FREEBOARD -The vertical distance from the weather
deck to the waterline.
GAFF-A small spar on the after mast from which the
national ensign is flown while underway.
GENERAL QUARTERS-The condition of maximum
readiness for combat with the crew at battle stations.
GIG-A ship's boat designated for use by the
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
GROUND TACKLE-The collective term identifying
the equipment used in anchoring or mooring with
HALYARD -A line used to hoist a flag or pennant.
HATCH-An access opening in the deck of a ship, fitted
with a hatch cover for watertight closure.
HAWSEPIPE-A large pipe through which the anchor
cable runs from the deck out through the side.
HAWSER-A heavy line over 5 inches in circumference
used for towing or mooring.
HEADWAY-The forward movement of a vessel
through the water.
HEAVE-(1) To throw, as to HEAVE THE LEAD or
to HEAVE A LINE. (2) To haul in a line.
HEAVE AROUND-(1) The act of hauling in a line or
chain by means of a capstan.
HEAVE TO-The act of stopping a vessel from making
HEAVING LINK-A light weighted line thrown across
to a ship or pier when coming alongside to act as a
messenger for a mooring line. The weight is called
a monkey fist.
HELMSMAN-The person who steers a ship or boat.
HIGHLINE -A line rigged between two ships
underway transferring personnel or light stores.
HITCH-(1) A knot whose loops come together in use,
particularly under strain, yet is easily separated
when strain is removed. (2) A method of securing a
line to a hook, ring, or spar. (3) Slang for a term of
HOIST OUT-To swing out and lower away a boat.
HOLD-The compartment aboard ship used for stowing
HOLIDAY -Any unscrubbed or unpainted section of a
deck or bulkhead. Any space left unfinished
inadvertently or through carelessness.
IRISH PENNANT-A loose, untidy end of a line left
JACK-The blue, white-starred flag flown at the bow
(jackstaff) of a vessel at anchor or moored.
JACKBOX-A receptacle, usually secured to a
bulkhead, into which are fitted telephone plugs or
JACK-OF-THE-DUST-The person in charge of the
provision issue room.
JACOB'S LADDER-A portable ladder with ropes and
wooden rungs, slung over the side for temporary
JETTISON -Throw over the side when emergency
reduction of weight is required.
JEW'S HARP-A ring or shackle at the upper end of a
shank of an anchor to which the anchor chain is
JURY RIG-Temporary or makeshift device, rig, or
piece of equipment.
KAPOK-A natural, light, waterproof fiber used in
stuffing life jackets.
KEEL-The lowermost central strength member of a
ship which runs fore and aft, and from which rise
the frames and plating.
KING POSTS-Vertical posts supporting cargo booms
of cargo ships.
KINK-A twist that disturbs the lay of line or wire.
KNIFE EDGE-The rim of a door frame, hatch, or post
that meets the gasket for a watertight fit.
KNOT-(1) A unit of speed equal to 1 nautical mile
(6,080 feet) per hour. (2) A collective term for
hitches and bends.
LAGGING-The insulation surrounding pipes aboard
LANYARD -A strong line made fast to an object to
secure it, or to trigger a firing mechanism such as a
LASH-To secure by line or wire by wrapping and tying
or by chain.