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Old 31-05-2012, 00:57   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nostrodamus
On a practical sailing exam I was asked to sit at the back of the boat and instruct my pretend novice crew on how to put in a reef by verbal commands only. (testing knowledge and how you spoke to the crew)
After about half an hour they managed it and I was only just managing my frustration.
I was then told to put the same reef in on my own. It took less than five minutes.
If you ever want to test yourself it is an excellent exercise and if you ask for from feedback from the crew you will realise how differently we all give commands and how clear you are making yourself.
Four of us did a similar exercise over the week and one (it has to be said he was pretty obnoxious) chap totally lost it just shouting at everyone. It was good to give him feedback in some pretty plain language
Reminds me of building the C02 filter for Apollo 13. How'd ya like to work under that kind of pressure with just a scratchy radio between you and the crew?

"Put the what in the where? Can you email me a photo? How about a fax diagram?"

New crew can be excused. Trained crew better know the names for stuff...
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Old 31-05-2012, 05:01   #77
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

Some problems I see with using terms like "Left" and "Right", "Front" and "Back" to the exclusion of nautical terms like "Port" and "Starboard", "Forrard" and "Aft":

1) The nautical terms have evolved to sound quite different and distinctive, even after being 'enhanced' by the wind's shriek and the flailing of canvas.
These cunning points of difference include different vowels (all of which incidentally lend themselves to far-carrying voice production), different consonants and different number of syllables. (Some used to be almost indistinguishable, before "port" replaced "larboard": bad idea, hence died out, perhaps partly by Darwinian selection ;-) )

2) When someone's standing in the galley, calling to you at the helm for directions to find the fire extinguisher, you don't know which way they're facing. Do you really want to be saying "If you're facing left it's on your left side", instead of "Aft" ?
Or imagine it's behind the stove, but the stove is facing inboard. "Behind the stove" is not the same as "Aft of the stove"
And "Inside" does not mean the same as "Inboard": one is for 3D space, the other for a 2D representation (plan view) of space.

3) If you you don't expect ever to sail with someone again, AND you don't expect them to go sailing with any regularity, it makes little sense to try and introduce nautical terminology.
In all other cases, I can't see the point in not making a start. Otherwise they'll never get past the point of always having to internally translate between (say) 'port' and 'left', which is undesirable, especially considering they don't mean the same thing.

I've got about another three points to go but I get the feeling anyone who's interested would not be reading anything they did not already know.

The possibility also occurs to me that people who are routinely not clear in their directions might be expected to be oblivious to their part in any confusion which results.
Otherwise they'd surely change their ways.

Strong emotional reactions to terminology which has evolved for specialised activities may have less to do with the agenda of those who evolved it, and more to do with the world view of those experiencing the reactions.
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Old 31-05-2012, 05:12   #78
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

the pointy end goes frontwardly, right?
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Old 31-05-2012, 07:23   #79
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

It's funny how it gets to you, just before I left to go cruising I went into a garage to get a new tyre put on the car to sell it, they asked which wheel and without thinking I said port aft, I got a funny look!
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Old 31-05-2012, 07:58   #80
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

Even the much loved "pointy end" is confusing on a double ender.

And consider "go back to the pointy end"; just what would that mean on a double ender???
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Old 31-05-2012, 08:47   #81
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

Positional information seems to be best delivered in nautical terminology, but "head" and "bathroom" seem to be used interchangeably in our family, with the exception of the actual item, as in "the head's pump is acting clogged again." We also occasionally refer to kitchen rather than galley, although overhead seems to be firmly established rather than ceiling. Lines have to be referred to correctly, for obvious reasons, but I have a plastic-label Dymo electric labeler, so the switches on the electrical panels and the various halyards/topping lift are all clearly labeled at the line brakes. Labeling helps a lot with getting the family into practice, really!
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Old 31-05-2012, 10:57   #82
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

pointy end goes forwardly unless in reverse, then the flat end best be in forwardly motion.
met a female 50 tonner so proud of her license that no one else had any branes. she rarely if ever used nautical terminology yet demanded respect for and of her licensure....was great bad comedy.....
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Old 31-05-2012, 12:53   #83
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarafina View Post
One very fine day the fact that someone didn't know what a sheet was landed us all in the water. Of course at that point he couldn't even process "Let go of the ROPE" either, so sometime nothin is gonna help.
Had a similar situation with a non-nautical guest trying to help corral a flailing Genoa during a jibe. Unfortunately I could not get him to let go of the sheet, even when calling it a line or rope. Finally, after repeating the command, "Let go of that line!" in a very loud voice, he got the message and let it run free.

Having grown up on a farm in Wisconsin and never having seen the ocean, I was forced to learn nautical terms very quickly my first summer at the U.S. Naval Academy. After using them exclusively over the following 20 year career, I naturally use them on our boats. BTW, the submarine force has a book that lists the precise name for nearly every piece of equipment on board, how it is to be pronounced, and its authorized abbreviation. A submarine is one place that precise communication is even more important than on a sailboat in heavy weather. Imagine the problems that would arise should the word "no" be confused with "blow" (as in main ballast tanks [MBT])!

My family picked up nautical terminology mainly by osmosis. I know my wife so well now after 35 years that even when she refers to "that thing back there", I can usually figure out what she is talking about, even when she really meant someplace forward. Interestingly with her dyslexia, she confuses port and starboard less than left and right. That means that instead of asking her to turn left or right (which is accepted naval terminology), I will ask her to turn to port or starboard.

When we have non-nautical guests, I usually use the correct nautical term when referring to something the first time, followed by a plain English explanation. Subsequent referrals are with the nautical term followed by English explanation as necessary until they learn the nautical term.

One distinction I still wrestle with, though, is window vs. hatch vs. porthole. Two openings in the forward center of our saloon are large rectangles set at an angle off verticle. They look like hatches because of size and shape but function as portholes. Attached is one propped open with our high-tech Gatorade bottle.

The openings in the sides of our boat are rectangular with rounded corners so calling them portholes, which are normally round, just doesn't seem right. I have started calling them "side ports" instead.
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Old 31-05-2012, 14:58   #84
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

Portlights? (non-opening window thingies on the side)
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Old 31-05-2012, 15:02   #85
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

Doesn't every sport, hobby, profession, trade, etc. have its own unique terminology. The Doc doesn't say "I'm going to remove that spongy, rubbery gizmo on your starboard aft because it has grossly fast growing pieces on it." It needs to be made relevant to the audience. The extent of the terminology needs to be sufficient to accomplish the task at hand.
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Old 31-05-2012, 15:06   #86
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

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Originally Posted by rgscpat View Post
Portlights? (non-opening window thingies on the side)
AKA scuttles.
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Old 31-05-2012, 15:12   #87
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

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Originally Posted by perchance View Post
AKA scuttles.
Ummm, I think of scuttles as small functional hatchways, such as for passing material, and not as a glazed window to let in light. Someone with more expertise might chime in here.
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Old 31-05-2012, 16:16   #88
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by perchance View Post
AKA scuttles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgscpat View Post
Ummm, I think of scuttles as small functional hatchways, such as for passing material, and not as a glazed window to let in light. Someone with more expertise might chime in here.
Ummm...I think of cockroaches or an intentional sinking.... maybe this nautical lingo is not so precise afterall
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Old 31-05-2012, 17:55   #89
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I can never remember the term Limber Holes...

Except now...

My boat needs a few. But the bulkheads are structural...
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Old 31-05-2012, 22:08   #90
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Re: Do you use Nautical Terms or Plain Language?

Wotname, the correct term on a double ender is "Pointy End" and "The Other Pointy End Stupid"
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