Glossary

Abaft - Toward the stern, immediately aft of.
Aloft - Above the decks.
Amidship - Toward the middle of a vessel.
Athwart - Across a ship or boat, at right angles to the lengthwise center line.
Backstays - After braces for the mast.
Beam - The breadth of a vessel.
Bees - Small cleats on the bowsprit.
Belay - To make a rope fast.
Belaying pin - An iron or wooden rod, having a handle-shaped end, to which ropes are secured.
Bending sails - Fastening them to masts or spars.
Bight - A loop, generally in a rope.
Binnacle - A housing for the compass.
Block - A pulley.
Bobstay - A stay running from the outer end of the bow-sprit to the stem.
Boom - A spar at the foot of a sail.
Bow - The forward end of a vessel.

Bowline - A rope used on early ships to hold the weather edge of a square sail forward.
Bowsprit - A stationary spar projecting forward from the bow.
Braces - Part of the running rigging used for setting the yards.
Bulwark - The side of a ship that extends above the deck.
Bumpkin - A spar extending outboard from the stern of a ship or boat.
Cascabel - Part of the breech on an old style cannon.
Cathead - An outboard timber near the bow of a ship or boat for lifting the anchor.
Counter - The overhang of a ship's stern.
Cross jack - A square sail used on the lower yard of the mizzenmast on early ships.
Crosstree - A metal or wood fitting placed crosswise on a mast.
Davits - Members, ordinarily curved, used in raising and lowering a ship's boat.
Deadeye - A sheaveless block used in setting up standing rigging.
Downhaul - A rope for hauling down a sail or spar.
Draft - Depth of hull below the water line.
Fair lead - A guide for a rope, placed in the rigging.
Fid - A marlinespike made of wood.
Fife rail - A rail around the foot of a mast, generally built in the shape of a U.

Footrope - A rope rigged below a yard.
Forecastle - A forward deck compartment for the crew.
Foremast - The mast nearest the bow.
Gaff - A spar for extending the top of a fore-and-aft sail.
Gammoning - A lashing of rope or chain, used on the bow-sprit.
Grummet - A flat coil of rope.
Gudgeon - A metal socket for a pintle.
Halyard - A rope or line used for hoisting the sails. (Sometimes spelled halliard or haliard.)
Hatch - A cover for an opening in the deck.
Jackstay - A metal rod, extending along the top of a yard, to which the sails are attached.
Jib boom - A spar extending from the bowsprit.
Keel - The bottom fore-and-aft member in a hull. It extends from the sternpost to the stem.
Knightheads - Vertical timbers each side of the heel of the bowsprit.
Lanyard - A rope, generally used in rigging deadeyes.
Leeches - The side edges of a square sail.
Mainmast - The second mast from the bow.
Manrope - A rope along the side of a ladder or gangway.
Marlinespike - A metal tool used in opening the strands of a rope when making a splice.
Martingale - A vertical spar bracing the jib boom.
Mizzenmast - The mast directly aft of the mainmast.

Orlop - Lower deck.
Parrel - A rope, chain, or collar by which the middle of a yard is held to the mast.
Paunches - Long battens over the mast bands to prevent the sails from becoming chafed.
Pintle - One of the metal pins on which the rudder pivots.
Poop - An after structure on the deck.
Port - The left-hand side of a ship, looking forward (red).
Rake - The rearward inclination of a mast.
Ratline - A crosswise rope attached to the shrouds and used as a step.
Running rigging - Ropes or lines used for controlling the sails and spars.
Shrouds - Guys, part of the standing rigging on a mast.
Sieze - Fasten.
Spencer - A trysail placed abaft the foremast or mainmast.
Spritsail - Small sail rigged under the bowsprit.
Spurling gates - Holes, generally metal-lined, in the deck for the anchor chains or cables.
Standing rigging - Fixed rigging for the masts and stationary spars.
Starboard - The right-hand side of a vessel, looking forward (green).
Stem - The timber that forms the extreme bow.

Stern - The after end of a vessel.
Sternpost - The vertical timber at the extreme stern that supports the rudder.
Studding sail - A small sail arranged at the end of a yard to increase the canvas area.
Taffrail - Rail around the stern.
Topping lift - A rope or cable support for the yard when it is in its lowered position. (Sometimes called lift.)
Topside - Above the water line.
Trestletrees - Support for the crosstrees.
Trysail - A fore-and-aft sail fastened to a gaff placed abaft the mast.
Tumble home - The slope of a hull inward from the waterline to the deck.
Vang - A rope used to steady a gaff when no sail is set.
Yard - A spar used to support a square sail.

NOTE - In these definitions, the word "rope" has been used. This was done for simplicity. According to experts there are but three ropes on a ship: a footrope, a bucket rope, and a manrope. The rest are lines, stays, braces, etc.