MAN To assume a station, as to man a gun.
MAN-O-WAR See Combatant Ship.
MARLINE Two-strand, left-laid, tarred
MARLINESPHCE Tapered steel tool used to
open the strands of wire for splicing.
MARLINESPIKE SEAMANSHIP The art
of caring for and handling all types of line and
MASTER-AT-ARMS A member of a ships
MASTHEAD LIGHT A 20-point, white
running light located in the fore part of the ship;
it may or may not be on the foremast.
MATE A shipmate; another sailor.
MEET HER Slow the swing of a ship by
putting on opposite rudder.
MESS (1) Meal. (2) Place where meals are
eaten, as mess hall. (3) A group of personnel who
take meals together, as the officers mess.
MESSENGER (1) A line used to haul
another heavier line across an intervening space.
(2) One who delivers messages.
MIDWATCH The watch that begins at 0000
and ends at 0400.
MIND YOUR RUDDER An order to the
helmsman to steer the proper course.
MONKEY FIST A complicated knot worked
into the end of a heaving line to provide weight.
MOOR (1) To anchor, using two anchors.
(2) To make fast to a mooring buoy. (3) To make
fast to a pier or another ship.
MOORING BUOY A large, anchored float
to which a ship may moor.
MORNING WATCH The 0400 to 0800
MOTOR WHALEBOAT A double-ended
MUSTER (1) A roll call. (2) The act of
assembling for a roll call.
NEST (1) Two or more boats stowed one
within the other. (2) Two or more ships moored
alongside each other.
NOTHING TO THE RIGHT (LEFT) Order
given to the helmsman not to allow the ship to
come to right (left) of the course because of some
danger lying on that side of the course.
NUN BUOY A navigational buoy, conical
in shape, that marks the starboard side of a
channel from seaward. Even numbered and
OAKUM Tarred hemp fiber used to caulk
seams in wooden decks and boats.
OOD Officer of the deck.
OFFSHORE Some distance off the shore,
as contrasted to inshore.
ON THE BEACH Ashore; also applied to
a sailor who is assigned to shore duty or is
unemployed, retired, or otherwise detached from
OUTBOARD Away from the centerline.
OVERBOARD Over the side.
OVERHAND KNOT Simplest of all knots;
made by passing one end of a line once around
its standing part.
OVERHAUL (1) To repair or recondition.
(2) To overtake another vessel.
OVERHEAD The underside of a deck
forming the ceiling of the compartment below;
never called a ceiling.
PAINTER Line used to make a boat fast by
its bow. When used under way, the painter causes
the boat to swing out from the side of the
PARCEL The act of wrapping a line with
narrow canvas strips to provide waterproofing or
to build up a symmetrical shape for further