Yachts

 

Beat

To sail the yacht to windward, close hauled.

 

Abaft

The area between the mast and the back of the yacht, the stern.

 

Aloft

When a sailor is up the mast tending the rigging.

 

Baggywrinkle

A collection of old ropes and yarns, made up into small balls to protect sails where they are liable to chafe on stays and shrouds.

 

Bermudian Rig

It is the most popular of rigs today. The luff of the sail is connected to the mast usually by sliders. Or by the luff rope sliding up inside the mast in a grove. Bermudian Rig has three sides, but has a much higher mast and sail, requiring a lot more stays and gear to manage it. The traditional gaff sail has four sides.

 

Bare Poles

In heavy weather and storm conditions, with no sails up, the yacht is moving forward under the wind pressure blowing through the rigging and mast.

 

Batten

A thin strip of wood or plastic slid into pockets to preserve the shape of the main sail. Batten pockets are sewn into the sail to hold the battens in place.

 

Baby Stay

A stay that is fixed half-way up the mast secured to the foredeck.

 

 Beam

The width of a yacht

 

Bearing

The direction of an object at sea as seen through a compass. A compass bearing.

        

Bilges

Where oil, water and rubbish collects at the bottom of a yacht.

 

Bobstay

A stay that secures the bowsprit to stop it lifting.

 

Boot-topping

A painted strip around a boat at the waterline.

 

Bowsprit

A spar that extends over the front of a yacht, held in place by the bobstay.

       

Bunk

A built-in bed aboard a ship, typically with drawers and storage under the bunk. 

 

Buoy

A floating marker with a distinguishing colour and shape with a light above.

 

Burgee

A club or owner's flag, shaped like a swallow's tail.

 

Capstan

A vertical winch to haul in the anchor chain.

 

Centreboard

A plate lowered through the centre of a sailing vessel to prevent leeway.

 

Chafe

The wearing effect of a sail rubbing on a halyard or stays. Sometimes protected with baggywrinkle

 

Chain Plates

A steel plate secured on the deck or through the deck to take the strain of mast stays.

 

Cleat

A steel device with two horns secured to the deck to tie ropes around.

 

Clew

The corner of a sail where the leech meets the foot.

 

Close-hauled

Sailing a boat close to wind.

 

Davits

A mechanical device to lift a boat tender out of the water at the back of the boat.

 

Deck

The floor throughout the vessel.

 

Deckhead

The ceiling area under the deck.

 

Draught

The depth of water the boat floats in.

 

Ebb

A tidal period when the tide is going out. Flowing from the land.

 

Ensign

A flag that is flown from the stern of a boat, indicating the country the boat is registered in.

 

Fathom

Nautical measurement of 6 feet.

 

Fender

An inflatable device to hang between boat and pontoon or dockside, to protect the side of the boat.

 

Fiddle

A shelf or table-top surround to stop items falling off in bad weather.

 

Flare

A pyrotechnic device when activated, can indicate the position of a vessel in distress.

 

Foot

The lowest edge of a sail.

 

Foul

When an anchor is fouled it has caught on something. Foul bottom - not a good place to anchor.

 

Freeboard

The height from the edge of the deck to the water.

 

Galley

The ship's kitchen

 

Gang Plank

A plank laid down to bridge the distance between boat and shore.

 

 

Go-About

To tack

 

Gunwale

The top edge of the side of a boat.

 

Gybe

To alter course with the wind blowing from behind the boat, and the sails have to move from one side to the other

 

Half-Mast

A flag that is hoisted half-way up the pole to respect the dead.

 

Halyards

Ropes used to hoist sails.

 

Hanks

Sturdy spring clips that attach sails to the stays.

 

Hawse Pipe

A pipe that goes down through the for'd deck under the winch to guide the anchor chain and anchor.

 

Heads

Nautical name for the toilets on a boat.

 

Heave-To

To reduce speed, by sail to put the bows into wind and slow the boat.

 

Heaving Line

A light line knotted at one end, thrown ashore when a boat is berthing alongside, the heaving line is tied to a mooring warp, pulled ashore and secured around a bollard.

 

Heel

When a boat is listing to one side or the other.

 

Helm

The wheel or the tiller that steers the boat. Helmsman the person driving the boat.

 

House Flag

The boat owner's personal flag.

 

Hull

Is the watertight body of the boat, not including interior fittings or mast and stays.

 

Irish Pennant

A rope or line hanging over the side of a boat, in an un-seaman like fashion.

 

 

Jib

A triangular sail used as a forward headsail.

 

Jury-Rig 

After a broken mast or rudder, a get me home rig is set up or to get the ship out of danger.

 

Kedge

A lightweight anchor.

 

Keel

The substantial piece of wood that extends the length of the vessel. The keel is laid and the planks are formed to start the build. 

 

Knot

A knot is one nautical mile per hour.

 

Laid up

When a vessel is laid up it is out of action.

 

Landfall

The first piece of land seen from a vessel when approaching from the sea.

 

Leech

The rear of a sail.

 

Lee-Boards

To prevent leeway on a shallow draft vessel, a heavy lee board is lowered over the side. The boards on a bunk to stop the occupant falling out.

 

Leeway

The sideways drift of a vessel whilst under sail.

 

Log Book

The record of daily distance sailed, stores that have come aboard, and any daily events that need recording.

 

 

Luff

The forward edge of the sail.

 

Mast

Vertical structure to support the sails.

 

Midships

An order to the helmsman to centralise the rudder.

 

Neap Tides

When the range of the tide is at its smallest.

 

Pay out

To ease out the rope or chain.

 

Pooped

A term when the sea has flowed over the transom and flooded the vessel.

 

Port

The left side of the boat when looking forward.

 

Reefing

Reducing the sail area by drawing it down over the boom.

 

Running Rigging

The ropes that raise, lower and control the sails on a yacht.

 

Scuttles

Round windows in the side of a boat, that opens for ventilation and light.

 

Splice the Main Brace

An issue of rum, for a special occasion.

 

Springs

A mooring rope that is tied to the front of the boat and secured to the quay approximately midships, and another rope that is secured amidships on the quay to the aft of the boat.

 

Scantlings

The sizes of various parts of the boat.

 

Spring Tides

When there is a full moon the tide has its greatest range, its called spring tides.

 

 

Starboard

The right hand side of the boat looking forward.

 

Starboard Tack

With the wind on the starboard side.

 

Tiller

A simple device for turning the rudder.

 

Ship Shape

In a seamanlike fashion.

 

Under Way

When a boat is leaving its moorings, and proceeding to sea. 

 

Weigh

When the anchor has broken away from the sea bed.

 


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