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DICTIONARY of SEA TERMS 1841/1851

     Adapted from 'The Seaman's Friend...' by R. H. DANA Jr

Dana was the author of ‘Two Years Before the Mast’
[Boston: Thomas Groom & Co., 1851. 6th Edition, Revised and Corrected]
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DAGGER A piece of timber crossing all the puppets of the bilge-ways to keep them together.

Dagger-knees. Knees placed obliquely, to avoid a port.

DAVITS Pieces of timber or iron, with sheaves or blocks at their ends, projecting over a vessel's sides or stern, to hoist boats up to. Also, a spar with a roller or sheave at its end, used for fishing the anchor, called a fish-davit.
DEAD-EYE A circular block of wood, with three holes through it, for the lanyards of rigging to reeve through, without sheaves, and with a groove round it for an iron strap.
DEAD-FLAT One of the bends, amidships.
DEAD-LIGHTS Ports placed in the cabin windows in bad weather.
DEAD RECKONING A reckoning kept by observing a vessel's courses and distances by the log, to ascertain her position.
DEAD-RISING or RISING-LINE Those parts of a vessel's floor, throughout her whole length, where the floor-timber is terminated upon the lower futtock.
DEAD-WATER The eddy under a vessel's counter.
DEAD-WOOD Blocks of timber, laid upon each end of the keel, where the vessel narrows.
DECK The planked floor of a vessel, resting upon her beams.
DECK-STOPPER A stopper used for securing the cable forward of the windlass or capstan, while it is overhauled. (See STOPPER.)
DEEP-SEA-LEAD The lead used in sounding at great depths. (Pronounced dipsey.)
DEPARTURE The easting or westing made by a vessel. The bearing of an object on the coast from which a vessel commences her dead reckoning.
DERRICK A single spar, supported by stays and guys, to which a purchase is attached, used to unload vessels, and for hoisting.
DOG A short iron bar, with a fang or teeth at one end, and a ring at the other. Used for a purchase, the fang being placed against a beam or knee, and the block of a tackle hooked to the ring.
DOG-VANE A small vane, made of feathers or buntin, to show the direction of the wind.
DOG-WATCHES Half watches of two hours each, from 4 to 6, and from 6 to 8, P.M. (See WATCH.)
DOLPHIN A rope or strap round a mast to support the puddening, where the lower yards rest in the slings. Also, a spar or buoy with a large ring in it, secured to an anchor, to which vessels may bend their cables.
DOLPHIN-STRIKER. The martingale.
DOUSE To lower suddenly.
DOWELLING A method of coaking, by letting pieces into the solid, or uniting two pieces together by tenoning.
DOWNHAUL A rope used to haul down jibs, staysails, and studdingsails.
DRABLER A piece of canvass laced to the bonnet of a sail, to give it more drop.
DRAG A machine with a bag net, used for dragging on the bottom for anything lost.
DRAUGHT The depth of water which a vessel requires to float her.
DRAW A sail draws when it is filled by the wind.

To draw a jib, is to shift it over the stay to leeward, when it is aback.

DRIFTS Those pieces in the sheer-draught where the rails are cut off.
DRIVE To scud before a gale, or to drift in a current.
DRIVER A spanker.
DROP The depth of a sail, from head to foot, amidships.
DRUM-HEAD The top of the capstan.
DUB To reduce the end of a timber.
DUCK A kind of cloth, lighter and finer than canvass; used for small sails.
DUNNAGE Loose wood or other matters, placed on the bottom of the hold, above the ballast, to stow cargo upon.

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