GLOSSARY


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abaft the beam -- behind a perpendicular line extending out from the middle of the boat
abeam -- off the beam or on the side of the boat
aft -- towards the stern of the boat; to move aft is to move back
ahi -- yellowfin, ahi; a type of tuna
Aladdin cleat -- a cleat that attaches to the backstay over the cockpit, usually used for hanging a lantern
anchorage -- a place for anchoring
astern -- in the direction of, or behind, the stern
backstay -- a wire mast support leading aft to the deck or another mast
backwinded -- when the wind hits the leeward side of the sails
bar -- a shoal
batten -- a short piece of wood or plastic inserted in a sail to keep it taut
beam -- the greatest width of the boat, usually in the middle
bearing -- direction according to compass
berth -- sleeping bunk aboard the boat
bight -- a bend in the shoreline
binnacle -- compass stand
bitter end -- the final inboard end of chain or line
block -- pulley
bluewater sailing -- open ocean sailing, as opposed to being in a lake or sound
bone in her teeth -- sailing well underway such that spray is thrown out at the stem of the boat
boot stripe -- a different color strip of paint at the waterline
bow -- forward end of a boat
bright work -- varnished woodwork or polished metal
broach -- a turning or swinging of the boat that puts the beam of the boat against the waves, creating a danger of swamping or capsizing
bulkhead -- a partition below decks that separates one part of the vessel from another
bulwarks -- rail around the deck
buoy -- floating marker used for navigation
cabin sole --the bottom surface of the enclosed space under the deck of a boat
canvas -- slang for sail. Originally sails were made of canvas.
catamaran -- twin hulled boat
celestial navigation -- to calculate your position using time, the position of celestial bodies, and mathematical tables
chafe gear -- gear used to prevent damage by rubbing
Chichester -- Sir Francis Chichester, the great English sailor who authored the terrific books Alone Across the Atlantic and Gypsy Moth Circles the Globe
chocks -- a heavy metal fitting fixed to the deck of a ship through which a line for mooring, towing, or anchor rode is passed
ciguatera -- a severe type of food poisoning caused by eating contaminated fish
cleat -- a two-horned fitting for securing a line
clear the decks -- remove unnecessary things from the decks
clew -- the lower aft corner of the fore and aft sails
close hauled -- sails and boom pulled in tight, enabling the boat to point as high as possible to the direction the wind is coming from
clove hitch -- two half hitches
coaming -- the raised border around the cockpit, or a hatch to keep out water
companionway -- staircase that leads to the cabin
course -- compass heading or the angle of the boat in sailing against the wind
crabbing -- going sideways due to set (also catching crabs!)
D signal -- safety signal, "Keep clear of me. I am maneuvering with difficulty."
deadhead -- a floating log
deck plate -- a metal plate fitting on the deck that can be opened to take on fuel or water
DR -- dead reckoning, deduced reckoning; your position based on speed, direction, and time
dorado -- a dolphinfish (misnomer), same as mahi mahi
double ender -- boat with a pointed bow and stern
dinghy -- a small open boat, usually carried aboard a yacht for going ashore
draft -- water depth required to float the boat
ebb -- tide passing from high to low, with the current going out to sea
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.
fall off -- to pay off to leeward or away from the wind
fathom -- nautical measurement equivalent to a depth of six feet
fiddle -- strip around a table to prevent items from falling off when the boat is at a heel
fishhook -- slang sailing expression for a piece of metal or shroud that cuts or stabs you, the injury usually not discovered until later
fix -- the determined boat's position
fluke -- the digging end of the anchor; also wind irregularity
flood -- incoming tidal current
flotsam -- floating items of a ship or its cargo at sea, floating debris
fo'c'sle -- separate crew quarters before the mast
Force 8 -- gale force wind on the Beaufort Wind Scale
foredeck -- the forward part of a boat's main deck
foresail -- forward sail
fouled -- caught or twisted up
futzing -- meddling or fooling around
Genoa -- also known as genny, usually the biggest jib on the boat
GMT -- Greenwich Meridian Time, also known as Universal Time
GPS -- global positioning system; uses satellites in fixed orbits
going to weather -- to sail against the prevailing wind and seas
gooseneck -- fitting that secures the boom to the mast
Great Circle -- a course plotted on the surface of the globe that is the shortest distance between two points
ground tackle -- anchor and anchor gear
gunnels -- also gunwhale; the boat railing
halyard -- also halliard; the cordage used to haul the head of a sail up the mast
hanks -- metal hooks used to secure a sail to a stay; to hank on a sail is to hook it on a stay using the hanks
hard over -- turning the wheel as far as possible
harden up -- to steer closer to the wind, usually by pulling in on the sheets
hatch -- opening on deck with a cover
haul around -- change from a run to a reach
head -- currently the bathroom aboard a boat
head (of a sail) -- upper corner of a sail
headsail -- a sail forward of the mast
heave to -- to stop forward movement by bringing the vessel's bow into the wind and keeping it there
heaves -- upward displacing swells
heel -- the lean of a sailboat when sailing; the extent of the tilt of the boat
helm -- the wheel
hike out -- climb to windward
hook -- anchor
hove to - see heave to
hull speed -- the fastest a sailboat will go, usually dependent on length of the hull at the waterline
inverter -- electrical power converter; converts square-wave DC current to sine-wave AC current
iron spinnaker -- auxiliary engine
jack line -- a line run for safety purposes from the cockpit forward to the bow of the boat, inside the rail. Clipping on to the jack line with the lanyard of our safety harnesses we were able to minimize being lost overboard when going forward to crew in severe conditions
Jack-Tar -- a sailor from the clipper ship days, so named because they would tar their hair to prevent infection and make it easy to cut
jetsam -- debris, jettisoned items, floating at sea
jib -- a foresail. On a cutter this is the forward most sail, as opposed to staysail located between the jib and the main
jibe -- also gybe; to turn the boat downwind from one side of the wind to the other
jig -- fishing technique of lowering a weighted lure until just above the bottom, then alternately jerking the rod upwards and lowering it to give action to the lure
kapu -- also tapu (Tahitian); to be taboo. In Polynesian society, in addition to forbidden locations there were also various culture taboos
ketch -- two masted sailboat that has an after mast forward of the rudder
knot -- a nautical mile (equivalent to 1.15 miles or 1.852km). Also, any of various tangles of line formed by methodically passing the free end through loops and drawing it tight.
landfall -- first sight of land
lanyard -- a short rope or cord that attaches to an item onboard a boat , usually for keeping it attached to the boat
latitude -- an angular measurement or distance measured in degrees, north or south from the equator which is 0 .
lazaret -- a storage space below the deck in the cockpit
lee -- the side away from the direction of the wind, also used in context to refer to a sheltered place out of the wind, as in the lee of the island
lee cloths -- a cloth hung on the lee side of a berth (the down side when the boat has heel to it) to keep one from rolling out of their bunk
lee shore -- a shore that wind blows onto; it is best to stay well off a lee shore in a storm
leeward -- downwind
Lin Pardie -- contemporary sailor and author (70s and 80s) recognized for her accomplishments
lifeline -- stout line around the deck of the boat to keep crew from falling overboard
list -- inclination of a boat due to excess weight on one side or the other
longitude -- distance in degrees east or west of Greenwich, England, meridian which is 0 .
mahi mahi -- a powerful fish with a large head, found in tropical and subtropical waters
mainsail -- the main sail of the sail boat set off the mast and main boom
marlinespike -- a pointed metal tool for separating the strands of a rope in splicing
meat hook -- slang expression for a large fishing hook
midships -- the middle of the boat
mooring -- a float providing a tie off for a boat, usually set to a permanent anchor
Mother Carey's Chickens -- storm petrels
motor-sailing -- sailing with the motor on and in gear
motu -- moku (Hawaiian); small island usually at the reef
offing -- seaward, a safe distance from shore
old salt -- a very experienced and/or old sailor
onboard -- on the boat
orcas -- killer whales
P flag -- signal flag known as the "Blue Peter" [blue square in a white the vessel is about to proceed to sea."
pahua -- giant clam found in tropical waters
pareau -- (traditional Polynesian one-piece wrap); also lava lava [Samoan and Hawaiian];
part -- fray or break
Paul Gaugin -- French painter known for his Marquesan and Tahitian works after 1891
pay out -- to slacken on a line
pedestal -- columnar support for the wheel in the cockpit
phosphorescence -- luminescence
plumeria -- a fragrant blossoming tree found in the tropics and subtropics
pooped -- having a wave wash over the stern of the boat
port -- the left side of the boat; also a harbor
pull -- in rowing, to row an oar, putting your back into it
put in -- to enter a port or harbor
pitch -- plunging of a vessel fore and aft
Polaris -- the North Star, the star that is located over the north pole and is the center of revolution for the Earth
pulpit -- platform over the sprit of the boat enclosed in a metal framework
preventer -- line and tackle which limits the movement of the boom, usually for the purpose of preventing accidents
quarter -- the side of a boat aft of beam and forward of the stern
Q flag -- all yellow signal flag meaning "My vessel is healthy and I request free pratique."
quay -- wharf used to discharge cargo
rail -- top of the bulwarks on the edge of the deck
reaching -- sailing a course that is neither close hauled or downwind
reef -- to shorten sail, usually by partially lowering it and tying it off with reefing lines
rigging -- standing rigging refers to shrouds and stays, while running rigging refers to halyards and sheets that control the sails
rode - the line or chain attached to the anchor
roller - a wave
rolling heap -- slang expression meaning ocean
rudder -- hinged plate hinged to the stern of the vessel used to steer t the boat by turning the wheel
running -- going with the wind, downwind sailing (to run downwind)
running backs -- running backstays; temporary backstays used to stabilize the mast and prevent undue flexing in the pumping action of the sea over an extended voyage. Usually attached by tangs to the mast opposite to where the staysail stay is attached.
rip current -- as in tide rip; water disturbance created by conflicting current and wind
safety harness -- a harness, usually made of webbing, worn over the shoulders and around the chest equipped with a lanyard for preventing being swept overboard in severe conditions
sampan -- a small boat with a narrow design, originally found in Japan and China
samson post -- also sampson post;
salon -- also saloon; main social cabin of a boat
SAT NAV -- satellite navigation unit; uses satellites in moving orbits
scope -- the length or extent of anchor rode
scopolamine -- a drug prescribed for motion sickness
sculling oar -- a large oar used for propelling a boat by moving from side to side; also used for an emergency rudder
scuppers -- overboard drain holes on deck
seized - bound together
self-tending -- tacks itself
set -- the direction of the tide or current, the leeway course of the boat
shackle -- a metal link which can be open and closed for joining chain to anchor, etc.
sheet -- the lines leading from the clew of a sail with which you pull in or let it out
ship in seas -- take in seas
shroud -- a wire used to stay or hold a mast in position to which the sails may also be hanked
single sideband -- a radio frequency used by boats equipped with shortwave radio
skipjack -- bonito, aku; a type of tuna
slats -- battens
slatting -- flapping
snubber -- a spring line tied from the boat to chain rode, usually near the water's surface. It helps disperse tension forces. It also prevents damage to the boat by ground tackle and can help in the retrieval of the ground tackle in heavy weather. (to reduce the snap of the rode when it stretched out)
soggering -- being lazy and unassuming of responsibility
sou'wester -- a wind coming from the southwest
sounding -- diving
spreaders -- small spars between the mast and shrouds
spring line -- a line tied between two opposing forces that has a neutralizing effect on the force vectors, such as those creating by surge. At the dock with a bow line and stern line tied off, a spring line is often added to limit the working movements of a floating vessel even more.
sprit -- a spar that extends the bow of the boat
starboard -- right; on the right side of the boat
staysail -- On a cutter this is the sail located between the jib and the main sail
stern -- the rear of the boat
stow -- to store onboard
stores -- provisions stored onboard
studding out a sail -- extending a sail using a whisker pole
sump pump -- small pump for shower drainage
surge -- rising and falling of the sea, usually due to wave action
tack -- change the sail course by bringing its bow across the wind, moving the boom to the other side of the boat when beating
tack (of a sail) -- forward lower corner of a sail
taffrail log -- Walker log; a propeller drawn through the water that operates an odometer on the boat registering the distance sailed
tang -- a fitting on the mast for securing rigging
tender -- dinghy
the hard -- land
tonnage -- the weight, in tons, of a boat. Querencia weighs 7 tons net.
topping lift -- a line or wire for lifting the boom that runs from the top of the mast
torch -- old sailing term for lantern that throws out a beam of light. Now it also can refer to a flashlight.
trailing -- dragging, as in "dragging a line"
trimaran -- a boat with three hulls
underway -- moving under power of sail or motor
victuals -- food
vittles -- victuals
v-berth -- usually the forward berth of the boat, located in the bow
VHF -- very high frequency radio
watch - working shift
warp -- move a boat by hauling on lines attached to docks or anchors
whip -- rope rove
whisker pole -- a spar used to hold out the clew of the jib when running
winch -- mechanical device for hauling in a line
windlass -- winch for hauling in the anchor chain or line
wind rose -- a diagram usually shown on pilot charts that indicates the frequency and intensity of wind from different directions for a particular place
windward -- upwind
wing on wing -- running before the wind with sails on opposite sides such as the main on one side of the boat and the genny on the other
yar -- fit and beautiful (boat)
yaw, yawing -- to turn from side to side in an uneven course
zincs -- zinc plates attached to the hull to minimize electrolysis (and ultimate failure) of the metal in the rudder and other areas

Cover Dedication Acknowledgements Prologue Contents

Sailing the Dream 126,754 words
Copyrighted 1999-2009 by John F. McGrady
All rights reserved.


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