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Mackerel Sky - A sky streaked with fine clouds, something in the manner of the stripes on the back of a mackerel.

Mackerel Tailed - A boat with a very sharp or fine after body. "Cod's bead and mackerel's tail" or "full forward and fine aft," once supposed to represent the form of least resistance.

Made - Built, as built mast, meaning that the mast is not made of one piece of timber, but by several pieces bound together like a cask. A term of reproach to a boat builder when applied to his work, in contradistinction to the regular term "built." In modern terms "Who made that Coronado 27?"

Main - The open ocean. The principal, as mainmast, main boom, main stay, main sail.

Main Breadth - The extreme breadth of a vessel.

Main Course - The main sail of a square rigged ship.

Main Keel - The keel proper, and not the keelson or false keel.

Mainmast - the tallest mast or vertical spar of the ship; on a schooner, the mast furthest aft; on a brig, ketch or yawl the furthest foreward.

Mainsail - The lowest square sail on the mainmast.

Mainsheet - The rope or tackle which holds the aft clew of the main sail, or main boom.

Mainsheet Horse or Traveler - A mainsheet horse is frequently used in small boats, and for racing craft in large yachts as well. Less mainsheet is required on a wind when the lower block travels on a horse, and therefore the boom cannot lift so much and assist in throwing the sail in a bag. In a seaway, however, there is some advantage in having more drift between the blocks than would be very likely given if a horse were used. For small boats, to obviate the shifting of the mainsheet from side to side in tacking, the horse is of advantage. The foresheet can travel on a horse if the boat be decked or half decked.

Maintopman - The mainmast headman of a schooner to pass the lacing of a topsail, keep the topsail yard clear.

Make Fast - To securely belay a rope or join two ropes.

Make Ready There - An order sometimes given to prepare to tack or lower a sail, as "Make ready for going about there !" the " there" referring to the crew.

Make Sail - To set sails. To add to sails already set. To shake out reefs to commence sailing after laying to.

Make Stern Way - To drive astern as a vessel sometimes will in tacking by getting in irons or through the head sails being thrown aback.

Making the Land - After losing sight of the land to approach and sight it.

Making Water - Leaking. A vessel is said to make no water if she is so tight that none ever gets through into the hull.

Man - To apply manual power to anything, as "Man the capstan," "Man the boat.

Man Overboard! - A shout of alarm made on board ship when a man gets overboard by accident. In such cases it is not usual to wait for orders, everyone joins in if he sees he can be of service in throwing a life. buoy, helping to launch a boat, jumping over. board.

Mansard - An architectural term, but used in America for a booby hatch or raised deck. A mansard roof to a house is a light structure above the masonry. It took its name from Mansard, a French architect of the 17th century.

Man Ship - An old-fashioned custom in the Navy of mustering the crew along the bulwarks to cheer upon parting company or meeting another ship after racing. Losing yachts man the weather deck or bulwarks and cheer a victorious yacht, a custom probably derived from the practice in "fighting days" of one war ship cheering another which was an enemy.

Mariner - A sailor. Two hundred years ago it was spelled "maryner," and appears to have only been applied to men who were perfect as seamen. Thus, from a muster roll made in the seventeenth century, we find so many men set down as maryners" and so many as "seafaring men."

Marks - The pieces of leather, on a lead-line (see "Lead.") In sounding it is usual to say, "By the mark" if the depth of water accords to a mark; if there be no "mark," as between three and five fathoms, the leadsman says, "By the deep four." The marks on the side of a ship which determine how much load or tonnage she can carry under different conditions. Also the designed waterline

Marle - To hitch spun yarn round a rope to secure its parts, or round a hank of yarn to secure it.

Marline - A light twine which has been tarred.

Marline Spike - An iron implement tapering to a sharp point, used to open the strands of rope for splicing, to turn eye bolts, &c.

Martingale - A strut or spreader for the bobstay, formerly termed a dolphin striker on big ships.

Mast - Main vertical spar used to support sails and their running rigging and in turn is supported by standing rigging

Mast Carlines or Carlings - Pieces of timber fitted fore and aft between the beams to support the mast.

Mast Hoops - The hoops to which the luff of fore and aft sails are seized to keep the sail to the mast.

Mast Rope - The heel rope by which a topmast is sent up and lowered; sometimes termed heel rope.

Mast Step - Fitting or construction into which the base of the mast is placed.

Master - The captain of a ship.

Masthead - The part of a mast above the hounds. To masthead is to hoist anything up to the truck, &c.

Masthead Light - The white light which power vessels are required to exhibit at the masthead when under way.

Masthead Man - In yacht parlance, the man who goes aloft to lace a topsail.

Masthead Pendants - The pendants and runners which help support the mast.

Masthead Rig - A design in which the forestay runs to the peak of the mast.

Mate - An officer next in command to a master.

Maul - A heavy hammer used by shipwrights.

Meaking Iron - An implement used to extract old caulking from seams.

Measurement - Formerly written admeasurement. The computation of a vessel's tonnage by certain rules.

Mechanical advantage (or purchase) - A mechanical method of increasing an applied force. Disregarding the effects of friction, if a force of 100 pounds applied to a tackle is magnified to a force of 400 pounds, the purchase or mechanical advantage is said to be four to one, or 4:1.

Meet Her - When a vessel begins to fly to or run off the wind, to stop her doing so by the helm. Generally to check a vessel's tendency to yaw by using the helm.

Meet, To - To meet a vessel with the helm is after the helm has been put one way to alter her course to put it the other way to stop the course being altered any further. This is also called "checking with the helm."

Mess - The number of officers or men who eat together. Also Disorder; entanglement.

Metre or meter.-- 1 Metre =3.280899 feet, 1 Square Metre = 10.7643 square feet. To convert linear feet into metres multiply by 0.30479 or 0.305; to convert linear metres into feet multiply by 3.28 ; to convert square feet into square metres multiply by 0.0929 ; to convert square metres into square feet multiply by 10.764.

Midship - Approximately in the location equally distant from the bow and stern.

Mile - See "Knot."

Missing Stays - To fail in an attempt to tack, or to go from one tack to the other.

Mizzen - A fore and aft sail flown on the mizzenmast.

Mizzen Bumpkin. A short spar that extends from the taffrail aft for the lower block of the mizen sheet to be hooked to. Most modern yachts have this bumpkin generally crooked downwards, the reason given being that the downward crook shows up the sheer of the yacht. A more practical reason, however, can be given, and that is, if a bobstay is used, a more effective purchase is obtained for it.

Mizzenmast - In a ship the after mast or vertical spar. So also in a yawl or ketch.

Mizzen Staysail - A sail set "flying" from a yawl's mizenmast head to an eye bolt on deck forward of the mizenmast. Generally set with a quarterly wind.

Monkey Deck - A false deck built over a permanent deck. Often used in the bow of larger sailing ships, foreward of the anchor windlass and provides a working platform arond the portion of the bowsprit as it attaches to the ship.


Moment - A weight or force multiplied by the length of the lever upon which it acts. Sail moment generally means the area of sails and the pressure of wind upon them multiplied by the distance the centre of effort is above the centre of lateral resistance, which represents the length of lever.

Momentum - A force represented by a weight and the velocity with which it is moved.

Moon - Sailors say there will be a moon at such and such a date, meaning that there will be a new moon or full moon, from which the time of high water is calculated.

Moor - To anchor by two cables.

Mooring - An arrangement for securing a boat to a mooring buoy or a pier.

Mooring Rings - The rings by which the chain is attached to large stones or other weights and used for moorings.

Morning Watch - The watch from 4 AM to 8 AM

Moulded - The depth a timber is made between its curved surfaces as distinct from its siding, which is the thickness between its flat surfaces.

Moulded Breadth - The greatest breadth of a vessel without the plank.

Moulds - Curves used by draftsmen. The skeleton frames made by shipwrights to cut the frames by.

Mousings - Yarns wound round the jaws of hooks to prevent them becoming detached.

'Mudian Rig - A contraction of "Bermudian rig."

Muslin - A slang term given to the sails: generally applied to balloon sails.

Muzzle - To seize an unruly sail and press the wind out of it in lowering.

Muzzler - A strong wind which blows directly down a vessel's intended course. Synonymous with "nose-ender."


Nail-sick - On a clench-built boat when the nail fastenings have become loose in a boat

Narrowing - The wind is said to "narrow" when it blows at a smaller angle from ahead, or 'shorten,' which term refer to.

Nautical Mile - One minute of latitude; variously approximated as either 6076 feet or 6080 feet - about 1/8 longer than the statute mile of 5280 feet.


Navigation - The art and science of conducting a boat safely from one point to another.

Navigation Regulations (or COLREGS) - The regulations governing the movement of vessels in relation to each other, generally called steering and sailing rules.

Neaped - The situation of a vessel that gets ashore during high water at spring tides, and as the tides get shorter every day towards the neap tides she cannot be floated off till the next spring tides. Generally termed be-neaped.

Neap Tides - The tides which occur between new and full moon; spring tides being at or near the new and full moon.

Near - Very close to the wind, so that the sails shake or lift.

Near the Wind - Close to wind; generally used in a sense to convey the meaning that the vessel is too near the wind, as "She's near forward," meaning that the head sails are shaking or lifting. (See "Nip.")

Nettles - Small lines or ropes used to support hammocks when they are slung under the beams. Also reef points are sometimes termed nettles.

News - The intimation conveyed sternly to the watch below to turn up when they do not obey the first summons, as "Do you hear the news there, sleepers?"

Niggling - Sailing close to the wind or too close.

Nip - A short bight in a rope, such as the part that goes round a sheave. To nip a vessel is to sail her very close, or too close, to the wind.

Nippering - Joining a rope by cross turns.

Neck - The weather corner of a gaff sail. The throat.

No Nearer - An order given to a steersman not to luff any more, or not to bring the vessel any closer to wind. When sailing free a course is frequently given to the steersman thus, W.S.W. and no nearer; or S.E. and no nearer, which may be varied "Nothing to windward of W.S.W."

Nosebag -A name given to a jib, generally meaning a jib that is too big for the after sail; or a jib that bellies out into a bag.

Nor'-easter - A storm description common to the NE United States.

Nor'-wester - A stiff glass of grog, usually rum.

Nose-ender - Dead on end. A wind which blows directly down a vessel's intended course, involving a dead beat. (See "Muzzler.")

Noose - A slip knot or running bight in a rope.

Number - The number of a ship; hence when a ship "makes her number" she hoists the signal flag denoting her number so that her name may be read. Also the number of a seaman on a ship's book. "To lose the number of the mess" is to fail to appear at mess through desertion, drowning, or sudden death.


Oar - Device used to propel small boats by rowing


Oars! - An order given to cease rowing and toss up the oars. (See "Lay in Oars.")

Off - The opposite to near (which see), as "Off the wind." "Nothing off" is an order given to a helmsman to steer nothing to leeward of a particular course, or to sail nothing off the wind, but to keep the vessel full and bye. (See "No Nearer.")

Off and On - Beating along a shore by a board off and then a board on.

Offing - Away from the land, seaward. To make an offing is to sail away clear of the land.

"Off She Goes!" - The shout raised when a vessel begins to move down the ways at launching.

Oil on Troubled Waters - Placing an amount of oil on the water to smoo the surface and prevent wave crests from breaking. See Addendum

Oilskins also Foulies or FoulWeather Gear - Waterproof clothing worn by sailors.

On - In the direction of, as "on the bow," "on the beam," "on the quarter," "on for that buoy."

On a Bow line - Close-hauled. Generally applied to the square rig when a ship has her bowlines hauled taut to keep the leeches of the sails from shaking when she is close-hauled.

On on Easy Bowline - Not quite close-hauled; a good full.

On a Wind - Close-hauled; not off the wind.

On End - A mast is said to be on end when in its place; literally, standing on its end. Generally applied to topmasts.

One, Two, Three, Haul! - A cry raised by the foremost hand in hauling on a tackle. All hands throw their whole weight and strength on the rope or fall at the word "Haul!"

Open - Upon sailing round a point or headland when an object comes into view.

Opposite Tacks - When of two vessels one is on the port tack and the other on starboard tack.

Ordinary Seaman - A young sailor not yet efficient in his duties so as to entitle him to the rank of A.B. or Able Bodied Seaman

Outer and Inner Turns - In bending a sail to a yard, the outer turns haul the sail out taut along the yard, the inner turns secure the sail.

Outboard - Toward or beyond the boat's sides. A detachable engine mounted on a boat's stern.

Outhaul - Usually a line or tackle, an outhaul is used to pull the clew of the mainsail towards the end of the boom, thus tightening the foot of the sail. A rope or tackle by which a sail is hauled out on a spar, as distinct from an inhaul by which it is hauled inboard.

Outrigger - A contrivance of some sort for extending a sail or stay outboard. A name for a kind of rowboat which has the rowlocks extended beyond the boat's side by iron rod brackets.

Over-canvassed - Too much canvas.

Overfalls - The rough water caused by the tide pouring over a rough or precipitous bottom.

Overhang - The portions of the hull which project beyond the waterline fore and aft.

Overboard - Over the side or out of the boat.

Overhaul - To overtake another vessel; to loosen the parts of a tackle; to ease up, to slacken, or free the fall of a tackle; to slacken or "lighten up" a rope.

Overlay - When any part, spars and sails included, of one vessel covers or overlaps any pert of another vessel.

Over-masted - Masts that are too large or long for a vessel.

Over-rigged - Generally more rigging, spars, and canvas than a vessel will properly bear.

Over-set - To cause a capsize.

Overshoot a Mark - To go up to a mark with too much way on so that the vessel shoots past it.

Over-reach or Overstand - To stand so long on a reach that upon tacking the vessel can fetch much farther to windward of a mark than was necessary or desirable.

Overtake - To approach a vessel that is sailing ahead. The "rule of the road" is that an overtaking vessel must keep clear of the vessel she overtakes; the vessel so overtaken must, however, keep her course steadily. In competitive yacht sailing this rule is somewhat different, as it allows the vessel that is overtaken to alter her course to windward to prevent the other passing her to windward; she must not, however, alter her course to leeward to prevent the overtaking


Paint - Oil colour used for preserving wood and iron.

Painter - A rope spliced to a ring bolt in the bow of a boat to make fast by at wharves, steps, or other landing places. "To let go the painter" is figuratively to depart.

Palm - The guard and thimble used by sail makers. Also the fluke of an anchor.

Paltry - A wind is said to be paltry which is light and intermittent, or varying a great deal in direction and force; baffling.

Parbuckle - To roll a spar, cask, &c., by placing it in the bight of a rope, one end of which is fast, the other hauled upon.

Parcel - To cover a rope with strips of canvas painted or otherwise. The canvas is wound round the rope and stitched or "served" with marline.

Parrel or Parral - Ropes or irons used to secure yards at the slings to the mast; rope parrels are commonly rove through balls of wood, so that they hoist easily on the mast. Parrels are used on the jaws of a gaff. An eye is usually spliced in either end of a parrel.

Part - To break, to burst asunder, as the "fore stay parted about half way up to the eye."

Partners - A strong frame of timber fixed between the deck beams to receive and support the mast, termed mast partners, but some times termed carlines.

Pass - To reeve, as pass a lacing or earing. Also to hand a thing one from another.

Passage - A voyage. To carry a person from one place to another is to give a passage.

Paul or Pawl - An iron stop used to prevent the back recoil of the barrel of a windlass.

Pawl Bitt - A long timber from the deck to the keelson forming one of the bowsprit bitts.

Pay - To run hot pitch and tar, or marine glue, &c., into seams after they are caulked.

Pay Off - When a vessel's head goes off to leeward by virtue of the head sails being put aback or the helm being put up.

Pay Out - to feed line over the side of the boat, hand over hand. To veer or slack out chain or rope

Peak -

The upper after corner of gaff sails, gaff topsails, lugsails, &c. A sail is said to have a great deal of peak when the gaff or yard makes a small angle with a vertical. A low peak means a fiat-headed sail. (See "Fore Peak.")

Peak Downhaul - A rope rove through a single block at the gaff end to haul upon when lowering the mainsail.

Peak Halyards - The halyards by which the peak of a sail is hoisted.

Peak Purchase - A tackle attached to one end of the peak halyards.

Pedestal - A vertical post in the cockpit used to elevate the steering wheel into a convenient position

Pendant. A stout rope or wire to which tackles are attached. Also used to change the position of sails by lengthening the distance at tack or head

Pier - A loading platform extending at an angle from the shore.

Pile - A wood, metal or concrete pole driven into the bottom. Craft may be made fast to a pile; it may be used to support a pier (see PILING) or a float.

Pile Driving - Pitching heavily and frequently in a short steep sea.

Piling - Support, protection for wharves, piers; constructed of piles

Pilot - A person who takes charge of a ship in narrow or dangerous channels, and, who from his local knowledge of the same, can, or ought to, avoid the dangers of stranding.

Pilothouse - a small cabin on the deck of the ship that protects the steering wheel and the crewman steering.

Piloting - Navigation by use of visible references and the depth of the water

Pintles - The metal hooks by which rudders are attached to the gudgeon sockets.

Pipe - To summon men to duty by a whistle from the boatswain's call.

Pipe Up - The wind is said to pipe up when it increases in strength suddenly.

Pitching - The plunging motion of a vessel when she dives by the head; the opposite motion to 'scending, which is rising by the head and sinking by the stern.

Planking - The outside skin of a vessel; plank laid on the frames or beams of a vessel whether inside or outside.

Plank Sheer - The outside plank at the deck edge which reaches the timber heads, and shows the sheer of the vessel. Also the same as covering board.


Planing - A boat is said to be planing when it is essentially moving over the top of the water rather than through the water.

Planing Hull - A type of hull shaped to glide easily across the water at high speed.


Platform - The floor of a cabin.

Ply to Windward - Plying to windward is synonymous with beating to windward.

Points.-- See "Reef Points." See "Compass Points"

Point the Yards - To brace them up sharp when at anchor, so that they shall not feel the full force of the wind.

Point, To - A vessel is said to point well when she lies very close to the wind. A term more used in America than in this country. Out point, to point higher.

Pole - The part of a topmast about the shoulders.

Pole Mast - A long mast without a topmast, but with a long "pole" or piece above the hounds.

Poop - The raised part of a vessel at her extreme after end. To be pooped is when running before the wind a sea breaks in over the stern.

Port - The left side of a boat looking forward. A harbor. Formerly also termed larboard; but larboard should never be used in conning the helm, owing to the possibility of its being mistaken for starboard. To port the helm is to put the tiller to port so that the vessel's head goes to starboard. The term "port" is of uncertain origin, but it occurs in Arthur Pitt's Voyage, 1580. It is thought it means the side of the ship next to the dock or pier as the starboard or steer board side was kept opposite to protect the steering gear.

Port Lights - Circular or square glass lights in the sides of a vessel.

Ports and Portholes - Square holes in the side of a ship for the guns, &c.

Port Sills - The bottom framing of a port hole to which the lower half-port or shutter is hinged, also the frame to which the upper half-port is attached.

Pram Bow - A form of bow employed in sailing yachts reintroduced in modified form about 1892 and gradually exaggerated until 1900. A modified form of pram bow is the best form for lifting the head of the vessel over the seas and is suitable for cruising as well as racing yachts. In a pram bow the profile is a convex curve like the line of a mussel's shell and the transverse half sections are somewhat similar convex curves meeting at the stem. In a modified pram bow, or mussel bow, the angle of the curves of the transverse half sections at the stem is sharp or acute, and in the extreme pram bow, or spoon bow, the angle at the stem is obtuse or bluff or even obliterated until the transverse bow section is U shaped.

Pram or Praam - A dinghy or boat with a shovel bow, used in Holland and the Baltic.

Preserving a Boat - All small boats, if possible, should be hauled out of water or beached when not in use. Whenever the varnish or paint becomes worn, the boat should be recoated.

Press of Sail - All the sail a vessel dare carry.

Preventers - Additional ropes, stays, tackles used to prevent spars being carried away if their proper stays give out, as preventer backstays for the topmast, preventer bobstay. A preventer is also any rope or lashing used to prevent something giving way.

Privateer - An armed vessel, privately owned, carrying a licence or "letters-of-marque" from the Government empowering her to snake war on the enemy's ships. In no way to be confounded with a pirate, although in some instances such vessels may have degenerated into pirates. Privateering is not permitted under our present laws.

Priveleged Vessel - A vessel which, according to the applicable Navigation Rule, has right-of-way (this term has been superseded by the term "stand-on").

Protest - A declaration that a yacht has net conformed to sailing rules; also a term used by the Commissioner of Wrecks in case of a wreck being reported.

Puddening - A sort of fender made of old rope, for a boat's stem.

Puff - A gust of wind. A free puff is when it enables a vessel to luff; a foul puff when it breaks her off.

Pulpit - A metal framework on deck at the bow. Provides a safety railing and serves as an attachment for the lifelines.

Puncheon - A certain sized cask.

Puncheons - A part of the framework of a deckhouse. It is a kind of pilaster morticed into the coaming, and is the principal support of the deckhouse roof.

Punt - A small boat or dinghy.

Purchase - A tackle; any contrivance for increasing mechanical power.

Pushpit - pulpit located on the stern.

Put About - To tack. To put about another vessel is to cause her to tack.

Put In - To call at a port or harbour.

Put Off - To leave, as to leave a ship's side or the shore


Quarter - The sides of a boat aft of amidships.

Quarter Deck - The deck abaft the main mast where the crew are not allowed unless duty calls them there.

Quarter Fast - A warp or rope made fast to the quarter; a quarter spring.

Quarter Master - A petty officer who steers on large vessels and sees that the orders of the officer of the watch are properly executed,

Quartering Sea - Sea coming on a boat's quarter.

Quarter Timbers - Large pieces of timber secured to the transom frame, to help form the counter.

Quarter Watch - When the two watches are subdivided into four watches, so that only one quarter of the crew is on deck at one time; sometimes observed in light weather.

Quarter Wind - The wind that blows on the quarter, or four or more points abaft the beam but not dead aft.

Quarters - That part of a yacht or ship nearest the stern

Queen topsail - small stay sail located between the foremast and mainmast.


Rabbet or Rebate - An angular channel or groove cut in the keel, stem, or sternpost. to receive the edges or ends of the plank.

Race - A competition between yachts. A strong current or tide running over an uneven bottom producing overfalls.

Racking - A rope or seizing used to lash the parts of a tackle together, by taking several turns, so as to keep them from running through the blocks, whilst the fall is cast off for some purpose, or whilst one hand belays the fall made fast to some fixture by one end and then passed round and round a rope to hold the latter by.

Raffee - A square topsail set flying on the foretopmast of schooners, and formerly often set on cutters and ketches above the squaresail. Sometimes this topsail is triangular in shape, like a scraper.

Rail - The timber fitted on to the heads of the bulwark stanchions. Called also "top rail."

Rainbow Fashion - A ship dressed with flags from the jibboom end over the trucks to the taffrail.

Raising Iron - A sort of chisel for removing; the paying and caulking from seams.

Raising Tacks and Sheets - To lift the clews of lower square sails before tacking or wearing.

Rake - To lean forward or aft from the vertical, as raking masts, raking sternposts, raking stem. The fore or aft angle of the mast. Can be deliberately induced (by adjustment of the standing rigging) to flatten sails, balance steering, etc. Normally slightly aft.


Rakish - A vessel that has a look of speed about her, probably originating from the fast schooners of former days that had raking masts.


Ramp - In close-hauled sailing, to sail a vessel along a heavy full without easing up the sheets.

Ramping Full - Every sail bellying, full of wind--not too close-hauled.

Range - Scope. To range is to sheer about when at anchor; to range the cable, to place a lot on deck in fakes ready for veering out.-- To give a range of cable is to veer out enough in letting go the anchor to bring the vessel up without causing much strain to come on the bitts.-- To go near to, as to range up to windward, to range up alongside, &c.

Rap Full - The same as ramping full.

Rate of a Chronometer - The daily loss or gain of a chronometer in relation to mean time.

Ratlines or Ratlins - The small lines which cross the shrouds horizontally, and form the rungs of a ladder.

Rattle Down - To fix ratlines to the shrouds.

Reaching - Sailing by or along the wind. A "reach" is the distance sailed between tacks, and means the same as board. To "reach" another vessel is to pass her. In reaching a schooner of 150 tons, say, will pass a cutter of 100 tons; that is, will "fore-reach" her, hat the cutter holding a better wind will generally keep the weather gauge. A" reach" is a distance a yacht can sail from point to point without tacking, and may he sailed with sheets eased up. Broad reach is with the boom well off the quarter. A reach is also the distance from bend to bend in a river or channel.

Ready About! - The order given to prepare for tacking.

Ready, All! - Everybody make ready.

Reef - To shorten sail by reefing. Also to shorten a spar, as to take a reef in the bowsprit.

Reef Band - A strip of canvas sewn across the sail in which the eyelet holes are worked to receive the reef points.

Reef Cringles - The large cringles in the leeches of sails through which the reef pendants are rove and tacks or sheets hooked.

Reef Pendant (called also "reef earing") - A short and strong rope (with a Matthew Walker knot in one end). One end of the pendant is passed up through a hole in the cleat on one side of the boom and stopped by the knot in the end. The other end is then passed through the reef cringle in the sail and down through the sheave hole on the other side of the boom. Reef pendants are rove on opposite sides.

Reef points - A horizontal line of light lines on a sail which may be tied loosely around the sail or in some cases to the boom, reducing the area of the sail during heavy winds.

Reef Tackle - The tackle hooked to the reef pendants.


Reeve - To put a rope through a hole of any kind.

Render - To slacken or ease up. A rope is said to render when it slackens up or slips from a belaying pin or cavel.

Ribbands - Long pieces of plank or timber, usually three-sided, and sometimes called harpings, secured to the frames of a vessel in a fore-and-aft direction, when she is building, and representing the dividing lines or geodetic lines.

Ribs - The frames or timbers of a ship or boat.

Ride - To rest at anchor or to be held by an anchor.

Ridge Ropes - The ropes rove through the eyes of metal stanchions fitted in the top rail.

Riding Down - When men go aloft and hang on the halyards and assist by their weight in hoisting sails.

Riding Light - The white globular lantern hung on the forestay of vessels when riding at anchor.

Riding Turn - When the last turn of a rope crosses or rides over the previous torn on a bollard &c. to jam it.

Rig - The arrangement of a vessel's spars, rigging, and sails, as schooner rig, cutter rig, lugger rig. To rig is to fit the spars with rigging, &c. To rig out is to fit out.

Rigging - the lines that hold up the masts and move the sails (standing and running rigging).

Right Away - In the direction of. An American term for quickly out of hand, or move ahead.

Right Hand Rope - Rope laid up or twisted with the sun.

Right, to - To bring a vessel back to the upright position after she has been heeled.

Ring Bolt - A bolt with an eye and a ring through the eye.

Ring Tail - The studding sail of a gaff sail.

Rings - Brass or yellow metal rings used in place of rooves for bolt clinching.

Rising Floor - Distinct from fiat floored or fiat bottomed; sharp bottomed.

Risings - Stringers fitted inside small heats to strengthen them and support the thwarts.

Roach - The curved portion of a sail extending past a straight line drawn between two corners. In a mainsail, the roach extends past the line of the leech between the head and the clew and is often supported by battens; formerly the allowance made for the bellying of a sail.

Roadstead - An open anchorage.

Roaring Calm - An Equatorial calm.

Roaring Forties - This term originated with the tearing winds which blow in the South Atlantic between lat. 30 and 50 S.

Rocker - The upward curvature of the keel towards the bow and stern.

Rockered Keel - A keel whose ends curve upwards thus \_/.

Rode - The anchor line and/or chain.

Roller reefing - Reduces the area of a sail by rolling it around a stay, the mast, or the boom. Most common on headsails.

Rolling - The transverse motions of a ship when amongst waves.

Room and Space - The distance from the centre of one frame to the centre of another.

Rope - General term for cordage used in various applications aboard. Made of natural (grass line) or synthetic fibers. Prior to the use of synthetics ropes are of three kinds; three-strand, four-strand, and cable-laid. A number of yarns twisted together forms a strand. Three-strand rope is laid righthanded, or with the sun (sometimes termed hawser-laid). Four-strand rope is also laid with the sun (sometimes termed strand-laid). Four-strand rope is usually used for sheets and shrouds, pendants, and generally for standing rigging. All rope comes under the general term of cordage. Cable-laid rope consists of three ""three-strand' right-hand laid ropes laid up together into one these ropes are laid left-handed against the sun. Right-hand laid rope must be coiled with the sun ; cable-laid rope is coiled against the sun. In general, cordage as it is purchased at the store. When it comes aboard a vessel and is put to use it becomes line, halyards, sheets or some other name which identifies it's use. In modern terms the only ropes usually found in use on a sailing boat are the bell rope and the bolt rope.

Rough-tree Rail - The top rail fitted to the stanchion above the bulwarks.

Round In - To haul in on a rope.

Round To - To bring by the wind. To come up head to wind. A vessel is said to "'go round , when she goes about.

Rowed Turn - To pass a rope twice round a pin or cleat so as to make a complete circle.

Rove - The condition of a line that has been passed through a sheave hole or through any aperture.

Rowlocks - The fittings on the gunwale to receive the tholes or crutches for the oars.

Royal - The sail next above the topgallant sail.

Rub-rail - Also rubbing strake or rub strake. An applied or thickened member at the rail, running the length of the boat; serves to protect the hull when alongside a pier or another boat.

Rudder - A vertical plate or board for steering a boat.

Rudder Trunk - The trunk fitted in the counter to receive the rudder post into which the tiller is fitted.

Ruff or Roove - A small, slightly conical ring of copper placed over boat nails before clinching in boat building.

Rules Of The Road - Rules governing operation of all types and sizes of vessels afloat divided into Inland Rules and COLREGS which are the International agreements for offshore sailing.

Run - To allow a line to feed freely. n.-- The under part of a vessel aft defined by the buttock lines and water lines. To sail before the wind. To come down by the run is to lower or overhaul without warning, or suddenly. To run away with a rope is to take hold of a fall and haul on it by running along the deck.

Run Down - To foul a vessel or other object wrongfully or by accident.

Run Foul Of - To get into collision with a vessel or other object.

Run Out - To veer out a warp or cable.

Run Over - The same as run down. Generally denoting carelessness in bringing about a collision.

Runners - A rope passed through a single block on a pendant with a purchase at one end. Also seamen who sail by the run.

Running Backstay - Also runner, or preventive backstay. A stay that supports the mast from aft, usually from the quarter rather than the stern. When the boat is sailing downwind, the runner on the leeward side of the mainsail must be released so as not to interfere with the sail.

Running Bowsprit - A bowsprit that is fitted to run in and out and "reef" like an old cutter's. Since 1900 most yachts have their bowsprits fitted in a shoe. Running Bowsprits also enable a boat to measure less length overall which is useful when berthing in marinas.

Running by the Lee - To run with the boom on one quarter when the wind is blowing on the other quarter. A dangerous proceeding.

Running Off her Helm - Said of a vessel if, when sailing, her stern flies up to windward (her head apparently going off to leeward) and lee helm is necessary to bring her to.

Running Rigging - The parts of the rigging made to overhaul or run through blocks, as distinct from that set up by lanyards, shackles. The adjustable portion of the rigging, used to control sails and equipment.

Running Lights - Lights required to be shown on boats underway between sundown and sunup.

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