Dana was the author of ‘Two Years Before the Mast’
[My copy: Boston: Thomas Groom & Co., 1851. 6th Edition, Revised and Corrected]
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|BACK||To back an anchor, is to carry out a smaller one ahead
of the one by which the vessel rides, to take off some of the
To back a sail, is throw it aback.
To back and fill, is alternately to back and fill the sails.
|BACKSTAYS||Stays running from a masthead to the vessel's side, slanting a little aft. (See STAYS.)|
|BAGPIPE||To bagpipe the mizzen, is to lay it aback by bringing the sheet to the weather mizzen rigging.|
|BALANCE-REEF||A reef in a spanker or fore-and-aft mainsail, which runs from the outer head-earing, diagonally, to the tack. It is the closest reef, and makes the sail triangular, or nearly so.|
|BALE||To bale a boat, is to throw water out of her.|
|BALLAST||Heavy material, as iron, lead, or stone, placed in the bottom
of the hold, to keep a vessel from upsetting.
To freshen ballast, is to shift it. Coarse gravel is called shingle ballast.
|BANK||A boat is double banked, when two oars, one opposite the other, are pulled by men seated on the same thwart.|
|BAR||A bank or shoal at the entrance of a harbor.
Capstan-bars are heavy pieces of wood by which the capstan is hove round.
|BARE-POLES||The condition of a ship when she has no sail set.|
|BARGE||A large double-banked boat, used by the commander of a vessel, in the navy.|
|BARK or BARQUE||A three-masted vessel, having her fore and main masts rigged like a ship's, and her mizzen mast like the main mast of a schooner, with no sail upon it but a spanker, and gaff topsail.|
|BARNACLE||A shell-fish often found on a vessel's bottom.|
|BATTENS||Thin strips of wood put around the hatches, to keep the tarpaulin down. Also put upon rigging to keep it from chafing. A large batten widened at the end, and put upon rigging, is called a scotchman.|
|BEACON||A post or buoy placed over a shoal or bank to warn vessels off. Also as a signal-mark on land.|
|BEAMS||Strong pieces of timber stretching across the vessel, to support
On the weather or lee beam, is in a direction to windward or leeward, at right angles with the keel.
On beam ends. The situation of a vessel when turned over so that her beams are inclined toward the vertical.
|BEAR||An object bears so and so, when it is in such a direction
from the person looking.
To bear down upon a vessel, is to approach her from the windward.
To bear up, is to put the helm up and keep a vessel off from her course, and move her to leeward.
To bear away, is the same as to bear up; being applied to the vessel instead of to the tiller.
To bear-a-hand. To make haste.
|BEARING||The direction of an object from the person looking. The bearings of a vessel, are the widest part of her below the plank-shear. That part of her hull which is on the water-line when she is at anchor and in her proper trim.|
|BEATING||Going toward the direction of the wind, by alternate tacks.|
|BECALM||To intercept the wind. A vessel or highland to windward is said to becalm another. So one sail becalms another.|
|BECKET||A piece of rope placed so as to confine a spar or another rope. A handle made of rope, in the form of a circle, (as the handle of a chest.) is called a becket.|
|BEES||Pieces of plank bolted to the outer end of the bowsprit, to reeve the foretopmast stays through.|
|BELAY||To make a rope fast by turns round a pin or coil, without hitching or seizing it.|
|BEND||To make fast.
To bend a sail, is to make it fast to the yard.
To bend a cable, is to make it fast to the anchor.
A bend, is a knot by which one rope is made fast to another.
|BENDS||The strongest part of a vessel's side, to which the beams, knees, and foot-hooks are bolted. The part between the water's edge and the bulwarks.|
|BENTICK SHROUDS||Formerly used, and extending from the futtock-staves to the opposite channels.|
|BERTH||The place where a vessel lies. The place in which a man sleeps.|
|BETWEEN-DECKS||The space between any two decks of a ship.|
|BIBBS||Pieces of timber bolted to the hounds of a mast, to support the trestle-trees.|
|BIGHT||The double part of a rope when it is folded; in contradistinction from the ends. Any part of a rope may be called the bight, except the ends. Also, a bend in the shore, making a small bay or inlet.|
|BILGE||That part of the floor of a ship upon which she would rest if
aground; being the part near the keel which is more in a horizontal
than a perpendicular line.
Bilge-ways. Pieces of timber bolted together and placed under the bilge, in launching.
Bilged. When the bilge is broken in.
Bilge Water. Water which settles in the bilge.
Bilge. The largest circumference of a cask.
|BILL||The point at the extremity of the fluke of an anchor.|
|BINNACLE||A box near the helm, containing the compass.|
|BITTS||Perpendicular pieces of timber going through the deck, placed to secure anything to. The cables are fastened to them, if there is no windlass. There are also bitts to secure the windlass, and on each side of the heel of the bowsprit.|
|BITTER or BITTER-END||That part of the cable which is abaft the bitts.|
|BLACKWALL HITCH||A type of knot.|
|BLADE||The flat part of an oar, which goes into the water.|
|BLOCK||A piece of wood with sheaves, or wheels, in it, through which the running rigging passes, to add to the purchase.|
|BLUFF||A bluff-bowed or bluff-headed vessel is one which is full and square forward.|
|BOARD||The stretch a vessel makes upon one tack, when she is beating.
Stern-board. When a vessel goes stern foremost.
By the board. Said of masts, when they fall over the side.
|BOAT-HOOK||An iron hook with a long staff, held in the hand, by which a boat is kept fast to a wharf, or vessel.|
|BOATSWAIN||A warrant officer in the navy, who has charge of the rigging, and calls the crew to duty. (Pronounced bo-s'n.)|
|BOBSTAYS||Used to confine the bowsprit down to the stem or cutwater.|
|BOLSTERS||Pieces of soft wood, covered with canvass, placed on the trestle-trees, for the eyes of the rigging to rest upon.|
|BOLTS||Long cylindrical bars of iron or copper, used to secure or unite the different parts of a vessel.|
|BOLT-ROPE||The rope which goes round a sail, and to which the canvass is sewed.|
|BONNET||An additional piece of canvass attached to the foot of a jib, or a schooner's foresail, by lacing. Taken off in bad weather.|
|BOOM||A spar used to extend the foot of a fore-and-aft sail or studding-sail..
Boom-irons. Iron rings on the yards, through which the studding-sail booms traverse.
|BOOT-TOPPING||Scraping off the grass, or other matter, which may be on a vessel's bottom, and daubing it over with tallow, or some mixture.|
|BOUND||Wind-bound. When a vessel is kept in port by a head wind.|
|BOW||The rounded part of a vessel, forward.|
|BOWER||A working anchor, the cable of which is bent and reeved through
Best bower is the larger of the two bowers.
|BOW-GRACE||A frame of old rope or junk, placed round the bows and sides of a vessel, to prevent the ice from injuring her.|
|BOWLINE||(Pronounced bo-lin.) A rope leading forward from the
leech of a square sail, to keep the leech well out when sailing
close-hauled. A vessel is said to be on a bowline, or
on a taut bowline, when she is close-hauled.
Bowline-bridle. The span on the leech of the sail to which the bowline is toggled.
|BOWSE||To pull upon a tackle.|
|BOWSPRIT||A large and strong spar, standing from the bows of a vessel. (Pronounced bo-sprit.)|
|BOX-HAULING||Wearing a vessel by backing the head sails.|
|BOX||To box the compass, is to repeat the thirty-two points of the compass in order.|
|BRACE||A rope by which a yard is turned about.
To brace a yard, is to turn it about horizontally.
To brace up, is to lay the yard fore fore-and-aft.
To brace in, is to lay it nearer square.
To brace aback. (See ABACK.)
To brace to, is to brace the head yards a little aback, in tacking or wearing.
|BRAILS||Ropes by which the foot or lower corners of fore-and-aft sails are hauled up.|
|BRAKE||The handle of a ship's pump.|
To break bulk, is to begin to unload.
To break ground, is to lift the anchor from the bottom.
To break shear, is when a vessel, at anchor, in tending, is forced the wrong way by the wind or current, so that she does not lie so well for keeping herself clear of her anchor.
|BREAKER||A small cask containing water.|
|BREAMING||Cleaning a ship's bottom by burning.|
|BREAST-FAST||A rope used to confine a vessel sideways to a wharf, or to some other vessel.|
|BREAST-HOOKS||Knees placed in the forward part of a vessel, across the stem, to unite the bows on each side.|
|BREAST-ROPE||A rope passed round a man in the chains, while sounding.|
|BREECH||The outside angle of a knee-timber. The after end of a gun.|
|BREECHING||A strong rope used to secure the breech of a gun to the ship's side.|
|BRIDLE||Spans of rope attached to the leeches of square sails, to which
the bowlines are made fast.
Bridle-port. The foremost port, used for stowing the anchors.
|BRIG||A square-rigged vessel, with two masts. An hermaphrodite brig has a brig's foremast and a schooner's mainmnast.|
|BROACH-TO||To fall off so much, when going free, as to bring the wind round on the other quarter and take the sails aback.|
|BROADSIDE||The whole side of a vessel.|
|BROKEN-BACKED||The state of a vessel when she is so loosened as to droop at each end.|
|BUCKLERS||Blocks of wood made to fit in the hawse-holes, or holes in the half-ports, when at sea. Those in the hawse-holes are sometimes called hawse-blocks.|
|BULK||The whole cargo when stowed.
Stowed in bulk, is when goods are stowed loose, instead of being stowed in casks or bags. (See BREAK BULK.)
|BULK HEAD||Temporary partitions of boards to separate different parts of a vessel.|
|BULL||A sailor's term for a small keg, holding a gallon or two.|
|BULL'S EYE||a small piece of stout wood with a hole in the centre for a stay or rope to reeve through, without any sheave, and with a groove round it for the strap, which is usually of iron. Also, a piece of thick glass inserted in the deck to let light below.|
|BULWARKS||The wood work round a vessel, above her deck, consisting of boards fastened to stanchions and timber-heads.|
|BUM-BOATS||Boats which lie alongside a vessel in port with provisions and fruit to sell.|
|BUMPKIN||Pieces of timber projecting from the vessel, to board the fore tack to; and from each quarter, for the main brace-blocks.|
|BUNT||The middle of a sail.|
|BUNTINE||Thin woolen stuff of which a ship's colors are made. (Pronounced buntin.)|
|BUNTLINES||Ropes used for hauling up the body of a sail.|
|BUOY||A floating cask, or piece of wood, attached by a rope to an
anchor, to show its position. Also, floated over a shoal, or other
dangerous place as a beacon.
To stream a buoy, is to drop it into the water before letting go the anchor.
A buoy is said to watch, when it floats upon the surface of the water.
|BURTON||A tackle, rove in a particular manner. A single Spanish
burton has three single blocks, or two single blocks and
a hook in the bight of one of the running parts.
A double Spanish burton has three double blocks.
|BUTT||The end of a plank where it unites with the end of another.
Scuttle-butt. A cask with a hole cut in its bilge, and kept on deck to hold water for daily use.
|BUTTOCK||That part of the convexity of a vessel abaft, under the stern, contained between the counter above and the after part of the bilge below, and between the quarter on the side and the stern-post.|
|BY||by the head. Said of a vessel when her head is lower
in the water than her stern.
by the stern. Said of a vessel when her stern is lower than her head. Also method of reproduction among sailors.
by the lee (See LEE and see RUN.)
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