Archive for December, 2012

PostHeaderIcon One-legged Beat

sailing from the start line to the windward mark of a windward-leeward racecourse without having to tack, or with one short tack, due to a major wind shift that has considerably skewed the course.

PostHeaderIcon Non-skid

a surface preparation that provides traction on decks and stairs under both wet and dry conditions. Non-skid comes as paint or sheets applied to hard surfaces, or as patterns molded into the surface.

PostHeaderIcon Berth

1) A place to sleep onboard a boat. See also: pilot berth, pipe berth, quarter berth, sea berth, settee, and v-berth. 2) A location in a harbor to secure a vessel, such as a dock or moor. 3) A safe and cautious distance, as in “a wide berth.” British and Commonwealth sailors use berth to mean position, as in “the inside berth at the mark.”

PostHeaderIcon Code Flags

short for International code flags or signaling flags. A set of flags in different colors and shapes and with various markings that, when used singly or in combination, have different meanings. They also have different meanings when used for racing than they do for fishing or shipping. The flags include 26 square flags that depict the letters of the alphabet, ten numeral pendants, one answering pendant, and three substituters or repeaters. See also: cat-in-the-hat, class flag, prep flag, recalls, and warning flag.

PostHeaderIcon Virga

precipitation that falls from a cloud then evaporates in the dry air beneath the cloud before it reaches the ground. Virga resembles streaks of water that extend downward from a cloud. Typically, virga falls from altocumulus, altostratus or high-based cumulonimbus.

PostHeaderIcon Nav Station

shorthand for navigation station. The table a navigator uses to review charts and to plot courses. The typical location of the GPS/chart plotter and communications equipment (i.e., electronics aids-to-navigation) below decks. Navigatorium and office are other slang terms used.

PostHeaderIcon Separation

1) Describes fluid particles that detach from a smooth, laminar flow over a foil’s surface contour, such as air over a sail or water over a keel or rudder, due to friction, turbulent flow, or angle of attack. See also: stall. 2) The distance between two particular competitors, perpendicular to a course’s rhumb line. See also: gap, gauge and leverage.

PostHeaderIcon Jib Peel

to set a second headsail before dousing the first as a way to maintain speed and respond to wind shifts and wind velocity changes. The new sail is hoisted either outside (behind, from the crew’s perspective) or inside (in front of) the working sail. As the new sail is trimmed in, the old sail is doused. Also referred to as a peel, a running change, or a straight-line headsail change. See also: inside set and outside set. Compare to: bare headed.

PostHeaderIcon Toe Rail

a small, raised edge around a deck’s outer perimeter. May be made out of wood or perforated aluminum. The presence of a toe rail helps to keep small objects from falling overboard—or at least slows their exit. It also helps to keep feet from sliding off the deck. Snatch blocks or other hardware may also be attached to the toe rail. Often referred to as “the rail,” as in “everyone on the rail and hike hard!” Old wooden ships had much taller woodwork around the deck edge called bulwark. The safety perimeter around the deck is referred to as lifelines or guard rails.

PostHeaderIcon Harden Up

to steer closer to the wind, usually by trimming; i.e., pulling in on the sheets.


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