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Old 06-11-2014, 19:43   #16
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Re: Sailing Terms and Commands as We Hear Them

Ann: I chuckled again at your post, as I recalled being on a boat during a race where some of the crew called it the vang and others called it the kicker. So when a newbie crew member learns one term, only to hear it moments later called something else, it can be confusing.

Sorta like the two lines used to control a spinnaker. One is the guy. One is the sheet. When we jibe (or gybe in the UKspeak) the boat, that line that was moments ago called the "sheet" now becomes the "guy." No wonder new sailors get bewildered!

Scenario: a newbie sailor boards a boat and states he/she is eager to "learn the ropes."

Old Salt: "This rope is a line and that one is a sheet."

Later…while sailing and flying a spinnaker….

Newbie Sailor: "Why are you yelling at me? I pulled in on the sheet like you told me."

Old Salt: "You ##$%&# lubber, you pulled in the guy, not the sheet!"

Newbie Sailor: "But you just told me a few minutes ago THIS was the sheet!!"
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Old 06-11-2014, 19:56   #17
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Re: Sailing Terms and Commands as We Hear Them

The old salt took advantage. He should have told the guy who wanted to learn the ropes that a sheet is a line used to trim the sail; the guy is a line used to trim the pole, and its name changes with its function. It is one reason not to tell someone, the white spectra line is the guy, the blue-flecked doublebraid one is the sheet, unless you're going to douse the chute and exchange the lines' positions.

Yes, indeed, easy to get confused. However, if you do learn what to call things, your vocabulary transfers across boats pretty well, and that is handy, and that kind of specificity can also be useful in locating items.

The pencils are in the brown box below on the starboard side just forward and outboard of the nav station.
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Old 08-11-2014, 19:13   #18
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Re: Familiar-word syndrome

Quote:
Originally Posted by dianaofburlingt View Post
A good friend of mine insists on calling the 'bootstripe' the 'bootstrap'. He is educated enough to know what a 'boot' is any covering meant to seal or streamline a seam, such as on aircraft, or, on a yacht, where two kinds of paint meet.
Really? I've never heard or read that meaning of 'boot'. Do you have a reference to a dictionary or similar source?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dianaofburlingt View Post
'Bulwark' is a vertical wall meant to hold back the sea or earth, not found in a boat.
Really? Led Myne has two bulwarks, one to port, one to starboard.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines bulwark, in the nautical sense, as:

"The raised woodwork running along the sides of a vessel above the level of the deck. Usually plural."

And lists historical examples starting from 210 years ago:

"1804 The guns on the quarter-deck tearing away the bulwark."

"1825 Along the side a yellow streak extends Between his Bullwark and the varnish'd Bends."

"1840 Our ship had uncommonly high bulwarks and rail."

"1866 Dashed upon our labouring bulwarks that fierce wind Euroclydon."

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Old 08-11-2014, 19:32   #19
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Re: Sailing Terms and Commands as We Hear Them

The one about the pens'l gave me and the wife both a chuckle.

When I bought a small motorboat for playing on the local lakes and rivers I wanted a v-hull but kept running into ads for tri-hauls.
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Old 08-11-2014, 20:10   #20
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Re: Sailing Terms and Commands as We Hear Them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
Steady Hand, from your avatar ought to appreciate this:

Navigator - "fetch me the pencil"

Crew (silently in head, doesn't want to show lack of knowledge) - "which one is the pens'l? I know the mains'l and the stays'l, but which one is the pens'l?"

"Anchor's Aweigh" - where is it away to?

And my perennial favorite - "blow the guy" - really, here, now?


How about:

"Where's the Stud Sail!"
Which stud? Is there a sailing stallion?

or

"Where's the Stuns'l! "

(Did the mate mean a "stunned" sail or a stunning sail like a stun gun?)
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Definition from wikipedia: A studding sail, studsail or stunsail (traditionally pronounced stuns'l) is a sail used to increase the sail area of a square rigged vessel or 1950s racing skiffs in light winds. It is an extra sail hoisted alongside a square-rigged sail on an extension of its yardarm. It is named by prefixing the word studding to the name of the working sail alongside which it is set.
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I will post a couple of nice illustrations. Look at the sails that extend OUT from the yardarm. They can also extend from any yard so there can be more than one set, or more than two used at one time.

ALSO, these two illustrations are large enough (click on the thumbnails to enlarge) to make a nice screen saver and they are public domain images. Might look nice on someone's phone or other screens.
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Name:	1024px-Salem_Harbor_Fitz_Hugh_Lane.jpg
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Old 08-11-2014, 20:54   #21
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Re: Familiar-word syndrome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Mighty View Post

A good friend of mine insists on calling the 'bootstripe' the 'bootstrap'. He is educated enough to know what a 'boot' is any covering meant to seal or streamline a seam, such as on aircraft, or, on a yacht, where two kinds of paint meet.


Really? I've never heard or read that meaning of 'boot'. Do you have a reference to a dictionary or similar source?
Me neither. I've always assumed that the Boot Stripe or Boot Top/Boot Topping was derived from an analogy with a "top boot":

vis: a high boot, especially one having a cuff of a different material, color, etc., from the rest of the boot.

Especially since it originates from around the time when "top boots" were common apparel.
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Old 08-11-2014, 22:07   #22
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Re: Sailing Terms and Commands as We Hear Them

How about, "Dump the guy!"

Not heard at a feminist conference.

A.
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Old 08-11-2014, 22:20   #23
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Re: Familiar-word syndrome

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Me neither. I've always assumed that the Boot Stripe or Boot Top/Boot Topping was derived from an analogy with a "top boot"
The Oxford English Dictionary is silent on 'boot stripe', which seems to be a yachting term dating from 1968 (as in Yachting magazine) rather than a nautical term.

The OED is voluble on the more venerable term boot top (both as a verb and a noun) and boot topping.

The OED first deals with non-nautical uses:

1. The upper part of a boot; esp. of top-boots.

1768 I saw one woman with a child in each boot top.
1825 Liquid for cleansing Boot Tops, etc.
1827 The autocrat of the great world of fashion‥fed the pampered appetite of his boot-tops on champagne.

Then the OED deals with the nautical uses, including ones that are older than the non-nautical:

2. Naut. In phrase ‘to give a ship boot-tops’: see quot.

1768 It is usual to make her heel, or incline first to one side and then to the other‥having scrubbed off the ooze, shells‥with brushes and brooms, they cover it with a mixture of tallow, sulphur, etc., and this is called giving her boot-tops.
1842 Every vessel that isn't coppered shows her boot-top.

1788 Painting vessels boot-tops with white lead and oil, has been discontinued‥in the Navy.
1937 Between the topsides and the bottom, it is frequently customary to paint a boot-top. The boot-top‥separates the topsides from the bottom.
1949 When painting‥mark in the boot top with tacks.
1958 The red boot-top line on the yacht's hull was more clearly visible forward than aft.

= boot-topping

As verb, to subject (a vessel) to ‘boot-topping’.

1724 Here they watered, boot-topp'd their Ship, and made ready for the designed Cruise.
1768 (James Cook) Got all the Empty Casks on shore, and set the Coopers to Work to repair them; Heeld and Boot Topt the Starboard side.
1908 The system is in operation upon the Clyde with great success, boot-topping the fast pleasure-craft plying on the river.

1767 Boot-topping, the act of cleaning the upper part of a ship's bottom, and daubing it over with a coat or mixture of tallow, sulphur, resin, etc. Boot-topping is chiefly performed where there is no dock‥or when‥hurry‥renders it inconvenient to have the whole bottom‥cleansed.

1867 ‘Boot-topping‥is now applied to sheathing a vessel with planking over felt.’ (Smyth Sailor's Word-book)

1788 The worm had not touched the bottom lower than the boot-topping.
1894 Boot-topping, is the term applied to that portion of the outside-plating or planking of a vessel between the light-water-line and the load-line. The coating (also the wood-sheathing of wooden vessels) on this part of a ship is likewise so named.
1927 Boot-topping, a band of paint at the water-line; usually red; the particular kind of paint used is called boot-topping.
1961 The paint of the boot-toppings gleamed in the fitful sun.

Al
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Old 08-11-2014, 22:57   #24
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Re: Sailing Terms and Commands as We Hear Them

Hmmm…

I assumed the term "Boot Stripe" came from one of three sources which would pronounce the word "boat" as "boot":

1. Dutch speaker saying "The Boat Stripe." In Dutch it is: "de boot streep."

2. German speaker saying "The Boat Stripe." In German it is: "das Boot Streifen"

3. Scotsman saying "boat" as "boot." So "Boat Stripe" is heard and pronounced (and then recorded as) "boot stripe." "Aye, there's always a dram of Glenmorangie in me boot."
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Old 10-11-2014, 17:21   #25
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Re: Sailing Terms and Commands as We Hear Them

Overheard one day while sailing:

Skipper: "Go below and get the Handy Billy!"

Newbie Sailor: "My name is William, but you may call me Will. What is a Handy?"

_________

Skipper: "I think what we need is a parbuckle."

Newbie Sailor: "I had one of those on my arse. It hurt. Why would you want a carbuncle?"
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:24   #26
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Re: Sailing Terms and Commands as We Hear Them

I have been told twice by beginner sailors of the same phrase:

Each was steering, and as the sails began to shake, they were commaned to "FALL OFF!" They saw no reason to jump in the water.

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Old 12-11-2014, 15:25   #27
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Re: Sailing Terms and Commands as We Hear Them

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Each was steering, and as the sails began to shake, they were commaned to "FALL OFF!" They saw no reason to jump in the water.
The OED lists the command being recorded in written English as early as 1692: Fall not off, Veer no more, keep her to".

As a verbal phrase describing the motion or direction of a ship, early published instances include:

(a) (translation into English, in 1632) "The Prince fell off with a contrary wind"; and
(b) William Dampier (1699) "she would fall off 2 or 3 points from the Wind".

So the beginner sailors did not mishear. They were just illiterate.

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Old 13-11-2014, 09:12   #28
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Re: Sailing Terms and Commands as We Hear Them

Well, you have a pretty high standard of literacy! There's no doubt that entering ANY new field requires learning new language, and a newcomer will inevitably guess meanings from what he hears:

"Strike the fore s'l and start the dee s'l!"

Or be totally "at sea":

A non-sailor editor was reviewing a sailing manual I was writing, where I wrote:

"Put the hawser through the bee-hole in the poop."

She was speechless. I revised it to be clearer for the learning sailors it was meant to educate.
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Old 13-11-2014, 20:26   #29
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Re: Familiar-word syndrome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Mighty View Post
Really? I've never heard or read that meaning of 'boot'. Do you have a reference to a dictionary or similar source?
My dad was a combat pilot in WW2 before he was a yacht designer. I knew what a deicing boot was before I knew what a bootstripe was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Mighty View Post
Led Myne has two bulwarks, one to port, one to starboard.
I'm sorry I wasn't so clear; I said 'in', not 'on'. I was referring (perhaps only weakly) to an apparently common misconception amongst some landlubbers that the bulkheads are called 'bulwarks'. That said, my definition of a bulwark-- on ship or on land-- as a structure meant to hold back water or earth is apt.

My 'first' job is as an educator in English lit and language and my 'second' is as a novelist.
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Old 16-11-2014, 19:30   #30
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Re: Sailing Terms and Commands as We Hear Them

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Originally Posted by mf70 View Post
Well, you have a pretty high standard of literacy! There's no doubt that entering ANY new field requires learning new language, and a newcomer will inevitably guess meanings from what he hears:

"Strike the fore s'l and start the dee s'l!"

Or be totally "at sea":

A non-sailor editor was reviewing a sailing manual I was writing, where I wrote:

"Put the hawser through the bee-hole in the poop."

She was speechless. I revised it to be clearer for the learning sailors it was meant to educate.
Good examples! I chuckled.
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