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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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HAIL To speak or call to another vessel, or to men in a different part of a ship.
HALYARDS Ropes or tackles used for hoisting and lowering yards, gaffs, and sails.
HALF-HITCH Kind of knot.
HAMMOCK A piece of canvass, hung at each end, in which seamen sleep.
HAND To hand a sail is to furl it.

Bear-a-hand; make haste.

Lend-a-hand; assist.

Hand-over-hand; hauling rapidly on a rope, by putting one hand before the other alternately.

HAND-LEAD A small lead, used for sounding in rivers and harbors.
HANDSOMELY Slowly, carefully. Used for an order, as, "Lower handsomely!"
HANDSPIKE A long wooden bar, used for heaving at the windlass.
HANDY BILLY A watch-tackle.
HANKS Rings or hoops of wood, rope, or iron, round a stay, and seized to the luff of a fore-and-aft sail.
HARPINGS The fore part of the wales, which encompass the bows of a vessel, and are fastened to the stem.
HARPOON A spear used for striking whales and other fish.
HATCH or HATCHWAY An opening in the deck to afford a passage up and down. The coverings over these openings are also called hatches.

Hatch-bar is an iron bar going across the hatches to keep them down.

HAUL Haul her wind, said of a vessel when she comes up close upon the wind.
HAWSE The situation of the cables before a vessel's stem, when moored. Also the distance upon the water a little in advance of the stem; as, a vessel sails athwart the hawse, or anchors in the hawse of another.

Open hawse. When a vessel rides by two anchors, without any cross in her cables.

HAWSE-HOLE The hole in the bows through which the cable runs.
HAWSE-PIECES Timbers through which the hawse-holes are cut.
HAWSE-BLOCK A block of wood fitted into a hawse-hole at sea.
HAWSER A large rope used for various purposes, as warping, for a spring, &c.
HAWSER-LAID or CABLE-LAID Rope laid with nine strands against the sun
HAZE A term for punishing a man by keeping him unnecessarily at work upon disagreeable or difficult duty.
HEAD The work at the prow of a vessel. If it is a carved figure, it is called a figure-head; if simple carved work, bending over and out, a billet-head; and if bending in, like the head of a violin, a fiddle-head. Also, the upper end of a mast, called a mast-head. (See BY-THE-HEAD. See FAST.)
HEAD-LEDGES Thwartship pieces that frame the hatchways.
HEAD-SAILS A general name given to all sails that set forward of the fore-mast.
HEART A block of wood in the shape of a heart, for stays to reeve through.
HEART-YARNS The centre yarns of a strand.
HEAVE SHORT To heave in on the cable until the vessel is nearly over her anchor.
HEAVE-TO To put a vessel in the position of lying-to. (See LIE-TO.)
HEAVE IN STAYS To go about in tacking.
HEAVER A short wooden bar, tapering at each end. Used as a purchase.
HEEL The after part of the keel. Also, the lower end of a mast or boom. Also, the lower end of the stern-post.

To heel, is to lie over on one side.

HEELING The square part of the lower end of a mast, through which the fid-hole is made.
HELM The machinery by which a vessel is steered, including the rudder, tiller, wheel, &c. Applied more particularly, perhaps, to the tiller.
HELM-PORT The hole in the counter through which the rudder-head passes.
HELM-PORT-TRANSOM A piece of timber placed across the lower counter, inside, at the height of the helm-port, and bolted through every timber, for the security of that port.
HIGH AND DRY The situation of a vessel when she is aground, above water mark.
HITCH A peculiar manner of fastening ropes.
HOG A flat rough broom, used for scrubbing the bottom of a vessel.
HOGGED The state of a vessel when, by any strain, she is made to droop at each end, bringing her centre up.
HOLD The interior of a vessel, where the cargo is stowed.
HOLD WATER To stop the progress of a boat by keeping the oar-blades in the water.
HOLY-STONE A large stone, used for cleaning a ship's decks.
HOME The sheets of a sail are said to be home, when the clews are hauled chock out to the sheave-holes. An anchor comes home when it is loosened from the ground and is hove in toward the vessel.
HOOD A covering for a companion hatch, skylight, &c.
HOOD-ENDS or HOODING-ENDS or WHOODEN-ENDS Those ends of the planks which fit into the rabbets of the stem or stern-post.
HOOK-AND-BUTT The scarfing, or laying the ends of timbers over each other.
HORNS The jaws of booms. Also, the ends of cross-trees.
HORSE (See FOOT-ROPE.)
HOUNDS. Those projections at the mast-head serving as shoulders for the top or trestle-trees to rest upon.
HOUSE To house a mast, is to lower it almost half its length, and secure it by lashing its heel to the mast below.
HOUSING or HOUSE-LINE A small cord made of three small yarns, and used for seizings. (Pronounced houze-lin.)
HULL The body of a vessel. (See A-HULL.)

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