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Schooner Vocabulary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

B

Baggywrinkle:
clumps of frayed rope that protect the sails from charing against the lines.

Boom:
free-swinging spar attatched to the bottom edge of of a sail, riding on the mast.

Bowsprit:
a long spar attatched to the bow; used to attatch sails which hang out over the ocean.

Bunk:
a sleeping berth.

C

Capstan:
the drum-like part of the windlass, which is a machine used for winding in rope, cables or chain connected to an anchor cargo.

Charley noble:
galley stove-pipe.

Crosstrees:
horizontal pieces of wood that cross the mast up high, acting as spreaders for the shrouds.

D

Davite:
small cranes, usually located aster, that are used to raise and lower smaller boats from the deck to the water.

Ditty bag:
a small bag for carrying or stowing all personal articles.

Dead-eyes:
blocks in the shroud rigging to adjust tension.

F

Fo’c’sle:
contraction of “fore castle” (fore= foreward); the living quarters inside the hull of a ship.

Foremast:
the mast in the forepart of a vessel, nearest the bow.

Forepeak:
the crew’s quarters, located in the bow.

Foresail:
the lowest square sail on the foremast.

Frames:
the wooden ribs that form the shape of the hull.

G

Gaff:
a free-swinging spar attatched to the top of the sail.

Galley:
the kitchen of a ship.

H

Halyards:
lines used to haul up the sail and the wooden poles (boom and gaff) that hold the sails in place.

Hatch:
an opening in the deck for entering below.

Headsails:
any sail foreward of the foremast.

Highliner:
the best of its type of fishing boat. Word originates from a time when the crew used to fish from the deck of a vessel. The best fisherman got the highest place on deck, up in the bow, so his line was the highest above the sea.

Hold:
the space for cargo below the deck of the ship ( as in “fish hold”).

J

Jettison:
to throw overboard.

Jib:
a triangular foresail in front of the foremast.

Jumbo:
the larger of the headsails.

K

Keel:
the timber at the very bottom of the hull to which frames are attatched.

Knockabout:
a type of schooner without a bowsprit.

L

Lazyjacks:
lines from topping lifts to under boom which act as anet to catch the sails when lowered.

Lines:
ropes used for various purposes aboard a boat.

M

Mainmast:
the tallest mast of the ship; on a schooner, the mast furthest aft.

Mainsail:
the lowest square sail on the mainmast.

Mast:
a large wooden pole used to hold up the sails.

P

Pay out:
to feed line over the side of the boat, hand over hand.

Pilothouse:
a small cabin on the deck of the ship that protects the steering wheel and the crewman steering.

Planking:
wood boards that cover the frames outside the hull.

Q

Queen topsail:
small stay sail located between the foremast and mainmast.

R

Rigging:
the lines that hold up the masts and move the sails (standing and running rigging).

Rudder:
a fin or blade attatched under the hull’s stern used for sreering.

S

Scuppers:
holes through the ship sides which drain water at deck level over the side.

Sail:
a piece of cloth that catches the wind and so powers a vessel.

Sailing rig:
the equipment used to sail a bost, including sails, booms and gaffs, lines and blocks.

Schooner:
sailing ships with at least 2 masts (foremast and mainmast) with the mainmast being the taller. Word derives from the term "schoon/scoon" meaning to move smoothly and quickly. ( a 3-masted vessel is called a "tern").

Sheet:
piece of line fastened to the sail and used to position relative to the wind.

Shroud:
a line or wire running from the top of the mast to the spreaders, then attatching to the side of the vessel.

Sole:
the inside deck of the ship.

Spar:
a pole or a beam.

Stay:
a line or wire from the mast to the bow or stern of a ship, for support of the mast (fore, back, running, and triadic stays).

Stay sail:
any sail attatched to a stay.

Stem:
the timber at the very front of the bow.

T

Topmast:
a second spar carried at the top of the fore or main mast, used to fly more sail.

Transom:
the planking that forms the stern and closes off the sides.

W

Wheel:
device used for steering a boat.

Widow-maker:
a term for the bowsprit (many sailors lost their lives falling off the bowsprit while tending sails).

Y

Yankee:
a fore-sail flying above and forward of the jib, usually seen on bowsprit vessels.

Yawl boat:
smaller powered boat used to provide steerage-way when not under sail.


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Updated by OBS on July 4, 1996; comments to adventure@obs-us.com.