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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)
RADAR
The device that enables remote detection of "electromagneticly conspicous" objects through its ability to transmit radio signals and detect their return after being reflected from an object.
The things sailors do (8 terms)
Luff-up
To steer the Boat more into the wind, this could have the effect of causing the sails to flap or Luff.
Why say back when you can say aft instead! (20 terms)
Windward
The direction into/towards the wind
Common sayings and expressions from maritime lore (149 terms)
Chock-a-block
1. When a Line is pulled as tight as is can go, as when two blocks are pulled together. also know as "two blocks"
2. When a container is a full as possible.

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)
Catīs Paw
1) A tiwsting Knot made in a Bight of a Line to Secure to a hook or pin. Ideal for use with a sling where neither free end of the Rope is available.

2) A name given to a slight ripple on the water caused by a breeze during a calm.

Bits and bobs from life aboard ship (5 terms)
Q flag
All yellow signal flag meaning "My vessel is healthy and I request free passage.
Specific sailing maneuvers (33 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.

The points of sail and seamanship (76 terms)
Hull speed
The theoretical speed that a Boat can travel without planing This speed is 1.34 times the square root of the length of a Boat at its waterline. It is based on the physics of how water is displaced by the vessel:

As speed increases a wave is created near the Bow where water is pushed away (displaced) by the vessel to make room for the Hull, another wave is created near the Stern, as water returns to fill the hole left by the Hull. Physics tells us that as the speed increases, so therefore must...
The parts of ships (131 terms)
Blade
The flat part of an oar or paddle.
Important people and/or their positions in nautical history (14 terms)
Nippers
1. Short lengths of Rope marled or braded and used when weighing the Anchor to bind the Cable to the Messenger or Viol. The (usually hemp) Cable was too thick to be brought around the capstain directly, and as such would be bound by the Nippers to the messanger which in turn was taken around the capstain.

2. The Boys or men responsible for working the Nippers were also referred to as Nippers themselves

3. Slings used when hoisting yards that were wet and slippery.

4. A lashed hammock wi...
Key locations of the maritime world (20 terms)
Harbor
1. A safe Anchorage, protected from most storms; may be natural or man-made, with breakwaters and jetties;
2. A place for docking and loading.

Rigging components and terms (104 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.

Sails, their parts and materials (30 terms)
loof
(an older spelling for the word Luff)

1. (n) The leading edge of a Sail.

2. (v) The act of a Sail flapping in the wind.

3. (v) To bring the shipīs Head closer to the wind.

Types of vessels and some famous examples (22 terms)
Yacht
A sailboat or powerboat used for pleasure; ie: not a working Boat.
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)
Fay
The process of cleanly fitting togeather pieces of timber when shipbuilding to acheive minimal space between them.
terms awaiting clasification (36 terms)
none found
Meteorology and its relationship to sailing (7 terms)
Squall
A sudden violent blast of wind.
 
Total Terms: 539 Total Views: 1624818

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