Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing and
(11th and final edition, 1913)
Seaman - Slab.
- A man trained in the art of sailing, rigging,
and general management of a ship.To make a good
seaman a man must have practised the multitudinous
details of his art with great diligence, and is
then described as an "able seaman" or A.B. To say a
man is a "seaman" means that he is thoroughly
conversant with every duty of a sailor's life, and
can not only "hand, reef, and steer," but can do
every kind of work upon rigging, and even use the
needle and palm.
- The statutes relating to seamen are very
numerous, and many of them affect, or can be made
to affect, yacht sailors; however, many of the
provisions of the Merchant Ship.ping Acts are
rendered inoperative so far as yacht sailors go,
because the signing of articles is not imperative.
- SAILING MAsTERs.
- The master, mate, or engineer of a yacht need
not possess a Board of Trade certificate, as sect.-
92 of the Act of 1894, which, in effect, provides
that no home-trade passenger ship or foreign-going
ship shall proceed to sea without having
certificated master and mates, does not in any way
apply to pleasure yachts.- The Board of Trade have,
however, instituted voluntary examinations for
persons who command their own pleasure yachts, not,
be it observed, for those who are not yacht owners,
but who may be desirous of taking charge of a
yacht. A yacht owner, passing a satisfactory
examination in navigation and seamanship, will be
presented by the Board of Trade with a certificate
entitling him to command his own yacht, which is a
useless privilege, as he can take command of his
yacht with or without the examination or
certificate. The practical value set upon these
very useless certificates by the Board of Trade may
be gathered from one of the conditions: "The
certificate will not entitle the holder to command
any vessel except the pleasure yacht of which he
may be, at the time, owner." (See "Master.")
- All yacht servants, from the master to the boy,
may be dismissed without wages for:
- 1. Wilful disobedience of any lawful command of
the owner-" an offence," said Sir William Scott,
"of the grossest kind: The Court would be
particularly attentive to preserve that
subordination and discipline on board of ship which
is so indispensably necessary for the preservation
of the whole service, and of every person in it. It
would not, therefore, be a peremptory or harsh
tone. . . that will ever be held by the Court to
justify resistance." In "Spain V. Arnott" (2
Starkie, 256), a farm servant was dismissed because
he refused to go to a place a mile off before
dinner, dinner being then ready. Lord Ellenborough
said: "If the servant persisted in refusing to obey
his employer's orders, I think he was warranted in
turning him away.
- It would be exceedingly inconvenient if the
servant were to be permitted to set himself up to
control his employer in his domestic regulations.
After a refusal on the part of the servant to
perform his work, the employer is not bound to keep
him on as a burdensome and useless servant." So,
too, a regimental messman, having once refused to
serve up dinner until threatened with arrest, was
held to have been rightly dismissed, although he
offered an apology next morning: ("Churchward V.
Chambers," 2 F. & F. 229). Again, where a man
agreed (under 5 & 6 Will.- 4, c. 19) to serve
as carpenter's mate of a vessel during a South Sea
voyage, but refused to work except to an English
port, the Court held him to have been rightly
- ("Renno V. Bennett," 3 Q. B. 768). And, lastly,
it has been decided that an employer was warranted
in dismissing a servant who persisted, contrary to
the employer's orders, in going to visit a relation
believed by her to be in a dying state: ("Turner
V.- Mason," 14 M. & W. 112). In the case of a
master of a yacht, it may be doubted whether the
refusal to obey an order involving unnecessary
danger would be a good ground of discharge; nor, it
is apprehended, would the failure to comply
strictly with a command warrant a summary course of
procedure ; as, for instance, if an owner ordered
the master to make fast to one buoy, and he,
perhaps for what he considered a good reason, made
fast to another near at hand.
- 2. Gross moral misconduct, such as robbery,
violence, continued insolence, or drunkenness:
- ("Cunningham V. Foublanque," 6 C.- & P. 49;
"Speck V. Phillips," 5 M. & W. 279; "Wire V.
Wilson," 1 C. & R. 662). On these matters Sir
W. Scott said : "Drunkenness, neglect of duty, and
disobedience are offences of a high nature, fully
sufficient to justify discharge without notice..--
Drunkenness is an offence particularly obnoxious on
board ship, where the sober, vigilant attention of
every man is required. At the same time the Court
cannot entirely forget that in a mode of life
peculiarly exposed to severe peril and exertion,
and therefore admitting in seasons of repose
something of indulgence and refreshment, that
indulgence and refreshment are naturally enough
sought for by such persons in grosser pleasures of
that kind; and therefore proof of a single act of
intemperance, committed in port, is no conclusive
proof of disability for general maritime employment
:" ("The Exeter," 2 C. Robinson, 263).
- 3. Incompetence.-- When a man ships on board a
yacht there is on his part an implied warranty that
he possesses sufficient skill for the work he
undertakes. No express promise that he has the
requisite skill is necessary, and should he be
found incompetent he may be discharged without
notice : (Harmer v. Cornelius 28 L. J., C. P. 85).
But the incompetence must be closely connected with
the work he undertakes for example, a master
employed to take char e of a sailing yacht could
not be summarily discharged because he happened to
be unacquainted with the management of a steam
yacht or vice versa or because he did not know how
to manage a trawl &c
- 4 Permanent illness a according to the best
authority a ground or dismissal "for there is no
difference between a servant who will not and a
servant who cannot perform the duty for which he
was hired (Harmer v. Cornelius ante Cuckion v.
Stones 28 L J Q B 03.) hut mere temporary
indisposition walk not justify discharge. If a
master receives injury in the performance of his
duties he, like the e , under the provisions of the
- Should the master be rightfully discharged for
misconduct while the yacht is away cruising the
owner is under no liability to pay his passage
either to his home or to the place at which he was
engaged ; for the dismissal was brought about by
the man's own misconduct which is not to be a tax
on the employer. ("Turner v. Robinson," 5 B. &
Adolphius, 789). Should the offender refuse to
leave the vessel, he may be removed by force, but
the services of a policeman should be sought for,
as, if unnecessary violence be employed, it will
amount to an assault on the man.
- On the subject of clothes the law is that the
property in them is in the yacht owner; when,
therefore, the servant is dismissed for misconduct,
he cannot claim to take his clothes. If, however,
he be hired expressly for the season, or for a
year, at stated wages and his clothes, he then
becomes entitled to them at the expiration of the
season, or of the year, as the case may be:
("Crocker v. Molyneux," 3 C. & P. 470). Should
a servant be guilty of returning the clothes
supplied to him to the tailor or draper in exchange
for money or private clothes, a yacht owner is only
liable to pay for the garments actually supplied,
and not for those given in exchange, and is
entitled to set off against a subsequent account
for clothes, the price of those supplied and paid
for, but subsequently taken back by the tradesman:
("Hunter v. Berkeley," 7 C. & P.413). See eases
tried in County Courts-Dublin, August, 1874;
Torquay, Nov.17, 1877; Newport, Isle of Wight, Aug.
6, 1878; Southampton, Dec.10, 1878.
- The strictly legal side of the question only
has been dealt with; the questions of expediency
and bounty are left to individual taste.
- A form of agreement suitable for. an owner and
master to enter into is herewith appended.
- Memorandum of Agreement entered into this day
of , one thousand hundred , between , of , and
hereinafter termed the owner, on the one part, and
mariner of , and hereinafter termed the master, on
the other part. The owner agrees to engage the
master to serve in that capacity on board the yacht
, and to pay him as wages the sum of per , the said
wages to be paid [here insert "weekly,"
"monthly," "quarterly," as the case may be] ;
and the owner agrees to supply the master each year
the yacht is in commission during this agreement
with suits of clothes complete, as usually found
for the master of a yacht; and the owner agrees
that the said clothes shall be the property of the
master, unless the master is discharged for
misconduct, or discharges himself during any period
that the owners yacht is in commission ; and the
owner agrees to find the sailing master in food and
a reasonable quantity of beer or other drink, or
the equivalent in money of such food and drink, for
the period the owner's yacht is in commission
during this agreement;] and the said sailing
master, on his part, agrees to enter and abide in
the service of the owner for the wages and other
considerations aforesaid, and to the best of his
ability to maintain discipline, strict sobriety,
cleanliness, and general good conduct in the crew
on board the owner's yacht, and to keep the owner's
yacht in a smart, tidy, clean, and yacht-like
condition, and to incur no expense for the
maintenance of the hull or equipment of the owner's
yacht further than lawfully authorised by the
owner, and to willingly, carefully, and skilfully
take the owner's yacht to such places as the owner
may desire her to be taken, either on the coasts of
the British Isles or the coasts of , between and ;
and when the yacht is put out of commission during
this agreement the master, assisted by the crew,
agrees to dismantle her and carefully store all her
equipment as directed and to frequently visit the
owner's yacht for the purpose of ventilating,
pumping, and generally preserving and taking care
of her and her equipment in the period she is out
of commission during this agreement ; and it is
further jointly agreed between the owner and master
that the wages shall commence to be earned and
continue to be paid as aforesaid, on and after the
day of , one thousand hundred and ; and it is
further jointly agreed between the owner and master
that this agreement shall terminate upon either the
owner or master giving notice thereof, but the
owner may summarily cancel the agreement and
dismiss the master should the master wilfully
disregard any of the owner's reasonable commands,
or be guilty of any misconduct, such as
drunkenness, quarrelsomeness, violence of conduct,
smuggling, continued absence, or neglect of duty,
breaches of this agreement, gross carelessness,
extravagance, or incompetence.
- (Signed) Owner.
- Sailing Master.
- Witness, .
- COOKS AND STEWARDS.
- A curious point might arise with regard to
cooks and stewards. On shore, both these
functionaries would most certainly fall within the
category of domestic servants, and would,
therefore, be entitled to a month's warning, or
payment of a month's wages; hut where the duration
of the contract can only be inferred from the fact
that the wages are paid weekly, it would be taken
to be a weekly hiring, in which case a week's
notice would suffice; or, again, owing to the fact
that they cannot obtain situations as readily as
shore servants, it is just possible that they might
be held entitled to the same notice as the master,
if they were hired on the same terms by the year
and paid at the same intervals..
- What has been said only applies when there has
been no special stipulation at the commencement of
the service, or no proof of custom. If an agreement
has been made, the parties are bound by it; as
there are no reported cases deciding what the
custom is, the question is still in abeyance. Every
yacht owner knows what he believes to be the
custom, hut until his idea has been supported in a
court of law it is only a surmise.
- SIGNING ARTICLES.
- It is desirable for the master and crew to sign
an agreement drawn up in a form sanctioned by the
Board of Trade. If a Board of Trade agreement is
agreed to and adopted without alteration, it must
contain the following particulars as to terms
- 1. The nature, and as far as practicable, the
duration of the intended voyage; or the maximum
period of the voyage or engagement and the places
(if any) to which the voyage or engagement is not
to extend. The statement under this head must be
sufficiently plain to enable a man to understand
the nature of the work for which he contemplates an
- 2. The number and description of the crew,
specifying how many are engaged as sailors.
- 3. The time at which each seaman is to be on
board or to begin work.
- 4. The capacity in which each seaman is to
- 5. The amount of wages which each seaman is to
- 6. A scale of the provisions which are to be
furnished to each seaman.
- 7. Any regulations as to conduct on board, and
as to fines, short allowance of provisions, or
other lawful punishments for misconduct, which have
been sanctioned by the Board of Trade as
regulations proper to be adopted, and which the
parties agree to adopt; and the agreement shall be
so framed as to admit of stipulations on the part
of the employer and the employed which are not
contrary to law.
- These agreement forms can be obtained at the
Mercantile Marine offices, and from the Board of
Trade; they are printed, and spaces are left for
filling in the signatures of the different
- Of course yacht owners may make any special
written agreements which their crews will sign; but
the Board of Trade form, having official sanction
given to it, should be adhered to as much as
possible. In the interpretation clause of the
Merchant Ship. ping Act, the word "seaman," is to
include "every person (except masters, pilots, and
apprentices duly indentured and registered)
employed or engaged in any capacity on board any
ship." In steam yachts, therefore, the engineers
and firemen would be seamen; as also would be on
every yacht the cook and steward. It may be
observed that a yacht owner, though he should adopt
the forms of agreement signed by the Board of
Trade, or a modification of them, is not compelled
to require that all the persons engaged on board
his yacht should sign them. He may, for instance,
engage his cook and steward on the same terms as
would be the case if their service would be
performed onshore. Still, it will be found
advisable that the authority of the master should
be secured over all on board alike, by the medium
of a written agreement
- The agreement is to be signed by all parties to
it, the master signing first; and the document
dates from the time of his signature.
- In order to avoid any technical difficulties
that may arise, the yacht owner should sign as
master, and the regular sailing master as mate. The
master to whom the men sign has sole control of
everybody on board, and even in the movements of
the vessel, and there is a story that a master of a
yacht up the Mediterranean once threatened to put
an owner in irons. Such gross misbehaviour,
however, could not go long unrewarded.
- In order to enable the crew to refer to the
agreement, the master should at the commencement of
the voyage have a legible copy (omitting the
signatures) placed in some part of the vessel to
which the men have access.
- The following are the terms of the Official
Agreement of the Board of Trade:
- The several persons whose names are subscribed,
and whose descriptions are contained herein, and of
whom [all] arc engaged as sailors, hereby
agree to serve on board the said yacht in the
several capacities expressed against their
respective names, until the said yacht shall be
paid off [on a cruise of pleasure to any
British or foreign port or ports to which the Owner
or Master may think fit to go. Voyage not to exceed
- And the crew agree to conduct themselves in an
orderly, faithful, honest, and sober manner, and to
be at all times diligent in their respective
duties, and to be obedient to the lawful commands
of the said Master, or of any Person who shall
lawfully succeed him, and of their Superior
Officers, in everything relating to the said yacht
and the stores thereof, whether on board, in boats,
or on shore; in consideration of which services to
be duly performed, the said Master hereby agrees to
pay to the said crew as wages the sums against
their names respectively expressed, and to supply
them with provisions according to the scale one the
other side hereof.
- And it is hereby agreed that any embezzlement
or wilful or negligent destruction of any part of
the yacht's stores shall be made good to the Owner
out of the wages of the person guilty of the
- And if any person enters himself as qualified
for a duty which he proves incompetent to perform,
his wages shall be reduced in proportion to his
incompetency, but no such reduction shall be made
unless and until notice in writing of intention to
make such reduction shall be given by the Master to
the person who will be affected thereby; and it is
also agreed that the Regulations authorised by the
Board of Trade which are printed herein and
numbered [1 to 5]# are adopted by the
parties hereto, and shall be considered as embodied
in this Agreement.
- And it is also agreed that, if any member of
the crew considers himself to be aggrieved by any
breach of the Agreement or otherwise, be shall
represent the same to the Master or Officer in
charge of the ship in a quiet and orderly manner,
who shall thereupon take such steps as the case may
require; and it is also stipulated that advances an
account and allotments of part of usages shell be
made as specified against the names of the
respective seamen in the columns provided for that
- And it is also agreed that any man guilty of
misconduct shall be liable to be discharged by the
Master at any port in Great Britain or Ireland; and
that the voyage shall be considered as terminated
when the yacht is paid off.
- And it is also agreed that [the clothes
provided by the Owner shall remain his property
until the final discharge of the crew, and should
any member of the crew leave or be discharged
previously the yacht's clothes are to be left on
board. The yacht's boats are not to be used by the
crew without permission from the Master or Officer
in charge of the yacht. The anchor watch to be
relieved on deck]. [If a steam yacht the
following should be added: The seamen and fireman
are mutually to assist each other in the duties of
the yacht when required by order of the
- In witness whereof the said parties have
subscribed their names herein, on the days
mentioned against their respective signatures.
- Signed by Master, _ on the _ day of 19xx.
- A seaman's right to wages and provisions begins
either at the time at which he commences work, or
at the time specified in the agreement for his
arrival on board, whichever first happens, so that
if a seaman goes on board and works sooner than be
need have done, his right to wages does not
necessarily date from the time he went on
- * In the case of foreign going yachts it is
usual to insert particulars of the following
nature: [On a cruise of pleasure to any British
or foreign ports, or ports between the latitudes of
75 degrees north latitude arid 75 degrees south
- #Instructions to Masters with regard to the
crew, and regulations for maintaining discipline (1
to 5), &c. are given on the official forms. The
words in brackets are suggested as an example of
the additions usually made. The words in italics
are usually deleted, as the crew, with the
exception of the Master, Mate, Steward, &c.
generally provide their own provisions, money being
advanced to them for that purpose.
- Sea Mile.-- 6,080ft. (See "Knot.")
- Sea Pie.-- A dish made up of all sorts in
- Sea Way.--
- Generally used in the sense of waves in an open
sea, meaning a disturbed sea.
- In every respect fit to go to sea. In
chartering a ship it is insisted that she must be
"tight, staunch and strong, and well equipped,
manned with an adequate crew, provisions,"
- Second Topsail.-- A gaff topsail between the
largest and the jib-headed topsail.
- A way of securing a bight of a rope by a
lashing so as to form an eye, or of securing any
parts of ropes together.
- Selvagee Strop.-- A strop made of spun yarn
laid up in coils and marled. (See "Strop.")
- Serve.-- To cover a rope with marline called
- Serving Mallet.-- The mallet which riggers use
to wind service round ropes and bind it up tightly
- Set.-- To hoist or make sail. This word is
sometimes improperly confused with "sit" in
reference to the way a sail stands.
- Set Flying.-- Not set on a stay or bent by a
lacing; a jib in a cutter is set flying.
- Set of the Tide.-- Direction of the current.
Setting Up.-- Purchasing up rigging taut.
- Sewed or Sued.--
- The condition of a vessel that grounds and on
the return of the tide is not floated. If the tide
does not lift her by 2ft. she is said to be "sewed"
2ft. If the tide on falling does not leave her
quite dry, she is said to "sew" 1ft., 2ft., 3ft.,
or more, as the case may be.
- A U-shaped crook with an eye in each end,
through which a screw bolt is passed. Variously
used, and are often preferred to hooks. (Fig. 93.)
There is a shackle at every fifteen fathoms of
cable, so that by unshackling it the cable can be
divided into many parts. Useful if the cable has to
- FIG 93
- Shake Out a Reef.-- To untie the reef points
and unroll a reef and hoist away.
- Shake, To.-- To sail a vessel so close to wind
that the weather cloths of the sails shake; the
bead sails generally are the first to shake, and if
the helmsman does not notice it someone who does
sings out, "All shaking forward"; or "Near
- Shake Up.-- "Give her a shake up." This is an
order to put down the helm and cause the vessel to
luff until her sails are "all shaking." The
practice is to give a vessel a shake up and thus
ease the weight on the sheets and enable the crew
to get them in and belay before she again feels the
- Shallow Bodied. -With a very limited depth of
- Shape a Course.-- To steer a particular
- Sharp Bottomed or Sharp Floored.-- A vessel
with V-shaped sections.
- Sharp Bowed.--
- With a very fine entrance or a bow whose two
sides form a very acute angle.
- Sharp Sterned.--
- A stern shaped something like the fore end or
bow, thus <.
- The copper sheets put on the bottom of a
vessel. 16oz. and 20oz. copper is generally used
for yachts. Sometimes 20oz. copper at the load
line, and 16oz. below. The sizes and weight of
sheathing are usually as follows :-
- 48in. by 20in., and more commonly for yachts
48in. by 14in.
- The weight per sheet of the 48in. by 20in. is
7.5lb., there being 18oz. to the square foot. The
weight per sheet of the 48in. by 14in. is as under
- 16oz. 4.67lb.
20 ,, 5.83
28oz. 11.67lb. ,,
32 ,, 12.33 ,,
- 160 nails to a sheet, or 1cwt. nails to every
- The allowance made for old copper is generally
one-eighth less the price paid for new. That is, if
the price of new copper be 80£ per ton, the
price of old will be 70£ per ton. This price
is subject to another deduction of 5lb. per cwt.
for dross, &c. Copper is usually put on so that
the edges overlap, but in the case of a few yachts
the edges of the copper have been butted: that is,
the edges were laid edge to edge and the nails were
counter sunk and scoured down. Of course this plan
entails enormous trouble, but the superior surface
it presents can be considered as a compensation.
Many yacht builders obtain the copper sheathing of
Messrs. Neville, Druce, and Co., 13,
Sherborne-lane, E.C., and Messrs. Vivian and Son,
Bond-court House, Walbrook.
- The wheel within a block or in the sheave hole
of a spar over which ropes pass.
- A plan of shortening a rope by taking up a part
and folding it into two loops or bights, and then
putting a half hitch of each standing part over a
bight (Fig. 94).
- FIG 94.
- The fore-and-aft vertical curve of a vessel's
deck or rail of bulwarks. To sheer is to put the
rudder over when a vessel is at anchor, so as to
cause her to move laterally and ride clear of her
anchor. A vessel is said to break her sheer when
she departs from the sheer that has been given
- Sheer Hulk.-- An old vessel fitted with sheers,
whereby masts are lifted into other vessels.
Sometimes used in the sense that nothing but the
- Sheer Legs. - Two spars fitted with guys for
lifting masts or other things.
- Sheer Plan or Sheer Draught.-- A drawing
showing a longitudinal vertical section or profile
of a vessel.
- Sheet.-- A rope or chain by which the lower
after corners of sails are secured.
- Sheet Bends.-- Fig. 95 is a single sheet bend,
and Fig. 96 a double sheet bend.
- FIG 95 FIG 96
- Sheet Home.--
- To strain or haul on a sheet until the foot of
a sail is as straight or taut as it can be got.
When the clew of a gaff topsail is hauled close out
to the cheek block on the gaff. In practice, a gaff
topsail sheet, however, is seldom sheeted home, as
when once home no further strain could be brought
on it; a few inches drift is therefore usually
allowed. In square-rigged vessels a sail is said to
be sheeted home when the after clews are hauled
close out to the sheet blocks or sheave holes in
the yard. This no doubt is the origin of the
- A strong piece of timber running the whole
length of the vessel inside the timber beads,
binding the timbers together; the deck beams rest
on and are fastened to the shelf.
- Shifting Backstays.--
- The topmast backstays which are only
temporarily set up and shifted every time a vessel
is put about or gybed. (See "Preventer.")
- Shifting Ballast.--
- Ballast carried for shifting to windward to add
to stiffness. A practice forbidden in yacht
- Shifting her Berth.-- When a vessel removes
from an anchorage, &c.
- Shift of Plank.-- The fore and aft distance
between the butts of one line of plank and that of
the next below or above.
- Shift Tacks, To.-- To go from one tack to the
- Shift the Helm.-- To move the tiller from one
side to the other ; thus, if it is put to port, an
order to shift the helm means put it to
- Shin Up.--
- To climb up the shrouds by the hands and shins,
when they are not rattled down.
- Ship, To.--
- To put anything in position. To engage as one
of the crew of a vessel. To ship a sea, to ship a
crutch, to ship a seaman, &c.
- Ship Shape.-- Done in a proper and
- Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion. -An expression
probably originating in days gone by when Bristol
shipbuilders and seamen were in great repute.
- Ship's Papers.-- These include builders'
certificate, register (in case of not being nun
original owner, bill of sale as well), hill of
lading, bill of health, &c. Also, in the case
of a yacht, her Admiralty warrant, if she has
- Shiver.-- To luff up and cause the sails to
shiver or lift.
- Shiver flee Mizen.-- To luff up until the mizen
lifts or shivers.
- Shoe or Shod.-- Iron plates rivetted to the
ends of wire rigging to receive shackle bolts.
- Sheer.-- To move through the water after the
means of propulsion is withdrawn.
- Shore.-- A beach. A support of wood or iron, a
- Short Tacks or Short Beards.-- Beating or
working to windward by frequent tacking.
- Shorten.-- The wind is said to shorten when it
comes more ahead. To shorten sail, to take in
- Shy.-- The wind is said to shy when it comes
from ahead or breaks a vessel off.
- Side Kelsons.-- Stout pieces of timber fitted
fore and aft on either side of the keel.
- Side Lights.--
- The red (port) and green (starboard) lights
carried by vessels when under way. Small yachts
during bad weather are not required to have their
side lights fixed, but must always have them ready
on deck on their proper sides ready to show. Open
boats must carry lights, and if the usual side
lights are not used they must have lanterns fitted
with green and red slides, to show- when required.
Steam yachts and steam launches, in addition to the
usual side lights, must carry a white light at the
masthead. (See "Rule of the Road" under "Rules
Concerning Lights.") A single lamp with tricoloured
lenses is not permitted on the Thames.
- Siding or Sided.-- The size of a timber,
&c. between its two planes and parallel sides.
- Sight the Anchor.-- To heave up the
- Signals.-- Yachtsmen will find the following
signals is useful and every yacht should leave on
board at least one man in the crew who can make and
read the following common signals :
- FLASHING OR SOUND SIGNALS.
- (Morse Code.)
- Warning Signals for Vessels in Sight of one
- N.B.-The excessive use of Light or Sound
Signals, mere especially flee latter, is liable to
cause grave confusion and Ship masters are desired
to exercise the greatest discretion in employing
them particularly in crowded waters.
- The following urgent and important signals may
be made either by long and short flashes of light
or by long and short sounds on a steam whistle sin
en, foghorn, &
- For example The signal, which in the Morse
Alphabet represents the letter U is made by two
short and one long flashes or blast - and means You
are standing into danger."
- Instructions for the use of Flashing or Sound
- 1. With flashing signals the lamp must always
be turned towards the person addressed.
- 2. To attract attention, a series of rapid
short flashes or sounds should be made and
continued until the person addressed gives the sign
of attention by doing the same.
- If, however, it is supposed that the person
addressed cannot reply, the signal may be made
after a moderate pause, or, under certain
circumstances, the communication may be made
without preparatory signs.
- 3. After making a few rapid short flashes or
sounds as an acknowledgment, the receiver must
watch, or listen attentively, until the
communication is completed, when he must make the
sign indicated below, showing that the message is
- 4. If the receiver does not understand the
message, he must wait until the signal is
- 5. Duration of SHORT flashes or sounds
- Duration of LONG flashes or sounds
- Interval between each flash or sound ...
- Preparative signal to attract attention...
- Answer, or "I understand"
- Urgent and important Signals.
- You arc standing into danger (U)
- I want assistance ; remain by me (V)
- Have encountered ice (W)
- Your lights are out (or, want trimming)
- The way is off my ship; you may feel your way
past me (R)
- Stop, or, Heave to; I have something important
to communicate (L)
- Am disabled; communicate with me (F)
- Steering Signals.
- When a vessel is in tow, the following signals
may be made by flashes between her and the tug or
- Steer more to starboard
- Steer more to port
- Cast off hawsers
- MORSE SPECIAL CHARACTERS.
- SIGNALS FOR PILOTS. United Kingdom.
- The following signals, when used or displayed
together or separately, shall be deemed to be
signals for a pilot:
- "in the Day-time.
- "1. The Pilot jack (Union Jack with white
border) to be hoisted to the fore.
- "2. The International Code pilotage signal
indicated by P T.
- "3. The International Code flag S (white with
small blue square centre), with or without the code
pennant over it.
- "4. The distant signal-two halls or shapes
resembling balls hoisted about a cone point
- "At Night.
- "1. The pyrotechnic light, commonly known as a
blue light, every fifteen minutes.
- "2. A bright white light, flashed or shown at
short or frequent intervals just above the
bulwarks, for about a minute at a time."
- "If a Master of a vessel uses or displays, or
causes or permits any person under his authority to
use or display, any of the pilot signals is for any
other purpose than that of summoning a pilot, or
uses or causes or permits any person under his
authority to use any other signal for a pilot, he
shall for each offence be liable to a fine not
exceeding twenty pounds."
- FLAG SIGNALS.
- Yachts find it a great convenience to be able
to signal messages to the shore or to another
vessel, and the British method of semaphoring, as
illustrated, is very useful for short distances.
Where hand flags are not available, a hat or cap,
or the arm alone, can be used. Signalling at night
can be carried on by showing and observing a light,
thus making long and short flashes indicating the
signals of the Morse Telegraphic Code. Coastguards
are acquainted with both systems.
- INSTRUCTIONS.-- The person intending to
semaphore should make the International Code signal
VON (I am going to semaphore to you) and show the
Alphabetical sign, then wait until the person to
whom the signal is to be made makes the sign
- The communication should then be proceeded with
by spelling, a momentary pause being made between
each sign or letter, and the arms being dropped
between each word or group.
- Should the sign A be made by the Receiver, the
last two words should be repeated until the sign C
is again made.
- If, in the course of an Alphabetical message,
Numerals have to be signalled, the Numeral sign
(see illustration) should be shown, and the numbers
then made. When the Numeral signal is finished, the
Alphabetical sign should be made and the
communication by spelling proceeded with as
- Answering and Receiving Semaphore Signals. The
sign C should ]d be made by the Receiver of the
signal, thus denoting that he is ready to read and
write down the signal.
- When a word is lost, the Receiver should make
the sign A and the Sender should then repeat the
last two words until the sign C is made again by
- Signal of Distress.-- An ensign hoisted jack
- Sister Block.--
- A double block with two sheaves of the same
size one above the other, and seized to the topmast
shrouds of square rigged ships to receive the lifts
and reef tackle pendants.
- Sails are said to "sit" well when they do not
girt, pucker, belly, or shake. This word is
sometimes wrongly written "set."
- An instrument (usually a born on a stick) for
wetting sails. In old yacht club rules skeeting to
windward only was allowed, as it was thought the
skeet might be used as a means of propulsion. "Fire
engines" were occasionally used for skeeting, but
the practice has gone out of fashion.
- Pieces of timber put under a boat for resting
her on deck, or when launching off.
- Skiff.-- A small boat used by coast watermen
for the conveyance of passengers.
- Skin.-- The outside or inside planking of a
- Skinning.-- In stowing a mainsail lifting the
outside part up time after time, the bunt forming a
kind of bag. This should never be allowed, as it
ruins the sail.
- Skin Resistance.-- The resistance a vessel
meets with owing to the friction of the water on
her plank or sheathing. (See "Resistance.")
- A slang term for the master of a yacht or other
vessel. Ancient, "Schipper."
- Skysail.-- A square sail set above the
- Sky Scraper.-- A triangular sail set above the
skysail. Never used now.
- Sky Pilot.-- A term applied by sailors to
chaplains, also "Fire Escape."
- Slab Line.-- A rope used to brail up the foot
- A kind of half-reef in a mainsail below the
first reef, it takes up the foot or slab of the
© 2000 Craig O'Donnell
May not be reproduced without my permission.
Go scan your own damn dictionary.