Dandy -- A cutter-rigged vessel with lug-mizzen set
on a jigger-mast.
Davits -- Iron cranes on vessels to which boats are
Deadeye -- A circular wooden block with three holes in it
without sheaves, through which a lanyard is rove to set up standing
Dead wood -- Solid wood worked on top of the keel forward
Depth of hold -- The height between the keelson and the
deck of a single decked vessel.
Displacement -- The quantity of water displaced by a
vessel, which in weight is always equal to her own weight.
Dogvane -- A light vane made of bunting or feathers to
show the direction of the wind.
Dowse -- To lower a sail suddenly.
Downhaul -- A rope by which a sail is hauled down.
Draught of water -- The depth of a vessel measured from
the under side of the keel to the load waterline.
Earrings -- Ropes for fastening the corners of the
heads of sails to yards and for reefing.
Ease off -- To slacken a rope handsomely.
Eyelet holes -- Small holes worked in sails for lacings or
lashings to be rove through.
Eyes of the rigging -- Collars spliced in the ends of
shrouds to go over the masthead and also over the deadeyes.
Fair leaders -- Holes in planks, etc., for ropes to
be rove through so that they lead fairly.
Fair wind -- A wind that permits a vessel to steer her
course without tacking.
Fall -- The hauling part of the rope of a tackle.
False keel -- A timber bolted to the underside of the keel
Fathom -- A sea measure of six feet.
Fender -- A species of buffer made of wood, rope or other
material to hang chafing against a dock, or another vessel.
Fid -- An iron or wooden bar to keep bowsprits and
topmasts in place; a conical wooden instrument used by riggers and
Fish, To -- To strengthen a weak or repair a broken spar
by lashing another spar or batten to it.
Flare -- To project outwards; contrary to tumbling home.
Flat aft -- When sheets are trimmed as close as possible
for effective windward work.
Floors -- The bottom timbers of a vessel.
Flowing sheet -- The sheet eased off to a fair wind.
Flush decked -- Having neither poop nor forecastle.
Foot -- The lower edge of a sail.
Forereach -- To sail faster through the water on a wind
than another vessel.
Freeboard -- That part of a ship's side above the water.
Full and by -- To steer as close to the wind as possible,
while at the same time keeping the sails full of wind.
Futtocks -- The timbers which join and butt above the
floors, called first, second and third futtocks.
Gammon iron -- An iron hoop fitted to the side of
the stem, or on top of the stem, to receive and hold the bowsprit.
Garboard -- The strake of plank next above the keel, into
which it is rabbeted and bolted.
Gripe, To -- A vessel gripes when she has a tendency to
come up in the wind and requires much weather helm.
Gudgeons -- Metal straps with eyes secured to the stern
post, into which the pintles of the rudder are fitted.
Gunwale -- The timber fitted over the timber heads and
fastened to the top strake.
Guys -- Ropes used to steady a spar or other thing.
Gybe -- To let a fore-and-aft sail shift from one side to
the other when running before the wind. To let a vessel go so much off
the wind as to bring the wind on the opposite quarter.
Half-mast high -- When a flag is hoisted halfway up
as a mark of respect to a person recently dead.
Halyards -- Ropes for hoisting sails.
Handsomely -- Steadily; carefully.
Handy billy -- A watch tackle kept on deck for getting a
pull on sheets or halyards.
Hanks -- Rings or hooks for fastening the luffs of sails
Hard down -- The order to put the tiller a-lee. Hard up,
the order to put the tiller a-weather.
Heave to -- To so trim a vessel's sails that she does not
Heel rope -- The rope by which a running bowsprit is
hauled out or a topmast lowered.
Hoist -- The length of the luff of a fore-and-aft sail.
Horns -- The projections forming the jaws of gaffs or
Hounds -- The projections on a mast that support the lower
cap and rigging.
House -- To lower a topmast down within the cap.
Inhaul -- The rope used to haul sails inboard.
In irons -- The condition of a vessel head to wind and
with way lost, unable to pay off on one tack or the other.
Irish pennants -- Loose ropes flying in the breeze or
dangling over the side.
Jackstay -- A rod of iron, a wooden cleating, or a
wire rope for sails or yards to travel on; also a wire rope on the main
boom to which the foot of the sail is laced.
Jiggermast -- The mizzenmast of a yawl or dandy.
Kentledge -- Pig iron used as ballast.
Lanyards -- Ropes rove through deadeyes by which
shrouds or stays are set up.
Leeboard -- An old-fashioned contrivance to check leeway,
still in use on some Dutch vessels and English barges.
Load waterline -- The line of flotation when a vessel is
properly ballasted or laden.
Luff -- To come closer to the wind.
Make fast -- To belay a rope.
Masthead -- That part of the mast above the hounds.
Mast hoops -- The hoops to which the luffs of fore and aft
sails are seized to secure the sails to the masts.
Miss stays, To -- To fail in an attempt to tack.
Mousing -- A yarn wound round a hook to prevent it from
Near -- Very close to the wind.
Nip -- To nip a vessel is to sail her too close to the
On a wind -- Close hauled.
Outhaul -- A rope or tackle by which a sail is hauled out
on a spar.
Paddy's hurricane -- A dead calm.
Painter -- A rope spliced to a ring bolt in the bow of a
boat to make fast by.
Pay -- To pour hot pitch or marine glue into seams after
they are caulked.
Pintles -- The metal hooks by which rudders are attached
to the gudgeons.
Pole mast -- A mast without a topmast, but with a long
masthead above the hounds.
Put about -- To tack.
Raffee -- A square or triangular sail set flying on
the foretopmasts of schooners.
Rake -- To incline forward or aft from the vertical, as
raking mast, a raking sternpost, etc.
Reef band -- A strip of canvas sewn across a sail, in
which eyelet holes for the reef points are worked.
Reef pendant -- A strong rope with a Matthew Walker knot
in one end. It is passed up through a hole in the cleat on the boom,
and then through the reef cringle in the sail and down through the hole
in the cleat on the other side of the boom.
Reef points -- Short lengths of rope in sails to tie up
the part rolled up when reefing.
Reeve -- To pass a rope through a block or a hole of any
Roach -- The curved part of the foot of a sail.
Rockered keel -- A keel whose ends curve upward.
Running bowsprit -- A bowsprit so fitted as to run in or
out and reef.
Serve -- To cover a rope with spunyarn.
Shake out a reef -- To untie the reef points and set the
Sheathing -- The copper or other metal nailed on the
bottom of a vessel.
Sheave -- The grooved wheel in a block or in the sheave
hole of a spar over which the rope passes.
Sheet -- The rope by which the clew of a sail is secured.
Snotter -- An eye strop used to support the heel of a
Spitfire jib -- The smallest storm jib.