BACK(1) To go backwards. (2) Act of the wind in
changing direction counterclockwise.
BACKSTAYPiece of standing rigging leading aft.
BAIL(1) To rid a boat of water by dipping it out. (2)
A rigid member supporting two end points, as the
bail (handle) of a bucket or the support for an
BALLASTWeight (solid or liquid) loaded into a
ship to increase stability.
BARA long, narrow shoal across a harbor entrance.
BARGE(1) A blunt-ended, flat-bottomed,
waterborne craft, usually nonself-propelled, used
to haul supplies or garbage. (2) A type of
motorboat assigned for the personal use of a flag
BATTEN(1) A long strip of steel wedged against
the edges of tarpaulins on a hatch to make the hatch
watertight. (2) Removable wood or steel members
used in ships holds to keep cargo from shifting.
BATTEN DOWNThe act of applying battens to a
hatch. Extended to mean the closing of any
BATTLE LANTERNA battery-powered lantern
for emergency use.
BEAM(1) The extreme breadth (width) of a vessel.
(2) A transverse frame supporting a deck.
BEARThe act of locating a particular point, or
bearing, as The lighthouse bears 45.
BEAR A HAND(1) Provide assistance, as Bear a
hand with rigging this stage. (2) Expedite, as
Bear a hand with readiness for sea reports.
BEARINGThe direction of an object from an
observer, measured in degrees clockwise from a
reference point. See MAGNETIC BEARING,
RELATIVE BEARING, and TRUE BEARING.
BECKET(1) An eye for securing one end of a line to
a block. (2) A rope eye on a cargo net. (3)
Shortened form of becket bend.
BECKET BENDA knot used to tie two lines
BELAY(1) To secure a line to a fixed point. (2)
Order to disregard a previous order or to stop an
action, as Belay the last order, or Belay the
BELOWDownward, beneath, or beyond
something, as to lay below; below the flight deck;
below the horizon.
BENDTo join two lines together; the type of knot so
BERTH(1) A bunk. (2) A duty assignment. (3)
Mooring space assigned to a ship.
BIGHTThe middle part of a line or a loop in a line.
BILGE(1) Bottom of the hull near the keel. (2) To
fail an examination. (3) Bilge water is foul water,
so to apply the term to something implies that it is
BILLETPlace or duty to which one is assigned.
BINNACLEStand containing a magnetic compass.
BINNACLE LISTList of persons excused from
duty because of illness.
BITTCylindrical upright fixture to which mooring
or towing lines are secured aboard ship.
BITTER ENDThe free end of a line.
BLOCKA frame containing a pulley, called a
sheave, around which a line (known as a fall) is
BLOCK AND TACKLESee PURCHASE.
BOARD(1) The act of going aboard a vessel. (2) A
group of persons meeting for a specific purpose, as
an investigation board.
BOATA small craft capable of being carried aboard
BOAT BOOMA spar rigged out from the side of an
anchored or moored ship to which boats are tied
when not in use.
BOAT FALLSTackle used to hoist and lower a boat
BOATHOOKA staff having a hook at one end.
Used for fending a boat off, hooking a line, and so
BOATSWAINS CHAIRA seat attached to a
gantline for hoisting a person aloft.
BOATSWAINS LOCKERA compartment,
usually forward, where line and other equipment
used by the deck force are stowed.
BOLLARDA strong, cylindrical upright fixture on
a pier to which a ships mooring lines are secured.