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September 23rd 2014 - 14:21

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)
COG
Used on most GPS receivers and Chart plotters as the primary Heading reference - since GPS can only plot a position the calculated Heading it estimated based on changes over tile is a Course Over Ground.
The things sailors do (8 terms)
Pay out
To feed out Line, hand over hand - usually over the side of the vessel.
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)
Beam
1. The extreme breadth of a vessel.
2. A transverse timber supporting the Deck.
3. To lie outside a vessel on an imaginary Line drawn from Amidships at right angles to the fore-and-aft Line.

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)
Knot
1. A speed of one Nautical mile per hour. (6076 feet) per hour.
2. A method of making a Line Fast to an object, another Line, itself, or for ornament.

Bits and bobs from life aboard ship (5 terms)
Skylarking
Playing by climbing around in the Rigging. Especially when done as high as possible.  
Specific sailing maneuvers (33 terms)
Bear away
To put up the Helm to Windward so that the vessel turns further away from the wind.
The points of sail and seamanship (76 terms)
Channel
1. That part of a body of water deep enough for Navigation through an area otherwise not suitable. It is usually marked by a single or double Line of buoys and sometimes by range markers.
2. The deepest part of a stream, bay, or strait.
3. A cut or groove in a piece of wood or metal
4. A VHF radio feqeuency or set of radio frequencies preselected for communications.

The parts of ships (131 terms)
Kicking-strap
The Martingale that prevents the Boom from rising when it swings outwards helping to keep the Sail flat to the wind and thereby providing more driving power.

This term is typically used in small racing dinghys whereas a Line or tackle with the same function on modern boats is usually referred to as the boom-vang

Important people and/or their positions in nautical history (14 terms)
Bosun´s Mate
1) The mate (assistant) to the Bosun

2) One of the world´s foremost nautical web sites bosunsmate.org (you had to know we would do this)

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)
Brig
Two-masted vessel with both masts square rigged. On the aftermost Mast,  there is also a Gaff sail
Sails, their parts and materials (30 terms)
Leech
The After edge of a Fore and Aft Sail.
Types of vessels and some famous examples (22 terms)
Planing-hull
A type of Hull shaped to glide easily across the top of the water at high speed.
The various spars used aboard ship (6 terms)
Jibboom
A Spar Forward of Bowsprit that supports the Forward most staysails.
The tools of the trade (27 terms)
Hackle
In Rope-making: A process in which fibers are drawn through hackle-boards in order to get them all lying straight prior to spinning into strands suring rope-making.
terms awaiting clasification (36 terms)
none found
Meteorology and its relationship to sailing (7 terms)
Fronts
Used in meteorology to describe bounderies between hot and cold air masses. This is typically where bad weather is found.
 
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