Nautical Dictionary “B”

Babcock Erith Stoker.

 Mechanical apparatus for feeding boiler furnaces with coal, and so arranging it that efficient consumption and clean fires were maintained.

Babcock Johnson Boiler.

Water tube boiler of fairly small dimensions and weight, but having very high efficiency.

Babcock Wilcox Boiler.

 Water tube boiler for main steam purposes. Working pressure up to 1400 lb. per sq. in.

Bac.

 Flat-bottomed boat, often with pram bow, used as a ferry. (French)

Back.

 To back engines is to put them astern. To back an oar is to reverse the action of rowing and propel the boat astern. To back a sail is to haul its clew to windward. To back anchor is to lay another anchor ahead of it, and with a cable or hawser extending tautly between them. Wind is said to ‘back’ when it changes direction anti-clockwise.

 Back Altitude.

 Measurement of greater arc of vertical circle passing through an observed body. Taken when horizon at foot of smaller arc cannot be distinguished.

Back and Fill.

To fill sails and then back them, alternately. Done to keep vessel in a position for the time being.

Backboard.

 Board athwart after end of stern sheets of a rowing boat, for passengers to lean against.

Backbone.

Fore and aft wire along middle of an awning.

 Back Freight.

 Money payable to ship for carrying cargo back to port of shipment when it was impossible to discharge cargo at destination.

Back Letter.

 Name sometimes given to a ‘Letter of indemnity’.

Back Pressure.

In a steam cylinder, is pressure set up by steam on exhaust side of piston. In a pump, is resistance generated when discharge has to be forced.

Backrail.

Name formerly given to ‘Backboard’.

Back Rope.

 Small chain, or rope pendant, used for staying a dolphin striker.

 Back Sailing.

 Hauling boom of mainsail, or mizen, to windward when a vessel loses way in going about. This forces her head on a new tack, and is a kind of box hauling.

Back Ship.

 To work ship astern with sails or engines.

 Backsplice.

 Method of finishing off end of a rope that is not required to reeve through a block. End is unlaid, ‘crown’ formed with the strands, ends tucked into rope below crown.

Backspring. 

Rope led aft, from forward in a ship, to a buoy, or bollard outside ship. Used for heaving ship astern, or for preventing her ranging ahead.

Backstaff. 

Forerunner of quadrant and sextant. Instrument devised by Captain Davis about 1590. Observer stood with his back to Sun and measured altitude by two concentric rings, one measuring 30°, the
other 60°. The sun’s light, concentrated by a pinhole to a bright spot, was brought in contact with the horizon through a slot.

Backstays.

Ropes led from a mast to a position abaft it. They support mast against forces acting in a forward direction.

 Backstay Stool.

Short timber in which lower, ends of backstays are set up when no room has been allowed for them in the chains.

Backwash.

 Troubled water thrown astern of mechanically propelled vessels, especially paddle steamers.

 Backwater.

 Area of a river that is sheltered from main stream and in which there is a very little lateral movement of the water. 2. To back an oar.

Baffle Plates. 

Iron or steel plates fitted in various parts of heating elements of a boiler to prevent radiation of heat, or to protect against corrosion by waste gases.

Bag Cargo. 

Cargo that is stowed in bags.

Baggage Room. 

Compartment, in a passenger ship, for storage of passengers’ baggage that may be required during the voyage.

Baggala, Bagla.

 Two-masted dhow of about 200 tons. Used in Indian Ocean. Lateen rigged, mast raked forward; has high poop with windows, quarter galleries and lavish decoration.

 Baggy Rinkle.

Sennit used for chafing gear.

Bagpipe the Mizen.* 

To haul on weather mizen sheet until mizen boom is close to weather mizen shroud, and sail is aback.

Bag Reef.

 Fourth reef of a topsai

Baguio, Bagiou. 

The term for a typhoon in the Philippine Islands.

Bail Out.

 To remove water from a boat. Baily’s Beads. Bead-like prominences apparently on limb of Moon
during eclipse of Sun. Probably due to irradiation.

Baker Navigation Machine. 

Introduced to assist air navigation. Allows a transparent sheet, carrying curves of iso-azimuths to be
adjusted over a chart. Invented by Cdr. T. Y. Baker, R.N.

Balaenidae. 

True, or ‘right’ whales. Have no teeth, but baleen (whale bone) instead. Have no dorsal fin. Greenland and Australian whales are examples.

Balaenoptera.

 Whales having soft dorsal fin and short baleen plates.
Rorqual is an example.

Balanced Rudder. 

One in which rudder stock is not on leading edge of rudder, but an appropriate distance abaft it. Pressure on forward area of
rudder nearly balances pressure on after area, thus reducing power
necessary to turn rudder. Shearing stress on stock is increased, but
torsional stress is decreased.

Balance Lug. 

Lugsail with foot laced
to a boom that project forward of
mast. Handy rig for small boats in fairly smooth waters, as boom
remains on same side of mast on either tack.

Balances.

Constellation of Libra. (Libra is Latin for Scales). Balance Reef.
Diagonal reef in spanker. Runs from throat earing to
clew, so making sail triangular when reefed.

Balance Piston.

‘Dummy Piston’. Balancing. When applied to marine reciprocating
marine engine,
denotes the arranging of moving parts and adjustable weights so that
engine runs smoothly and without undue vibration.

Balancing Band. 

Band and shackle, on shank of anchor, at such a
position that anchor will lie horizontal when lifted by shackle of band.
Not at centre of gravity of anchor, as allowance must be made for
weight of attached cable.

 Balandra. 

South American coasting
vessel, of about 100 tons having
one mast. 2. One-masted vessel, fitted with outrigger found in
China Sea. Name is a form of ‘Bilander’.

Balcony.

 Alternative
name for stern gallery of olden ships.

Bale Yawl.

 Small Manx fishing
vessel, with oars and lugsail, used in
‘bale’, or long line fishing.

Baldheaded Schooner.

 Schooner with no topsail on foremast.
Baldheader. Old nickname for a square rigged vessel that carried no
sail above topgallant sails.

Bale. 

Package of cargo that is wrapped in
canvas, hessian, etc. Also old
name for bucket, whence ‘baler’.

Bale Cargo.

 Cargo consisting
entirely of bales.

Baleen. 

Whalebone obtained from mouth of true
whale.

Baler.

 Small container for emptying a boat of water.

Bale Sling.

 Length of rope with its ends spliced together to form a loop
strop.

Bale Space. 

Measurement of a hold based on volume
calculated from
distance from ceiling to lower edge of beams, distance between inner
edges of opposite frames and length.

Ballace.* 

Old form of ‘Ballast’.

Ballast. 

Heavy substances put into a vessel to improve stability or to
increase submersion of propeller. 2. To take heavy items into a ship
and so to dispose of them, that an increase in stability results.

Ballastage. 

Toll paid to harbour authority for permission to take ballast
from the harbour or port.

Ballast Declaration. 

Short name for ‘Masters Declaration and Stores
Content for Vessels Outward in Ballast’. Is one of the documents
rendered to Customs authorities when clearing outwards a vessel with
no cargo.

Balsa. 

Extremely light wood from a South American tree. Specific
gravity is about yth that of water. 2. Small fishing raft used on coast
of South America.

Balsa Raft.

 ‘Copper Punt’ used in Royal Navy when painting ship’s
side in the vicinity of waterline.

Baltic Sea. 

Expanse of water between Sweden and the mainland south
of 59| N, to about 12j E, but excluding gulfs of Finland, Riga and
Danzig.

Balza. 

Alternative form of ‘Balsa’.

Banca. 

Small dug-out canoe used for fishing in China Sea.

Bandrol. 

Small swallow-tailed flag, or pendant, flown at masthead as a
wind vane or ornament.

Banjo Frame. 

Vertical frame holding the propeller of early screw-
propelled steamers. When proceeding under sail only the banjo frame
(and propeller) was hoisted up a well built through the counter until it
was clear of the water, thus removing all propeller drag.

Bank. 

Area of sea bottom that rises rather considerably above surroun-
ding ground.

Banker. 

Name given to cod fishing vessel on Grand Banks of
Newfoundland.

Banking Oars.

 Properly means putting men to pull the oars, but rarely
used in this sense. Generally used as meaning ‘double banking’.

Bank of Oars. 

Series of manned oars on one side and at one level in a
craft propelled by rowing.

Banner Cloud. 

Lenticular cloud that may appear to be ‘flying’ from top
of a high mountain during strong breeze.

Banyan Day. 

Nowadays, a day on which discipline is relaxed and
concessions are made. Originally, a day on which no meat ration was
issued. How change of meaning came about is not clear.

Bar. 

Bank across entrance to a harbour, which acts as a partial breakwater
but may cause confused sea with onshore winds. 2. Unit of barometric
pressure; equals one megadyne per square centimetre. Equivalent to 29-53
inches of mercury, with temperature of 273°A in Lat. 45°.

 
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Bathymetry. 

Measurement of deep sea soundings.
Bathysphere. Spherical diving chamber capable of withstanding
oceanic pressures at great depths.

Batil. 

Two-rmasted sailing craft of
China Seas. About 50 feet long and
fitted with coutrigger.

Batten. 

Lonjg, narrow, thin strip of wood or metal used for different
purposes, particularly for securing hatch tarpaulins. 2. Length of
sawn timber from 2 to 4 inches thick and from 5 to 7 inches wide.

Batten Down.

To securely cover a hatch with one or more tarpaulins
that are secured by hatch battens and wedges.

Battened Sailss. 

Sails stiffened with horizontal battens. The battens help
to keep a tauit sail when on a wind, and sail may be quickly struck in a
squall. Thoough fairly common in the East they are not often seen in
home wateirs.

Batten Observations. 

Method of determining amount of roll of a ship
by having aa sighting hole in centre line of ship, and a vertical graduated
batten in same transverse line but near ship’s side. Amount of roll is
determined! by noting where sea horizon cuts graduated batten.

Battery.

A group of guns. All guns on one side of ship. 2. In electricity iis
two or more cells connected together, either in parallel or in series.

Battledore.

 Flat metal fitting put athwartships through cable bitts, and
projecting on either side, to keep turns of cable from riding.

Battleship.

Heavily armed and armoured warship in which a certain amount of;
speed is yielded to obtain maximum hitting power and protection..
Displacement may approximate 50,000 tons.

Bauer Wach. 

Turbine.
Auxiliary turbine geared to propeller shaft and
driven by eexhaust steam from triple expansion main engines.

 Beaim.

Beam-shaped piece of timber. Baulk Yawl.. Bale
yawl.

Bawley. 

Sauling boat used in lower reaches of Thames for shrimping or
whitebait and sprat fishing. Usually cutter rigged with loose-footed
mainsail.

Bawse.* 

CVextending into land and with a seaward width that is greater thaan
amount it goes into the land. 2. Compartment, in hold or store, with
entrance not less, in width, than depth of the compartment.

Bay Ice.

Alternative name for ‘Young Ice’. Bayou. Lomg, narrow channel,
often marshy, in Louisiana and nearby
areas.

Beach. 

Sarndy or shingle shore on which waves break. To beach a ship is
to haul, oir drive her ashore above high water line.

Beachcomber. 

Unemployed seaman who frequents the waterfront of
ports abroad.

Beach Master. 

An officer whose duties are to
supervise the landing of
stores, and the disembarkation of men, on a beach.

Beacon.

Erection on land, or in shoal waters, intended as a guide or
warning to vessels navigating in sight of it. May be fitted with a light,
or lights, or may emit a radio signal. Always carries some distinctive
characteristic so that it may be identified.

Beak. 

Originally, a
brass projection from prow of ancient ships,
designed to pierce, or hold, an enemy vessel. Later, was a small deck
forward of forecastle and supported by knees from stem and forward
timbers.

Beak Head.

 Another name for ‘Beak’. Beam. Transverse member
that goes between opposite frames, or ribs,
to support ship’s side against collapsing stresses, and to support a deck.
As a dimension, is greatest width of a vessel. As a relative bearing, is a
direction at right angles to ship’s fore and aft line.

Beam (of Anchor).

 Old name for the shank. Beam Clamp. Clamp fitted to
grip bulb of a beam and provide an
attachment for block of purchase.
 
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 Beam Ends. 

Vessel said to be
‘on her beam ends’ when she is lying
over so much that her deck beams are nearly vertical. 

Beam Fillings.

 Shifting boards fitted between beams of a hold to
prevent movement of surface of a bulk grain cargo.

 Beam Hooks.

Strong and tested hooks used when lifting hatch beams.

 Beam Knee.

Member that connects a beam to the frame of a
ship. Types in general use are bracket, slabbed, split, turned, welded
knees. 

Beam Sections. 

Those used in steel shipbuilding comprise
angle, bulb
angle, channel bar, T bar, T bar bulbed, built T, bulbed T (or Butterfly)
and built girder. 

Beam Trawl. 

Trawl in which mouth of purse is
kept open by a beam.
Usually fitted with iron trawl heads to keep trawl clear of ground.

Bear, Bears, Bearing. 

Words used to indicate a direction of an object;
expressed as a compass direction, or as relative to ship’s for and aft
line.

Bear. 

Short name for constellation Ursa Major, the ‘Great Bear’.

Bear. 

Heavy scrubber, weighing about 40 lb., used for cleaning decks.
Paunch mat, loaded with holystones, used for same purpose. 

Bear a Hand. 

To assist; to hasten; to work quickly. 

Bear Away. 

To turn
away from the wind by putting up the helm. To
‘bear up’.

Barbarising. 

Scrabbing a deck with cleansing powder and sand.

Barber-hauler. 

A line with a block on the end through which a jib sheet
is rove, led down to the rail abreast the mast.

Barbette. 

Fixed armoured rampart around a warship’s heavy guns;
inside of which guns were trained, and over which they were fired.
Superseded by turret mountings.

Barcarolle.

 Waterman’s song that keeps time with oars. Originally a
song of Venetian gondoliers.

Barcolongo. 

Spanish name for a long, narrow, undecked vessel that
was propelled by oars and, or, sails.

Bareca. 

Original form of ‘Breaker’ and ‘Barricoe’. Small keg used in a
boat for holding drinking water or spirits.

Bare Poles.

 Masts when no sail is set.

Barge. 

Large flat-bottomed boat used for the conveyance of goods.
Capacity from 50 to 1000 tons. 2. Flat-bottomed sailing craft,
carrying about 100 tons, used in narrow seas and inland waters.
3. Fourteen oared, double banked boat used in Royal
Navy.* 4. Power boat carried for exclusive use of flag officer in
Royal Navy. 5. Pleasure boat, or boat of state, fitted for comfort and
display.

Barge Pole. 

Long pole, sometimes fitted with hook, used as a boat-
hook, bearing off spar, or quant.

Bark. 

Poetic word for a ship or boat.

Bar Keel. 

Projecting keel that extends downwards outside plating.

Barnacle. 

Small marine animal in valved shell. Has legs like curled
hair, and a stalk-like body. Attaches itself to underwater surface of
hull, thus greatly increasing water friction.

Barnacle Paint.* 

Preparation formerly put on ships’ bottoms in an
endeavour to prevent attachment of barnacles and other marine life.
Was forerunner of antifouling paints.

Barograph. 

Self-recording barometer, either mercurial or aneroid.
That used at sea is, strictly speaking, an aneroidograph.

Barometer. 

Instrument for measuring pressure of atmosphere. For use
at sea it can be either ‘mercurial’ or ‘aneroid’.

Barometric Light. 

Luminous glow in vacuum of a barometer when
mercury is agitated. Probably due to friction between mercury and
glass, or to splashing of mercury, when these occur In a vacuum.

Barometric Tendency. 

Rate and direction in which barometric pres-
sure changes. Is of utmost importance in weather prediction.

Barothermograph. 

Instrument that gives a graphical registration of
both pressure and temperature.

Barque. 

Sailing vessel with three or more masts: fore and aft rigged on
aftermast, squared rigged on all others. Barquentine. 

Sailing vessel

with three or more masts. Square rigged on foremast, fore and aft rigged on all others.

Barracuda. 

Edible but
vicious pike-shaped fish that attacks fishing
nets and bathers.

 Barratry.

 Any wrongful act knowingly done by
the master or crew of a
vessel to the detriment of the owner of either ship or cargo; and which
was done without knowledge or consent of owner or owners.

Barre.* 

Old name for tidal bore in river Seine. Barrel. Wooden
cask holding about 36 gallons. 

Barrel of Capstan. 

Main member of
capstan; circular in shape to allow
hawsers to be passed around for heaving; fitted with poppets, in which
capstan bars can be inserted; having pawls that take in a pawl ring
around its lower edge. 

Barricoe.

 Small cask often used in boats
for storing drinking water.
Also called ‘breaker’ or ‘bareca’. 

Barrier Ice. 

‘Shelf Ice’.

Barrow’s Dip Circle.

 Instrument used in
hydrographic surveying for measuring magnetic dip and total mag-
netic force at a place.

Bar Shoe. 

Suspended fitting, across stem of a
ship, to take towing wires
of a paravane.

 Bar Taut. 

Said of a rope when it is under such
tension that it is
practically rigid.

Barysphere.

 Solid mass of iron, and other
metals, assumed to exist
inside Earth and under lithosphere.

Base. 

That solid ingredient in a paint that is responsible for its body.

Base Metals. 

Those that do not resist action of acids. All metals except
those in gold, silver and platinum groups.

Basin. 

Artificially
enclosed space of water in which ships are placed for
loading, discharging or for repairs.

 
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Basking Shark. 

Sometimes
called ‘Sunfish’. Lies motionless on sea
surface for fairly long periods. Is about 36 feet long. Although a
member of shark family, is not at all ferocious.

Bateau.* 

Name
formerly given to a lightly-constructed boat that was
relatively narrow for its length. Usually broad at middle length but
narrowed quickly towards ends, French origin.

Bathometer.

Instrument for measuring oceanic depths.

Bathyal Zone. 

Between TOO
and 500 fathoms below sea surface.
Bed is
usually mud; perhaps containing organic oozes.

Bathybic.

 Existing in the depths of the sea.

Bathymetric. 

Pertaining to oceanic soundings.

Bathymetry. 

Measurement of deep sea soundings.

Bathysphere. 

Spherical diving chamber capable of withstanding
oceanic pressures at great depths.

Batil. 

Two-masted sailing craft of
China Seas. About 50 feet long and
fitted with outrigger.

Batten. 

Long, narrow, thin strip of wood or
metal used for different
purposes, particularly for securing hatch tarpaulins. 2. Length of
sawn timber from 2 to 4 inches thick and from 5 to 7 inches wide.

Batten Down.

 To securely cover a hatch with one or more tarpaulins J;
that are secured by hatch battens and wedges.

Battened Sails. 

Sails stiffened with horizontal battens. The battens help ‘
to keep a taut sail when on a wind, and sail may be quickly struck in a ;j
squall. Though fairly common in the East they are not often seen in “
home waters.

Batten Observations. 

Method of determining amount of roll of a ship
by having a sighting hole in centre line of ship, and a vertical graduated
batten in same transverse line but near ship’s side. Amount of roll is
determined by noting where sea horizon cuts graduated batten.

Battery.

A group of guns. All guns on one side of ship. 2. In
electricity is two or more cells connected together, either in parallel or
in series.

Battledore. 

Flat metal fitting put athwartships through cable
bitts, and
projecting on either side, to keep turns of cable from riding.

Battleship.

Heavily armed and armoured warship in which a certain
amount of speed is yielded to obtain maximum hitting power and
protection. Displacement may approximate 50,000 tons.

 Bauer Wach Turbine.

 Auxiliary turbine geared to propeller shaft and
driven by exhaust steam from triple expansion main engines.

Baulk Beam. 

Beam-shaped piece of timber.

Baulk Yawl. 

Bale yawl.

Bawley.

Sailing boat used in lower reaches of Thames for shrimping or
whitebait and sprat fishing. Usually cutter rigged with loose-footed
mainsail.

Bawse.* 

Old name for a ship’s boat. See ‘Buss’.

Bay. 

Arm of sea
extending into land and with a seaward width that is
greater than amount it goes into the land. 2. Compartment, in hold or
store, with entrance not less, in width, than depth of the compartment.

Bay Ice. 

Alternative name for ‘Young Ice’.

Bayou. 

Long, narrow channel,
often marshy, in Louisiana and nearby
areas.

Beach. 

Sandy or shingle shore on which waves break. To beach a
ship is
to haul, or drive her ashore above high water line.

Beachcomber. 

Unemployed seaman who frequents the waterfront of
ports abroad.

Beach Master. 

An officer whose duties are to
supervise the landing of
stores, and the disembarkation of men, on a beach.

Beacon. 

Erection on land, or in shoal waters, intended as a guide or
warning to vessels navigating in sight of it. May be fitted with a light,
or lights, or may emit a radio signal. Always carries some distinctive
characteristic so that it may be identified.

Beak. 

Originally, a
brass projection from prow of ancient ships,
designed to pierce, or hold, an enemy vessel. Later, was a small deck
forward of forecastle and supported by knees from stem and forward
timbers.

Beak Head. 

Another name for’Beak’. Beam. Transverse member
that goes between opposite frames, or ribs,
to support ship’s side against collapsing stresses, and to support a deck.
As a dimension, is greatest width of a vessel. As a relative bearing, is a
direction at right angles to ship’s fore and aft line.

Beam (of Anchor). 

Old name for the shank.

Beam Clamp. 

Clamp fitted to
grip bulb of a beam and provide an
attachment for block of purchase.

Beam Ends. 

Vessel said to be
‘on her beam ends’ when she is lying
over so much that her deck beams are nearly vertical.

Beam Fillings. 

Shifting boards fitted between beams of a hold to
prevent movement of surface of a bulk grain cargo.

Beam Hooks.

Strong and tested hooks used when lifting hatch beams.

Beam Knee.

Member that connects a beam to the frame of a
ship. Types in general use are bracket, slabbed, split, turned, welded
knees.

Beam Sections. 

Those used in steel shipbuilding comprise
angle, bulb
angle, channel bar, T bar, T bar bulbed, built T, bulbed T (or Butterfly)
and built girder.

Beam Trawl. 

Trawl in which mouth of purse is
kept open by a beam.
Usually fitted with iron trawl heads to keep trawl clear of ground.

Bear, Bears, Bearing. 

Words used to indicate a direction of an object;
expressed as a compass direction, or as relative to ship’s for and aft
line.

Bear. 

Short name for constellation Ursa Major, the ‘Great Bear’.

Bear. 

Heavy scrubber, weighing about 40 lb., used for cleaning decks.
Paunch mat, loaded with holystones, used for same purpose.

Bear a Hand. 

To assist; to hasten; to work quickly.

Bear Away. 

To turn
away from the wind by putting up the helm. To
‘bear up’.

Bearding. 

Term used, in wood shipbuilding, for removing wood to
modify a curve or line. Bearding of rudder is rounded fore edge that
takes in a corresponding recess (also called a ‘bearding’) in stern post.

Bear Down. 

To approach: to move towards. To move tiller to leeward
so that vessel’s head comes to the wind.

Bearers. 

Short beams going across just above keelson of a wooden
ship, or stern sheets of a boat. Also called ‘Flat floor’.

Bearing.

Direction in which an object, or position, lies from an
observer. Usually defined by the angular measurement between a line
from an observer’s position and a datum line passing through that
position. Can be a ‘Relative’, ‘True’, or ‘Compass’ bearing.

Bearing Plate.

Graduated and ballasted plate by which relative
bearings may be taken when it is inconvenient to use compass.

Bearings.*

Widest part below plank sheer of wooden ship.

Bear Off.

To thrust away; to hold off. Order given to bowman of boat
when he is required to push boat’s head away from jetty, gangway or
other fixture at which boat is alongside. Order given, also, when it is
required to thrust away, or hold off, an approaching object.

Bear Up.

To put helm to windward, thus turning to leeward.

Beating.

Sailing close hauled to get to windward on alternate tacks.

Beaufort Notation.*

Code by which weather conditions may be tersely
expressed by a combination of letters of alphabet.

Beaufort Wind Scale.

Devised by Admiral Beaufort in 1808 to express
wind force by use of numbers from 0 to 12. Revised in 1905 by Dr. G.
C. Simpson. Further revised in 1926 to express wind speeds.

Bearding.

 Term used, in wood shipbuilding, for removing wood to
modify a curve or line. Bearding of rudder is rounded fore edge that
takes in a corresponding recess (also called a ‘bearding’) in stern post.

Bear Down.

To approach: to move towards. To move tiller to leeward
so that vessel’s head comes to the wind.

Bearers.

Short beams going across just above keelson of a wooden
ship, or stern sheets of a boat. Also called ‘Flat floor’.

Bearing.

Direction in which an object, or position, lies from an
observer. Usually defined by the angular measurement between a line
from an observer’s position and a datum line passing through that
position. Can be a ‘Relative’, ‘True’, or ‘Compass’ bearing.

Bearing Plate.

Graduated and ballasted plate by which relative
bearings may be taken when it is inconvenient to use compass.

Bearings.*

Widest part below plank sheer of wooden ship.

Bear Off.

To thrust away; to hold off. Order given to bowman of boat
when he is required to push boat’s head away from jetty, gangway or
other fixture at which boat is alongside. Order given, also, when it is
required to thrust away, or hold off, an approaching object.

Bear Up.

To put helm to windward, thus turning to leeward.

Beating.

Sailing close hauled to get to windward on alternate tacks.

Beaufort Notation.*

Code by which weather conditions may be tersely
expressed by a combination of letters of alphabet.

Beaufort Wind Scale.

Devised by Admiral Beaufort in 1808 to express
wind force by use of numbers from 0 to 12. Revised in 1905 by Dr. G.
C. Simpson. Further revised in 1926 to express wind speeds.

Becalmed.

Said of a sailing vessel when she is unable to make way
owing to absence of wind.

Becket.

Loop of rope, sennit or wire
used for fastening, or for
attachment.

Becket Bend.

Name sometimes given to ‘Sheet Bend’.

Becket Rowlock.

 Rope strop, around thole pin, to confine an oar when
rowing.

Becueing.

Sometimes called ‘Scowing’. Dropping anchor
with cable
made fast to crown but stopped to ring with medium strength lashing.
In normal circumstances anchor will hold in usual way. Should anchor
get foul, extra force used in weighing will break stop at ring, and
anchor can then be weighed by crown.

Bed.

That on which
anything — anchor, engine, etc., rests. Formerly
applied to the impression left in the ground by a vessel that has
grounded.

Bed of Bowsprit.

That part which rests on stem, or
in bowsprit
hole. Is greatest diameter of bowsprit; outer end diameter being frds,
and inner end diameter being fths, that of bed.

Bed of Capstan.

Trued and strengthened part of deck on which capstan
is placed. Also applied to flat steel plate that carries pawl rack.

Bedplate.

In general, any plate on which a fitting is bedded. Bedplate of
main engines is of cast iron or mild steel. Carries crankshaft and bears
engines. Rests on cast iron chocks and is through fastened to tank tops
by holding down bolts.

Bees Block.

Hardwood fitting at head of
bowsprit or on a boom. Takes
its name from its shape, a capital B.

Bees of Bowsprit.

Another
name for ‘Bees Blocks’.

Beetle.

Heavy wooden mallet.

Before the Mast.

Said of a man who goes to sea as a rating, and lives
forward.
Forward of a mast.

Before.

 On the forward side of.

Bel.

Radio unit for measuring loss or gain in strength.

Belace.*

Old form
of’Belay’.

Belage.*

Old form of ‘Belay’.

Belat.

Strong N.N.W.
offshore wind prevalent off south coast of Arabia
during winter.

Belay.

To make fast a rope by turning up with it
around a cleat, belaying
pin, bollard, etc. Often used by seamen in the sense of arresting,
stopping or cancelling; e.g. ‘Belay the last order’.

Belaying Pin.

Pin-shaped pieces of wood or metal fitted in a socket and
used for belaying ropes.

Belfry.

Ornamental mounting for carrying ship’s bell.

Belfast Bow.

Name given to raked stem introduced by Harland & Wolff
of Belfast. Allows larger forecastle deck without increasing waterline
measurements; provides increased forward buoyancy when pitching.

Bell.

Compulsory fitting in all seagoing ships. Must not be less than 12
in. diameter at mouth, and must be so placed that its sound is not
obstructed. Frequent and rapid ringing of bell is required of an
anchored vessel in fog. Ship’s time is indicated by half-hourly striking
of bell.

Bellatrix.

Star 7 Orionis. S.H.A. 279°; Dec. N6°; Mag. 1
-7. Name
is Latin for ‘Warlike’. Astrologers maintained that star had a martial
influence.

Bell Buoy.

Buoy carrying bell often rung by action of
waves, or wash of
passing vessels.

Belleville Boiler.

First large water tube boiler to
be successful for
marine purposes (1901).

Bell Rope.

Small rope on tongue of bell
for ringing it. 2. Rope on a
pump handle to assist in turning it.

Belly.

Rounded swell of sail
caused by wind and stretching of the
canvas.

Belly Band.

Extra cloth of canvas in single topsail or
course. Fitted
below lowest reef points and in line with bowline bridle.

Belly Halyard.

Gaff halyard leading through block at middle of gaff to
give extra support.

Below.

Below upper deck. Under hatches.

Beluga.

Arctic whale that
comes as far south as St. Lawrence river, and
sometimes ascends it. Has no dorsal fin and is less than 20 feet in
length.

Bembridge Type.

Cutter-rigged yacht with jib and
mainsail. Overall
length about 20 ft., beam 6 ft.

Benches.

Seats in after part of boat or
in cockpit of a yacht. Often called
‘Sheets’.

Bench Mark.

Line cut in stone of a permanent erection
to indicate a
datum level or a distance from datum. British practice uses a line and
an indicating small arrow; USA uses a 3j-in. disc of copper alloy.

Bend.

An intertwining of a rope so that it is securely attached to another
rope.

Bend Cable.

To attach cable to an anchor.

Bending Moment.

Force,
or sum of forces, that bends or tends to bend
any member out of its normal line.

Bending Shackle.

Shackle
that connects outboard end of cable to
anchor.

Bends.

 Strongest and thickest side strakes of wooden ship. First bend is
on water line, second and third bends immediately above it. They are
responsible for girder strength of ship and form anchorages for beams,
knees and foot hooks.

Bends.

Name often given to ‘Diver’s Palsy’ or ‘Caisson Disease’.

Bend Sail.

To attach a sail to its appropriate spar. Square sails are bent,
by robands, to jackstays on yards. Fore and aft sails are usually laced to
gaffs and booms, but may be seized to them.

Bend Test.

Applied
to rivets. Shank is bent and hammered through
180x while cold, and should show no sign of fracture.

Beneaped.

State of a vessel when aground and unable to float at high
water because rise of reaping tide is insufficient. Also said of vessel
unable to leave harbour or dock for want of sufficient water due to the
same cause.

Benetnasch.

Star r Ursae Majoris. S.H.A. 154°; Dec. N
50°; Mag. 1 -9.
Name is Arabic for ‘Mourners’. The four stars of Ursa Major were
anciently looked upon as a bier, and the three stars as mourners
(benetnasch). Star is now known as Al Kaid, ‘the chief (mourner’).

Bengal Light.

Old name for ‘blue light’ pyrotechnic signal.

Benguela Current.

Inshore branch of Agulhas Current, setting N’ly
from Cape of Good Hope and merging in Equatorial Current.

Bennis Stoker.

Mechanical stoker for feeding furnaces of Scotch
boilers.

Benson Steam Generator.

High pressure boiler in
which water is
carried in tubes. Can raise steam from cold water in 20 minutes.

Bent Heads.

Old name for ribs of boat.

Bentick.

See ‘Bentinck’.

Bentinck.

Triangular course used as storm sail in American ships
Introduced by Captain Bentinck.

Bentinck Boom.

Spar used for
stretching foot of foresail in small
square rigged vessels.

Bentinck Shroud.

Shroud going from
masthead to a spreader, or
futtock stave, and thence to chains on opposite side of ship.

Bent Timbers.

Ribs of a boat.

Berg.

Short form of ‘Iceberg’.

Bergy Bits.

Pieces of ice, about the
size of a small house, that have
broken off a glacier, or from hummocky ice.

Bermuda Rig.

Yacht
in which main feature is a triangular main sail
with no gaff. Mast and head of sail are higher than with cutter rig, but
centre of effort is somewhat lower. Owing to height of masthead it is
usual to fit spreaders to shrouds.

Bernouilli’s Equation.

Relates to the motion of any particle of a
frictionless fluid, and is considered in study of wave motion. When P is
pressure, D density, G gravity, Z depth below a given horizontal plane,
and Q resultant velocity, equation is then given as:—
P 0
— + -i- = GZ + constant.
D 2

Berth.

Place in which a vessel is moored or secured. Space around a
vessel at anchor, and in which she will swing. An allotted accom-
modation in a ship. Employment aboard a ship. To berth a vessel is to
place her in a desired or required position.

Berth and Space.

Alternative form of ‘Room and Space’.

Beset.

Said of a vessel when
she is entirely surrounded by ice.

Besselian Day Numbers.

Quantities given in Nautical Almanac for
place of a star. They yield necessary corrections for long period
precession, nutation and aberration.

Bessel’s Figure of Earth.

Equatorial diameter 6,377,397 miles; polar
diameter 6,356,079 miles. Compression 1/299-2.

Best Bower.

Name sometimes given to starboard bower anchor, which
formerly was slightly larger than port (or ‘small’) bower.

Betelgeuse,-guese, -guex. 

Star a Orionis. S.H.A. 272°; Dec. N 7°;

Mag. 2-1 to 2-6. An enormous star some 24,000,000 times size of Sun.
Distant 190 light years. Candlepower 1200 times that of Sun. Temp.
2600°A.

Between Decks.

Between lower and upper decks. In
cargo vessels, is
space in holds between lower hold and main deck. Also called ‘Tween
decks’.

 

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Between Perpendiculars.

Distance between fore side of
stem and after
side of stern post when measured along summer loadline.

Between wind and Water.

That area of a vessel’s outer plating that
lies between her waterline when upright and her waterline when heeled
away from wind.

Bibbs.*

Pieces of timber bolted to hounds of mast
to secure trestletrees.
Hounds are sometimes called ‘Bibbs’.

Bibis.

Small one-masted
vessel, fitted with outrigger, used for trading
in China Sea.

Bible.

Seaman’s nickname for a large holystone.

Bidhook.*

 A
small boathook.

Bight.

Indentation in land, forming a gulf or bay. 2.
Bent part of rope
or hawser that forms a loop. 3. That part of slack rope, sail or canvas,
that hangs down between the fastenings or attachments.

Big Topsail.

Name given to a square topsail sometimes carried by
cutter rigged yachts.

Bilander.

Originally was a small coasting vessel (by land-er) of North
Sea. Usually had two masts and carried about 100 tons. Name has
spread all over the world, and is identical with French ‘belandre’ and
Spanish and Portuguese ‘balandra’.

Bilboes.

Bar of steel, on
which slide steel shackles for confining the
ankles of unruly men.

Bilge.

Originally ‘bulge’. Rounded part of
ship’s underwater body
where side curves round towards keel. 2. That part of a cask or
barrel where circumference is greatest.

Bilge Blocks.

Substantial
blocks that support a vessel’s bilge when in
dry dock.

Bilge Boards.

Planks that cover bilges and prevent
cargo being
damaged by bilge water, or affecting flow of water to pump.

Bilged.

Said of a ship when she takes the ground so that her bilges leak.

Bilge Heels.*

 Old name for ‘Bilge pieces’.

Bilge Keel.

External keel
placed along bilge of a steel ship. It assists in
stiffening, protects plating from stresses when on ground, reduces
rolling at sea. Similar keels are fitted to boats to reduce leeway, to
protect bottom planking when on ground and to form hand grips in
event of capsizing. All bilge keels cause a reduction in speed.

Bilge Keelson.

Internal fitting going intercostally between floors, and
along line of bilge, in vessels having no double bottom tanks. Margin
plate of tanks fulfils this duty in modern ships.

Bilge Piece.

Another name for ‘Bilge Keel’; but sometimes used to
denote ‘Bilge Keelson’.

Bilge Planks.

Doubling planks put in way
of bilges of wooden ships,
either externally or internally, to stiffen them.

Bilge Pump.

Pump
for drawing water from bilges. In modern ships this
is operated by steam or electricity. In sailing ships it was worked by
hand; in Scandinavian sailing ships it was compulsory to fit a windmill
for working pumps.

Bilges.

Spaces, between margin plates and
ship’s side, into which water
drains, and from which it can be pumped.

Bilge Shore.

Wooden
shore put under bilge of a vessel when in dry
dock, or during building.

Bilge Water Alarm.

Old fitting that
caused a clockwork bell to ring
when there was excessive water in bilges. Accumulated water raised a
float that released an escapement on bell. Modern alarm is electronic.

Bilgeway.

Foundation of the cradle that supports a vessel on the sliding
ways during building and launching.

Bill, of Anchor.

Extreme and
more or less pointed end of arm. Projects
beyond fluke and assists anchor to bite into the ground.

Billage

Old form of ‘Bilge’.

Billboard.

Inclined ledge, either of iron or sheathed with iron, that
supported flukes of Admiralty pattern anchors when stowed.

 

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Billet.

Piece of steel, in an intermediate state, less than 36 inches
sectional area.

Billet Head.

Wooden post in bow of whaler, around which the harpoon
line runs. 2. Decorative work on stem of a ship with no figure-head.

Bill of Adventure.

Signed document issued by a person who states that
the goods shipped by him belong to another person who stands by the
risk or chance of the adventure. Also, signed document given by
master or agent to one who ships goods at his own risk.

Bill of Entry.

Document rendered by H.M. Customs by exporters or
importers when shipping or unshipping goods. Gives nature, amount,
and value of goods and declares port of origin, or destination.

Bill of Health.

 Medical certificate given to master by Health authorities
at a port. States health conditions at that port and health conditions of
ship’s personnel. Can be ‘Foul’, ‘Clean, or ‘Suspected’, according to
whether infectious disease exists, does not exist, or may exist.

Bill of Lading.

Receipt given by shipmaster, or other representative of
owner, to shipper of cargo when received on board. Is not a contract of
carriage but should epitomise the conditions under which the goods
specified are carried.

Bill of Sight.

Entry at Customs when, owing to insufficient knowledge
of goods, a Bill of Entry cannot be made out. Goods are then landed, in
presence of Customs Officers, and Bill of Entry prepared.

Bill of Store.

Document authorising shipment of dutiable articles as
ship’s stores and free of duty.

Bill of Sufferance.

Customs authority for a vessel to carry dutiable
goods when trading in British waters.

Billow.

Large, crested wave. Word is used more by poets than by
seamen.

Billy Blue.

Nickname given to Admiral Cornwallis (1744-1819)
because he usually hoisted the ‘blue peter’ immediately after
anchoring.

Billyboy.

Small, bluff-bowed sailing vessel of Humber river.

Binary Star.

One that appears to be a single star but is actually two stars
revolving around a common centre of gravity. Sometimes one is dark
star. In all cases the result is that apparent magnitude of star is a
variable quantity.

Binnacle.

Stand, of wood or metal, in which a compass is suspended
and in which lighting and compensating units are carried. Top of
binnacle protects compass from sea and weather and, also, reduces
glare of lighting.

Binocle.

Correct but never used name for binocular glass. Binoculars.
Common name for binocular, or ‘two-eyed’ glasses. A pair
of small telescopes connected so that each eye looks through one of
them. Those used by seamen are either ‘Prismatic’ or ‘Galilean’.

 

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Bipod Mast.

Mast consisting of two members joined at the top, their
bases seperated in athwartship direction, obviating the need for
shrouds.

Bireme.

Greek or Roman warship having two banks (or
tiers) of oars on
each side. Greek equivalent was ‘Dieres’.

Birlin.

Large boat, with
six or eight oars, anciently used by chieftains of
West Hebrides.

Bissextile.

Name applied to a leap year, because in
the Roman calendar
it had ‘two sixth’ days before the calends of March (February 24)
instead of an additional day at end of February.

Bite.

Anchor is
said to bite when it begins to hold in ground.

Bittacle.*

Old name for
binnacle. From Latin ‘habitaculum’ (lodging
place), or from French ‘boite d’aiguille’ (box of the needle).

Bitt Compressor.

Steel or iron lever with foot hinged near cable bitt,
but with a sufficient clearance for cable to pass. By hauling on a tackle
at head of compressor the cable is nipped against the bitt, and so held
while turns are passed around bitt.

Bitter.

Turn of cable passed
around a riding bitt.

Bitter End.

That part of a cable that is inboard
of a riding bitt. It has
been suggested that it should be ‘better end’; the inboard part having
had less wear than the outboard.

Bitt Head.

Upper end of a vertical
timber passing through two decks,
and well secured at each. Generally used for stoppering, or turning up
with, hemp cables.
Bitting Cable.
Passing one or two turns of cable around a cable bitt.

Bitt Pin.

Steel bar, circular in section, passed fore and aft, through a
cable bitt. Together with battledore, which passes transversely, it
prevents cable from coming off bitt.

Bitts.

Vertical fittings of
steel, iron or wood, securely fixed and
adequately strengthened for taking ropes that are subject to heavy
stresses; e.g. towing hawsers mooring ropes, etc. In sailing ships, they
carried sheaves for topsails sheets and other ropes.

Bitt Stopper.

Cable stopper that holds outboard cable while inboard
part is being turned up around bitt.

Bitumastic Paint.

Consist
largely of pitch. They have an excellent
body, no action on metals; are waterproof, elastic and durable.

Bitumen.

Asphalt, tar, pitch and other non-mineral products of coal and
coal residues. To a certain extent, may be product of wood distillation.

Blackbirder.

Vessel employed in transport of negro slaves from Africa
to America, or Pacific Islanders.

Black Book of Admiralty.

Vellum folio containing ancient statutes of
the Admiralty. Based largely on the ‘Laws of Oleron’, the existing
folio was completed in Tudor times, but it contains matter that is
certainly as old as 13th century.

Black Down.

To paint standing
rigging, starting aloft and working
downwards.

Black Gang.

Stokers, firemen and trimmers in a steamship.

Black Ice.

Thin, dark-coloured-ice with no snow on it.

Black Strake.

Strake below lower deck gun ports of old warships when
they were painted in light colours. This strake was painted with tar and
lamp black.

Black Stream.

 English form of ‘Kuro Siwo’.

Blackwall Hitch.

Manipulation of a rope for temporarily attaching it to
a hook.

Blackwall Ratline.

Length of rope seized to foremost
shroud of lower
rigging, and used to confine running gear.

Bladdy.

Scottish word for squally weather accompanied by rain.

Blade.

Of oar. Broad, flat part that is put vertically in water to form
pivot of a lever. 2. Of turbine, small piece of steel, perpendicular to
rotor drum, against which steam impinges. 3. Of propeller. One of
projections from boss, and shaped as part of a screw thread.

Blake Stopper.

Steel chain and slip, secured to anchor deck, for
temporarily holding outboard cable. Proof strength is one-third that of
cable.

Blanket.

To take the wind from a vessel to leeward.

Blare.

Paste
made of tar and hair. Used for caulking seams of boats.

Blast Pipe.

Steam pipe, with restricted aperture, fitted in funnel to
induce or accelerate draught when necessary.

Blazer.

This article
of men’s wear got its name from HMS Blazer. In
1845 her captain, J. W. Washington, dressed his ship’s company in
blue and white striped jerseys.

Bleed a Buoy.

To make a hole in it and drain it of water.

Bleed the Monkey.

Surreptitiously to remove spirit from a keg or cask
by making a small hole and sucking through a straw.

Blind Bucklers.

Hawse hole stoppers that completely close the holes;
cable having been removed.

Blink.

Pale yellow gleam in sky
caused by light being reflected on
cloud by ice. Rarely produced by bergs unless they are flat topped.

Blister.

Compartment built on outside of ship’s underwater body to
minimise effect of torpedo on hull plating.

Blister Ship.

Any ship fitted with blisters.

Blizzard.

Strong wind accompanied with low temperature and snow.

Block.

 Grooved sheave working in a frame or shell. Used to alter
direction of a rope or chain, or to gain a mechanical advantage by
reeving a purchase. Types vary largely, to suit different purposes. They
are classified by their special peculiarities. These are: number of
sheaves, number of scores, nature of stropping, nature and size of shell,
etc. Wooden types are: Common (taking a rope one-third their size),
Clump (taking a rope half their size) and snatch blocks. Sailing vessels
may carry Sister, Fiddle, Fly, Tye, Furniture and other blocks. Parts of
block are: shell, sheave, strop, score, swallow, choke and pin. Loss of
effort when using blocks is from one-tenth to one-eighth for each
sheave used.

Blockade.

War operation to prevent approach to, or departure from, an
enemy’s territory or coast, of all shipping and commerce.

Block and Block.

‘Two blocks’.

Block Coefficient.

Ratio that the
immersed volume of a vessel bears to the product of her immersed
length, breadth and draught. Also termed ‘coefficient of fineness’.

Blood and Guts.

Name sometimes given to Union Jack.

Blood Money.

Bonus sometimes paid — usually to a keeper of a
seaman’s boarding house — for finding a seaman to fill a vacancy in
crew.

Bloom.

Piece of steel, in an intermediate state, having a sectional area
of more than 36 inches. 2. An iridescent coating on iron or steel,
usually known es ‘Mill Scale’.

Blooper, Big Boy or Shooter.

A very light large sail used in a yacht.

Blow.

Gale of short duration. 2. Spouting of a whale.

Blubber.

Thick coating of fat directly under skin of whales.

Blubber Guy.

Strong triatic stay on old whalers. Tackles were made
fast to it when removing blubber from whales alongside.

Blubber Spade.

Spadelike knife, with staff handle, used for cutting
blubber from whales.

Blue Back.

Chart produced by private firm and mounted on stiff blue
paper. Although based on Admiralty and other surveys they embody
additions, omissions and alterations that are intended to be helpful to
those for whom they are produced. Introduced by Imray, Laurie, Norie
& Wilson, London.

Blue End.

Of magnet is south-seeking end.

Blue Ensign.

Blue flag with Union flag in upper canton. May be worn
by merchant vessels, under warrant from Admiralty, when stated
conditions have been fulfilled, and some yacht clubs.

Blue Funnel.

 Nickname given to line of ships owned by Alfred Holt &
Co., of Liverpool, whose funnels are of this colour.

Blue Jacket.

Seaman of Royal Navy. Often used to include other
ratings who wear a somewhat similar uniform.

Blue Light.

Pyrotechnic flare used as signal for pilot, and for some
other purposes.

Blue Magnetism.

Magnetism that is of same
polarity as North Pole of
Earth. It is, therefore, south seeking.

Bluenose.

Name applied to a Nova Scotian vessel or seaman.

Blue Peter.

‘P’ flag of International Code of Signals. Hoisted singly, its
significations is that vessel hoisting it is about to sail, and that all
persons concerned are to repair on board.

Blue Pigeon.

Name
sometimes given to the hand lead. Name is also
given to ‘A Handy Book for Shipowners and Masters’, on account of
colour of its binding.

Blue Pole.

That end of a magnet that has same
polarity as Earth’s north
magnetic pole. It is usual to make an arbitary assumption that lines of
magnetic force enter at blue pole.

Blue Squadron.

Division of a
fleet of warships. Was middle squadron
of three, was commanded by a vice-admiral and flew a blue pendant.
After 1653, was rear division, under a rear-admiral. Name was
discontinued in 1864.

Bluff.

 Large, high, steep cliff that projects into the sea.

Bluff Bowed.

Said of a vessel with broad bow and rather obtuse entry.

 Blunt-Headed Cachalot.

The sperm whale.

Board.

Track of a sailing vessel between one tack and the next. 2. To
go on or into a ship. 3. To forcibly enter a ship after beating down
the defence. 4. Sometimes used as meaning the side of a ship.

Board and Board.

Said of two ships that are close alongside each other.
Sometimes used as meaning ‘Tack and alternate tack’.

Board a Tack.

To haul on a tack so that it is nearly two blocks.

Boarders.

Men detailed for boarding an enemy vessel.

Boarding.

Going on
board a ship either peaceably or forcibly.

Boarding Nets.

Rope
netting formerly placed to deter boarders.

Boarding Pike.

Spear, about
6 ft. long, formerly used both by boarders
and defenders against boarders.

 Board of Trade.

Now the
Department of Transport.

Board of Trade.

Government department
once responsible for, among
other things, the examination of officers of Merchant Navy, and for
issue of certificates of competency; for the survey of ships and other
matters concerning shipping.

Board of Trade Enquiry.

Investigation of accident or casualty
connected with a British vessel. Now the function of the Marine
Accident Investigation Branch.

Board of Trade Notices.

Orders,
instruction or advice given to seamen
by the Board of Trade. Now the Department of Transport.

 Board of Trade Returns.

Periodical statistical information given by
Board of Trade on matters connected with shipping. Now the
Department of Transport.

Board of Trade Surveyor.

Official who
surveys and inspects ships and
their equipment to ensure that all statutory requirements are fulfilled.
Now the Department of Transport.

Boards.

Sawn timber less than 2{ in. thick and more than 4 in. wide.

Boat.

Small craft not normally suitable for sea passages but useful in
sheltered waters and for short passages. Often used with an adjectival
noun, lifeboat, ships boat for example.

Boat Boom.

Spar
projecting from ship’s side, when in harbour, and
fitted with lizards and ladders for securing boats and for manning
them.

Boat Drill.

 Statutory mustering at lifeboat stations so that all
on board
are fully aware of their duties and stations in the event of emergencies
that require the use of boats.

Boat Flag.

Small flag for use in a
boat.

Boat Hook.

Long wooden shaft with hook at one end. Used in a
boat to
extend reach of bowman or stern sheet man, and for fending off.

Boat Lead and Line.

Small lead, about 7 lb., with five or six fathoms of
small line attached. Marked in same manner as hand lead but in feet
instead of fathoms. Used in Royal Navy.

Boat Note.

Note given to
Mate, for a parcel of cargo brought alongside
in a boat, barge or lighter. Is acknowledgement that this has been put
alongside. When cargo is on board and the note is signed it becomes a
Mates receipt.

Boat Your Oars.

To place the oars fore and aft in boat after ‘rowing’.
Boat Pulling.
Seaman’s term for ‘rowing’.

 Boat Rope.

Led from
forward in a ship to a boat riding alongside, to
hold it fore and aft against sea, wind and tide. Secured in sea boat to
prevent boat broaching if foremost fall is released before after fall.

Boat’s Badge.

Distinctive badge or emblem on bows of naval boats, to
distinguish boats of any one ship from similar boats of other ships.

Boat Skids.

Transverse pieces of hard wood, on which a boat may rest
when stowed inboard.

Boat’s Recall.

Signal flag, or flags,
hoisted by a ship to recall a
particular boat or boats.

Boatswain.

The oldest rank of officer in shipping. Originally was the
husband and master. In R.N. is a commissioned officer who, with other
duties, is responsible for rigging of a ship and for the upkeep of it. In
M.N., is a trustworthy and experienced petty officer who is foreman of
the seamen.

Boatswain’s Call.

 Small whistle, of unusual shape, that is used in R.N.
to enjoin silence while an order is given; or to give an order. Has two
notes, high and low, both of which can be ‘trilled’. Most orders have a
conventional ‘call’. Parts are: Gun (pipe), Buoy (barrel or spherical
chamber at end of gun), Orifice (hole in buoy), Keel (flat stiffener
attached to gun and buoy), Shackle (ring in keel for attachment to
chain).

Boatswain’s Chair.

 Flat piece of wood with two holes in each end
through which a strop is rove. An eye is seized to the strop for the
attachment to a gantline. It may have been any handy seat for hoisting a
man aloft but it is now subject to the Code of Safe Working Practices.

 

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Boatswain’s Mate.

Assistant to a boatswain. In R.N. is a petty officer
whose duties are to repeat all orders and ‘pipes’, and to assist the
officer of the watch.

Boatswain’s Pipe.

Name erroneously given to ‘Boatswain’s Call’.

Boatswain’s Plait.

 Intertwining three strands of rope by using one as a
heart and plaiting and hitching the other two around it.

Boatswain’s Pride.

Slight forward rake of a mast.

Bobstay.

Rope or chain that stays a bowsprit downward. Lower end is
secured to stem.

Bobstay Fall.

Hauling part of bobstay purchase.

Bobstay Holes.

Holes in stem to take lower end of bobstay.

Bobstay Purchase.

 Tackle in upper en d of bobstay, for setting it up; fall
leading inboard along bowsprit.

Bode’s Law.

Is not a law, but a remarkable coincidence. Writing 0,3,6,
12, and so on, and then adding 4 to each of the numbers we have a close
approximation of relative distances planets are from Sun. Inserting a
decimal point, we get approximate distances in ‘astronomical units’.
Neptune, however, does not conform.

Body Hoops.

Bands around a built mast.

Body Plan.

Drawing that shows end elevation of a vessel, either
forward or aft, with water line, buttock lines, diagonals, etc.

Body Post.

Forward part of stern frame, carrying end of tail shaft.

Boiler.

Generator in which water is heated and converted into steam.
Two main types used by ships are Scotch and water-tube boilers.

Boiler Mountings.

Fittings on a boiler that are necessary for its
efficient working. Include safety valve and its easing gear, water
gauge, test cocks, pressure gauges, main and auxiliary stop valves,
feed check valves, scum cock or valve, blow down valve, whistle
valve, salinometer cock, etc.

Boiler Scale.

Deposit that forms on inside of boiler, particularly on
heating surfaces of furnaces and tubes. Its action is to obstruct
transmission of heat to water, so causing a rise in fuel consumption,
and to increase density of water. Scale is mainly sulphate of lime with
smaller quantities of chalk and chloride of magnesia.

Bolide.

Large meteor, particularly one that explodes.

Bolinder Engine.

Two-stroke semi-Diesel type that requires a hot bulb
to expedite vaporisation of fuel, but does not require air for fuel
injection.

Bollard.

Large and firmly secured post of circular section and used for
securing hawsers, mooring ropes ashore. Also rotating post in bow of
whale-boat. Used for taking a turn with harpoon line.

Bollard Timber.

Alternative name for ‘Knight head’.

Bollocks.

 Blocks in bunt of topsail yards of large ships. Topsail ties are
rove through them to increase lifting power.

Bolometer.

Instrument for measuring amount of radiant energy by
measuring difference of resistance to electrical current when a fine
wire is exposed to the radiation.

Bolsters. 

Shaped pieces of timber, sometimes canvas, placed in hawse
pipe, on mast, or other position, to take chafe off a moving rope.

Bolt. 

Length of canvas as supplied. About 39 to 40 yards.

Boltrope. 

Special type of long thread rope sewn around edges of sail to
strengthen it and to carry cringles and thimbles. Stitched on after side
of square sails, and on port side of fore and aft sails.

Boltsprit.* 

Old name for ‘Bowsprit’.

Bolt Strake. 

That timber of a wooden ship, through which the bolts
fastening the beams were passed.

Bombard. 

Olden pieces of ordnance, of large calibre, that threw bombs
up to about 300 lb.

Bomb Ketch. 

Small vessel with specially strengthened beams for
carrying a bombardment mortar.

Bomb Vessel. 

Strongly-built vessel that carried a heavy gun for
bombardment purposes.

Bonaventure Mizzen. 

The fourth mast carrying a lateen sail. (16th
century).

Bonded Goods.

Those held in a bonded warehouse pending payment of
Customs charges.

Bonded Store. 

Bonded warehouse.

Bonded Warehouse.

 Building in which dutiable goods are stored until
they are required, and duty is paid. Owner gives a bond to Customs
authorities for payment of duty when goods are withdrawn.

Bond Note. 

Written authority to remove goods in bond from a bonded
store; either for export or for transference to another store.

Bone. 

Foam at stem of a vessel underway. When this is unusually
noticeable she is said to ‘have a bone in her teeth’.

Bongrace.* 

Matting made of old rope and used for protecting outside of
vessel when working amongst ice.

Bonito. 

Fish of mackerel family, found in Mediterranean. Is great
enemy of flying fish.

Bonnet. 

Extension of a sail, that is laced along the foot of sail.

Booby Hatch. 

Sliding cover that has to be pushed away to allow
passage to or from a store room, cabin of small craft, or crew’s
quarters. 2. An entry into a cargo hatch for personnel.

Boom. 

Spar for extending foot of sail; usually for fore and aft sails-but
studding sails were sheeted to booms. 2. Floating and moored
obstruction placed across a navigable channel to prevent passage of
enemy vessels, and to detain them while under fire. 3. A derrick
boom. 4. Dhow largely used in Persian Gulf. Double ended, straight
stem, steered by a yoke, plank bowsprit.

Boom Cradle. 

Block having a semi-circular recess for end of boom to
rest in.

Boom Crutch. 

Vertical support for a boom when not in use.

Boom Foresail or Foregaff.

 Sail on after side of schooner’s foremast,
and having a gaff and boom. It is, actually, the foresail, but is given the
name to differentiate it from the forestaysail — which is often called
the ‘foresail’.

Boom Guy. 

After guy of a spinaker or studdingsail boom.

Boom Irons. 

Flat, circular fittings at quarters and ends of yards of
square rigged ships that carry studdingsail booms.

Boom Jigger. 

Tackle used for rigging out a studdingsail boom.

Boomkin. 

Small boom projecting from ship’s side to give more spread
to sail. Rigged forward, it takes fore tack; further aft, it takes standing
part of main tack; right aft, takes tack of main trysail.

Booms. 

Spar deck between fore and main masts; on which spare
booms, spars and boats are stowed.

Boom Square Sail. 

Name given to fore course in some old ships when
foot of sail was extended on a boom — to facilitate getting it over fore
stay when tacking. The Bentinck boom was a particular example.

Boom Stays. 

Attachments of boom to mast, together with fittings that
keep heel of boom in its correct place.

Bootes. 

(Greek =
Ploughman) Constellation in approx. R.A. 14 h; Dec.
20°N. Has one bright star, Arcturus.

Booti. 

Small coastal dhow
of 20 to 40 tons. Has mat bulwarks.
Undecked.

Bootlegging. 

Carrying intoxicating liquors up to,
sometimes into,
territorial waters of USA during period when prohibition was in force

(1920-33).

Boot Top. 

Ship’s side plating between light and load water lines.

Boot Topping. 

Paint or composition used for protection or preservation
of boot top. In 18th century meant scraping ship’s side in way of water
line and then coating this area with a compound of resin, sulphur and
tallow as a protection against worm and weed.

Bora. 

NE’ly winter
wind in Adriatic Sea, often dangerous because it
arrives without warning.

Bordage.* 

Planking on sides of wooden ship.

Borda’s Circle.

Repeating reflecting circle for measuring horizontal
angles with great precision.

Bore. 

Steep tidal wave that develops in
certain rivers and passes up in
advance of normal tide undulation. Caused by narrowing of channel
and decrease in depth. Occurs in Severn, Seine, Trent, Ganges and
other rivers.

Boreas. 

Greek name for North wind.

Boring. 

Forcing a vessel
through newly-formed ice.

Borrowing. 

Setting a course that may
appear to be unsafe but will be
safe through action of wind and/or current.

Bos’n. 

Boatswain.

Bosom Piece. 

Short length of angle iron inside a butted joint of angle
iron. Usually extends for at least three rivets spaces on either side of
butt.

Boson.* 

Old spelling of ‘Boatswain’.

Boss (Propeller). 

That part
in which blades are fixed, and through
which the end of shaft passes.

Botter. 

Dutch coasting craft with
one mast, jib and staysail and a
mainsail with short gaff. Usually double ended and with lee boards.

Bottle Screw. 

Left hand and right hand threaded screws led into outer
ends of a shroud or ‘bottle’. Has largely superseded deadeyes and
lanyards for setting up rigging.

Bottom. 

Name
sometimes given to hull of a ship.

Bottom Boards. 

Light boards fitted in bottom of boat to keep all
weights off bottom planking, and on frames and timbers. Keep crew’s
feet dry if any water in boat.

Bottom End Bearing. 

Crank pin
bearing, over which connecting rod of
reciprocating engine is fitted.

Bottom Plating. 

That part of a ship’s
shell plating lying between the
bilge and the keel plate.

Bottomry.

Pledging a ship or the freight
she earns to raise money
necessary to complete voyage. Repayment is contingent on safe arrival
of vessel. Name was given, originally, to ‘Marine Insurance’.

Bottomry Bond. 

Legal document given to one who advanced money
on bottomry. Guarantees repayment on safe arrival at destination.

Bouguer’s Log.

Invented by French scientist in 1747. Log ship
consisted of a wood cone with a ballasting weight on a 50-ft. line, to
prevent wind effect on cone.

Boulene.* 

Old spelling of ‘Bowline’.

Boulter. 

Fishing line consisting of long pieces of tarred rope fitted with
hooks at fathom intervals, and sinkers near each hook.

Bound.

Proceeding in a specified direction, or to a specified place.

Bourdon Gauge. 

Instrument for measuring pressure of steam by means
of a curved piece of flattened bronze tubing, the end of which is sealed.
When steam is admitted at open end the tube tends to straighten, thus
moving sealed end. Appropriate gearing causes amount of movement
to indicate corresponding pressure.

Bouse.

To heave, or haul,
downwards on a rope. Originally, and strictly,
heave meant an upward pull, haul meant a horizontal pul I, bouse meant
a downward pull: but these distinctions have not survived.

Bow.

That part of a ship’s side that extends aft and downwards from
stem. 2. Direction between right ahead and 45° from it. 3. Bow of
shackle is the rounded part opposite the jaw.

Bow Chaser.

Gun
mounted forward for firing at a pursued ship.

Bower Anchor.

Principal anchor; carried forward and attached to a
bower cable. Stowed in hawse pipe or on anchor bed.

Bower Cable.

Cable attached to a bower anchor.

Bow Fast.

Rope laid out from bow of
vessel to a bollard or other fixure,
on quay or wharf, for mooring.

Bowge.*

Rope fastened to middle
line of sail to make sail lie closer to
wind.

Bowgrass.*

‘Bongrace’.

Bowl.

Hemispherical
container of compass card.

 Bowl.*

Cylindrical fitting at mast head for lookout man to stand in.

Bowline.

Rope leading from deck to leeches of topsails and courses
when on a wind, weather bowlines being hauled taut to stop leeches
from shivering. 2. Secure and quickly made loop that was put in end
of bowline for attachment to bridle, and in bridles for attachment to
bowline cringles. This very useful loop is used for numerous purposes
in everyday work, and is particularly valuable for giving security to a
man working with insecure foothold, or over the side.

Bowline Bridle.

Rope stretched between two bowline cringles in leech
of a square sail. Bowline rides on this bridle.

Bowline Cringles.

Cringles fitted into leeches of square sail to take
ends of bowline bridle. They had no thimble.

Bowline on a Bight.

Bowline made with rope doubled and so made that
two loops are formed. Gives increased safety to man working aloft or
over side, one loop being under his arms, man sitting in other loop.

Bow Locker.

Compartment just abaft stem. Usually contains boat-
swain’s gear that is in frequent use.

Bowman.

In a pulling boat, is man who pulls a bow oar. In all boats he is
responsible for working forward boat hook and for such other duties
necessary at the bows.

Bow Oar.

 Foremost oar in a pulling boat. The bowman.

Bow Painter.

Boat’s painter.

 

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Bow Rudder.

Additional rudder fitted at stem of certain vessels,
ferries, etc., that work in restricted waters in which there is not always
room to turn round.

‘Bows’..0

Order given in a pulling boat when approaching ship’s
gangway or landing place. Bowman boats his oar and stands by with
boat hook.

Bowse.

To pull downward on a rope or fall.

Bowse Down.

To bouse.

Bow Shackle.

 Harp shackle.

Bow Sheets.

Flooring in fore part of boat. Head sheets.

Bowsprit.

Spar projecting over stem, on which it rests. Outer end is
stayed down to stem by bobstay, inner end is secured by gammoning.
In sailing ships is often prolonged with a jib boom and flying jib boom.

Bowsprit Cap.

Vertical fitting at forward end of bowsprit to take heel
of jib boom, jib boom footropes, heel chain and heel ropes of jib boom.

Bowsprit Collars.

Strops or bands round bowsprit to take bobstay,
bobstay shrouds and stays.

Bowsprit Shrouds.

Ropes or chains extending from outer end of
bowsprit to ship’s bows on either side. Give lateral support to
bowsprit.

Bow Stopper.

Short length of strong cable-laid rope with stopper knot
in foremost end. Formerly used for holding hemp cables — to which it
was lashed — while bitting or unbitting. Name is now given, by
Merchant Navy, to a cable controller.

Bow Thruster.

A
controlable pitch propeller placed in an athwartship
tunnel in the fore part of a ship open to the sea, which gives a transverse
thrust to assist a ship when berthing or manoeuvring at slow speed.

Box Hauling.

Wearing a sailing ship on her heel. Only done when there
is no room to wear and ship misses stays while trying to tack. Headsails
are thrown aback, and helm put down as ship gathers steraway.

Boxing the Compass.

Reciting the points, or quarter points, of the
compass in correct order, and starting at any named point.

Box Off.

To pay off ship’s head from wind by flattening in head sails
and bracing head yards close up. Done when ship has been brought too
close to wind by bad steering, or if wind has shifted ahead.

Box Ventilator. 

Temporary wooden ventilator inserted in cargo,
particularly rice, to ensure through ventilation. Usually square in
section. Longitudinal sides may be solid planking or skeleton battens,
depending on nature of cargo.

Boxwood Scale.

Specially graduated
scale for converting measurement
of unchanged coating of a Kelvin sounding tube into fathoms of depth.

Boyer.

Flemish sloop having superstructure, or ‘castle’ at each end.
Used for buoy laying.

Boyle’s Law.

The volume of a perfect gas,
at constant temperature,
varies inversely as the pressure on it. This law is fundamental in
engineering and other branches, and is the fundamental principle of the
Kelvin, and similar, sounders.

Brace.

Rope or tackle by which a
yard is adjusted in the horizontal
plane.

 

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Brace.*

 Arm of the sea. Mandeville calls St. George’s
Channel ‘Brace
of Seynt George’.

Brace Aback.

To adjust a yard so that wind comes on fore side of sail.

Brace In.

To adjust a yard by bracing so that it becomes more
athwartships.

Brace of Shakes.

Very short interval of time.
(Etymology very
dubious.)

 Brace Pendant.

Pendant, from yard arm, through which a
brace is rove.

Braces.

Gudgeons of a rudder.

Brace To.

Adjust a yard so that sail
becomes a little aback. Done when
tacking or wearing.

Brace Up.

To adjust a yard so that it becomes less athwartships.

Bracket.*

Carriage of a ship’s gun.

Bracket Frame.

Floor or frame in which frame and reverse frame are
stiffened by plates (brackets).

Bracket Knee.

More or less triangular
plate secured to beam and frame
to unite them, and to preserve the angle.

Bracketless System.

Introduced by Sir Joseph Isherwood to dispense
with brackets at end of longitudinal and bulkhead stiffeners. Loss is
made good by increasing scantlings of girders.

Bracket Plate.

Iron
or steel plate secured with its plane perpendicular
to another plate which it supports and stiffens.

Brackets.

Ornamental work. See ‘Hair Bracket’, ‘Console Bracket’.

Bragozzi.

Small fishing vessels of the Adriatic.

Brahmin Knot.

Triangle knot.

Brailed Up.

Said of spanker, gaffsail or trysail when it
is gathered mto
mast by hauling on brails.

Brails.

Ropes used for gathering a
spanker, trysail or gaffsail into mast.
Led through block on one side of mast, round sail and through block on
other side of mast; being seized, at bight, on leech of sail.

Brake.*

Name given to handle of ship’s bilge pump.

Brash.

Ice broken into
pieces, about 6 ft. in diameter and projecting
very little above sea level.

Bratsera.

Ubiquitous trader in the
Aegean Sea carrying 50 to 150 tons
of cargo. Originally a two-masted lugger.

 

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Brave West Winds.

Prevalent west winds in temperate latitudes.

Brazil Current.

Southern branch of Equatorial Current. Sets S’ly from
off Cape San Roque to approximately latitude of River Plate; there
merging into ‘Southern Ocean Drift’.

Breach.

 Said of waves that
break over a vessel.

Breadth.

Of a flag, is measure of its vertical side.
Also used to denote
number of widths of bunting used; width of bunting being 18 inches, a
five breadth flag would measure 7 ft. 6 in. vertically.

Breadth Line.

Longitudinal line of a ship, following the upper ends of
timbers of frames.

Break.

Of forecastle or poop, is the
midship end of the raised
deck. 2. A wave is said to break when it curls over and foams.

‘Breakage’.

Ship’s immunity from this damage exists only when it is
not due to any fault of ship.

Break Bulk.

To commence to
discharge cargo.

Breaker.

Small cask used for bringing off water in
boats. Also used for
carrying provisions in a boat. Anglicised form of Spanish ‘Bareca’.
 Wave with broken or breaking crest.

Break Ground.

To heave anchor out of ground. Term had a special
meaning when sailing on Sunday was considered unlucky. If possible,
ship broke ground on Saturday, moved a few yards and then re-
anchored: voyage could then be considered as starting on Saturday.
This subterfuge was known as ‘Breaking ground’.

Breaking (a Flag).

 Hoisting a flag that has been rolled up and secured
by a bow knot in its halliard, and then freeing the flag by jerking on its
downhaul. It is conventionally wrong to break a ship’s national ensign.

Break Sheer.

Said of a vessel at anchor when, due to action of wind or
tide, she brings wind or tide on the opposite bow.

Breakwater.

Construction, usually of masonry, erected on a seabed
and extending above sea level. Intended to protect a harbour,
anchorage or other area from effect of sea waves. Word is used, also, to
denote any structure that defends against a free flow of water. 2.
Strong construction athwart a ships foredeck to prevent seas sweeping
down the deck.

Breaming.

Removing fouling from a ship’s bottom by burning.

Breast.

Mooring line leading approximately perpendicular to ship’s
fore and aft line. To breast a sea is to point a ship’s bows in the direction
from which the sea comes.

Breast Anchor.

Anchor laid out from forward or aft, in direction at j
right angles to ship’s fore and aft line. ‘*

Breast Backstay.

Royal or topgallant mast backstay that was set up, on
either side, with tackles that could be slacked off when yard was
braced sharp. Often called ‘shifting backstay’.

Breast Band.

Name sometimes given to breast rope of leadsman’s
chains.

Breast Casket.*

 Old form of ‘Breast Gasket’.

Breast Fast.*

* See ‘Breast Rope’ 1.

Breast Gasket.

One of the gaskets used for securing bunt of sail.

Breast Hooks.

Horizontal plates in fore end of vessel. Are secured to
ends of stringers, and thus hold two sides together and preserve the
bow form. In wooden vessels, are horizontal knees fulfilling the same
functions.

Breast Knees.

‘Breast Hooks’.

Breast Off.

To move a vessel away from a wharf or jetty by forcing her
sideways from it, either by warps or bearing off spars.

Breast Plate.

Horizontal plate that connects the upward extensions of
the side plating at the stem.

Breast Rail.

Upper rail at fore end of poop.

Breast Rope.

Mooring rope, leading from bow or quarter, at about right
angles to ship’s fore and aft line. 2. Sennit band at top of apron of
leadsman’s chains, against which leadsman leans when heaving
lead. 3. Formerly, ropes attaching parrels to yards, and so confining
yards to mast.

Breastwork.

Stanchions and rails at fore end of poop and after end of
forecastle in old ships; and, athwart upper deck of ships with no poop-
to indicate forward limit of quarter deck.

Breech.

Outside angle of a knee timber. 2. The rear end of a gun.

Breeches Buoy.

Life-buoy fitted with canvas breeches on inner
circumference and used, with rocket apparatus, for hauling ashore
people in a vessel wrecked near the shore.

Breechings.

Back ropes or backstays. 2. Ropes by which guns were
hauled out before firing and which limited their recoil on firing.

Breeze.

Wind of moderate strength. Usually convectional.

Brereton’s Log Scale.

For timber measurement. Gives actual or solid
contents of a log in ‘board feet’. Is based on mean diameter of log.
Invented by Bernard Brereton of Seattle, Washington.

Brickfielder.

Hot N’ly wind in Australia during summer.

Bridge.

Superstructure, on upper deck, having a clear view forward and
on either side, and from which a ship is conned and navigated. 2. In
boiler furnace, is an arch of firebricks built at combustion chamber end
of furnace.

Bridle.

In general, any fairly short length of rope secured at both ends.
In particular, length of rope used as ‘bowline bridle’.

Bridle Cable.

Length of cable led from ship to middle of another length
of cable that is anchored at each end.

Bridle Part.

That part of cable that extends from hawse pipe to anchor
when anchor is stowed outboard.

Bridle Port.*

Port, in bow, in which a bow chaser gun was mounted but
which was used, also, for a bow fast or mooring bridle.

Brig.

Vessel with two masts and square rigged on both of them.

Brigantine.

Originally, a ship of brigands, or pirates. Up to end of 19th
century was a two-masted vessel square rigged on foremast and main
topmast, but with fore and aft mainsail. Latterly, a two-masted vessel
with foremast square rigged, and mainmast fore and aft rigged.

Brig Mast.*

Mast fitted with a top gallant mast.

Briming.

Fisherman’s name for phosphorescence of sea.

Brine.

 Non-freezing liquid made by dissolving calcium chloride in
water 40 oz. per gallon — for refrigerating purposes.

Bring To.

Stop way of ship. Bring ship’s head to wind. Bring ship to an
anchor.

Bring Up.

To bring ship’s head to the wind. To come to anchor.

Bristol Fashion.

 Good and seamanlike appearance. Precisely correct.

British Corporation.

 Former classification society that was founded to
classify ships built on lines that Lloyd’s would not accept. Is an
‘Assigning Authority’ for granting load line certificates.

British Ship.

 Vessel owned by a British subject, or by a corporation
established in, and subject to, some part of the Commonwealth, and
whose owner or owners have their principal place of business in the
British Commonwealth.

British Summer Time.

 Greenwich Mean Time plus one hour.
British Thermal Unit. Amount of heat necessary to raise temperature
of one pound of fresh water from 62°F to 63°F. Equals 252 calories.

Broach.

To turn a ship to windward.* 2. To pilfer or steal car-
go. 3. To make a hole in a cask or barrel, generally with unlawful
intent.

Broach To.

 Said of a ship under sail when she turns toward
wind while
running free, possibly putting all sails aback.

Broad Fourteens.

Sea area off N.E. coast of Holland, having an
almost uniform depth of about fourteen fathoms.

Broad on the Bow.

Bearing of an object when 45° or more from right
ahead, but before the beam.

Broad Pennant.

Swallow tailed,
tapering burgee, white with a red St.
George’s cross, flown by a British warship carrying a Commodore or
the senior officer of a squadron when not of flag rank. May have a red
ball in inner upper canton.

Broadside.

Side of a ship as
distinguished from bows and stern.
2. Salvo from all guns on one side of a warship.

Broken Backed.

Said of a vessel excessively hogged.

Broken Stowage.

 Space,
amongst the cargo in a hold, that it is
impossible to fill on account of it being too small to take a unit of the
cargo loaded. It might however be filled by breaking the units into
individual items.

Broker.

An intermediary between two principals. Insurance broker
arranges insurance between a shipowner and underwriter. Shipbroker J
acts between shipowner and shipper or charterer.

Brokerage.

Fee charged by a broker for his services.

Broom at Masthead.

Traditional sign that a vessel is for sale. Rarely !
seen nowadays.

 

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Brought by the Lee.

Said of a vessel when running under sail and wind
comes on the other quarter.

Brought To.

Said of a rope or cable
when it is brought to a capstan,
windlass or a winch, and turns are taken for heaving.

Brought Up.

Said of a ship when she rides to her anchor after dropping
it. Also said when a vessel is under sail and the wind suddenly comes
ahead and stops her way.

Brought up all standing.

Said of a vessel
under way when her sails are
put aback by a sudden shifting of the wind. Used colloquially to mean
‘astounded’ or ‘flabbergasted’.

Brow.

Substantial gangway used to
connect ship with shore when in a
dock or alongside a wharf.

Brown Boveri Turbine.

Low-
pressure exhaust turbine geared to
propeller shaft of reciprocating engine. Reverses when going astern,
and is then fed with live steam.

Brown Curtis Turbine.

Impulse turbine of Curtis type and compoun-
ded for velocity.

Brown Gyro Compass.

British made gyro compass
with several novel
features. See ‘Gyro Compass’.

B.S.T.

British Summer Time.

B.T.H.

Curtis Turbine.
 Steam turbine (British Thomson-Houston) in
which kinetic energy in first wheel is abstracted in two or more stages,
and part of turbine is compounded for velocity and pressure.

Bubble Sextant.

 Sextant fitted with an attachment carrying a very
sensitive bubble that indicates the horizontal. By use of this instrument
sights can be taken when horizon is indistinct or invisible.

Buccaneer.

Literally means ‘a smoker of meat or fish’. Name was
given to privateers who traded with the New World, in defiance of
Spain, between about 1524 and 1700.

Bucklers.

Shaped blocks of
wood inserted in hawse holes to prevent the
entry of sea.

Bucko.

 A bullying and tyrannical officer.

Budgee Jack.

Flag worn
at spritsail topmast by British privateers of
17th and early 18th centuries. Consisted of Union flag with red border
on outer and lower sides.

Budget.

Flat vertical plate under after
swim of Thames dumb barges:
practically a fixed rudder.

Buffer.

Spring unit inserted in rudder
chains to absorb sudden
shocks. 2. R.N. nickname for a Chief Boatswain’s Mate.

Bugalet.*

 Small coasting craft of Brittany. Had a very short foremast
with two jibs and a taller mainmast with two square sails.

Buggalow.

East Indian coasting vessel having one mast and lateen sail.
Has navigated from Gulf of Cutch since time of Alexander the Great.

Builders’ Measurement.

Tonnage rating resulting from: Length – 0-6
Breadth x (Breadth x Breadth) 94
Was legal measurement for merchant ships from 1773 to 1835: and for
yachts until 1873.

Building Slip.

Sloping erection, in shipbuilder’s
yard, on which ships
are built.

 Built Block.

Wood pulley block with shell made of more
than one piece
of wood. Also called ‘Made block’.

 

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Built Mast.

 Mast made from more than one tree or timber.

Bulb and Plate Keel.

Vertical plate with additional weight distributed
along lower edge. Gives additional stability to broad, shallow draught
sailing craft.

Bulb Angle.

Angle bar having one edge bulbed.

 Bulb Lead Keel.

Forerunner of ‘Bulb and Plate’ keel. Introduced in
yachts by Bentall in 1880.

Bulge.

 Former name for ‘Bilge’. Now
alternative name for ‘Blister’.
The latter is a cellular compartment built on outside of bilge.
Introduced during 1914-18 war to take impact of torpedo, and so
preserve hull plating.

Bulgeway.

Bilgeway.

Bulk.*

Old name for hull of a ship. ‘Bulkhead’ is a reminder.

Bulk Cargo.

 Cargo such as grain, coal, iron ore, etc., that is loaded in
bulk and not in packages or containers.

Bulkhead.

Transverse, or
fore and aft, vertical partition in a vessel to
divide interior into compartments. Not necessarily watertight.
Increases rigidity of structure, localises effects of fire and when
watertight, localises inflow of water.

Bulk Oil.

Oil cargo when carried in tanks instead of casks, drums, etc.

Bull Bars.

 Galvanised iron bars between beams of holds in ships
carrying carcases of meat.

Bull Dog Grip.

U-shaped steel of
circular section with a movable
bridge that forms a clamp. Two wires being inside U, and clamp
screwed up, the wires are incapable of independent movement.

Bulling.

Putting water into empty cask or barrel to prevent it drying and
becoming leaky. Colloquially used to signify diluting.

Bullivant’s Wire Nippers.

Steel appliances for securely holding a wire
when under stress. There are two types, fixed and portable. In either
type an increase of stress results in an increase of clamping effect.

Bull Ring.

 Transverse circular steel ring at stem head. Fairleader for
head ropes and tow rope. Also called ‘Panama Lead’.

Bull Rope.

 Rope leading downward from bowsprit to a buoy, to keep
latter away from ship’s bows or stem. Name is generally given to any
rope leading steeply downward from forward. 2. Length of rope
used for hauling items of cargo under square of hatch for hoisting.
3. Rope used for topping a derrick so that standing topping lift can be
shackled to deck.

Bull’s Eye.

Solid, round wooden block with groove around circum-
ference and three or four holes pierced transversely. Lower end of
rigging is seized in around groove; lanyard is rove through holes to
make a purchase for setting up the rigging. 2. A more or less circular
patch of blue sky very often observable over centre of a revolving
storm.

Bull’s Eye Cringle.

Bull’s eye with one large hole in centre; sometimes
used in tack or leech of sail.

Bull’s Nose.

Masonry; with rounded front on outward side, between
dock entrances.

Bullwanger.

Small strop on yard arm through which a lashing is rove to
keep head cringle of a sail in place.

Bulwarks.

Plating or wooden erections around outboard edge of upper
deck to protect deck from entry of sea.

Bumboat.

Shore boat that comes alongside ships in harbour with
provisions for retail sale.

Bumping.

Name given to the intermittent touching of the ground by a
vessel in shoal water.

Bumpkins.

Small booms projecting on either side of bows, to which the
fore tacks are hauled down. 2. Small boom over the stern of a yacht
to take a standing backstay.

Bunder Boat.

Surf boat of Malabar Coast.

Bung.

Plug that closes the hole in bilge of a cask, keg, barrel, etc.

 Bung Up and Bilge Free.

 Correct stowage of casks, barrels, etc., especially
those containing liquids. It precludes leakage and ensures the head
timbers of the cask being vertical. Bilge is kept free by support under
quarters.

Bunk.

Built in bed, or one of a series of beds, on board a ship.

Bunker Clause.

Inserted in a charter party to define the terms on which
the charterer takes over the bunkers at the commencement of a time
charter, and the ship owner at the conclusion of the time charter.

Bunkers.

Compartments in which coal is carried. Name is also given to
the fuel (oil or coal) used for ship’s propelling and auxiliary
machinery.

Bunt.

Middle portion of a square sail.

Bunting.

Thin, woollen material used for making flags, ensigns, etc.

Buntline.

 Line for hauling up middle of foot of a square sail when
furling it.

Buntline Cloth.

 Additional cloth stitched to a square
sail in way of
buntlines. Keeps chafe of buntlines off sail.

Buntline Hitch.

Made
by passing buntline through its cringle and then
clove hitching it around its own part, with final hitch next to the
cringle.

Buoy.

Floating object that is used to mark a position. 2.
Object with a
large reserve buoyancy that allows it to support a required
load. 3. To buoy a position is to mark it with a buoy.

Buoyage.

The act of placing buoys. 2. Establishment of buoys and
buoyage systems. Applied collectively to buoys placed or established.

Buoyancy.

 Difference between weight of an immersed, or partly
immersed, object and the upward pressure of the liquid in which it is. If
the weight be lighter the buoyancy will be ‘positive’, if it be heavier the
buoyancy will be ‘negative’. Also defined as the vertical component of
the water pressures acting on an immersed or partly immersed body.

Buoyancy Aid.

 A lifejacket which has less than the officially required
buoyancy or does not keep the wearer face-up when floating.

Buoyancy Tank.

 Tank fitted in lifeboat to give one cubic foot of
positive buoyancy for each person boat is certified to carry. Made of
brass, copper, muntz or yellow metal, weighing at least 18 oz. per
square foot.

Buoyant Apparatus.

Life saving floats required in
certain passenger
ships.

Buoyant Jacket.

 Worn as a jacket.

Buoy Rope.

Rope connecting a buoy with its moorings, or with the
sunken object that it marks. Particularly applied to rope connecting
anchor and anchor buoy.

Buoy Rope Knot.

Very similar to a
stopper knot. It was put in end of
hemp cable when used for mooring to a buoy. Purpose was to prevent
end of rope slipping through seizing by which it was secured.

Burden.

Carrying capacity of a vessel expressed in tons. In M.S.A.
means ‘Net registered tonnage’.

Burdwood’s Tables.

Tables
computed by Commander John Bur-
dwood, R.N., to give Sun’s true azimuth at intervals of 4 mins. when
observed between Lats. 30° and 60°. Later extended by Commander J.
E. Davis and P. L. Davis of Nautical Almanac Office, to include Lats.
0° to 30°.

Bureau Veritas.

 International body that supervises building of ships
and other maritime matters. An ‘Assigning authority’ for Load Line.

Burgee.

Rectangular flag with a swallow tail fly. 2. Triangular flag
of a yacht club.

Burgoo.

Seaman’s name for oatmeal porridge.
First mentioned in
Edward Coxere’s ‘Adventures by Sea’ (1656).

Burlap. 

Coarse
cloth made from jute and other fibre. Used for
protecting cargo.

Burr Pump.*

Old type of bilge pump, in
which a leather cup was
lowered down a wooden shaft. When lifting, side of cup fitted side of
shaft and brought up all water above cup.

Burthen.*

 ‘Burden’.
Burton.
Tackle made with single and double
block. Standing part is spliced round neck of single block strop. Differs
from a luff tackle in that strop of single block has a longer throat.

Burton’s Tables.

 Volume of navigational tables with 5-figure
logarithm values. Led the way in giving comprehensive nautical
quantities with minimum number of pages.

Burt’s Bag and Nipper.

Ingenious apparatus that was one of the first
attempts to give reliable soundings while under way. Lead line was
rove through nipper on an inflatable bag that remained on surface —
vertically above lead — as long as it was slacked out. When line was
hauled in, nipper on bag gripped lead line, thus indicating depth.

Buscarle.*

 Man in command of ‘Buss’.

 Bush.

 Lining inserted in
machinery and in sheaves of blocks to reduce
friction and take wear that would otherwise come on member around
which a particular item revolves.

Buss.

 Formerly, a cargo vessel
with large stowage space, in the 16th
century up to about 100 tons. Later, the name was given to a fore and
aft rigged fishing vessel, with main and mizen masts and bowsprit,
used in herring fishing.

Butt.

 Joining of timber or plates in which the
ends are flush and in close
contact. 2. Cask containing liquid, the quantity varying with the
nature of the liquid. With beer, is 108 gallons and wine is 117 gallons.

Butter Battens.

Special small-sized dunnage wood used when stowing
butter or eggs. In frozen or chilled hold.

Buttterfly Block.

Small
snatch block, of clump type, with hemp strop
and tail. Formerly used for hauling in deep sea lead line.

Butt Joint.

Joining of two plates, or timbers, in which their ends are
flush and in close contact. Can be strapped or welded.

Buttock.

Overhanging and rounded-in part of a vessel’s stern. It
commences aft and terminates, on either side, where it merges into the
run.

Buttock Lines.

Curves derived from a series of longitudinal sections of
the hull of a vessel by vertical planes parallel to keel and at uniform
intervals from it. They thus indicate the transverse form at any given
thwartship position.

Butt Sling.

Length of rope with eye splice in
one end and whipping on
other end.

Butt Strap.

 Piece of metal covering a butted joint.
Riveted to each of
the butted plates to regain strength lost by the butting.

Butt Weld.

The joining of two members by putting their edges closely
in contact and welding along the seam.

Buys-Ballot’s Law.

Originally stated that if observer’s back is to a
wind in Northern hemisphere then barometric pressure will be lower
on his left hand than on his right; this rule being reversed in Southern
hemisphere. Modern convention assumes man faces direction of wind,
thus reading ‘higher’ for ‘lower’ in original rule.

By.

Used with
other words, in sailing, to mean close to the wind.

By and Large.

Sailing with wind before the beam-and sailing with
wind abaft the beam. 2. A nautical way of saying, ‘Taking the rough
with the smooth’ or ‘striking a mean’.

By Points.

 Those points of the compass that contain the word ‘by’.
By the Board. Overboard and by the ship’s side.

‘By the Deep’.

Erroneous report sometimes made by leadsman when
depth is judged to be an exact number of fathoms not marked on line,
Should be ‘Deep’.

By the Head.

 Said of a vessel when her draught
forward exceeds her
draught aft.

‘By the Mark’.

Prefix to a leadsman’s report of depth when the mark on a vertical lead line is at water level; this report being free from estimation.

By the Run.

To let go a rope and let it run without hindrance.

 By the Stern.

 Said of a vessel when her draught aft exceeds her draught forward.

By the Wind.

 Said of a vessel sailing close hauled.

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