COLORS (1) The Rational ensign. (2) The
ceremony of raising and lowering the ensign.
COMBATANT SHIP A ship whose primary
mission is combat.
COMMISSION PENNANT A long, narrow
pennant with stars and stripes; flown only aboard
a commissioned ship.
COMPANIONWAY Deck opening giving
access to a ladder (includes the ladder).
COMPARTMENT Interior space (room) in
COMPLETE DECK Any deck that extends
the length of a ship from side to side.
CONN Station, usually on the bridge, from
which a ship is controlled; the act of controlling
the ships movements.
COURSE A ships desired direction of
travel, not to be confused with heading, which
is the direction in which the bow is pointed at any
COVER (1) To protect. (2) A shelter.
(3) Headgear, and the act of donning same.
COXSWAIN Enlisted person in charge of
DARKEN SHIP To turn off all external
lights and close all openings through which lights
could be seen from outside the ship.
DAVITS A crane or mechanical arms that
project over the side of a ship and are used to
lower or hoist a boat in or out of the water.
DEAD AHEAD Directly ahead; a relative
bearing of 000 degrees. Dead astern is 180 degrees
DEAD IN THE WATER Said of a ship that
has stopped and has no way on, or no movement
through the water.
DECK Horizontal planking or plating that
divides a ship into layers.
DECK SEAMANSHIP The upkeep and
operation of all deck equipment.
DEEP SIX To throw something overboard.
DIP The act of lowering a flag partway
down the staff as a salute to, or in reply to a salute
from, another ship.
DISTANCE LINE A line stretched between
two ships engaged in replenishment or transfer
operations under way. The line is marked at
20-foot intervals to aid the conning officer in
DIVISION (1) A main subdivision of a
ships crew (1st, E, G, etc.). (2) An organization
composed of two or more ships of the same type.
DOCK Commonly refers to any pier or
wharf; but, strictly speaking, it refers only to the
space alongside a pier or in dry dock.
DOG (1) A lever or a bolt and thumbscrews
used for securing a watertight door. (2) The act
of dividing a 4-hour watch into 2-hour watches.
DOG DOWN To set the dogs on a water-
DOG WATCH The 1600 to 1800 and 1800
to 2000 watches.
DOLPHIN (1) A cluster of piles at the end
of a pier. (2) A porpoise.
DOUBLE UP To double mooring lines for
DRAFT The vertical distance from the keel
to the waterline.
DRAFT MARKS The figures fastened to the
stem and stern, the lower edges of which indicate
the draft of the ship.
DRIFT The speed at which a ship is pushed
off course by wind and current.
DROGUE See Sea Anchor.
DRY DOCK A dock from which the water
may be removed for the purpose of inspecting or
working on a ships bottom; it may be either
floating or built into the shore.
EASE To relax, to slack.