Glossary

Using reference material, this glossary has been designed to provide you with a basic explanation or definition of each of the terms provided.  This glossary will be constantly updated so please contact us, if you would like us to comment of any of the terminology used.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

B

back cabin
a canal narrow boat term describing the cabin at the stern of the boat in which the crew lived
Source: MDA: Waterways Object Name Thesaurus
back end rail
a curved metal bar carring a sliding metal ring, fitted across the front end of the engine room of a narrow boat, often used to attach mooring lines
Source: MDA: Waterways Object Name Thesaurus
back stay
see stay
backboard
a board placed behind a bench to form a support for passengers or the helmsman in a small vessel
backbone
the complete assembly of members making up the centreline portion of a vessel. It may include, for example, the stempost, apron, deadwood, hog, keel, after deadwood stern post and transom
balance board
a board laid across the gunwales so that one end extends outboard on the weather side. A counterpoise is obtained by loading it with crew
balance frames
those frames which are equal in area, one forward and one aft of the vessels centre of gravity
balanced lug
a lugsail with a yard. One fifth or one sixth of the sail is before the mast
ballast tank
compartment holding water or other liquid that can be pumped from one tank to another to trim the vessel
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
barge
shallow draft cargo vessel, often broad beamed and flat bottomed, powered by engine and or sail
Source: National Monuments Record: Maritime Craft Type Thesaurus
bark
a sailing ship with three or more masts, square-rigged on all but the aftermost mast which is fore-and-aft rigged
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
barque
a sailing ship with three or more masts, square-rigged on all but the aftermost mast which is fore-and-aft rigged
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
barquentine
a sailing ship with three or more masts, square-rigged on the foremast only
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
barrage ballon vessel
a vessel with a flat deck area which raised a barrage balloon and either a small sea-going vessel or tug, or , for raising balloons in harbours and estuaries, a drifter, barge or trawler
Source: National Monuments Record: Maritime Craft Type Thesaurus
battlecrusier
a large warship from the first half of the 20th century
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
battleship
a large, heavily armored warship with a main battery consisting of the largest calibre of guns.
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
beading
a half round gunwale
beam
width, measured to the outside of the hull, usually the maximum
beam knee
a knee connecting a beam to a frame
beam shelf
an inboard wale used to support the deck beams
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
beamy
a vessel which has a length of planked volume to beam ratio of 2.6 or under
bearers
transverse timbers just above the keelson
bed hole
a cupboard space in a narrow boat cabin having a door which drops down to a horizontal position to form the base of a bed in the cabin
Source: MDA: Waterways Object Name Thesaurus
belaying pin
a short bar of wood or metal to which ropes are secured, usually set in a socket in a PINRAIL at the vessel’s side
belted cruiser
a cruiser protected by a belt of armour at the sides. Also known as an armoured cruiser
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
belting
timber guard strips attached at deck level to protect from impact and abrasion
Source: MDA: Waterways Object Name Thesaurus
bench
seating
bermuda rig
a fore-and-aft sail, triangular in shape, the leading edge of which is afixed to the mast
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
between decks
the space contained between any two whole decks. Known to seamen s the 'tween deck
Source: Country Life Book of Nautical Terms Under Sail
bilge
part of the underwater body of a vessel between the flat of the bottom and the vertical topsides
bilge keel
a projecting fin-like plate fastened to the outside of the hull at the bilges to steady the ship at sea
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bilge keelson
a stringer across the frames at the bilge
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bilge plate
metal shell plate on a vessel which joins the sides to the bottom, often curved
Source: MDA: Waterways Object Name Thesaurus
bilge pump
pump used to remove water from the bilges of a boat, usually consisting of a long cylinder with a hand operated plunger
Source: MDA: Waterways Object Name Thesaurus
bilge rail
an external timber secured to the a strake lap under the turn of the bilge
bilge strake
any strake located at the turn of the bilge. In composite construction a longitudinal iron strake, inside planking, and riveted to the frames and lower ends of the diagonal tieplates
Source: The China Tea Clippers
bilge wale
a wale located at the turn of the bilge
binding strake
in order to preserve the appearance of the planking, the binding strake is increased in depth by the thickness of the rubber, so that the actual breadth of the planking showing, is the same as the adacent strakes
binnacle
the stand or case in which the ship's compass is housed
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bitts
heavy timbers in the deck to which ropes can be secured
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
block
a pulley. A single block is composed of three parts: SHELL, SHEAVE (the wheel) and PIN. Blocks may be SINGLE, DOUBLE, TREBLE or more depending on the number of sheaves on one pin
block ship
a ship deliberately sunk to prevent a river, channel, or canal from being used
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
block stem
a log section shaped and hollowed to form a stem
block stern
the stern counterpart of the block stem
bobstay
the stay from the cutwater to the bowsprit to counteract the upward pull of the forestays
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bollard
a vertical timber to which a rope can be secured
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bollard cleat
a T shaped bollard which removes the need to use a knot
Source: MDA: Waterways Object Name Thesaurus
bolt
small metal rod used as a fastener, having a head and often helical threading and secured with a nut
Source: MDA: Waterways Object Name Thesaurus
bolt rope
a rope running around the perimeter of a sail
bolt strake
a strake to which the beams are bolted
boom
a spar extending the foot of a sail
boom defence
an auxilliary vessel whose primary function was to lay and maintain steel anti-torpedo or anti-submarine nets
Source: National Monuments Record: Maritime Craft Type Thesaurus
boot top
the area of a ship between the light and load waterline
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
boot topping
a special protective composition applied to the boot top
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bosom piece
short length of angle bar fitted inside the angle of another angle bar for stength or inside the angles of two other angle bars to join them
Source: Country Life Book of Nautical Terms Under Sail
boss plates
the structural shell plates through which the propeller shaft emerges
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bottlescrew
a threaded casting which turns on two opposed threaded bars, each equipped with an eye. Used for setting up rigging. also known as a rigging screw
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bottom
(a) the keel (b) the exterior part of a vessel below the waterline
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bottom boards
longitudinal strips of wood or planks in the bottom of a vessel which are not secured to the frames and are removable
bottom shell
a central longitudinal member which is a section of hollowed log
bottom strake
any strake located between the garboard and bilge strakes
bow
the fore end of a vessel. The portion of the vessel around the bow is termed PORT BOW or STARBOARD BOW according to position
bow sheets
a small decked area in the bows of a small vessel
bowsprit
a spar projecting forward from the bow
box beam
strong form of beam made up of four long plates riveted together by means of angle bars to form a box
Source: Country Life Book of Nautical Terms Under Sail
box gunwale
a gunwale worked over the edge of the top strake
box keelson
keelson formed with a foundation plate riveted to the top of the floors, side plates and a top plate, united in a box by riveting to angle bars
Source: Country Life Book of Nautical Terms Under Sail
brace
running rigging - ropes or tackles controlling the ends of a yard
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bracket
a small shaped member connecting two or more parts, e.g. a knee
bracket knee plate
flat plate, usually triangular in shape, used at the juncture of a frame and beam to unite and strengthen the connection
Source: Country Life Book of Nautical Terms Under Sail
break of deck
where a deck is divide by a transverse bulkhead
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
breast plate
horizontal plate joining the side plating to the stem
Source: Country Life Book of Nautical Terms Under Sail
breasthook
a bracket, usually at gunwale level, fitted internally across the bows, holding the sides together
bridge
the raising platform from which the ship is controlled
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
brig
a two masted sailing ship with square sails on both masts and a gaff mainsail
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
brigantine
a two masted sailing ship with square sails on the foremast and fore-and-aft rigged on the main mast
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
brightwork
varnished timber about the decks of a vessel
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bucket dredger
a vessel equipped with a bucket dredge, which is a device that picks up sediment by mechanical means, often with many circulating buckets attached to a wheel or chain
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bulb plate
iron or steel plate with one edge worked up into a bulb
Source: Country Life Book of Nautical Terms Under Sail
bulkhead
a partition which divides the vessel into compartments, usually transversely but also longitudinally
bulkhead stringer
plate stringer set on gussets and connected by angle bars to a bulkhead as a stiffener
Source: Country Life Book of Nautical Terms Under Sail
bullseye
a hemispherical glass lens often fitted to the roof of a narrow boat
Source: MDA: Waterways Object Name Thesaurus
bulwarks
the sides of the ship about the upper deck, forming a protection from the sea
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bumboat
a small boat used to ferry supplies to ships moored away from the shore
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
bumpkin
a spar fitted over the stern of a veesl to anchor the mizzen sheets. Also found on square rigged ships to take the braces of the yards on the mast in front
Source: Maritime Curators Group: Manual of Curatorship
butt strap
metal strap covering the butt joint between adjoining plates
Source: Country Life Book of Nautical Terms Under Sail

copper fastened:

a vessel whose plank fastenings are of copper rather than iron