the rail by which to steady the gaff or
prevent it sagging away to leeward.
velocera: an Italian
waist: the place of lowest freeboard,
wash-strake: an upper strake, often
attached by stud-pins to the gunwales of boats to keep
out spray and water.
waterway: a channel along the side
made of deck planks to carry off water. In half-decked
boats they reduce the danger from excessive
wear: in contradistinction to tacking
or staying; to put up the helm so as to turn the vessel
on to the other tack by sending her head round before the
weather: at sea the state of the
atmosphere with regard to the degree of wind. Hence the
portion of the compass from which the wind comes. The
weather side-the side towards the wind; weather helm-when
the vessel is inclined to run up to the wind.
well: a trunk or open space fitted
into a vessel ; sometimes with perforated bottom in
fishing-boats to keep fish alive.
wherry: a sharp, light, shallow boat,
generally stem and stern alike, with fine entry and run,
and usually without the customary gunwale piece. The
French houari; old English ouare.
whisker: iron spars extending each
side from the stem for spreading the guys of the
windward: towards the direction of the
xebec: an old three-masted
Mediterranean vessel of sharp floor and long overhanging
ends, rigged with lateen-sails, and sometimes with
square-sails on the foremast
yaegt: a Norwegian coast
yard: a long spar slung in the
neighbourhood of the centre so that it crosses the mast.
It may be square, i.e. at right angles to the mast, and
slung at the centre; or lateen or lug, when it stands at
an angle, and is slung one-third to one-quarter of its
length from the fore-end.
yawl: qu. the ancient <-> The
Scandinavian yol, properly a light vessel, stem and stern
alike, and clinker built like the Sondmoersk boats of
Norway. The Yarmouth yawls were true yawls, and, like
many other yawl-built boats of England, were probably of
Norse design originally. The term is now applied to
dandy-rigged vessels, and many cutter-rigged vessels
become yawls by having the main boom cut down and a small
jigger, or mizen, mast aid sail placed on the
yoke: a transverse board or metal bar,
a substitute for the tiller, which crosses the rudder
head. Two lines extend from its opposite ends to the
steersman. In some Norse boats, where the yoke has only
one arm, a wooden bar is jointed at its outer end, and is
worked by the helmsman.
zulu: a class of Scotch fishing-lugger
with straight stem and raking stern-post.