Sloop Glossary

Term Definition
Abeam at a 90 degree
angle to either side of the vessel
Aft near or towards
the stern of a vessel
Aground when the depth of
the keel exceeds the depth of the water and a vessel becomes
stuck in the bottom or an object
Aloft all parts of the
vessel above the main deck level
Alongside tied up to a
dock, barge or another vessel
Amidships roughly the
middle, or center, of the boat
Anchor n.
a heavy object used to fix a vessel to the bottom of a body of
water, one part of the ground tackle
v.
to halt the motion of the boat by dropping and securing ground
tackle
Astern 1)
located behind the vessel
2)
to move the vessel backwards
Athwartships in a direction
oriented perpendicular to the keel (from side to side across the
vessel)
Baggywrinkle old fibrous rope
cut up and wound around the lifts to prevent the steel cable from
chafing on the sail
Belaying Pin a load bearing
wood or metal pin in the rail of a ship, around which ropes are
fastened
Beam reach sailing with the
wind abeam on either side
Beat the act of
sailing multiple courses and tacking repeatedly to make way in an
upwind direction
Bilge the space between
the sole boards and the hull
Block the word for
“pulley” on a boat
Block &
Tackle
pulleys and rope
rigged for mechanical advantage to hoist or haul a weight
Boatswain (often
shortened to Bos’un)
the crew member
charged with the care of the deck and rig
Bobstay
(bobchain)
part of the
standing rigging, the stay that, in conjunction with the
forestay, provides vertical stabilization for the bowsprit
Boom the lower
horizontal spar on the mainsail running fore-and-aft
Bow the forward end
of the boat
Bowsprit the forward-most
spar on the vessel that protrudes from the bow
Bulkhead the word for
“wall” on a boat; these are often watertight and
separate the boat into different compartments
Bulwarks the extension of
a boat’s topsides above the level of the deck
Broad reach sailing with the
wind approximately 45 degrees to either side of dead astern
Caulk v.
to drive oakum and/or long strands of cotton into the seams
between planks using a special wooden mallet; it allows for
flexibility and water-tightness in the hull of a wooden vessel
Centerboard retractable “fin”
located amidships on shallow draft vessels that, when down, helps
keep the boat from getting pushed sideways by the wind and, when
up, allows the boat to venture into shallower water.
Chip Log a piece of
equipment used in conjunction with a timing device to measure a
vessel’s speed through the water by utilizing a weight at the end
of a rope with knots tied at regular intervals.
Cleat a double-horned
piece of metal or wood fastened to the rail, deck or mast, used
for securing lines
Clew the lower
aftermost corner of any sail
Close hauled sailing up wind,
close to the direction of the wind with the sails sheeted in as
tightly as possible
Close reach sailing upwind,
with the wind at about 45 degrees to either side of the bow
Companionway a stair or ladder
going between decks, and the space they occupy
Compass an instrument
that shows the direction of magnetic north and bearings from it,
used to indicate the direction of travel.
Crosstrees pieces of wood
that run athwartships at the top of the mast to support the
standing rigging.
Davit a piece of lumber
or steel (similar to a crane) fastened to the rail or deck, one
of a pair, used to secure or lower a lifeboat or small boat
Dead ahead/astern referring to
something directly in front of or behind the vessel
Deadeye a piece of
hardwood used as a dead end for the shrouds through which the
lanyards are rove to adjust and secure the tension of the rig.
Downhaul a line in the
running rigging used to haul a sail down or “strike”
it.
Downwind 1)
in the same direction as that to which the wind is blowing
2)
the act of sailing with the wind aft of amidships on either side
Down below (also
called “below decks”)
referring to the
area below the main deck
Ebb current the tidal current associated with the decrease
in the height of a tide; in the Hudson this results in
directional flow downriver, or roughly south
Fathom a unit of
measurement of depth; one fathom = 6 feet
Fender a compressible
object placed between the vessel and the dock to prevent the dock
from rubbing or chafing directly on the vessel
Flood current the tidal current associated with the increase
in the height of a tide; in the Hudson this results in
directional flow upriver, or roughly north
Foot the bottom edge
of a sail that runs between the tack and clew, sometimes along a
boom
Forecastle
(fo’csle)
the compartment
forward of the mast where most of the crew live

Fore-and-Aft

in a direction
oriented parallel to the keel (from bow to stern)
Forestay part of the
standing rigging, a long, heavy steel cable that provides forward
stabilization for the mast; the jib is fastened to this stay on
Clearwater
Frame the ribs of the
hull that attach perpendicularly to the keel, providing the
skeleton to which the planks are fastened
Freeboard the distance from
the surface of the water to the surface of the deck
Furl to fold or roll
the sail
Gaff the upper spar of
the mainsail, running fore-and aft
Gaff-rigged a sail
constructed in a shape resembling a trapezoid to gain sail area,
that has both a boom and a gaff
Galley the word for
“kitchen” on a boat
Gangway the plank used to
walk from the dock to the boat (don’t worry,
Clearwater’s
has railings and is wide enough to fit a standard wheelchair)
Ground Tackle

a general
term for anchors and the gear associated with their use.

Halyard a line used to
raise sails, spars, or flags
Head
  1. the word for
    “bathroom” on a boat
  2. the upper
    corner of a triangular, or “Marconi”, sail or the
    top edge of a gaff-rigged sail that runs aft from the throat to
    the peak along the gaff
  3. the
    direction of the boat (also referred to as “heading”)
Helm 1) the
steering apparatus of a boat
2)
the area from which a boat is controlled

Helmsman

the crewmember
steering the vessel
Hull the main body of
the vessel from the rail down to the keel
Inboard towards the
center of the boat from any direction
Jib the sail located
forward of the mast; a staysail
Jib Horse a horizontal
spar, fastened to the deck athwartships, to which the jib sheets
attach and travel across, as the boat tacks and gybes
Jibe/Gybe an act of
changing course by turning a vessel’s stern towards and
through the wind so as to bring the wind on the opposite side; a
more dramatic maneuver than a tack
Keel the backbone of
the hull, running fore-and-aft, found all the way at the bottom
of the hull.
Knot 1)
a method for fastening or securing rope by tying or interweaving
2)
a unit of measurement equivalent to 1 nautical mile per hour
Lanyard 1)
rope used to secure and tension the standing rigging that
supports the mast
2)
small diameter rope, cord or twine used to affix a small object
to one’s person
Lazyjacks small lines
running up either side of a sail to catch and contain it as it
comes down
Lead line line with a heavy
weight at the end and knots tied at intervals of one fathom to
measure the water’s depth.
Leech the after edge of
a sail that, on a triangular sail runs down from the head to the
clew or, on a gaff-rigged sail runs down between the peak and the
clew between the gaff and boom
Leeward

the side of
the vessel opposite from which the wind is coming

Lifts (also
referred to on
Clearwater
as “Topping lifts”)
1) Generic
– wire rope that
supports any spar
2)
On Clearwater: part
of the running rigging, long wire ropes running from near the top
of the mast to near the aft end of the boom that support the
weight of the boom when the mainsail is not set
Line the word for rope
when aboard a boat; implies the rope has a use.
Luff the forward edge
of a sail that runs up along the mast between the tack and head
of any sail
Main Mast the tallest mast
on a vessel
Mainsail the sail, usually
the largest, that attaches to the main mast
Mast a vertical spar
to which a sail is attached
Mast Hoop a ring made from
a long , thin strip of wood (steam is usually used to bend these
into shape) to affix a sail to a mast
Mate the crewmember
who runs deck operations and is in line to take over for the
captain in the event he or she is incapacitated
Muster the word for
“meeting” on a boat
Oakum long, tarred,
multi-stranded fibers driven into the seams between the planks on
wooden boats
Outboard 1)
away from the center of the boat in any direction
2)
a small, externally attached engine and propeller used to drive a
small boat
Overhead the word for
“ceiling” on a boat
Peak the aft most end
of the gaff and aft, upper most corner of a gaff-rigged sail
Peak halyard the halyard that
hoists a gaff-rigged sail from the peak
Planks/Planking the long, narrow
pieces of wood fastened to the frames, running fore-and-aft that
make up the skin of the hull
Port the left side of
the vessel when looking forward (this does not change with a
person’s orientation aboard)
Quarterdeck the after part of
the deck – often where the steering gear is found and from
where the captain controls the vessel
Rail the uppermost
timber or edge of a boat’s bulwarks
Raft v. to
tie up to another vessel
Ratlines lines that attach
horizontally to the shrouds so that the crew may climb aloft
Reeve (past
tense; “rove”)
to thread a line
through blocks to gain mechanical advantage, resulting in a
“block and tackle”.
Rig /Rigging the gear on a
boat constructed to carry out the vessel’s operations: on a
sailboat this refers to almost everything aloft
Rode part of the
ground tackle, often referred to as ‘anchor rode’,
line that attaches the anchor to the boat (replaced by chain on
larger vessels)
Run sailing with the
wind dead astern
Running Rigging that part of the
rigging that may be in motion to raise or lower sails and other
objects, or to perform a specific job on board
Rubrail

a
sacrificial piece of wood or hard rubber on a boat that stands
proud from the hull so that it may rub on the dock instead of the
hull

Rudder located
underwater, the flat piece of wood (in
Clearwater’s
case), on hinges at the stern of the boat, that is subjected to
the flow and pressure of the water which, upon it’s
rotation, causes the boat to turn
Rudder Post the axle (again
wood, in
Clearwater’s
case) connecting the rudder and the tiller, allowing crew to
control the rudder – thereby steering the boat – from
on deck
Schooner a sailboat with
at least two masts in which the forward mast is of lesser or
equal height
Shanty a song sung to
assist the crew to haul in rhythm
Sheet part of the
running rigging; a block and tackle that controls the side to
side motion of a sail, adjusted based on the vessel’s
course and the relative angle of the sail to the wind
Shroud part of the
standing rigging, a long length of wire rigging running down
either side of the mast from the top down to the topsides for
side to side stability of the mast
Sloop a sailboat with
only one mast
Sole the word for
“floor” on a boat
Spar any rounded pole
in the rigging on a vessel
Starboard the right side of
the vessel when looking forward (this does not change with a
person’s orientation aboard)
Standing Rigging that part of the
rigging that, once adjusted and secured is NOT in motion, but
supports the rig
Stay part of the
standing rigging, a long length of wire rigging running
fore-and-aft from the top of the mast to the deck the stabilizes
the mast fore-and-aft
Staysail a sail that
attaches to a stay
Stem n. the
forward, upward leading extension of the keel at the bow
v. to
maintain position against the current
Stern the aft end of
the boat
Tack v.
an act of changing course by turning a vessel’s bow towards
and through the wind so as to bring the wind on the opposite
side.
n. 1)a
boat’s course relative to the direction of the wind (i.e. a
port or starboard
tack)

2) the
forward, lower most corner of any sail

Taffrail the rail at the
stern
Throat the forward end
of a gaff and forward, upper most corner of a gaff-rigged sail
Throat halyard the halyard that
hoists a gaff-rigged sail from the throat
Tiller the lever, found
on the quarterdeck, that is attached to the rudder by way of the
rudder post, used to steer the boat
Topmast a smaller mast
affixed at the top of the mainmast to gain height and rig for a
topsail
Topsail a sail that sets
on the topmast, above the mainsail
Topsides the planking of
the hull above the waterline
Trawl to tow a fishing
net
Underway to be away from
the dock
Upwind 1)
in a direction towards the origin of the wind
2)
the act of sailing with the wind forward of amidships on either
side
Waterline an imaginary line
along the hull where the surface of the water meets the hull
planking that varies by boat depending on it’s buoyancy
Whiskerstay one of a pair of
stays that stabilize the bowsprit side to side, affixed at the
forward end of the bowsprit and to the topsides just aft of the
stem
Windward the side of the
vessel that the wind is coming from
Yawl Boat a rowboat on
davits at the stern used for rowing ashore from anchorage or for
the retrieval of a person overboard