||William Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
Table of Contents
FACTOR to To FALL a-stern
To FALL calm to FETCHING the pump
FID to FIRE-SHIP
FISH to To FLAT-IN
To FLAT-IN FORWARD to FLUSH
To FLAT-IN FORWARD
FLY of an ensign to FORE-CASTLE
FORE-CAT-HARPINS to FORE-STAY
FORE-TOP to FOTHERING
FOUL to FRESH
To FRESHEN the bawse to FUTTOCK-SHROUDS
FLEETFLEET, (vasseaux du roi, Fr. flota, Sax.) a general name given to his majesty's navy, or to any part thereof destined on a particular enterprise or expedition: also a convoy or company of merchant ships, ftotte, conserve, with or without ships of war to defend them.
The admirals of his majesty's fleet are classed into three squadrons, viz. the red, the white, and the blue. When any of these officers are invested with the command of a squadron or detachment of ships of war, the particular ships are distinguished by the colours of their respective squadron: that is to say, the ships of the red squadron wear an ensign, whose union is displayed on a red field; the ensigns of the white squadron have a white field; and those of the blue squadron, a blue field; the union being common to all three. The ships of war therefore are occasionally annexed to any of the three squadrons or shifted from one to another.
Of whatsoever number a fleet of ships of war is composed, it is usually divided into three squadrons; and these, if numerous, are again separated into divisions. The admiral, or principal officer, commands the center; the vice-admiral, or second in command, superintends the vanguard; and the operations of the rear are directed by the rear admiral, or the officer next in rank. See the article DIVISION.
The disposition of a fleet, while proceeding on a voyage, will in some measure depend on particular circumstances; as the difficulty of the navigation; the necessity of dispatch, according to the urgency or importance of the expedition: or the expectation of an enemy in the passage. The most convenient order is probably to range it into three lines or columns, each of which is parallel to a line close-hauled, according to the tack on which the line of battle is designed to be formed. This arrangement is more used than any, because it contains the advantages of every other form, without their inconveniencies. The fleet being thus more inclosed will more readily observe the signals, and with greater facility form itself into the line of battle a circumstance which should be kept in view in every order of sailing.
© Derived from Thomas Cadell's new corrected edition, London: 1780, page 130, 2004
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