Easy Guide to Talking Salty

Chris Riley by Chris Riley Updated on August 6, 2019. In

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Amidships – condition of being surrounded by boats.

Anchor – a device designed to bring up mud samples from the bottom at inopportune or unexpected times.

Anchor Light – a small light used to discharge the battery before daylight.

Berth – a little addition to the crew.

Boom – sometimes the result of a surprise jibe.

Bottom Paint – what you get when the cockpit seats are freshly painted.

Chart – a type of map which tells you exactly where you are aground.

Clew – an indication from the skipper as to what he might do next.

Companionway – a double berth.

Dead Reckoning – a course leading directly to a reef.

Deadrise – getting up to check the anchor at 0300.

Deviation – any departure from the Captain’s orders.

Dinghy – the sound of the ship’s bell.

Displacement – when you dock your boat and can’t find it later.

Estimated Position – a place you have marked on the chart where you are sure you are not.

First Mate – crew member necessary for skippers to practice shouting instructions to.

Foul Wind – breeze produced by flying turkey.

Freeboard – food and liquor supplied by the owner.

Headway – what you are making if you can’t get the toilet to work.

Heave-Ho – what you do when you’ve eaten too much Ho.

Jibe – either you like it or you don’t and it gets you.

Keel – term used by 1st mate after too much heel by skipper.

Landlubber – anyone on board who wishes he/she were not.

Latitude – the number of degrees off course allowed a guest.

Mast – religious ritual used before setting sail.

Mizzen – an object you can’t find.

Ram – an intricate docking maneuver sometimes used by experienced skippers.

Rhumb Line – two or more crew members waiting for a drink.

Sheet – cool, damp, salty night covering.

Shroud – equipment used in connection with a wake.

Starboard – special board used by skippers for navigation (usually with “Port” on the opposite side.)

Swell – a wave that’s just great.

Square Rigger – a rigger over 30.


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