The way is off my ship.
You may feel your way past me
Rabbet, Race, Rack, RACON, RADAR, Radar reflector, Radiation fog, Radio, Raft, Rain, Rag bolt, Rail, Rain, Rainbow, Raise, Rake, Ram, Range, Rank, Rasing, Rating, Ratline, Rattle down, Reach, Ready about, Rebate, Reciprocal, Red duster, Red to red, Reef, Reef band, Reef knot, Reef tackle, Reel, Reeve, Reference port, Refit, Reflection, Refraction, Regatta, Relative bearing, Rhumb line, Rib, RIB, Riding light, Rig, Rigging, Righting moment, Right of way, Ring bolt, Rip tide, River, Roach, Roadstead, Rock, Rode, Rogue yarn, Rogue wave, Roll, Rope, RO-RO, Rose, Round up, Row, Rowlocks, Royal, Rubrail, Rubstrake, Rudder, Rule, Ruler, Rules of the road, Runabout, Running, Running backstay, Running lights, Running rigging, Running the gantlet
A rectangular recess along the edge or the end of a piece of wood. The word comes from the old French 'rabbat', meaning a recess into a wall.
In English the word 'rebate' is often used, but a rebate is something the tax man might give you.
n A competition between boats (or anything) to discover which is the fastest.
See Rip tide.
n An arrangement of sheaves within two cheek plates arranged so that the lines passing through them are turned. A rack may be used to gather the lines from the mast (such as main, jib, spinnaker ha'lyards, reefing lines) so that they approach one or two winches on deck or on the coachroof.
The radar screen of the ship carrying the radar shows a sequence of dots and dashes identifying the buoy.
RAdio Detection And Ranging.
The radio signals are transmitted, and the echos are received, by an antenna mounted as high on the boat as practicable. The results are displayed on a screen. Interpretation of the results requires training and practice.
A form of communication using electromagnetic waves at a lower frequency (higher wavelength) than visible light. The waves can be modulated (either by frequency or amplitude) to transfer sounds (spoken words, music, etc) from a transmitter to a receiver over tens, hundreds, thousands or millions of miles.
Domestic and vehicle radios are usually receivers only. Information and entertainment is broadcast from transmitters owned and operated by national authorities (such as the British Broadcasting Corporation) or by private companies.
Two-way radios (walkie-talkies) have both a transmitter and a receiver on a simplex system; that is, the device can either broadcast or receive, but not both, at any one moment. Those used by boats and ships broadcast and receive with Very High Frequency radio waves between 30 and 300 MegaHertz.
Personal Mobile Radios (PMR) operate on 446MHz and are unlicenced.
Digital Selective Calling (DSC) allows pre-defined digital messages to be broadcast on a narrow waveband. A single press of a button will transmit a Mayday alert and, if programmed, the nature of the emergency. If the unit is linked to a GNSS the alert will incorporate the vessel's position.
Each DSC radio has a pre-assigned Maritime Mobile Service Identity which can be called uniquely from another DSC unit. Entering a vessel's MMSI number into a keypad allows that vessel to be called uniquely, although subsequent voice broadcasts can be received by any unit within range.
Bathing rafts may be moored some tens of metres from safe beaches.
Thor Heyerdahl and his companions built balsa-wood rafts, with rudimentary sails and steering oars, to demonstrate the possibility that native South Americans could have 'sailed' to the Pacific Islands.
Inflatable 'rafts', 'steered' by several people with paddles are used for exciting recreational voyages down fast moving rivers and rapids.
Large hollow concrete rafts have been used as floating foundations for houses and bridges.
vb To use a raft.
vb To moor alongside other boats on the same mooring buoy or alongside the same wharf. Rafting is normal in busy harbours, but it is courteous to ask permission before rafting alongside another vessel, and then to do so 'head to tail', so that privacies are not invaded. In getting from an outside boat to the wharf it is courteous to cross other boats away from the cockpit or companionway.
An iron pin or bolt which has barbs cut into its shank so that when driven into wood it resists withdrawal.
It differs from a bolt in not having a thread cut into the shank, and so it cannot accept a nut.
A hand-rail is a long thin wooden or metal structure attached to parts of the vessel which the crew can hold to keep their balance. On smaller vessels they are often attached to the coachroof to make movement along the side decks safer. On many vessels they are above and alongside companionway steps or ladders.
The refraction of sunlight or moonlight through falling raindrops appears as a semicircle of coloured light in the sky.
v Accidentally or deliberately to collide with another vessel. When one vessel collides at right angles amidships of another vessel this is colloquially known as "T-boning", by association with the shape of the bone in a T-bone steak.
Distance, usually in nautical miles.
The distance to which a projectile may be fired from a gun.
Or, the location, such as Foulness Sand, over which test firing of guns is carried out.
In the USA a transit is known as a range.
The relative situations which people hold with one another.
People of a higher rank may, in general, give instructions or advice to people of a lower rank.
ng Marking the outline of (say) a timber or frame on a piece of wood by cutting or scratching a line around a pattern.
A rasing-knife, a small edged tool with a handle, is now known as a marking-knife.
An enlisted man or woman in the (British) Royal Navy.
Rattle down, to
vb To rattle down is to attach the ratlines firmly to the shrouds so that they don't slip down when the sailors step on them.
"Prepare to change the tack"
A return of part of money paid for goods or services, perhaps when payment is made early.
Exactly the opposite direction.
Mathematically, the reciprocal of a number is 1 divided by the number.
A nickname for the Red Ensign.
Red to red
Power-driven vessels approaching one another head-on are required to turn to starboard so as to pass one another port side to port side; their red navigation lights would then face one another; red to red.
IRPCS "Section II. Conduct of vessels in sight of one another" Rule 14 "Head-on situation" says
"(a) When two power-driven vessels are meeting on reciprocal . . courses so as to involve a risk of collision each shall alter her course to starboard so that each shall pass on the port side of the other."
n, v. To reduce the area of a sail by rolling and tying up a portion of it.
Some ropes, especially of small diameter, are coiled onto reels; cotton is always on a reel.
Fishing reels may be complex arrangements with handles, brakes, ratchets and attachments for rods.
n A Scottish dance.
vb To walk irregularly, almost to fall, as when drunk or drugged.
The port to which the tidal diamonds on a chart are referenced.
In the table of tidal diamonds, the tidal hours are before and after the time of high water at the reference port. The reference port may, or may not, be on the same chart as the diamonds.
The port to which the dots (or commas) in a tidal stream atlas are referenced.
On the pages of the tidal stream atlas the tidal hours are often described as 'hours before' or 'hours after' rather than as tidal hours.
Not the same as a Standard Port, although a Reference Port may also be a Standard Port.
n, vb The components of the ship are replaced or refurbished, and brought up-to-date.
n What you see when you look in a mirror.
Light which falls on your face is reflected in all directions. Some of it falls on the mirror and is reflected from the silvering behind the glass into your eyes. You see a reflection of your face.
When you adjust the mirror of your sextant you see a reflection of the sun, or star. By changing the angle of the mirror you can move the reflection of the sun, or star, to coincide with the horizon.
During a rainstorm sunlight may be reflected (and refracted) from raindrops into your eye; the refracted light is perceived as a rainbow. If the sun (perhaps low in the morning or evening) is first reflected from the surface of the sea and then reflected and refracted by the raindrops a second rainbow will appear in a different position.
If you drop a stone into a pond ripples (small waves) move outward from the point at which the stone entered the water. When the ripples meet the wall at the edge of the pond they are reflected back into the pond.
The bow and stern waves of your boat are reflected from the sides of the canal, or harbour, back into the water of the canal or harbour.
A snooker ball which strikes the cushion, or another ball, is reflected away from the cushion or other ball.
When an 'object' is reflected the angle of incidence is always equal to the angle of reflection.
If a vessel's heading is, say, 055°T, and the bearing to a lighthouse is, say, 175°T, then the relative bearing to the lighthouse is 120°, or about 3 points abaft the starboard beam. In the 'clock' notation this would be 5 o'clock.
A line (drawn on a chart) which crosses all meridians of longitude at the same angle. A vessel on a constant heading, relative to True North, would follow a rhumb line. A straight line on a chart to Mercator's Projection is a rhumb line.
A Rigid Inflatable Boat.
IRPCS Rule 30 "Anchored vessels . . . " says
(a) A vessel at anchor shall exhibit . . :
(i) in the fore part, an all-round white light . .;
(ii) at or near the stern and at a lower level than . . prescribed in . . (i), an all-round white light."
Clothing worn by people associated with the sea.
'Moment' here has nothing to do with time. It is the product of a force and the perpendicular distance between the force and its fulcrum. See AVS.
Right of way
Since then no vessel has a right of way, unhindered, over another; the Rules specify which vessels should give way, and require the stand-on vessel to give way if the other does not. See IRPCS Rule 17.
Eye-bolts having a ring through the eye of the bolt.
Water flowing along a well-defined, more or less permanent path or bed from higher to lower ground and ultimately to the sea (or an inland lake).
The stream (current) of a river depends on rainfall; the set is more or less constant and predictable, while the drift may vary significantly: it has no tide. Where a river is connected to the sea and a tide becomes evident the river is an estuary.
An adult who 'rocks the boat' is acting against the authorised pattern of behaviour.
An unusually large wave.
When the sea is disturbed by several wave patterns, perhaps from different directions, their frequencies are different. Often, the harmonics cancel out; occasionally they augment one another to create a 'rogue wave'.
Oscillations about a horizontal fore-and-aft axis.
Rolling is caused by the action of waves or swell, except when sailing downwind under Bermudan mainsail and jib, or jib alone; such rolling may increase progressively (a death roll) until the sail or boom touches the water.
The two words, ‘rope’ and ‘line’ are generally interchangeable. All the lines on a boat (with the possible exceptions of the bell-rope, bolt-rope, foot-rope and man-ropes) have specific names, like sheet, ha’lyard, rode, painter, but it is possible that these names were originally adjectives describing the word ‘line’ (or even 'rope'): Joshua Slocum referred to Spray's sheets as 'sheet-ropes' (perhaps implying that 'sheet' might once have been slang for 'sail').
A coil of rope may be one of two kinds.
If the rope has been wound around a core of wood or plastic (a reel) it must be unrolled from the outside of the winding. The core usually has an axial hole which can be mounted on a pole to make unwinding the rope easier.
If the coil has no central core the rope must be drawn from the centre of the coil, not the outside, to prevent kinking and ravelling.
Roll-on-roll-off. A ferry which carries vehicles which drive on and off under their own power, usually without reversing.
An adjective describing members of the monarch's close family. Occasionally used, especially in the plural and by the 'tabloid' press, as a noun.
An adjectival noun used colloquially to describe a member of the Royal Marine Corps.
A sacrificial piece attached to the side of a boat to prevent damage to the rest of the boat when coming alongside.
The rudder may be operated by a tiller connected directly to the rudder, or by a wheel or whipstaff connected to the rudder by lines. In all cases there is a tiller (however small) or quadrant on the rudder head.
The rudder may be mounted on the transom, or it may be mounted under the after part of the boat and connected to its tiller by a tube.
n A straightedge, often with graduations in imperial or metric units, which may be used to rule straight lines but is most often used to measure distances.
vb To draw a straight line with a graduated rule or simple straightedge.
n A standing instruction (such as the IRPCS).
vb To rule, to reign over, to control people and territory. A person who rules is a ruler.
n A person who rules, such as a king or queen (or perhaps someone with a straightedge and pencil).
Rules of the Road
A colloquial term for the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
Local rules, such as for racing, or on inland waters, are usually modifications of the IRPCS which do not conflict.
An archaic term for a small single-masted vessel, usually carrying a mainsail and a jib. The mainsail would have been a lugsail or, later, a gaffsail but not, in those days, a Bermudan sail. The jib would have been flown from a bowsprit or, perhaps, the stemhead.
What is now called a sloop.
Possibly the most difficult and dangerous point of sail for a modern sloop. The mainsail, boomed out to the beam as far as possible, denies wind to the jib which is then often set on the other side of the stay (goosewinged). It takes a skilled helmsman to keep both main and jib full of wind. The mainsail of a Marconi-stayed boat cannot be boomed square to the centre line; with the wind from astern there is always the danger that a flaw of wind will back the mainsail and cause an unexpected gybe. In strong winds, and thereby high waves, there is a danger that the water on the forward face of a wave will move faster than the boat, stall the rudder and cause a broach.
On some boats the forestay (or one of them) is attached part way up the mast and not at the top. The effort of the staysail would tend to bend or buckle the mast at the point of attachment. This is prevented by a pair of backstays from the mast to points forward of the quarters. These backstays tend to interfere with the boom and so, on each tack, the leeward backstay can be eased and drawn forward.
See IRPCS, Part C, Rules 20 to 31.
Running the gantlet
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