Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing and Architecture

(11th and final edition, 1913)

Board - By.  

In beating to windward a board is the time a vessel is on one tack and the distance she makes on that tack.

Thus it may be a long board or a short board. Working to windward by a long board and a short board is when a vessel can more nearly lie her course on one tack than on another.

Thus, suppose the wind be S.W., and the vessel's course from headland to headland S.S.W., and the vessel can lie four points from the wind; then on the starboard tack the vessel will head S., or two points off her course ; on the port tack she will lie W., or six points off her course.

The long board will be the one on the starboard tack.

A vessel is said to make a good board when the wind frees her on one tack; a bad board when it heads her. A stern board is to get stern way on whilst tacking.

To board a ship is to enter upon her deck, generally supposed to mean without invitation.

"By the board." To fall close by the deck. A mast is said to go by the board when it breaks by the deck and falls overboard.

Board and Board.--
Vessels are said to work board and board when they keep in company and tack simultaneously.
Boat Builders' Union.--
An association of boat builders, founded 1821, and called the "Sons of Sincerity Society of Ship-Boat Builders." Their place of meeting is the "City Arms," near Stepney Station, London. If any person desired to obtain a boat builder to assist in building a boat it could he done through this union.
Boat Chocks or Skills.--
Pieces of wood with a score in them to take the keel of boats when they are lifted in upon deck.
Boat Hook.--
A wood pole with a metal hook and prong at one end; sometimes with two hooks. A yacht's gig has two boat hooks-one for the use of the bowman, another for the stroke; by these means a boat is held alongside the stops of a jetty or by the gangway of a vessel, &c.
Boat Keeper.--
The man left in charge of a boat when the other part of her crew go on shore.
Boat's Crew.--
Men told off to always man a particular boat, such as the gig, cutter, or dinghy of a yacht.
Boats' Etiquette.--
It the person in charge of a yacht's boat desires to salute a passing boat containing an admiral, captain, commodore, or other person of consequence, he directs the crew to lie on their oars as the boat passes, and to raise their hats or caps. The owner on leaving his yacht with a party is the last in the boat and the first out; and on leaving the shore is last to get into the boat and the first to board the yacht. This is the custom in the Royal Navy (the senior officer taking the place of the owner), in order that the admiral, captain, or other person might not be kept waiting alongside, which might be an unpleasant situation in had weather. Thus the saying "the captain is the last in and the first out of a boat." (See "Salutes" and "Ensign.")
An officer who takes charge of a yacht's gear, and it is his duty to superintend all work done upon the spars, rigging, or sails. He also takes charge of all spare gear and sails, and sees that everything on deck and above deck is neat, clear, and ship-shape. He must in every sense of the word be a thorough seaman, and must know how all work upon rigging and sails should be done. As he has constantly to handle the sails and rigging, he necessarily has a knowledge of their condition, and it is his duty to report all defects in the same.
Boatswain's Call.--
A whistle consisting of a hollow ball and a tube leading to a hole in it.-- By varying the sounds the men are "piped" to their work just the same as soldiers are ordered by the sound of a bugle. The pipe is seldom met with in English yachts, except in some of large size, and the boatswain has little to do with giving orders.
Bobstay.-- The stay from the bowsprit to the stem.
Part of a vessel's hull, as fore-body, middle-body, and after-body. A vessel is said to be long-bodied when the fullness is carried well towards the ends ; short-bodied when the fore-and-aft lines taper very suddenly; a long-body thus means a great parallel length of middle-body. (See "Straight of Breadth.")
Body Plan.--
A plan which contains the cross sections of a vessel. The midship section or largest section is generally shown on the right-hand side of the middle line of the body plan; sometimes on both sides.
Bollard.-- A stout timber to fasten ropes and warps to.
Bollard Timbers.--
The bollard timbers of a vessel are the same as the knightheads; originally the knightheads were carved figures of knights (fitted near the foremast to receive the windlass), hence the name knightheads. (See "Knightheads.")
Bollock Blocks.--
Two blocks in the middle of a topsail yard of square rigged vessel, used in hoisting.
Pieces of hard wood bolted to the yoke or lower cap on the mast for the rigging to rest upon. They are sometimes covered with leather or sheepskin with the hair on, or raw hide, to prevent the rigging chafing. (See "Rigging Plans.")
A fastening of metal. An eye bolt is a bolt with an eye in it used to hook blocks, &c., to.

A ring bolt is a bolt with an eye and a ring in the eye. An ear bolt or lug bolt is a bolt with a kind of slot in it to receive the part of another bolt, a pin keeping the two together and forming a kind of joint. Bay bolts are bolts with jagged edges to prevent their drawing. A bolt applies to a roll of canvas.

Bolt Rope.--
The rope sewn round the edges of sails. It is made of the very best quality hemp, dressed with Stockholm tar. A fore-and-aft sail is roped on port side, a squaresail on aft side. There is the weather (luff) rope, leech rope, toot rope, and head rope. Steel wire is used for the luff ropes of all racing sails.
Booby Hatch.--
A hatch on coamings used to give greater height in the cabin of small yachts, and which can be removed. It is also called a "coach roof."
A spar used to extend the foot of sails. To top the boom is to make sail and away. To boom off is to shove off a wharf, bank, &c., by the aid of spars. Stakes of wood used to denote a channel through shoal water are termed booms.
Boom Irons.--
Iron bands on square yards, with eyes, in which studding sail booms travel.
A short boom of great strength, usually written "bumpkin."
An addition to a sail by lacing a short piece to its foot; common in America and on some fishing vessel, not often seen in British yachts.
A sudden tide wave, which rolls along rapidly at certain times on some rivers, and makes a great noise.
The north wind. An old sailor's saying is, "as cold as Boreas with an iceberg in each pocket." Popularly the god that rules the wind, as Aeolus is supposed to do.
Bore Away.--
Did bear away. Said of a vessel that alters her course in a leewardly direction, as "she bore away."
Bore by the Head.--
A vessel is said to bore by the head when she, whilst passing through the water, is depressed by the bead.
Boring.-- Forcing a vessel through loose ice in the Arctic seas.
A slang American term for sailing master, or chief in command, or the manager or master of any business or show.
Both Sheets Aft.--
When a square-rigged ship has the wind dead aft, so that the sheets lead aft alike, with the yards square.
Usually understood as the part of a vessel below the water line or bilge.
The hull or bottom of a ship pledged as security for a loan. If the ship be lost the money is lost unless the lender has covered himself by other means.
Encased with metal bands. Also referring to the destination of a vessel.
Wind-bound means that a vessel is in a port or at an anchorage because the wind is unfavourable for her to proceed. Formerly square-rigged ships were everlastingly windbound, i.e., waiting in port because the wind was adverse; now they go out and look for a fair wind, and generally can sail so well on a wind that waiting for a fair wind would be considered an unpardonable piece of folly.
The fore part of a vessel ; forward of the greatest transverse section. In taking bearings an object is said to be on the bow if its direction does not make more than an angle of 45û with the line of the keel.
Bower Anchor.-- The anchor in constant use.
Bow Fast.-- A warp for holding the vessel by the bow.
Bowing the Sea.--
Meeting the sea bow on or end on, or nearly end on, as in close-hauled sailing. When the sea runs the with the wind.
Bowline Haul.--
The foremost man in hauling on a bowline sings out, "One! two ! ! three ! ! ! haul ! ! ! !" the weight of all the men being thrown on the rope when the "haul" is shouted out. This chant is sometimes varied, thus :
Heave on the bowlin'
When the ship's a rollin'-
Heave on the bowlin',
The bowlin' haul !!!
The origin of this probably is from the fact that when the ship takes her weather roll the sails lift and so some of the bowlines become slack and can be got in.
Bowline Knot.-- Formed thus :


Fig. 9.


Ropes made fast to cringles in the weather leech of square sails, to pull them taut and steady when sailing on a wind. The bowlines usually lead into a bridle.

Sailing on a bowline means sailing on a wind when the bowlines would be hauled taut ; hence the phrase "sailing on a taut bowline." Sailing on an easy bowline means sailing with the sails well full, and the bowlines eased up a little, so that the vessel is not quite "on a wind" or close hauled.

Continuation of buttock lines, showing the outline of vertical fore-and-aft sections in the forebody. Generally the whole line is termed a buttock line.
Bowsing.-- Hauling with a will upon a rope.
A spar projecting from the bow of a vessel. A running bowsprit is one that can easily be reefed in like a cutter's. Sometimes when a bowsprit is reefed in by the fids it is wrongly said to be housed ; a bowsprit is housed when run close in to the cranse iron. A standing bowsprit is one fitted in a shoe.
Bowsprit Bitts.--
Timbers fitted into carlines on the deck to take the bowsprit.
Bowsprit Cranse.--
The iron cap at the bowsprit end, to which the gear is spliced or shackled.
Bowsprit Shrouds. The horizontal stays from the bowsprit to the sides of the vessel.
In tacking a ship to make her turn on her heel by hauling the head sheets aweather, and getting sternway on. Practised by square-rigged ships, sometimes in working narrow channels.
Bowing off.--
Assisting to pay a vessel's head off the wind by hauling the bead sheets a-weather.
Bow Scarf.--
A method of joining two pieces of timber by letting each into the other one-half its own thickness; sometimes termed a butt scarf.
Box the Compass.--
To call over all the points of a compass in regular order. To understand the compass points and subdivisions. (See "Compass.")
Braced Sharp Up.--
Said of a square-rigged ship when the weather braces are slacked up and the lee ones hauled in taut so as to trim the sails as close to wind as possible.
Copper, gunmetal, or brass straps fitted round the main piece of rudder or rudder-post and fastened to the sternpost. -- Strengthening pieces of iron or wood to bind together weak places in a vessel. -- Ropes need in working the yards of a ship.
Brace-up and Haul Aft! --
The order to trim sails after a vessel has been hove to with sails slack.
Ropes fast to the leeches of fore-and-aft sails and leading through blocks on the mast hoops. ; need to haul or truss the sail up to the mast instead of lowering it and stowing it.
A breaking in of the sea. A clean breach is when a wave boards a vessel in solid form, and sometimes makes a clean sweep of the deck, taking crew, boats, and everything else overboard. To make a clean breach over a vessel is when the sea enters one side and pours out the other.
Break Aboard.-- When the crest of a wave falls aboard on the deck of a vessel.
Casks for containing water. Also the disturbed water over reefs, rocks, shoals, &c.
Breakers Ahead! -- The cry when breakers are sighted close ahead.
Break Off.--
In close-hauled sailing, when the wind comes more from ahead so as to cause the vessel's head to break to leeward of the course she had been sailing. Not to be confused with "fall off," which means that the vessel's head goes off farther away from the wind.
Break Tacks.-- When a vessel goes from one tack to the other.
Cleaning off a ship's bottom by burning the excrescences thereon. Sometimes when a vessel is not coppered small worms will eat into the plank. It is usual then to scrape her bottom, coal tar her, and then bream her off by fire in basket breaming irons.
Breast Fast.-- A warp fastened to a vessel amidships to hold her.
A strong > shaped wood knee used forward to bind the stem, shelf, and frame of a vessel together. Breasthooks are also used in other parts of a vessel. They are now usually made of wrought iron.
Breeze.-- Small coke fuel, to be bought cheap at gasworks.
Breeze, A.--
In sailor's parlance, a strong blow of wind; but generally a wind of no particular strength, as light breeze, gentle breeze, moderate breeze, strong breeze, &c. (See "Wind.")
Breeze of Wind.-- A strong wind.
The wind is said to "breeze-up" when it increases fast in strength from a light wind.
Breezy Side.-- The windward side of an object.
Bridles.-- The parts of moorings to hold on by; many ropes gathered into one.
Brig.-- A two-masted vessel, square-rigged on both masts.
A two-masted vessel, differing from a brig by being only square-rigged forward. In the Cotton MSS. is preserved, under date Sept.18 (13 Henry VIII), an account of Ships of the King's Majesty between Gravesend and Erith. "The Great Henry" is among the number, and
"Brygandyn, clerk of the ship, doth say that before the said ship be laid in the dock that her masts be taken down and bestowed in the great storehouse at Erith," &c. It is supposed by Charnock (Charnock, vol. ii. p.106-117) that Brygandyn invented the brigantine rig.

In the Harl. MSS. Edward VI occurs the following: "The two gallies and brigandyne must be yearly repaired."

Bring To, or Bring Her To.--
To luff or to come close to wind. To anchor. (See "Come To.")
Bring to Wind.--
To luff a vessel close to the wind after she has been sailing off the wind.
Bring Up.-- To come to anchor.
Bring Up all Standing.--
To come to anchor, or to a stop suddenly without notice, or without any sail being lowered. To anchor without lowering sail.
Bristol Fashion.--
In the best manner possible, Bristol shipbuilding and seamen formerly having a great reputation for excellence.
Broach To.-- To come to against the wind and helm.
Broad Pennant.-- The swallowtail flag of a commodore. (See "Burgee.")
Broadside On.--
When a vessel moves sideways, or when she is approached by an object at right angles to her broadside.
Broken Water.--
When waves lose their form by breaking over reefs, rocks, or shallows, or by meeting waves from another direction, termed a cross sea.
Broom at the Masthead.--
A signal that a boat or vessel is for sale. The origin of the custom appears to be unknown; but it is ingeniously argued that brooms were hoisted as a signal that a man wanted to make a clean sweep of his vessel; or the custom may have arisen from the common practice of selling brooms in the streets.
Brought To.--
After a vessel has been sailing off a wind when she is brought to wind, or close to wind. Anchored.
Brought Up.-- At anchor.
Brought Up with a Round Turn.--
Figuratively, suddenly stopped: as for instance, when a rope is being payed out rapidly, if a turn or bight catches round some object and checks the paying out of the rope.
Bucklers.-- Blocks of wood used to stop the hawse pipes.
Builder's Certificate.--
A document given by the builder of a vessel to the owner when she is handed over, setting forth the builder's name, the name of the ship, place of building, manner of building, rig, dimensions, tonnage, N.M., and concluding with the following declaration:
"This is to certify that [I or we] have built at_A_, in the county of_B_, in the year_C_, the vessel_D_. The measurement, tonnage, and description of which are given above.
As witness my hand, this -- day of --
Signed, --"
This document must be produced when application is made for registration.
Builder's Measurement.-- (See "B.M." and "Tonnage".)
The athwartship partitions which separate a vessel into compartments, cabins, &c. Fore and aft partitions are also termed bulkheads. In yachts it is not customary to employ watertight bulkheads.
Bull's Eye.--
A block without a sheave, and with one hole in it. They are usually iron bound.
Bulwark.-- The side of a vessel above the deck.
Bumboat.-- A boat used by shore people to carry provisions on sale to ships.
Bumpkin.-- See "Boomkin."
Bunk.-- A bed or place to sleep in in a cabin.
The middle part of a sail. To gather up the bunt is take hold of the middle part of a sail and gather it up.
Bunting.-- Woollen stuff of which flags are made.
Bunter.-- A kind of tackle.
Bunt Lines.--
Ropes attached to sails to haul them up by.
Buoy.-- A floating mark.
The quality of floating or being supported or borne up by a fluid. A vessel is buoyant in proportion as she is bulk for bulk lighter than the fluid she is supported in
Burden or Burthen.--
Supposed to mean the quantity in tons of dead weight that a vessel will carry. The quantity would be the difference between the weight or displacement of the ship when light and the weight or displacement of the ship when she was laden as deeply as prudent.
A triangular or square flag flown at the truck as a kind of pennant. A commodore's pennant is a "swallowtail" burgee. A vice commodore's burgee has one white ball in the upper corner or canton of the hoist ; a rear commodore's, two halls placed vertically.
Burgee, Etiquette of.--
It is considered etiquette, if a yacht is on a station where there is a club established, and her owner is a member of the club, that the flag of that particular club should be hoisted as the yacht arrives on the station, although the owner maybe the commodore, or vice, or rear-commodore of another club. Frequently, however, in such a ease the burgee is merely run up on arrival and then lowered and the commodore's pennant re-hoisted.

But if the yacht has two or more masts, a flag-officer can fly his pennant at the main, and another club burgee at the mizen or fore. If several yachts are lying at an anchorage where there is no club, the yachts will fly the burgee of the senior flag-officer present; but if there be two flag-officers of equal rank present, then the flag of the one whose club is senior by virtue of the data of its Admiralty warrant will be flown. In the Royal Navy, if two or three ships are cruising in company, the title of commodore is given by courtesy to the senior captain present ; but the rank does not seem very well defined, as, although an "appointed" commodore is said to rank next to a rear-admiral, yet he cannot fly his broad pennant in the presence of a "superior captain" without permission. In the case of the Yacht Navy, the senior officer would mean the one of highest rank; and where, in the case of clubs, the rank of the flag-officers is equal, seniority depends upon the date of the Admiralty warrant of the club which conferred the rank, and not upon the length of service of the officer but a vice-commodore of a senior club does not take precedence of a commodore of a junior club.

By the same rule when several yachts are present belonging to clubs that have no Admiralty warrants, the date of the establishment of the several clubs would decide the seniority of flag-officers of equal rank, but clubs with Admiralty warrants always rank before those without. (See "Saluting," "Recognised Clubs," "Royal Clubs," "Admiralty Warrants," and "Ensigns.")

When the Royal Yacht Squadron was first established, members : flew private signal flags, continuing : their crest or other device, and the fashion has, during the last few years, been much revived. Owners of yachts with more than one mast fly such a flag at the fore when the owner is on board, club burgee always at the main.

If a yacht has only one mast the flag can be flown from the cross trees. During meals American yachtsmen sometimes hoist a "dinner napkin", i.e., a square white flag at the fore or from the cross trees.

The Cambria in the Atlantic race flew her racing flag at the main, and the Royal Harwich Yacht Club burgee at the fore.

See "Yacht Etiquette" farther on.

When a yacht wins a club prize, it is etiquette to hoist the winning flag under the burgee of the club giving the prize if the owner is a member; he should also do the same when going on to another port if a winning flag is hoisted. The rule cannot, however, be observed if there be several prizes and different clubs involved.

A tackle composed of two single blocks; a double Spanish burton consists of two single and one double block.
Butcher's Cleaver Plate.--
This plate was devised to get a greater area of board immersed without increasing its extreme dimensions, and thereby increasing the surface for friction. The plate had an iron bar, C, two or three feet long riveted thereon; and pivoted by the bar.

A is a portion of the keel. B is the plate. C is an iron bar riveted to the plate at D, and pivoted in the keel at E, and lifted by a jointed bar bolted at I.

The effective lateral resistance for any given plane would be considerably increased if one edge of the plane made a large angle with the direction of its motion ; and for this reason a square plate is not so effective as a triangular one.


Fig. 10.

The joining or meeting of two pieces of wood endways. Butt and butt means that two planks meet end to end, but do not overlap.
Butt End.-- The biggest end of a spar.
Buttock.-- The after-part of a vessel from her run upwards.
Buttock Lines.--
Planes in a fore-and-aft direction, showing the outline of vertical fore-and-aft sections in the after-body.
By and Large .-- Backing and filling, which see. (See also "Large.")
By the Board.--
To fall overboard; as when a mast breaks short off at the deck.
By the Head.--
When the vessel is trimmed or depressed by the head so that her proper line of flotation is departed from.
By the Lee.--
To bring a vessel by the lee is when nearly before the wind she falls off so much as to bring the wind on the other quarter ; or the wind may shift from one quarter of the vessel to the other without the vessel altering her course (See "Lee").
By the Stern.-- The contrary to being down by the head.
By the Wind.-- Close hauled; hauled by the wind.


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