Category Archives: Nautical trivia

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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Nautical Trivia by “Fonz”

Ground Swell A sudden swell; which is the rise of water, along the shore. It often happens when the weather is fine and the sea behind it appears calm. Said to occur when undulating water from a faraway storm reaches the shoreline where friction causes the swell. In common use, the term groundswell means a […]

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