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April 25th 2015 - 15:43

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)
SAR
Search And Rescue
The things sailors do (8 terms)
Over-haul
1. To slack a tackle and thereby increase the distance apart of the blocks in that tackle by manually running the Rope backwards through the sheaves.

2. The action of passing another vessel.

3. Sometimes used to refer to a refit of a vessel - inspecting and repaiting propulsion and mechanical systems on Board.

Why say back when you can say aft instead! (20 terms)
Abrest
Along side or at right angles to the fore-and-aft Line.
Common sayings and expressions from maritime lore (149 terms)
Fake
1. One circle of a Coil or Rope.
2. To Coil or arrange a Rope with each Fake flat, or almost flat, on the Deck, usually in a circle or figure-of-eight pattern - used to ensure a Rope (such as the Anchor hawser) can Pay out quickly without runnign fowl.

The foods of the sea (2 terms)
Scurvy
A disease historically common to seaman, caused by lack of Vitamin C the British Navy started to fight it bu adding lime juice to their water - this was the origin of the slan "Limey"
Various knots both functional and ornamental from the nautical to the ornamental and with both historic and present day value. (12 terms)
Weaver´s Knot
So named because it was the fastest way to join a broken yarn in a loom. Sailors use this Knot to tie two ropes of unequal thickness together, in whihc case it is know as the Sheet Bend.
Bits and bobs from life aboard ship (5 terms)
Scrimshaw
A sailor´s carving or etching wood, on bones, teeth, tusks or shells. Frequently used as a way to pass the time on long voyages then to be traded or sold on shore.
Specific sailing maneuvers (33 terms)
Gybe
1. To go from one Tack to the other when running with the wind coming over the Stern.

2. The moment when the Boom swings across the Hull while changing tacks in this manner.

If handeled correctly a Fore and Aft rigged vessel should be able to Gybe safely regardless of wind strength. This is accomplished through easing Preventer tackle (if any) and by hauling in the main sheets so that there is less travel for the main Boom during the Gybe.

An unintentional Gybe, which can be the result ...
The points of sail and seamanship (76 terms)
Ebb
A tide passing from high to low, where the Current flows out to sea
The parts of ships (131 terms)
Jigger
1. Aft Sail set on the jigger-mast

2. After mast  (4th Mast) on Schooner or sailing Ship carrying a spanker, or the mizzen Mast of a Yawl or a Ketch.

3. A light tackle of one single and one double Block rendering four times Purchase when rove to advantage. It was initially designed to Hold the Cable as it was being hove on Board and as a temporaty stopper when weighing Anchor by hand. A Jigger tackle is also used on fore-and-aft rigged vessels as a standing part of the throat and...
Important people and/or their positions in nautical history (14 terms)
Jack
A name for the common British naval seaman - Jolly Jack Tar in full. the term is derived from tarpaulin (tared canvas) that was frequently worn by topman as protection against the weather. Initially this name was only applied to able seamen but it was relaxed over time to include all naval seamen.
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)
Jib
A triangular Foresail in front of the Foremast.
Sails, their parts and materials (30 terms)
Fully battened
A Sail having battens that run the full horizontal length of the Sail.
Types of vessels and some famous examples (22 terms)
Brigantine
Two-masted vessel with the Fore Mast being square rigged and after Mast usually Gaff rigged.
The various spars used aboard ship (6 terms)
Yard
A Spar usually fixed horizontally to a Mast that supports a Sail.
The tools of the trade (27 terms)
Voyal
An older name for a Messenger used to assist in weighing the Anchor.
terms awaiting clasification (36 terms)
none found
Meteorology and its relationship to sailing (7 terms)
El Niño
A warm inshore Current annually flowing south along the coast of Ecuador. About every seven to ten years it extends down the coast of Peru, where it has a devastating effect in that region and is oftin the cause of unusual weather patterns around the entire eastern Pacific Rim.
 
Total Terms: 539 Total Views: 1223413

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