Babcock Erith Stoker. Mechanical apparatus for feeding boiler furnaces with coal, and so arranging it that efficient consumption and clean fires are maintained. Babcock Johnson Boiler

B - English Maritime terminology

Babcock Erith Stoker. Mechanical apparatus for feeding boiler furnaces with coal, and so arranging it that efficient consumption and clean fires are 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 Ib. per sq. in.

Bac. Flat-bottomed boat, often with pram bow, used as a ferry.

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.

Back Sight. Back altitude.

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°.

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 topsail.

Baguio, Bagiou. The term for a typhoon in the Philippine Islands.

Bailer. Baler.

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 or 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 peak earing to tack, 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.

Baldbeader. 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 l/7th 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 Dantzig.

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 surrounding 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°.

Barbarising. Scrubbing a deck with cleansing powder and sand.

Barber-hauler. A line with a block on the end through which a jib sheet is rore, 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. Barque.

Barkantine. Barquentine.

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 pressure 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 magnetic 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.

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.

Bathometer. Instrument for measuring oceanic depths.

Bathyal Zone. Between 100 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 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 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. Bear away.

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.

Beaufort Wind Force

Mean Wind Speed in Knots

Descriptive Term






Light air



Light breeze



Gentle breeze



Moderate breeze



Fresh breeze



Strong breeze



Near gale






Strong gale






Violent storm



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 2/3rds, and inner end diameter being 5/6ths, 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 for taking fore topmast stay and, in R.N., foretop bowline.

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 g 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; U.S.A. uses a 3 ½ -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 180° 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 neaping 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 hUrsae 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.

Berenice's Hair. See 'Coma Berenicis'.

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

D + 2 = GZ + constant.

Berth. Place in which a vessel is moored or secured. Space around a vessel at anchor, and in which she will swing. An allotted accommodation 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'.

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 trestle-trees. 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


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 the bilges. Accumulated water raised a float that released an escapement on bell.

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.

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'.

Bipod Mast. Mast consisting of two members joined at the top, their bases separated 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 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 Pains. 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 H.M.S.

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 as '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.

Bluff Headed. 'Bluff bowed.'

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 Trade and Industry.

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 causalty connected with a British vessel.

Board of Trade Notices. Orders, instruction or advice given to seamen by the Board of Trade.

Board of Trade Returns. Periodical statistical information given by Board of Trade on matters connected with shipping.

Board of Trade Surveyor. Official who surveys and inspects ships and their equipment to ensure that all statutory requirements are fulfilled.

Boards. Sawn timber less than 2 ½ 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. As far as Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea is concerned, a boat is a small non-seagoing vessel propelled exclusively by oars.

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.

Boat Note. Receipt, given by Mate, for a parcel of cargo brought alongside in a boat, barge or lighter. Is acknowledgment that this has been put alongside.

Boat 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. Stave of cask, or other flat piece of wood, having hole at each end through which ends of a rope are passed and spliced. In upper bight of rope an eye, or thimble, is seized for attachment to halyard. Wood makes a seat when working aloft, man's weight being borne by rope sling.

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 end 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, etc. Often fitted in pairs on same base plate. 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 Ib.

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.

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. 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. &

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