Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing and Architecture

(11th and final edition, 1913)

P. Q.

Oil colour used for preserving wood and iron.
A rope spliced to a ring bolt in the bow of a boat to make fast by at wharves, steps, or other landing places. "To let go the painter" is figuratively to depart.
Palm.-- The guard and thimble used by sail makers. Also the fluke of an anchor.
A wind is said to be paltry which is light and intermittent, or varying a great deal in direction and force; baffling.


To roll a spar, cask, &c., by placing it in the bight of a rope, one end of which is fast, the other hauled upon.


To cover a rope with strips of canvas painted or otherwise. The canvas is wound round the rope and stitched or "served" with marline.
Parrel or Parral.--
Ropes or irons used to secure yards at the slings to the mast; rope parrels are commonly rove through balls of wood, so that they hoist easily on the mast. Parrels are used on the jaws of a gaff. An eye is usually spliced in either end of a parrel.
To break, to burst asunder, as the "fore stay parted about half way up to the eye."
A strong frame of timber fixed between the deck beams to receive and support the mast, termed mast partners, but some times termed carlines.
Pass.-- To reeve, as pass a lacing or earing. Also to hand a thing one from another.
A voyage. To carry a person from one place to another is to give a passage.
A vessel of any description cannot, according to statute, have on board more than twelve passengers without taking out a licence. However, the opinion of the judges was expressed on the point in the Court of Queen's Bench in April, 1889. It appears that the owners of the steam tug Era were summoned before the Ipswich magistrates for carrying a party of friends, twenty-one in number, on a pleasure excursion on the river Orwell, she not having a passenger certificate in accordance with the 318th section of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854. For the defence it was contended that the steamer was not plying within the meaning of the statute, and the magistrates declined to convict. The Board of Trade then took the case to the Court of Queen's Bench. The court without hesitation decided that the magistrates were right not to convict, and the Lord Chief Justice, in the course of his judgment, said: "If the owner of a yacht took a party up and down a river for amusement, surely it is too clear for argument that such a case would not be within the Act. The case was not really within the meaning of the Act, and it would be straining the meaning of the Act to say that the steamer was in any reasonable sense plying." Mr. Justice Hawkins concurred, and stated it was not shown that the Era was plying at the time she took the party for an excursion on the Orwell. In spite of this judgment the Board of Trade in 1892 sanctioned a vexatious prosecution of the owner of the yacht Myrtle. But if the statute does not apply to an ordinary steamship like the Era when she is not plying, it cannot apply to a yacht. Judgment was given against the owner of the yacht, who was too late with his appeal.
Paul or Pawl.--
An iron stop used to prevent the back recoil of the barrel of a windlass, &c.
Pawl Bitt.--
A long timber from the deck to the keelson forming one of the bowsprit bitts.
To run hot pitch and tar, or marine glue, &c., into seams after they are caulked.
Paying off Pennant.--
A long streamer flown when a man-of-war is being paid out of commission.
Pay Off.--
When a vessel's head goes off to leeward by virtue of the head sails being put aback or the helm being put up.
Pay Out.-- To veer or slack out chain or rope.
The upper after corner of gaff sails, gaff topsails, lugsails, &c. A sail is said to have a great deal of peak when the gaff or yard makes a small angle with a vertical. A low peak means a fiat-headed sail. (See "Fore Peak.")
Peak Downhaul.--
A rope rove through a single block at the gaff end to haul upon when lowering the mainsail.
Peak Halyards.-- The halyards by which the peak of a sail is hoisted.
Peak Purchase.-- A tackle attached to one end of the peak halyards.
Pendant.-- A stout rope to which tackles are attached.
Pennant or Pendant.--
A long white streamer with a St. George's cross at the hoist, used only by ships of the Royal Navy. It is said to owe its origin to the following incident : a Dutch Admiral hoisted a broom at his masthead as a symbol that he would sweep the English from the sea; the English Admiral retorted by hoisting a long streamer to denote that he would whip the Dutch off the sea; the English Admiral more nearly succeeded in his object than the Dutchman did. A Commodore has a broad pennant or swallow tail flag. (See "Burgee," "Hoisting Pennant," and "Irish Pennants," "Paying off Pennant.")
Peter.-- See "Blue Peter."
Peter Boat.--
A small fishing heat, sharp at both ends, formerly common at the mouth of the Thames and Medway.
Petticoat Trousers.--
An ancient garment worn by sailors, now only used by fishermen; a kind of kilt often made out of a blanket or oilskin.
Pig.-- A heavy mass of iron or lead.
Pile Driving.-- Pitching heavily and frequently in a short steep sea.
A person who takes charge of a ship in narrow or dangerous channels, and, who from his local knowledge of the same, can, or ought to, avoid the dangers of stranding. (For pilot signals see "Signals.")
The metal hooks by which rudders are attached to the gudgeon sockets.
Pipe.-- To summon men to duty by a whistle from the boatswain's call.
Pipe Up.-- The wind is said to pipe up when it increases in strength suddenly.
The plunging motion of a vessel when she dives by the head; the opposite motion to 'scending, which is rising by the head and sinking by the stern.
The outside skin of a vessel; plank laid on the frames or beams of a vessel whether inside or outside.
Plank Sheer.--
The outside plank at the deck edge which reaches the timber heads, and shows the sheer of the vessel. Also the same as covering board.
Platform.-- The floor of a cabin. (See "Deck.")
Ply to Windward.--
Plying to windward is synonymous with beating to windward.
Points.-- See "Reef Points."
Point the Yards.--
To brace them up sharp when at anchor, so that they shall not feel the full force of the wind.
Point, To.--
A vessel is said to point well when she lies very close to the wind. A term more used in America than in this country. Out point, to point higher, &c.
Pole.-- The part of a topmast about the shoulders.
Pole Mast.--
A long mast without a topmast, but with a long "pole" or piece above the hounds.
The raised part of a vessel at her extreme after end. To be pooped is when running before the wind a sea breaks in over the stern.
Poor John.-- Dried hake, which is a coarse fish caught on the west coast.
The left hand side,the opposite to starboard. Formerly also termed larboard; but Falconer says, in his dictionary (1789), that larboard should never be used in conning the helm, owing to the possibility of its being mistaken for starboard. To port the helm is to put the tiller to port so that the vessel's head goes to starboard. The term "port" is of uncertain origin, but it occurs in Arthur Pitt's Voyage, 1580. It was authoritatively adopted in the Royal Navy at the beginning of the present century.
Portable Dinghies.--
Numerous plans have been suggested for the construction of portable dinghies for small yachts, the best known perhaps being one adopted by Biffen, the well known bent builder, in 1858. The boat was divided longitudinally into halves, each half being a complete boat, the longitudinal bulkheads coming as high as the thwarts; three iron clamps were fitted to one half of the keel, into which the other half of the keel was fitted. The top part of the bulkheads were kept together by thumbscrews inserted above the water line. The boat was 9ft. long, and 4ft. broad; in shape she did not differ from an ordinary dinghy when put together. She was used in a 6 tonner, and when not in use one half was stowed on either side of the cabin below. It was said that this boat could be put together in half a minute. In 1862 Biffen built a similar boat which was net so well recommended, on account of the multiplicity of fastenings. The obvious objection to such contrivances is of course the trouble of putting the parts together when the boat has to be used. (See "Berthon's Collapsible Boats" and "Stowing a Punt.")
Port Lights.--
Circular or square glass lights in the sides of a vessel. (See "Dead Lights.")
Ports and Portholes.--
Square holes in the side of a ship for the guns, &c.
Port Sills.--
The bottom framing of a port hole to which the lower half-port or shutter is hinged, also the frame to which the upper half-port is attached.
Pram Bow.--
A form of bow employed in modern sailing yachts reintroduced in modified form about 1892 and gradually exaggerated until 1900. A modified form of pram bow is the best form for lifting the head of the vessel over the seas and is suitable for cruising as well as racing yachts. In a pram bow the profile is a convex curve like the line of a mussel's shell and the transverse half sections are somewhat similar convex curves meeting at the stem. In a modified pram bow, or mussel bow, the angle of the curves of the transverse half sections at the stem is sharp or acute, and in the extreme pram bow, or spoon bow, the angle at the stem is obtuse or bluff or even obliterated until the transverse bow section is U shaped.
Pram or Praam.--
A dinghy or boat with a shovel bow, used in Holland and the Baltic.
Preserving a Boat.--
All small boats, if possible, should be hauled out of water or beached when not in use. Whenever the varnish or paint becomes worn, the boat should be recoated.
Press of Sail.-- All the sail a vessel dare carry.
Additional ropes, stays, tackles, &c. used to prevent spars being carried away if their proper stays give out, as preventer backstays for the topmast, preventer bobstay, &c. A preventer is also any rope or lashing used to prevent something giving way.
Preventive Man.--
An old fashioned name for a coast guard man, whose duty it is to prevent or detect the landing of smuggled goods.
An armed vessel, privately owned, carrying a licence or "letters-of-marque" from the Government empowering her to snake war on the enemy's ships. In no way to be confounded with a pirate, although in some instances such vessels may have degenerated into pirates. Privateering is not permitted under our present laws.
FIG 83.
Privateer's Flag.-- The Union Jack with a red border.
A declaration that a yacht has net conformed to sailing rules; also a term used by the Commissioner of Wrecks in case of a wreck being reported.
Puddening.-- A sort of fender made of old rope, for a boat's stem, &c.
A gust of wind. A free puff is when it enables a vessel to luff; a foul puff when it breaks her off.
Puncheon.-- A certain sized cask.
A part of the framework of a deckhouse. It is a kind of pilaster morticed into the coaming, and is the principal support of the deckhouse roof.
Punt.-- A small boat or dinghy. (See "Stowing a Punt.")
Punt Building.--
The following are directions for building a fishing punt as shown by Fig. 83 :-
Take for the sides two 1in. planks 16in. wide and 14ft. long; for the ends use 2in. plank. Cut the stern-piece 30in. long at bottom, and 40in. at top; cut the bow piece 12in. long at bottom, and 20in. at top; then cut a centre piece 12in. wide, 40in. long at bottom, and 50in. long at top: put these pieces in position, and securely nail the sides to them; this can be readily done by bringing the planks into place by means of a rope, twisted by a short lever. After the sides are thus secured true up the bottom edges, and plank crosswise with three-quarter inch plank one eighth of an inch apart; caulk these seams with oakum or cotton, and pitch the whole bottom, and 2in. or 3in. up the sides. A keel 1in., 2in., or 3in. deep can then be nailed on, depending on the depth of the water where the boat is to be used. For seats nail a plank across each end, and one for the rower over the middle piece; two rowlocks, about 6in. above the sides of the boat, complete the job. These can be made of plank, set up en end, and fastened to the inside of the boat. A common carpenter can make such a boat in about two days, and, if planed and painted, it looks well. The ends ought to incline outwards about 3in. to the foot. No. 1 shows the skiff completed, but with a stern piece adapted for steering with an oar; No. 5 is a diagram of the stern piece; No. 4 the bow piece; No. 2 the middle piece, and No. 3 the rowlock. By putting in two pieces in the middle the required distance apart, and perforating the cross planking between them, a well would be readily formed.
Mr. A. V. FitzHerbert thus describes his plan of building a punt (Fig. 84):
For the stem.-
Take a piece of red pine 3in. by 4in., and 2ft. long. Groove it out to receive the side boards, which should be white pine 1in. Each side of boat made of 1ft. wide plank next bottom, and a 6in. plank above it, making total depth when planed down about 17in., or a trifle less.
The centre mould or bulkhead of 1in. plank, 1ft. wide, should be cut 44in. wide on top, and 40.5in. along the bottom. The stern, also of 1in. plank, must be 30in. at top, and 24in. at bottom, by 17in. high, or half an inch higher. Fix the centre mould firmly upright on a bench, then nail the lower side planks on to it, at 6ft. 6in. from the stern.
Next put in the stem, first of all fitting it to take the curve of the planks, and give it a slight slope aft. The planks had better be fastened with screws to it. Next fit in the stem, with a fair slope forward. The sides can be brought close together to meet the stem by tying a rope round them. Care must be taken to keep stem in line with centre of stern and centre mould. Having fastened in stem, centre, and stern beards, turn the boat upside down, and place the sides, stern, and centre moulds level, to receive the bottom, which must be new laid on across the boat, of inch boards nailed on like the top of a box, fitting well together at their inside edges, but slightly open at the outside to admit of caulking. After putting on the bottom, turn the boat rightside up, fit in ribs, of strips of boards, 1in. by 2in., and 17in. long. Nail them upright to the sides, with one end resting on the bottom of the boat, about 2ft. apart; then put on the top board, and the hull is made. Along the bottom put two parallel keels about 3in. deep by 1in to 1.5in., and 15in apart. Their use is, first, to keep the bottom boards together; and secondly, to act as runners when dragging the boat from one place to another.
Put one wide seat in the stern, a seat to lift in and out 6ft from the bow, and a movable seat for rowing or sliding, commencing at 5ft. 4in. from stern, and moveable for one yard forward; this can be done by fastening a piece of 3in. pine to each side level with top of lower plank, and 1in above this, and parallel with it, another lighter piece to keep the seat down.
There are two sets of rowlock chocks, the after set for rowing when alone, the forward set for use when there are two in the boat.
FIG 84.
The after rowlock chock is made of 3in. by 4.5in red pine, grooved to a depth of 2in. to let in the side of the boat to which it is screwed; it is 20in. long, and has three holes for the rowlocks, the centre one 4ft. 10in. from the stern of boat.
The forward rowlock chock is 7in. by 3in., red pine, also grooved, but has an iron bracket underneath to support it, and two holes for the rowlock, one further from the centre of boat than the other; the centre of chock is 7ft. 7in. from the stern.
Purchase.-- A tackle; any contrivance for increasing mechanical power.
Put About.-- -To tack. To put about another vessel is to cause her to tack.
Put In.-- To call at a port or harbour.
Put Off.-- To leave, as to leave a ship's side or the shore.
Pykar.-- An ancient English boat used for fishing.



Quarter Deck--The deck abaft the main mast where the crew are not allowed unless duty calls them there.


Quarter Fast.-- A warp or rope made fast to the quarter; a quarter spring.


Quarter Master.-- A petty officer who steers on large vessels and sees that the orders of the officer of the watch are properly executed, &c.


Quarter Timbers. Large pieces of timber secured to the transom frame, to help form the counter.


Quarter Watch.-- When the two watches are subdivided into four watches, so that only one quarter of the crew is on deck at one time; sometimes observed in light weather.


Quarter Wind--The wind that blows on the quarter, or four or more points abaft the beam but not dead aft. (See "Compass.")


Quarters.-- That part of a yacht or ship nearest the stern.



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