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CoNvoy. A body of unarmed or weakly armed vessels, in company with ships of war. CoNvoy, to. To accompany a number of unarmed vessels, for their protection. Course. The direction of a vessel's movement, with regard to the compass or to the wind. Compass course. The point of the compass towards which the vessel heads. Wind courses: Close-hauled. As nearly in the direction from which the wind blows as is compatible with keeping the sails full; for squarerigged vessels six points. (See “Bearings by Compass.”) For a north wind, the close-hauled courses are east-northeast and west-northwest. Free. Not close-hauled. Large. Very free. Off the wind. Free. On (or by) the wind. Close-hauled. Courses. The lowest sails on the fore and main masts. CRUISE, to. To cover a certain portion of sea by movement back and forth over it. CRUISER. A general term for armed ships, but applied more specifically to those not “of the line,” which therefore are more free and wider in their movements. CURRENT. Lee Current. One the movement of which is away from the wind. Weather Current. One which sets towards the wind.
FAIR, wind. A wind which allows a vessel to head her desired compass course. FALL off. A vessel falls off, when, without the action of the helm, her head moves away from the wind. See “Come up.” FILL. l Sails are said to fill, or to be full, when the wind strikes the FULL. rear side, tending to move the vessel ahead. Flood, flood tide. See “Tide.” For E AND AFT. In classification of vessels, indicates those whose sails, when set, stretch from forward aft; more nearly lengthwise than across. Opposite to square-rigged. For EMAst, fore-topmast, etc. See “Spars.” For Es AIL, fore-topsail, etc. See “Sails.” Foul, to. To entangle, to collide. A foul anchor, when the cable gets round the anchor. Foul, wind. A wind which prevents the vessel heading the desired compass course, compelling her to beat. FREE, wind. A wind which allows the vessel to head the course desired. The amount to spare from the close-hauled course is sometimes designated. E.g., the wind four points free; the wind would allow the vessel to come four points nearer the wind than her course requires.
FRIGATE. See “Vessel.”
GAGE, weather and lee. A vessel, or fleet, is said to have the weather gage, when it is to windward of its opponent. Lee is opposite to weather.
HAUL, to. To haul (to) the wind is to change the course to that nearest the direction whence the wind comes. To haul down the colors: to strike, to surrender. HEAve down. To incline a vessel on one side, by purchases at the lower mastheads. HEAve-To. To bring-to, (which see), and then to lay some sails (Hove-To.) aback, in order to keep the ship without move— ment ahead or astern. HEEL, to. To incline a vessel on one side by shifting the weights on board, such as guns. “On the heel”: to be thus inclined. HELM. The tiller, or bar, which like a handle turns the rudder, and thus changes the course of the vessel. Port the helm. To put the tiller to port, which turns the vessel's head to the right; to starboard the helm is the reverse. Helm down. Tiller to leeward, vessel's head to windward; helm up, the reverse. See “Rudder.” HULL. The body of a vessel, as distinguished from the spars, or engines. HULL, to. A cannon ball striking the hull of a vessel is said to hull (HULLED.) her.
KEEP, to. To keep off, or away, is to change course away from the wind or from an enemy. See “To bear up.”
LARGE. See “Course.” LEE. The direction toward which the wind blows. “Under the lee of,” protected from wind and sea by land, or by a vessel, interposed. Lee Tide. See “Tide.” LEECH. The vertical side of a square sail. The upper and lower sides, horizontal, are called head and foot. LEEwARD (pronounced looard). Direction of movement, or of bearing, opposite to the wind. LIE-To, to. To bring the vessels head on, or near, the wind, and remain nearly stopped. Usually in heavy weather, but not always.
LINE ABREAST. See p. 122.
LINE AHEAD. See p. 85.
LINE of BATTLE. In the line of battle the vessels are ranged on the same straight line, steering the same course, one behind the others, so that all the broadsides are clear to bear upon an enemy. The line preferred is one of the close-hauled lines, because on them the movement of a vessel in the line is more easily regulated by backing, or shaking, some of the sails.
LINE of BEARING. See “Bearing, line of.”
LINE, Ship of the. A vessel fitted by its force for the line of battle. Opposite generically to “cruiser.” The modern term is “battleship.”
LUFF, to. The movement of changing the course to nearer the direction whence the wind comes, by using the helm.
§o See “Spars” and “Sails.” MAST. See “Spars.” “To the mast.” A sail is said to be so when aback.
Monsoon. A trade wind, in the China and Indian seas, which blows uniformly from the northeast in winter, and from southwest in summer.
PENNANT. A flag, indicating either the rank of the senior officer on board, or a signal applicable to a particular vessel. PoinT. See “Bearings, by Compass.” PoRT. To the left hand, or on the left side, of a vessel, looking from aft forward. Opposite to Starboard. PoRT, to. Applied to steering. To move the tiller, or helm, to the left, which moves the rudder to the right and causes the vessel to change course towards the right hand.
QUARTER. Either side of the after part of a vessel; — as starboard quarter, port quarter; weather quarter, lee quarter. Quarter deck: one side of the after upper deck, reserved for the officer exercising command, and for ceremonial purposes.
QUARTERs. A crew is at quarters when at the stations for battle.
RAKE, to. To fire the broadside from ahead or astern of an antagonist, so that the shot may sweep the length of the vessel, which at the period of this book was about four times the width.
RANDoM SHOT. The extreme range to which a gun could send its shot, giving very uncertain results.
REEF, to. To reduce the surface of a sail.
RUDDER. A solid framework, pivoted at the stern of a vessel, which being turned to one side deflects her course. See “Helm ’’ and “Wheel.”
SAILs. Sails are of two kinds: square, and fore and aft. Square sails spread more across the vessel, in the direction of her width. Fore and aft sails more in the direction of the length. Square sails are better for a free wind; and also for large vessels, because they can be more readily subdivided. Fore and aft sails trim nearer to the wind, and so are convenient for coasters, which generally are smaller. Vessels carrying square sails are called square-rigged. They have always two masts, usually three; each carrying three or four sails, one above the other. These are named from the mast on which they are carried (see “Spars”); e.g., main sail, fore topsail, mizzen topgallant-sail; and also from their positions on the same mast. Thus, from lowest up, main sail, main topsail, main topgallantsail; and main royal, if there be a fourth. The fore and main sails are called also courses. The topsails were the chief battle sails, because the largest, except the courses, and more manageable than the courses. All square-rigged vessels carry fore and aft sails, three cornered, stretched between the bowsprit and jib-booms, and the fore topmast. These sails are called jibs. Fore and aft vessels also carry jibs; but on each upright mast they have one great sail, the size of which makes it less easily handled in an emergency, therefore less fit for fighting. Above the big sail they have a small, light, three-cornered topsail, but this is merely a fair weather sail, useless in battle. Vessels of war were almost all square-rigged, with three masts. SAILS, STUDDING. Light square sails, for moderate weather, extended beyond the other square sails, to increase the normal spread of canvas. Set only with a free wind, and never in battle. ScANTLING. The size, and consequent weight and strength, of the timbers of a vessel's hull. SCHOON.E.R. See “Vessel.” SHAKE, to. So to place a sail that the wind blows along it, neither filling nor backing. The sail is thus neutralized without taking in. SHARP-UP. A yard is sharp-up, when turned by the braces as far as the rigging of the mast will allow. A close-hauled course requires the yards to be sharp-up, in order that the sails may be full.
SHIP. See “Vessel.” SLIP. See “Cable.” SLOOP. See “Vessel.” SPARs. A spar is a long piece of timber, cylindrical, tapering, in masts, towards one end, and in yards towards both. Spars serve for spreading the several sails of a vessel. The names of spars vary with their use and position. Chiefly, for ships of war, they divide into masts, yards, and booms. A mast is an upright, and is in three connected pieces: the lower mast, the topmast, and the top-gallant-mast. Most ships of war had three such masts: fore, near the bow; main, near the centre; mizzen, near the stern. The bowsprit is also a mast; not upright, but projecting straight ahead from the bow, approaching horizontal, but inclining upwards. Like the masts, it has three divisions: the lower, or bowsprit proper, the jib-boom, and the flying-jib-boom. Across the masts, horizontal, are the yards, four in number, lower, topsail, topgallant, and royal. Yards are further designated by the name of the mast to which each belongs; e.g., foreyard, main topsail yard, mizzen topgallant yard, main royal yard. The bowsprit formerly had one yard, called the spritsail yard. This has disappeared. Otherwise it serves to spread the threecornered sails called jibs. These sails were useful for turning a vessel, because their projection before the centre gave them great leverage. Fore and aft vessels had no yards. See “Sails.” SPRING. See p. 65, note. SQUARE-RIGGED. See “Sails” and “Spars.” STAND, to. Used, nautically, to express movement and direction, e.g., “to stand toward the enemy,” “to stand out of har
bor,” “to stand down,” “to stand south.” The underlying idea seems to be that of sustained, decided movement.
STARBOARD. To the right hand, or on the right side, of a vessel, looking from aft forward. Opposite to Port.
STEER, to. To control the course by the use of the helm and rudder.
STERN. The extreme rear, or after, part of a vessel.
STRATEGY. That department of the Art of War which decides the distribution and movements of armies, or of fleets, with reference to the objects of a campaign as a whole.
STRIKE, to. Applied to the flag. To haul down the flag in token of surrender.
TAck. A vessel is on the starboard tack, or port tack, according as the wind comes from the starboard or port hand. See p. 84, note.
TAck, to. When a vessel is close-hauled, with the wind on one