GAFF A light spar set at an angle from the
upper part of a mast, from which the ensign is
flown when a ship is under way.
GALLEY Space where food is prepared.
Never called a kitchen.
GANGWAY (1) The opening in a bulwark
or lifeline to provide access to a brow or an
accommodation ladder. (2) Given as an order, it
means Clear the way.
GANTLINE Line used for hoisting and
lowering a boatswains chair.
GENERAL ALARM A sound signal of a
pulsating ringing tone used only on board ship
for calling all hands to general quarters.
GENERAL QUARTERS The condition of
full readiness for battle.
GIG Boat assigned for the commanding
officers personal use.
GIRDER A longitudinal supporting a deck.
GRANNY KNOT A bungled square knot.
GRAPNEL A small, four-armed anchor
used to recover objects in the water.
GRIPE Device for securing a boat at its
davits or in a cradle.
GROUND TACKLE Equipment used in
anchoring or mooring with anchors.
GUNWALE (Pronounced gunnel.) The upper
edge of the sides of a ship.
GUY A line used to steady a spar or boom.
HALF DECK A partial deck below the main
HALYARD A light line used to hoist a flag
HAND A ships crew member.
HANDSOMELY Slowly and carefully.
HARD OVER Condition of a rudder that
has been turned to the maximum possible rudder
HASH MARK Service stripe; a red, blue, or
gold diagonal stripe across the left sleeve of an
enlisted persons jumper or coat; each stripe
indicates 4 years service.
HATCH A square or rectangular access in
HAUL To pull in or heave on a line by hand.
HAUL OFF Changing a vessels course to
keep clear of another vessel.
HAWSEPIPE Opening through which the
anchor cable runs from the deck out through the
side of the ship.
HAWSER Any heavy wire or line used for
towing or mooring.
HEAD (1) The upper end of a lower
mast boom. (2) Compartment containing toilet
facilities. (3) Ships bow.
HEADING The direction toward which the
ship is pointing at any instant.
HEAVE To throw.
HEAVE AROUND (1) The act of hauling
in a line, usually by means of a capstan or winch.
(2) General term for Get to work.
HEAVE IN Take in line or cable.
HEAVE OUT AND TRICE UP Announce-
ment given at reveille to persons sleeping in
hammocks. It meant, Get up and lash up your
hammocks. This term now applies to ships
equipped with bunks.
HEAVE TO Stopping or reducing headway
of a vessel just enough to maintain steerageway.
HEAVING LINE A line with a weight at
one end that is heaved across an intervening space
for the purpose of passing over a heavier line.
HELM Mechanical device used to turn the
rudder; usually a wheel aboard ship; a lever in
HELMSMAN Person who steers the ship by
turning the helm.