February 9, 2013 - Velos

The Practical Boat Owner website provides a very detailed glossary of nautical terms. This may be useful to you if you are new to the world of sailing and yachting, or maybe you are just a little rusty with your seafaring language.

Here is a taster of the words in the glossary to test yourself on:

Dolphin
A fixed pile of timber, concrete or metal which is used for mooring a ship, and especially for warping in or out of a dock. Also used of a navigational beacon if standing in water and rather massively built.

Hawse-hole
A hole through the bulwarks, or even through the bows of the hull itself, where the anchor chain enters. The chain then disappears down through the deck and into the chain locker via the Navel pipe.

Plim, to
To swell, or swell up. Likewise to plim up. Used of plums and suchlike by fruit growers, and of the planking of wooden boats by yachtsmen. A boat which has been long ashore may take water when first put afloat, but, just ‘give her time to plim up’ and she’ll get tight.

Shrouds
Stays, usually of wire rope, supporting the mast at each side. Cap shrouds go to the top of the mast, ‘lowers’ go to some intermediate point, often about two-thirds of the way up, where Spreaders are fitted.

Vigia
A warning on a chart to be vigilant for a possible danger, not exactly specified nor even certain to exist. Reported potential dangers, which may or may not exist and whose position is doubtful, are themselves called vigia.

See the full glossary from the Practical Boat Owner.

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