ABAFT - Toward the rear (stern) of the boat. Behind.
ABEAM - At right angles to the keel of the boat, but not on the boat.
ABOARD - On or within the boat.
ABOVE DECK - On the deck (not over it - see aloft)
ABREAST - Side by side; by the side of.
ABOUT - The situation of a ship as soon as she has tacked.
ABOUT SHIP! - The order to prepare for tacking.
ADRIFT - Loose, not on moorings or towline.
AFT - Toward the stern of the boat.
AGROUND - Touching or fast to the bottom.
AHEAD - In a forward direction.
AIDS TO NAVIGATION - Artificial objects to supplement natural landmarks indicating safe and unsafe waters.
ALEE - Away from the direction of the wind. Opposite of windward.
ALL HANDS HOAY! - The call by which all the ship's company are summoned upon deck.
ALL IN THE WIND - The state of a ship's sails when they are parallel to the direction of the wind, so as to shake, or quiver.
ALOFT - Above the deck of the boat.
ALONG SHORE - Along the coast; a coast which is in the sight of the shore, and nearly parallel to it.
ALOOF - Is distance. Keep aloof, that is, keep at a distance.
AMIDSHIPS - In or toward the center of the boat.
ANCHORAGE - A place suitable for anchoring in relation to the wind, seas and bottom.
ASTERN - In back of the boat, opposite of ahead.
ATHWARTSHIPS - At right angles to the centerline of the boat; rowboat seats are generally athwart ships.
AVAST! - The command to stop, or cease, in any operation.
AWEIGH - The position of anchor as it is raised clear of the bottom.
AWNING - A shelter or screen of canvas, spread over the decks of a ship to keep off the heat of the sun. Spread the awning, extend it so as to cover the deck.
BALE - Baling the boat means lading or throwing the water out of her.
BARBARY COAST - The name applied to the coast of North Africa extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the western border of Egypt. Its name is derived from the Berbers, who were the principal inhabitants of the region.
BATTEN DOWN - Secure hatches and loose objects both within the hull and on deck.
UNDER BARE POLES - When a ship has no sail set.
BEAM - The greatest width of the boat.
BEARING - The direction of an object expressed either as a true bearing as shown on the chart, or as a bearing relative to the heading of the boat.
BELAY - To fasten a rope, by winding it several times backwards and forwards on a cleat or pin.
BELOW - Beneath the deck.
BIGHT - The part of the rope or line, between the end and the standing part, on which a knot is formed.
BILGE - The interior of the hull below the floor boards.
BILGE-WATER - Is that which, by reason of the flatness of a ship's bottom, lies on her floor, and cannot go to the pump.
BINNACLE - A kind of box to contain the compasses in upon the deck.
BINNACLE LIST - A ship's sick-list. In the eighteenth century and probably before, a list was given to the officer or mate of the watch, containing the names of men unable to report for duty. The list was kept at the binnacle.
BITTS - Very large pieces of timber in the fore-part of a ship, round which the cables are fastened when the ship is at anchor.
BITTER END - The last part of a rope or chain. The inboard end of the anchor rode.
BLACK JACK - A leather tankard made stiff with a coating of tar. Used by dockside pubs and taverns to serve wine and beer.
BOARD A SHIP - To enter an enemy's ship in an engagement.
BOAT - A fairly indefinite term. A waterborne vehicle smaller than a ship. One definition is a small craft carried aboard a ship.
BOAT HOOK - A short shaft with a fitting at one end shaped to facilitate use in putting a line over a piling, recovering an object dropped overboard, or in pushing or fending off.
BOATSWAIN or BOSUN - The Warrant Officer in charge of sails, rigging, anchors and associated gear.
BOLD SHORE - A steep coast, permitting the close approach of a ship.
BONNET - Is an additional piece of canvas put to the sail in moderate weather to hold more wind.
BOOT TOP - A painted line that indicates the designed waterline.
BOOTY - Term for profits taken from plunder.
BOW - The forward part of a boat.
BOW LINE - A docking line leading from the bow.
BOWLINE - A knot used to form a temporary loop in the end of a line.
BOWSPRIT - A large piece of timber which stands out from the bows of a ship.
BOXHAULING - A particular method of veering a ship, when the swell of the sea renders tacking impracticable.
BREAMING - Burning off the filth from a ship's bottom.
BRIDGE - The location from which a vessel is steered and its speed controlled. "Control Station" is really a more appropriate term for small craft.
BRIDLE - A line or wire secured at both ends in order to distribute a strain between two points.
BRIGHTWORK - Varnished woodwork and/or polished metal.
BROADSIDE - A discharge of all the guns on one side of a ship both above and bellow.
BULKHEAD - A vertical partition separating compartments.
BUMBOO - A mixture of rum, water, sugar, and nutmeg. Favored among West Indians as well as buccaneers and pirates.
BUOY - An anchored float used for marking a position on the water or a hazard or a shoal and for mooring.
BURDENED VESSEL - That vessel which, according to the applicable Navigation Rules, must give way to the privileged vessel.
CABIN - A compartment for passengers or crew.
CACKLE FRUIT - Henís eggs.
CAPSIZE - To turn over.
CAREEN - To heel over a ship to clean the seaweed and barnacles from her bottom.
CAST OFF - To let go.
CAT-O'-NINE-TAILS - A whip made from knotted ropes, used to punish crewmen. What was meant by being "flogged".
CHAFING GEAR - Tubing or cloth wrapping used to protect a line from chafing on a rough surface.
CHAIN SHOT - Two cannonballs chained together and aimed high to destroy masts and rigging.
CHARLIE NOBLE - A British merchant service captain, Charles Noble, discovering that the stack of his ship's galley was made of copper, ordered that it be kept bright. The ship's crew then started referring to the stack as the "Charley Noble."
CHART - A map for use by navigators.
CHASE - A vessel pursued by some other.
CHASER - The vessel pursuing.
CHINE - The intersection of the bottom and sides of a flat or v-bottomed boat.
CHOCK - A fitting through which anchor or mooring lines are led. Usually U-shaped to reduce chafe.
CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH - This widely used term has its origins in the document issued to a ship showing that the port it sailed from suffered from no epidemic or infection at the time of departure.
CLEAT - A fitting to which lines are made fast. The classic cleat to which lines are belayed is approximately anvil-shaped.
CLOVE HITCH - A knot for temporarily fastening a line to a spar or piling.
COAMING - A vertical piece around the edge of a cockpit, hatch, etc. to prevent water on deck from running below.
COG - A ship developed to withstand pirate attacks. It had very high sides and a raised bow and stern.
COIL - To lay a line down in circular turns.
COMMISSIONS - Governments would issue these licenses to privateers. They authorized raids on foreign shipping.
COURSE - The direction in which a boat is steered.
COXWAIN - A coxswain or cockswain was at first the swain (boy servant) in charge of the small cock or cockboat that was kept aboard for the ship's captain and which was used to row him to and from the ship. With the passing of time the coxswain became the helmsman of any boat, regardless of size.
CRINGLE - A strand of small rope introduced several times through the bolt rope of a sail, and twisted, to which ropes are fastened.
CROW-FOOT - Is a number of small lines spread from the fore-parts of the tops, and being hauled taut upon the stays, to prevent the foot of the top-sails catching under the top rim; are also used to suspend the awnings.
CUDDY - A small shelter cabin in a boat.
CURRENT - The horizontal movement of water.
CUTLASS - A short, curved, thick sword. The preferred weapon of many a buccaneer. Possibly a carry over weapon from the days of making boucan.
DANCE THE HEMPEN JIG - To hang.
DAVY JONES' LOCKER - According to sailor's lore, Davy Jones is an evil spirit in the sea. His locker was the ocean where he received dead sailors.
DEAD AHEAD - Directly ahead.
DEAD ASTERN - Directly aft.
DEAD WATER - The eddy water, which appears like whirlpools, closing in with the ship's stern, as she sails on.
DECK - A permanent covering over a compartment, hull or any part thereof.
DINGHY - A small open boat. A dinghy is often used as a tender for a larger craft.
DIRK - A long thin knife. It was used for fighting in close quarters, as well as cutting rope.
DISMASTED - The state of a ship that has lost her masts.
DISPLACEMENT - The weight of water displaced by a floating vessel, thus, a boat's weight.
DISPLACEMENT HULL - A type of hull that plows through the water, displacing a weight of water equal to its own weight, even when more power is added.
DOCK - A protected water area in which vessels are moored. The term is often used to denote a pier or a wharf.
DOGWATCH - The watches from four to six, and from six to eight, in the evening.
DOLPHIN - A group of piles driven close together and bound with wire cables into a single structure.
DOUBLING - The act of sailing round or passing beyond a cape or point or land.
DOUBLOON - A gold coin minted by Spain or Spanish colonies. Worth about seven weeks pay for an average sailor.
DOWN THE HATCH - Drinking expression that seems to have its origins in sea freight, where cargoes are lowered into the hatch.
DOWNHAUL - The rope by which any sail is hauled down.
DOWSE - To lower suddenly, or slacken.
DRAFT - The depth of water a boat draws.
DRIFT - The angle which the line of a ship's motion makes with the nearest meridian, when she drives with her side to the wind and waves when laying to. It also implies the distance which the ship drives on that line.
DUFFLE - A name given to a Sailor's personal effects. Also spelled duffel, it referred to his principal clothing as well as to the seabag in which he carried and stowed it.
ENSIGN - The flag worn at the stern of a ship.
EVEN KEEL - When the keel is parallel with the horizon.
FAG END - The end of a rope fagged out.
FAIR-WAY - The channel of a narrow bay, river, or haven, in which ships usually advance in their passage up and down.
FATHOM - A measure of six feet, used to describe the depth of water.
FENDER - A cushion, placed between boats, or between a boat and a pier, to prevent damage.
FIGURE EIGHT KNOT - A knot in the form of a figure eight, placed in the end of a line to prevent the line from passing through a grommet or a block.
FLARE - The outward curve of a vessel's sides near the bow. A distress signal.
FLAW - A sudden breeze or gust of wind.
FLIBUSTIER - French term for pirates during the golden age of piracy.
FLOOD - A incoming current.
FLOORBOARDS - The surface of the cockpit on which the crew stand.
FOUNDER - To sink at sea by filling with water.
FLUKE - The palm of an anchor.
FOLLOWING SEA - An overtaking sea that comes from astern.
FORE-AND-AFT - In a line parallel to the keel.
FORECASTLE - The upper deck in the fore part of the ship.
FOREPEAK - A compartment in the bow of a small boat.
FORWARD - Toward the bow of the boat.
FOULED - Any piece of equipment that is jammed or entangled, or dirtied.
FREEBOARD - The minimum vertical distance from the surface of the water to the gunwale.
FUTTOCK SHROUDS - The shrouds which connect the lower and top mast rigging together.
GAGE OF THE SHIP - Her depth of water, or what water she draws.
GALLEY - The kitchen area of a boat.
GANGWAY - The area of a ship's side where people board and disembark.
GEAR - A general term for ropes, blocks, tackle and other equipment.
GIBBET - A wooden frame from which dead pirates were hung, often in a metal cage especially fitted for the dead man. This was done as a warning to others who would think of taking up a career in piracy.
GOLD ROAD - Road across the Isthmus of Panama used to transport gold by train of pack mules.
GROG - British naval seamen received a portion of liquor every day. In 1740, Admiral Edward Vernon ordered the rum to be diluted with water. Vernon's nickname was Old Grogram, and the beverage was given the name grog in their disdain for Vernon.
GRAB RAILS - Hand-hold fittings mounted on cabin tops and sides for personal safety when moving around the boat.
GROMMET - A name British seamen gave to an apprentice sailor, or ship's boy. The word comes from the Spanish word grumete, which has the same meaning.
GROUND TACKLE - A collective term for the anchor and its associated gear.
GUN ROOM - A division of the lower deck, abaft, enclosed with network, for the use of the gunner and junior lieutenant, and in which their cabins stand.
GUNWALE - The upper edge of a boat's sides.
HANG HIM FROM THE YARDARM - Pirate phrase for punishment for shipmates of captured prisoners.
HARD CHINE - An abrupt intersection between the hull side and the hull bottom of a boat so constructed.
HATCH - An opening in a boat's deck fitted with a watertight cover.
HAUL - To pull a rope.
HEAD - A marine toilet. Also the upper corner of a triangular sail.
HEADING - The direction in which a vessel's bow points at any given time.
HEADWAY - The forward motion of a boat. Opposite of sternway.
HEAVE AHEAD - To advance the ship by heaving in the cable or other rope fastened to an anchor at some distance before her.
HEAVE ASTERN - To move a ship backwards by an operation similar to that of heaving ahead.
HELM - The wheel or tiller controlling the rudder.
HELMSPERSON - The person who steers the boat.
HEMPEN HALTER - The hangmanís noose.
HIGH AND DRY - The situation of a ship when so far run a-ground as to be seen dry upon the strand.
HITCH - A knot used to secure a rope to another object or to another rope, or to form a loop or a noose in a rope.
HOIST - To draw up any body by the assistance of one or more tackles. Pulling by means of a single block is never termed HOISTING, except only the drawing of the sails upwards along the masts or stays.
HOLD - A compartment below deck in a large vessel, used solely for carrying cargo.
HOLYSTONE - Soft sandstone, often used to scrub the decks of ships. Sailors had to kneel as if in prayer when scrubbing the decks. Holystone was often called so because it is full of holes.
HORNSWAGGLE - To cheat.
HULL - The main body of a vessel.
INBOARD - More toward the center of a vessel; inside; a motor fitted inside a boat.
JACOBS LADDER - A rope ladder, lowered from the deck, as when pilots or passengers come aboard.
JETTY - A structure, usually masonry, projecting out from the shore; a jetty may protect a harbor entrance.
JIB - The foremost sail of a ship, set upon a boom which runs out from the bowsprit.
JOLLY ROGER - The pirate's flag. It had a black background and a symbol (usually white) symbolizing death. The jolly roger came into use about 1700.
KEEL - The centerline of a boat running fore and aft; the backbone of a vessel.
KEELHAUL - To drag a person backwards and forwards under a ship's keel, for certain offences.
KNOT - A measure of speed equal to one nautical mile (6076 feet) per hour.
KNOT - A fastening made by interweaving rope to form a stopper, to enclose or bind an object, to form a loop or a noose, to tie a small rope to an object, or to tie the ends of two small ropes together.
LAND HO! - Traditional calling when a sailor sights land.
LANDFALL - The first land discovered after a sea voyage. Thus a good landfall implies the land expected or desired, a bad landfall the reverse.
LANDLUBBER - Lubber is an old slang word for someone who is stupid and lazy. Sailors added land to it to describe someone stupid about the ways of life aboard a ship.
LATITUDE - The distance north or south of the equator measured and expressed in degrees.
LAZARETTE - A storage space in a boat's stern area.
LEAK - A chink or breach in the sides or bottom of a ship, through which the water enters into the hull.
LEE - The side sheltered from the wind.
LEEWARD - The direction away from the wind. Opposite of windward.
LEEWAY - The sideways movement of the boat caused by either wind or current.
LETTERS OF MARQUE - A commission or license issued by the government authorizing seizure of enemy property.
LINE - Rope and cordage used aboard a vessel.
LOG - A record of courses or operation. Also, a device to measure speed.
LONGITUDE - The distance in degrees east or west of the meridian at Greenwich, England.
LOOKOUT - A watchful attention to some important object or event that is expected to arise. Thus persons on board of a ship are occasionally stationed to look out for signals, other ships, for land, etc.
LUBBER'S LINE - A mark or permanent line on a compass indicating the direction forward parallel to the keel when properly installed.
LUFF - The order to the steersman to put the helm towards the lee side of the ship, in order to sail nearer to the wind.
MAGAZINE - A place where gunpowder is kept.
MAKE LAND - To discover land from afar.
MARLINSPIKE - A tool for opening the strands of a rope while splicing.
MAROON - Pirates used marooning as an act of punishment. A transgressor of their codes would be stripped and left upon an isolated island with only a few supplies, if any at all. Most transgressors preferred a quick death to marooning, for it could mean starvation or worse, isolation for years, until rescue or death.
MATE - The word mate comes from the word meat, and originally meant people who shared food. Later it came to be known as a companion. Mate was also the title of an officer aboard naval and merchant ships. The mate oversaw the sailors, ensuring that the captain's orders were carried out. He also was responsible for stowing cargo and organizing the crew's work.
MEASURE YE FER YER CHAINS - To be outfitted for a gibbet cage.
MIDSHIP - Approximately in the location equally distant from the bow and stern.
MONKEY - A small cannon.
MONKEY JACKET - A short, usually red jacket worn by midshipmen.
MOORING - An arrangement for securing a boat to a mooring buoy or a pier.
NARROWS - A small passage between two lands.
NAUTICAL MILE - One minute of latitude; approximately 6076 feet - about 1/8 longer than the statute mile of 5280 feet.
NAVIGATION - The art and science of conducting a boat safely from one point to another.
NAVIGATION RULES - The regulations governing the movement of vessels in relation to each other, generally called steering and sailing rules.
NO PREY, NO PAY - Crew received no wages, but shared in whatever loot was taken.
NO QUARTER GIVEN - Means something like I don't give anything, I don't take it serious, I don't care.
OFFWARD - From the shore; as when a ship lies a-ground, and leans towards the sea, she is said to heel offward.
ORLOP - The deck on which the cables are stowed.
OVERBOARD - Over the side or out of the boat.
OVERSET - A ship is overset when her keel turns upwards.
PEG LEG - This was a nickname, given by pirates to those who had replaced a leg with a wooden prosthetic. The Spanish name is Piť de Palo, the Dutch is Houtebeen. Two of the best known peg-legged pirates were Francois le Clerc and Cornelis Jol.
PICAROON - A rogue, thief brigand or pirate. Coming from the Spanish, picaro, meaning rogue or thief, it was applied to a prose literature form which originated in Spain, which depicted these men in a humorous or satirical light.
PIECE OF EIGHT - Also known as peso. Main coin in the Spanish-American colonies. It had a value of eight reales. Often the coin would be cut into 8 sections, each one representing 1 reale. Hence the name "piece of eight".
PIER - A loading platform extending at an angle from the shore.
PILE - A wood, metal or concrete pole driven into the bottom. Craft may be made fast to a pile; it may be used to support a pier or a float.
PILING - Support, protection for wharves, piers etc.; constructed of piles (see pile)
PILOTING - Navigation by use of visible references, the depth of the water, etc.
PIRATE ROUND - Route from North America to the Indian Ocean.
PLANING - A boat is said to be planing when it is essentially moving over the top of the water rather than through the water.
PLANING HULL - A type of hull shaped to glide easily across the water at high speed.
POINT BLANK - The direction of a gun when leveled horizontally.
PORT - The left side of a boat looking forward. A harbor.
PORTS - The holes in the ship's sides from which the guns are fired.
PREVENTER - An extra rope, to assist another.
PRIVELEGED VESSEL - A vessel which, according to the applicable Navigation Rule, has right-of-way (this term has been superseded by the term "stand-on").
PRIZE - An enemy vessel captured at sea by a warship or Privateer. Technically, these ships belonged to the crown, but after review by the Admiralty Court and condemnation, they were sold and the and the prize money shared.
PURCHASE - To purchase the anchor, is to loosen it out of the ground.
QUARTER - The sides of a boat aft of amidships.
QUARTERMASTER - Under pirates, the quartermaster had an almost equal amount of authority as the captain. If a ship was captured, the quartermaster almost always took over the captured ship. He maintained order, settled arguments, and distributed supplies. The quartermaster was in charge of all booty gained and distributed it among the crew.
QUARTERS - The several stations of a ship's crew in time of action.
QUARTERING SEA - Sea coming on a boat's quarter.
RAKE - To cannonade a ship at the stern or head, so that the balls scour the whole length of the decks.
RANGE OF CABLE - A sufficient length of cable, drawn upon the deck before the anchor is cast loose, to admit of its sinking to the bottom without any check.
READY ABOUT! - A command of the boatswain to the crew, and implies that all the hands are to be attentive, and at their stations for tacking.
REEF - Part of a sail from one row of eyelet-holes to another. It is applied likewise to a chain of rocks lying near the surface of the water.
REEVE - To reeve a rope, is to put it through a block, and to unreeve it, is to take it out of the block.
RIDE AT ANCHOR - Is when a ship is held by her anchors, and is not driven by wind or tide. To ride athwart, is to ride with the ship's side to the tide. To ride hawsefallen, is when the water breaks into the hawse in a rough sea.
RIG - To put the ropes in their proper places.
RODE - The anchor line and/or chain.
ROLLING - The motion by which a ship rocks from side to side like a cradle.
ROPE - In general, cordage as it is purchased at the store. When it comes aboard a vessel and is put to use it becomes line.
ROPE YARN - Is what the cordage and cables are made with.
RUDDER - A vertical plate or board for steering a boat.
RULLOCK - The nitch in a boat's side, in which the oars are used.
RUN - To allow a line to feed freely.
RUN A RIG - To play a trick.
RUN A SHOT ACROSS THE BOW - Command to fire a warning shot.
SCOPE - Technically, the ratio of length of anchor rode in use to the vertical distance from the bow of the vessel to the bottom of the water. Usually six to seven to one for calm weather and more scope in storm conditions.
SCOURGE OF THE SEVEN SEAS - An extremely evil pirate.
SCUDD - To go right before the wind; and going in this direction without any sail set is called spooning.
SCUPPERS - Drain holes on deck, in the toe rail, or in bulwarks or (with drain pipes) in the deck itself.
SCURVY - A disease resulting from a vitamin C deficiency characterized by weakness, anemia, and spongy gums. In the sense of 'scurvy dog' it meant low or mean.
SCUTTLE - To sink.
SEA COCK - A through hull valve, a shut off on a plumbing or drain pipe between the vessel's interior and the sea.
SEAMANSHIP - All the arts and skills of boat handling, ranging from maintenance and repairs to piloting, sail handling, marlinespike work, and rigging.
SEA ROOM - A safe distance from the shore or other hazards.
SEAWORTHY - A boat or a boat's gear able to meet the usual sea conditions.
SECURE - To make fast.
SET - Direction toward which the current is flowing.
SET SAIL - To unfurl and expand the sails to the wind, in order to give motion to the ship.
SHIFT THE HELM - To alter its position from right to left, or from left to right.
SHIP - A larger vessel usually thought of as being used for ocean travel. A vessel able to carry a "boat" on board.
SHIPSHAPE - Doing anything in a sailor-like manner.
SHIVER ME TIMBERS! - Expression of astonishment with no historical origin. The term derives from the shiver a ship would take when being hit by a cannonball.
SHOAL - Shallow, not deep.
SHORTEN SAIL - Opposite of set sail.
SIX POUNDERS - Cannons.
SKIDDS - Pieces of wood to put over the sides to hinder any thing from rubbing the sides.
SLACK - Not fastened; loose. Also, to loosen.
SLACKWATER - The interval between the flux and reflux of the tide, when no motion is perceptible in the water.
SMOKING LAMP - The smoking lamp was a safety measure. It was devised mainly to keep the fire hazard (smoking seamen) away from highly combustible woodwork and gunpowder. Usually, the lamp was located in the forecastle or the area directly surrounding the galley indicting that smoking was permitted in this area.
SOLE - Cabin or saloon floor. Timber extensions on the bottom of the rudder. Also the molded fiberglass deck of a cockpit.
SOUNDING - A measurement of the depth of water.
SPANISH MAIN - Mainland taken by Spain, from Mexico to Peru plus the Caribbean islands.
SPRAY - The sprinkling of a sea, driven occasionally from the top of a wave.
SPRING LINE - A pivot line used in docking, undocking, or to prevent the boat from moving forward or astern while made fast to a dock.
SQUALL - A sudden, violent wind often accompanied by rain.
SQUARE KNOT - A knot used to join two lines of similar size. Also called a reef knot.
STANDING PART - That part of a line which is made fast. The main part of a line as distinguished from the bight and the end.
STAND-ON VESSEL - That vessel which has right-of-way during a meeting, crossing, or overtaking situation.
STARBOARD - The right side of a boat when looking forward.
STEM - The forward most part of the bow.
STERN - The after part of the boat.
STERN LINE - A docking line leading from the stern.
STOW - To arrange and dispose a ship's cargo.
STRANDED - When a vessel is got aground on some rocks, and filled with water.
STRIKE - To lower or let down any thing. Used emphatically to denote the lowering of colors in token of surrender to a victorious enemy.
SWAB - A kind of large mop, made of junk, to clean a ship's deck with. It is also an insult intended to show contempt for a crude, ignorant person.
SWAMP - To fill with water, but not settle to the bottom.
SWINGING - The act of a ship's turning round her anchor at the change of wind or tide.
TACK - To turn a ship about from one tack to another, by bringing her head to the wind.
TAR, JACK TAR - Tar or Jack Tar are slang terms for a Sailor. Early Sailors wore overalls and broad-brimmed hats made of tar-impregnated fabric called tarpaulin cloth. The hats, and the Sailors who wore them, were called tarpaulins, which may have been shortened to tars.
THWARTSHIPS - At right angles to the centerline of the boat.
TIDE - The periodic rise and fall of water level in the oceans.
TILLER - A large piece of wood, or beam, put into the head of the rudder, and by means of which the rudder is moved.
TIMBERS - What the frame is composed of.
TOMPION, TOMKIN - The bung, or piece of wood, by which the mouth of the canon is filled to keep out wet.
TOPSIDES - The sides of a vessel between the waterline and the deck; sometimes referring to onto or above the deck.
TRANSOM - The stern cross-section of a square sterned boat.
TRIM - Fore and aft balance of a boat.
UNDERWAY - Vessel in motion, i.e., when not moored, at anchor, or aground.
UNFURL - Cast loose the gasket of the sails.
V BOTTOM - A hull with the bottom section in the shape of a "V".
VAN - The foremost division of a fleet in one line. It is likewise applied to the foremost ship of a division.
VANE - A small kind of flag worn at each mast head.
VEER - To change a ship's course from one tack to the other, by turning her stern to windward.
WAKE - Moving waves, track or path that a boat leaves behind it, when moving across the waters.
WALK THE PLANK - Walking the Plank referred to blindfolding a prisoner, tying his hands to his sides, and forcing him to walk a plank that was suspended out over the sea.
WATERLINE - A line painted on a hull which shows the point to which a boat sinks when it is properly trimmed.
WATERLOGGED - The state of a ship that has become heavy and inactive on the sea from the great quantity of water leaked into her.
WAY - Movement of a vessel through the water such as headway, sternway or leeway.
WIND'S EYE - The point from which the wind blows.
WINDWARD - Toward the direction from which the wind is coming.
YAW - To swing or steer off course, as when running with a quartering sea.