Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing and Architecture

(11th and final edition, 1913)


A strong upright trunk used in boats and barges to step the mast in on deck so that it can be lowered for going under bridges. It is, in fact, a lengthening of the mast, the trunk being the housed part with a hinge or joint on deck. In small boats that have no deck the mast is generally stepped at the bottom of the tabernacle, and not on the top. Used also in certain yachts.
The strengthening pieces of canvas sewn to the edges of sails where the roping goes on.
The lower fore-corner of a sail. To tack is to go about or shift from one tack to another. The side on which the wind blows on the sail, as starboard tack or port tack.
This term probably originated with the square rig, as "port tacks" aboard means that the lower port corners of the sail are now hauled inboard, whereas when the wind was on the other side these corners had been hauled outboard by the sheets.
An arrangement of ropes and pulleys for increasing power ; a purchase. (Pronounced "tay-kel" by sailors.)
Tackle-fall.-- The hauling part of the rope of a tackle.
Tack Tackles.-- The tackles employed to set down the tacks of sails.
Taffrail.-- The continuation of the top rail round the aft side of the counter.
Tail Block.--
A block with a tail or piece of rope stropped to it for making fast the block instead of a hook.
A tail block is put on to a rope by a rolling hitch, as shown in Fig. 106 The hitches are jammed up close together. The end of the tail can be seized back to the rope if required.
FIG 106
FIG 107
Often when in a hurry only one hitch is taken (Fig. 107), the tail being gripped round the rope with the hand. A tail tackle is put on to a rope in the same manner as a tail block.


Tail On.-- An order to take hold of a rope and help haul.
Tail Tackle.--
A watch tackle; that is, a double and single block. The single block has a hook; the double block a rope tail, which can be hitched to ropes or parts of rigging, &c.


Take In or Take Off To hand or furl a sail.
Take, To.--
A jib is said to take when a vessel has been head to wind and the jib fills on one side or the other.
Take Up.-- To shrink; to tighten up.
Tanning a Sail.--
No tanning will entirely prevent mildew, if the canvas is left unopened and unaired an unlimited time. For a 20ft. boat boil in a furnace of 15 gallons 28lb. of catechu, until thoroughly dissolved; put in such sails as convenient, and let them soak a night; then spread and mop them over both sides with the mixture. If required very dark indeed, double the amount of catechu Sails too large for a furnace or vat are mopped only on a floor of asphalte, or cement, with the mixture. Sails are sometimes "tanned" in a tan yard with oak bark and ochre. The yarn of the Bembridge Redwings is dyed before it is woven.
Tall, high, towering. (See "A-taunto.")

Taut.-- Tight : stretched as tightly as possible.

Taut Bowline.--
A ship is said to be on a taut bowline when the bowlines on the leeches of the sail are hauled as taut as possible for sailing near the wind. With everything stretched as flat as possible for close-hauled sailing.
To attend to a sheet and watch it to see if it requires hauling in or slacking out ; generally to attend to any work on board ship.
Tenon.-- A sort of tongue cut at the end of a piece of timber to fit into a mortise.
Thick Stuff.-- Timber or plank over 4in. thick.
A ring, pear-shaped or circular, with a groove outside for ropes to fit in. When the thimble is pear-shaped it is usually termed a "heart thimble or thimble heart." These thimbles are used for the eye splices in ropes, whilst circular thimbles are mostly used for the cringles of sails, &c. For steel wire shrouds the thimble is usually solid.
Thimble Eyes.--
Eyes spliced in rigging round a thimble. A thimble seized in a strop.
Tholes.-- Pins fitted into the holes in rowlocks for oars to work in.
A vessel is said to thread her way when she weaves in and out among other vessels, or through a narrow channel. Thread of oakum or cotton for caulking small boats.
Three Sheets in the Wind.--
Half drunk. "Three cloths shaking," said sometimes of -a mainsail when a vessel is sailed too near the wind.
The deepest part of the hollow of the jaws of a gaff, or the hollow of a V shaped knee, or the hollow of a floor. The throat halyards are those which are attached to the throat of a gaff. The upper weather corner of a gaff-sail is often called the throat, or nook, because it is attached to the throat of the gaff.
Through Bolt, or Through Fastening.--
A bolt that passes through timber and plank, and clinched.
Thumb Cleat.--
Pieces of wood put on spars, &c. to prevent ropes or strops from slipping.
Thwarts.-- The transverse seats in a boat. (Sea "Athwartships.")
Tidal Harbour.-- A harbour that can only be entered on certain stages of the tide.
Usually the rise and fall or flow and ebb of the sea around the coast. The highest tides occur at the new moon and full moon. Tides in estuaries, harbours, and bays vary a great deal.
A runner to which a tackle is hooked, used for hoisting lug-sails and squaresails.
Ropes or gaskets used to secure the mainsail of a fore-and-aft vessel when furled or stowed to the boom. The tier that takes up the middle of the sail is termed the bunt tier. (See "Gasket" and "Buntline.")
Impervious to water; well caulked; not leaky. Never applied to the tension of ropes, &c., which are always "taut." (See "Taut.")
The piece of timber inserted in the rudder head for steering; usually termed the helm.
Tiller Lines.--
The lines attached to the tiller to move it by. (See "Tiller Ropes," which are a different thing.) Generally in yachts of 40 tons and over, a tackle is used. In large yachts a second tackle is sometimes used, it the yacht carries much weather helm or is hard to steer : these second tackles are usually termed relieving tackles.
Tiller Ropes.--
The ropes attached to the short tiller when a wheel is used for steering. The ropes pass round the drum on the same axis as the wheel. In large vessels the tiller ropes are frequently made of raw hide.
Timber-heads.-- The heads or upper ends of the frames.
Timber Hitch.--
A quick way of bending a rope to a spar. A loop or bight is formed by twisting the end of a rope round its standing part, thus (Fig. 108):
The end of the rope is shown on the right, and the standing part passing through the bight on the left.


Timbers.-- The frames or ribs of a vessel.
Time Allowance.--
The allowance made by one yacht to another in competitive sailing, proportional to the size of the yachts and the distance sailed.
In small boat sailing, an allowance of 1 sec. per inch for every excess inch of length for every mile sailed, is a good allowance. Where length and breadth are multiplied together, 1 sec. per square foot for every mile makes a good allowance. Where length and breadth are added together, the allowance might be 1.25 second per inch per mile. These allowances are only adapted for boats that do not differ much in length. Where the difference in length much exceeds a foot, the boats should be classed as a 21ft. class, 25ft. class., &c
FIG 108
Rating yachts by length, in competitive sailing, has been practised since the early days of yacht racing, so far at least as small yachts are concerned ; but the practice has not become general, for the principal reason that one yacht, say of 40ft. length, owing to greater beam, might be capable of carrying a larger quantity of sail than another yacht of 40ft. length, and so have greater speed. If sails were not the means of propulsion this would be of little consequence, as, length for length, vessels of varied proportions of beam might if well modelled, be of equal speed ; and the speed of vessels of different lengths will be found to vary nearly as the square roots of their lengths, unless there be some extraordinary variance in their general form. It is not, therefore, surprising to find that the roots of the linear dimensions of yachts have been many times suggested as a proper basis for a time allowance.
So far as our experience goes, the speed of yachts of different sizes accords with those set out in the table below; and these speeds so agree with the assumption that the speed varies as the square root of the length. When the configurations of the yachts are the same, the quality of immersed surface varies considerably.
Thus, in the table it has been assumed that a yacht 64ft. long can sail one mile in six minutes; and that the time of other yachts per mile will vary as the square root of their respective lengths. Therefore, on this assumption, a yacht 9ft. long will sail a mile in sixteen minutes (or 960 seconds), and the time between a yacht 9ft. long and any other larger yacht will therefore be found by the equation


The Yacht Racing Association has now three scales of time allowance, which are those of the International Yacht Racing Union (see pages 260 to 262). Scale No.1 is 4 seconds per metre of rating per mile; scale No.3 is a graduated scale suitable for all classes of cutters from 23 metres rating down to 5 metres rating; it is intended to be used when the International cutter classes arc amalgamated. Scale No.5 is a combination of scale No.1 and scale No.3; it is intended to be used when cutters, yawls, schooners, and ketches sail in the same race. Scales No.1, No.3, and No.5 are calculated for a moderate breeze. Scales No.2 and No.4 for very light winds and very strong winds have not been adopted by the Y.R.A. and are not used in Great Britain.


In timing vessels passing marks to finish a race or otherwise, the fairest plan is to take the time as each vessel's bowsprit end reaches the mark. In timing yachts that have to gybe or tack round marks, time must be taken when in the opinion of the timekeeper the yacht is fairly at or round the mark; this especially in the case of gybing.
A short rope with an eye at one end and a small piece of wood at the other, to insert in the eye and form a kind of strop or becket.
A weight of 2240lb. avoirdupois. In hydraulics 35 cubic feet of sea water represent a ton, or 36 cubic feet of fresh water.
Tonnage and Rating.--
The nominal size or capacity of a ship, variously estimated. Since the early days when "tons burden" meant the actual tons weight of coal a vessel such as the north country keels would carry, the word "tonnage" has conveyed no fixed idea of hulk or weight. The nominal tonnage has been variously computed and the earliest record (See "Archeologia," Vol. XI) is that the "tons burden" of the ships of the Royal Navy in the 17th century was calculated by
L length on keel, B extreme breadth, and D depth of hold.
It was probably found that a ship was capable of filling up with coal to just half her cubical capacity, taking 48 cubic feet to the ton, hence came the divisor 96. Say a vessel was
80 x 24 x 12/ 96 = 240 tons, which would be about the amount of coal or other dead weight she would carry.
Owing probably to the inconvenience of arriving at the depth of laden vessels entering ports, the rule was altered to
L x B N 1/2(B)/94
and finally, in 1719, an Act was passed enjoining that the rule just stated should be law, but to allow for rake of stem 3/5 of the breadth was ordered to be subtracted from the length.
In this rule it will be seen there were two assumptions. First, that the vessel was a rectangular figure, and, second, that her depth was equal to her breadth. The result was that ships were built under it as much like boxes as possible, and deep in proportion to breadth, because depth was untaxed and beam heavily taxed. However, in spite of learned arguments and much abuse (the rule of measurement was commonly referred to as the "iniquitous tonnage laws"), the rule remained in force as the law of the land until the passing of the Merchant Shipping Act in 1854. Under that Act the tonnage became one of cubic capacity (100 cubic feet to the ton), and for roughly estimating the tons of a laden ship the following rule was allowed to be used under the Act:
[much tedium deleted until some future point]
In square-rigged ships, the platform at the lower mast heads to give additional spread to the topmast rigging, and to form a kind of gallery for riflemen in war ships. There are fore top, main top, and mizen top. To top is to raise one end of a boom or yard by the topping lifts. The "top" of a vessel is the part above water.
Topgallant Bulwarks.--
Bulwarks fitted above the rail to afford additional shelter on deck.
Topgallant Mast.-- The mast next above the top. mast in square-rigged ships.
Top Hamper.-- Any real or supposed unnecessary weight carried on deck or masts.
Topmast Hoops.--
Hoops were formerly used for jib-headed topsails, the same as they used to be for the original "gaff topsails." The hoops when not in use rest on the masthead. In hoisting the topsail the lacing is passed through an eyelet hole in the luff of the sail and through a hoop, and so on. When the sail is hoisted chock-a-block the lacing is hauled taut; in lowering the lacing is slackened. Hoops facilitate the hoisting and lowering of the sail, and admit of its being lowered and hoisted without a man going aloft.
Topping Lifts.-- Ropes or tackles used to raise or support booms or yards.
Top Rail.-- The rail fitted on the stanchions as a finish to the bulwarks.
Racing yachts usually are supplied with various topsails, viz., large jackyard topsail, a smaller one, jib-headed topsail, and jib topsail. Formerly a square topsail was carried as well, but spinnakers have superseded squaresails. A cruising yacht usually carries one yard topsail and one jib-headed topsail. Schooners carry as well a main topmast staysail.
Topsail Schooner.-- See "Square Topsail Schooner."
That part of a vessel above the wales; now in yachts sometimes understood as the part between the water-line and deck, or the freeboard.
Top Timbers.-- The upper parts of the framing of a vessel.
Top Your Boom and Sail Large.-- To leave in a hurry and sail off the wind.
Toss the Oars.--
To throw them out of the rowlocks and rest them perpendicularly, blades uppermost, on reaching a destination.
Toss up the Boom.-- To raise the boom by the lifts.
Touching the Wind.--
Luffing into the wind till the sails shake. (See "Luff and Touch Her.")
Tow Rope or Tow Line.-- The rope or hawser used in towing.
Track.-- The course or wake of a ship.
Trade Wind.--
Winds that blow in one direction a considerable time, admitting of traders making expeditious voyages.
Trail Boards.-- Carved boards fitted on the bow and stem of schooners.
The frame at the sternpost of a vessel. In boats the transverse board at the stern, which gives shape to the quarters and forms the stern end of the boat.
Transverse.-- Athwartships. At right-angles to the line of the keel.
A four-sided figure with two sides or foot and head parallel, as a ship's square sail.
A four-sided figure whose sides do not form parallel lines, such as a cutter's mainsail.
Traveller.-- An iron ring, thimble, or strop which travels on a spar, bar, or rope.
Traveller, Jointed.--
The fishermen on the S.W. coast use a jointed mast traveller. The iron hoop is in two half moons, each end has an eye turned in (see Fig. 109); the two halves are connected by these eyes. The object in having a jointed traveller is to facilitate lowering.
FIG 109.
Bolts or plugs of wood used to fasten plank to the timbers of vessels. Pronounced "trennel. "
Trestle Trees.--
In ships long pieces of timber fitted at the masthead in a fore-and-aft direction to support the cross trees.
Triatic Stay.--
A stay from foremast head to mainmast head in a schooner, and termed sciatic stay in old works.
Trick.-- The time a man is stationed at the helm. (See "Spell.")
The position of a ship in the water in a fore-and-aft direction. To trim a vessel is to set her in a particular position, by the head or stern. The term is sometimes erroneously used to represent the shifting of ballast transversely. To trim the sails is to sheet and tack them so that they are disposed in the best manner possible, in relation to the force and direction of the wind.
A passage. Sometimes used in Scotland to denote a board made in beating to windward. To trip a spar is to cant it. To trip an anchor is to break it out of the ground; an anchor is a-trip when one of its flukes is on, but not in, the ground. (See "Anchor" and "Scowing.' )
Trip or Tripping Line.--
rope used to cant a spar, as trip halyards for a topsail, or the line bent to the crown of an anchor to trip it or break it out of the ground.
Trough of the Sea.-- The hollow between wave crest and wave-crest.
The wooden caps fitted on the upper mastheads to reeve the signal halyards through.
True Wind.--
A wind that does not vary; the prevailing wind in contradistinction to eddies or baffling puffs.
To "try" is when a vessel is hove to, to so trim her sails that she may gather headway and make something to the good.
A small sort of gaff sail or sharp headed sail set in heavy weather. The sail set on the fore and main mast of square rigged ships and brigs similar to the spanker on the mizen.-- The origin of the term trysail was probably that in heavy weather it was the sail set to enable a vessel to "try," or to make some headway.
Tuck.-- The form of the hollow in the quarter near the transom or stern-post.
Tug.-- A towing boat.-- To tug is to tow.
Tumble In or Tumble Home.--
When the sides of a ship near the deck incline inwards; the opposite to flaring.
A piece of wood pivoted in the jaw of a gaff which is always in the plane of the mast.
Tumbler-fid.-- A self-acting fid for a topmast.
A knot made of small line round a rope as a stopper or for ornament.
A circle made by a rope round a pin, &c. "Turn O" is an order to belay.-- To catch a turn is to put the fall of a tackle or part of any rope round a belaying pin, stanchion, &c.
Turn In.--
To secure the end of a rope by seizing. To go to one's berth to sleep.
Turning to Windward.--
Working or beating for a point or object by short boards. Generally beating to windward. To turn is to tack.
Turn of the Tide.-- When the tide changes from flood to ebb, or the contrary.
Twice Laid Rope.--
Rope remade from old rope. A term of reproach for articles of inferior quality.
Small broom used in scrubbing the decks of yachts, to clean out corners, &c.
Twiddling Stick.-- The tiller, hence "twiddling lines" are the tiller lines.
Said when a tackle has been used so that its two blocks come close together. (See "Chock-a-block. ")





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