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Old 28-05-2012, 18:55   #46
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

as far as moving thru space and time--we all do that---my boat moves thru water.....
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Old 28-05-2012, 19:06   #47
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

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Originally Posted by Nostrodamus View Post
So when you learn to sail they throw all these nautical terms at you and along the way you also pick up some more.

Some people even use them in normal conversations for some reason.

I have been on boats with other skippers who will only ever use the correct nautical term for everything and if you don't know them the skipper can be a pain in the butt.

Now sailing with family and non boaty visitors I find it far easier to refer to left, right, back and front, the yellow rope (no the other yellow rope), bathroom etc.

Does nautical speak still have a place on a boat or is plain language the way to go?


Using nautical language IS plain language. We use port and starboard instead of left and right because they have differnet meanings. Port means "on the left AS YOU FACE THE BOW." So it never changes. Turn around and left is suddenly right.

There are reasons for all of it and it is important to use very clear terms on a boat.
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Old 28-05-2012, 19:28   #48
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Re: Do you use nautical terms or plain language.

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Alchemy.....you gave me a chuckle with this one for sure! As a fairly new sailor, even as our boats skipper, I stumble on my terms every now and then. But it appears that 'all the nautical terms' aren't as important to you as is the basic knowledge of quantum physics!

We should probably not sail together.....he he!
But it's true! Quantum physics doesn't enter into it...it's straight Newtonian. A boat moves relative to the shore, to the wave train and to objects (other boats, nav aids, ducks, awash containers) in the water, which themselves may be in motion at any speed or vector to one's boats.

So "everything's relative" takes on more importance. There's more to helming than making a lane change on a highway where the vectors (save during passing) are identical and the speeds are roughly equivalant.

I dunno. I think racing or a life avoiding the "door prize" as a bicycle courier gave me an appreciation for "closing angles" and other "oh, crap!" mental calculations when I'm running five to 20 tons of vessel at five to eight knots.

Still doesn't mean I'm the greatest docker. A whole other set of nautical language is required in that scenario.
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Old 28-05-2012, 19:47   #49
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

A good skipper is a good teacher. Eager crew learn quickly if a knowledgeable skipper understands how to work with them. Before someone takes over the strings on my boat, I make sure my new trimmer understands that the opposite of "ease" is "trim." Before someone takes a turn at the helm, I make sure they'll know what to do when I ask them to pinch up or foot off. I'll plant someone who doesn't have a job on the rail and teach them how to call a header from a lift.

The main job for rookie crew on my boat is to learn. Those who don't want to learn the lingo quickly devolve from being "crew" to being "passengers."

Everybody seems to get that distinction.
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Old 28-05-2012, 22:18   #50
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

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A Before someone takes over the strings on my boat, I make sure my new trimmer understands that the opposite of "ease" is "trim."
Therein is part of the issue. The opposite of "ease" is "harden". A good trimmer will ease or harden as needed. The old adage is "when in doubt, let it out."
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Old 28-05-2012, 23:01   #51
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

bla bla bla

C´mon, everyone! Are you really such a bunch of stuck-up sailors??

I will convert from landlubber to nautical to spanish to english and everything in between. What is important to me is that the crew / passengers do what I want them to do. If they get enthusiastic and want to learn more - great! If they do what they are supposed to do (pick up the red rope and pull hard) - great! If they do not understand the difference between red and blue, OK, there is a slight problem and then they can grab the beers and do the washing up.

Even going from izquierdo to left to port to babor has created problems, so, as the skipper, it is ALWAYS our responsibility. Maybe it is someone else´s fault (the crew / passenger??), but it is ALWAYS our responsibility as the skipper. Please note the difference in plain english, use a dictionary if you must, between FAULT and RESPONSIBILITY.

When I talk to IT people and they start getting technical on me, I just think they are twits who are trying to show off. I think any true skipper who does the same with inexperienced crew is the same.

When you give a command, you want it carried out. It is up to you, as the skipper, to ensure that the other person understands what you want to be done. If they don´t understand you and there is a f-up, it is still YOUR resposibility.... maybe it is their fault.... and yours as well for not checking on their verbal understanding before departure..... but it is always your responsibility.

So if you continue to blabber on in nautical language with people who have no clue as to what you are saying, please do not be surprised with the result.... and then please accept the consequences with a smile, grin, maniacal laugh... but do not get the shits with them!
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Old 28-05-2012, 23:22   #52
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nostrodamus View Post
So when you learn to sail they throw all these nautical terms at you and along the way you also pick up some more.

Some people even use them in normal conversations for some reason.

I have been on boats with other skippers who will only ever use the correct nautical term for everything and if you don't know them the skipper can be a pain in the butt.

Now sailing with family and non boaty visitors I find it far easier to refer to left, right, back and front, the yellow rope (no the other yellow rope), bathroom etc.

Does nautical speak still have a place on a boat or is plain language the way to go?
If I am sailing with newbies I use non-technical language with them to the extent needed but encourage them thru some use of jargon to pick up on said jargon.

When out with other sailors I use the jargon freely, the words are specific for certain uses and it decreases ambiguity and confusion.
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Old 28-05-2012, 23:39   #53
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

Thank you for the replies which made interesting reading.
I agree with some in that you have to tailor your language to suit the crew.
Sometimes if you speak in nautical terms they may not have your level of knowledge so be confused or not wanting to seem stupid do something that is totally wrong.
It is also intersecting that on occasions different skippers use different nautical terms to mean the same thing and this can also be confusing.
The main point is, I believe, that it is not the words you use but making yourself understood plainly or simply. This can be with nautical terms or otherwise.
In days gone by there were far more terms used and there had to be because of amount "rope" on a boat and sails. All the "rope" was of the same colour i should imagine. Do you now insist on telling someone to "pull the kicker" tighter when they are unsure which one it is or will you just say "Its the yellow one".
Come to that, if you expect your crew to know what to do and the nautical terms why have different coloured lines?
I enjoy taking friends out that have very little nautical experience and I want them to be part of it. I want them to join in and as skipper it is my decision after weighing up everything I see, hear and feel that I can let someone who is new gradually be part of that sailing experience. They can "steer" or "helm" if you wish and do what I want if I say turn right or left a little. If I tell them to luff up or bear away they will just look at me for more explanation.
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Old 29-05-2012, 07:28   #54
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

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Therein is part of the issue. The opposite of "ease" is "harden". A good trimmer will ease or harden as needed. The old adage is "when in doubt, let it out."
I noticed that...eheheheheh...

Re: "crew" vs. "passengers". I suggest to people that they are welcome to come sailing, but I emphasize that a) the boat may be more spartan than they care for, b) water is known to be wet, and c) I don't take passengers. Everyone is considered crew. Even those with French tips.

This tends to cull the herd a bit. I'm not harsh about it, but I let people know that they may handle (under instruction, with introductions to "nautical language") line or tillers, and the wine and crackers may have to wait until we tie up.

They get a "real sail" in return. For many people, it's the first time aboard a boat at all, beyond a ferry or something barge-like.

Learning a few nautical terms is not much to ask in return.
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Old 29-05-2012, 07:49   #55
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

There's a reason why there's a specific term for everything - an outhaul is not the same as a cunningham. A halyard is not the same thing as a sheet. The real question is if you don't use the proper terms, how do you make yourself understood? "That rope there that raises the big sail" is a lot more words (plus a point) than simply (and correctly) "the main halyard".
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Old 29-05-2012, 12:43   #56
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

Ex-Calif,
Most who invite me aboard know I've been teaching sailing many years and kind of ask me about proper terms and expect me to correct them. Some just don't invite me aboard. I don't mind.
Guess I'm turning into an old curmudgeon like a couple of my old WWII vet sailing instructors who would just as soon kick you in the behind if you didn't pick up the right line or tie the proper knot. They actually made some of their students cry and didn't pass every student they had. Can't do that anymore can we?
kind regards,
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Old 29-05-2012, 18:16   #57
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Quote:
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Ex-Calif,
Most who invite me aboard know I've been teaching sailing many years and kind of ask me about proper terms and expect me to correct them. Some just don't invite me aboard. I don't mind.
Guess I'm turning into an old curmudgeon like a couple of my old WWII vet sailing instructors who would just as soon kick you in the behind if you didn't pick up the right line or tie the proper knot. They actually made some of their students cry and didn't pass every student they had. Can't do that anymore can we?
kind regards,
Hence the prolifation of "participant" trophies. Everyone wins, no one fails...

I am looking forward to reaching salty, curmudgeon status...
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Old 29-05-2012, 18:30   #58
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

I just use whatever comes out of my mouth at the time. Sometimes that's the nautical term, sometimes its just, grab that thing over there
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Old 29-05-2012, 18:34   #59
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

I find I use them interchangeably. But then again, I toss in terms from various centuries and cultures too. Also sci fi terms. I read a lot.
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Old 29-05-2012, 21:44   #60
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

[QUOTE=SabreKai;960534 Also sci fi terms. [/QUOTE]

It funny! In space travel, nautical terms are also used.

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