The following is an essential glossary of yachting terms and nautical phrases that all keen and young aspiring sailors should learn before venturing out onto the briny sea, so that Master and Crew can develop that intimate and intuitive teamwork to sail faster and better than they ever have before. However, in the heat of battle, it is also important that the crew can interpret what that ranting old Captain
Bligh is screaming from the Masters position at the stern. Some commands require instant action, or the Skippers panic may spread. Other commands can be safely ignored as the ramblings of a deluded and possibly drunk old fool. It is important that you as the Crew know what to do, after all the Skipper
almost certainly doesn't.
A CRUISERSí SAILING LEXICON:
* Amidships - condition of being surrounded by boats.
- a device designed to bring up mud samples from the bottom at inopportune or unexpected times.
Light - a small light used to discharge the battery
* Back Stay - Spending time at home. When your partner goes sailing in October.
* Bare Boat - Clothing
* Beam Sea - A situation in which waves strike a boat from the side, causing it to roll unpleasantly. This is one of the four directions from which wave action tends to produce extreme physical discomfort. The other three are `bow sea' (waves striking from the front), `following sea' (waves striking from the rear), and `quarter sea' (waves striking from any other direction).
* Berth - a little addition to the crew.
- cheap beer
* Boat ownership
- Standing fully -clothed under a cold shower
, tearing up 100 -dollar bills
* Boom - sometimes the result of a surprise jibe.
* Boom - Called boom for the sound that's made when it hits crew in the head
on its way across the boat. For slow crew, it's called `boom, boom.'
* Bottom Paint
- what you get when the cockpit
seats are freshly painted.
* Calm - Sea condition characterized by the simultaneous disappearance of the wind
and the last cold beverage.
* Chart - a type of map which tells you exactly where you are aground.
* Clew - an indication from the skipper
as to what he might do next.
- a double berth.
* Course - The direction in which a skipper wishes to steer his boat and from which the wind
is blowing. Also, the language that results by not being able to.
* Cruising - Fixing your boat in exotic locations.
* Crew - Heavy, stationary objects used on shipboard to hold down charts
, anchor cushions
in place and dampen sudden movements of the boom.
- Tidal flow that carries a boat away from its desired destination
, or towards a hazard
* Dead Reckoning - a course leading directly to a reef.
* Deadrise - getting up to check the anchor at 0300.
Fluff - a scantily clad North American Big Hair, commonly placed on the foredeck of a sailing yacht with the sole purpose to distract the competition while rounding the mark inside their position.
* Deviation - any departure from the Captain's orders.
- the sound of the ship's bell.
- when you dock
your boat and can't find it later.
- The gap in your oilies between the trousers and the jacket.
* Estimated Position - a place you have marked on the chart where you are sure you are not.
* First Mate - crew member
necessary for skippers to practice shouting instructions to.
* Fix - the crew's estimate of your current
Flares - old pair of trousers to change into if you fall overboard
* Flashlight - Tubular metal container used on shipboard for storing dead batteries prior to their disposal
* Fluke - The portion of an anchor that digs securely into the bottom, holding the boat in place; also, any occasion when this occurs on the first try.
* Foul Wind - breeze produced by flying turkey
* Freeboard - food
and liquor supplied by the owner.
* Gybe - A common way to get unruly guests off your boat.
* Headway - what you are making if you can't get the toilet to work.
up - Leaving the boat toilet seat up. When boat skipper is female, leaving the head up is a serious offense
* Heads - the deciding factor whether to set out or not.
* Heave -Ho - what you do when you've eaten too much Ho.
* Jack Lines - `Hey baby, want to go sailing?'
* Jibe - either you like it or you don't and it gets you.
- term used by 1st mate after too much heel by skipper.
- A sailboat with good wine in the cabin
* Landlubber - anyone on board who wishes he were not.
* Latitude - the number of degrees off course allowed a guest.
* Log - Semi submerged object responsible for suddenly rousing the skipper on a night passage
- religious ritual used before setting sail.
* Mate - the term used to refer to the skipper just before explaining that the hand bearing compass
has fallen overboard
* Mizzen - an object you can't find.
Sailer - A sailboat that alternates between sail/rigging problems and engine
problems, and with some booze in the cabin
* Noserly - What to call the wind direction when it comes from where you're going
* Ram - an intricate docking
maneuver sometimes used by experienced skippers.
* Rhumb Line - two or more crew members waiting for a drink.
* Sailing - The fine art of getting wet and becoming ill, while going no where slowly at great expense.
* Schooner - A sailboat with a fully stocked liquor cabinet in the cabin
* Sea Cock - (see Jack Lines)
* Sheet - cool, damp, salty night covering.
used in connection with a wake.
* Small Craft Warnings - Power Boats come in, Sailboats go out.
* Spreaders - Barclay Card and Visa - useful for extending the sailing season.
* Starboard - special board used by skippers for navigation
(usually with "Port" on the opposite side.)
* Stays - position in harbour when gales are forecast
* Stowaway - rapid handling of alcoholic spirits as the customs
* Swell - a wave that's just great.
* Square Rigger - a rigger over 30.
- A sailboat with beer
and/or wine in the cabin.
* Tack - A maneuver the skipper uses when telling the crew what they did wrong without getting them mad.
* Tree - object to sit under, as a cure for seasickness.
* Wind Indicator - Sensitive person who suddenly throws open the vents and hatches.
* Warp - The other skipper's version of events
* Yawl - A sailboat from Texas
, with some good bourbon stored down yonder in the cabin
* Zephyr - Warm, pleasant breeze. Named after the mythical Greek god of wishful thinking, false hopes, and unreliable forecasts.