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Nautical Vocabulary

"A.B." — An able seaman.

ABAFT. — Towards the stern.

ABOUT, TO GO. — To take the opposite tack.

ALEE. — On the side away from the wind.

APEAK. — Perpendicular, of the anchor, when the cable is drawn so as to bring the ship's bowl directly over it.

ASTERN. — In the direction of the stern.

ATHWART. — In a line across the ship.

AUXILIARY ENGINES. — Small engines for electric light­ing, refrigerating, etc., etc.

AWASH. — Level with the surface of the sea, egg, of an anchor.   

BATTEN. — To fasten down with battens (i.e. pieces of boards, or scantlings), as the hatches of a ship during a storm.

BEAM. — The width of a vessel.

BEATING, — Sailing against the wind by tacking.

BELAY. — To fasten, or make fast, as a rope, by taking several turns with it round a pin, cleat, or kevel.

BELAYING PINS, — Strong pins in the side of a vessel, or in the mast, for making fast, or belaying, ropes to.

BEND, — To fasten; as, to bend on a rope.

BERTH. — A ship's anchorage; a narrow shelf or bunk for sleeping on.

BILGE KEEL. — A keel or fin attached to each side of a ship below the water-line, to prevent rolling.

BILGE WATER. — Water lying in the bilge or bottom of a boat or vessel.

BINNACLE. — The box containing the ship's compass, and a light to show it at night.

BLOCK. — A pulley.

BOLT ROPE, — The rope edge surrounding a sail (to which it is sewed).

BONNET. — An additional part laced to the foot of a sail, in moderate winds.

BOOM. — The spar by which a sail is extended at the bottom.

BOW OR BOWS. — The front of a vessel.

BOWLINE. — A rope fastened near the middle of the leech or perpendicular edge of square sails, to keep their weather edge taut, when the ship is close-hauled.

BRACE. — A rope attached to a boom or yard and by which they are moved.

BRIDGE. — The small observation-deck occupied by the navigating officers.

BULKHEAD. — A partition in the hull.

BULWARKS. — The sides of a vessel surrounding and ex­tending above the deck.

CABLE. — A strong rope or chain.

CABLE'S LENGTH. — About 200 yards, or 1-10th of a sea mile.

CABOOSE. — A kitchen on deck.

CAMEL. — An arrangement for assisting a ship over shoals.

CARRY AWAY. — To break or lose a rope or spar.

CAT BLOCK. — The tackle block for hoisting the anchor,

CAT'S PAW. — A light puff of wind.

CAULK. — To make tight the seams of a vessel.

CHIPS. — Sailor's name for the carpenter.

CLEAT. — A small piece of wood around which a rope may be made fast.

CLEW. — To bind up.

CLEW LINES. — Ropes for clewing.

COCK PIT. — A room for wounded men in a war vessel.

COMBINGS OR COAMINGS. — The raised edges around the hatches.

COMPANIONWAY. — The cabin stairway.

COMPASS. — An instrument showing the vessel's course.

COMPOUND ENGINE, — One wherein the steam from boilers is made use of more than once.

CONDENSERS. — The apparatus in which the returned steam from cylinders is condensed back into water.

COXSWAIN. — The steerer of a small boat.

CRINGLE. — An iron ring or thimble attached to the bolt rope of a sail.

CROW'S NEST. — A "look-out" place usually on the fore­mast 25 feet or more above the deck.

CUTLASS. — A broad curving one-edged sword.

CUTWATER. — That portion of a ship's prow which first meets the water.

CYLINDER. — The steam-chest in which the steam is forced to give energy to the engines through the piston.

DAVITS. — Pieces of timber or iron, projecting over a ship's side, with tackle to raise or lower a boat by.

DEADLIGHT. — An iron shutter covering a port hole.

DEAD RECKONING. — The keeping of a vessel's course with the use of log line and compass.

DERRICK. — A boom with tackle for handling cargo.

DINGY. — A small row-boat.

DOCTOR. — Sailors' name for the cook.

DOG WATCH. — The name given to two short (two-hours') watches, the first being from 4-6 p.m., and the second from 6-8 p.m.

DONKEY ENGINE. — A small engine for supplying power to work cargo.

DRAUGHT. — The depth of water required to float a vessel.

DROGUE. — A particular kind of storm anchor.

FATHOM. — SIX feet.

FORCED DRAUGHT. — An artificial method of conveying air to the furnaces.

FENDER. — A piece of wood or other material used to deaden the impact of two vessels, or of a vessel against the wharves.

FOOTROPE. — A rope for standing on which extends along and under a yard.

FORE AND AFT. — Used of anything fixed longitudinally between bow and stern.

FORECASTLE. — That part of a vessel which is forward of the foremast.

FOREMAST. — The mast nearest the bow.

FORGE. — To move slowly ahead.

FOUNDER, — TO sink.

FURL. — To roll up.

GAFF. — The upper spar holding up a fore and aft sail.

GALLEY. — The kitchen.

GANGWAY. — An entrance to a ship.

GRAPNEL. — A small anchor.

GUNWALE. — The extreme outer edge of the hull.

HALYARDS. — Ropes for hoisting sails.

HARBOUR-ROIL. — The turbid bottom of a harbour when stirred up by a ship passing over it.

HATCH OR HATCHWAY. — An opening in the deck.

HAWSER. — A cable.

HEAVE TO. — To stop a ship by bringing her bow to the Wind.

HOLD. — The interior of a vessel.

HULL. — The body (only) of a vessel.

JAW. — The mast end of a boom or gaff.

JIB. — A triangular sail at the bow.

JIBE. — To shift a sail from one side to the other.

JURYMAST. — A temporary mast.

KEEL. — The lowest timber in a ship.

KEVEL. — A piece of timber for belaying great ropes to.

KNOT. — A nautical mile (equal to 1.151 miles, or 6,082.66 feet) per hour; really a rate of speed, and not a measure of length.

LARBOARD. — The left hand of a ship looking toward the bow.

LEAD. — A mass of lead used in sounding.

LEE. — The side which looks away from the wind, and which hence is sheltered.

LEEWAY. — The sideward motion of a ship in travelling.

LOCKER, — A chest or box.

LOG OR LOGLINE. — The rope used for measuring the speed of a vessel.

LOG OR LOGBOOK. — The ship's record or diary.

LOOK-OUT. — The seaman posted in the extreme bow or in the crow's nest to give warning of approaching danger.

LOOM. — The part of an oar within the rowlocks.

LUBBER'S HOLE. — A hole in the top of a vessel next the mast, through which sailors may mount without going over the rim by the futtock-shrouds, so called because considered by sailors to be only fit for lubbers.

LUFF. — To bring a ship nearer to the wind.

LUFF. — The side of a ship towards the wind, the round­est part of a ship's bow, the forward or weather leech of a sail.

MAINMAST. — The central mast or "stick" of a three-masted ship; the aft or hinder mast of a "two-master." See also Foremast, Mizzen-mast, and Jury-mast.

MARLINE. — A small line composed of two strands a little twisted, used for winding round ropes and cables, to prevent their being fretted by the blocks, etc.

MARLINE-SPIKE. — An iron tool, tapering to a point, used to separate the strands of a rope in splicing.

MASTER. — Captain.

MASTHEAD. — Head or top of a mast.

MAST TABERNACLE. — The socket in which a mast is stepped.

MANROPE. — A rope used in going up or down the ship's side.

MESS. — A set of men who eat together.

MIDSHIPS. — The middle, or widest part of a ship.

MIDDY. — An old name for a midshipman.

MIZZEN-MAST, MIZZEN-SAIL. — The hinder mast (when there are three).

MOOR. — To secure a Ship in any position.

MUSTER. — A review of all hands on duty.

NAUTICAL MILE.-6,08266 feet, or one geographical mile and 802,66 feet.

NIP. — A short turn, as in a rope.

ORDINARY SEAMAN. — A seaman of the second rate.

PAINTER. — A rope used for making fast a boat.

PAY OUT. — To slacken or give out, as to "pay out a rope."

PEAK. — The upper and outer corner of a boom sail.

PINTLE. — The bolt on which a rudder is hung.

PLIMSOLL MARK, — A mark on the outside of the hull indicating the load-line.

PORT. — The same as larboard.

PORT OR PORTHOLE. — An opening in the ship's side to admit light and air.

PROMENADE-DECK. — Usually a covered deck amidships.

QUARTER, — The stern portion of a ship's side.

QUARTER-MASTER. — The seaman in charge of the wheel.

QUARTER-MASTERS. — Picked A,B.'s, with a slight increase in pay. In sailing ships they attend to the steering. In the mail steamers they rank as petty officers; steer; clean and polish binnacles, telegraphs, and care for the wheels and wheelhouses, hoist, or superintend the hoisting of flags and signals; take temperature of air and water; heave the log; read the patent log; and in port usually attend at the gangway.

RAKE . — The inclination or curve of a mast.

REEF. — A portion of the sail which is clewed up when the wind is too high to expose the whole.

REEVE. — To pass the end or a rope through a pulley, etc.

ROAD. — An open space of water where ships may anchor.

ROSTER. — A list of officers and crew.

ROWLOCK. — A contrivance for giving leverage to an oar in rowing.

SAWBONES. — The familiar name of the doctor among sailors.

SCUD. — To sail at great speed before a heavy wind or gale.

SCUPPER. — The channel cut through the waterways and side of a ship for carrying off the water from the deck.

SEAMS. — The "joins" of a ship's planks.

SHEET. — A rope for controlling and moving a sail.

SHELTER-DECK, OR AWNING-DECK, Usually erected over the promenade-deck. When the boats are kept thereon, it is often called the boat-deck.

SHORE. — A prop giving support to a beam.

SKIPPER. — The name generally given to the master of a small vessel.

SLOOP. — A vessel with but one mast.

SMOKE-STACK, — The funnel.

SOUND. — To ascertain the depth of the water.

SPAR. — The general name for a mast, boom, gaff, yard, etc.

STANCHION. — A pillar or post of slight dimensions giving support to a deck.

STARBOARD. — The right side of a ship or boat, looking forward.

STAY. — A rope for supporting or keeping a mast in its place.

STEM. — The forward part of a vessel.

STEM-PIECE. — A curved piece of timber to which the two sides of a ship are united at the fore-end, and the lower end of which is scarfed to the keel.

STERN. — The rear portion of a vessel.

STEERAGE. — The emigrants' quarters aboard ship. 

STEERING ENGINE. — The steam steering-gear by which the rudder is controlled.

STOKER. — A fireman.

STRAKE. — A continuous range of planks on the bottom or sides of a vessel, reaching from the stem to the stern. The range next the keel are called the garboard strokes; the next, bilge strokes; the next, wales.

TACK. — TO go against the wind in a zigzag course, and to change a ship's course by shifting her rudder and sails.

TACKLE. — Rope and pulley (block).

TAFFRAIL, — The rail extending around the stern.

TAUT. — Tight.

THOWL OR THOLE. — The rowlock.

THWARTS. — A boat's seats.

TILLER. — The bar for moving the rudder.

TRICK. — Duration of a sailor's duty in steering.

TWIN SCREWS. — Two screw propellors, in substitution for the more usual single propellor.

WAIST. — The portion of the deck between the quarter­deck and forecastle.

WARP. — To move a vessel by means of a line or lines made fast to anything immovable at the further end.

WATCH. — A portion of time assigned to certain duties.

WAKE. — The track left in the water by a moving vessel.

WEATHER. — The side which fronts towards or meets the wind.

WEIGH ANCHOR. — To raise the anchor.

WINCH. — A small windlass.

WINDLASS. — A machine for raising the anchor or cargo.

WINDSAIL. — Apparatus for directing the wind into cabins, etc.

WINDWARD. — The point from whence the wind blows.

YACHT. — A sailing vessel used for pleasure.

YARD. — A spar supporting and extending a sail.

YARDARM. — Either of the two halves of a "yard."

YAW. — A slight movement of the vessel involving a temporary change of course.

CRUISER OF TO-DAY.                                                                        H.M.S. KING ALFRED

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