BAG-REEF. A fourth or lower reef, sometimes used in the royal navy.

BALANCE-REEF. A reef band that crosses a sail diagonally, and is used to contract it in a storm.

BANDS. Pieces of canvas, from one sixth to a whole breadth, strongly sewed across the sail to strengthen it.

BOLT-ROPE. The rope sewed on the edges of sails to prevent their rending. The bolt-rope on the perpendicular or sloping edges is called the leech-rope; that at the bottom, the foot-rope and that on the top of the sail, the head-rope.

BONNET. An additional part of the sail, made to fasten with hatchings to the foot of the sails of some vessels with one mast, in moderate winds. It is exactly similar to the foot of the sail it is intended for.

BOWLINE. A rope fastened by the bridles to the bowline cringles, on the leech of topsails and other square sails, to keep tight the windward or weather leech of the sail.

BRAILS. Ropes to draw up the foot, lower, corner, and the skirts, of mizen-courses, and other large fore and aft sails for furling.

BRIDLES of the bowline. Short ropes, or legs, fastened to the bowline cringles on the leeches of sails.

BUNT. The middle-part of the foot of square sails, and the foremost leech of staysails cut with a nock.

BUNTLINE. A rope fastened to the buntline cringles, on the foot of square sails, to draw them up to their yards.

BUNTLINE CLOTH. The lining sewed up the sail, in the direction of the buntline, to prevent the sail being chafed.

CANVAS. For the royal navy, canvas or sail-cloth is 24 inches wide; and 38 yards are called a bolt. To distinguish the different qualities, each bolt is numbered, and should weigh as follows: No. 1 44lb. No. 2, 41; No. 3, 38; No. 4, 35; No. 5, 32; No. 6, 29; No. 7, 24; and, No. 8, 21 pounds; from No, 1 to 6 is termed double, and above No. 6 single, canvas.

CLUE. The lower corner of a sail, where the clue-rope is spliced, and the sheet fastened.

CLUE-ROPE. A short rope, larger than the bolt-rope on the sail, into which it is spliced, at the lower corners of square sails, and the after corners of staysails and boomsails. It is there formed into a loop, to which the sheets are fastened.

COURSES. The mainsail, foresail, spritsail, and mizen of ships.

CRINGLES. Small holes formed in the bolt-ropes of sails by intertwisting the strand of a rope alternately round itself and through the strands of the bolt-rope, till it assume the shape of a ring. To the cringles the end of a rope is fastened, to haul the sail up to the yard, &c.

DRABLER. An additional part of a sail, laced to the bottom of the bonnet of a square-sail, in Dutch sloops, &c.

DROP of a sail. A term sometimes used to courses and topsails instead of depth.

EARINGS. Small ropes used to extend the upper corners of sails to the yards, or gaffs.

FID. A round tapering pin, made of hard wood, to thrust between the strands of a rope and make a hole to admit the strand of another rope, in splicing.

GASKET, A plaited cord used to fasten the folded parts of a sail to the yard, when furling or reefing.

GORES. Angles cut slopewise at one or both ends of such cloths as widen or increase the depth of a sail.

GROMMET. A small wreath made by splicing together the ends of a short piece of rope or line.

HALLIARDS. The ropes or tackle employed to hoist the yards or sails.

HANKS. A sort of wooden rings, formed by the bending of a piece of tough wood, which are confined to the stays by notched cut in the ends.

HEADSTICKS. A short round stick with a hole in each end, strongly sewed to the head of some triangular foresails and jibs, to prevent the head of the sail from twisting; the head-rope is thrust through the holes before it is sewed on the sail.

HEAVING-MALLET. A mallet with a small cylindrical head, used as a lever to strain tight the cross stitches and beat them close, when sewing on the bolt-rope.

HOIST. The foremost leeches of staysails and mast-leech of boom sails.

HOLES in sails are made with an instrument, called a stabber or a pegging-awl, and are fenced round by stitching the edge to a small grommet; such are the holes on the head of a sail for the rope-bands or lacing of square sails, and for seizings on sails that bend to hoops and hanks. Holes are likewise made across the sail in the reef-bands; at the clues, for marling on the clue-rope; and at the top brims of topsails, for marling on the foot-rope. Holes, when finished, should be stretched up with a pricker or marline-spike.

HOUSE-LINE. Small line, of 3 threads, used to marl the clue-rope at the clues, and to seize the corners of sails.

LACEING. The rope or line used to confine the heads of sails to their yards or gaffs.

LASHING. A short rope used to confine one object to another, by several turns round it and securing the end.

LATCHING. Loops formed on the line that is sewed top the head of a bonnet to connect it with the foot of a sail: these loops are 6 inches asunder and 6 inches long, except the two middle ones, which are 12 inches long, to fasten off with. The loops are alternately reeved through holes in the foot of the sail and through each other, and fasten by the two loops in the middle with two half-hitches, by loosing of which they unreeve themselves.

LATEEN-SAIL. A triangular sail, bent at the foremost leech to a yard that hoists obliquely to the mast, and is connected with it, at one third the length of the yard.

LEECHES, or skirts. The perpendicular or sloping edges of sails.

LININGS. The canvas sewed on the leeches and middle of a sail to strengthen it.

MARLING. Securing clue-ropes to the clues of sails, by passing a line round the rope and through each marling-hole with a hitch knot.

MARLING-SPIKE. A tapered iron pin, fixed in a short wooden handle, bent towards the point. It is used to open the strands of a rope for splicing, and to strain tight the seizing of clues, &c.

MAST-CLOTH. The lining in the middle of the aft side of topsails, to prevent the sail being chafed by the mast.

NEEDLES have three sides towards the point, and are of various sizes. They bear the following names, viz. large marline, small marline, double bolt-rope, large bolt-rope, small bolt-rope, store, old work, tabling, and flat-seam, needles. The needles should be no larger than is necessary to carry the twine, and the edges should be taken off, that the canvas may not be cut.

NOCK. The foremost upper corner of boomsails, and of staysails cut with a square tack.

PALM. A flat round piece of iron, used instead of a thimble, and chequered in the middle, to hinder the head of the needle from slipping. It is sewed on a piece of leather or canvas, having a hole for the thumb to go through, which encircles the hand so that the iron, when used, is against the palm.

PARCELLING is encircling a rope, after it is wormed, with narrow pieces of old canvas, well tarred, to make a fair surface for the serving.

PEEK. The upper corner of triangular sails, and upper outer corner of fore and aft sails.

PEGGING-AWL. AN instrument for making holes with. It has 4 sharp edges towards the point, and is smaller than a stabber.

POINTS. Short pieces of flat plaited cordage, tapering from the middle to the ends, used to reef the square sails.

PRICKER. A small instrument, like a marline-spike, but straight, to make the holes with.

REEF. The portion of sail contained between the reef-bands and nearest edge of the sail, at head or foot.

REEF-BANDS. The bands in which the reef-holes are made, when sewed across the sail.

REEF-HANKS. Short pieces of log-line, or other small line, sewed at certain distances on the reefs of boom-sails.

REEF-TACKLE PENDANT. A rope employed to hoist the reef of a topsail to the yard, to reef the sail.

REELS FOR TWINE are short cylindrical pieces of wood, having the sides hollowed and a hole bored through the middle. A Bench-Reel is similar to a spinning-wheel, and is used to expedite winding the twine from the skains to the twine-reel. A Yarn-reel is a circular board, nailed in the middle of a piece of oak, 4 inches square and 16 inches long, and is used to wind spunyarn on; through the centre is bored a hole by which it turns round a bolt, as on an axis.

RING-TAIL-SAIL. A small sail, extended, by a small mast and a boom, over the stern. A boat's main-sail is generally made to answer both purposes.

ROACH-LEECH. A term signifying the curve on the mast-leech of some fore and aft sails, &c.

ROPE-BANDS. Short pieces of plaited cordage, used to fasten the head of a sail to its yard.

RUBBER. A small iron instrument, in a wooden handle, to rub down or flatten the seams.

SAIL-HOOK. A small iron hook, with an eye in one end, to which a cord is spliced: it is used to confine the work, while sewing, by hooking on the canvas, the cord being fastened to some convenient place.

SEAMS. The two edges of canvas where laid over each other and sewed down.

SEIZING. Joining one part of a rope to another with several round and cross-turns of small cord or line.

SELVAGE. The edges of cloth as finished in weaving.

SERVING is winding small line or spunyard tightly round a rope by a mallet, to preserve it from wet, &c. The line or spunyarn being wound up in a ball, two or more turns are taken from it round the rope, confining the end under the turns: the mallet is then placed on the rope, and 2 or more yarns are passed round the rope and mallet, and round the handle, then, turning the mallet (whilst another person passes the ball round the rope,) it leaves the spunyarn on the rope, and draws it tight.

SERVING-MALLET. A wooden instrument, composed of a short cylindrical head, with a handle through its centre. Along the upper surface of the head is cut a circular groove, to fit the convexity of the rope.

SERVING-BOARD. A small piece of board, 7 or 8 inches long and 3 inches broad, tapering to one end as a handle. It has a small notch or groove cut in the middle or the broad end, and one or two on the sides, on which the spunyarn is twisted. Its use is the same as the mallet, but for small rope only.

SHEET. A rope to spread the foot of a sail, attached to the clues of square sails, and the after clue of other sails, except studdingsails: on them it is fastened to the inner clue.

SHOULDER-OF-MUTTON-SAIL is triangular, similar to the lateen sail, but is attached to a mast instead of a yard.

SLACK-CLOTH. A certain quantity of cloth, allowed to be gradually gathered up, in sewing on the bolt-rope to the sail, more than the length of bolt-rope; otherwise the rope, by stretching in the wearing, might occasion the sail to split.

SLIDING-GUNTER-SAIL. A triangular sail, used in boats, bent at its foremost leech to hoops or grommets that slide on the lower mast: the peek or head is attached to a small topmast, that slides up, in the direction of the lower-mast, through two hoops fixed, at its head, about three feet asunder. When the topmast is lowered, the sail furls close up to the lower mast.

SPLICE. Two ends of a rope joined neatly together, by opening the strands and placing them equally in each other, and thrusting the ends through the intervals of the opposite strands alternately, the opening being previously made with a fid or marline-spike.

SPUNYARN. Three or four yarns of half-worn rope, tarred and twisted together by a winch or whirls.

STABBER. An instrument similar to a pricker, only being triangular instead of square.

STAY. A large rope employed to sustain the mast, by extending from its upper part towards the fore part of the ship, where it is securely fastened.

STAY-HOLES. Holes made through staysails, at certain distances along the hoist, through which they are seized to the hanks on the stay.

STUCK. The term used for being stitched.

TABLING. A broad hem made on the shorts of sails, by turning the edge over and sewing it down. It is to strengthen the sail for sewing on the bolt-rope.

TABLED. The edges turned over and sewed down.

TACK. A rope used to confine the clues of the mainsail and foresail forward occasionally in a fixed position, and also to confine the foremost lower corners of staysails, boomsails, and foresails of sloops; and the outer lower corners of studdingsails.

TACK OF A SAIL. That place to which the tack is fastened.

THIMBLE. An iron ring, having a groove formed in its outer circumference. Thimbles are fixed on the cringles of sails where iron hooks are used, as the hook of a tackle, &c.

THUMB-STALL. A ferrule, made of iron, horn, or leather, with the edges turned up, to receive the thread in sewing. It is worn on the thumb to tighten the stitches.

TOP-BRIM. A space in the middle of the foot of a topsail, containing one-fifth of the number of its cloths. It is so called from its situation, being near the fore part of the top, or plat-form on the mast, when the sail is extended.

TOP-LINING. The lining sewed to the aftside of topsails, to preserve the sail from the chafing of the top.

TWINE is of two sorts, extra and ordinary; the extra is for seaming, and runs 360 fathoms to the pound; the ordinary is used to sew on the bolt-rope, and runs 200 fathoms to the pound. Twine for the navy is of three threads.

WINCH, to make or twist spunyarn with, is made of 8 spokes, 4 at each end, and 4 wooden pins 15 inches long driven through the end of them. Through the centre of the spokes is bored a hole for an iron bolt to pass through, that serves for an axis. The motion is given to the winch by the hand; on the edges of the spokes is a small hook to stop the yarn when twisting, after which the spunyarn is wound round the body of the winch.

WHIRLS. Short wires with a hook at one end, going through a hole in a cylindrical piece of wood; the wood in which they turn is hollowed on the outside to receive a strap of canvas or leather: three of these whirls are retained by notches cut on the edge of a semi-circular rib or wood hollowed on the back, 3 inches square, and 10 inches long, fastened against an upright fixed by a tenon into a large block of wood: a spoke wheel, about 3 feet diameter, turns on a large pin, or axis, driven into the middle of the upright; and round this wheel and the woods of the whirls passes a tight canvas or leather strap; so that turning the spoke-wheel puts the whirls in motion, and the yarns, being hung to the hooks, are twisted together.

WORMING is winding small lines or spunyarn along the cuntline of a rope, to produce a fair surface for serving.

David Steel: The Elements and Practice of Rigging and Seamanship.
David Steel, London, 1794. pp 86-90.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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