Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing and Architecture

(11th and final edition, 1913)

I. J.


Underwater. The opposite of emersed, which means taken out of water. The "wedge of immersion" is the part of a vessel put into the water when she heels over. The wedge of emersion is the part taken out of the water. Sometimes termed the "in" and "out" wedges.



The prefix to a curt order to take in a sail, as "In spinnaker," "In squaresail," or "In boats," &c.


In and Out Bolts.--

Bolts that pass through the skin and frame of a vessel through and through.

In Board.-- Inside a vessel's bulwarks, being the opposite to outboard.

In Bow.-- In rowing, the order to the bow man to throw up his oar and be ready with the boat hook, to help bring the boat alongside.

Inclination.-- Heeling from an upright position. Synonymous with careening and listing.

In Haul.-- A rope used to haul sails on board, as the inhaul of a jib or spinnaker.

In Irons.-- A vessel is said to be in irons when she is brought head to wind, and, having lost her way, will not fall off on one tack or the other.

Initial Stability.-- The resistance a vessel at the first moment offers to being heeled from the upright position, as distinct from the resistance she may offer to being further heeled when inclined to considerable angles. Thus beamy boats arc said to have great initial stability, because they resist powerfully, being heeled to small angles; narrow vessels, on the other hand, are readily heeled at first, but may offer greater resistance, as they are farther heeled, whereas a beamy boat's resistance may rapidly decrease as she gets over to large angles of say 30û.

Inlet.-- A creek. A pipe to admit water to the hold.

Inner Jib.-- The jib next the forestay sail in schooners where two jibs are carried.

Inner Post.-- A piece of timber sometimes worked inside the sternpost.

Inshore.-- Close to the shore.



Yachts are generally insured against fire, but probably not more than half are insured against the risks of the sea when in commission. The rates vary from 5s. to 10s. 6d. per cent. par month on the amount insured, according to the nature of the voyage, the condition of the yacht, and the time of year. Also if the owner desires a £20 damage clause in the policy a higher rate must be paid, so also if the yacht is insured against the risks of yacht racing.

Compared with ordinary shipping insurances, the risks on yachts are very light. They are, almost without exception, well found, sufficiently manned, and perfectly seaworthy; and, as a rule, they avoid bad weather as much as possible. Except in rare cases, a yachting skipper is not compelled to drive on in the face of heavy weather. He is not generally tied to time in making a passage, and his owner does not look askance at him if he lies in harbour a few days waiting until an improvement takes place in the weather.

As a general rule, serious casualties to yachts are not frequent, and total losses are, fortunately, rare. Of course, with the largely increased number of yachts afloat, they do now and then happen, and the wreck of the Nyanza, of the Clarissa, and the Caterina, and the sad accident by which Lord Cantelupe lost his life, are instances in point. But still it must be admitted that these cases are exceptional, and, compared with ordinary shipping misfortunes, very uncommon.

It is a very common idea that it would be possible to insure yachts at a lower rate than they are at present insured, with profit to the underwriters, and the system of mutual insurance has been successfully introduced for small yachts. However, in these days of competition, it may be safely assumed that the present rates are not too remunerative. There can be no doubt whatever that of late years owners have become more awake to the effect of their policies, and are more prone than formerly to make a claim when any mishap occurs.

Serious casualties are, fortunately, rare ; but it will be readily understood that when a yacht does meet with even a slight accident the cost of repairs can hardly be compared with that arising from a similar mishap to a merchant vessel. A yacht owner is not content with mere patchwork repairs, he wants, and he is entitled to have, his vessel made as good as she was before the damage was sustained. If he has a small piece knocked out of his rail be probably wants it replaced, and if a plank or two be badly chafed he wants them taken out and new ones put in, instead of being simply planed down, or having the damage passed over altogether, as it would likely be in a trading vessel. Then it must he borne in mind that all yachting work is of a far more expensive and highly finished kind than ordinary ships' work. These facts must be remembered by the owner in estimating what is a fair premium on his policy.

Possibly underwriters do not, in considering the premiums, sufficiently distinguish between really first class yachts and those which are becoming the worse for wear. To a vessel in first rate condition a stranding, unless in a very exposed position, often means no damage at all, whilst to an old vessel it very probably means recaulking and new copper. Once insured, an owner may feel satisfied that any claim which he may send in will be fairly and even liberally dealt with. The form of policy which is adopted is certainly a rather antiquated kind of document, and to the uninitiated appears hardly suited to meet the requirements of yacht owners. It seems, however, to be well understood between underwriters and owners what the intention is, and the latter will find but little difficulty in obtaining payment for any fair claim which they may present.

The requirements of a yacht owner with regard to a policy are well understood, and any Lloyd's agent or respectable broker will see that it is put into proper form. It is usual and right to have a twenty-pound clause inserted, as the three percent clause is hardly suitable to meet the class of accidents to which yachts are liable. It is, of course, not essential that every policy should contain a collision or running-down clause, otherwise an owner may be called upon to pay some heavy sum for damage caused to another vessel, and by this clause the underwriters undertake to pay three-fourths of any sum which the assured may become liable to in the case of a collision.

Time policies are usually adopted by yacht owners, and are no doubt most convenient for them. It is, however, very necessary, in the case of an extended voyage, for the owner to leave instructions with his agent or broker to renew the policy in case the voyage is not completed at the time anticipated. An owner must bear in mind that, if he wishes to recover the full amount of his loss, he must insure his vessel up to her full value ; and if, as he sometimes does, he declares her value, he must insure on that amount. In case an accident occurs, there are various steps necessary for him to take. The master must make a deposition before the Receiver of Wreck, and note a protest before a notary. If the damage is considerable, it is advisable for him, and for some of the crew, to extend the protest before a notary ; or, if the accident happens abroad, before a British Consul. Such protests must give a full account of the manner in which the damage sustained occurred, and must clearly show that it arose from the perils insured against. It is also advisable to give notice to the nearest Lloyd's agent, and to call in Lloyd's surveyor to examine and report on the damage sustained, as his report will always be respected by underwriters, and as considerably less difficulty will arise in obtaining payment of a claim based on the report of a Lloyd's surveyor than on the report of any casual surveyor who may be consulted. An owner must always hear in mind, when any accident occurs, even although he be fully insured, that it is his duty to do everything which lies in his power to save loss to his underwriters, and in case of a collision, if he be not in fault, he must do all he can to enable his underwriters to obtain payment from the colliding vessel. A question often arises where a vessel is very seriously damaged, either stranded or sunk by a collision, whether or not she is to be considered as a total loss. It must be borne in mind by owners that if the vessel is not actually gone, underwriters always have the right to repair her at their own expense and hand her back to the owner if they think fit to do so.

Losses are of two kinds, either a total loss or a constructive total loss. In the latter case, if the owner has reasonable grounds for supposing that the repairs of the vessel will amount to more than her full value, he must send a notice of abandonment to the underwriters, which they must accept or decline within a reasonable time. If they accept it, they must of course pay on a total loss-they having the benefit of any salvage which may be made. If they decline to accept it, they must be prepared to bear the expense of restoring the vessel to her former condition. An owner must always remember that, though insured, it is his duty to act in every case as though he were uninsured, and when he presents his claim, he must be in a position to prove that be has used every reasonable exertion to prevent loss to his underwriters.

The following risks are not covered under an ordinary marine insurance policy, i.e., sums which an owner may become liable for in respect of:

1. One-fourth of the damage inflicted on another vessel by collision.

2. Injury to docks, wharves, piers, jetties, banks, buoys, &c., or the removal of any wreck or obstruction.

3. Loss of life or personal injury on board or near his vessel and life salvage (if not recoverable under the ordinary policy).

4. Law costs in defending any action in respect of a claim under paragraphs 2 and 3, provided such defence he made with underwriters' consent.

5. Costs or expenses properly incurred by an owner in connection with Board of Trade inquiries and coroner's inquests.

These liabilities can be insured against, but it is a condition of the insurance that the vessel shall also be insured under an ordinary policy containing the usual collision clause, and that the value insured shall be not less than the value insured under such ordinary policy.

Some very grave questions may arise if an owner acts as his own sailing master, and manages or controls his yacht when underway.

In about 1625, limitation of the liability of shipowners came in as to British ships on the ground of public policy and as necessary for the encouragement of shipping, but not in any marked or effectual way until about 1734, and in the reign of George III an Act was passed, "that it was expedient to encourage the owning of British ships," and for such end limited the owners' liability in collision to the value of ship and freight. In 17 & 18 Victoria, c.104, the same limit was carried on as to damages recoverable in respect of loss of life or injury, and placed the value at £15 per ton of the wrongdoing ship. Difficulties were found in working these enactments, and in the result the Act (25 & 26 Victoria, c.63, s.54) was passed, and is continued by the Act of last year, placing the limit at £15 where there was loss of life, and at £8 per ton otherwise. There is, of course, no longer in these days the same ground for passing Acts of Parliament as in 1625, but the present state of shipping, the risks of the seas, and questions of freight earning and of insurance have not caused the Legislature to, as yet, find fault with the statutory limitation of liability.

The Act which gives the limitation of liability does so upon a term which is extremely hard upon yacht owners and upon the large class of coaster owners who command their own vessels, and it is a subject which demands serious consideration and amendment by the Legislature. The objectionable term is in section 54 : "The owners of any ship, whether British or foreign, shall not in cases where all or any of the following events occur without their actual fault or privity, that is to say . . ." &c. So that the benefit of limitation given by the Act to the owner who remains ashore, or who is too ignorant of seamanship to be found in "fault or privy to" the collision, is denied to the expert owner who takes charge of his own craft, even though he be a Board of Trade certificated master mariner or a naval officer; and yet, so far as Acts of Parliament at present go, an owner may place his gardener on board his yacht as captain, and if such gardener has told his master that he knows how to command the craft, it would be difficult to satisfy a court that the owner was actually in fault by such appointment for a subsequent collision at sea.

The present certificate as master issued by the Board of Trade confers no benefit or exemption upon a yacht owner, and undoubtedly if an owner holds such certificate of competency he, being on deck before and at the collision, could not obtain the limitation of liability in any event.


In the Wind.--

When sailing close hauled, if a vessel comes to nearly head to wind she is said to be "all in the wind."

In Wale.--

The clamp or strake of timber inside the top strake of a small boat, generally termed the gunwale.

Irish Pennants.-- Loose ends of ropes, &c., hanging about a vessel's rigging or sails.

Iron Moulds.-- Diluted oxalic acid will remove iron moulds from sails; but the instant the iron mould is removed the part should be well rinsed or soaked in fresh water, or it will be rendered rotten.






The Union Jack. The national British flag, used by the Navy and Army. It originally only had the red St. George's cross on a white field. Upon the accession of the Scotch King lames to the English throne, St. Andrew's cross on a blue ground was added, and the flag was thereupon termed the "Union Jack" and National Flag, "For the Protestant religion and liberty." The red cross of St. Patrick was added (over the white St. Andrew's cross) upon the union with Ireland 1801. (See "Union Jack" and "St. George's Jack.")


Jack, Hydraulic.--

A mechanical contrivance used for the same purpose as a screw jack.


Jack in the Basket.--

A boom or pole with a cage on the top used to mark a shoal or bank.


Jack Screw or Screw Jack.-- A powerful screw used for moving heavy weights.


Jack Stay.--

A rod of steel shaped as a railway metal, or a rope, usually wire rope, for sails or yards to travel on. Also the steel railway or wire rope stay on the boom of laced sails on which the hanks or lacings are attached.


Jack Yard.--

The small yard on the foot of large topsails to extend them beyond the gaff. Termed also jenny yards and foot yards.


Jack Yard Topsail.-- A modern racing topsail set on two yards. (See "Balloon Sails.")



In belaying or making fast a rope to close up or jam the turns together. To clinch the hitch of a rope by passing the end through a bight. (See "Wind Jamming.")


Jaws of a Gaff.--

The horns at the end of the gaff which half encircle the mast. A rope called a "jaw rope," or jaw parrel, is fitted to the ends of the horns, and, passing round the mast, keeps the gaff in its place. Wood beads are rove on the rope to make it slide easily on the mast.


Jenny Yard.-- See "Jack Yard."


Jettison.-- To throw cargo overboard.



Goods thrown overboard in heavy weather to lighten the ship. (See "Flotsam.")



The outer triangular sail set on the bowsprit. A cutter usually carries six jibs: balloon jib, No.1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 jib, the latter being the storm or spitfire jib.


Jibb or Jibe.-- See "Gybe."


Jib-boom.-- The spar beyond the bowsprit in schooners upon which the outer jib is set.


Jib Foresail.-- In schooners the stay-foresail. (See "Fore-staysail.")



An abbreviation of the term jibheaded topsail. A thimble-headed topsail. The triangular topsail of a fore and aft vessel.

Jib Stay.-- In schooners the stay to which jibs are hanked.


Jib Topsail.--

A triangular headsail made of light canvas set upon the topmast stay above the jib.


Jib Traveller.--

The iron hoop, with hook and shackle, on the bowsprit to which the jib tack cringle is hooked.


Jigger Mast.-- The mizen mast of yawl or dandy.



In the shipwright's craft, carpentry, and masonry, a notch or notches forming a box scarf to enable two pieces of wood, &c. to fit together. The heels of timbers are sometimes joggled to the keel in this manner.


Joggles.-- Notches cut in a boat's timbers for the plank to fit into.


Join Ship.-- To come on board a vessel, or to enter as a seaman on board.


Jolly Boat.--

A yacht's boat larger than a dinghy, and not so large as a cutter. Used by a merchant ship much the same as a dinghy by a yacht.


Jolly Roger.--

A pirate's flag. A white skull and cross bones on a black field.



A short frock made of duck worn by sailors. The main stays of schooners when they lead forward to the fore deck.



A Chinese ship. Also old rope. Also old salt beet as tough and hard as old rope.



A makeshift or temporary contrivance, as jury mast, jury rudder, jury bowsprit, &c. which may be fitted when either has been lest or carried away.








<--index  K.



© 2000 Craig O'Donnell
May not be reproduced without my permission.
Go scan your own damn dictionary.

the Cheap PagesJohn's Mother o' Maritime Lists • Top