107 A Mouth Like a Sailor - Nautical Terminology

Having a mouth like a sailor!!!  Not something your mom would be proud of...unless of course you mean to use proper terminology to communicate aboard ship!!!
I am always happy to learn more about sailing.  So when I ran across this book at Black River Books in South Haven, Michigan, you can only imagine my joy.  Black River Books, is run by a very nice couple whom I enjoyed chatting with immensily.  They are kind, helpful and quite knowledgable.  They have turned their passion into a growing business.
Read on if you, like me, enjoy learning nautical vocabulary.

Nautical Terminology taken from The Official Guide to Small Boat Navigation by Charles Farrell, Jr.

ABAFT:  Behind or farther aft; astern or toward the stern.

ABEAM:  At right angles to the center line of and outside a ship.

ABOARD:  On or in a vessel.  CLOSE ABOARD means near a ship.

ACCOMMODATION LADDER:  a portable flight of steps down a boat’s side.

ADMIRALTY:  Part of the law that deals with maritime cases.

ADRIFT:  Loose from moorings; or out of place.

AFT:  In, near or toward the stern of a vessel.

AGROUND:  Resting on or touching the ground or bottom.

AHEAD:  Forward of the bow.

AHOY:  Term used to hail a boat or a ship, as “Boat ahoy.”

AMIDSHIPS:  In the middle portion of a boat, along the line of the keel.

ANCHORAGE:  Suitable place for a boat to anchor.

ANCHORS AWEIGH:  Said of an anchor when it’s free of the bottom.

ANCHOR BALL:  Black shape hoisted in the foreport of a ship to show that ship is anchored in a fairway.

ANCHOR BUOY:  A small buoy secured by a light line to an anchor to indicate the position of the anchor on the bottom.

ANCHOR CABLE:  Chain, wire or line running between anchor and ship.

ANCHOR LIGHT:  White light displayed by a ship at anchor.  Two anchor lights are displayed by a ship over 150 feet in length.

ANEMOMETER:  Instrument used to measure wind velocity.

ASTERN:  Toward the stern; an object or vessel that is abaft another vessel or object.

ATHWARTSHIPS:  At right angles to the fore and aft line of a vessel.

AUXILIARY:  An assisting machine or vessel, such as an air-conditioning machine or a fuel ship.

AVAST:  A command to cease or desist from whatever is being done.

AWASH:  So low in the water that the water is constantly washing across the surface.

AYE, AYE:  Reply to an order to indicate that it is understood and will be carried out.

AZIMUTH:  The azimuth of an object is its bearing from the observer measured as an angle clockwise from true north.  Objects on the earth having bearing, but a celestial body has azimuth.

AZIMUTH CIRCLE:  Instrument used to take bearings of celestial objects.

BACKSTAY: A stay supporting a mast from aft.


BACKWASH: Water thrown aft by turning of ship's propeller.


BACK WATER: Command given to oarsmen to reverse usual rowing motion.


BAIL: To dip water out of a boat with a bucket.


BALANCED RUDDER: Rudder in which part of the blade surface is forward of the axis to help offset water pressure on the after part.


BALLAST: Heavy weight in the hold of a vessel to maintain proper stability. A ship is in ballast when it carries no cargo, only ballast.


BARGE: Craft used to haul material, as a coal barge; a power boat used by flag officers, as admiral's barge.


BARNACLE: Small marine animal that attaches itself to sides and bottoms of hulls and to piers.


BAROMETER: Instrument that registers atmospheric pressure; used in forecasting weather.


BATTEN: Long strip of steel or wood that wedges the edge of a tarpaulin against the hatch.


BATTEN DOWN: To cover and fasten down; to close off a hatch or watertight door.


BEACON: Conspicuous mark or structure used to guide ships.

BEAM: Width; breadth; greatest athwartships width of a vessel.


BEAR: To lie in a certain direction from the observer.


BEAR A HAND: Speed up the action; lend a helping hand.


BEARING: Direction of an object, expressed in deqrees either as relative or true bearing.


BEAUFORT SCALE: A table of scales indicating various velocities of winds.


BECKET: Circle metal fitting on a block; a rope eye or grommet.


BELAY: To stop, to firmly secure a line.


BELOW: Short for "below decks," below the main deck.


BEND: A general class of knots used to join two lines together.


BEND ON: To secure one thing to another, as bend a flag onto a halyard.


BERTH: Space assigned a vessel for anchoring or mooring.


BILGE: Lower part of a vessel where waste water and seepage collect.


BILGED: Act of staving in the side of a vessel.


BINNACLE: Large stand used to house a magnetic compass and its fittings.


BINOCULARS: Telescopic instrument used for distant seeing.


More coming soon....

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