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Acorn. An ornament at the head of a mast fashioned in the shape of an acorn.

A'drift.-Anything which floats unfastened, as a boat or a spar, which may have broken away, or a ship which has parted from her anchor.

A'float.-Floating on the water. Off the ground.

Aft.-Behind: towards the after or stern part of a vessel, or it may be behind the vessel itself: thus a boat may be said to be towed aft.

After-part. The hinder part. Thus a steersman may, according to the position of the wheel, stand amidships, or in the after part of the vessel. So also the after cabin will be the cabin nearest the stern. (See also A'BAFT.)

A'ground. Resting on the ground, often spoken of a vessel which has accidentally run aground, or as it is sometimes said, taken the ground. (See GROUND.)

A'head. In front of. Before.

Wind a'head.-Wind directly against the course of a vessel. A'hull.-"The situation of a ship when all her sails are furled, and her helm lashed on the lee-side; she then lies nearly with her side to the wind and sea, her head somewhat turned towards the direction of the wind." (Falconer's Dictionary.) A deserted vessel is also occasionally called a'hull. (See also under TRYING.)

A'lee. The situation of the helm when pushed close down to the lee-side of the ship, in order to put the ship about, or to lay her head to the windward.

All hands. All hands ahoy ("tout le monde en haut :" Fr.) (at sea).-The call by which all hands are ordered on deck whether it be, as in a ship, to execute some necessary change, or, as with fishermen, to haul a net.

All in the wind.-An expression used to describe the position of a vessel when head to wind (i.e., pointing directly against the wind), with all her sails flapping. (See also" in irons," under IRON, "in stays," etc., under TACK.) The term is also sometimes used in everyday conversation, meaning "all in a flurry."

All told. Every person counted. The term has usual reference to a ship's crew, when it will include the idlers, etc., but not passengers. Thus a ship may have a crew of 20, but be 23 all told that is including cook, carpenter, and steward.

Aloft (Loffter, Dan.).-Up in the tops: overhead. In the upper rigging, or on the yards, etc.

Lay aloft.-The order to go aloft, as "lay aloft and furl the royals."

Alongside.—By the side of.

Aloof (old term).-To keep aloof, i.e., to keep the luff-i.e., up to the wind. (See LUFF.)

A'low.-Low down. Below, or below deck.

Amain.-Suddenly: forcibly. To let go amain, to let go suddenly.


Amateur.-In sporting language one who takes up an occupation for pleasure-not for money. In rowing the meaning is somewhat restricted. (See also under CORINTHIAN.) At Henley, 1879, the following definition of an amateur was adopted. "No person shall be considered an amateur oarsman or sculler :- 1. Who has ever competed in any open competition for a stake, money, or entrance fee; 2. Who has ever competed with or against a professional for any prize; 3. Who has ever taught, pursued, or assisted in the practice of athletic exercises of any kind as a means of gaining a livelihood; 4. Who has been employed in or about boats for money or wages; 5. Who is, or has been by trade or employment for wages, a mechanic, artisan, or labourer."

Amidships. Generally speaking, the middle portion of a vessel. The point of intersection of two lines, one drawn from stem to stern, the other across the beam (or widest part), will be the actual midships.

Anchor.-The form and parts of an anchor are as follow:-A is the shank, B the arms, terminating in the flukes (C), the extremities of which (D) are called the bills or peaks, while the smooth flat side of the fluke (E) is the palm. F is the crown, and G the throat. The stock or beam (H) crosses the lower part of the shank at right angles, and in a plane at right angles to the plane of the arms: J is the shoulder of the stock. K is the ring, to which the cable is bent or the chain shackled (L). (For the manner of bending i.e., attaching a rope to this ring, see KNOTS.) The ring hangs in the eye. The stock of an anchor is the agent which brings the flukes into a position to hold the ground. In doing this it has often to sustain great strains, and is, therefore, the part most liable to injury. For this reason a stout stock is to be recommended. It has been said that the sectional area at the smallest part of an anchor should be three times that of the cable.

To drop, let go, or cast anchor, are terms equivalent to coming to an anchor.



To weigh anchor is to get the anchor up preparatory to getting under sail. This is done by first heaving short-i.e., hauling upon the cable until the vessel is nearly over her anchor, which brings the anchor a'peak-that is standing on its crown. When the anchor is once lifted from the ground it is said to be a'weigh, weighed or a'trip: when it reaches the surface of the water it is a'wash. The ship being now free is said to be under weigh (not under way, for way means momentum), and the vessel may be under

weigh without having way: she is, in point of fact, under weigh from the moment her anchor is weighed. (See also under WAY

and WEIGH.)

Catting the anchor is getting it up to the cathead. When it has been stowed on the bill-board it is said to be fished, and the tackle by which this is done is called the fish-tackle.

Anchor a'peak denotes that the cable has been drawn in so short as to bring the ship directly over it.

Anchor cock-a-bill is a term used to signify that the anchor hangs, merely by its cable, over the vessel's side, with the stock or flukes extended, just above the water. This, in the London river and in many other havens, is prohibited by law.

If the anchor holds the ground well it is said to bite. Should it drag it is said to come home. But at the same time to fetch home or bring home the anchor is to draw the ship closer up to it, for the purpose, perhaps, of weighing it.

When the cable becomes twisted round the shank or stock, or entangled with it in any way, it is called fouling.

To shoe the anchor "is to cover the flukes with a broad triangular piece of thick plank, whose area is greater than that of the flukes, in order to give the anchor a stronger hold in soft ground."

To back an anchor, "to carry out a small anchor, as the stream or kedge, ahead of the large one by which the ship usually rides, in order to support it, and prevent it from loosening, or coming home, in bad ground. In this situation the latter is confined by the former, in the same manner that the ship is restrained by the latter. (Falconer's Dictionary.) A weight is sometimes used as a substitute for the smaller anchor.

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Large vessels carry several anchors, often one on each bow, called, in consequence, bower anchors. Other large ones are known as sheet, stream, stern, waist and spare anchors, and besides these they have small ones called kedges (or kedge anchors), killicks or mudhooks. The sheet-anchor, the largest and most powerful carried by a ship, is popularly supposed to be used only in emergency or as a last resource; and hence the use of the term in this sense in general conversation. Kedges are smaller anchors carried by a ship and used by her for various purposes, such as when swinging her, or when moving from one station to another only a short distance away they are also valuable in case of the vessel taking the ground.

A grapnel is a species of anchor having several flukes, and without a stock. It is used in dragging, and was one of the boarding implements in old naval warfare.


Anchors nowadays are of various forms, such as stockless, folding, grip, triple grip, mushroom, and others. Tyzack's patent is both stockless and triple-grip, and claims to

also Porter's

combine the best principles of good holding anchors with a direct pull upon the cable: it may often be seen in first-class ships. Ridley's and Wright's patents are stockless, with movable grip. patent (an older type of improved anchor) retains the stock, being in form of the ordinary pattern, but having movable arms, secured, when in use, by a small forelock pin. In fact nearly all anchors nowadays are either without a stock or have it movable.

The mushroom anchor-so named on account of its shape (see fig.)-is employed by large ships on mud or other soft bottoms, where it obtains a hold far more secure than any other form.



The objects in all these anchors (beyond the system of gripping) are to lessen the risks of fouling, and to present no fluke above ground against which, in shallow places, a vessel might strike. The usual method of working the anchor cable in small craft is to take two or three turns with it round the windlass (i.e., just sufficient to get a certain bite), and then to pass the rest of the chain through an aperture in the deck, made for the purpose, and thus down to the chain locker.


Anchorage. The ground in which the anchor is cast. Thus one may find good anchorage or bad, the good being that in which the vessel will ride safely, the bad that in which the anchor will be likely to drag. Yet it is not always the nature of the soil which constitutes good anchorage; currents or the run of the tide always have much to do with it. Land-locked bays, therefore, and positions well out of the tide, will form the best anchorage. The term anchorage is also occasionally used to denote those dues which are paid by vessels for the privilege of casting anchor in certain harbours.

Anemometer.-An instrument for measuring the force or velocity of the wind. The anemometer most generally used is one devised by Dr. Robinson, and made by Casella, who also elaborated and modified Robinson's instrument and produced one of great accuracy.

Aneroid. An instrument answering to the barometer, but acting by the pressure of the atmosphere upon thin metallic plates. Its general form resembles that of a watch. The aneroid is frequently used at sea to obtain meteorological readings, although amongst scientific men it is hardly considered a reliable agent. "This instrument has never been satisfactorily employed on board ship. There is great difficulty in placing it where it shall not be exposed to draughts of air, and if it be placed high above the deck

its indications are affected by rolling and the other motions of the ship." (R. H. Scott, M.A., F.R.S., Secretary of the Meteorological Office.) Yachtsmen, however, are seldom without an aneroid.

A'peak.-Spoken of the position of an anchor when a vessel is hove-short above it. (See ANCHOR.)

Apparently drowned. For directions for restoring, see DROWNED.

Apron, stemson, or stomach-piece. 1. (In shipbuilding.) A backing or strengthening timber behind the stem-post of a vessel. (See diagram under FRAME.) 2. (In hydraulic engineering.) The enclosure of timber, brick, or stone at the down side of a lock is sometimes called the apron wall.

Arching.—Another name for hogging (which see).

Ardent.-A vessel is described as ardent when, her tendency being to run up into the wind, she carries a good weather helm (which see). Ashore. On terra firma. A vessel aground is sometimes spoken of as ashore." (See GROUND.)


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Astay.—In line with a stay, or with the fore stay.


vessel; in her wake.

Go astern.-Go sternwards: or, with a steam boat, an order to work her backwards.

In the after part of a vessel; behind the

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Athwart, athwartships.-Across. Hence the rowers' seats in an open boat are called "thwarts” because they lie athwart, or across the boat.

To drop athwart anything.-To come across it; to find it.

Athwart hawse.-Within the length of a vessel's cable. (The term is explained under HAWSE.)

A'trip.-1. Spoken of an anchor when it is just off the ground or a'weigh. (See ANCHOR.) 2. (Of sails.) When the sails are ready for trimming.


Avast. The order to stop or pause in any exercise; as "avast heaving.

Awash.-Being under or washed over by water, as the lee gunwale of a yacht or decked sailing boat may be when she lies much over. Anchor awash.-When, in weighing the anchor, it reaches the surface of the water, it is said to be awash.

Away.-Gone:_ having let anything go: free.

Carried away.-Broken away; as to carry away a topmast―i.e., to suffer the loss of the topmast.

A'weather. Towards the weather side-i.e., the side upon which the wind blows.

(See HELM.)

Helm a'weather.-The helm put up. A'weigh.-Spoken of an anchor when it has been lifted from the ground.

A'wheft.-Said of a flag when stopped so as to represent a wheft.

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