Are you confused by seafaring words, or is it like a foreign language?
For instance, would you know if your baggywrinkle was up to scratch or your bobstay needed a dolphin striker?
No? Then you'd better take a look at this glossary of nautical terms...
Topsides ~ Sides of the boat between the waterline and the deck.
Track ~ (1) The course a boat has made good. (2) A fitting (or integral slot) on the mast or boom into which the slides on a sail fit. (3) A fitting along which a traveller runs, used to control and tension the sheets.
Trampoline ~ The netting or fabric spanning the gap between the beams and/or hulls on the forward part of a multihull.
Transit ~ two fixed objects seen in line give a transit. Two transits give a position fix.
Transom ~ The transverse flat section that forms the stern-most part of a boat’s hull.
Traveller ~ (1) A fitting which slides in a track and is used to alter the lead of a sheet to the clew of a sail.
Triatic Stay ~ A back stay lead from one masthead to another, often fitted with insulators and used as a long-range radio antenna.
Trim, to ~ To adjust the angle of the sails to the wind by means of the sheets to optimise their efficiency.
Trimaran ~ A sailboat or any vessel with three hulls.
With no accommodation in the outside hulls, they're not as spacious below as a catamaran.
But these light displacement sailboats are quick - very quick!
Trim Tabs ~ Adjustable horizontal plates on the stern of a power boat which help
Trolling Line ~ A fishing handline streamed astern.
True Wind ~ The direction of the wind as felt at anchor or stationary.
Tumblehome ~ A unique seafaring word used to describe the section of a boat’s hull that curves upwards and inwards towards the centreline.
Turnbuckle ~ A rigging screw for adjusting the tension in standing rigging.
Under Way ~ A boat is underway when she is not tied up ashore, on a mooring, at anchor or aground.
Uphaul ~ A line used to raise something vertically – the spinnaker pole for example.
Vang ~ A tackle or other device between the mast and boom intended to hold the boom down, thereby controlling mainsail leech tension. See also 'kicking strap' or 'kicker'.
Veer ~ (1) To pay out anchor cable. (2) When the wind backs, it has changed its direction anti-clockwise.
Wake ~ The trail of disturbed water left astern of a moving boat.
Warp ~ A rope used for anchoring or mooring.
Washboards ~ The boards that slot into place at the end of the companionway protecting the boat’s interior from a flooded cockpit and uninvited guests.
They're usually made from plywood, solid teak or fibreglass.
Waterline ~ The line along the hull at which a boat floats.
Waterline Length ~ Often abbreviated to WL, the length of a boat from stem to stern at the waterline; a key factor in the the maximum hull speed that the boat can achieve in displacement mode.
Wear Ship, or Wearing Ship ~ An alternative to tacking, in which a vessel is gybed right the way around until the wind is on the other side of the bow. It was a necessary technique for old sailing vessels that were unable to tack through the wind, and was so called because of the 'wear and tear'often caused during the manouvre.
Weather (side) ~ The side onto which the wind blows.
Weather Helm ~ The tendency of a sailboat to come up head to wind.
Weigh Anchor ~ To raise the anchor, as in ‘Anchor’s aweigh!’
Wetted Surface Area ~ The area of the immersed portion of the hull.
Whisker Pole ~ A pole use to hold the clew of a headsail outboard when running downwind.
Widdershins ~ An old seafaring word which means to travel in a direction contrary to that of the sun.
Winch ~ A mechanical device - a geared drum – around which a rope (usually a sail or spar control line) is wound which then may be tensioned with a winch handle.
Windage ~ The amount by which a vessel is affected by wind. Also those parts of a boat that contribute to air drag, e.g. rigging, spars, superstructure etc.
Windlass ~ A mechanical device for hauling up the anchor. Can be electrical, hydraulic or manual.
Windward ~ Towards the direction from which the wind blows.
Windward Berth ~ A berth that a boat tends to be blown away from.
Wing and Wing ~ Sailing downwind with the foresail and mainsail set on opposite sides of the boat.
Also known as sailing 'goose winged', 'gull winged' or 'butterflying'.
Wing Mast ~ A mast elongated in the fore-and-aft direction forming a vertical rigid aerofoil, and which is capable of rotation.
Sorry, no X's...
Yaw ~ To veer continually from one side of the course to the other.
Yawl ~ A two-masted sailing vessel whose mizzen is stepped abaft the sternpost.
and no Z's either.
Which is a shame, as we've now run out of Seafaring Words.
Unless you know differently, of course?