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 – XXI
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!
S – Sierra International Meaning: Moving astern. Navy Meaning: Conducting flag hoist drill. Meaning in a Sailing Regatta: Shorten Course.
S.S. - Prefix before a ship's name to indicate that she is a steamship.
Sagged - When from some cause a vessel's form is so altered that the ends of the keel are much above the level of its midship portion, it is said to be "sagged." The opposite of hogged.
Sail Shape - The shape of a sail, with regard to its efficiency. Controls such as the cunningham, boom vang, outhaul, traveler, halyards, leech line, sheets, and the bend of the mainmast all can affect sail shape. Also sail trim.
Sailing By The Lee - Sailing on a run with the wind coming over the stern from the same side as the boom (danger of jibing).
St. Elmo's Fire - An electrical discharge caused by certain atmospheric conditions, which takes place around the rigging. Known by many other names, it was regarded by many superstitious seamen as a favorable omen, foretelling the end of stormy weather. And others believed they would die within 24 hours if light from this phenomenon fell upon their face.
Sallying - Rolling a vessel, that is slightly ice-bound, so as to break the surface ice around her. May sometimes be done when a vessel is lightly aground, but not ice-bound. Can be accomplished by having most of the crew run side-to-side.
Salvage - Recovery and reclamation of damaged, discarded or abandoned material, ships, craft and floating equipment for reuse, repair, re-fabrication or scrapping. Also the property which has been recovered from a wrecked vessel, or the recovery of the vessel herself.
Scandalize - A method of reducing sail in a fore-and-aft rig by hauling up the tack and lowering the peak of a sail. It was used by older sailing trawlers to reduce speed through the water while operating a trawl. Also the yards in a square-rigged ship are said to be scandalized when they are not set square to the masts after the ship has anchored. Scandalizing the yards of a ship was a sign of mourning for a death on board.
Scope - The ratio of the length of an anchor line, from a vessel's bow to the anchor, to the depth of the water.
Scud - To run before a gale with reduced sail or bare poles. This could be dangerous, with the possibility of being pooped.
Scull - Moving the rudder, or a single oar over the stern, back and forth in an attempt to move the boat forward
Scuttle - (1) To deliberately sink a ship. (2) A small hatch; a round window in the side or deck of a boat that may be opened to admit light and air, and closed tightly when required.
Scuttlebutt - Gossip, usually about other people or events. The term scuttlebutt evolved from the name of a keg containing water and alcohol that sailors used to gather about before meals.
Sea Buoy - The last buoy as a boat heads to sea.
Sea Captain - Master of a sea-going vessel. Certificated officer competent and qualified to be master of a sea-going vessel.
Sea Kindly - A boat that is comfortable in rough weather.
Sea Room - A safe distance away from a shore, jetty, another boat, or other hazards.
Seacock - A through hull valve, a shut off on a plumbing or drain pipe between the vessel and the sea
Seamanship - All the arts and skills of boat handling, ranging from maintenance and repairs to piloting, sail handling, marlinespike work, rigging, and all aspects of a boats operation.
Seize - (1) To bind a line with marline, cord, twine, wire, or other "small stuff" to prevent accidental opening or unraveling (2) To freeze up, as a valve.
Seized - Bound together.
Seizing - The cord, twine or other small stuff which is used to seize line.
Self-bailing Cockpit - A watertight cockpit with scuppers, drains, or bailers that remove water.
Serve - To wind small line around a rope to protect it. Rope is wormed, parcelled and served to protect it from water which could rot it, or from chafing
Set - (1) To raise a sail. (2) A term applied to sails in relation to their angle with the wind; e.g., the set of the jib. (3) The direction the current is flowing (4) Movement of a ship, due to current or tide, not necessarily in the direction in which the ship is heading. (5) A ship sets sail when she departs on a voyage, whether sails are used or not. (6) An anchor is set when it has gripped the bottom and holds without dragging.
Sewed - Said of a vessel when water level has fallen from the level at which she would float, so she would be aground and need to wait for the next tide before re-floating. Also said of the water that has receded and caused a vessel to go aground.
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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