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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vol. IVoyaging Accounts
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Nautical Terms


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Nautical Terms (continued)

direction, and on which the ship would rest if laid on the ground: or more particularly, those parts of the bottom which are opposite to the heads of the floor-timbers amidships on each side of the keel. Hence, when a ship receives a fracture in this place, she is said to be bilged.

BIRTH, the station in which a ship rides at anchor.

BIRTH, also signifies the room or apartment where any particular number of the officers or ship’s company usually mess and reside.

BOARD, the line over which the ship runs between tack and tack, when she is turning to windward, or sailing against the direction of the wind.

BOW, the rounding part of a ship’s side forward, beginning at the place where the planks arch inwards, and terminating where they close at the stem or prow.

BREAKERS, billows that break violently over rocks lying under the surface of the sea.

To BRING-TO, to check the course of a ship when she is advancing, by arranging the sails in such a manner as that they shall counter-act each other, and prevent her either from retreating or moving forward. In this situation the ship is said to lie-by, or lie-to.

BULK-HEADS, certain partitions, or walls, built up in several places of a ship between two decks, either lengthways or across, to form and separate the various apartments.

BUOY, a sort of close cask, or block of wood, fastened by a rope to the anchor, to determine the place where the anchor is situated.


CABLE’s-length, a hundred and twenty-fathom.

CAP, a strong, thick block of wood, used to confine two masts together, when the one is erected at the head of the other, in order to lengthen it. It is for this purpose furnished with two holes perpendicular to it’s length and breadth, and parallel to its thickness; one of these is square, and the other round; the former being solidly fixed upon the upper-end of the lower-mast, whilst the latter receives the mast employed to lengthen it, and secures it in this position.

CAPSTERN, or CAPSTAN, a strong, massy column of timber, formed like a truncated cone, and having its upper extremity pierced with a number of holes to receive the bars or levers. It is let down perpendicularly

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© Derived from Volume I of the London 1773 Edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, page xxiv, 2004
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