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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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TABLING Letting one beam-piece into another. (See SCARFING.) Also, the broad hem on the borders of sails, to which the boltl-rope is sewed.
TACK To put a ship about, so that from having the wind on one side, you bring it round on the other by the way of her head. The opposite of wearing.

A vessel is on the starboard tack, or has her starboard tacks on board, when she has the wind on her starboard side.

The rope or tackle by which the weather clew of a course is hauled forward and down to the deck.

The tack of a fore-and-aft sail is the rope that keeps down the lower forward clew; and of a studdingsail, the lower outer clew. The tack of the lower studdingsail is called the outhaul. Also, that part of a sail in which the tack is attached.

TACKLE (Pronounced tay-cle.) A purchase, formed by a rope rove through one or more blocks.
TAFFRAIL, or TAFFEREL. The rail round a ship's stern.
TAIL A rope spliced into the end of a block and used for making it fast to rigging or spars. Such a block is called a tail-block.

A ship is said to tail up or down stream, when at anchor, according as her stern swings up or down with the tide; in opposition to heading one way or another, which is said of a vessel when under way.

TAIL-TACKLE A watch-tackle.
TAIL ON! or TALLY ON! An order given to take hold of a rope and pull.
TANK An iron vessel placed in the hold to contain the vessel's water.
TAR A liquid gum, taken from pine and fir trees, and used for caulking, and to put upon yarns in rope-making, and upon standing rigging, to protect it from the weather.
TARPAULIN A piece of canvass, covered with tar, used for covering hatches, boats, &c. Also, the name commonly given to a sailor's hat when made of tarred or painted cloth.
TAUT Tight.
TAUNT High or tall. Commonly applied to a vessel's masts.

All-a-taunt-o. Said of a vessel when she has all her light and tall masts and spars aloft.

TELL TALE A compass hanging from the beams of the cabin, by which the heading of a vessel may be known at any time. Also, an instrument connected with the barrel of the wheel, and traversing so that the officer may see the position of the tiller.
TEND To watch a vessel at anchor at the turn of tides, and cast her by the helm, and some sail if necessary, so as to keep turns out of her cables.
TENON The heel of a mast, made to fit into the step.
THICK-AND-THIN BLOCK A block having one sheave larger than the other. Sometimes used for quarter-blocks.
THIMBLE An iron ring, having its rim concave on the outside for a rope or strap to fit snugly round.
THOLE-PINS Pins in the gunwale of a boat, between which an oar rests when pulling, instead of a rowlock.
THROAT The inner end of a gaff, where it widens and hollows in to fit the mast. (See JAWS.) Also, the hollow part of a knee.

The throat brails, halyards, &c., are those that hoist or haul up the gaff or sail near the throat. Also, the angle where the arm of an anchor is joined to the shank.

THRUM To stick short strands of yarn through a mat or piece of canvass, to make a rough surface.
THWARTS The seats going across a boat, upon which the oarsmen sit.
THWARTSHIPS (See ATHWARTSHIPS.)
TIDE To tide up or down a river or harbor, is to work up or down with a fair tide and head wind or calm, coming to anchor when the tide turns.
TIDE-RODE The situation of a vessel, at anchor, when she swings by the force of the tide. In opposition to wind-rode.
TIER A range of casks. Also, the range of the fakes of a cable or hawser.

The cable tier is the place in a hold or between decks where the cables are stowed.

TILLER A bar of wood or iron, put into the head of the rudder, by which the rudder is moved.
TILLER-ROPES Ropes leading from the tiller-head round the barrel of the wheel, by which a vessel is steered.
TIMBER A general term for all large pieces of wood used in ship-building. Also, more particularly, long pieces of wood in a curved form, bending outward, and running from the keel up, on each side, forming the ribs of a vessel. The keel, stem, stern-posts and timbers form a vessel's outer frame.
TIMBER-HEADS The ends of the timbers that come above the decks. Used for belaying hawsers and large ropes.
TIMENOGUY A rope carried taut between different parts of the vessel, to prevent the sheet or tack of a course from getting foul, in working ship.
TOGGLE A pin placed through the bight or eye of a rope, block-strap, or bolt, to keep it in its place, or to put the bight or eye of another rope upon, and thus to secure them both together.
TOMPION A bung or plug placed in the mouth of a cannon.
TOP A platform, placed over the head of a lower mast, resting on the trestle-trees, to spread the rigging, and for the convenience of men aloft.

To top up a yard or boom, is to raise up one end of it by hoisting on the lift.

TOP-BLOCK A large iron-bound block, hooked into a bolt under the lower cap, and used for the top-rope to reeve through in sending up and down topmasts.
TOP-LIGHT A signal lantern carried in the top.
TOP-LINING A lining on the after part of sails, to prevent them from chafing against the top-rim.
TOPMAST The second mast above the deck. Next above the lower mast.
TOPGALLANT MAST The third mast above the deck.
TOP-ROPE The rope used for sending topmasts up and down.
TOPSAIL The second sail above the deck.
TOPGALLANTSAIL The third sail above the deck.
TOPPING-LIFT A lift used for topping up the end of a boom.
TOP TIMBERS The highest timbers on a vessel's side, being above the futtocks.
TOSS To throw an oar out of the rowlock, and raise it perpendicularly on its end, and lay it down in the boat, with its blade forward.
TOUCH A sail is said to touch, when the wind strikes the leech so as to shake it a little.

Luff and touch her! The order to bring the vessel up and see how near she will go to the wind.

TOW To draw a vessel along by means of a rope.
TRAIN-TACKLE The tackle used for running guns in and out.
TRANSOMS Pieces of timber going across the stern-post, to which they are bolted.
TRANSOM-KNEES Knees bolted to the transoms and after timbers.
TRAVELLER An iron ring, fitted so as to slip up and down a rope.
TREENAILS or TRUNNELS Long wooden pins, used for nailing a plank to a timber.
TREND The lower end of the shank of an anchor, being the same distance on the shank from the throat that the arm measures from the throat to the bill.
TRESTLE-TREES Two strong pieces of timber, placed horizontally and fore-and-aft on opposite sides of a mast-head, to support the cross-trees and top, and for the fid of the mast above to rest upon.
TRIATIC STAY A rope secured at each end to the heads of the fore and main masts, with thimbles spliced into its bight, to hook the stay tackles to.
TRICE To haul up by means of a rope.
TRICK The time allotted to a man to stand at the helm.
TRIM The condition of a vessel, with reference to her cargo and ballast. A vessel is trimmed by the head or by the stern.

In ballast trim, is when she has only ballast on board.

Also, to arrange the sails by the braces with reference to the wind.

TRIP To raise an anchor clear of the bottom.
TRIPPING LINE A line used for tripping a topgallant or royal yard in sending it down.
TRUCK A circular piece of wood, placed at the head of the highest mast on a ship. It has small holes or sheaves in it for signal halyards to be rove through. Also, the wheel of a gun-carriage.
TRUNNIONS The arms on each side of a cannon by which it rests upon the carriage, and on which, as an axis, it is elevated or depressed.
TRUSS The rope by which the centre of a lower yard is kept in toward the mast.
TRYSAIL A fore-and-aft sail, set with a boom and gaff, and hoisting on a small mast abaft the lower mast, called a trysail-mast. This name is generally confined to the sail so carried at the mainmast of a full-rigged brig; those carried at the foremast and at the mainmast of a ship or bark being called spencers, and those that are at the mizzenmast of a ship or bark, spankers.
TUMBLING HOME Said of a ship's sides when they fall in above the bends. The opposite of wall-sided.
TURN Passing a rope once or twice round a pin or kevel, to keep it fast. Also, two crosses in a cable.

To turn in or turn out, nautical terms for going to rest in a berth or hammock, and getting up from them.

Turn up! The order given to send the men up from between decks.

TYE A rope connected with a yard, to the other end of which a tackle is attached for hoisting.

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