*R. The point of definition of mean time. As it is directly opposite to mean Sun, in Equinoctial, its position is that of mean Sun plus or minus 12 hours of R.A. Rabbet. Cut-away part in stern, sternpost or keel of a wooden vessel, for bottom planking to fit into.
Race. Strong and rapid current in a small area of the sea; more especially when accompanies with disturbed water.
Racing. Rapid revolution of propeller and engines when ship's stern lifts out of water, or when a large wave falls away from the propeller.
Rack. Wood or iron frame with belaying pins, sheaves or blocks. 2. Old form of 'wrack' or 'wreck'.
Rack Bar. Name sometimes given to the bar used in a Spanish windlass.
Rack Block. Several sheaves fitted into one block of wood and used as leads for running gear.
Racking. Binding together two ropes by passing a smaller rope alternately over and under each of them. 2. The smaller rope used when racking.
Racking. The distorting of a ship's transverse shape through undue strain.
Racking Strain. Excessive stress that alters or distorts a vessel's transverse shape.
Racon. A radar beacon which transmits a signal on receiving a radar signal from a ship and thus shows the range and bearing of the racon on the ship's display.
Radar. Electronic system by which the bearing and distance of an object are found by the emission of a radio pulse, an observation of the direction of its return and the measurement of the time elapsed between emission and return.
Radar Beacon. A radio transmitter transmitting signals at radar frequencies which can be received and identified by a ship's radar set.
Radar Reflector. Arrangement of flat metallic surfaces set at right angles to each other which reflect radar signals back from whence they came. Used to improve the reflective power of small objects.
Radar Simulator. Electronic apparatus, used in training, by which simulated echoes of ships or coastline are made to appear and move upon radar displays.
Raddle. To interlace yarns to form a gasket.
Radiant Heat. Heat transmitted in form of electro-magnetic waves, and not by conduction or convection.
Radiation. Emission of energy, such as light or heat, in the form of electro-magnetic waves that do not heat the medium through which they pass.
Radiation Pressure. Pressure of radiant energy on a unit area. The pressure of sunlight on Earth is about 2 Ib. per square mile.
Radio. General name for methods of signalling or communicating through space by electro-magnetic waves.
Radio Aids. Term that includes all radio signals and emissions that can be used in navigational practice.
Radio Beacon. A radio station which sends out special signals for reception by a ship's radio direction finder, the bearing of the radio beacon being thus obtained.
Radio Compass. Directional radio receiver calibrated to indicate the direction in which a radio wave approaches.
Radio Direction Finder. Instrument for detecting a radio signal and for indicating the relative bearing on which it is received.
Radiolaria. Minute creatures having a spherical, or conical, body from which small filaments project.
Radiolarian Ooze. Deep-sea deposit containing minute skeletons of radiolaria. Forms sea bed of large areas of Pacific and Indian Oceans at depths of 2000 to 5000 fathoms. Radiosonde. Small compact radio transmitter attached to a free balloon for the purpose of obtaining upper air observations.
Radio Time Signal. Time signal broadcast by radio.
Radius Vector. Line from a pole, or focus, that fixes position by measurement of angle between vector and a primitive. In astronomy, is a straight line connecting a planetary body
Radome. A bun-shaped cover placed over a radar scanner to prevent risk of fouling and to protect it from the weather.
Raft. Floating structure made for life-saving purposes in shipwreck. 2. Timber or logs fastened together for transport by water.
Rafting. Overlapping of edges of two ice-floes, so that one floe is partly supported by the other.
Raft Port. Square opening, in end of ship, for loading long timber.
Rag Bolt. Bolt having jagged cuts across shank, to prevent bolt working out after being driven in.
Rail. Top of bulwarks. 2. Curved timber going from bow to support knee of head.
Rail of the Dead. Name sometimes given to 'Rail 2'.
Raise. To initiate, as 'Raise a bottomry bond'. 2. To cause to appear above horizon, as 'Raise the land' or 'light'. 3. To dispose rope and blocks in such a manner that a purchase is
obtained—'Raise a purchase'. 4. To sail towards an object so that its altitude increases.
Raise a Purchase. See 'Raise'.
Raise Tacks and Sheets. Order given when tacking a square-rigged ship. As ship moves through wind, tacks and sheets are kept adjusted so that sail is kept filled and does not go aback.
Rake. Inclination, in fore and aft line, of a mast, funnel, stem, stern post, or other nearly vertical member. 2. Inclined shape of after edge of a rudder. 3. To fire projectiles fore and aft along deck of an enemy vessel.
Raker.* Gun so placed as to rake an enemy vessel.
Rakish. Said of a mast, or other member, having a rake.
Rally in. To haul in quickly.
Ram. To strike a vessel with stem of one's own ship. 2. Strengthened stem, or projecting forefoot, formerly fitted to warships for sinking enemy ship by ramming.
Ramberge.* Long and narrow war vessel, propelled by oars and specially fitted for ramming. Corruption of 'Ram Barge'.
Ram Block. Wooden deadeye.
Ram Bow. Ship's bow when fitted with a ram.
Ram Head. Special type of halyard block.
Ramark. A radar beacon which transmits continuously and thus shows its bearing on the display of a ship's radar.
Ramie. Egyptian cotton fibre used for making yacht ropes.
Ramline. Thin line, or cord, used for getting a straight line along a mast or spar.
Ramshorn Hook. Anchor-shaped hook on which two ends of a sling can be placed so that one end of sling goes not ride on other end.
Ran. Reel of 20 yards of rope. 2. Yarns coiled on a spunyarn winch.
Range. To sail parallel to a coast, shoal or other object. 2. The extreme limit at which a light will be visible to an observer with a given height of eye.
Range Alongside. To come close abeam of another vessel.
Range Finder. Instrument for indicating distance of an observed object. When the refracted images are aligned, by movement of prisms, the range is mechanically indicated.
Range Light.* Name sometimes given to an additional, and optional, masthead light of a steamship.
Range of Tide. Difference in height between any high (or low) water and either the preceding or succeeding low (or high) water.
Ranging Cable. Bringing cable on deck and laying it fore and aft in long bights. Sometimes done when preparing to anchor in deep water. Also, laying cable, in shackle lengths, on deck or dock bottom, for examination, refitting or survey.
Rank. Comparative station or rank of an officer.
Rap. Skein of yarn 20 fathoms long.
Rapaki. Masses of detached and uneven land ice met with in rivers and bays.
Paper's Code.* Signalling code, by use of flags, introduced by Admiral Raper, R.N., in 1828.
Rap Full. Said of a sail when fully distended by the wind.
Rapson's Slide. Type of steering-gear in which steering-chains are connected to a collar free to slide on tiller. Advantage is that leverage increases with angle of helm. Disadvantage is its tendency to walk back.
Ras. Arabic word, meaning 'Head', used in some star and geographical names.
Rasalhague. Star a Ophiuchi. S.H.A. 97°; Dec. N13°; Mag. 2-1.
Rasin.* Doubling piece on inner side of wale of wooden ship. Was cut away to form socket for deck carline.
Rasing Iron. Iron tool used for tearing out of old caulking.
Rate. Old scale for classing of warships. Based on number of guns carried; first rate carried 100 or more guns; fifth rate carried 32 to 40. Lowest rate was 'sixth'. 2. Rate of a chronometer is the amount it gains or loses in 24 hours.
Rateau Turbine. High-speed turbine of impulse type, and compounded for pressure. Rating. Seaman other than an officer.
Rating a Chronometer. Determining its losing or gaining rate.
Ration. Stipulated amount of provisions for a specified period.
Rational Horizon. Great circle of celestial sphere, its poles being the zenith and nadir of observer. It follows that this plane passes through centre of Earth, and parallel to visible and sensible horizons.
Ratio of Range. Factor expressing range of tide, at a given place, in arithmetical proportion to the range at a specified position.
Ratio of Rise. Factor expressing rise of tide at one position as compared with rise of tide at another position.
Ratlines. Small ropes stretched horizontally between shrouds to form foot and hand holds when going aloft. Seized to forward and after shrouds, clove-hitched around intermediate shrouds.
Ratline Stuff. Soft laid, tarred hemp, three-stranded with rather long jaw, and from one to one and three-quarters of an inch in size. Used for ratlines.
Rattle Down. To fit ratlines to shrouds.
Razee. To cut down an upper deck of a vessel so that her depth is decreased. 2. A vessel that has had an upper deck cut down.
Reach* Straight stretch of water between two bends in a river or channel.
Reaching. Sailing with wind on beam or before it. Sailing close-hauled on alternate tacks.
Reaction Rudder. Rudder so designed and shaped that effective use is made of the screw race.
'Ready About.' Cautionary order given preparatory to tacking under sail.
Ready to Load. State of a vessel when she is in a loading berth and is, in all respects, ready to load in all holds.
Rear Admiral. Flag officer in Royal Navy. Junior rank of admiral, being intermediate between Commodore and vice-admiral.
Rebate. Alternative form of 'Rabbet'.
Receivers of Wreck. Officers appointed by Board of Trade to take charge of wrecks and wreckage on British coasts and to take necessary steps for the saving of life and property in peril.
Reciprocal Bearings. Compass bearings taken simultaneously at two different stations, the bearing of one station being the reciprocal of the bearing of the other. Frequently used in
Reckoning. Computation by which the position of a ship is found.
Recognition Signal. System of lights, or pyrotechnic signals, by which a vessel can indicate her ownership and identity.
Reconcile. Shipbuilding term meaning to join one member fairly with another so that the sweep is smooth. Especially applied to curves that reverse.
Rectilinear Stream. Tidal stream that runs alternately in approximately opposite directions.
Rector. Name given to Master of a ship in 11th and 12 centuries.
Recurvature. Meteorological term for the change in direction of travel of a cyclonic storm. First direction is Westerly, then towards elevated pole, finally easterly.
Red Duster. A somewhat affectionate nickname for the Red Ensign.
Redelivery Clause. Inserted in a time charter to specify time, place and circumstances of redelivery of a vessel on termination of a time charter; also defines compensation for non-fulfilment.
Red End. Of magnet, is the north-seeking end.
Red Ensign. Red flag having Union flag at upper inner canton is the proper ensign of British Merchant Navy.
Red Pole. Of magnet, is that end having same polarity as Earth's south magnetic pole. It is usual to make an arbitrary assumption that lines of magnetic force emerge from this pole. Red Squadron. Former division of a fleet of warships. Occupied the van of the line and flew a red pendant. Was commanded by the admiral. Discontinued 1864.
Reduced Chart. Old name for a chart constructed on a recognised projection, as distinguished from a plane chart.
Reduced Latitude. Angle between radius of Earth, at a given point, and plane of Equator. Spheroidal shape of Earth causes this to be less than the geographical latitude, except at poles and Equator.
Reduced Zenith. Point at which a line passing from centre of Earth, and through an observer, would meet celestial concave. The declination of this point would be less than declination of observer's zenith.
Reduction. A 'leading back'. Correction of an apparent position or value, to give a true position, or value.
Reduction Gearing. Mechanism by which a high-speed of rotation? in one unit, is converted to a lower speed, but greater power, in another unit.
Reduction of Latitude. Angular difference between the geocentric and geographical latitudes at any given point on Earth's surface. Is maximum (11' 44") in lat 45°. It is subtractive from geographical latitude, or additive to geocentric latitude. Reduction may be looked upon as angle, at Earth's surface, between a downward perpendicular and an extended radius of Earth at that point.
Reduction to Soundings.; Calculation of the correction to be applied to a sounding taken in tidal waters so that it can be compared with soundings referred to a standard level of chart datum.
Reduction to the Meridian. The application of corrections to altitude of a heavenly body, observed when near meridian, so that its meridian altitude may be deduced.
Reed Boiler. Water tube boiler of Thomycroft type, but having tubes more curved.
Reef. Ridge, or chain, of rocks near surface of the sea.
Reef. That part of sail between head in square sails, and foot in fore and aft sails, and the first line of reef points. Also, part of sail between any two lines of reef points.
Reef Band. Strip of canvas stitched to sail in way of reef points, for strengthening.
Reef Cringle. Cringle inserted in leech of sail to take block of reef tackle.
Reef Earing. Rope that secures upper corner of a reefed square sail to yard, or lower inner corner of reefed fore and aft sail to boom.
Reefer. One who reefs a sail. As midshipmen were stationed in tops during reefing the name was applied to them. 2. Short, double-breasted jacket, as worn by midshipmen. 3. Cargo ship fitted with refrigerating apparatus but capable also of carrying cargo other than refrigerated.
Reefing. Reducing effective area of sail by gathering in a certain amount of it - at the head in square sails, at foot in fore and aft sails - and securing it by tieing reef points around. Reefing Halyards. Rope round the rolling spar of a patent reefing topsail.
Reefing Jackstay. Additional jackstay about five inches abaft proper jackstay of a yard. Reef Knot. Made with two rope ends so that bight of each part lies either over or under both parts of other rope.
Reef Line. Small ropes rove through holes in reef band of a square sail and having ends on yards. Used for tricing up head of sail when reefing.
Reef Pendant. Tackle for hauling down leech of a fore and aft sail to the boom when reefing.
Reef Points. Lengths of small line secured to reef band of sail and passing through it. Used for confining reefed area of sail, and for securing reefed part of square sail to yard.
Reef Tackle. Small purchase for heaving reef cringle of square sail to the yard when reefing.
Reel. Horizontal drum, with circular side plates, around which ropes and wires are wound for compact stowage, and for ready use. 2. Small wooden framework on which log line is reeled. Has an axle that extends on either side, for reelman to hold when the log is streamed. Reeler. Man whose duty is to reel up line of ship log as it is hauled in. Name also given to man who holds the reel.
Reeve. To pass end of a rope through a block, thimble or other opening.
Reeving Beetle. Heaviest mallet used by caulkers.
Reeving Iron. Wedge-shaped tool, of steel or iron, used when reeving.
Refit. Removal of worn or damaged gear and fitting of new gear in replacement.
Reflecting Circle. Instrument of the sextant type but having a limb graduated through 360°. Besides being able to measure large angles it has the further advantage that, by reversing the
instrument, two observations can be taken - in opposite directions - and any error of the instrument will cancel out when the mean of the two values is taken. Invented by Mayer in 1744. Improved by both Troughton and Borda.
Reflecting Sector.* Name given to a sextant, quadrant or octant to differentiate it from a reflecting circle.
Reflecting Telescope. Telescope in which the image is enlarged by increasing the angle of the rays from it by the use of paraboidal mirrors.
Reflection. A throwing back of light rays, or heat rays. Sometimes applied to sound waves. 2. An image that is observed through reflection.
Refloat. To float again. In Elizabethan days it often meant a 'flowing back'.
Refracting Telescope. One in which the enlargement of the image is obtained by the use of lenses that refract rays from an observed body through an angle larger than that subtended at
the naked eye.
Refraction. Deflection, or bending, of a ray of light, heat or radiant energy, as it passes from surface of one medium into another medium of different density.
Regatta. Originally, a gondola race; now, a gathering of yachts or i boats for racing. Register. Written document or book in which specific information is entered. Specifically applied to a ship's 'Certificate of Registry’.
Register Tonnage. Measurement of a ship, based on internal capacity, as entered in her Certificate of Registry. Can be 'Nett' or 'Gross'.
Registrar. One whose duty is to keep a register or record. Chief Officers of Customs are usually registrars of shipping.
Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen. Official of Department of Trade. He is responsible for keeping records of British ships, and of the men serving in them. Registration of Ship. Legal procedure by which a vessel acquires British nationality on building, or by transfer.
Regression. Backward movement of Moon's nodes around Ecliptic. Amount is nearly 19° 20' each year, so that this backward circle repeats every 18.6 years. This is considered in tidal prediction.
Regulus. Star a Leonis. S.H.A. 208°; Dec. N12N°; Mag. 1.3. Name is Latin for 'Petty King'. Relative Bearing. Direction of an observed object when expressed as an angle with ship's fore and aft line.
Relative Course. Course steered by another ship when expressed as the angle that course makes with course of one's own ship.
Relative Humidity. Humidity of atmosphere when expressed as a percentage of the humidity of saturated air.
Relative Magnitude of Star or Planet. Classification of its brightness compared with other stars as viewed from Earth, thus differing from 'absolute' magnitude. Is expressed as a number, which increases as brightness decreases. Stars of 6th magnitude and below can be seen with naked eye. Luminosity of any star is 2.512 times that of a star one above it in relative magnitude.
Release. To set free. In engineering, is applied to the moment when steam is first allowed to escape from cylinder. In ship's business, means a discharge from a contracted undertaking. To release a ship is to withdraw all opposition to her sailing or movement. To release cargo is to authorise its removal from ship.
Release Note. Document authorising Master to deliver cargo to holder of the note.
Relieving Gear. Any attachment to a rudder, tiller or quadrant, that damps and minimises the variations in stresses on tiller connections when a vessel is in a seaway and, particularly, when stern and rudder are rising and falling in the sea.
Relieving Tackle. Relieving gear consisting of two tackles, one on either side of tiller, having a continuous rope rove through both tackles; standing blocks of each tackle being attached to ship. Any effect of sea on rudder causes one tackle to render, and the other to heave. Friction of fall through sheaves damps shock on steering connections.
Remora. Fish, about 8 inches long, that attaches itself, by suction, to a ship's underwater body for transport. Fairly common in Mediterranean Sea.
Render. Said of rope when it yields to excessive stress by surging or slipping. Also said when it passes freely through a block or opening.
Repatriation of Seaman. The sending of a seaman to a proper return port in his own country.
Repeater. A 'Repeating ship'.
Repeating Circle. Reflecting instrument, on sextant principle, for measuring angles. As graduations extend to 180° on either side a succession of angles can be taken, and the mean value taken, thus reducing any error due to graduation.
Repeating Ship. Frigate, or small craft, formerly detached from the battle line to repeat admiral's signals from a position in view of all ships.
Replacement Clause. Inserted in a policy of marine insurance to limit liability of insurers to the replacement of a damaged part of machinery, and not the whole machine.
Reporting Day. Day on which a vessel reports her readiness to load or unload cargo. May, or may not count as a lay day.
Report List. Document describing ship and cargo, list of passengers and stores, together with particulars of any navigational danger sighted during voyage. Signed, in duplicate, by Master and presented to Customs authorities when entering inwards.
Reprize.* Vessel recaptured after being taken by enemy. If i recapture within 24 hours of capture was returned to former 1 owner; if after 24 hours of capture, was property of ship recapturing.
Request Note. Application to Customs authorities for permission to remove goods liable to duty.
Resaca. Alternative name for 'Underset'.
Reserve Buoyancy. That part of a vessel's buoyancy that keeps her watertight deck above the level of the load line.
Respondentia. Contract in which a master of a ship pledges freight and cargo as security for a loan of money necessary to enable vessel to reach her discharging port.
Respondentia Bond. Legal document whereby Master pledges freight and cargo when raising respondentia.
Restraint of Princes. Commands of a sovereign state, whether friendly, neutral or enemy -that result in the non-fulfilment of an intended voyage.
Restrictive Endorsement. Endorsement of a bill of exchange so that its negotiation is limited and circumscribed.
Retardation. A slowing up. A lateness of arrival. Opposite to acceleration.
Retard of Tide. Interval between conjunction, or opposition, of Sun and Moon and the appearance of the resultant spring tide at a place.
Retentivity. The power of steel or iron to retain magnetism. This power is more or less proportional to their resistance to being magnetised.
Retrograde Motion. Movement of a heavenly body in a direction opposite to that of Earth's rotation and Sun's annual revolution; the Right Ascension and celestial longitude of the body will then decrease. A few solar system bodies - comets and some satellites - have this motion. Retrograde movement of a planet is an optical illusion arising from Earth's orbital movement.
Return List. D.T.I, form, Eng. 2 or Eng. 2a, for reporting particulars of members of crew engaged after Articles have been opened.
Return Port. The proper return port of a discharged seaman.
Return Tubes. Those fire tubes, in a marine boiler, that return the fuel gases from the combustion chamber to the front of boiler.
Revenue Cutter. Small sailing vessel, cutter rigged and armed, manned by Royal Navy and used for prevention of smuggling and for maintaining order on the fishing grounds. Superseded by mechanically-propelled fishery protection vessels.
Reversal. Difference in directions of surface and upper winds when exceeding 90°.
Reversed Frame. Angle bar riveted to inboard edge of a frame so that its flange is in a direction opposite to that of the frame.
Reverse Laid. Said of ropes having yarns and strands laid up in the same direction. Sometimes called 'unkinkable' lay.
Revolving Storm. High wind flowing around an area of low pressure. Also called a 'cyclone'.
Rhodings. Brass bearings for axle of a pump wheel.
Rhumb. Line on surface of Earth, that cuts all meridians at a constant angle that is other than a right angle. A loxodromic curve. 2. One of the points of the compass other than a cardinal point.
Rhumb Line. Any part of a rhumb as projected on a chart.
Rhumb Sailing* Method by which a course and distance along a rhumb is converted into the resultant change in latitude and longitude.
Rib. Curved, transverse member, made of timber, going outwards from keel of a wooden vessel. Controls shape of the vessel and forms means of attachment of outside planking. In iron and steel shipbuilding it is replaced by 'frame'.
Rib and Truck. Name given to a parrel made up of large, spherical wooden spheres threaded on rope. Three to five of these are usual, being separated by thin wooden 'ribs'. Ribband. One of the horizontal strips of fir nailed to ribs of a wooden vessel, when being built, to maintain the ribs in their place while planking is fastened.
Ribband Carvel. Carvel build, but with wooden strips covering seams on inner side of the vessel.
Ribband Lines. Oblique fore and aft sections of a vessel.
Ribband Shore. Supporting strut from building slip to rib of a vessel under construction.
Ribbing Nail. Large round-headed nail used for fastening rib-bands.
Ricker. Stem of a young tree. Used for making shaft of boathook, mast or spar in boat, or for dunnage.
Ride. To yield to a sea or swell. 2. To bear down with full weight of the body.
Rider. An additional rib on inside of sheathing of hold of a wooden vessel. 2. A second tier of casks or barrels. 3. A riding turn of rope.
Ridge. Longitudinal area of high barometric pressure. 2. Longitudinal extent of a raised part of sea bed.
Ridge Rope. Centre-line rope over which an awning is spread.
Riding a Try. Heaving to, in bad weather, and lying to the wind with no sail set.
Riding Bitts. Two strong bitts, in fore part of vessel, around which turns of cable can be taken.
Riding Light. White all round light hoisted forward, by a vessel at anchor, from sunset to sunrise.
Riding Sail. Storm canvas set by ship when riding to a sea anchor.
Riding Slip. Short length of chain, attached to forecastle deck, having a slip shaped to clamp a link of chain cable. Generally used as a precautionary measure when riding at anchor.
Riding the Rigging. Coming down a stay or backstay in a boatswain's chair that has a shackle around the stay or backstay. Usual when blacking down the rigging, or when working on it.
Riding Turn. Turn of a rope that rides over or across another turn or turns.
Rig. Manner or fashion in which a vessel's masts, sails, and spars are fitted and arranged. 2. Type of a sailing vessel. 3. To fit out a vessel with necessary rigging. 4. To prepare or assemble an apparatus or gear. 5. The dress of a man.
Rig/Drilling, Rig/Oil Rig. A construction standing upon the seabed, but capable of being floated into position, used for drilling for, or extracting oil or gas.
Rigel. Star b Orionis. S.H.A. 282°; Dec. S8°; Mag. 0.3. Diameter is 38 times that of Sun; candlepower is 18,000 times greater; distant 540 light years.
Rigger. Man who makes or fits rigging, or who assists in doing so.
Rigging. The ropes, wires, tackling and other furniture necessary for the working of a ship. 2. Shrouds and their ratlines. 3. The fitting and placing of rigging.
Rigging Screw. Bottle screw used for setting up wire rigging. A Warwick screw. 2. Steel screw clamp used for turning in end of wire ropes when splicing around a thimble.
Right Ascension. Measurement of a heavenly body's distance from First Point of Aries, and expressed in terms of sidereal time. Is the angle at the Pole between a circle of Right Ascension passing through the body and a circle passing through First Point of Aries. Can be measured by arc of Equinoctial intercepted by the foregoing circles.
Right a Ship. To bring a vessel upright after she has been listed or careened.
Right-Handed. Said of a rope when strands trend to the right as one looks along it. Said of a propeller when upper edge of blade turns to starboard when going ahead.
Righting Lever. Leverage by which the force of buoyancy, acting on the metacentre of an inclined floating body, causes the body to turn until centre of buoyancy and centre of gravity are in same vertical line. Length of lever is the horizontal distance between perpendiculars passing through centre of gravity and centre of buoyancy.
Right Knot. A reef knot.
Right of Search. Authority to search a vessel at sea.
Right of Way. Legal right of a vessel to maintain her course and speed when in the vicinity of another vessel.
Right Sphere. Terrestrial sphere as it appears to an observer at Equator. Circles of revolution of heavenly bodies are perpendicular to the horizon.
Right the Helm. To put the rudder amidships.
Right Whale. The Greenland whale.
Rigil Kentaurus. Star a Centauri. S.H.A. 141°; Dec. S61°; Mag. 0.1. It is, excepting Sun, the star nearest to Earth. Its diameter is about that of the Sun, but its candle power is 1.2 times greater. Distance is 4-3 light years. Also called 'Proxima Centauri', 'Alpha Centaurus', 'Rikent'.
Rigol. Small, curved angle bar over a scuttle in ship's side. Placed to prevent entry of water when scuttle is open and water is running down side. Sometimes called 'Eyebrow'.
Rim. Notched plate, of capstan or windlass, in which a pawl can engage. 2. Top Rim.'
Rime. Rung of a ladder. 2. Hoar frost or frozen dew.
Ring. Ring or shackle in inboard end of anchor shank for attachment of cable.
Ringbolt. Bolt secured to vessel and carrying a loose ring to which a block, tackle or rope can be attached.
Ring Compressor. See 'Compressor'.
Ring Rope. Rope with one end made fast to a ring bolt; used for backing up another rope that is under heavy stress.
Ring Sail. Small sail set on a short mast, at taffrail, in fair weather.
Ring Stopper. Used for maintaining control of a wire rope that is being run out. Length of small chain has one end made fast to a ring bolt, the other end being led over the wire and back through the ring. By hauling on end of chain, wire is nipped.
Ring Tail. Small sail set abaft leech of spanker in the same manner as a studding sail is set on a square sail.
Riots and Civil Commotion Clause. Included in a policy of marine insurance to relieve insurers of liability for loss due to strikes, labour disturbances, riots and suchlike.
Rip. To tear old caulking out of a deck seam.
Ripping Iron. Tool used for tearing old caulking out of a seam. 2. Tool for removing sheathing boards and copper sheathing from a ship's bottom.
Ripple. Small curling wave, or ruffling of surface of water.
Rise. To come above the horizon.
Rise of Tide. Height of sea level above chart datum when due to tide-raising forces.
Rising. Stringer, in a boat, on which thwarts rest.
Rising Floor. Floor timber, that rises, fore and aft, above plane of midship floor.
Rising Glass. Said of barometric pressure when indicated by rise of mercury in a barometer. Rising Line. Curved line, on draughts of a ship, showing heights of floor timbers throughout the vessel.
Rising Square. Square marked with height of rising line at any part of the ship.
Rising Wood. Timber worked into seat of a floor and into keel for steadying the keel.
Risk of Collision. Exists when two vessels are so situated that a collision will be inevitable unless one vessel, at least, takes avoiding action.
Risk the Run. To sail without convoy, or to break away from a convoy, in time of war.
River Gunboat. Small warship, carrying a fairly large gun, having a broad underwater body and a shallow draught. Formerly used in Chinese rivers and other inland waters.
Rivet Spacing. Pitch of rivets.
Roach. Curvature of foot of a square sail, to clear stays, etc.
Roadstead/Roads. Sheltered water with good holding ground, in which ships may anchor and ride safely.
Roaring Forties. Strong westerly winds prevailing south of latitude 40°S. Sometimes applied to the latitudes in which the winds prevail.
Robands. Short lengths of sennit plaited round head rope of square sail for securing sail to the jackstay.
Robins. Variant of 'Robands'.
Robinson's Disengaging Gear. Releasing gear for ship's boats. Boat's falls are held by hinged hooks fitted in the slings. On release of a tackle these hooks are free to open upwards and allow boat to drop into the water.
Rockered. Said of a keel whose lower edge sweeps downward as it goes aft.
Rocket. Pyrotechnic projectile used for signalling, or for life-saving purposes. Sometimes used for establishing connection with another vessel.
Rocket Apparatus. Line-carrying rockets and apparatus for firing them and aligning them so that a line can be carried to a wrecked vessel in the vicinity of the shore. Breeches buoy can be used for removing persons from wreck. Provided at all critical points around coasts of British Isles.
Rogue's Yarn. Coloured thread inserted in each strand of a rope issued by H.M. Dockyards. Colour varies according to the dockyard issuing the rope. Indicates that the rope is Admiralty property.
Roll. Rhythmic inclination of a vessel from side to side when in a seaway.
Roll Cumulus. Name given to cloud when disposed in long parallel rolls.
Rolled Section. Sectional shape of a steel bar or girder when the shape was imparted as the bar passed through the rolling mill.
Roller. Long, smooth, swelling wave, often without crest, not generated by a prevailing wind.
Roller Jib. See 'Du Boulay Roller Jib'.
Roller Reef. A reef made by rotating the boom to which the foot of a sail is attached. This winds the sail round the boom like a roller blind.
Roller Sheave. Sheave of a block when steel rollers have been placed round the pin to reduce friction.
Rolling. Thwartship swinging of a vessel when in a seaway.
Rolling Chock. A bilge keel. 2. Jaw of a yard, which steadies the yard as the ship rolls. Rolling Hitch. Manipulation of end of a rope when attaching it to a spar or another rope. Round turn is taken and then passed over first turn; second turn is made alongside first turn and end brought up through this second turn. Name was given because this is appropriate hitch to put on a spar or cask that is required to be rolled.
Rolling Period. Period of roll. Time, in seconds, taken by a vessel to roll from one side to the other.
Rolling Tackle. Extra tackle extending from near slings on masts to weather quarter of a yard. Holds yard to mast when rolling to windward.
Roman Indiction. Number that denotes the position of a year in a system of 15-year periods, beginning 3 B.C.
Ron Finish. Finishing off of a 'point' in end of rope by forming a footrope knot over the heart.
Roof Error. Error in sextant indication that is caused by refractive effect of glass roof of a mercury trough when using it as an artificial horizon.
Room and Space. Longitudinal distance between centre lines of ribs of wooden vessels; 'room' being width of rib, 'space' being distance between ribs.
Roomer.* Elizabethan name for putting about before the wind. To 'put roomer' means 'to wear'.
Rooming. The navigable water to leeward of a vessel.
Roost. Strong and turbulent current between Orkney and Shetland Islands.
Rooves. Small, annular pieces of copper that fit over nail ends in clincher-built craft; over them the nail end is flattened to form clinch.
Rooving Iron. Small implement for holding a roove over end of a clinch nail. Has a hole in centre so that nail can be driven through roove.
Rope. Long and flexible lengths of wire, hemp, cotton, coir, leather and other materials laid up for the transmission of power and resistance, while maintaining form at any angle of bending. Size is expressed by the circumference of the rope. By convention, ropes have a minimum circumference of one inch; smaller cordage being 'lines'.
Rope Jack. Machine for laying up yarns and strands. Has circular framing with rotating hooks worked by a handle.
Ropemaker's Eye.* Eye formed in end of hemp cable. End of cable was unlaid and two strands turned over to make the eye by splicing. Third end was turned over, and its ends wormed round cable. Eye was then marled and served.
Ropery. Establishment in which ropes are made. 2. A ropewalk.
Rope's End. End of a rope, or a short length of rope.
Ropewalk. Covered walk, 100 to 200 fathoms in length, in which ropes are laid up. Formerly, men walked backward while paying out hemp fibres whose ends were attached to rotating hooks at end of the ropewalk. This method has been superseded by the use of machinery.
Rope Winch. Machine having three, or more, rotating 'whirlers’ used for laying up the strands of a rope.
Rope Yarn. Single yarn laid up in same direction as that of the strands of a rope.
Rope Yarn Knot. Correct way of joining two yarns. Yams are split and married; two opposite foxes, one from each yarn, are led round to form a reef knot.
Roping Needle. Stout needle used when sewing canvas to rope. Has a pointed end that curves upward from line of needle.
Roping Palm. Used when sewing canvas to roping. Indentations in the 'iron' are larger, and fewer, than those in a sailmaker's palm.
Ro-Ro Ship. A 'roll-on, roll-off' vessel built with doors in her ends or slides to allow, when berthed, vehicles to drive on or off.
Rorqual. Type of whale that raids fishing-grounds in practically all seas. It is not hunted, because its blubber yield is small.
Rose. Name given to a compass card, or other diagram, having radiating lines. 2. Strum.
Rose Box. Strum Box.
Rosebur. Roove, or washer, over end of a clinched nail or fastening.
Rose Knot. Wall knot followed by crown knot, and each knot followed round; finished with a diamond knot, and ends tucked through centre.
Rose Lashing. Under and over lashing finished off with concentric turns around the crossings and between the turns.
Rotator. Log unit having inclined vanes that cause it to rotate as it is drawn through the water.
Rotary Stream. Tidal stream that changes its direction through 360° in one cycle.
Rotor Ship. Experimental ship of the 1920s. Propelled by wind-pressure acting on rotating towers.
Rotten Ice. Floes that have become honeycombed through melting.
Rough Log. Log-book kept, on deck, by officer of the watch.
Rough Tree. Shaped, but unfinished, mast or spar.
Rough Tree Rail. Timber resting on tops of frames and forming the upper part of a bulwark.
Round. To sail round a buoy, promontory or other fixed point, at a uniform distance, when changing direction.
Round House. Originally, the poop. Later, a square cabin amidships and abaft mainmast of a sailing ship.
Round In. To haul the fall of a tackle and close the distance between its blocks.
Rounding. Altering course around a position and maintaining a pre-arranged distance from it. 2. Rope used for serving a larger rope. 3. Formerly, condemned running rigging less than four inches.
Roundly. Quickly and smartly.
Round Ribbed. Said of a vessel with curved tumble home.
Rounds. Wooden rungs of a rope ladder.
Round Seam. Single seam used for joining two edges of canvas. Stitches are passed through at right angles to both surfaces, with 35 to 40 stitches to the foot.
Round Seizing. Put around two ropes when the strain is in the same direction on each. Seizing is secured to one rope, and seven round turns passed round both parts. End of seizing then passed up through these turns, and out under first turn. Six round turns then passed in cantlines of first turns, end passed between sixth and seventh lower turns. Round turn then taken across all turns, finishing off with a clove hitch, having first round turn inside the hitch.
Round Spliced. Splice made with flattened strands, so that splice will be circular in section. Round To. To bring ship's head to the wind.
Round Top. Circular platform near mast head.
Round Turn. Complete turn of rope around a bollard, bitt, etc. 2. Complete turn of one cable around another when riding to two anchors.
Round Up. To close the space between the two blocks of an extended tackle by hauling on the fall when there is no weight on the tackle.
Rouse. To haul on a rope or cable without any mechanical advantage.
Rouse about Block. A large snatch block.
Routier. French name for an early book of sailing directions.
Rove. Past participle of 'Reeve'. 2. Alternative form of 'Roove'.
Rover. Pirate. Freebooter.
Row. To impel a boat by pulling on oars.
Row Boat, Rowing Boat. Boat propelled by oars alone.
Rowl. Sheave of a single block. 2. Light crane for discharging cargo.
Rowlock. Opening in which an oar is pivoted when rowing. May be a cut away part in wash strake, or space between two thole pins.
Row Ports.* Small ports, near waterline, used when propelling vessels by oars pulled between decks.
Royal. Mast or sail next above topgallant.
Royal Mail Pendant. White pendant with a red crown over a post horn and the words 'Royal Mail' in red. Worn by vessels carrying Royal Mail under contract.
Royal Marines. The corp. of soldiers who chiefly serve on board H.M. ships.
Royal Mast. Mast immediately above topgallant mast, being an extension of the topgallant mast.
Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Voluntary society that maintains lifeboats and life-saving apparatus around coasts of the British Isles.
Royal Observatory. Establishment in which time is ascertained and celestial movements and phenomena are observed and noted. At Greenwich from 1675 to 1943. Now at Herstmonceux Castle.
Royal (Sail). Sail next above topgallant sail. Generally the upper sail on mast of a square-rigged ship.
Royal Yacht Squadron. Premier yacht club of the British Empire. Founded at Cowes in 1812; given title 'Royal' in 1820.
Royal Yard. Yard next above topgallant yard: carries royal sail.
R/T. Radio telephone.
Rubber. Steel block with rounded face and wooden handle. Used for rubbing down seams in canvas after they have been sewn. 2. 'Rubbing Piece.'
Rubbing Paunch. Batten secured vertically on fore side of mast and over the hoops of a built mast. Prevents damage to yards by hoops, when yards are sent up or down.
Rubbing Piece. Raised wooden beading fitted horizontally around outside of boat. Takes chafe when boat is alongside. ;
Rubbing Strake. Doubled strake on outside of a boat. Acts as a rubbing piece, and can be renewed when worn.
Rubbing Wale. Alternative name for 'Rubbing Piece'.
Rudder. That implement or fitting by which the direction of a vessel is controlled by steering. Almost invariably fitted at stern, and free to move through about 35° on either side. Hinged to stern post or rudder post—but occasionally balanced. See 'Balanced Rudder'. 2. A paddle used for steering.
Rudder Band. Alternative name for 'Rudder Brace'.
Rudder Brace. Horizontal attachment to a rudder, carrying either a pintle or brace.
Rudder Breeching. Rope, more or less vertical, that takes part of weight of rudder off the gudgeons.
Rudder Case. 'Rudder Trunk.'
Rudder Chains. Small chains shackled to rudder and led inboard and secured. Hold rudder should it become unshipped. Also, form alternative steering connections if steering chains part.
Rudder Chock. Wooden support for rudder when in dry dock.
Rudder Coat. Canvas cover attached to rudder stock where it emerges from a trunk. Prevents sea entering ship in heavy weather.
Rudder Frame. Streamlined frame to which plates of a double-plate rudder are fastened. Rudder Head. Upper end of rudder stock, to which tiller is attached.
Rudder Hole. Opening in deck through which rudder head protrudes.
Rudder Iron. Brace or pintle of a rudder.
Rudder Pendants. Lengths of rope or wire measured and fitted so that rudder chains can be connected to tackles in an emergency.
Rudder Port. Casing, above helm port, through which rudder stock enters ship.
Rudder Post. Name sometimes given to stern post when rudder is attached to it.
Rudder Stock. Vertical member of rudder, to which rudder blade is attached.
Rudder Stops. Projections on rudder, and, or, rudder post that prevent rudder being angled more than 38° (about).
Rudder Tackles. Tackles used for controlling rudder or tiller. Are connected to rudder chains, and used when steering connections to wheel break down.
Rudder Trunk. Casing extending from helm port to the deck on which the tiller or quadrant is situated.
Rule of the Road. Seaman's usual name for the 'Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea'.
Rumb. Old form of 'Rhumb'.
Rumbo, Rumbowline. Outside yarns of old rope laid up again for use as lashings, and other purposes not demanding much strength.
Rummage. Originally meant 'to stow cargo'. Now means 'to search a ship carefully and thoroughly'.
Rummager. Originally, 'one who stowed cargo'. Now, one who searches a vessel for undeclared goods and articles.
Run. Voyage between two ports, especially when regular. 2. Distance sailed between two observations, or epochs. 3. After part of ship's underwater body where it rises and sweeps towards stern post. 4. To sail with wind astern—or nearly so.
Rundle. Drum of a capstan. 2. Round rung of a rope ladder.
Run Down. To collide with a vessel that is directly ahead. 2. To run north or south into a desired latitude; to run east or west into a desired longitude: in both the foregoing, is more applicable when numerical value of latitude or longitude is decreasing.
Rung. Ground timber of frame of a wooden vessel.
Rung Head. Upper end of a ground timber.
Runlet. Small barrel usually containing 15 gallons, but may vary between 5 and 20 gallons.
Runner. Person whose duty is to take messages. 2. A smuggler. 3. A person who solicits business on behalf of another. 4. Vessel that runs a blockade. 5. Tackle in which one end of rope is made fast and block runs on bight: nominal advantage being twofold. 6. Backstay which can be slackened or detached to avoid fouling the boom. Running Backstay.
Runner Tackle. Luff tackle attached to hauling end of a runner purchase.
Running. Sailing with wind astern, or nearly so.
Running Agreement. Made between Master and crew to allow more than one foreign voyage to be made without paying off. Expires at end of six months, or on vessel's first arrival in United Kingdom after that period, with maximum period of two years.
Running Block. That block, of a purchase, that moves in position as fall is veered or hauled. Usually called 'Moving Block'.
Running Bowline. A bowline (loop) made in the end of a rope and around its own standing part.
Running by the Lee. Running under sail with the main boom on the weather side.
Running Days. Days that are counted successively and without any exception or interruption.
Running Down. Striking a vessel that is at anchor, or that has the right of way. Running Down Clause. Institute Time Clause that defines liability of underwriters to owner of a ship that runs down another. Liability does not exceed three-quarters value of ship that
Running Fix. Determination of a ship's position by taking a line of bearing, running a known distance, transferring first line to new position and crossing it with another position line.
Running Free. Sometimes defined as sailing with wind abaft the beam, but not right aft. As far as the 'Rule of the Road' is concerned, a vessel is running free when she has the wind more than one point abaft that point at which she would be close hauled.
Running Gear. All rigging, ropes and tackles that move, or are movable.
Running High. Said of a sea when waves are high. Said of a gyro compass when its indication is numerically higher than it should be.
Running Hook. One of the tack hooks a little off centre line of boat at stem. Tack of sail is put on it when running before wind.
Running Lights. Statutory navigational lights shown by a vessel when under way.
Running Moor. Anchoring by dropping first anchor while ship has headway, and letting go second anchor after she has gone farther ahead.
Running Part. Any part of a tackle that moves when worked - as distinguished from the standing part.
Running Rigging. All ropes rove through blocks and worked as may be necessary, as distinguished from standing rigging.
Running the Easting Down. Making easterly departure by running before a westerly wind. Running Voyage. Old name for a wartime voyage when made independently and not in convoy.
Run Out. To put out a mooring, hawser or line from a ship to a point of attachment outside her.
Run the Longitude. To sail along a meridian.
Russell's Log. Early 19th-century towed log, of spiral type and made of copper.
Russian Sennit. Loose matting made by weaving several stands-or lengths of small rope-athwart and over and under their own parts.
Rutter. Common, but corrupted, form of 'Routier*.