Category Archives: Nautical trivia

Nautical Trivia from the Yeoman of Signals

“Splice the Mainbrace“ Is an order given aboard naval vessels to issue the crew with a drink. Originally an order for one of the most difficult emergency repair jobs aboard a sailing ship, it became a euphemism for authorized celebratory drinking afterward, and then the name of an order to grant the crew an extra […]

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Nautical Trivia by Fonz – Gripe

A sailing vessel gripes when, by poor design or imbalance of sail, it tends to end up with its bow into the wind when sailing close-hauled.The sails flap around, forward progress is halted and she is very hard to steer. On land, the term means to complain, complain, complain.

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Nautical Trivia by “Fonz” – Beaufort Wind Scale

Quaffters Version: Force 0: Sails hanging limp. Tiller tends itself. Force 1: Beginning pressure on sails. If sheet is eased out, the tiller still tends itself. Force 2: Sails flapping in the breeze, and boat drifting to leeward. Sheets must be tightened and one hand put on the tiller. As the wind fills the sails, […]

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Nautical Trivia by Fonz – Broadside

Deliver a Broadside A broadside was the simultaneous firing of the guns and/or canons on one side of a war ship. Quite a blow, as can be imagined. Today it means much the same type of all-out attack, though done (usually) with words

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A Good Deal

Finding a “good deal” really comes from the shipbuilder rather than a sailor. Large timbers, free from defects and big enough to be cut into ship’s timbers, were hard to come by. Looking at a standing tree would not tell a lumberjack with certainty that it could be felled, trimmed, and shaped without some kind […]

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