A Sailor's Dictionary.


Wild state in which a sailor acquires a boat. 

1). A piece of construction lumber.
2). What one becomes when one is a-uninterested.

Above Board:
Above decks, therfore, meaning to be out in the open, visible to all; honest, straight forward, etc.

An object searched for by male lookouts. Only one?

Last guy out of the bar.

American Practical Navigator (Bowditch):
Ancient nautical treatise, generally though to deal with navigation, which to the present day has resisted all attempts to decipher it. Often found on board ship as a decorative element or paperweight.

Condition of being surrounded by boats.

1). Any of a number of heavy, hook-shaped devices that is dropped over the side of the boat on the end of a length of rope and/or chain, and which is designed to hold a vessel securely in place until (a) the wind exceeds 2 knots, (b) the owner and crew depart, or (c) 3 a.m.
2.) A device designed to bring up mud samples from the bottom at inopportune or unexpected times. 
3). The thing rotting in the bilge of every racing yacht (unseen).

Anchor Light:
A small light used to discharge the battery before daylight. 

Azimuth Bar:
Where Azimuths hang out.

1). What unsteady folks should do in heavy weather.
2). The last thing to grab as your falling overboard.

Effect of sun and salt spray on your face.

1). Long, low-lying navigational hazard, usually awash, found at river mouths and harbor entrances, where it is composed of sand or mud, and ashore, where it is made of mahogany or some other dark wood. Sailors can be found in large numbers around both.
2). Land based nesting and pre-mating natural habitat frequented by sailors when they force themselves to go ashore.

Bare Boat:
Clothing optional or sailing naked.

Bar Buoy:
What you will be looking for to lead you to a good time.

Bare Poles:
Sailing with unclothed persons from Eastern Europe.

Meteorological instrument which sailors use to confirm the onset of bad weather. It's readings, together with heavy rain, severe rolling, high winds, dark skies and deep cloud cover indicate the presence of a storm.

Electrochemical storage device capable of lighting a lamp of wattage approximately equal to that of a refrigerator lamp for a period of 15 minutes after having been charged for two hours.

Beam Sea:
A situation in which waves strike a boat from the side, causing it to roll unpleasantly. This is one of the four directions from which wave action tends to produce extreme physical discomfort. The other three are `bow sea' (waves striking from the front), `following sea' (waves striking from the rear), and `quarter sea' (waves striking from any other direction).

Beating to windward:
A method of flogging crew to increase upwind performance when racing.

1). Any horizontal surface whose total area does not exceed one half of the surface area of an average man at rest, onto which at least one liter of some liquid seeps during any 12-hour period and above which there are not less than 10 kilograms of improperly secured objects.
2). Little newborn addition to the crew.
3). Sometimes the result of removing the last article of clothing.

Bifurcation Buoy:
Buoy that you can't tell if its coming or going.

Entertainig shipboard kaleidoscope which when held up to the light reveals interesting patterns caused by salt spray scratches and thumb prints. Uncapped, its lens may be used to collect small amounts of salt from spray through evaporation.

Bitter End:
1) Finish of a race when you are last over the line.
2) Wrong end of a siphon hose.
3) Time to alert the bartender in the English pub.

1). Break Out Another Thousand.
2). A hole in the water surrounded by wood/plastic/steel/aluminium into which you pour all your money.

BOAT Bucks:
Monetary unit for yachties, for the sake of simplicity with a fixed conversion ratio of 1.000 with the local currency.

Boat ownership:
1). Standing fully-clothed under a cold shower, tearing up 100-dollar bills.
2). Boat ownership is like riding in a convertible with the top down in a cold rainstorm, steadily throwing 100 dollar bills out the window. Except for the fact, that you cannot actually ride in the boat, because it is broken.

1). Laterally mounted pole to which a sail is fastened. Often used during jibing to shift crew members to a fixed, horizontal position.
2). Loud noise made during a surprise jibe sometimes quieted by a grinder before swimming.
3). Sound made when a spirit stove is used to convert boat into a liquid asset.
4). Also called boom for the sound that's made when it hits crew in the head on its way across the boat. For slow crew, it's called `boom, boom.'

Small, very young boom, less than one year old.

Short for Boatswain, pronounced "bosun", the person in charge of the deck crew, and the deck and rigging in general. In the modern Navy the Bos'n is a Warrant Officer, while a Bosn's Mate is a Petty Officer.

Bottom Characteristics:
With regard to human beings, the definition speaks for itself.

Bottom Paint:
1). What you get when the cockpit seats are freshly painted.
2). The most dented can of paint. 

1). The part of the boat that no one should have to work on.
2). Temporary section of an offshore Catamaran.
3). A physical act performed to acknowledge those who are applauding your fine sailing skills.
4).  Gesture from the helmsman as he crosses the finish line first.
5).  Best part of the ship to ram another with.
6).  Front part of multihulls often found underwater.
5).  What you do after performing an outstanding docking maneuver.

Boxing The Compass:
What you might attempt to foolishly do after drunkenly returning to the ship.

Brass Monkey Weather:
Refers to very cold weather.

Piece of jewelry that you would not want to wear in heavy weather at sea.

Broad Reach:
How a lady of the evening might grab at you as you walk down a dimly lit pier.

1). A very anal retentive sailor (see also Stern).
2). Discomfort suffered by sailors who drink too much.
3). Uni-sex bathroom.
4). Discomfort suffered by sailors who drink too much.
5). Boater with a very large cranium.

1). A small uncomfortable area for wet sailors to attempt sleep.
2).  Location to store unused sails.

1). Opposite of girlie or flying gull.
2). Navigational aid. There are several types and colors of buoys of which the most numerous are:
-green can (seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon)
-red nun (seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon)
-red or green day beacon(seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon), and
-vertically striped black-and-white channel marker (seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon)

Burdened Vessel:
The boat which, in a collision situation, did not have the right-of-way. See PRIVILEGED VESSEL.


Sea condition characterized by the simultaneous disappearance of the wind and the last cold beverage.

Can Buoy:
(Pronounced Can BOY) Male with diarrhea.

An abrasive sailcloth used to remove excess skin from knuckles

Interior diameter of any piece of headgear, usually expressed in inches [sometimes kilometers].

Boat design involving two hulls therefore twice as likely to hit something or develop a leak, yet taking twice as long to sink.

Popular menu item in some overseas food stores.

Any one of a number of substances introduced into the spaces between planks in the hull and decking of a boat that give a smooth, finished appearance while still permitting the passage of a significant amount of seawater.

Celestial Fix:
What you need every day.

1) Large piece of paper that is useful in protecting cabin and cockpit surfaces from food and beverage stains.
2) Type of nautical map which tells you exactly where you are aground or what you just hit.

Charley Noble:
Many a rookie sailor has been sent to find Charley Noble. Usually after much searching and being unable to find the person named, he will eventually discover that Charley Noble is the galley stove pipe. This is akin to being put on lookout duty for the mail buoy.

1) Word used after, "rise and ..."
2) What the sun does.

1). Sudden and usually unpleasant surprise suffered by Spanish seaman.
2). Full right up to here...

Circuit Breaker:
An electromechanical switching unit intended to prevent the flow of electricity under normal operating conditions and, in the case of a short circuit, to permit the electrification of all conductive metal fittings throughout the boat. Available at most novelty shops.

1) Evidence leading to recovery of a missing sail.
2) Indication from the skipper as to what he might do next.
3) Oriental crewmember.
4) What a new sailor often doesn't have any of.

Cloud Bank:
Where you store clouds, which gather interest for future use.

Club, Yacht Club, Racing Association:
Troublesome seasonal accumulation in costal areas of unpleasant marine organisms with stiff necks and clammy extremities. Often present in large numbers during summer months when they clog inlets, bays, and coves, making navigation almost impossible. The infestations are most serious along the coasts of Conneticut, Massachusetts, and Maine. They can be effectively dislodged with dynamite, but, alas, archaic federal laws rule out this option.

1). Cash Over Board.
2). Play ducks and drakes with BOAT's

Relatively mild upper respiratory ailment commonly contracted at sea by sailors from Brooklyn.

A term not used in conjunction with racing yachts (see also Interior).

Mnemonic used to remember how orders at sea are to be given: Confuse Obscure Mispronounce Mumble Abbreviate Nasalize Drool.

1.) Another name for a hole to fall into. (see also Hatch)
2.) A double berth.
3) Narrow channel.

Navigational instrument that ... indicates the presence of machinery and magnets on board ship by spinning wildly.

Co-Tidal Hour:
Not to be confused with coital hour, which is something entirely different and probably more fun.

The direction in which a skipper wishes to steer his boat and from which the wind is blowing. Also, the language that results by not being able to.

Heavy, stationary objects used on shipboard to hold down charts, anchor cushions in place and dampen sudden movements of the boom.

1). Waterborne pleasure journey embarked on by one or more people. A cruise may be considered successful if the same number of individuals who set out on it arrive, in roughly the same condition they set out in, at some piece of habitable dry land, with or without the boat.
2). Fixing your boat in exotic locations.

1). A very sly or clever Pig
2). A complicated term for a downhaul.

Tidal flow that carries a boat away from its desired destination, or toward a hazard.

Dangerous Waters:
Lying to your spouse.

Dead Reckoning:
1). A course leading directly to a reef.
2).  What a Southern Doctor pronounces after a sailor goes to Davy Jone's Locker.
3). Using a map instead of a chart. 

Getting up to check the anchor at 0300 or waking up before sunrise.

A complete set of playing cards.

Deep six:
To discard something, specifically to throw it in the water. Water depth is measured in fathoms, six feet to a fathom. The term "deep six" comes from the throwing of the lead to determine water depth and indicates a depth "over six fathoms."

1). Any departure from the Captain?s orders.
2). Shipboard orders given by a landlubber.
3). A ship full of deviates. 

1). Ideally it should have sufficient stability to carry the entire crew at least 50 boat-lengths away from their vessel before foundering...
2). Sound of the ship's bell.
3). Dark, dirty place. 

Accidental loss. Occurs when you dock your boat and can't find it later.. 

Distress Signals:
International signals which indicate that a boat is in danger. For example, in:
American waters: the sudden appearance of lawyers, the pointing of fingers, and repression of memories;
Italian waters: moaning, weeping, and wild gesticulations;
French waters: fistfights, horn blowing, and screamed accusations;
Spanish waters: boasts, taunts, and random gunfire;
Irish waters: rhymthic grunting, the sound of broken glass, and the detonation of small explosive devices;
Japanese waters: shouted apologies, the exchange of calling cards, and minor self-inflected wounds;
English waters: doffed hats, the burning of toast, and the spilling of tea.

Where you take a sick boat to.

Direct telephone access to a physician.

What you might want to avoid for cold viruses or the military.

Eight Bells:
Are heavy.

Emergency mooring lines:
Old ropes too rotten to use regularly but too good to throw away.

Sailboats are equipped with a variety of engines, but all of them work on the internal destruction principle, in which highly machined parts are rapidly converted into low-grade scrap, producing in the process energy in the form of heat, which is used to boil bilge water; vibration, which improves the muscle tone of the crew; and a small amount of rotational force, which drives the average size sailboat at speeds approaching a furlong per fortnight.

A line circling the earth at a point equidistant from both poles which separates the oceans into the North Danger Zone and the South Danger Zone.

Estimated Position:
A place you have marked on the chart where you are sure you are not. 

Marine custom establishes a code of social behavior and nautical courtesy for every conceivable occasion. Thus, for example, a boat belonging to another boatman is always referred to as a "scow", a "tub", or a "pig-boat". When one skipper goes aboard another's boat, he does not hesitate to tell him frankly about any drawbacks or disadvantages he finds in comparison to his own craft. Sailors welcome every opportunity to improve their vessels, and so he knows that his remarks will be greatly appreciated. When one sailboat passes another, it is customary for the captain of the passing boat to make a bladderlike sound with his lips and tongue, and for the captain of the passed boat to return the courtesy by offering a smart salute consisting of a quick upward movement of the right hand with the second digit extended.

Fall off:
To cause conscious crew members to become frantic and yell "Man overboard".

Similar to a Marlin Spike, but usually larger, and made of wood. Used in the same way as a Marlin Spike but usually for larger rope and cable. See Marlin Spike.

Decorative dummy found on sailboats. See CAPTAIN.

First Mate:
Crew member necessary for skippers to practice shouting instructions to. 

1) The estimated position of a boat.
2) True position a boat and its crew in are in most of the time.

Any of an number of signalling pennants or ensigns, designed to be flown upside down, in the wrong place, in the wrong order, or at an inappropriate time.

Tubular metal container used on shipboard for storing dead batteries prior to their disposal.

1). Portion of an anchor that digs securely into the bottom, holding the boat in place.
2). Any occasion when this occurs on the first try.

Flying Bridge:
Type of card game played on a sea plane.

Flying jib:
Any jib when the sheets have gone overboard.

First guy to the bar.

Foul Wind:
1) Breeze produced by flying turkey or goose.
2) An odor

1). Food and liquor supplied by the owner.
2). Free lumber.
3). Cruise on a vessel you don't pay for.

Freezing the Balls off a Brass Monkey:
A brass monkey is a brass triangle which is put on the ground and used to keep cannonballs in a neat pile or pyramid beside a gun. When the weather gets very cold the brass triangle contracts more than the iron and causes the cannonballs to roll off, hence the saying.

Sailboats without auxiliary engines do not require fuel as such, but an adequate supply of a pale yellow carbonated beverage with a 10 percent to 12 percent alcohol content is essential to the operation of all recreational craft.

Fuel Tanks:
Giving thanks for having enough fuel on board.

1. Ancient: Aspect of seafaring associated with slavery
2. Modern: Aspect of seafaring associated with slavery

Movable mountings often found on shipboard lamps, compasses, etc., which provide dieting passengers an opportunity to observe the true motions of the ship in relation to them, and thus prevent any recently ingested food from remaining in their digestive systems long enough to be converted into unwanted calories.

Give Way Vessel:
The boat which, in a collision situation, did not have the right of way.

Great Circle Route:
1). Ship's course when the rudder is jammed or stuck..
2). Depression left in a seat cushion.
3). Mark around your eye after sailor's pub brawl.

Crewmember stationed near the boom and who enjoys swimming. (see boom).

A common way to get unruly guests off your boat.

Gybe Set
A great way to end up on Port Tack right in front of the whole
Fleet that's approaching the mark on Starboard.

Something that only breaks or jams when you're winning.

Hanging locker:
A small, enclosed space designed to keep foul weather gear
wet and to turn all other clothing green.

1). Opening on a boat made to fall in. (see also Companionway)
2). Container on board in which to keep or store eggs.
3). What lookout wears on his head while cruising polar regions.

1.) Any boat over 2 feet in length.
2.) The skipper of any such craft.
3.) Any body of water.
4.) Any body of land within 100 yards of any body of water.

Toilet, square rigged ships sailed down wind (that means the wind blew from the stern to the bow), that was the nature of the beast. With no indoor plumbing sailors would do their thing over the side. No experienced sailor would piss in the wind, so he would go the the head (front) of the ship to take care of his needs.

Head up:
Leaving the boat toilet seat up. When boat skipper is female, leaving the head up is a serious offence.

1) What you are making if you can't get the toilet to work.
2) Desert the cook makes, similar to "curds 'n whey".

What you do when you?ve eaten too much Ho. 

Heave to:
1). Second person to get sick.
2). Newcomers quite often find themselves heaving too.
3). What seasick sailors do.

1). Rope used to hold on to while being sick, often found after making headway.
2) Location next to a rhumb line.

1). Nut attached to the rudder through a steering mechanism.
2). One who might actually listen to the tactician.
3). Crew member who might enjoy an uncontrollable jibe. (see Boom).

Basic test of fundamental sanity.

Inside Overlap:
Part of a race that resembles a political debate

A term not used in conjunction with racing yachts.

Inside Overlap:
The part of a race that resembles a political debate.

Jack Lines:
"Hey baby, want to go sailing?"

A dialect of the English language peculiar to certain peoples of African heritage.

1). To speak in jib (see above).
2). To speak an untruth.
3.) Either you like it or you don?t and it gets you. 

1.) A very heavy depth sounder primarily used on Unamarans (monohulls or leaners)
2.) Term used by 1st mate after too much heel by skipper. 

1) Disagreeable clause in boat-purchase contract.
2) Sailboat with good wine in the cabin

Connection between two or more ropes... having the property that the link cannot be parted or broken in any way other than severing it with a knife, except if it is subjected to steady stress in the course of normal use.

Knot meter:
An instrument for measuring the speed with which any line
will become tangled.

1) Anyone on board who wishes he or she were not.
2) Anyone on board who shouldn't be.

The number of degrees off course allowed a guest. 

Lazy Guy:
Most sailors when they're not Racing.

Lazy Jack:
1). Title given to the guy who's crewed on other boats one time only.
2). Item found in trunk of car that has very good tires and/or often left at home by trailer sailors.

In maritime use, the ability to keep persons on board ship without resorting to measures which substantially violate applicable state and federal statutes

A situation calling for LEADERSHIP

A crewmember that never seems to have a dime when its time to pay for drinks or meals.

Brother of Jay Ward, creator of Bullwinkle and Rocky.

Life Line:
Phone Call.

Life Preserver:
1. Any personal flotation device that will keep an individual who has fallen off a vessel above water long enough to be run over by it or another rescue craft.
2. A mildewed device for emergency use, stowed under the extra lines and anchors.

To be at loggerheads; whalers, when a whale was harpooned, would fasten the line to a timber in the boat called a loggerhead, which would take the strain of the whale's pull. Also, to have a disagreement.

Lubber line:
Two or more guests waiting to get ashore.

The Front part of a sail that everyone but the helmsman seems to pay attention to (see also Telltales)

Luff up:
Something racers do to each other to catch the back of the fleet Head (see Stern Pulpit)

Commercial dock facility. Among the few places, under admiralty law, where certain forms of piracy are still permitted, most marinas have up-to-date facilities for the disposal of excess amounts of U.S. currency that may have accumulated on board ship, causing a fire hazard.

Marine Flashlight:
Waterproof place to store dead batteries.

Marlin Spike Seamanship:
A general term referring to the working of rope, cable, etc. Encompasses tying of knots, bends, lashing and other activities. Sailors, even modern day ones, often take great pride in their marlinspike seamanship. Even on modern missile cruisers, it is not unusual to see a Knot Board, made by a member of the crew, displaying many different kinds of knots, both usefull and decorative.

A religious service performed at the waterfront.

Mile (Nautical):
A relativistic measure of surface distance over water - in theory, 6076.1 feet. In practice, a number of different values for the nautical mile have been observed while under sail, for example: after 4 p.m., approximately 40,000 feet; in winds of less than 5 knots, about 70,000 feet; and during periods of threatening weather in harbor approaches, around 100,000 feet.

An object you can?t find. 

The act of bringing a boat to a complete stop in a relatively protected coastal area in such a fashion that it can be sailed away again in less than one week's time by the same number of people who moored it without heavy equipment and no more than $100 in repairs.

Motor Sailer:
A sailboat that alternates between sail/rigging problems and engine problems, and with some booze in the cabin.

What to call the wind direction when it comes from where you're going.

Nun Buoy (pronounced Nun BOY):
A religious transvestite.

Sea-going woman of ill repute

Oar Lock:
Security device that sea-going women of ill repute have on their doors.

OD Paint:
Paint applied Over Dirt.

Thick viscous substance poured by sailors on troubled waters in former times, but now more frequently on troubled beaches, troubled marshes and troubled seabirds.

No longer On Board ship, usually by falling off of one. One of the limited occasions when disembarkation from the vessel implies a shortening rather than lengthening of the life span of the individual involved.

A line you use to tow the dingy... also especially useful for preventing Tack.

Long voyage from A to B, interrupted by unexpected landfalls or stopovers at point K, point Q and point Z.

A form of movable internal ballast which tends to accumulate on the leeward side of sailboats once sea motions commence.

Permanent mooring:
A sunken boat, anchored.

Pitch or Roll:
The ships motion swaying when from side to side. Pitch means to rock fore and aft. Thus, the old salt's crusty remark "roll, roll you son of a bitch, the more you roll, the less you'll pitch."

Traditional units of angular measurement from the viewpoint of someone on board a vessel. They are:
Straight ahead of you, right up there;
Just a little to the right of the front;
Right next to that thing up there;
Between those two things;
Right back there, look;
Over that round doohickey;
Off the right corner;
Back over there; 
Right behind us.

Pop the Chute:
The sound a Poly Chute makes just as it blows apart.

1. An alcoholic beverage made from fermented grape juice and served aboard a sailboat.
2. A fine wine, always stowed on the left side of the boat.

A glass-covered opening in the hull designed in such a way that when closed (while at sea) it admits light and water, and when open (while at anchor) it admits, light, air, and insects (except in Canadian waters, where most species are too large to gain entry in this manner). Are also found on the starboard side!

Is reserved for red headed sailors only.

Technical maritime term for customs procedure on entering foreign waters. When passing through customs, particularly in the tropics - the most common foreign destination for American pleasure craft - it is customary to display a small amount of that country's official currency in a conspicuous place and to transfer it to the officer who examines the boat's documents during the parting handshake. A nice sharp slap on the back as the captain effects the transfer shows he cares about appearances. And it is by no means out of place for the skipper to add a friendly word or two, such as "Here, Sparky, this is for you. Why don't you go out and buy yourself some joy juice and get stupid?" incidentally, these inspectors are justly proud of their educational attainments, and the savvy boat owner can win some fast friends by remarking with surprise and admiration on their ability to read and write.

Privileged Vessel:
The vessel which in a collision was "in the right". If there were witnesses, the owner could bring an admiralty court case - know as a "wet suit" or a "leisure suit" - against the owner of the other boat, and if he proves "shiplash", he could collect a tidy sum.

What you use your arm for to support your chin.

Works best on bright work.

Underwater winch designed to wind up at high speed any lines or painters left hanging over the stern.

Somewhere you pray you are going to pick up a mooring buoy.

Quarter berth:
Bank reservered for 25 cent coins.

Affectionate slang term for ship's captain.

An intricate docking maneuver sometimes used by experienced skippers. 

Popular nautical contact sport

Rapture of the Deep:
Also known as nautical narcosis. Its symptoms include an inability to use common words, such as up, down, left, right, front, and back, and their substitution with a variety of gibberish which the sufferer believes to make sense; a love of small, dark, wet places; an obsessive desire to be surrounded by possessions of a nautical nature, such as lamps made from running lights and tiny ship's wheels; and a conviction that objects are moving when they are in fact standing still. This condition is incurable.

Reef point:
The part of a rock sticking out of the water.

Ring Buoy:
Otherwise known as a ring bearer in weddings

There is some confusion over the term rope. Rope is considered to be the bulk source of line. While the rope is stored waiting for use it is properly termed "rope." Once it has been taken from storage and put to use it should then be called line.

Rope ladder:
A ladder designed to get you into the water but not back out.

Round Rigger:
1) Opposite of a square rigger.
2) Crew member who hides in a rum barrel.

Round Down:
A bad, bad thing for a bowman out on the spinnaker pole.

Round Up:
Easiest way to get the oncoming watch on deck.

1). A large, heavy, vertically mounted, hydrodynamically contoured steel plate with which, through the action of a tiller or wheel, it is possible, during brief intervals, to point a sailing vessel in a direction which, due to a combination of effects caused by tide, current, the force and direction of the wind, the size and angle of the waves, and the shape of the hull, it does not wish to go.
2). More Discourteous. Bob was rude, but George was even rudder.
3). Name for people having ruddy complexions.

Running free:
Cruising without using the engine.

Three or more crew waiting for a beverage.

Sailboat Race:
Two sailboats going in the same direction.

1). The fine art of getting wet and becoming ill, while going nowhere slowly at great expense.
2). Standing fully clothed in an ice-cold shower tearing up boat bucks* as fast as you can go.
      (*) see also "Boat Bucks"

Sailing language:

A sailboat with a fully stocked liquor cabinet in the cabin.

1) Meal after lunch.
2) Place where you eat dinner.

Aging mermaid.

1) Nautical rooster.
2) Male sailor's most important piece of equipment.

The ability to get out of a situation that a better sailor would not have gotten into in the first place.

Sea Monster:
Mythical giant sea creature... Obviously a preposterous supersti...

A sailor that has a fetish for wet soggy nylon.

1). An entertaining, albeit expensive, device, which, together with a good atlas, is of use in introducing the boatman to many interesting areas of the earth's surface which he and his craft are not within 1,000 nautical miles of.
2). A cover suspended over the cabin and cockpit to shade certain recreational activity.
3). A device for detecting the night-time activity of guests.
4). Canvass shelter devices used while camping when the kids are in school.

Shake a Leg:
There was a time when women went to sea with their sailors on certain ships. The crew and their women slept in hammocks, slung on hooks. When the Bos'n rousted out the crew for a sail change or other evolution he would yell "Shake a leg". He could then tell by the leg if it was a crewman that had to be rolled out.

1.) A line made to rip gloves or hands part. Has ability to tangle on anything.
2.) A cool, damp, salty night covering. 

A boat is said to be shipshape when every object that is likely to contribute to the easy handling of the vessel or the comfort of the crew has been put in a place from which it cannot be retrieved in less than 30 minutes.

Ship-to-shore Radio:
Combination radio transmitter/receiver that permits captains and crew members to obtain wrong numbers and busy signals while at sea.

Used to dock boats.

Due to restricted space, limited water supplies, and the difficulty of generating hot water, showers on board ship are quite different from those taken ashore. Although there is no substitute for direct experience, a rough idea of a shipboard shower can be obtained by standing naked for two minutes in a closet with a large, wet dog.

Equipment used in connection with the wake.

What sea-going beer comes in.

Next to last article of clothing a woman removes

A sailboat with beer and/or wine in the cabin.

Snatch Block:
Men use to spend a lot of time at sea. They must have been shaped very differently in those days

Son of a Gun:
Many people use this, with no inkling of the original meaning. Going back to the days of sail, when a woman gave birth on (or under) the gun deck, the child was said to be a son of a gun. Usually the father's name was not known, hence calling some one a son of a gun is short of calling him a bastard.

Sonic Boom:
Fast jibe.

Spanner Wrench:
One of the most useful tools for engine repair; in come cases, the only suitable tool. Not currently manufactured.

1) Large sail used in dead calms to keep the crew busy.
2) An extremely large, lightweight, balloon-shaped piece of sailcloth frequently trailed in the water off the bow in a big bundle to slow the boat down.

Method of joining two ropes by weaving together the individual strands of which they are composed. The resulting connection is stronger than any knot. Splicing is something of an art and takes a while to master. You can work on perfecting your technique at home by practicing knitting a pair of socks or a stocking cap out of a pound or so of well-cooked noodles.

Spring line:
1) Line purchased at the beginning of the season.
2) Coils of metallic rope.

Square Rigger:
1) Rigger over 30.
2) Sailor who goes to sleep early.
3) Opposite of a round rigger. 

Stand On Vessel:
Vessel that in a collision was "in the right". If there were witnesses, the owner could bring an admiralty court case - know as a "wet suit" or a "leisure suit" - against the owner of the other boat, and if he proves "shiplash", he could collect a tidy sum.

1.) A motion picture produced by George Lucas. Science Fiction.
2.) A special board used by skippers for navigation (usually with "Port" on the opposite side.)
3) Listless movie actor. 

Stem Fitting:
The hole made in a competitors boat when your helmsman misjudges a Port/Starboard crossing

1). A facial expression frequently seen on the faces of very serious skippers (see also Bulkhead).
2). Way you feel after bashing the dock.

A wave that?s just great.

A form of solo waterbourne navigation, often employed after going Overboard.

Peculiar way of walking


Long sandwich.

1) Wave that's just great.
2) Best of something.
3) Mound made by mosquitoes you'll probably scratch.

Something similar to pulpit, but a different religion.

1). To shift the course of a sailboat from a direction far to the right, say, of the direction in which one wishes to go, to a direction far to the left of it.
2). Good manners.
3). A common sticky substance left in the cockpit and on deck by other people's kids, usually in the form of foot- or hand-prints. (See Gybe for removal technique).
4). A maneuver the skipper uses when telling the crew what they did wrong without getting them mad.

1) One who counts screws and nails.
2) The luckiest or sorriest member of a crew.
3) Kind term for a Smart Ass or Arrogant SOB or Dumb Ass or Lucky SOB

Tell tales:
1) Talk about last night on shore.
2) Crew member who lets the guests know that the skipper usually gets seasick.
3) Stories about the skipper's last race.

Throw Line:
Excuse used by baseball pitcher after blowing it.

Stub your "toe"? Well then, it's time to brush up on your nomenclature! In nautical terms, a toe is a catchcleat or snagtackle. A few others: head - boomstop; leg - bruisefast; and hand - blistermitten.

Operator of farm equipment.

Topping lift:
Wind strong enough to raise a toupee.

As worn by yacht club members and other shore hazards, a distinctive form of dress intended to be visible at a distance of at least 50 meters which serves to warn persons in the vicinity of the long winds and dense masses of hot air associated with these tidal bores.

Union Jack:
Cousin to Uncle Sam.

The change in menu effected when the labels have soaked off the
canned goods.

Name of German sea dog.

High-fiction coating applied as a gloss over minor details in personal nautical recollections to improve their audience-holding capacity over frequent retellings.

Similar to an Irish burial.

Weather Helm:
Marked tendency of a sailboat to turn into the wind, even when the rudder is centered. This is easily countered by wedging a heavy object against the tiller. See CREW.

To weigh anchor means to lift on the anchor until it is clear of the bottom. The instant the anchor is free of the bottom the anchor is said to be aweigh, signifying that the ship is now free to maneuver, as in the U.S Navy song "Anchors Aweigh."

A thing you grind till it squeals.

1). A thing you grind till it squeals or groans. Not to be confused with 'wench', which has a similar definition..
2). A female practicer of the occult. A sorceress.

The direction the wind is coming from, also known as
a) the way back to land/marina/slip way,
b) the direction you'd like to be going in,
c) the direction that doesn't involve being stuck on a lee shore
d) the direction that will become downwind as soon as you no longer wish to be going that way.

Sound made by Vang when he wishes to be fed.

Sound made by Vang to show that he doesn't like that dry, lumpy dog food you put in his dish.

Useful accessory if that dry, lumpy dog food is all you happen to have on board.

Condition resulting from successful treatment in a windward.

Section of hospital for boaters with chronic gas problems.

Commonly used to describe any boat prior to its purchase, and by many boat owners to describe their vessel to persons who have never seen it and are likely never to do so.

Yacht Club:
Troublesome seasonal accumulation in costal areas of unpleasant marine organisms with stiff necks and clammy extremities. Often present in large numbers during summer months when they clog inlets, bays, and coves, making navigation almost impossible. They can be effectively dislodged with dynamite, but, alas, archaic federal laws rule out this option.

Yacht Broker:
Form of coastal marine life found in many harbors in the Northern Hemisphere generally thought to occupy a position on the evolutionalry scale above algae, but somewhat below the cherrystone clam.

1). Southern version of ahoy.
2). A sailboat from Texas, with some good bourbon stored down yonder in the cabin.

Small three masted mediterranean sailing vessel or a useful word in Scrabble.

A warm, pleasand breeze named after the mythical Greek god of wishful thinking, false hopes, and unreliable forecasts.