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Terminology


Abaft
At or toward the rear of the ship.

Aft
Toward the rear of the ship.

Ballast
Large tanks located in the bottom of the ship which when filled with water stabilize and right the ship.

Beam
The breadth of a ship at its widest part.

Bilge
The rounded, lower part of a ship's hull.

Bow
The front part of a ship.

Bulkhead
An upright partition separating compartments to resist pressure or to shut off water.

Draft, draught
The depth to which a ship is immersed.

Fender strake
A single line of metal plating extending along the hull of the ship.

Fore
Toward the front of a ship.

Funnel
The smokestack, for the escape of smoke or for ventilation.

Gangway
The passageway or opening in a ship for loading and unloading passengers and freight.

Hull
The frame or main body of a ship on which it floats when in the water.

Keel
The chief, structural member of a ship extending along the entire length of the bottom of a ship.

Knots
Unit by which a ship's speed is measured. A knot is one nautical mile (6,067.1 feet) per hour.

List
When a ship tilts to one side.

Mast
A long pole rising from the deck of a ship for supporting the rigging.

Metacenter
The point at which a vertical line drawn through the center of buoyancy of an upright ship intersects a vertical line drawn through the center of buoyancy of a ship when tipped.

Metacentric height
The measure of the stability of a ship in water. The metacentric height is calculated by subtracting the center of gravity from the metacenter. A ship with a negative metacentric height is very unstable and is likely to capsize.

Modoc whistle
A steam whistle made from a long piece of steel pipe with a flutter reed inside, the purpose of which was to create a distinctive warning signal. The sound created by this type of whistle was said to be similar to the warhoop of the Modoc Indian.

Moored
To secure a ship to something.

Pontoon
A flat-bottomed boat.

Port
The left-hand side of a ship as one faces forward.

Promenade
The deck of a ship that allows walking around the outside of the deck.

Rigging
Lines and chains used aboard a ship, especially in working sail and supporting masts and spars.

Rudder
A broad, flat structure hinged vertically to a ship's stern which is used for steering.

Scupper
An opening in a ship's side to allow water to run off of the deck.

Spar
A stout, rounded piece of steel or wood used to support rigging.

Starboard
The right-hand side of a ship as one faces forward.

Stern
The rear part of a ship.

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