Archive for January, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Tee Up

slang for preparing a sail for hoisting by connecting its sheets, tack, halyard, or other control lines, as in “tee up the chicken chute!” See also: plug it in.

PostHeaderIcon Windward

a boat’s windward side is the side that is, or was (when she is head-to-wind), toward the direction from which the wind blows. However, when you are sailing by the lee or directly downwind, her windward side is the side opposite of where her mainsail lies. When two boats on the same tack overlap, the one on the windward side of the other is the windward boat. The other is the leeward boat. Synonymous with weather. Old Salts will pronounce this “win-erd.”

PostHeaderIcon Transom

a stern’s aft face. Modern race boats are designed with an open or scoop transom, which allows any water taken in over the stern or sides to drain away.

PostHeaderIcon Wrap Up

sailing legend Terry Hutchinson’s term for the final approach to the start line, just prior to the starting gun, when the boat is brought up hard on the wind.

PostHeaderIcon Under-square

as it relates to a spinnaker pole, means that the pole is set at an angle more to leeward than square to the wind. The outboard end is pointed to leeward of perpendicular to get an optimum spinnaker luff profile, i.e., a straight, vertical luff and a rounded foot. Also known as under-trimming the pole. See also: square the pole. Compare to: over-square.

PostHeaderIcon ZFP

an initialism for “Z flag penalty.” The scoring abbreviation used to indicate that a boat violated Racing Rules of Sailing 2013 – 2016 Rule 30.2 and has been assessed a 20% scoring penalty. The adjustment may be different for an individual race than for a race that is part of a series longer than a regatta. See Racing Rules of Sailing 2013 – 2016 Appendix A11. The applicable Notice of Race or Sailing Instructions may also modify the number of points assessed. See also: Z flag rule.

PostHeaderIcon Mast Partners

a structure that reinforces the deck opening through which a keel-stepped mast passes. See also: partners.

PostHeaderIcon Barometric Pressure

the atmospheric pressure as measured by a barometer. Changes in barometric pressure are used to forecast changes in weather. Some rules of thumb include the 1-2-3 rule. If pressure drops 1-2 millibars an hour over a 3-hour period, be alert. The weather is worsening. There is also the 4-5-6 rule. A drop of 4-5 millibars in 6 hours suggests that significantly worsening weather, such as a gale—or worse—is approaching. Barometric pressure is measured in force per unit; e.g., pounds per square inch, millibars, or inches of mercury. The current barometric pressure and predicted future pressures are shown as isobars on synoptic charts.

About the author:
Bob Roitblat is an avid sailor, writer and professional speaker. If you have any comments about this blog, or you are interested in having Bob to speak at your club, contact the author here:

You may also be interested in Bob’s other blog, At The Helm, that is focused on the owners of small-to-medium sized closely-held businesses.

PostHeaderIcon Reacher

a special spinnaker used when reaching—the point of sail on which a boat sails across the wind. On a beam reach, the wind is abeam—about 90 degrees from the boat’s course. On a close reach, the wind is between about 45 and 90 degrees—also called sailing shy. On a broad reach, the wind is on the quarter, greater than 90 to about 150 degrees. The other spinnaker type is a runner—used when running downwind. A reaching spinnaker or shy kite is cut flatter than a running spinnaker. See also: A1, A3, A5, S1, S3 and S5.

PostHeaderIcon Mast Rails

the stainless steel tubing that forms a safety rail for a crew member working at the mast. One mast-rail design uses vertical supports and waist-high horizontal rails on a single plane, in an L-shape or semi-circle. Other configurations are also possible. Also called a mast pulpit or sissy bars. See also: bow pulpit and stern pulpit.


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