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William Falconer's Dictionary of the MarineReference Works
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Table of Contents

G

GAFF to GANG
GAFF
GAGE
To GAIN the wind
GALE of wind
GALEON
GALLED
GALLERY
GALLEY
GAMMONING
GANG

GANG-BOARD to GIMBALS

GIMBLETING to Fire-GRAPPLING

GRATINGS to GROUND-TACKLE

GROWING to GUTTER-LEDGE

GUY to GYBING


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GALLEY

GALLEY, (galere, Fr.) a kind of low flat-built vessel, furnished with one deck, and navigated with sails and oars, particularly in the Mediterranean.

The largest sort of these vessels, (galeasse, Fr.) is employed only by the Venetians. They are commonly 162 feet long above, and 133 feet by the keel; 32 feet wide, with 23 feet length of stern-post. They are furnished with three masts, and thirty-two banks of oars; every bank containing two oars, and every oar being managed by six or seven slaves, who are usually chained thereto. In the fore-part they have three little batteries of cannon, of which the lowest is of two 36 pounders, the second of two 24 pounders, and the uppermost of two 2 pounders : three 18 pounders are also planted on each quarter. The complement of men for one of these gallies is generally 1000 or 1200. They are esteemed extremely convenient for bombarding or making a descent upon an enemy's coast, as drawing but little water; and having by their oars frequently the advantage of a ship of war, in light winds or calms, by cannonading the latter near the surface of the water; by scouring her whole length with their shot, and at the same time keeping on her quarter or bow, so as to be out of the direction of her cannon.

The gallies next in size to these, which are also called half-gallies, are from 120 to 130 feet long, 18 feet broad, and 9 or 10 feet deep. They have two masts, which may be struck at pleasure, and are furnished with two large lateen sails, and five pieces of cannon. They have commonly 25 banks of oars, as described above. A size still less than these are called quarter-gallies, carrying from twelve to fixteen banks of oars. There are very few gallies now besides those in the Mediterranean, which are found by experience to be of little utility, except in fine weather; a circumstance which renders their service extremely precarious. They generally keep close under the shore, but sometimes venture out to sea to perform a summer cruise. See the articles QUARTER and VESSEL.


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© Derived from Thomas Cadell's new corrected edition, London: 1780, page 137, 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-0605