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June 3rd 2020 - 19:23

The Bosunīs Mate Glossary of Terms

The Bosunīs Mate dictionary of Nautical Terms has been compiled from many sources and is constantly being augmented and revised in our attempt to capture as much of the rich yet complicated (and often conflicting) maritime termonology as possible.

You will find an extensive list of information about all sorts of nautical items from sailorīs knots to the sailors themselves, and from ships to the weather patterns of the seas they ply.

Random terms, by category

Abbreviations and Acronyms (41 terms)
USCG
United States Coast Guard
The things sailors do (8 terms)
Wake
A disturbed column of water around and behind a pleasure craft as it makes its way through the water. It includes both the charastic "V" shaped wave pattern and the turbulent wated thrown Back by the propellers.

A detailed look: http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/jul2001/994688283.Ph.r.html

Why say back when you can say aft instead! (20 terms)
Starboard
Right side of the Ship when facing Forward.

Named as such after a contraction called a Steering Board, from ancient ships. This was a Rudder like contraption that was situated on the right side of the vessel (as the left or Port side of the vessel needed to be kept free for tieing up to the Dock)

Common sayings and expressions from maritime lore (149 terms)
Fall
The hauling part of a tackle. The Rope to which power is applied.
The foods of the sea (2 terms)
Sea-pie
A favorite dish for the crew of tall ships. It could consist of almost anything, but the propper dish consisted of layers of meat, vegetables, and fish alternating with crusts of bread and/or broken biscuit - affectionately referred to as a Two or Three decker based on the number of layers.
Various knots both functional and ornamental from the nautical to the ornamental and with both historic and present day value. (12 terms)
Bowline
A Knot used to form an eye or loop at the end of a Rope. It is very strong not does not easily jam.
Bits and bobs from life aboard ship (5 terms)
Heart of Oak
A british naval song wirtten by David Garrick that starts:

īCome cheer up, my lads, ītis to glory we steer,
To add something more to this wonderful yearī

Set to music by Willian Boyce in 1759 and commerating that same year "the year of vistories" or "the wonderful year" as the song proclaims. This is based on the victories at Lagos, Quiberon Bay, and the capture of Quebec - which all occured in that year during the seven years war 1756-63.

It was later a traditional...
Specific sailing maneuvers (33 terms)
Broach
A turn or swing of the Boat that puts the after quarter or Beam of the Boat against the waves in a heavy sea, creating a danger of swamping or capsizing.
The points of sail and seamanship (76 terms)
Dock
A protected region of water where vessels are moored. The term is often used to denote a Pier or a wharf.
The parts of ships (131 terms)
Gyn
A temporary derrick consisting of three spars with their heels spalyed out in a tripod configuration.

Designed to lift heavier loads then a sheer-legs but limited in that it can only lift straight up and then not allowing for as much transverse movement.

Important people and/or their positions in nautical history (14 terms)
Captain
The person who is in charge of a vessel and legally responsible for it and its occupants.
Key locations of the maritime world (20 terms)
Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea
With the straightforward meaning of being in a troublesome spot, the interesting thing is the origin of this expression.

The deep blue sea part is obvious - but in this case the "devil" is not the scary guy with horns but the Hull plank closest to the waterline where barnacles and marine growth gather the heaviest.

The crew on long voyages would always spend time maintaining the Ship and scraping the growth off this area was one of the nastiest of jobs.

Both due to the fact t...
Rigging components and terms (104 terms)
Voyal
An older name for a Messenger used to assist in weighing the Anchor.
Sails, their parts and materials (30 terms)
Batten Pockets
Pockets in a Sail where battens can be placed to stiffen the Sail.
Types of vessels and some famous examples (22 terms)
Boat
Any waterborne Displacement vessel
The various spars used aboard ship (6 terms)
Mainmast
1. The tallest Mast of the Ship, on a Schooner, the Mast furthest Aft.


The tools of the trade (27 terms)
Backstaff
A Navigation instrument used to measure the apparent height of a landmark whose actual height is known, such as the top of a lighthouse. From this information, the shipīs distance from that landmark can be calculated.
terms awaiting clasification (36 terms)
none found
Meteorology and its relationship to sailing (7 terms)
Quartering Sea
When the wind, and thus the waves, are falling on a boatīs quarter.
 
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