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

S

SADDLE to To strike SAIL

SAILING to SALUTE
SAILING
Order of SAILING
SAILING (navigation)
SAILOR
SAIL-YARD
SALLY-PORT
SALVAGE
SALUTE

SALUTE to SCHOONER

SCOOP to SEA-COAST

SEA-CLOTHS to SENDING

SENNIT to SHANK

SHANK-PAINTER to SHEET

SHEET-ANCHOR to SHIP

SHIP to SHIP-SHAPE

SHIPPING to SHOT

SHOT to SLAB-LINE

SLACK-WATER to SNATCH-BLOCK

SNOTTER to SPILL

SPILLING-LINES to SPRING A LEAK

SPRINGING THE LUFF to SQUALL

SQUARE to STANDING-WATER

STARBOARD to STEM

STEMSON to STEWARD

STIFF to STRAKES or STREAKS

STRAND to STUDDING-SAILS

STUFF to SWEEPER of the sky

SWEEPING to To SWING


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SAILING to SALUTE

SAILING

SAILING, the movement by which a vessel is wasted along the surface of the water, by the action of the wind upon her sails.

When a ship changes her state of rest into that of motion, as in advancing out of a harbour, or from her station at anchor, she acquires her motion very gradually, as a body which arrives not at a certain velocity till after an infinite repetition of the action of its weight.

The first impression of the wind greatly affects the velocity, because the resistance of the water might destroy it, since the velocity being but small at first, the resistance of the water which depends on it will be very feeble: but as the ship increases her motion, the force of the wind on the sails will be diminished; whereas on the contrary the resistance of the water on the bow will accumulate, in proportion to the velocity with which the vessel advances. Thus the repetition of the degrees of force, which the action of the sails adds to the motion of the ship, is perpetually decreasing; whilst on the contrary the new degrees added to the effort of resistance on the bow are always augmenting. The velocity is then accelerated in proportion as the quantity added is greater than that which is subtracted: but when the two powers become equal, when the impression of the wind on the sails has lost so much of its force, as only to act in proportion to the opposite impulse of resistance on the bow, the ship will then acquire no additional velocity, but continue to sail with a constant uniform motion. The great weight of the ship may indeed prevent her from acquiring her greatest velocity; but when she has attained it, she will advance by her own intrinsic motion, without gaining any new degree of velocity, or lessening what she has acquired. She moves then by her own proper force in vacua, without being afterwards subject either to the effort of the wind on the sails, or to the resistance of the water on the bow. If at any time the impulsion of the water on the bow should destroy any part of the velocity, the effort of the wind on the sails will revive it, so that the motion will continue the same. It must however be observed, that this state will only subsist when these two powers act upon each other in direct opposition; otherwise they will mutually destroy one another. The whole theory of working ships depends on this counter-action, and the perfect equality which should subsist between the effort of the wind and the impulsion of the water. Bouguer, Traité du navire.

The effect of sailing is produced by a judicious arrangement of the sails to the direction of the wind. Accordingly the various modes of sailing are derived from the different degrees and situations of the wind with regard to the course of the vessel.


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© Derived from Thomas Cadell's new corrected edition, London: 1780, page 252, 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-1122