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.
Artificial objects to supplement natural landmarks indicating safe and unsafe waters.
At right angles to the centerline of the boat; rowboat seats are generally athwart ships.
A line attached to the jib or jib sheet, used to adjust the angle of sheeting by pulling the sheet toward the centerline of the boat.
Flexible strips of wood or plastic, most commonly used in the mainsail to support the aft portion, or roach, so that it will not curl.
The direction of an object expressed either as a true bearing as shown on the chart, or as a bearing relative to the heading of the boat.
The part of the rope or line, between the end and the standing part, on which a knot is formed.
A small boat, usually mono rig. May have a shallow cockpit well. Typically has almost no freeboard.
A short shaft with a fitting at one end shaped to facilitate use in putting a line over a piling, recovering an object dropped overboard, or in pushing or fending off.
Wire Stay underneath the bowsprit; helps to counteract the upward pull exerted by the forestay.
Support for the boom, holding it up and out of the way when the boat is anchored or moored. Unlike a gallows frame, a crutch is stowed when boat is sailing.
A system used to hold the boom down, particularly when boat is sailing downwind, so that the mainsail area facing the wind is kept to a maximum. Frequently extends from the boom to a location near the base of the mast. Usually tackle- or lever-operated.
Short spar extending aft from the transom. Used to anchor the backstay or the sheets from the mizzen on a yawl or ketch. (pronounced bumpkin)
An anchored float used for marking a position on the water or a hazard or a shoal and for mooring.
Partially furling sails to lessen wind resistance or partially unfurling sails to make them ready for instant use. On a square sail this is accomplished with leech and clew lines. See "Scandalize"
A short length of wire with a line attached at the midpoint. A bridle is used to distribute the load of the attached line. Often used as boom travelers and for spinnaker down hauls.
The location from which a vessel is steered and its speed controlled. "Control Station" is really a more appropriate term for small craft.
That vessel which, according to the applicable Navigation Rules, must give way to the privileged vessel. The term has been superseded by the term "give-way".
A piece of trim, usually wood, used to cover and often decorate a portion of the boat, i.e., caprail.
drum like part of the windlass used for winding in rope, cables, or chain connected to cargo or anchors
A board lowered through a slot in the centerline of he hull to reduce sideways skidding or leeway. Unlike a daggerboard, which lifts vertically, a centerboard pivots around a pin, usually located in the forward top corner, and swings up and aft.
A line, running along the side of the boat, where the bottom forms an angle to the side. Not found on
A fitting to which lines are made fast. The classic cleat to which lines are belayed is approximately anvil-shaped.
A vertical extension above the deck to prevent water from entering the cockpit. May be broadened to provide a base for winches.
At the stern of the boat, that portion of the hull emerging from below the water, and extending to the transom. Apr to be long in older designs, and short in more recent boats.
A mainsail control device, using a line to pull down the mainsail a short distance from the luff to the tack. Flattens the sail.
A board dropped vertically through the hull to prevent leeway. May be completely removed for beaching or for sailing downwind.
The area encompassed from dead ahead of your boat to just abaft your starboard beam. You must stand clear of any boat in the "danger zone".
Either a cover clamped over a porthole to protect it in heavy weather or a fixed light set into the deck or cabin roof to provide light below.
A type of hull that plows through the water, displacing a weight of water equal to its own weight, even when more power is added.
A protected water area in which vessels are moored.The term is often used to denote a pier or a wharf.
A line used to pull a spar, such as the spinnaker pole, or a sail, particularly the mainsail, down.
When boats, especially smaller racers, are kept on shore instead of being left anchored or moored, they are dry sailed. The practice prevents marine growth on the hull and the absorption of moisture into it.
A fitting used to alter the direction of a working line, such as a bullseye, turning block, or anchor chock.
A knot in the form of a figure eight, placed in the end of a line to prevent the line from passing through a grommet or a block.
An abbreviation of forecastle. Refers to that portion of the cabin which is farthest forward. In square-riggers often used as quarters for the crew.
The compartment farthest forward in the bow of the boat. Often used for anchor or sail stowage. In larger ships the crews quarters
Wire, sometimes rod, support for the mast, running from the bowsprit or foredeck to a point at or near the top of the mast.
A design in which the forestay does not go to the very top of the mast, but instead to a point 3/4~ 7/8's, etc., of the way up the mast.
The distance between the deck and the waterline. Most often it will vary along the length of the boat. (see: Shear)
Used in conjunction with strake. Refers to the planks, or strakes, on either side of and adjacent to the keel.
A term used to describe the vessel which must yield in meeting, crossing, or overtaking situations.
A full, quadrilateral sail used in light air on schooners. It is flown high, between the fore and main mast, and is also known as a fisherman's staysail.
Hand-hold fittings mounted on cabin tops and sides for personal safety when moving around the boat.
Similar to a gaff rig, except that the spar forming the "gaff" is hoisted to an almost vertical position, extending well above the mast.
A line used to control the end of a spar. A spinnaker pole, for example, has one end attached to the mast, while the free end is moved back and forth with a guy.
Lines used to haul up the sail and the wooden spars (boom and gaff) that hold the sails in place.
An abrupt intersection between the hull side and the hull bottom of a boat so constructed.
A block with a jam cleat, located on the boom and used to control the main sheet on small boats.
A grooved rod fitted over the forestay to provide support for luff of the sail or help support the forestay
A knot used to secure a rope to another object or to another rope, or to form a loop or a noose in a rope.
A watertight covering, usually small, that may be removed so the interior of the hull can be inspected or water removed.
A structure, usually masonry, projecting out from the shore; a jetty may protect a harbor entrance.
A fast method of reefing. Lines pull down the luff and the leech of the sail, reducing its area.
A short stay supporting the top forward portion of the mast. The stay runs from the top of the mast forward over a short jumper strut, then down to the mast, usually at the level of the spreaders.
Describes a rudder or centerboard that rotates back and up when an obstacle is encountered. Useful when a boat is to be beached.
A fastening made by interweaving rope to form a stopper, to enclose or bind an object, to form a loop or a noose, to tie a small rope to an object, or to tie the ends of two small ropes together.
Light lines from the topping lift to the boom, forming a cradle into which the mainsail may be lowered.
Refers to the direction in which a line goes. A boom vang, for example, may "lead to the cockpit."
Pivoting boards on either side of a boat which serve the same function as a centerboard. The board to leeward is dropped, the board to windward is kept up.
Describes a mainsail attached to the boom at the tack and clew, but not along the length of it's foot.
A mark or permanent line on a compass indicating the direction forward parallel to the keel when properly installed
The forward edge of a triangular sail. In a mainsail the luff is that portion that is closest to the mast.
When the vessel is brought too far into the wind the trailing edge or Leech of the sail begins to shiver or shake.
Main vertical spar used to support sails and their running rigging and in turn is supported by standing rigging
A mechanical method of increasing an applied force. Disregarding the effects of friction, if a force of 100 pounds applied to a tackle is magnified to a force of 400 pounds, the purchase or mechanical advantage is said to be four to one, or 4: 1. (purchase)
A false deck built over a permanent deck. Often used in the bow of larger sailing ships, forward of the anchor windlass and provides a working platform around the portion of the bowsprit as it attaches to the ship.
One minute of latitude; approximately 6076 feet - about 1/8 longer than the statute mile of 5280 feet.
The regulations governing the movement of vessels in relation to each other, generally called steering and sailing rules. (COLREGS)
Usually a line or tackle, an outhaul is used to pull the clew of the mainsail towards the end of the boom, thus tightening the foot of the sail.
A vertical post in the cockpit used to elevate the steering wheel into a convenient position
A wood, metal or concrete pole driven into the bottom. Craft may be made fast to a pile; it may be used to support a pier (see PILING) or a float.
A small cabin on the deck of the ship that protects the steering wheel and the crewman steering.
A boat is said to be planing when it is essentially moving over the top of the water rather than through the water.
A vessel which, according to the applicable Navigation Rule, has right-of-way (this term has been superseded by the term "stand-on").
A metal framework on deck at the bow or stern. Provides a safety railing and serves as an attachment for the lifelines.
The fore or aft angle of the mast. Can be deliberately induced (by adjustment of the standing rigging) to flatten sails, balance steering, etc. Normally slightly aft.
A horizontal line of light lines on a sail which may be tied to the boom, reducing the area of the sail during heavy winds.
The curved portion of a sail extending past a straight line drawn between two corners. In a mainsail, the roach extends past the line of the leech between the head and the clew and is often supported by battens.
Reduces the area of a sail by rolling it around a stay, the mast, or the boom. Most common on headsails.
In general, cordage as it is purchased at the store. When it comes aboard a vessel and is put to use it becomes line.
Also rubbing strake or rub strake. An applied or thickened member at the rail, running the length of the boat; serves to protect the hull when alongside a pier or another boat.
Also runner, or preventive backstay. A stay that supports the mast from aft, usually from the quarter rather than the stern. When the boat is sailing downwind, the runner on the leeward side of the mainsail must be released so as not to interfere with the sail.
On a gaff rig the sail is made loose footed, the clew is brought forward along the boom and the sail cloth is drawn up in folds along the gaff and mast. From this position the sail is instantly available for use.
Sailing ships with at least 2 masts (foremast and mainmast) with the mainmast being the taller. Word derives from the term "schoon/scoon" meaning to move smoothly and quickly. ( a 3-masted vessel is called a "tern").
Technically, the ratio of length of anchor rode in use to the vertical distance from the bow of the vessel to the bottom of the water. Usually six to seven to one for calm weather and more scope in storm conditions.
Drain in cockpit, coaming, or toe-rail allowing water to drain out and overboard. When in toe rail, properly known as "freeing port"
A through hull valve, a shut off on a plumbing or drain pipe between the vessel's interior and the sea.
All the arts and skills of boat handling, ranging from maintenance and repairs to piloting, sail handling, marlinespike work, and rigging.
Normally applied to a sail that requires no adjustment other than sheeting when boat is tacked
The line of the upper deck when viewed from the side. Normal sheer curves up towards the bow and stern,
Reverse sheer curves down towards the bow and stern. Compound sheer, curving up at the front of the boat and down at the stern, and straight sheer are uncommon.
A larger vessel usually thought of as being used for ocean travel. A vessel able to carry a "boat" on board.
A line or wire running from the top of the mast to the spreaders, then attatching to the side of the vessel.
Also points reefing, and sometimes jiffy reefing. Reduces the area of the mainsail by partially lowering the sail and resecuring the new foot by tying it to the boom with points, or light lines attached to the sail.
Most often of wood, aluminum or carbon fiber, used as supports, such as the mast, boom, or spinnaker pole.
A large, triangular sail, most often symmetrical, flown from the mast in front of all other sails and the forestay. Used sailing downwind.
Also crosstrees. Short horizontal struts extending from the mast to the sides of the boat, changing the upward angle of the shrouds.
A pivot line used in docking, undocking, or to prevent the boat from moving forward or astern while made fast to a dock.
A four-sided fore and aft sail set on the mast, and supported by a spar from the mast diagonally to the peak of the sail.
That vessel which has right-of-way during a meeting, crossing, or overtaking situation.
That part of a line which is made fast.The main part of a line as distinguished from the bight and the end.
Permanent rigging used to support the spars. May be adjusted during racing, in some classes.
A line or wire from the mast to the bow or stern of a ship, for support of the mast (fore, back, running, and triadic stays).
Sweat is the act of hauling a halyard to raise a sail or spar done by pulling all slack outward and then downward. Tail is controlling, coiling, and securing the runnning end of the halyard.
On a triangular sail, the bottom forward corner. Also, to turn the bow of the boat through the wind so the wind exerts pressure on the opposite side of the
A low rail, often slotted, along the side of the boat. Slots allow drainage and the attachment of blocks.
The sides of a vessel between the waterline and the deck; sometimes referring to onto or above the deck.
Wire gear enabling a crewmember to place all of his weight outboard of the hull, thus helping to keep the boat level.
A fitting across the boat to which sheets are led. In many boats the traveler may be adjusted from side to side so that the angle of the sheets can be changed to suit conditions.
Construction designed to lead air below decks. May have a cowl, which can be angled into or away from the wind; and may be constructed with baffles, so that water is not allowed below, as in Dorade ventilator.
Heavier lines (rope or wire) used for mooring, anchoring and towing. May also be used to indicate moving (warping) a boat into position by pulling on a warp.
A line painted on a hull which shows the point to which a boat sinks when it is properly trimmed (see BOOT TOP).
A short spar, normally kept stowed, which may be used to push the clew of a jib away from the boat when the boat is running downwind.
A term for the bowsprit (many sailors lost their lives falling off the bowsprit while tending sails).
A boom composed of two separate curved pieces, one on either side of the sail. With this rig, sails are usually self tending and loose-footed.
A pleasure vessel, a pleasure boat; in American usage the idea of size and luxury is conveyed, either sail or power.