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William Falconer's Dictionary of the MarineReference Works
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B

BACK of the post to BALANCE of the mizen

BALANCE of the boom sail to BARK

BARNACLE to BEAMS

BEAMS to BED of a river

BED of a cannon to BIGHT

BILANDER to BLACK-STRAKES

BLADE to Trim the BOAT!

To bale the BOAT to BOLT-ROPE

BOMB to BOTTOM
BOMB
BOMB-VESSEL
BONNET
BOOM
BOOM-IRON
BOOMS
BOOT-TOPPING
BORE
BOTH SHEETS AFT
BOTTOM

BOTTOM to BOX-HAULING

BOXING to To BREAK-UP

BREAK-WATER to BRIDLES of the bowline

BRIG, or BRIGANTINE to Ship-BUILDING

Ship-BUILDING to BUNTINE

BUNTLINES to BUTTONS


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BOTTOM

BOTTOM, (carene, Fr. botm, Sax. bodem, Beig.) as a sea-term, is either used to denote the bottom of a ship, or that of the water: thus in the former sense we say, a clean or a foul bottom; a British, French, or Dutch bottom: and in the latter sense, a rocky, sandy, or oozy bottom.

The bottom of a ship, as we have described it in the article Naval ARCHITECTURE, comprehends all that part which is under water when the ship is laden; the figure of it must therefore be determined by the qualities required in the ship, and the purposes for which she is designed.

It has been remarked, that a ship of war should carry her lowest tier of cannon sufficiently above the surface of the water to be used when necessary. if this quality is neglected, a small ship will have the advantage of a large one, inasmuch as the latter cannot open her lower battery in a fresh tide-wind, without being exposed to extreme danger, by receiving a great quantity of water in at her ports between-decks.

A ship should be duly poised, so as not to dive or pitch heavily, but go smoothly and easily through the water, rising to the waves when they run high, or when the vessel has reduced her sail to the storm. If she is deficient in this article, the seas will frequently burst aboard, and strain the decks or carry away the boats. The masts are also greatly endangered from the same cause.

A ship should sail well when large, or before the wind; but particularly when close-hauled, or sailing with a tide-wind. She should also be enabled in the latter situation to keep her wind, without deviating much to leeward; to work and tack easily, and lie in a turbulent sea without straining violently.

Many of our shipwrights have considered it extremely difficult, if not impracticable, to make a ship carry her cannon well, bear a competent sail, and advance swiftly through the water; because a very full bottom is necessary to acquire the two first qualities; whereas a sharp floor is better fitted to procure the latter. But when it is remembered, that a full ship will carry a much greater force of sail than a sharp one, a good artist may form the body so as to unite all these three qualities with the additional one of steering easily, by paying a proper attention to the following general rules.

To make a ship carry a good sail. A flat floor-timber somewhat long, or the lower-futtocks pretty round, a straight upper-futtock, the top timber to throw out the breadth alost; at any rate to carry the main-breadth as high as the lower-deck. Now if the rigging be well adapted to such a body, and the upper-works lightened as much as possible, so that the whole contributes to lower the center of gravity, there will be no reason to doubt of the ship's carrying a good sail.

To make a ship steer well, and answer the helm readily. If the fashion-pieces be well formed, the tuck, or spreading-parts under the stern, carried pretty high; the midship-frame well forward; a considerable additional depth in the draught of water abaft more than forward; a great rake forward and none abaft; a snug quarter-deck and forecastle:

all these will greatly facilitate the steerage; and a ship that sails well will always steer easily.


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© Derived from Thomas Cadell's new corrected edition, London: 1780, page 44, 2004
Published by South Seas, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-refs-falc-0183