We Turn Private Boat Owners into Private Boat Captains
Vincent Pica Chief of Staff, First District, Southern Region (D1SR) United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
“Sabby the Lingo?”Maritime Language – XIV
As noted prior, each discipline has a language and that language conveys competency to the listener.This column is part of a series of maritime vocabulary words.So you can sound like the salty ol’ mariner you are…We’ll run enough of these to get the major concepts and phraseology from Alpha to Zulu in front of you!
L – Lima - International Meaning: You should stop your vessel immediately. - Meaning in a Sailing Regatta: Come Within Hail or Follow Me
Latitude - The distance north or south of the equator measured and expressed in degrees. The equator is 0° and the north and south poles are 90°.
Lay - (1) As a command, it means to go in the direction indicated, e.g., "Lay foward" (go up) or "Lay alow!" (come down). (2) Of a line or rope, it refers to the direction in which the strands are twisted. (3) Lay the course: able to fetch a given point when close-hauled
Lay Aboard - To come alongside. Also known as "Lay Alongside".
Lay the Land - To cause the land to sink below horizon by sailing away from it.
Lay Up - To store a yacht away on land for the winter
Lazarette - Compartment in the stern of a vessel used for storage; a storage space below the deck in the cockpit.
League - A measure of distance approximately 3 nautical miles. One-twentieth of a degree of latitude.
Lee - The side of a ship, or a shore location, sheltered from the wind; also used in context to refer to a sheltered place out of the wind, as in the lee of the island; The area to the leeward
Lee Shore - A shore that wind blows onto; it is best to stay well off a lee shore in a storm
Leeward - Direction away from the wind. In the Rules of the Road, the leeward boat is the one farthest from where the wind is coming from. Opposite of windward.
Length Over All (L.O.A.) - Measured from the most forward part of the fore end to the most after part of the after end of the hull.
Lifeline - Stout line or cable fore and aft around the deck of the boat to keep crew from falling overboard.
Lift - A wind shift that allows a boat to sail above its mean wind course.
Light List - A list of navigational lights arranged in geographical order, giving the position and characteristics.
Lighter - General name for a broad, flat-bottomed boat used in transporting cargo between a vessel and the shore. The distinction between a lighter and a barge is more in the manner of use than in equipment. The term "lighter" refers to a short haul, generally in connection with loading and unloading operations of vessels in harbor while the term "barge" is more often used when the cargo is being carried to its destination over a long distance.
Lignum Vitae - A smooth hard wood grown in the West Indies which had many maritime uses, such as deadeyes and the sheaves of blocks. Its hardness stood up well to wear, and its smoothness allowed lines to render through easily.
Limber Holes - Holes in the bottoms of floors or floor timbers for drainage; holes in the bilge crossframes to allow bilge water to drain to the lowest point, which is where the bilge pump would be located.
Line - Rope and cordage used aboard a vessel. A particular line generally derives its name from the object it affects.
List - The leaning of a boat to the side because of excess weight on that side; inclination of a boat due to excess weight on one side or the other.
Lodestar - Sailor's name for the north star, Polaris, which for all practical purposes remains fixed above the north pole, bearing north from everywhere in the northern hemisphere, making it a true aid to navigation.
Log - (1) A record of all the activities aboard a ship. The Log Book. (2) A device used to measure the distance traveled and speed through the water.
Longitude - Imaginary lines drawn through the north and south poles on the globe used to measure distance east and west of the prime meridian at Greenwich, England (designated as 0°).
Longitudinal - A bulkhead, frame, or longitudinal stiffener, running fore and aft.
Longsplice - Sailor slang for marriage.
Low and Aloft - An expression describing a sailing ship set with every sail she can carry.
Lubber - A clumsy and unskilled man.
Lubber's Line - A line on the compass aligned with the centerline of the vessel that indicates the vessel's compass heading. Since it points to the vessel's bow, it enables a course to be steered by bringing the lubber's line to the point on the compass card which indicates the desired course.
Lying Ahull - A boat that is letting herself be subjected to prevailing conditions without the use of sails or other devices. Lying ahull is usually not preferred to other actions because a boat may tend to lie with her beam to the waves and the wind parallel to the waves. This can cause a boat to roll excessively and even become knocked down.
More in the weeks ahead…!
BTW, if you are interested in being part of USCG Forces, email me at JoinUSCGAux@aol.comor go direct to the D1SR Human Resources department, who are in charge of new members matters, at DSO-HR and we will help you “get in this thing…”
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