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Sailing Glossary

Updated on November 2, 2015
Source

AFT

near, toward or in the stern of the ship.

Anchor

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

ANCHOR

a device usually of metal attached to a ship or boat by a cable and cast overboard to hold it in a particular place by means of a fluke that digs into the bottom.

Parts of an anchor: ring, stock, shank, bill, fluke, arm, throat, crown.

Anenometer

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

ANENOMETER

an instrument to measuring and indicating the force or speed of wind.

Astrolabe

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

ASTROLABE

a compact instrument used to observe the position of celestial bodies before the invention of the sextant.

Bark

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

BARK

a small sailing ship. It is a 3-masted ship with foremast and main mast square-rigged and mizzenmast fore-and-aft rigged.

Beaufort Scale

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

BEAUFORT SCALE

a scale in which the force of the wind is indicated by numbers from 0 to 12.

Blocks

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

BLOCKS

a wooden pulley. Types of blocks are: single block, double block.

Boom

Source

BOOM

a long spar projecting from the mast to support the foot of a sail.

Bow

Source: http://www.catamaranvega.com/vega/sailing/02/boat.gif
Source: http://www.catamaranvega.com/vega/sailing/02/boat.gif

BOW

the forward part of a ship.

Bowsprit

Source: http://www.spartrader.com/out/plan_bowsprit.gif
Source: http://www.spartrader.com/out/plan_bowsprit.gif

BOWSPRIT

a long spar projecting forward from the stem of a ship.

Brig

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

BRIG

a 2-masted square-rigged ship.

Also, a place (as on a ship) for temporary confinement of offenders in the U.S. Navy.

Abbreviation for brigade; brigadier.

Capstan

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

CAPSTAN

a machine for mooring or raising heavy weights by winding cable around a vertical spindle-mounted drum that is rotated manually or driven by steam or electric power.

Source

CARAVEL

a kind of ship began to be built by the Portuguese. Caravels were small fast ships sailed by a crew of about 25. Caravels made it possible to voyage throughout the world. Before caravels most ships had square sails and could only go where the wind blew them. Caravels had triangular sails which could be set at an angle to the wind so the ship could sail in more directions.

Catboat

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

CATBOAT

a sailboat having a cat rig and usually a centerboard, and being of light draft and broad beam.

Chronometer

Source: http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/neclazeren/neclazeren0706/neclazeren070600005/1156130-vector-chronometer-for-sportsman.jpg
Source: http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/neclazeren/neclazeren0706/neclazeren070600005/1156130-vector-chronometer-for-sportsman.jpg

CHRONOMETER

a very accurate clock used to measure longitudes. James Cook was the first to use it.

Davits

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

DAVITS

a crane that projects over the side of a ship or a hatchway and is used especially for boats, anchors, or cargo.

Deadeyes

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

DEAD-EYE

a rounded wood block that is encircled by a rope or an iron band and pierced with holes to receive the lanyard and that is used especially to set up shrouds and stays.

Felucca

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

FELUCCA

a narrow fast lateen-rigged sailing ship chiefly of the Mediterranean area.

Figurehead

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

FIGUREHEAD

the head or figure on a ship’s bow.

FLYING JIB

a sail outside the jib on an extension of the jibboom.

FOOD OF SAILORS

mouldy biscuits and picked pork and beef was the main food served at sea. Maggots sometimes had to be picked out of the biscuits before they were eaten. Food was cooked on an iron set on a bed of sand towards the front of the ship.

FOREMAST

the mast nearest the bow of a ship.

FORESAIL

  • a sail carried on the foreyard of a square-rigged ship that is the lowest on the foremast.
  • the lower sail set abaft a schooner's foremast.

FORESHEET

one of the sheets of the foresail.

FORESTAY

a stay from the foremast head to the deck of a ship.

FORESTAYSAIL

the triangular aftermost headsail of a schooner, ketch, or yawl set on hanks on the forestay.

FORE-TOPMAST

a mast next above the foremast.

FORE-TOPSAIL

the sail above the foresail.

GAFF

the spar upon which the head of a fore-and-aft sail is extended.

HEADSAIL

a sail set forward of the foremast.

Heliograph

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

HELIOGRAPH

an apparatus for telegraphing by means of the sun’s rays thrown from a mirror.

HERMAPHRODITE BRIG

a 2-masted vessel square-rigged forward and schooner-rigged aft.

JIB

a triangular sail set on a stay extending from the head of the foremast to the bowsprit or the jib boom.

Junk

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

JUNK

any of various ships of Chinese waters with bluff lines, a high poop and overhanging stem, little or no keel, high pole masts, and a deep rudder.

KEEL

a longitudinal timber or plate extending along the center of the bottom of a ship and often projecting from the bottom.

Ketch

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

KETCH

a fore-and aft rigged ship similar to a yawl, but with a larger mizzen, and with the mizzen mast stepped farther forward.

KNOT

the lamp or knob so for med.

            Types of Knots:

1.      Blackwall hitch

2.      Carrick bend

3.      Clove hitch

4.      Cat’s-paw

5.      figure eight

6.      Granny knot

7.      Bowline

8.      Overhand knot

9.      Fisherman’s bend

10.  Half hitch

11.  Reef knot

12.  Round turn and two half hitch’s

13.  Slip knot

14.  Stevedore knot

15.  True lover’s knot

16.  Surgeon’s knot

17.  Turk’s head

18.  Sheet bend

19.  Timber hitch

20.  Seizing

21.  Square knot

22.  Sheep shank

LATEEN

being or relating to a rig used especially on the north coast of Africa and characterized by a triangular sail extended by a long spar slung to a low mast.

LUGSAIL

a 4-sided sail bent to an obliquely hanging yard that is hoisted and lowered with the sail.

MAIN MAST

a ship's principal mast usually second from the bow.

MAINSAIL

the principal sail on the mainmast.

MAIN SHEET

a rope by which the mainsail is trimmed and secured.

MAIN STAY

a ships stay extending from the maintop forward usually to the foot of the foremast.

MAINTOP

a platform about the head of the mainmast of a square.rigged ship.

MAIN-TOPMAST

a mast next above the mainmast.

MAIN YARD

the yard of a mainsail.

MAST

a long pole or spar rising from the keel or deck of a ship and supporting the yards, booms, and rigging.

MIZZENMAST

the mast aft or next aft of the mainmast in a ship.

NAVIGATOR

the person who works out the direction for a ship.

Quarterdeck

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

QUARTERDECK

the stern area of a ship’s upper deck.

A part of a deck on a naval vessel set aside by the captain for ceremonial and official use.

Ratlines

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

RATLINES

one of the small transverse ropes attached to the shrouds of a ship so as to form the steps of a rope ladder.

RIGGING

lines and chains used aboard a ship, especially in working sail and supporting masts and spars.

SCHOONER

a fore-and aft rigged ship having 2 masts with a smaller sail on the foremast and with the main mast stepped nearly amidships.

Schooner's Sails

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

SCHOONER’S SAILS

1.      flying jib

2.      jib

3.      forestay sail

4.      foresail

5.      fore gaff-topsail

6.      mainsail

7.      main gaff-topsail

SHEET

a rope, wire, or chain that regulates the angle at which a sail is set in relation to the wind.

SHORE

a prop preventing sinking or sagging.

Sextant

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

SEXTANT

an instrument for measuring angular distances used especially in navigation to observe altitudes of celestial bodies (as in ascertaining latitude and longitude).

Shrouds

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

SHROUD

one of the ropes leading usually in pairs from a ship’s mastheads to give lateral support to the masts.



Sloop

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

SLOOP

a fore-and-aft rigged boat with one mat and a single headsail jib.

SPAR

a stout rounded wood or metal piece (as a mast, boom, gaff, or yard) used to support rigging.

Sou' Wester

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

SOU’ WESTER

a long oilskin coat worn especially at sea during stormy weather.

Spinnaker

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

SPINNAKER

a large triangular sail set on a long light pole and used when running before the wind.

SPLICE

to unite two ropes by interweaving the strands.

SQUARE RIG

a rig in which the principal sails are extended on yards fastened to the masts horizontally and at their center.

SQUARE SAIL

a 4-sided sail extended on a yard  suspended at the middle from the mast.

STAY

 large strong rope usually of metal wire used to support a mast.

Tacle

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

TACLE

a ship’s rigging.

Xebec

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

XEBEC

a usually 3-masted Mediterranean sailing ship with long over hanging bow and stern.

YARD

a long spar tapered toward the ends to support and spread the head of a square sail, lateen, or lugsail.

Yawl

Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

YAWL

a fore-and-aft rigged sailboat carrying a mainsail and one or more jibs with a mizzenmast far aft.

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