Cover page illustration.

SHIPLOADING

A Picture-Dictionary
of Shiploading Terms

U.S. Naval Supply Operational Training Center
Bayonne, New Jersey (1945)

 


SHIPLOADING

A Picture-Dictionary
of Shiploading Terms

NSOTC emblem

Produced for the

Bureau of Supplies and Accounts


at the
U.S. Naval Supply Operational Training Center
Bayonne, New Jersey (1945)

 


ABAFT
    To the rear of, e.g. the mainmast is abaft the foremast.

Illustration of ship with fore and main masts labelled.
ABURTON
    [A small tackle formed by two blocks or pullies.]

No image.
AFT
    Near, toward, or in the rear or stern of a vessel.

Illustration of ship with arrow marking aft.
AMIDSHIPS
    In or toward the middle of a ship.

Illustration of ship with arrow marking amidshipships.
APRON
    The part of the pier or quay which is between the enclosed structure and the edge, upon which cargo is unloaded.

Illustration of ship with arrow marking the apron area.
ATHWARTSHIP
    Across the ship, from side to side.

Illustration of ship with arrow marking the athwartship area.
BACKSTAY
    A rope that serves as a support to prevent the mast going forward and also contributes to its lateral support, thereby assisting the shrouds. A backstay extends from the upper part of the mast to the ship's side at some distance abaft the mast.

Illustration of ship with arrows pointing to backstays.


BALLAST
    Heavy weights packed into the bottom of a ship to give her stability. Also, water carried in ballast tanks.

Illustration of ship with arrow pointing at bottom.
BALLAST TANKS
    Tanks provided in various parts of a ship for introduction of water ballast when necessary to add weight to produce a change in trim or stability. They are capable of being flooded or pumped out at will.

Illustration of ship with arrows pointing to various areas whre tanks might be situated.
BATTEN
    1. Strip of wood or steel used in securing tarpaulins in place.

    2. Cargo battens are wood planks or steel shapes that are fitted to the inside of the frames in a hold to keep the cargo away from the shell plating, also called sweat battens. 'Battens down' refers to closing the hatches for sea by covering with tarpaulins and securing them.

Illustration of the two types of batten.
BEAM
    1. The extreme width of a ship.

    2. Also an athwartship or longitudinal member of the ship's structure supporting the deck.

Illustration of the two types of beam.


BEAM CLAMP
    A ringed fitting that can be fastened to a beam in order to secure a block and tackle in the hold for lifting or shifting cargo.

Illustration of a beam clamp.
BECKET
    1. An eye for securing one end of a line to a block.

    2. A rope eye as on a cargo net.

Illustration of a becket.
BELAY
    1. To fasten.
    (i.e., belay a line to a cleat.)

    2. To stop.

Illustration of the two types of belaying.
BEND
    The act of securing one linen to another.

Illustration of bending.


BERTH
    Any designated place where a ship lies at anchor or ties up.

Illustration of a berth.
BETWEEN DECKS
    The space between decks. Same as 'Tween decks.

Illustration of a ship marking the between decks area.
BIGHT
    A loop or bend in a rope; though, strictly considered, any part between the ends may be termed the bight. Sometimes spelled bite.

Illustration of a rope with a bend.
BILGE
    1. The rounded portion of a vessel's shell which connects the bottom with side.

    2. Also, the part of a barrel at its greatest width.

Illustration of two types of bilge.
BITTS
    A pair of short metal or wooden posts extending up from a base plate usually fastened to a dock or deck and used for securing lines.

Illustration of bitts.


BLOCK
    The name given to a pulley or sheave, or a system of pulleys or sheaves, mounted in a frame or shell and used for moving objects by means of ropes run over the pulleys or sheaves. The prefixes single, double, triple, etc., indicate the number of pulleys or sheaves in the block. The principal parts of a block are (a) the shell, or outside frame: (b) the sheave, on which the rope runs; (c) the pin, on which the sheave turns; (d) the strap, by which the hook is held in position and which provides bearing for the pin; and (e) the hook. The opening between the sheave and the shell is called the swallow, the bottom of the shell is called the breech, and the device attached to the bottom of the block opposite the hook for securing the standing part of the fall to the block is called the becket.

Illustration of a block labelling all the parts: hook, strap, pin, swallow, shell, sheave, breech and becket.
GIN BLOCK
    A steel block consisting of a sheave supported by a skeleton frame, that is, without solid sides.

Illustration of a gin block.
SNATCH BLOCK
    A single sheave block having one side of the frame hinged so that it can be opened to allow the bight of a rope to be placed on the sheave, thus avoiding the necessity of threading the end of the rope through the swallow of the block.

Illustration of a snatch block.


HEAD BLOCK
    The block attached to the top or head of the boom, also called the cargo block, and sometimes referred to as gin block.
SLACK-LINE BLOCK
    Fitting attached at the midpoint of the boom to support any slack that may develop.
HEEL BLOCK
    The block located at the bottom or heel of the boom.

Illustration of a boom showing the head, slack-line and heel blocks.
BOAT HOOK
    A long pole with a hook attached to the end, used for catching, holding, and steadying small boats.

Illustration of a boat hook.
BO'SN'S CHAIR
    A piece of plank hung in two straps and forming a seat on which a man may be hoisted aloft or lowered over the ship's side.

Illustration of a bo'sn's chair.
BOLLARD
    A short metal column extending up from a base plate which is attached to a wharf and used for securing the lines from a ship. Also applies to timber posts extending above the level of a wharf for the same purpose.

Illustration of a bollard.


BOOM
    A long, round, heavy spar, pivoted at one end, generally used for handling cargo into and out of a ship.

    1. HATCH BOOM - The boom spotted over the hatch, also called the inboard boom, amidship boom, or up-and-down boom.

    2. OUTBOARD BOOM - The boom spotted over the side of the ship, also called the burton boom or yard boom.

    3. JUMBO BOOM - A heavy-lift boom capable of handling weights up to fifty tons.

    4. BOOM CRUTCH - A structure used to support the boom when not in use.

    5. BOOM TABLE - A structure built up around a mast from the deck to support the heel bearings of the booms and to provide proper working clearances when a number of booms are installed on or around one mast. Also called mast table or tabernacle.

Illustration of the different types of booms and crutch.


BOOT TOPPING
    An outside area on a vessel's hull from bow to stern between certain waterlines, to which special air, water, and grease resisting paint is applied; also the paint applied to such areas.

Illustration of a ship with a paint bucket and brush showing the boot topping area.
BOW
    The forward end of the ship.

Illustration of a ship with arrow pointing to the bow.
BREAK DOWN
    To put cargo in step formation.

Illustration showing boxes in step formation.
BREAK OUT
    To unstow.

Illustration of a sailor unstowing a box.
BREASTING FLOAT
    A raft-like float used to keep a vessel, while secured, away from the pier. Also called Camel.

Illustration of a ship with floats against a pier.


BREECH
    See illustration of BLOCK.

No image.
BRIDLE
    1. A length of line with ends secured to a spar or another line.

    2. An assembly of wire rope or chain, used as a sling.

Illustration of the two types of bridles.
BROKEN STOWAGE
    The waste and loss of space caused by irregularity in the size and shape of packages or the incidence of hold pillars, frames, deck beams and other obstructions, and the failure to utilize available space.

Illustration of a ship's cargo stowed with wasted space.
BROW
    A gangplank, usually fitted with rollers at the end resting on the wharf to allow for the movement of the vessel with the tide.

Illustration of a brow between a ship and wharf.


BULKHEAD
    1. A term applied to any one of the partition walls which subdivide the interior of the ship. The various types of bulkheads are distinguished by the addition of a word explaining the location, use, etc., such as longitudinal, transverse, watertight.

    2. A Swash Bulkhead is a non-tight bulkhead fitted in a tank to decrease the swashing action of the liquid contents. It's function is greatest when the tank is partially filled, for without it the action of the liquid against the sides of the tank would be severe.

Illustration of a bulkhead in a ship and a swash bulkhead.
BULL ROPE
    1. A rope used for 'snaking out' cargo to the square of the hatch from the 'tween deck or lower hold, or used to work the cargo into these spaces. It is used in combination with a snatch block.

    2. A rope used in connection with the topping lift. One end is secured to the topping lift and the other is wound on the drum of the winch.

Illustrations of bull rope usage.


BULWARK
    The extension of the plating of the ship's side above the weather deck. It helps to keep the deck dry and serves as a guard against losing deck cargo or men overboard. Bulwarks interfere somewhat with the rapid handling of cargo, and therefore where they are removable, that section abreast of the hatch opening should be taken out.

Illustration of a ship's bulwarks.
BUNKER
    A compartment used for the stowage of coal or fuel oil.

Illustration of the bunker area in a ship.
CAMEL
    Same as BREASTING FLOAT.

No image.
CANT HOOK
    See HOOK.

No image.
CANTLINE
    The space or groove between two fore and aft rows of casks stowed side by side. When the bilge of one cask is laid in the cantline of the tier below and resting over the heads of four other casks, it is said to be stowed 'bilge and cantline.'

Illustration of a cantline with casks.


CAPSTAN
    A revolving drum, with vertical axis, powered by hand or by machine, used for handling heavy anchor chains, hawsers, etc.

Illustration of a capstan.
CAREEN
    To incline a ship from the upright, as by wave action, or mechanically for the purpose of making repairs.

Illustration of a ship careened.
CARFLOAT
    A barge used for ferrying railroad cars.

Illustration of a carfloat.
CATAMARAN
    A platform used for work alongside a ship. It is secured to two hollow floats.

Illustration of a catamaran.
CAT HEAD
    An auxiliary drum usually fitted on one or both ends of a winch or windlass. Also called Drum End, Gypsyhead. It is used to haul rope or cable.

Illustration of a cat head.


CAULK
    To fill in the seams with oakum or cotton to make watertight.

Illustration of a sailor caulking.
CEILING
    Planking fitted on top of the double-bottom in the hold. Also called Ceiling Floor.

Illustration of ceiling.
CENTER OF GRAVITY
    See STABILITY.

No image.
CHEEK
    The side of a block.

Illustration of a block showing the cheek section.
CHIME
    The part of the cask or barrel at the end of the staves. Also spelled Chine.

Illustration of a cask with arrows pointing to the chime section.


CHOCK
    1. Metal casting sometimes fitted with rollers, through which hawsers and lines are passed.

    2. Blocks of wood used as dunnage, and blocks in the form of a saddle used in securing cargo such as vehicles.

Illustration showing two types of chocks.
CHOCK-A-BLOCK
    Two blocks of a tackle drawn together as close as possible; this condition is also referred to as Two-blocked.

Illustration of a chock-a-block.
CHOKED
    Fouled in the block, because of a kink, or because of slipping off the sheave.

Illustration showing a chocked block with the rope kinked.
CLAMP
    See CLIP.

No image.


CLEAT
    1. Metal or wood fitting with arms or horns upon which to secure lines.

    2. Wedge cleats are fittings on the hatch coaming. Wedges placed between these and the battens secure the battens in place.

Illustration of two types of cleats.
CLIP
    A metal fitting used to grip and hold wire rope. Two or more may be used to connect two ropes in lieu of a short splice or an eye splice. Also called Clamp.

Illustration of clip usage.
COAMING
    The side wall of a hatch projecting above the deck around the perimeter of the hatch. Forms a support for the covers, prevents water from entering the hold from the deck and is a safety feature for personnel.

Illustration of coaming hatch.
COFFER DAM
    Empty space separating compartments for the purpose of insulation, or to prevent the liquid contents of one compartment from entering another in the event of leakage.

Illustration of a ship with arrows pointing to coffer dams.


COLLIER
    Any vessel designed for the carrying of coal.

Illustration of a collier.
COOPER
    Originally one who made or repaired casks or barrels, but now applied to anyone who repairs cargo containers of any description.

Illustration of a cooper making a container.
CORDAGE
    A comprehensive term for all ropes of whatever size or kind.

Illustration of 4 sizes of rope.
COWL
    The opening to a ventilator.

Illustration of a cowl.
COW'S TAIL
    The frayed end of a rope; also called Fag.

Illustration of a frayed end of a rope.
CRADLE
    A support of wood or metal shaped to fit the object which is stowed upon it, such as boat cradle, boom cradle, etc.

Illustration of a cradle.


CRINGLE
    A piece of line spliced on another line to form an eye.

Illustration of a cringle.
CROSS BEAMS
    Beams that support the hatch covers. Also called Hatch Beams. Cross beams which support the center of the hatch covers are referred to as Blind, She, or Queen Beams, while those with vertical flanges to retain the ends of the covers in place are referred to as King Beams. Strongback is a term used synonymously with Cross Beam, but may also refer to a heavy girder extending force and aft of the center of some hatch openings.

Illustration of a cross beam.
CROSS TREE
    Athwartship pieces fitted on a mast. They serve as a foundation for a platform and also are used to secure the blocks used in connection with the topping lift.

Illustration of a cross tree.
CROW'S NEST
    A lookout station attached to or near the top of the mast.

Illustration of a crow's nest.


CUBIC CAPACITY
    1. Bale cubic capacity is the space available for cargo, in cubic feet, to the inside of the cargo battens, on the frames, and to the underside of the beams, in other words the space that can be occupied by general cargo.

    2. Grain cubic capacity is the maximum space available for cargo, measured in cubic feet, the measurements being taken to the inside of the shell plating of the ship or to the outside of the frames and to the top of the beams or underside of deck plating; in other words all the space into which grain would flow.

Illustration of two types of cubic capacity.
DAVITS
    Crane-like device used to raise and lower ship's boats or other weights.

Illustration of davits holding a ship's boat.
DEADWEIGHT
    See TONNAGE.

No image.
DEADWEIGHT CARGO
    Cargo of such a nature that a long ton stows in less than 40 cubic feet. See also Measurement cargo.

Illustration of deadweight cargo.
DECK LOAD
    Cargo carried on deck.

Illustration of a ship with cargo on deck.


DEEP WATERLINE
    The waterline at which the vessel floats when carrying the maximum allowable load.

Illustration of a ship and the deep waterline.
DEMURRAGE
    The charge made when a ship is delayed while loading or discharging cargo.

Illustration of a ship loading and piles of money.
DISPLACEMENT
    See TONNAGE.

No image.
DOCKING PLAN
    The ship's plan furnishing for docking purposes all necessary information concerning the underwater hull.

Illustration of a docking plan.
DOG
    A short metal rod or bar fashioned to form a clamp which is used to hold watertight doors or manhole covers in place.

Illustration of a door held in place with dogs.
DONKEY ENGINE
    A small gas, steam or electric auxiliary engine set on the deck and used for lifting, etc.

Illustration of a donkey engine.


DOUBLE BOTTOM
    A watertight space between inner and outer bottom of the ship, in which fuel oil or water ballast may be carried.

Illustration of a ship and its double bottom.
DRAFT
    1. The depth of the vessel below the waterline, when measured at the bow is called the forward draft, when measured at the stern, the draft aft; the average of the draft forward and the draft aft is the mean draft.

    2. The term draft is also used when referring to a sling load of cargo.

Illustration of two types of drafts.
DRAFT MARKS
    See PLIMSOLL mark.

No image.
DUNNAGE
    Any loose material such as lumber, burlap, etc., placed in between cargo.

Illustration of cargo with lumber as dunnage.
ESCAPE HOLE
    Small man hole in the deck.

Illustration of a sailor climbing out of an escape hole.


EYE
    A loop for insertion of a hook, pin, etc.

Illustration of an eye.
FAG
    See cow's tail.

No image.
FAIR LEAD
    A fitting, usually a block, used to change the direction of a line.

Illustration of a fair lead.
Fake
    1. To lay a rope down in the long bights side by side in order that it will run out clear or can be easily and rapidly paid out. Chain can also be faked.

    2. Also one complete circle of a coil of rope.

Illustration of types of fake.


FALL
    1. The entire length of rope used in a tackle.
      a. The end secured to the block is called the standing part.
      b. The opposite end, the hauling part.
    2. The cargo fall is the cargo hosting wire or rope used through blocks on booms for working cargo.
      a. The Burton fall, also called outboard fall, is the cargo fall suspended over the side of the ship.
      b. The hatch fall, also called the up and down fall, or inboard fall, is the fall suspended over the hatch.

Illustration of the different types of falls.
FARM
    Open storage area near the pier entrances.

Illustration of farm area.
FATHOM
    6 feet.

Illustration of measuring device marking 6 feet under water.


FENDER
    Canvas, wood or rope used over the side to protect the vessel from chafing when alongside another vessel or dock.

Illustration of a fender on a ship.
FID
    A pointed hard wood tool used to open strands of manila line.

Illustration of a fid.
FLOORING OFF
    Laying a floor with dunnage.

Illustration of floor covered with dunnage.
FORECASTLE
    Uppermost structure on the bow.

Illustration of the forecastle of a ship.
FORE AND AFTERS
    See hatch covers.

No image.
FORK TRUCK
    A gasoline or electric powered industrial machine equipped with two extended forks used to pick up, carry and stack supplies.

Illustration of a fork truck.


FREEBOARD
    The vertical distance from the waterline to the top of the weather deck at side.

Illustration of a ship with arrows indicating the freeboard area.
FREEING PORT
    Holes in the lower portion of a bulwark which allow deckwash to drain off into the sea.

Illustration of freeing ports on a ship.
FRESHEN THE NIP
    To shift the rope so as to take the wear in another place.

Illustration of a rope with a worn section.
FULL AND DOWN
    1. A ship is said to be 'Full and down' when its cargo spaces are full and it is down to its marks.

    2. With an extremely light cargo, the vessel would be full but now down to its marks.

    3. With a heavy cargo, such as ore, it will be down to its marks, but is total cargo spaces will not be filled.

Illustration of ship 'full and down,' with light cargo, and with a heavy cargo.


GANGWAY MAN
    Longshoreman who directs the winch operators.

Illustration of a longshoreman directing winch operator.
GANTLINE
    A line passed through a single block aloft, used for hoisting or lowering rigging, a boatswain's chair, etc.

Illustration of a gantline.
GANTRY
    An overhead structure, such as is used to support a crane.

Illustration of a gantry supporting a crane.
GASKET
    Seaming material such as rubber, canvas, asbestos, which insures tightness in an opening such as a door.

Illustration of a door gasket.


GEAR
    A general term for equipment of all types.

Illustration of a block.
GIN POLE
    A portable pole rigged with tackles, which is used to handle loads where a boom is not available.

Illustration of a gin pole.
GIRTLINE
    Same as GANTLINE.

No image.
GLORY HOLD OR HOLE
    Space forward or aft used for storage of nondescript material. Lazarette.

Illustration of a ship with 2 glory holds.
GOOSENECK
    A swivel fitting that connects the heel of the boom with the mast.

Illustration of a gooseneck.
GRAB ROPE
    A line used for steadying oneself.

Illustration of a brow with grab ropes.


GRAPNEL
    Consists of a hook with several prongs arranged for clutching; also known as Grappling Hook; a small anchor with several arms used for dragging.

Illustration of a grapnel.
GROMMET
    A ring of rope used as an eye or as a gasket.

Illustrationof 2 grommets.
GROUND TACKLE
    general term used for all mooring gear.

Illustration of a ship moored by chain.
GUNWALE
    The upper edge of the rail of a ship or boat. Pronounced Gun'-el.

Illustration showing boat with gunnell highlighted.
GUY
    A rope or cradle used to swing or steady a boom.

    1. Outboard Guy.
    2. Midship, Schooner or Lazy Guy.

Illustration showing different types of guys.
GYPSY
    See CATHEAD.

No image.


HALYARD
    A light line used for hoisting a flag or sail.

Illustration of a halyard.
HANDY-BILLY
    A small block and tackle for use about the deck, resembling awning pulley.

Illustration of a hand-billy.
HATCH
    An opening in the deck through which cargo may be handled.

Illustration of a hatch.
HATCHCOVERS
    Boards fitted to rest on top of hatch beams to cover a hatch opening. Also called Hatchboards or Fore-and-Afters. Pontoon Hatch Covers are large hollow metal covers, and only a few are needed to cover an entire hatch.

Illustration of a hatchcover.
HAWSER
    A large rope used for securing vessels to a pier, for towing, etc.

Illustration of a hawser.


HEAD
    Upper end, as the head of a boom.

Illustration of a ship with 2 booms, the heads indicated in white.
HEEL
    1. Lower end, as the heel of a boom.

    2. See also LIST.

Illustration of a ship with 2 booms, the heels indicated in white.
HITCH
    Method of securing a line to a hook, ring, spar, or another line.

Illustration of a line around a pole.
HOLD
    Space below decks for the stowage of cargo.

Illustration of a ship with the holds highlighted.


HOOKS
    1. CARGO HOOK - The general name for hooks used to hoist cargo.

    2. PORTLAND HOOK - A cargo hook with no swivel.

Illustration of a portland hook.
 
    3. LIVERPOOL OR NEW YORK HOOK - A cargo hook with a single swivel.

Illustration of a liverpool hook.
 
    4. WESTERN OR WEST COAST HOOK - A cargo hook set on a ring which is suspended by two swivels.

Illustration of a western hook.
 
    5. SEATTLE HOOK - A cargo hook on a swivel, mounted on a ring which in turn is suspended by two swivels.

Illustration of a seattle hook.
 
    6. WIRE SLING OR PEDRO HOOK - A simple form of hook used to secure a wire rope sling to a draft of cargo, such as a box, etc.

Illustration of a wire sling hook.
 
    7. LIP OR SAFETY HOOK - A cargo hook used for added safety.

Illustration of a lip hook.


 
    8. BURTON HOOK - A hook used to connect one cargo fall with another in one of the methods of cargo handling.

Illustration of a burton hook.
 
    9. BARREL OR CANT HOOK - Used in pairs to grip the ends of a drum or cask when hoisting.

Illustration of a barrel hook.
 
    10. SISTER HOOK - A hook made in two parts, set facing each other in such a manner that when combined they form a link.

Illustration of a sister hook.
 
    11. BOX HOOK - A pair of pronged hooks clamped on opposite sides of a box and drawn together by the rope which lifts the box.

Illustration of a box hook.
 
    12. BALE HOOK - A hook something like an ice tongs, used in handling bales.

Illustration of a bale hook.
 
    13. LONGSHOREMAN'S HAND HOOK OR COTTON HOOK - The hook carried by most longshoremen, to facilitate the handling of boxes, bales, etc.

Illustration of a longshoreman's hand hook.


 
    14. PLATE HOOK - A hook used in pairs to grip and lift metal plates. The weight of the plate causes the hook to grip tightly.

Illustration of a plate hook.
 
    15. BRIDLE HOOK - A type of hook used in connection with wire rope bridles to secure a grip on the cargo.

Illustration of a bridle hook.
 
    16. PELICAN HOOK - A quick releasing hook device.

Illustration of a pelican hook.
HEADER
    Longshoreman who works in a hold and at the same time directs several others.

Illustration of 4 men, one highlighted as the header.
HOUSEFALL
    The system of cargo handling whereby a fall is passed through a block attached high on a pier structure and used in conjunction with the fall from a boom spotted over the ship's hatch. The fall passing through the block may lead either to the winch on the ship, or to a winch on the pier.

HOUSEMAST

    The structure on the pier to which a block is attached when using the housefall system.

Illustration of the housefall method and a housemast.


HULL
    The framework of a vessel including all decks, deckhouses, but not the mast rigging, engines, etc.

Illustration of a ship's hull.
INBOARD
    Toward the center of the ship.

Illustration of a ship with 2 figures moving inboard.
JACKSTAY
    A general term for any rope or rod used for securing purposes.

Illustration of a jeep secured with jackstays.
JETTISON
    To heave goods overboard.

Illustration of a sailor heaving goods overboard.
JETTY
    1. A landing wharf or pier.

    2. A breakwater.

Illustration of a landing wharf and a breakwater.


JURY RIG
    A makeshift arrangement of cargo handling gear, rigged when regular gear has broken down.

Illustration of a jury rig.
JUMBO BOOM
    see BOOM.

No image.
KEEL
    The backbone of a ship, running from stem to stern at the bottom. Some ships also have Bilge Keels, which run the length of the ship, at the turn of the bilge and contribute to stability.

Illustration of a ship with an arrow pointing to the keel.
KENTLEDGE
    Pig iron used as ballast, or as a weight for inclining a vessel.

Illustration of a ship and some kentledge.
KINGPOSTS
    A pair of masts used to support booms. Also called Pairmasts or Samson Posts.

Illustration of a ship with two kingposts.
KNOT
    1. A tie in a line.

    2. A speed of one nautical mile (6080 ft.) per hour.

Illustration of both types of knots.


LANDLUBBER
    Non-seafaring.

Illustration of a man leaning against a piling on a wharf looking out to sea.
LANYARD
    A heavy piece of rope attached at one end to some object, which is moving or swinging, while the other end of the rope is used for controlling purposes. Also called Tag Line, Lead Line, Guide Line.

Illustration of a ship and lanyard.
LASHING
    Rope used to secure deck cargo, etc.

Illustration of cargo lashed to the deck.
LAY
    Direction of twist in a rope, as left lay, right lay.

Illustrations of rope laying right and left.
LAZARETTE
    Same as GLORY HOLD (used as hospital on old time sailers).

Illustration of a ship with the lazarette section highlighted.


LAZY GUY
    A guy that carries very little strain.

Illustration of a lazy guy.
LEAD LINE
    See LANYARD.

No image.
LIGHTER
    A small barge-like vessel used for loading and unloading ships from the offshore side, and for transporting cargo locally about the harbor.

Illustration of a lighter.
LINE
    A rope.

Illustration of a line.
LINKBAND
    A band fitted around the head of a cargo boom into which is shackled the topping lift, headblock, and boom guys.

Illustration of a linkband.
LIST
    The inclination of a vessel to one side due to the shifting of cargo or other reason. Also called Heel.

Illustration of a ship listing.


LOAD LINE
    General term relating to the draft of a vessel under various conditions, such as the load line for Winter, North Atlantic. See PLIMSOLL MARK.

Illustration of a ship with the load line highlighted.
LOCKER
    A storage compartment on a ship.

Illustration of a locker compartment.
LONGSHOREMAN
    Man employed in the loading and unloading of cargo.

Illustration of a longshoreman.
LUFF TACKLE
    See TACKLE.

No image.
MAGAZINE
    Compartment used for stowage of ammunition and explosives.

Illustration of a ship with the magazine area highlighted.


MAIN DECK
    Highest complete deck extending from stem to stern and side to side.

Illustration of a ship with the main deck highlighted.
MAINMAST
    Mast, second from the bow.

Illustration of a ship with the main mast highlighted.
MANHOLE
    A hole cut in the deck to provide access below.

Illustration of a sailor climbing out of a manhole.
MANIFEST
    A detailed list of the vessel's cargo, showing marks, shipper and consignee.

Illustration of a manifest.
MARLIN
    Two-stranded tarred cord used for seizing.

Illustration of a marlin.
MARLINE HAMMER
    See SERVING MALLET.

No image.


MARLINSPIKE
    A pointed iron instrument used to separate the strands in splicing wire rope.

Illustration of a marlinspike.
MARRY
    To join any two objects, usually falls. The Married Fall system consists of handling cargo by two connected falls. Also called Yard and Stay method, or Union Purchase method.

Illustration of a marry system between a ship and the dock.
MAST
    A vertical structure supporting the booms.

Illustration ofa mast.
MAST TABLE
    Same as BOOM TABLE.

No image.
MESSENGER
    A light line used for hauling a heavier rope or cable.

Illustration of a sailor using a messenger.
METACENTER
    See STABILITY.

METACENTRIC HEIGHT

    See STABILITY.
No image.


MIDSHIP GUY
    1. A tackle connecting the heads of the outboard and hatch booms, also called Schooner Guy.

    2. The inboard guys for the booms, where these are used in place of a single midship guy connecting the heads of the booms.

Illustration of the two types of midship guys.
MOLE
    A breakwater used as a loading pier.

Illustration of a mole.
MORTISE
    A groove for the strap of a block. Also called Score.

Illustration of a mortise.
MOUSING
    Closing the end of a hook with seizing to prevent the sling from slipping off.

Illustration of a mousing.


NORMAN PIN
    A pin passing through the head of a bollard to prevent hawsers from slipping off.

Illustration of a norman pin.
NIP
    A worn spot in a rope.

Illustration of a rope with a nip.
OAKUM
    A caulking material made of old tarred hemp rope fiber.

Illustration of a sailor using oakum.
OUTBOARD
    Toward the side of the ship.

Illustration of a ship with sailors walking to the outboard sections.
OUTBOARD BOOM
    1. The boom over the side of the ship.

OUTBOARD FALL

    2. The fall leading from the outboard boom.

OUTREACH

    3. The horizontal distance from the end of the boom to the mast.

Illustration of the outboard boom, outboard fall, and outreach.


OVERHAUL
    To separate the blocks of a tackle.

OVERHAULING WEIGHT
    A weight used to keep the rope taut when a load is not hooked on to a tackle. Also used in cargo falls to prevent slack from developing.
Illustration of overhaul and an overhauling weight.
OVERHEAD
    The term used for ceiling aboard ship.

Illustration of a sailor reaching up to the overhead.
PADEYE
    A metal eye attached to a deck or bulkhead through which a hook, ring or line may be passed. Also known as Lug Pads, Hoisting Pads.

Illustration of a padeye.
PAIR MASTS
    See KING POSTS.

No image.
PALLET
    A wooden platform on which material can be stacked and hoisted aboard.

Illustration of a pallet.


PALM WHIPPING
    A short length of seizing at the end of a rope to prevent its unlaying.

Illustration of a palm whipping.
PARBUCKLE
    A method of rolling an object, such as a drum, up an incline by means of a rope.

Illustration of parbuckling a barrel.
PARCELLING
    Wrapping a rope spirally with long strips of tarred canvas, overlapped, in order to shed water.

Illustration of parcelling.
PATENT BLOCK
    A block having roller bearings for the pin bearing.

Illustration of a patent block.
PATENT EYE
    A metal eye or socket secured to the end of a wire rope in place of a spliced eye.

Illustration of a patent eye.
PAWL
    Short hinged piece of metal used to engage the teeth of gear-like mechanisms so that recoil will be prevented.

Illustration of a pawl.


PAY OUT
    To slack out on a line.

Illustration of a sailor paying out a line.
PEAK TANK
    Compartments at the extreme fore and aft ends of the ship either left void or used for water ballast.

Illustration of a ship with the peak tanks highlighted.
PEDESTAL
    The fitting which takes the gooseneck of the jumbo boom.

Illustration of a pedestal.
PELICAN HOOK
    See HOOK.

No image.
PENDANT
    A length of wire rope with a socket or an eye splice at each end.

Illustration of a pendant.


PIER
    A structure used for loading and unloading vessels, which projects into the water, usually at right angles to the shore line.

Illustration of a pier.
PILE
    A timber driven into the bottom and projecting above water; those driven at the corners of a dock are called fender piles.

Illustration of a pile.
PIN
    1. The axle of a block upon which the sheeve revolves.

    2. A Belaying Pin is a rod of wood or metal that is inserted in holes in a rail for belaying or making fast certain gear.

Illustrations of a pin and belaying pin.
PLIMSOLL MARK
    A mark painted on the sides of a vessel designating the depth to which the vessel may, under the Maritime laws, be loaded in different bodies of water during various seasons of the year.

Illustration of a ship and a plimsoll mark.


POLE MAST
    A complete mast constructed from a single spar.

Illustration of a pole mast.
POOP
    Poop deck or partial deck at the stern over the main deck.

Illustration of a ship with the poop deck highlighted.
PORT
    1. The left side of a ship when looking forward.

    2. An opening in the ship's side.

    3. A harbor.

Illustration of a ship's port side and a port hole in the side.
PORTLAND HOOK
    See HOOK.

No image.
PREVENTER
    A rope used for additional support or safety, as, a preventer guy.

Illustration of a preventer.


PRICKER
    A small marlinspike.

Illustration of a pricker.
PURCHASE
    1. A tackle.

    2. The mechanical advantage secured by the use of a tackle.

Illustration of a purchase system.
QUAY
    A wharf used for the loading and unloading of cargo, which is parallel to the shore, having water on only one side.

Illustration of a quay.
RACKING
    Joining two ropes together by seizing.

Illustration of two ropes racked.
RAKED
    Fore and aft inclination of the masts, funnels, etc.

Illustration of a ship with raked masts.


RAT GUARD
    A circular piece of metal fitted closely on hawsers and lines to prevent rats from boarding or leaving the ship while at the wharf.

Illustration of a rope from a ship with a rat guard.
RATLINE
    Light rope used as rungs between shrouds, for the crew to go aloft.

Illustration of ratlines.
REEFER
    A ship designed for the carrying of refrigerated cargo.

Illustration of a reefer ship.
REEVE
    To pass the end of a rope through a block.

Illustration of a rope reeved through a block.
RIGGING
    1. A term used collectively for all the ropes and chairs required to support the masts, yards, and booms of a vessel and to operate the moveable parts.

    2. The act of handling and placing heavy weights and machinery.

Illustration of rigging.


RIGHTING MOMENT
    See STABILITY.

No image.
ROSE BOX
    The enlarged terminal on the suction end of a pipe which forms a strainer to prevent the entrance of material liable to choke the bilge suction pipe. Also called Strum Box.

Illustration of a rose box.
ROUND IN
    To bring the blocks of a tackle closer together.

Illustration of rounding in two blocks.
ROUND LINE
    Three-stranded rope used for fine seizings.

Illustration of a round line.
RUNNER
    See as FALL.

No image.
RUNNING RIGGING
    That part of the ship's rigging that is movable, running through blocks.

Illustration of running rigging.


SAFE WORKING LOAD
    The maximum weight which a boom, fall, tackle, hook, etc., will safely support. Abbreviated SWL. The breaking strength divided by the SWL is known as the Safety Factor.

Illustration of a line snapping from a heavy load.
SALMON BOARD
    The platform of a platform sling.

Illustration of a salmon board.
SAMPSON POSTS
    Same as KING POSTS.

No image.
SAVE-ALL
    A net spread from the ship's rail to the wharf to catch any cargo falling from slings during loading and unloading operations.

Illustration of a save-all.
SCORE
    Groove in the cheek of some types of blocks, to take the strap.

Illustration of a score ona block.


SCUPPERS
    Drains from decks to carry off accumulated rain or sea water. They connect to pipes leading overboard.

Illustration of a ship's scupper draining water.
SEIZING
    1. Light cordage used to bind a cut or spliced rope or cable. Also used to make an eye without splicing.

    2. The act of applying seizing.

Illustration of seizing.
SERVING
    Same as SEIZING.

Illustration of serving.
SERVING MALLET
    Hammer used to serve marline. Same as Marline Hammer.

Illustartion of a serving mallet.
SHACKLE
    A U-shaped piece of iron or steel with eyes in the ends, closed by a shackle pin. Used as a connector for wire rope and such parts and fittings as hooks, blocks, padeyes, etc., and as a connector for chain.

Illustration of a shackle.
SHAKINGS
    Waste rope, canvas, etc.

Illustration of shakings.


SHEAVE
    The wheel of a block.

Illustration of a sheave.
SHEEPSHANK
    A knot used to shorten a rope.

Illustration of a sheepshank.
SHELL
    The casing of a block.

Illustration of a shell.
SHIFTING BOARD
    A temporary bulkhead in a hold to prevent the shifting of cargo.

Illustration of a shifting board.
SHORE
    A temporary wooden brace or prop used to support cargo.

Illustration of crates being braced with a shore.


SHOT
    Fifteen fathoms (90 feet) of cable or anchor chain.

Illustration of chain.
SHROUD
    A rope extending from a mast head to the vessel's side to afford lateral support for the mast.

Illustration of a ship with shrouds.
SISAL
    Rope made of fibre of the henequin plant.

Illustration of sisal.
SISTER BLOCKS
    A shell with two sheaves, each of which hold a line, and these lines lead in opposite directions

Illustration of sister blocks.
SISTER HOOK
    See HOOK.

No image.
SKIN
    The inside or outside of a ship's plating.

Illustration of a ship highlighting the skin.


SKIP BOX
    Type of sling. Also called Ammunition Scow.

Illustration of a skip box.
SLACK
    That part of a rope hanging loosely. The opposite of taut. Also, to pay out a line.

Illustration of a slack line.
SLED
    A pallet on runners so that the load can be drawn along the ground.

Illustration of a sled.
SLING
    Rope, chain, or other gear used to suspend a draft of cargo.

Illustration of a slsing.


SLIP
    The space between two piers for berthing a vessel.

Illustration of a slip.
SMALL STUFF
    Small cordage.

Illustration of small stuff.
SHAKE OUT
    To unstow specific items of cargo, particularly by dragging to the square of the hatch.

Illustration of snake out.
SNORTER OR SNOTTER
    Length of rope with eye splices at each end, used as a cargo sling.

Illustration of a snorter or snotter.
SNUB
    To check suddenly, as a line from running out.

Illustration os a sailor snubbing a line.


SOCKET
    Wire rope fitting attached to the end of the rope and secured by molten metal which has hardened. Also called speltered socket.

Illustration of a socket.
SPAN
    A rope with both ends secured and a purchase attached to the bight.

Illustration of a span.
SPANNER STAY
    A wire stay connecting two Kingposts.

Illustration of a spanner stay.
SPAR
    A mast, boom, yard, or any wood or metal pole used for similar purposes.

Illustration of a spar.
SPIDER BAND
    Same as LINKBAND.

No image.
SPLICE
    To join the ends of two lines by tucking the strands of each into the other.

Illustration of a splice.


SPOT
    To swing a boom to any desired position by means of the boom guys and topping lift. Also called Trimming.

Illustration of a spot.
SPREADER
    A horizontal iron or wooden bar used to spread the legs of a sling or bridle and to keep them that way while the cargo is suspended. The bridle is thus prevented from cutting into the upper containers in the draft.

Illustration of spreaders.
SQUARE OF THE HATCH
    The space directly under the hatch opening, extending from the opening itself down to the bottom of the hold.

Illustration of a square of the hatch in a ship.
STABILITY
    The tendency which a vessel has to return to the upright position.

No image.
 
    The following are terms relating to stability:

    CENTER OF GRAVITY - The point at which the combined weight of all the individual items going to make up the total weight of the vessel may be considered as concentrated.

Illustration demonstrating center of gravity.


STABILITY
(continued)
    CENTER OF BUOYANCY - The point at which the buoyant force of water on the immersed portion of the ship's hull may be considered as concentrated. The position of this point changes as the vessel is inclined.

Illustration demonstrating center of buoyancy.
 
    METACENTER - The point where the vertical center line of a heeling vessel is intersected by the vertical line through the center of buoyancy. The position of the metacenter remains fairly constant for small angles of heel of the ship.

Illustration of metacenter.
 
    METACENTRIC HEIGHT - The distance between the Center of Gravity (G) and the Metacenter (M), usually called (GM). The greater this distance, the greater is the tendency of the vessel to right itself from any position of heel.

Illustration of metacentric height.
 
    RIGHTING MOMENT - The numerical measure of the ship's tendency to right itself from a given angle of heel. This varies with the angle of heel.

No image.
STANCHION
    Wooden or metal uprights used as supports.

Illustration of a stanchion.
STANDING RIGGING
    Rigging that is permanently secured, as opposed to RUNNING RIGGING.

Illustration of standing rigging.


STARBOARD
    The right hand side of the ship when looking from aft forward.

Illustration of a ship with the starboard side highlighted.
STAY
    A rope or cable running fore and aft from a mast to support it. See definition of BACKSTAY.

Illustration of a stay.
STEP
    To set a mast, gin pole, etc., in place.

Illustration of a step.
STERN
    The rear of a vessel.

Illustration of a ship with the stern highlighted.
STEVEDORE
    A person who contracts to load or unload a vessel, and employs longshoremen for this purpose.

Illustration of a person next to crates.


STIFF
    A vessel is stiff when its center of gravity is low, making it careen with difficulty. It returns rapidly to the upright position, with greater force. Opposite of TENDER.

Illustration of stiff.
STOOL
    A platform in the hold, in which cargo is landed. It may consist of planking, a heap of sacks, etc.

Illustration of a stool in in a ship's hold.
STOPPER
    A piece of rope or chain used to hold rope under load while being transferred from drum end of the winch to a cleat or vice versa.

Illustration of a stopper.
STRAKE
    A continuous row of steel plates running the length of the ship.

Illustration of strakes.
STRAND
    A number of yarns or wires twisted together and which in turn may be twisted into rope.

Illustration of a strand.


STRINGPIECE
    1. The heavy square timber laying along the top of the piles forming a dock front or timber pier.

    2. A small apron between the edge of the pier and the transit shed which is wide enough for passage but not for cargo operations.

Illustrations of stringpieces.
STRONGBACK
    See CROSSBEAM.

No image.
STRUM BOX
    Same as ROSE BOX.

No image.
SWALLOW
    The opening in a block in which the sheave is located.

Illustration of a swallow.
TABERNACLE
    A watertight structure for stowing gear and housing winches. Also, a boom table.

Illustration of a tabernacle.


TACKLE
    An assembly of ropes and blocks, (pronounced take'-l). Tackles are used to secure a mechanical advantage - that is, to enable the lifting of a heavy object by the exertion of a force considerably less than the weight of the object.

     

    1. SINGLE WHIP - Has a mechanical advantage of one (one pound force lifts one pound weight, disregarding loss due to friction). A single fixed block.

     

    2. GUN-TACKLE PURCHASE - Has a mechanical advantage of two (one pound force lifts two pound weight, disregarding friction). A single fixed block and a single movable block.

     

    3. LUFF-TACKLE - Has a mechanical advantage of three. A fixed block and a movable single block.

     

    4. TWO-FOLD PURCHASE - Has a mechanical advantage of four. A fixed double block and a movable double block.

Illustration of tackle types: single whip, gun-tackle purchase, luff-tackle, and two-fold purchase.


TACKLE
(continued)
    5. DOUBLE LUFF - Has a mechanical advantage of five. A fixed treble block and a movable double block.

     

    6. THREE-FOLD PURCHASE - Has a mechanical advantage of six. A fixed treble block and a movable treble block.

     

    7. RUNNER - Has a mechanical advantage of two. A single movable block.

     

    8. WHIP AND RUNNER - Has a mechanical advantage of two. A whip hooked to the hauling part of a runner.

Illustration of tackle types: double-luff, three-fold purchase, runner, and whip and runner.


TAG LINE
    See LANYARD.

No image.
TARE
    The weight of containers, strapping, etc. Net weight plus tare equals gross weight.

Illustration of a container.
TARPAULIN
    Heavy canvas used as a protective covering over the hatches.

Illustration of a tarpaulin.
TENDER
    A vessel is tender when its center of gravity is high, making it careen easily, i.e., it is topheavy. It returns slowly to the upright position, with relatively little force. The opposite of Stiff.

Illustration of a ship that is tender.
THIMBLE
    A pear-shaped metal ring, grooved on the outside to take rope around it. It protects the inside of an eye-splice from wearing out.

Illustration of a thimble.
TIER
    To stack. Also, a horizontal layer of cartons, cases, etc.

Illustration of a tier of boxes.


TOMMING
    Shoring which forces cargo down against the deck.

Illustration of tomming.
TON
    1. The short or net ton is 2000 pounds.

    2. The long ton is 2240 pounds.

Illustration of two weights, 200 and 2240 pounds.
TONNAGE

DISPLACEMENT TONNAGE (LIGHT)

    The weight of the ship itself, empty. (Long tons).

 

DISPLACEMENT TONNAGE (LOADED)

    The weight of the ship including the cargo, stores, fuel, dunnage, water, and other items necessary for use on a voyage, when the ship is loaded down to its maximum draft. This weight is equal to the weight of water displaced by the ship when in the above condition. (Long tons).

Illustration of displacement tonnage light and loaded.


DEADWEIGHT TONNAGE
    The displacement loaded minus the displacement light. In other words, it is the carrying capacity of the ship. (Long tons).

 

DEADWEIGHT TONNAGE or
CARGO CAPACITY TONNAGE

    The deadweight tonnage minus items which are not part of the cargo, such as fuel, water, stores, dunnage, etc. The cargo deadweight is the maximum amount of cargo, in long tons, which the ship is able to carry.

Illustration of deadweight tonnage and cargo deadweight tonnage.
GROSS TONNAGE
    This is a measure of volume, rather than weight. The internal space of the ship, including the holds and erections on the hull but not including certain exempt spaces, is measured in terms of cubic feet; this cubic feet figure is converted to 'gross tons' on the basis of one ton for each hundred cubic feet.

NET TONNAGE

    This differs from gross tonnage in that certain additional spaces have been deducted, such as crew's spaces, etc.

Illustration of gross and net tonnage.
TOP
    To raise or lift up the boom.

Illustration of a top.


TOPPING LIFT
    A tackle by which a boom is raised or lowered to the desired angle and held there in place.

Illustration ofa topping lift.
TRANSIT SHED
    Enclosed structure on pier or quay, protecting cargo.

Illustration of a transit shed.
TRIM
    Position in the water, relative to the horizontal place. A vessel 'Trims by the head' or 'Trims by the Stern' when it inclines forward or aft.

Illustration of trim.
TRIMMING
    See SPOT.

No image.
TURNBUCKLE
    A link with two threaded bars inserted in opposite ends. Twisting the link draws the bars together. Used for tightening purposes, such as the securing of deck cargo, or securing standing rigging to dock.

Illustration of a turnbuckle.
'TWEEN DECKS
    Space between decks, usually that space between the main deck and the lower hold. Same as Between Decks.

Illustration of a ship showing the 'tween decks in highlight.


ULLAGE
    What a case or tank lacks of being full.

Illustration of a cask unfilled.
VANG
    See GUY.

No image.
WARP
    To move a vessel by means of a line or anchor.

Illustration of warping.
WASH PLATE
    Plates fitted fore and aft to check the rush of bilge water from side to side when the ship is rolling.

Illustration of wash plates.
WASH PORT
    Same as FREEING PORT.

No image.
WATER LOGGED
    Filled or soaked with water but still afloat.

Illustration of water logged.


WEATHER DECK
    Uppermost decks which are exposed to the weather.

Illustration of a weather deck.
WHARF
    Place for loading or unloading vessels.

Illustration of a wharf.
WHARFAGE
    Charge for the use of berthing space.

Illustration of money.
WHIP
    Any tackle used for hoisting light weights; usually only a single fixed block.

Illustration of a whip.


WHIPPING
    Turns of small cord wound around the end of a rope to prevent its unlaying.

Illustration of whipping.
WILDCAT
    The large toothed wheel of the windlass that catches the anchor chain and carries it over the windlass.

Illustration of a wildcat.
WINCH
    An engine usually electric or steam driven, secured on deck, and fitted with drums on a horizontal axis which are used for hoisting or lowering cargo.

Illustration of winch.
WINDLASS
    The powered apparatus used for handling heavy anchor chains, hawsers, etc. It may be either vertical or horizontal like a winch.

Illustration of a windlass.
WING
    The part of the hold or 'tween deck which is to port or starboard of the square of the hatch.

Illustration of a wing.


WORMING
    The laying of a small rope or worm along the lay of a larger rope to bring the surface of the rope more nearly round for the purpose of parceling or serving.

Illustration of worming.
YARD
    An athwartships spar attached at its midpoint to a mast.

Illustration of a yard.
YARDARM
    Outer end of a yard.

Illustration of a yardarm.
YARN
    Twisted fibers which may be twisted further into strands.

Illustration of yarns.