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Title: Sailing
Author: Knight, E. F. (Edward Frederick)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                            J. BRYER & SON,

              Nautical Instrument Makers & Yacht Fitters,

                        104, MINORIES, LONDON.

            13-in. high, =£5 10s.= Nickel-plated, =£6 10s.=

                    Cork Seats.
                    Knives, etc.
                    Wire Rigging.


                    Spirit Compasses.
                    Dry Compasses.
                    Clocks and Aneroid Barometers.
                    Night Glasses.
                    Lamps: Port, Starboard, and Anchor.
                    Cabin Lamps.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                              Boat Hooks.

      Extreme Height only 14 inches. 5-inch Card Liquid Compass.

These Binnacles are much approved of for small yachts, 3 and 5 tonners.
               Compass is perfectly steady in a sea way.

          _Rope of all Kinds for Yachts, Boats, and Canoes._

                           CATALOGUES FREE.

     The only Prize Medal awarded for Construction of Boats at the
              International Inventions Exhibition, 1885.

                     By Appointment to the Queen.


                      ESTABLISHED OVER 100 YEARS.

                              R. J. TURK,

                    BOAT, PUNT, AND CANOE BUILDER,

                      KINGSTON-ON-THAMES, SURREY.

   _Boats, Punts, and Canoes of every kind Built with all the Latest




    Gold Medal, Melbourne, 1888-1889. Gold Medal, Edinburgh, 1886.

    Gold Medal, Glasgow, 1886-1887. Silver Medal, Liverpool, 1886.

           Gold Medal, Paris International Exhibition, 1885.

         Silver and Bronze Medals, Falmouth Exhibition, 1885.

The Medal of the Sanitary Institute of Great Britain, Leicester, 1885.

  Only Prize Medal, Inventions Exhibition, 1885, for Construction of

           Silver Medal, Havre, 1887. Medal, Saltaire, 1887.

Highest Award, First Order of Merit, Adelaide International Exhibition,
                   1887, for Rowing Skiff and Canoe.

Silver Medal, Brussels, 1888. Silver and Bronze Medals, Barcelona, 1888.

Builder of the Nautilus Sailing Canoe, awarded Silver Medal, Inventions
                           Exhibition, 1885.

                 RADIX FOLDING CENTRE BOARD (Patent).

         Gold Medal, New Orleans. Silver Medal, Philadelphia.

                  Sole Agent for Europe, R. J. TURK.

                            NORIE & WILSON,

                           CHART PUBLISHERS,

                        156, MINORIES, LONDON.



 _Charts, Books, Nautical Instruments, Signal Flags, Burgees, Ensigns,


                         CATALOGUES POST FREE.


                             E. F. KNIGHT.

                       _THE ALL-ENGLAND SERIES._

                  _Small 8vo, cloth, price 1s. each._

     _CRICKET._ _By the HON. IVO BLIGH._

     _LAWN TENNIS._ _By H. W. W. WILBERFORCE, Sec. A.E.L.T.C._

     _ROWING AND SCULLING._ _By W. B. WOODGATE, Diamond Sculls._

     _SAILING._ _By E. F. KNIGHT, Author of “The Cruise of the
     ‘Falcon,’” &c._ [_Double volume, 2s._]

     _GOLF._ _By W. T. LINSKILL, Cam. Univ. Golf Club._


     _CYCLING._ _By H. H. GRIFFIN, L.A.C., N.C.U., C.T.C._

     _ATHLETICS._ _By H. H. GRIFFIN, L.A.C._



     _BOXING._ _By R. G. ALLANSON-WINN, Winner of Middle and Heavy
     Weights, Cambridge, 1876-8._

     _WRESTLING._ _By WALTER ARMSTRONG, Author of “Wrestliana.”_


     _FENCING._ _By H. A. COLMORE DUNN, Inns of Court School of Arms._

     _SKATING._ _By DOUGLAS ADAMS, London Skating Club._

                     _LONDON: GEORGE BELL & SONS._



                             E. F. KNIGHT,


                  “THE ‘FALCON’ ON THE BALTIC,” ETC.

                    _WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS._

                            COVENT GARDEN.





The choice of a boat--Description of the various parts of a
cutter                                                                 1



Knots, bends, and hitches                                              6



Leeway and lateral resistance--Heeling--Balancing sails--
Tacking--Action of rudder--Longitudinal resistance--Deep
keel or centre-board                                                  15



Open and half-decked boats--Ballast--The centre-board--
False keels--Lee-boards--Counters, square and pointed
sterns--Battened sails                                                22



Spritsails--Dipping lugs--Standing lugs--Leg of mutton sails--The
balance lug--The Una rig--Balance reefs--The sloop--Rules
of open boat sailing                                                  28



The bowsprit--Backstays--Main halyards--Tack tricing line--Lacing
mainsail to boom--Maintack tackle--The gaff--Foresheets--Forehorse--Jib
for block, etc.--The YAWL--The
KETCH                                                                 42



To get under way from moorings or anchorage--Setting sail--Close
hauled--Tacking--Missing stays--Waring--Squalls--Shifting
jibs--Jibing--Scandalizing mainsail--Hove to--Reefing--Returning
to moorings--Running aground                                          56



Towing a dinghy--Berthon boats--To prevent a dinghy bumping
against an anchored yacht--Foul anchor--Mooring--The
drogue--The management of open boats in a heavy sea--Management
of a yacht in a rough sea--Boarding                                   71



Ballasting a yacht--Lead on keel--The anchor--Setting up
rigging--Ventilation and dry rot--Mildew in sails--Stretching
new sails--Laying up a boat for the winter--Inventory                 82



The well--Arrangement of cabin--Leaky decks--Cabin lights--The
forecastle--Cooking stoves                                            91



Board of Trade regulations concerning lights, fog signals,
steering and sailing rules, pilot signals, etc.--Custom
House clearance on returning from a foreign port--Explanation
of the terms used in giving steering directions, etc.                 97



Mercator’s chart--The mariner’s compass--The spirit
compass--Variation--Deviation--The log ship and line--The lead line  109



Cross bearings--Tacking across the sea--Leeway--How to
allow for a current--To find the hour of high water                  119



Use of the instruments--Forecasting weather from natural
phenomena, etc.                                                      129



The new Y.R.A. rule of measurement--Sail area--Time allowance--Rules
of racing--Methods of starting                                       134


GLOSSARY OF NAUTICAL TERMS                                           146

INDEX                                                                153




     The choice of a boat--Description of the various parts of a cutter.

More, probably, could be written on boat-sailing than on any other
sport; for this pursuit owes much of its extraordinary fascination to
the fact that its science is practically infinite; the most experienced
sailor has always something new to learn, and is ever acquiring fresh
wrinkles. Of all inanimate objects a boat is surely the most beloved of
its owner; there is something almost human in its ways and vagaries; and
whereas it is possible to conceive the attainment of perfection in the
design of the instrument employed in any other sport, the complexity of
the problem involved in producing the ablest craft renders improvement
ever possible, and the sailing of a boat is not more fascinating than
the designing of one.

It is easy to acquire the art of sailing a boat under favourable
circumstances; but it is only after considerable experience that the
sailor is able to do the right thing promptly in the various emergencies
which he is sure to encounter. The tyro will soon discover that the more
he knows the more he has left to learn, and if once he commences to
acquire this knowledge of seamanship, he will be thirsty for more, and
he will never weary of his favourite sport all the days of his life.

This book is intended for the tyro, and in it, therefore, only the more
necessary and elementary portions of nautical science will be treated

In the first place, he must have his boat, and to assist him in the
selection of this is no easy task--so much depends on the idiosyncrasy
of the tyro, the character of the waters he proposes to navigate, and
other circumstances. It may be safely premised that he cannot possibly
know what sort of boat will best satisfy his needs, and as his more
experienced friends have each their separate views as to what he should
procure in the way of a craft--their views of course depending not on
his, but on their separate idiosyncrasies--it is many chances to one
that, whether he follows the friend’s advice or his own inexperienced
inclination, he will not in the first instance obtain the boat he really
requires. It is, indeed, as an old salt remarked, as impossible to
choose for another man the boat that will suit him as to pick out a wife
for him; and some men--good sailors too--never succeed in mating
themselves with the right craft, but are perpetually building or buying
and selling again without ever satisfying themselves.

We, therefore, recommend the novice not to be over-ambitious at first.
Let him content himself with a modest and inexpensive craft until he has
acquired at least the rudiments of the art of sailing, and is better
capable of deciding what he wants. Of course, if he has friends who own
boats, on board which he can pass his apprenticeship, so much the
better; but we have observed that as soon as a young fellow is bitten
with a taste for sailing, he--small blame to him--insists on having a
boat of his very own, and will take little pleasure in the boat of

In recommending the novice to content himself at first with a cheap
boat, we of course do not mean a cheap _bad_ boat, not one of those
extraordinary bargains one comes across in the advertisement columns of
the newspapers--a five-ton yacht, for instance, going for the ridiculous
sum of five pounds, an ancient hull patched up with paint and putty,
which will certainly cause much heartburning to the innocent novice who
acquires possession of her, and will probably so disgust him that he
will abandon yachting altogether. For first she requires a new mast,
then she must have new sails, then it is found necessary to re-timber
her, possibly re-deck her, and then, after twenty times the
purchase-money has been spent upon her, it is discovered that the hull
is so rotten that it were madness to put to sea in her at all; so all
the expense has been for nothing, and the great bargain slowly falls to
pieces, neglected, on a mud flat.

The following hints may prove of some service to a novice who, despite
what we have said, determines to commence his aquatic career by
purchasing a second-hand yacht, without having a friend who can assist
him in the examination of a vessel.

Though a craft will often be found to be as sound after thirty years or
more as on the day she was launched, still if sappy wood was used in her
construction, or if she has been neglected while lying up, she may
become utterly worthless in less than ten years.

In surveying an old vessel, soft spots can be detected by thrusting a
penknife into the wood.

Those streaks of her planking that are between wind and water,
alternately dry and wet will generally rot first.

The interior of the bottom should be carefully examined, in order to
ascertain the soundness of the planking and timbers. Dry rot is likely
to find its way into the inner sides of the stem and stern posts. If
possible remove some of the saloon panels, for the space between a
vessel’s skins is a favourite nest for dry rot.

If a vessel is coppered and she is hauled up, the sheathing will be
wrinkled in a horizontal direction if she has been in any way strained.
These wrinkles beneath the channels show infallibly that her sides have
been strained by the rigging. Vertical or irregular wrinkles on other
portions of her copper may merely indicate that she has rubbed against
some hard substance.

Look to the nails and bolts and see if they are corroded, or if copper
nails have worked loose in consequence of the vessel’s straining.

If spars are cracked in the direction of their length, this is of little
consequence, unless the cracks are very deep. Such cracks should be
stopped with putty when the wood is quite dry, so as to keep the wet
out. When a spar is sprung the cracks will be transverse as well as

A mast is liable to decay where it passes through the deck, also under
the hounds.

Look with suspicion on a vessel that has cement in her bottom; for this
prevents a proper examination of her interior. To fill up the spaces
between the lower timbers with Portland cement is, as we shall show
further on, an admirable plan; but it is often resorted to in order to
conceal serious defects. The bottom of many an old craft is practically
held together by cement.

Before describing the various forms of boats suitable for pleasure
sailing, it will be well to give to the reader a general idea of the
rigging and other parts of a small craft, so that certain terms which we
shall have to use constantly may be understood by him.

Fig. 1 represents a small cutter rigged as simply as possible.

[Illustration: Fig 1.]

The spars are (1) the _mast_, which is what is known as a pole mast,
that is, a mast complete in itself, having no topmast above it; (2) the
_bowsprit_; (3) the _boom_; and (4) the _gaff_.

To support the mast and bowsprit, _shrouds_ and _stays_ are employed.
The _mainshrouds_ (5) and the _forestay_ (6) are now generally of iron
wire rope; the former rest on the projecting shoulders known as _hounds_
(13), and are attached to the _channels_ (14) on the side of the boat;
7 is the _bobstay_ and 8 are the _backstays_ or _runners_.

The sails are, A, the _mainsail_; B, the _foresail_; C, the _jib_. The
mainsail is spread between the gaff and boom, being laced to the former.
The foresail is hoisted up the forestay, to which it is attached by iron
hoops. The upper edge of a sail is called the _head_; the lower edge is
the _foot_; the fore edge is the _luff_, and the after edge is the
_leach_. The upper fore corner is the _throat_ of a sail; the upper
after corner is the _peak_; the lower fore corner is the _tack_, and the
lower after corner is the _clew_.

The ropes by which the sails are hoisted are called _halyards_. The
mainsail has two halyards, the _throat_ halyards which hoist the fore
end of the gaff, and the _peak_ halyards which raise its after end. The
_topping lift_ (10) tops up the boom and relieves the sail of its

The _reef pennant_ (15), passing through an iron ring called the
_cringle_ (12) and the rows of _reef points_ (11), serve to _reef_ or
shorten sail when necessary.



Knots, Bends, and Hitches.

A man cannot be even an amateur sailor until he knows his ropes. A great
number of knots, hitches, bends, _et cætera_, are employed by sailors;
but the skipper of a small fore-and-after will find that the different
manipulations of cordage which we will now describe will suffice his

The ropes in ordinary use are what are known as hawser-laid ropes, and
are thus put together. Several threads of hemp, called _yarns_, are
twisted together to form a _strand_. Three strands twisted together from
_right_ to _left_ form the hawser-laid or right-handed rope.

What is called a cable-laid rope contains nine strands, that is, three
ordinary right-handed ropes twisted together from left to right into one
large rope. Right-handed rope must be coiled “with the sun” from right
to left. Cable-laid ropes must be coiled from left to right.

The ends of all ropes should be _whipped_ to prevent the strands from
unravelling. This is done with spun-yarn or tarred twine. The twine is
wound round the rope in such a way that both ends of the twine are
covered, and so secured by the laps, and no knot is necessary. It is
very easy to whip a rope’s end, but very difficult to describe the
process in such a way as to make one’s self intelligible to one who has
never seen it.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

Where a rope is liable to be chafed, as in the eyes of the rigging, it
is _wormed_, _parcelled_, and _served_. Fig. 2 will show how these
operations are performed. Worming consists of laying spun-yarn between
the strands, so as to fill up the spiral groove which every rope
presents, and obtain a smooth surface. Parcelling is wrapping narrow
strips of tarred canvas over the worming, it is put on _with_ the lay,
that is, follows the direction of the strands. Serving a rope is the
laying on of spun-yarn or other small stuff over the parcelling and
worming. Service is put on _against_ the lay of the rope. Before
commencing to protect a rope in this way it should be stretched out as
taut as possible with tackle, and the worming, parcelling, and service
should be laid on as tightly as possible. The service is hauled taut by
a serving mallet. If the rope is a small one, it may be served without
worming, as the grooves between the strands are not deep enough to cause
great unevenness of surface.

_Splicing_, by which the ends of ropes are neatly and permanently
joined, is a necessary accomplishment of the yachtsman, and is easily

A _Short Splice_ (Fig. 3).--Unlay the strands of both rope ends for a
little way. Interlace the three loose strands of one rope with the three
loose strands of the other, so that each strand of one rope is between
two strands of the opposite rope. Then force each strand under the next
strand but one opposite to it, and draw all tight. Repeat this operation
with each strand, and the splice is made; but to finish it off neatly,
untwist each strand end, cut away half the yarns, and tuck in these
reduced strands as before. A marline-spike or pricker is necessary to
force open the strands under which the ends have to pass.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

When two rope ends are joined by a _Long Splice_ (Fig. 4), the joined
portion is no thicker than the rest of the rope, and will reeve through
any block that will admit that rope; this splice is therefore very
useful for repairing a halyard that has broken. Unlay the ends of the
two ropes for a distance six times greater than for a short splice, and
place the strands together as for a short splice. Unlay one strand of
one rope for a considerable distance further, and fill up the interval
thus left with the opposite strand from the other rope. Repeat this
process with one strand of the other rope. Where the opposite strands
meet divide them, take an overhand knot in them, and tuck them in as in
a short splice; but before cutting off the half-strands the rope should
be well stretched.

The yachtsman will use the _Eye Splice_ (Fig. 5) more frequently than
any other. The end of the rope is bent round so as to form a loop of the
required size and the unlaid strands are tucked into the rope exactly as
in the short splice.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

If one strand of an otherwise sound rope be cut through it can be
replaced thus. Cut off about two feet of the injured strand. Take a
somewhat greater length of a strand of the same size and lay it in the
interval left by the removed portion of injured strand, then proceed to
halve the strands, knot and tuck in as in a long splice.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

A _Grommet_ (Fig. 6) is a rope ring. Unlay a strand, without stretching
it and so disturbing the turns in it. Form a ring of the required size
by bending the end round on to the standing part. Then wind the strand
twice round this ring, fitting it carefully into the crevices, so that
the ring then presents exactly the appearance of the original rope from
which the strand was taken. Where the ends meet, take an overhand knot
with them, halve the yarns, and tuck them in as in the long splice.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

We now come to the various useful knots, bends, and hitches, all easy to
acquire, but difficult to describe in words. However, if the reader will
study the accompanying diagrams with a bit of rope in his hand, he will
soon discover for himself how these knots are formed. They all serve
their purpose admirably--that is, they are quickly made, are secure, and
cannot slip, and yet are readily undone again.

We must explain that the _standing part_ of a rope is the portion held
in the hand; the _bight_ is the loop made in tying the knot; the _end_
is that extremity of the rope on which the knot is to be made.

First we have the common _Overhand Knot_ (Fig. 7), to which we have
already alluded.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

One overhand knot on the top of another will form a _Reef Knot_ (Fig.
8), that is if the ends are crossed the right way; for otherwise it will
be a _granny_ (Fig. 9), the sailor’s detestation. The novice on board a
yacht is sure to be unmercifully chaffed should he have assisted at
reefing the mainsail, and a granny be afterwards discovered among the
reef points. The figures will show that in the reef-knot both parts--the
standing part and the end--pass through the bight the same way, not one
under and one above, as in the granny.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

A _Common Bend_ (Fig. 10) will bend two ropes together. Take up the end
of one rope into a bight, and pass the end of the other rope through the
bight round both parts and under its own standing part. A common bend
also serves to bend a rope into an eye spliced into the end of another
rope. The signal halyards are thus bent on to the burgee.

[Illustration: Fig. 10.]

A _Carrick Bend_ (Fig. 11) will bend two ropes together more securely
than the common bend.

[Illustration: Fig. 11.]

When it is desired to fasten one rope on to the middle of another rope,
so as to haul upon it, a _Rolling Hitch_ must be used, as this, when
jammed, cannot slip down the rope, and yet it is easily cast off again.

Fig. 12 represents a watch-tackle, with the tail of its upper block bent
with a rolling hitch on to the rope it is intended to pull upon, while
the hook on its lower block is made fast with a Blackwall hitch.

A watch-tackle is a very handy tackle on board ship, and is used for a
variety of purposes. A tail is strapped to the upper block and an iron
hook to the lower block.

A very powerful purchase is obtained by using two watch-tackles in
combination. This is done by making fast the tail of one watch-tackle to
the hook on the lower block of the other tackle.

With a _Blackwall Hitch_ a rope can be rapidly and securely fastened to
a hook for a temporary purpose.

[Illustration: Fig. 12.]

The diagram will show how it is formed. The hitch is prevented from
slipping by the jamming of the rope between its own standing part and
the stem of the hook.

_Two Half Hitches_ (Fig. 13) are very useful for bending a rope to a
ring, a boat’s painter to a post, and other purposes.

[Illustration: Fig. 13.]

A _Clove Hitch_ (Fig. 14) is employed to fasten a rope to a spar or to a
stouter rope. In this way the ratlines are hitched to the shrouds, and a
buoy-rope is fastened to an anchor.

[Illustration: Fig. 14.]

[Illustration: Fig. 15.]

The _Bowline Knot_ (Fig. 15) is somewhat more difficult to make than any
of the preceding, but if the reader diligently imitate the form of the
diagram with a piece of rope or string he will soon acquire the secret.

Where an easily running noose is required, a _Running Bowline_ (Fig. 16)
is useful.

A rope can be quickly bent on to a spar by means of a _Timber Hitch_
(Fig. 17), which does not readily slip.

A _Topsail Halyard Bend_ (Fig. 18) is still less likely to slip. In this
case a description may assist the diagram. Take three turns round the
spar; come back round the standing part; pass under all three turns,
then over the last two turns and under the first turn.

[Illustration: Fig. 16.]

[Illustration: Fig. 17.]

[Illustration: Fig. 18.]

[Illustration: Fig. 19.]

The most secure way of fastening a hawser to a mooring ring or dolphin
is by means of the _Fisherman’s Bend_ (Fig. 19). This is also one of
the best ways of bending a hemp cable on to an anchor ring. When used
for this last purpose it is well to seize the ends as shown in the

New rope, especially manilla rope, is very apt to twist itself up into
loops or kinks. This tendency to kink can be prevented by stretching the
rope well before using it.



     Leeway and lateral resistance--Heeling--Balancing
     sails--Tacking--Action of rudder--Longitudinal resistance--Deep
     keel or centre-board.

Any object floating on the water will have a tendency to drift before
the wind; but a boat, with its scientifically constructed hull, sails,
and rudder, can be so guided as to sail with the wind on her quarter or
abeam, or even close-hauled, as it is called, that is, with the wind
meeting her at an angle of about forty-five degrees.

Fig. 20 represents the deck plan of a boat sailing close-hauled under
two sails. The sails A and B are drawn aft with the sheets till they
form an acute angle with the line of the keel. The wind, whose direction
is indicated by the arrow W, strikes the sails at a very acute angle, so
that they do not shake, but are just full.

The result of this pressure on the sails is that the boat is propelled
forward and also sideways away from the wind, making leeway, as it is

[Illustration: Fig. 20.]

If a boat has a deep keel, her lateral resistance to the water will
cause the leeway to be insignificant. If the boat is of very shallow
draught and so offers little lateral resistance to the water, she will
not go ahead at all, and the entire force of the wind will be expended
in driving her bodily to leeward. Lee-boards and centre-boards are
fitted to shallow boats in order to obviate this.

The pressure of the wind on the sails, in addition to producing the
above effects, heels a boat over. A sailing-boat is so constructed as to
resist this tendency to capsize. Either she is made narrow and deep and
is weighted with ballast as far as possible below the water-line, or she
is shallow but of considerable beam. The deep and weighted boat will
heel over more readily than the beamy shallow boat, but the further she
heels the greater pressure of wind is necessary to make her heel still
more, for the leverage of her ballast increases as she heels, and many
boats with lead upon their keels are practically uncapsizable. On the
other hand, the beamy shallow boat does not heel so readily, but after
she has heeled to a certain angle she will capsize.

       *       *       *       *       *

The pressure of the wind on the sails not only propels, drives to
leeward, and heels over a boat, but, unless the sails are absolutely
balanced, it tends to turn her in one direction or the other.

In Fig. 20 we have a boat with two sails. If the after sail is the more
powerful, it is obvious that the wind will drive round that sail and the
stern of the boat with it in the direction of the arrow C, while the
head of the boat will run up into the wind. If, on the other hand, the
head sail be the more powerful of the two, the bow will be driven off
the wind and the boat will bear away.

The sails of a boat should be so balanced that she has a slight
tendency to run up into the wind; and to counteract this _weather helm_,
as it is called, the steersman will have to keep the rudder slightly to
leeward of the line of the keel.

If a boat carrying weather helm be left to her own devices in a squall
she will at once do the right thing, luff up into the wind and be in
safety; whereas a boat with too much head-canvas and carrying lee-helm
will run off her course and put herself in a dangerous position.

A boat should not _gripe_, that is, carry too much weather helm, for
steering will then be very hard, and the rudder, forced far over to
counteract the helm, will act as a serious drag in the water.

In balancing the sails, it must be remembered that the further out a
sail is on an extremity of a boat, the greater its effect in driving
that end of the boat off the wind.

Sometimes a vessel’s sails are not properly balanced because the ballast
has not been stowed in the right place. It is obvious, for instance,
that if ballast be shifted aft the weather helm will be diminished, for
the stern of the boat will draw more water and so offer more lateral
resistance, whereas the stem of the boat will draw less water, and will
therefore be more easily blown round. A centre-board, again, is
generally placed well forward, so it is found that when this is lowered
the weather helm of the boat is considerably increased.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have explained that a boat properly constructed and rigged can sail
within forty-five degrees of the wind. Now, if it be desired to sail to
some point more directly to windward than this, what is called _tacking_
becomes necessary. This consists of sailing a certain distance close
hauled with the wind on one side, and then turning round and sailing
close hauled with the wind on the other side. A zigzag course is thus
taken, each _tack_ being at about right angles to the last.

One diagram of Fig. 21 illustrates the process of tacking with the wind
right ahead, and in the other diagram the wind is a point or two off, so
that one tack is longer than the other, there being, in sailor language,
a short leg and a long leg.

       *       *       *       *       *

That the action of the rudder, when forced over till it is at an angle
with the keel, is to act as a drag on that side and so deflect the
boat’s course, is plain enough. But it is not so obvious a fact that
this action of the rudder in turning the boat is not to turn her bow
round through the water, but to push the stern sideways while the bow is
almost at a standstill. For the centre of rotation of a boat, that is,
the imaginary pivot on which she turns, is always well forward.

[Illustration: Fig. 21.]

[Illustration: Fig. 21.]

In Fig. 22, A is the centre of rotation. So when the rudder is put over
to the right, the boat will revolve on the pivot A till she is in the
position indicated by the dotted lines. It will be observed that the
stern has moved about twice as far as the bow. The further forward the
centre of rotation the greater will this disproportion be.

It is very important to remember this effect when sailing very near any
object such as a buoy, for while steering so as to turn the boat’s head
away from the object and avoid it, the stern is made to approach the
object, and the very action that seems calculated to prevent a collision
may become the cause of one.

[Illustration: Fig. 22.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Having shown what are the relations of the sails, hull, and rudder of a
boat to the wind and water, and explained how a vessel requires either
ballast or beam to prevent the wind from capsizing her, and needs
draught to increase her lateral resistance and prevent her from being
blown to leeward, it remains to add that the longitudinal resistance to
the water must be diminished as much as possible, so that the boat can
slip easily through the water and travel with speed.

For this reason a sharp stem is put on a vessel, so that she can open a
way for herself through the water like a wedge, and she is given what is
called a _fine run_ aft, so that her stern will not drag heavily.

[Illustration: Fig. 23.]

Again, the larger the area of the boat’s greatest cross-section (Fig.
23), the more resistance that results and the slower she will travel.
The area of the cross-section is diminished by making a boat of narrow
beam, while the necessary displacement is obtained by increased length
and depth.

Now, the difficulty arises that most of the qualities that ensure
_speed_ in a boat have a tendency to lessen her _stability_ and even her
_lateral resistance_. It follows that, while constructing a boat, a
compromise has to be made between these three; and the problem as to how
to produce the fittest craft becomes a very complicated one that has
never been solved yet, and probably never will be.

Thus a long narrow shallow boat will run the fastest before the wind,
but she will not turn to windward at all, and will capsize with great

As it is recognized that beam is opposed to speed, it has been long the
fashion in England to construct racing yachts extremely narrow and of
great draught. Such craft do attain speed, but at the expense of all
comfort, and when a heavy sea is running go through it instead of over

To come to the opposite extreme, we have the flat-bottomed very shallow
and very beamy craft, with a deck plan not unlike a flat-iron--a
veritable skimming-dish. Provided with a centre-board, such a boat is
well adapted for shallow and sheltered waters. The centre-board can be
raised while crossing a shoal, and the boat will then draw only as many
inches as a deep-keel boat of her size would draw feet. She will be very
fast in smooth water, but in rough water she will pound heavily into the
seas, and, having no good hold of the water and little momentum, will
lose her headway and soon prove dangerous.

For real comfort and seaworthiness--and some now maintain for racing
purposes as well--a boat that is something between these two extremes
answers the best; that is, a boat that is moderately beamy and has a
moderate draught of water.

Some years ago we sailed to South America in a yacht that well
represented the class of vessel we are now speaking of. Her length was
forty-two feet, her beam thirteen feet, and her draught seven feet six
inches. Not being one of the narrow deep class, she was an excellent sea
boat; indeed, she once had the reputation of being the best sea boat of
her size in the Channel. Now the advocates of the narrow boats will
contend that speed must have been sacrificed to obtain this comfort in
heavy weather. We scarcely agree with these gentlemen; for this boat,
though furnished with exceptionally small sails, could do her nine knots
an hour, and on one occasion travelled two thousand sea miles in ten

The author also once owned a centre-board yawl of five tons, which drew
between two and three feet without her centre-board. She thus combined
the advantages of the shallow boat with the seaworthiness of a boat that
is sufficiently immersed to have a good hold of the water.

This compromise between the deep-keel and the centre-board types of boat
has long been popular in America, and probably the recent victories of
the American yachts constructed on these principles, over our own crack
deep-keelers will gradually modify the English views on this subject.

Most of our yachting men maintain that a long hole through the bottom of
a boat must weaken her; that the great strain of the centre-board,
concentrated as it is on one small portion of the keel, must render a
large craft thus fitted ill-adapted to buffet with a really heavy sea.

On the other hand, the American builders emphatically deny that a
centre-board is a cause of weakness, and point to their noble pilot
vessels and trading schooners, which are all provided with
centre-boards, and which are exposed to every sort of weather.

It is unnecessary to dwell longer on this controversy; for though there
is much divergence of opinion as regards large craft, there can be no
question as to the advantages of fitting centre-boards into many kinds
of small craft, especially in those that are intended for river sailing.



     Open and half-decked boats--Ballast--The centre-board--False
     keels--Lee-boards--Counters, square and pointed sterns--Battened

The following observations apply chiefly to small boats, which can be
rowed as well as sailed, and be easily handled by one man--that is,
boats from the smallest size up to about eighteen feet in length.

OPEN AND HALF-DECKED BOATS.--A small boat is often half-decked, that is,
she is provided with a small deck in the bows and a narrow deck on
either side, low coamings being carried round the inside edge. Such a
boat must to a certain extent be safer than an entirely open boat; that
is, if she be struck by a squall and heel far over, or again, if she run
her nose into a sea, the water will flow off her decks instead of
pouring into her and possibly swamping her. But a small boat is not a
yacht, and she ought not to be sailed in so reckless a manner as to
drive her bows or gunwale under and ship large bodies of water in this
way. A quite open boat, if she be properly constructed, not
over-ballasted, not over-canvassed, and of course properly sailed, will
go through an extraordinary amount of sea without taking a bucketful of
water on board; and not only this, but she will sail as fast if not
faster than the half-decked craft of the same size staggering along
under excessive canvas, with the water under her lee coamings. The
slight additional safety, or rather inducement to recklessness afforded
by the half-deck and waterways, is more than counterbalanced by several
disadvantages. In the first place, this deck--too narrow to walk
along--will occupy much of the already limited space available on board
a small boat, and it will be in the way of and impede one working the
sails or rowing to an extent that it is difficult to appreciate until
one has tried the experiment. In the next place, this deck must be of
considerable weight--a serious disadvantage if the boat has often to be
beached. And not only is the deck heavy in itself, but, situated as it
is high above the water-line, it tends to make the boat top-heavy, and
this must be counteracted by putting more ballast into her than would be
required in an entirely open boat of the same dimensions. Now, if a
small boat is intended ever to venture into rough water, the less
ballast she carries and the more buoyant she is, the better.

We therefore do not recommend half-decks for the class of boat of which
we are now speaking. When a boat is big enough to be a small yacht, and
the half-deck forward covers a cuddy large enough to afford sleeping
accommodation to the crew, the case is different, and the half-deck
becomes a decided advantage.

BALLAST.--A small boat’s ballast, whatever form it may take, should be
readily movable. Thus, if lead is used, it should be cast in small
blocks of not more than half a hundredweight each, and in order that it
may be lifted with ease, each block should be provided with a handle.
Lead being very heavy, and therefore occupying little space in a boat,
is the most convenient form of ballast, but it is also by far the most
expensive. The iron half-hundredweights with handles at the top, which
can be purchased at any marine store dealer’s, are nearly as convenient
as lead weights, and are very cheap.

Battens should be nailed to the bottom of the boat to keep the ballast
in its place, otherwise it might slide to leeward in a squall and cause
a capsize.

Stones and bags of sand are often employed as ballast, but water
contained in small barrels, or, better still, in metal tanks, shaped so
as to fit closely into the bottom of the boat, is far the safest ballast
that can be used. For if a boat provided with water ballast capsize and
fill she will be no heavier than if she contained no ballast, and,
consequently, she will not sink.

Another advantage of water ballast is that it can be pumped out to
lighten the boat when a calm necessitates the use of oars, and be
quickly admitted again when a breeze springs up and the sail is hoisted.
Again, when the water-tanks are empty the boat is practically converted
into a lifeboat, and if a sea fill her she will still float.

The advantages of water over other forms of ballast are so numerous that
nothing else would be used in small boats were it not for the great
amount of space it occupies; and so serious is this objection that one
but rarely comes across a boat thus ballasted.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CENTRE-BOARD.--In England the centre-board of a small boat is
generally of galvanized iron; thus acting also, to some extent, as
ballast. In America wooden centre-boards are more often used. If a boat
has often to be beached or carried, lightness is an important object,
and therefore the wooden centre-board is to be preferred. One objection
to the centre-board is that its trunk or case occupies so much space in
the interior of the boat. A telescopic or fan centre-board has recently
been invented which folds up into itself when hauled up, and therefore
requires no trunk. We believe, however, that this is only adapted for
canoes and other very small boats.

       *       *       *       *       *

FALSE KEELS.--If the tyro lives by the sea it is very likely that he
will commence his nautical career by becoming the proud possessor of
some old yacht’s dinghy or ship’s boat, which, when he puts sail on her,
runs before the wind to his complete satisfaction, but is too shallow to
turn to windward. Now, to put a centre-board into a boat that has not
been expressly built for one is an expensive and generally
unsatisfactory job, but any carpenter can nail a false keel on to the
old one, and so give the boat the necessary draught at a small expense.
A false keel should be rounded up towards the bow and stern, and have
its greatest depth some way abaft the middle of the boat.

       *       *       *       *       *

LEE-BOARDS.--The tyro will find lee-boards even less expensive and
possibly more effective than a false keel, and when they are raised the
boat will row more easily than if she were provided with the latter.
There is some prejudice against lee-boards in England, and to eyes
unaccustomed to see them on pleasure craft they appear ugly, but in
Holland no boat or yacht is without them.

Large lee-boards are made in several sections, and are strengthened with
iron bands, while they require a good deal of gear to support and raise
them; but the author has found that with a small boat the following
simple method of fitting lee-boards proved very satisfactory.

The shape and position of this lee-board is shown in Fig. 24. It is cut
out of one plank and has no iron fittings, and

[Illustration: Fig. 24.]

it is between three and four feet in length. The inner side is flat. The
outer side, as represented in the diagram, maintains the thickness of
the plank at the head and down the middle, and is thence planed away to
a narrow edge. A rope is rove through a hole at the head of the
lee-board, and passing over the gunwale is secured to a cleat. Another
rope rove through a hole at the bottom of the lee-board is led aft and
serves to raise it, while the first rope serves as a pivot. When the
lee-boards are not required they can be brought on board and placed at
the bottom of the boat. If the boat is _wall-sided_, that is, has
perpendicular sides, the lee-boards can rest against these; but if, as
is the case with most boats, her sides fall in beneath, wooden pillows
must be fastened on the outside of the boat to support the lee-boards
and keep them at the right angle; or, and this is sometimes the better
plan, battens of the requisite breadth are nailed on the lee-boards
themselves. In working lee-boards the lee one is lowered and the
weather one hauled up, and when the boat is running both are raised. All
those who are accustomed to the use of lee-boards speak well of them,
and they certainly have some advantages over centre-boards, notably,
that if the boat runs aground, they will not bend, break off, or strain
the boat, as is often the case with a centre-board.

       *       *       *       *       *

COUNTERS, SQUARE AND POINTED STERNS.--Whatever it may be on a yacht, a
counter or overhanging stern is not an ornament on a small boat, being,
as it is, the very reverse of useful; and to the educated eye the useful
and beautiful go together in boats, as they do in many other things. In
rough water, if a sea strike a boat under the counter a variety of
disagreeable results may ensue; for instance, the boat’s bows may be
driven under, or she may broach to, that is, be driven broadside on to
the sea, and be swamped by the next wave.

A square stern, as is usual in small boats, is far better than a
counter; but far better still, for a boat intended to be out in rough
water, is the pointed stern. Such a boat is undoubtedly safer,
especially when running before a sea, and we maintain that she will be
faster as well. All lifeboats are thus constructed. The author was
caught in a north-west gale in the Gulf of Heligoland last summer, and
had to sail sixty miles before a high and dangerous sea. He was in a
little yacht of three tons, which had a pointed stern. She showed no
tendency to broach to, but rushed straight ahead across the steep sea in
a fashion that gave us confidence and astonished us. Had she had the
ordinary yacht’s stern to present to those following masses of water
instead of a graceful wedge offering little resistance, we should have
had a very uncomfortable time of it. Many men dislike a pointed stern,
and consider it ugly. However that may be, it behaves handsomely, and we
should certainly recommend any amateur building a sailing-boat for
coasting purposes to give her the lifeboat stern.

       *       *       *       *       *

BATTENED SAILS.--Battens of pine tapering at the ends, are sometimes
fastened to the reef bands of balance lugs and other sails in use on
small boats.

The object of battens is to make a sail stand very flat. Another
advantage gained by the use of these is that if one is sailing a boat
alone, a reef can be taken down in a moment with one hand while the
halyard is being slacked off a sufficient length with the other. This is
done by means of a line which, when hauled taut, draws the boom and
batten close together. It is not necessary to tie down reef points in a
sail reefed as above, but to do so makes a much neater reef.

Battens are of great service on the sails of canoes and very small
craft, but they make a larger sail somewhat heavy and clumsy to handle.



     Spritsails--Dipping lugs--Standing lugs--Leg-of-mutton sails--The
     balance lug--The Una rig--Balance reefs--The sloop--Rules of open
     boat sailing.

The Spritsail rig is much used on small boats all round the coast of
England. It is an exceedingly handy and safe rig, and the spritsail will
set flatter and is better adapted for turning to windward than almost
any other form of sail. It has no boom or gaff, but is extended by a
long diagonal spar called the _sprit_, which tapers away at the two
extremities, the upper end of it fitting into an eye on the peak, the
lower end fitting into a loop on the mast called the _snotter_. The
_snotter_ (see Fig. 25) is a grommet which is placed round the mast, and
then seized in the middle so as to form an eye for the sprit.

[Illustration: Fig. 25.]

[Illustration: Fig. 26.]

In using this rig, the sail is hoisted first; one end of the sprit is
inserted into the eye of the peak, and then the other end is inserted
into the snotter. Lastly, the snotter is pushed up the mast as far as it
will go, bringing the sail quite flat. It is well to have a tackle for
hoisting the snotter and preventing it from slipping down the mast. It
is important that the snotter should be quite sound. There is a great
strain on it, and should it break, the sprit end may drive a hole
through the bottom of a boat or work some other serious damage.

A spritsail can be brailed up along the mast in a moment by means of a
line leading through a block on the mast and passing round the sail. A
glance at any Thames sailing barge at anchor will show how this is done.

An old ship’s long-boat provided with a sprit mainsail, sprit mizzen,
and jib, as in Fig. 26, is a very convenient sort craft in which to take
one’s first lessons in sailing. When it blows hard the mainsail can be
stowed, and the boat will sail under jib and mizzen, or these last two
sails can be taken in and the mainsail alone be left standing.

The mizzen sheet, it will be observed, is rove through a sheave-hole at
the end of a _bumpkin_, a small fixed spar projecting from the stern of
the boat.

       *       *       *       *       *

The DIPPING LUG is a powerful sail very well adapted for sea work, and a
favourite with fishermen and other professional sailors, but it cannot
be recommended to the amateur; for at every tack the sail has to be
lowered and passed round to the other side of the mast. This
necessitates plenty of sea room, and would be an awkward operation to
undertake while turning up a narrow and crowded channel. To handle a
dipping lug with safety in a stiff breeze requires considerable
experience both on the part of the steersman and of the hand or hands to
whom the dipping of the sail is entrusted.

Any one who wishes to rig a boat in this fashion should read W. H. S.’s
description, in the _Yacht Racing Calendar and Review_ for this year, of
a very useful invention of his, whereby the dipping of a lug is made
easy and the possibility of bungling in tacking reduced to a minimum.

THE STANDING LUG, though not so powerful a sail as the dipping lug, is
far more convenient; as the sail has not to be lowered in tacking. The
tack, instead of being carried forward, is brought down to the mast,
where it is hooked on to an iron hook if the sail be a small one, and if
the sail be a large one it is fitted with a tackle, so that the tack can
be bowsed down after the sail is hoisted. The yard is swung at about
one-third of its length, where it has a strop to pass over the hook on
the traveller--an iron ring on the mast to which the end of the halyard
is attached, and which prevents the sail blowing away from the mast.

[Illustration: Fig. 27.]

In order to ensure a lug sail that will stand well, the peak should be
cut high, as in the drawing. It is a common fault to cut the head of a
lug sail too square. Such a sail can never be made to set flatly. A
short beamy dinghy with one lug is a handy little craft for the amateur;
but if the boat is a long one she will be better with a jib and mizzen,
as in Fig. 27.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LEG-OF-MUTTON SAIL.--A very handy rig and one that requires no spars
but the masts is that represented in Fig. 28. The masts though long are
slight, as there is little strain on them. Each sail is hoisted to its
masthead by one halyard, and its luff is kept close to the mast by hoops
or more usually by a lacing. A boat thus rigged is possibly the safest
of any, and is not easily capsized.

[Illustration: Fig. 28.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The rigs we have so far described are well adapted for a novice,
insomuch as they need no booms. As soon as a sail is provided with a
boom the danger of sailing is much increased. If you let go the sheet of
a sail that has no boom--a spritsail, for instance--it flaps away from
the mast innocently like a flag. Put a boom on it, and you at once have
a great surface of canvas extended rigidly and offering the greatest
possible resistance to the wind. When running before a strong wind a
jibe, and especially if it be an unpremeditated jibe, of a sail bent on
to a long boom becomes a source of danger.

Thus a green hand or a careless person cannot be safely trusted with a
boom sail on a squally day; but when the novice has acquired the
rudiments of sailing, and employs that constant caution and watchfulness
of his ever-open weather-eye which are indispensable qualities for a
sailor, he will most certainly, and very rightly too, prefer the boom
sail. For a sail that has no boom is most unsatisfactory if one wishes
to get any speed out of a boat. When running free it curves into a bag,
and only presents half its area to the wind. It never stands flat,
except when the boat is close-hauled, and not always then, unless the
sheet is led exactly to the right place; and though a sail without a
boom jibes with greater safety, it is much more liable to accidental
jibes than one with a boom.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BALANCE LUG.--The favourite sail for small centre-board craft in
England is undoubtedly the balance lug. Most of the racing boats on the
Upper Thames are fitted with this sail; some have jibs, others jibs and
mizzens, besides the mainsail; but we will confine ourselves to
describing the single-sail centre-board dinghy, which little craft is
perhaps unrivalled for the purpose of single-handed sailing on a river.

A handy boat is one fifteen feet long, with five feet beam. She should
have a flat floor, and therefore shallow draught. The mast is supported
with wire shrouds, and is fitted into what is called a tabernacle, that
is, a wooden case for the heel of the mast, having a pivot through it,
on which pivot the mast is easily lowered when the boat is passing under
a bridge.

The sail, as is shown in Fig. 29, is hoisted on a yard similar to that
of a standing lug, but the foot of the sail is laced to a boom, and
extends some distance in front of the mast. One end of the tack is
fastened to the boom, where it crosses the mast, and the other end of it
is secured to the mast.

[Illustration: Fig. 29.]

The tack is a most important rope in a balance-lug boat, for after the
sail has been hoisted with the halyard and it is required to give that
last haul on the sail which brings it to its proper tautness, a much
smaller amount of power will do this when applied to the tack than if
applied to the halyard. An efficient tack purchase is what is known as a
watch tackle, which is represented in Fig. 12. When after sailing awhile
the ropes have stretched, and the sail is no longer flat, it is with
this tackle, and not with the halyard, that one sets it up again. A
balance lug requires more frequent setting up to preserve its flatness
than any other sort of sail.

In a small dinghy, no purchase is needed for the halyards; the sail will
lower more easily and quicker without one. The tabernacle also is
unnecessary, as the mast can be easily unstepped.

The sail is kept close to the mast by an iron traveller; but if the sail
be cut with a high peak it will be found that the traveller has a
tendency to prevent the sail from lowering completely. A traveller is
also liable to jam if the mast is not kept well greased.

On this account the iron traveller is dispensed with on most of the
Upper Thames boats, and instead of it, a line is fastened to the yard,
which passes round the mast and is rove through an eye on the yard. When
the sail is up, this line is hauled taut, and prevents the yard from
blowing away from the mast. This method will be understood by referring
to Fig. 30.

[Illustration: Fig. 30.]

A well-cut balance lug properly hoisted should be nearly as flat as a
board. The fact of the tack being some way down the boom prevents the
pressure of the wind from lifting the after-end of the boom and so
forming a belly in the sail, as is the case with the ordinary
fore-and-aft sail. A balance-lug sail is always rigid; the boom and yard
can only move together, and this rigidity renders it somewhat unfit for
rough water, where it is apt to considerably strain mast and boat.

The balance lug is rather an awkward sail to lower, and as it is
impossible to brail it up, or lower the peak, or trice up the tack to
temporarily reduce the canvas in a squall, as can be done with other
rigs, the sail has to be lowered bodily if the boat is overpowered by
the wind. Thus, if one is overtaken by a violent squall while running
before the wind, the balance lug is perhaps the most dangerous sail one
can have on a boat.

So as to facilitate reefing, a grommet is sometimes placed on each reef
cringle at the luff of a balance-lug sail. In taking down a reef, the
fore end of the boom is thrust into this eye and an earing is thus
dispensed with.

The usual method of fitting the sheet of a balance-lug sail is to fasten
one end of it to one side of the stern, and then to lead it through a
single block strapped on to the boom, and through another block fastened
to the other side of the stern.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE UNA RIG.--Whereas the balance lug is the favourite English rig for
small river craft, the Cat or Una rig is generally preferred by the
Americans, and it undoubtedly possesses some important advantages over
the other rig.

The cat boat (Fig. 31), being intended for very shallow waters, has the
least possible draught. This boat, consequently, has great beam, and is
often quite flat-bottomed. The centre-board is of wood or iron. The mast
is stepped much more forward than in a balance-lug boat, and carries one
large sail laced to a boom and gaff. The cat boat, in our opinion, will
turn to windward in smooth water even more smartly than a balance lug,
and as a rule will row more easily, for the displacement is very small,
and in consequence of the stability given by the great beam, little,
often no, ballast is used.

In England, it is usual for a Una boat to have but one halyard, which
serves to hoist both peak and throat. We prefer two halyards, one for
the throat, one for the peak, the latter leading aft, so that it can be
let go in a squall, and thus reduce the sail by one-half.

[Illustration: Fig. 31.]

The author had recently a good deal of experience in an eighteen-foot
cat boat among the quays of the Gulf of Mexico and on an extensive lake
in Florida, and he came to the conclusion that for such work the cat rig
was far handier than the balance lug, especially when, as was often the
case, there was a large party of ladies on board.

This was an entirely open boat, carrying no ballast, and having a wooden
centre-board. She was therefore very light for her size, and could be
rowed with singular ease.

The lake was subject to sudden and violent squalls, and it was very
convenient to be able to let go the peak halyards without leaving the
tiller, and have them up again in a moment as soon as the squall had
passed, without disturbing the passengers in the least. Had the sail
been the uncompromising balance lug, the whole sail would have had to be
lowered in a body on to the heads of the passengers.

A topping lift, always belayed so as to feel the weight of the boom, is
indispensable in a cat boat, else the end of the boom would drop into
the water when the peak was lowered.

Strong winds would spring up suddenly on this lake, so that the boat
would be quite overpowered even under close-reefed sail, and it became
impossible to tack home until the wind dropped. Neither was it possible
to row back, for the very lightness of a cat boat renders her a
troublesome boat to pull against the wind. She is blown over the surface
of the water before the wind, despite all the efforts of the oarsman.
Now, as the swamps which surround this lake also made it out of the
question to land and walk home, one was liable to find one’s self
weather-bound among the dismal cypress swamps at the further end of the
lake for three days at a stretch while a “norther” was blowing. The
author almost entirely did away with the chance of such an unpleasant
adventure by putting what is known as a balance reef into the sail, a
plan he strongly recommends to all those who would sail Una boats or
small sloops on broad waters liable to sudden storms.

       *       *       *       *       *

The BALANCE REEF (Fig. 31) extends diagonally across the sail from the
throat to the clews. In taking in this reef, the jaws of the gaff are
lowered till they touch the boom, and are there tied. The fall of the
throat halyards will do for this purpose. When the reef has been taken
down and the peak is hoisted again, it will be found that the gaff is
nearly parallel to the mast, and a very snug little triangular sail is
formed, under which the boat will tack or run--with boom well topped
up--with safety; and the moment the peak halyard is let go, down the
sail will fall into the bottom of the boat without making any fuss.

The boat we are speaking of was remarkably cranky, but she would behave
well in a strong gale under her balance reef.

The balance reef is much employed by our fishermen and coasters, but
scarcely ever on board yachts. I believe that many amateurs consider
this, together with some other useful wrinkles, to be _unyachty_.

From what we have said, it will be seen that the Una rig offers many
advantages over its rival, the balance lug, but it likewise has some
serious disadvantages.

The Una boat is not easily capsized--the beam prevents that--but she
soon becomes altogether overpowered by sea and wind. Like all
flat-bottomed boats, she pounds heavily into a head sea and is very wet.
The weight of the mast, being so far forward, makes her somewhat liable
to run her nose under water and fill. She steers wildly too before a
sea, and will broach to more readily than other boats, while the length
of her boom renders an accidental jibe dangerous.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SLOOP.--Boats and small yachts are often sloop-rigged.

There is considerable discrepancy of opinion as to what constitutes the
difference between a sloop and a cutter. At any rate, the generally
understood distinction among boating men in England is, rightly or
wrongly, that whereas a sloop’s forestay is carried to the end of a
fixed bowsprit or an iron bumpkin, the forestay of a cutter is carried
to the stem of the vessel; and thus the sloop can only set one large
foresail, instead of a foresail and a jib as a cutter does.

We will adopt this definition of a sloop, which is represented in Fig.
32. As the rig is in every other respect the same as that of a cutter,
we will reserve an explanation of its different parts till the next
chapter, wherein the cutter rig will be discussed.

[Illustration: Fig. 32.]

The sloop rig is not one to be altogether recommended, except for racing
purposes on a river. For cruising purposes, if the boat be a small one,
one of the rigs above mentioned is preferable to the sloop rig. If the
boat be a good-sized one, it is better to make a cutter or yawl yacht of
her at once; for a sloop’s big foresail is an awkward sail to handle in
rough weather.

The following important rules apply to the sailing of open boats, such
as we have described in this chapter:--

Carefully coil your halyards after hoisting sail, so that they will not
get entangled and jam if you have to let go in a hurry.

See that your mainsheet is coiled out of every one’s way. Many a boat
has been capsized owing to a man’s leg getting entangled in a sheet.

Do not belay your mainsheet, but hold it in your hand; if the strain be
great, take one turn with the sheet round a cleat or pin.

Sit to windward while steering.

If struck by a squall, luff up to it, or ease the sheet, or do both.

Always luff up in the wind before hoisting or lowering sail.

Never climb the mast of a small boat. If anything is wrong aloft, lower
the mast to set it right.

Belay a halyard by taking a few turns round its cleat. Do not put a
half-hitch on the top of the turns.

Do not jibe in the middle of a squall, if you can avoid doing so. If a
jibe is unavoidable, lower your peak first; haul in your mainsheet, and
pay it out on the other side, so as to lessen the jerk as the boat

If it is blowing hard, and all your crew are sitting to windward,
remember that a sudden drop in the wind may cause the boat to capsize to
windward. Unless your companions are experienced boatmen, do not carry
so much sail as to necessitate their all sitting to windward.



     The bowsprit--Backstays--Main halyards--Tack tricing line--Lacing
     mainsail to boom--Maintack tackle--The
     sheets--Mainsheet-horse--Topsail--Spinnaker--Strops for blocks,
     etc.--The YAWL--The KETCH.

As this is a treatise on small craft, we will speak of the cutter, yawl,
and ketch-rigged yachts only, for the schooner rig is only adapted to a
larger style of vessel.

With the object of familiarizing the reader with the names of those
portions of her rigging common to nearly all boats, we have already, in
Chapter I., given a slight description of a cutter. We will now enter
upon a more detailed explanation of this rig as applied to craft of
under ten tons.

A cutter’s bowsprit is not a fixture, as it is on the small boats we
have so far described, but is made to slide in and out. It can be run in
altogether when no jib is set; and when the large jib--for a cutter
should be provided with two jibs at least--is shifted in a breeze for
the smaller jib, the bowsprit can be partly run in. It is a great relief
to a vessel plunging into a heavy sea thus to relieve her of this
overhanging weight.

The bowsprit passes between strong wooden bits on the deck and through
an iron ring covered with leather, bolted on the stem, called the
_gammon iron_. When the bowsprit has been run in to the required
distance it is kept in its place by the _fid_, an iron bolt which passes
through the bowsprit and the bits.

It is essential that a bowsprit run in easily without jamming, so the
gammon iron should be made large, and the fid should be a stout one,
else the pressure of the bowsprit will soon bend it, and it will be
impossible to draw it out.

When the bowsprit is reefed, the bobstay and the bowsprit shrouds have
also to be shortened and tautened up with the tackle attached to them.

The tack of the jib hooks on to an iron traveller on the bowsprit which
is hauled out to the required distance with the _jib outhaul_.

The backstays or runners (see Fig. 1), support the mast when the vessel
is running before the wind. The lee runner must be always slacked out,
so that the boom can run out sufficiently far.

Most of a cutter’s halyards consist of systems of pulleys giving more or
less mechanical advantage as the sail is large or small; but it must be
remembered that the more powerful the purchase employed, the longer the
time occupied in hoisting and lowering the sail and the greater the
friction and chance of the halyard jamming, so a purchase that will just
enable one hand to hoist a sail with moderate ease is all that is
necessary. Small yachts are often over blocked.

For example, a cutter’s throat halyards generally consist of a
luff-tackle purchase, the double block on the mast and a single one on
the throat; but in a very small cutter a gun-tackle purchase of two
single blocks (see Fig. 33) will suffice.

[Illustration: Fig. 33.]

A gun-tackle purchase is also generally used for the jib halyards and
fore halyards of a cutter under ten tons.

The _tack tricing line_ serves to trice up or draw up the tack of the
mainsail and so considerably reduce its size in a squall. It is
convenient also to be able to trice up the tack so as to see ahead
better while sailing into a crowded harbour. Where the sail is small,
the tack tricing line is fastened on to the tack of the sail, passes
through a single block on the gaff close to the jaws, and thence leads
to the deck. Where the sail is large, a gun-tackle purchase is used.

In large cutters, the clew of the mainsail is hauled out on the boom
with a traveller and tackle. In smaller boats, where the clew can be
hauled out by hand, it is generally permanently lashed to the end of the
boom. This plan is apt to pull the sail all out of shape, for if the
clew has been hauled out sufficiently taut when the sail is dry, it will
be stretched overmuch when the sail is shrunk with rain. Thus, even if
no traveller be used, it is well to have the clew lashing so arranged
that it can be easily cast off or slackened.

In America, the foot of a cutter’s mainsail is invariably laced to the
boom. There is some prejudice in this country against this method, so
far as sea-going boats are concerned. There can be no doubt that a sail
sets flatter when its foot is laced, and another great advantage gained
is that a much lighter boom can be employed; for the lacing divides the
strain throughout the whole length of the boom, instead of concentrating
it at the two extremities. The buckling or bending of a boom is also
much lessened by this method, and consequently the sail is flatter in a
strong wind.

In our opinion, the sole objection of any importance to lacing the foot
of the mainsail is that in doing so, that very handy rope the tack trice
must be dispensed with.

The tack of a mainsail is generally hauled down by means of a _maintack
tackle_, generally a luff tackle purchase, but in smaller cutters a
short rope spliced into the tack of the sail is sufficient, which can be
made fast to the boom or to a cleat on the mast.

The gaff travels up and down the mast on the _jaws_, which are generally
of wood in small cutters. But as the necessary strength is obtained by
iron jaws of much less thickness, these are the best: they look neater,
fit closer, and the halyards are not so liable to get jammed between
them and the mast.

The jaws are prevented from slipping from the mast by the _parrel_, a
line with beads of hard wood threaded on it, which passes round the mast
from one horn of the jaws to the other.

The _boom_ is sometimes fitted to the mast with wooden jaws like those
of the gaff; but an iron _gooseneck_, a joint that gives play in every
direction to the boom, is far preferable. We will remark here, once and
for all, that whenever we mention iron work of any description, we speak
of galvanized iron. No other should be allowed on board a yacht under
any pretence.

[Illustration: Fig. 34.]

The _hoops_ by which the luff of the sail is kept to the mast are
sometimes of iron covered with leather, but wooden hoops are perhaps
preferable for a small yacht, and are less liable to jam.

The simplest arrangement for the foresheets is as follows. Two single
blocks are fastened to the clews of the foresail (a double block may
answer as well). One end of each sheet is spliced into an eye on deck,
then the sheet is rove through one of the blocks, and back through a
lead to its cleat aft. Fig. 34 illustrates this method.

A _horse_ for the foresheet is a great convenience on any boat which has
decks large enough to work upon. The horse is an iron bar which crosses
the deck just before the mast, with a traveller running on it to which
the foresheet--only one sheet is necessary when a horse is used--is made

The foresail thus works itself when the vessel is tacked, and there is
no danger of its blowing away forward, as there is with the jib and also
with a foresail when no horse is employed.

In order to haul the foresail to windward and flatten it in, two
bowlines leading aft like fore or jib sheets are employed.

       *       *       *       *       *

The sheets of the head sails of a small cutter should lead aft and belay
to cleats within reach of the helmsman.

The jib has two sheets, one on either side of the mast, one of which is
hauled in and the other slackened out, according to the tack the vessel
is on.

When the jibs are small the sheets require no purchase, but each should
lead either through a single block on the gunwale or a comb cleat (Fig.
35) on the deck. It is important that this fairlead be exactly in the
right spot, for on this depends whether the jib stands flatly or becomes
a loose bag. The right spot can only be determined by experiment.

[Illustration: Fig. 35.]

Where the bulwarks are high, it is sometimes found advantageous for the
jib sheets to pass through holes in them.

A knot should be tied at the end of each jib sheet, so that in case the
sheet gets loose by accident it cannot escape through the fairlead.

The foresheets require a purchase, more especially when no horse is

[Illustration: Fig. 36.]

There are several methods of fitting a _mainsheet_. It usually travels
on a horse, and the advantage of a horse is, that in tacking, the boom
is hauled down directly into its right place, and cannot lift and so
give a belly to the sail, as is the case where there is no horse. Fig.
36 represents the usual fitting of a mainsheet with horse and two double
blocks. For a small cutter, one double and one single block--the single
block on the horse--would be sufficient, and in a small yawl even two
single blocks would do; for it must be remembered that though mechanical
advantage is gained by a number of pulleys, friction is increased and
time lost. Now it is very important at times that a mainsheet be rounded
in or paid out smartly.

The cleat to which the mainsheet is belayed should be as nearly as
possible in the middle of the deck or transom, else the boom will have
more sheet on one tack than on the other.

It is in our opinion a mistake to put a topmast with its complication of
gear into a small yacht, especially as a good-sized topsail can be set
without a topmast at all. An inspection of Fig. 37 will show how this is
done. In the first place the yard is laid on deck and the sail is laced
to it. Then the end of the halyard is bent on to A, a position which has
been ascertained by experiment, and which is marked, or better still,
has a cleat on it to prevent the halyard from slipping. (See Fig. 18 for
the topsail halyard bend.)

[Illustration: Fig. 37.]

Then the sheet, which passes through a sheave hole on the peak and a
block under the throat, is bent on to the clew of the sail. Next the
downhaul, B, is bent on to the heel of the spar.

The sail is hoisted with the halyard till A is close up to the sheave
hole on the mast, and while it is hoisting, a slight strain is kept on
the downhaul to keep the spar perpendicular. The downhaul is next hauled
down as taut as possible and belayed to a cleat on the mast. Lastly, the
sheet is hauled in till the sail is quite flat.

A _topmast_ slides through two iron caps on the foreside of the mast. It
is hauled up by the _heel rope_, which is fastened to the heel of the
spar and passes through a sheave hole at the masthead. The topmast, when
hoisted, is kept in position by an iron fid. The topmast _shrouds_ are
spread out by the crosstrees, of iron or hard wood, projecting at right
angles from the masthead. The _topmast stay_ is carried from the head of
the topmast to the end of the bowsprit. The topmast is also supported by
_preventer backstays_ leading aft. In jibing, the lee preventer stay
must be slacked out as well as the lee runners.

Two sorts of topsails can be set on a topmast--a yard topsail, by which
a large area of canvas is obtained, and a jib-headed topsail. In a
good-sized yacht it is well to have both. The jib-header can be used in
strong winds. When out at sea in really bad weather, it is often of
great advantage to set the jib-header over a reefed mainsail, for the
wind still fills it, and the steerage way is preserved while the reefed
mainsail is becalmed in the trough of the sea. By means of a jackyard,
which extends the foot of the sail beyond the end of the main gaff, the
area of either a jib-header or a yard topsail can be increased.

When a cutter is running before the wind, a jib-headed sail, called a
_spinnaker_, can be set on the opposite side to the mainsail. (See Fig.

The spinnaker boom is fitted to the fore-side of the mast by a
gooseneck, and if the sail is intended for cruising purposes only, the
boom should, when topped up along the mast with its topping-lift, be
able to pass under the forestay.

The spinnaker halyard passes through a block on the mast, and the clew
of the sail is hauled out to the end of the boom by an outhaul, while
the tack can be made fast to a cleat on deck.

[Illustration: Fig. 38.]

In order to prevent the spinnaker boom from swinging fore or aft, it is
stayed or guyed with a fore guy leading to the stem, and an after guy
leading to the stern. These guys also serve to trim the boom to the
required angle.

Most of the blocks now used on yachts have iron strops to them; but it
is still necessary that the amateur sailor should know how to strop a

If it be a tail block for which the strop is required, this can be done
by making an eye splice in the piece of rope that is to serve as the
tail. The common form of strop is a rope grommet coated with canvas.

The above strops are liable to stretch considerably, and for blocks,
such as the mainsheet blocks, which have a tendency to slip out, the
author has found that grommets of wire rope make serviceable strops.
These, too, should be coated with canvas or leather and afterwards

_Selvagee strops_ are now much used for blocks, are very strong, look
neat, and are easily made.

To make a selvagee strop, drive two spikes or nails into a board, their
distance apart depending upon the size of the required strop. Then make
fast one end of a ball of rope yarn to one of the nails, and wind the
rope yarn round and round the two nails, hauling each turn very taut
until the strop thus formed is stout enough. Tie the yarns together at
intervals, and the strop will present the appearance shown in Fig. 39.
Leather should always be wet when it is sewn on a strop, for it will
shrink when dry and stretch tightly round the strop without showing any

[Illustration: Fig. 39.]

The best form of block for yachting purposes is the patent iron-stropped
block; the _lignum vitæ_ shell being fastened over the strop.

Iron blocks should never be used in a small yacht. They are only
necessary on large craft, where chain halyards are employed.

Where a tackle is used, as in the backstay runners, it is advisable that
one of the blocks should have a swivel hook. In this way, all turns will
be taken out of the tackle, and jamming will be prevented.

[Illustration: Fig. 40.]

The difference between a cutter and a yawl is that the latter has not so
big a mainsail as the cutter; the main boom does not project over the
stern, but is all inboard, thus permitting of a small mizzen-mast being
stepped right aft. (Fig. 40.)

A yacht rigged as a cutter will, under most circumstances, be faster
than if she were yawl rigged; so, in racing, a yawl is granted a certain
time allowance when competing with “single-stick” craft. But for
cruising purposes, the yawl rig is undoubtedly the most comfortable,
the most handy, and requires fewer hands to work it.

A yawl’s mizzen is generally a standing lug, sometimes a leg of mutton
sail; in either case working on a boom with a sheet leading through the
end of a short wooden or iron outrigger or bumpkin projecting over the

For single-handed sailing, the yawl is much to be preferred to the
cutter, as the following examples will show.

Should it come on to blow, it is much easier to reef down on the short
boom than on the overhanging boom of a cutter.

It is not so often necessary to reef a yawl’s mainsail as a cutter’s;
for, instead of reefing, the mizzen can be stowed and smaller headsail
set, or she can be made to sail under mainsail and foresail alone, or
under mizzen and foresail alone.

If it is required to take a reef in the mainsail, the sail can be
lowered on deck and reefed at leisure by one hand; while the vessel,
hove to under foresail and mizzen, is allowed to take care of herself.
When one is alone on board a cutter, and it becomes necessary to reef,
the task is a difficult and often a dangerous one.

As the mizzen of a yawl is sometimes just before the rudder head, the
tiller must have a curve or loop in it, so as to allow of its being put
over to a sufficient angle. An iron tiller is therefore generally used.
(See Fig. 41.)

[Illustration: Fig. 41.]

A yawl’s mizzen is always a very small sail, and in a large majority of
yachts of this rig it appears ridiculously small, and can have only an
inappreciable effect on the vessel.

But in a _ketch_ (Fig. 42), which differs from a yawl in having a still
smaller mainsail and shorter boom, with a mizzen mast stepped further
inboard, the mizzen is a much larger and more serviceable sail.

[Illustration: Fig. 42.]

For real cruising on broad seas in all sorts of weather the ketch is the
best of all fore-and-aft rigs. It is the rig of many of our coasters,
and of nearly all of our deep sea fishing boats. A ninety-ton
ketch-rigged fishing smack, such as one may see hundreds of, any day,
tossing about on the steep seas of the Dogger Bank, is as fine a sea
boat as any sailor’s heart can desire.

No bumpkin is needed for a ketch’s mizzen sheet, as the mast is so far
inboard; the sheet works on a horse on the taffrail or merely through a
block bolted into the deck as far aft as possible.

In coasters and fishing smacks, a topsail is set over the mizzen.

All those advantages which the yawl possesses over the cutter are
magnified in the ketch, and in addition to this, the vessel can sail
well under head sails and mizzen, and can turn to windward under these,
a performance impossible for the average yawl, with its
pocket-handkerchief of a mizzen.

Old Peninsular and Oriental and other large steamers’ lifeboats can be
purchased for a few pounds in the London Docks; for it is the custom to
condemn them and sell them for what they will fetch after a certain
number of years’ service--or rather idle rest in their davits--whether
they be sound or otherwise.

These boats, generally built of double skins of teak, are marvellously
strong, and are perhaps the best sea boats of their size in the world.

The author once timbered and decked one of these boats--thirty feet long
by eight feet beam--and converted her into a ketch yacht, in which he
recently sailed to Copenhagen and back, encountering plenty of bad
weather on the way.

After his experience, he can strongly recommend those who desire a
cheap, strong cruising boat that will go through almost any sea, to do
the same.

As these lifeboats are of shallow draught, it will be necessary either
to fit a centre-board or false keel on the vessel. The author’s craft
has lee-boards; but he is aware that the amateur will seldom face the
prejudice of his yachting friends, professional or amateur, and adopt
this simple and very efficient method of stopping his vessel’s leeway.
But let us tell him that a little doubled-ended craft of polished teak,
with neat, polished oak lee-boards is anything but unsightly, and is the
very boat for the Zuyder Zee and shallow Dutch waterways, where no one
will ridicule his lee-boards, provided they be properly made.



     To get under way from mooring or anchorage--Setting sail--Close
     hauled--Tacking--Missing stays--Waring--Squalls--Shifting
     jibs--Jibing--Scandalizing mainsail--Hove to--Reefing--Returning to
     moorings--Running aground.

Each rig has its own little special tricks of sailing differing from
those of other rigs; but the main rules are the same for all, and one
who has thoroughly grasped the mechanical laws that govern the relation
of a boat’s sails, hull, and rudder to wind and water, and has learnt
how to sail one sort of craft, can discover for himself, by reasoning
and experiment, what methods must be employed on a boat of a different

Let us imagine ourselves on board a yawl yacht of five tons lying at
anchor at the mouth of a tidal river. We will now describe the principal
manœuvres that must be employed in getting her under way and sailing

To get under way may appear a simple matter enough; yet to do so safely
often taxes the skill of the cleverest sailor.

If the wind is moderate, and we have plenty of sea room, and no vessels
are brought up near to us, the process is easy. We hoist all sail, haul
up the anchor, and by holding the foresheet to windward cant the vessel
off in the required direction, then trim the sheets, and away we go.

But supposing that a strong tide is running under us and a fresh breeze
is blowing in the same direction as the tide, it will not do to get
under way after this fashion, more especially if other vessels are
brought up not far astern of us; for the yacht will begin to drag her
anchor when sail is hoisted, or at any rate some time before the chain
is a-peak; the result being that before she can be canted and got under
control she will drag astern and get foul of some of the other craft.
And even if she does not do this and her sails fill, she will shoot
ahead over her anchor and make it impossible to get it up.

Our best method of getting under way under the above conditions would
probably be as follows. First the anchor is hove short, so that the
yacht is nearly over it. Then the mainsail or mizzen, according to the
strength of the wind, is hoisted. Then, while the anchor is being
smartly got off the ground and hauled on board, the foresail is hoisted.
The tide passing under a vessel while she is at anchor gives her
steerage way; so, just before the anchor leaves the ground, the tiller
is put over to cant the vessel on the desired tack, the foresheet is
trimmed, and thus we get way on our craft without any delay, and are
able to avoid the vessels that surround us.

If there is but little wind, a strong tide under one, and a crowd of
vessels brought up close astern, it sometimes happens that the following
method is the only one by which one can get away clear. Let one hand get
the anchor up till the chain is nearly straight up and down and the
yacht commences to drag slowly. Let him, by giving her chain or taking
it in, keep her going thus, never letting her drag fast. As the tide is
running by the vessel faster than she is dragging astern, she still has
steerage way; thus the helmsman is enabled to steer her, so as to avoid
the different craft. As soon as she is astern of them and the road is
clear, the anchor is got on board, the sails are hoisted, and away she

If the wind and tide are in opposite directions, and the tide has most
effect on a vessel at anchor so that she rides with her bows against the
tide, it is often advisable to heave the anchor short, and just as it
comes off the ground to set mainsail or foresail and run before the

Do not set too much sail and get speed on your vessel before your anchor
is on deck, or you will get it caught under your stem, and have to luff
up so that a hand can clear it.

If a yacht is not anchored, but made fast to a buoy or other moorings,
from which one can slip in a moment, the problem of getting under way is
much simplified; for one can carry the mooring line to either bow, or to
the quarter, or even astern, so as to direct the vessel’s head in the
desired direction. Then the mooring can be slipped, and sail hoisted
simultaneously, and the vessel will get way on at once and can be
steered clear of everything.

The amateur, if he puts his mind to it, will in time be able to reason
out the best method of getting his craft under way under every
contingency of tide, wind, and surrounding obstacles. The manœuvre is
often a difficult one; but luckily the novice has generally time to sit
down quietly on deck and reason out his method before commencing
operations, which is far from the case with most of the manœuvres which
have to be performed when one is under way.

While we are on the subject of getting under way we will describe how
the sails are to be set.

The mainsail, when furled, is tied up with small ends of rope, called
tyers. First cast off the tyers. Then top the boom a little with the
topping-lift and slack out the main sheet. Seize both main halyards
together and hoist till the throat is nearly up. Then belay the peak
halyards while you swing away at the throat till it is taut, and belay
the throat halyards. Then hoist the peak and belay the peak halyards.
Then coil the halyards neatly close under their cleats.

After coiling halyards, always capsize them, that is, turn them over so
that the end of the halyards is under the coil. If this precaution is
not taken, and a sail is lowered in a hurry, the coil will probably be
dragged up to the masthead, possibly jam somewhere in a block, and
prevent the sail from lowering further until some one has gone aloft to
undo the mischief.

Having now got our boat under way--say under mainsail and foresail--we
proceed to hoist our other sails as we sail close-hauled down the river.
It is blowing fresh, and there is a look of more wind in the sky, so we
will dispense with the topsail (the method of setting this sail has been
already described), and get the mizzen and second jib on her. We are
supposing that there are three jibs on board, so the one we have decided
to use is the medium one.

The method of setting the jib requires some explanation. In the first
place, we take it for granted that the bobstay and bowsprit shrouds have
been hove taut before we got under way.

Lay the jib on the deck forward with its tack ahead. Hook the tack on
the traveller, and the jib halyard on to the head, and then fasten the
jib sheets on to the clew. The jib sheets are often attached to the sail
on a small yacht by spring hanks; but these are somewhat liable to
become unhooked when the sail is shaking in stays. Sister hooks, which
must be seized together with yarn--_moused_, as the operation is
called--or have a stout indiarubber ring round them are preferable.
Toggles and shackles are also sometimes employed for this purpose.

The jib is now all ready for hoisting. First haul out the tack on the
traveller to its proper position, and belay the outhaul. If the jib is
a biggish one and may touch the water while it is being hauled out,
hoist on the halyard at the same time just sufficiently to keep the jib
clear of the water. When the outhaul is belayed, hoist the halyards taut
and belay them. Then trim in the lee sheet.

We are now close-hauled, sailing full and bye, as it is called, that is,
the sails are full while the vessel is sailing as near to the wind as
she can. The steersman should stand on the weather side of the vessel.
To sail a yacht to windward with the greatest advantage requires
considerable practice, and the novice is sure at first to yaw her about
a good deal, now keeping her off the wind too much and now luffing till
all the sails are shaking and she loses her way.

The burgee or vane at the masthead will tell him when he is bearing away
too much, and the luff of the mainsail will shake when he is sailing as
close as he should.

The luff of the mainsail is generally lifting slightly when a yacht is
sailing close hauled; but the best way of steering full and bye is by
the feel of the wind on one’s face; and this is of course the only
method of doing so on a dark night.

We have now come to a bend in the river where the wind heads us, so it
becomes necessary to tack. The helmsman sings out “Ready about!” and the
crew stand by ready to tend the jib and foresheets. The helmsman keeps
the vessel a point or so off for a few moments, so as to give her plenty
of way; then singing out “Helm’s a-lee!” puts the tiller slowly
down--_slowly_, be it remembered, and not _too far_ down.

The vessel now shoots up into the wind, the jib sheet is let fly, the
foresail still kept to windward helps to pay the vessel off on the other
tack. The jib sheet on the other side, which now becomes the lee jib
sheet, is trimmed in as soon as the vessel is turned sufficiently round.
If the jib sheet be hauled in too soon, the jib becomes a back sail, and
will cause the vessel to miss stays. Next the foresheet is passed over,
and the yacht is rushing away on the other tack. The mainsail and mizzen
have been taking care of themselves during this operation; but, if it is
blowing hard, it is well to haul in the mainsheet and ease it over
gently. If the yacht be a smart one in stays, it is not necessary to
keep the foresheet to windward while tacking; jib and foresheet can be
let go together.

A small amount of clumsiness in tacking a vessel will cause her to miss
stays and get in irons, that is, she will lie up in the wind, all her
sails shaking, and refuse to fill on either tack. She has now lost all
headway, and commences to go astern. In order to get way on again, haul
the head sheets to windward, which we will suppose is the port side. Put
the tiller to starboard. As the vessel is going astern, the rudder will
now produce the reverse effect of what it would were the vessel going
ahead; so putting the tiller to starboard turns the vessel’s head to

To assist her still further in paying off, slack out main and mizzen
sheets; for these sails have a tendency to keep her up in the wind. When
she has paid off sufficiently, trim the sheets, and she will soon gather
way on the port tack.

Sometimes, in a choppy sea, a boat will refuse to stay, and it becomes
necessary to ware her. To do this, slack out the mainsheet and bear away
till the wind is brought on the other side and the sail jibes. Then luff
till the vessel is close hauled.

Whilst tacking in a river, with the tide under one, it must not be
forgotten that close under either shore there is generally much less
current than in the middle of the river, sometimes no current at all or
even a back eddy. The yacht must therefore not be taken in too near the
bank before going about, for then her bows will be out of the tide while
her stern will be in it; the pressure on her stern will prevent her
coming up in the wind when the helm is put down, and she will
consequently miss stays.

While we are tacking down this reach, the wind freshens a lot, and we
are struck by several squalls, to which the helmsman luffs up, thereby
lessening the force of their impact; but he must be careful not to luff
too much or too long, else the yacht will lose all her way and get in

It blows still harder, and our vessel is running her nose into the short
choppy sea, so it is decided that we shift the second jib for the third
or smallest.

To do this properly while one is under way requires an experienced hand.
To take in the jib, let go the outhaul, and as the sail on its traveller
comes inboard along the bowsprit, muzzle it, that is, clasp it in your
arms; then letting go the halyards, pull the sail down on deck to
leeward of the foresail. Untoggle the sheets, unhook the tack and head
from the outhaul and halyards; secure these last to their respective
cleats, so that they cannot blow adrift, and then carry the sail below.
Get the third jib on deck, and set it in the way before described.

If we had been out at sea instead of taking a short sail on a river, we
should have reefed the bowsprit when we shifted jibs, and thus have
relieved the vessel of the unnecessary leverage of this weight over her

In the next reach, the river bends round so that we have to put the helm
up and run before the wind. The lee-runner is slacked off and all the
sheets are eased off.

Further on, the river bends round still more, so that we have to jibe.
As the wind is strong, this must be done with certain precautions. First
the peak is lowered. Then the runner is slacked off and the helm is put
up. The mainsheet must be rounded in quickly till the boom is amidships,
and then, as the wind strikes the sail on the other side, the sheet is
paid out again. If the boom were allowed to jibe over by itself, and the
mainsheet was not thus made to break the violence of the jerk, the boom
would be sprung or some other serious accident would probably occur.

When the boom has jibed over, the runner which is now the weather one is
set up taut and the head sheets are slacked out on the weather side and
belayed on the lee side.

In the next reach, the wind is a little before the beam, so the sheets
are trimmed in a bit.

So stiff a squall now strikes us that our lee gunwale and several planks
of our deck are under water; so, until it is over, the mainsail is
scandalized. Scandalizing a mainsail consists of tricing up the tack and
lowering the peak, thus much reducing the area of canvas.

The squall over, we hoist the peak and lower the tack again. The man at
the tiller now complains that in this strong wind “the vessel is
carrying enough weather helm to pull his arms off.” The cause of this
_griping_, as it is called, is plain enough. When we got under way our
sails were nicely balanced, and the yacht steered easily with just a
slight weather helm. But we have shifted the second jib for the third,
thus reducing the head sail so much that the after sails are producing
the most effect, and a lot of helm is necessary to counteract the
vessel’s tendency to run up into the wind. (See Chapter III., on the
balancing of sails.) We must now restore the proper balance of the sails
by reducing the after sail. We can do this either by taking in the
mizzen or by reefing the mainsail, and as the wind looks more like
freshening than moderating, we decide to take down one reef in the

In the first place we heave our vessel to. To do this we slack away our
lee foresheet and haul in the weather one, while we flatten in the main
and mizzen sheets.

The wind striking the after sails drives the vessel up in the wind; but
the foresail being hauled to windward and becoming a back sail makes her
pay off. By trimming the sheets properly the head and after sails can
thus be made to balance each other, and the yacht will float on the
water practically motionless, with her head to the wind, and remain so
for as long as we please without any hand being required at the tiller.

We next lower the mainsail on deck, and remain hove to under foresail
and mizzen. Having now much less after sail set, we must let the jib
sheet flow and perhaps give the foresail a trifle more sheet to prevent
our vessel from paying off too much.

And now to take down our reef. If the reef-pendant is not already rove,
as it always should be on a short-handed craft, we proceed to reeve it.
Fig. 43 will demonstrate how this is done. The boom has a comb cleat on
either side of it. As we wish to take down only one reef, we reeve the
pendant through the first hole of one of these cleats, a knot at the
pendant end preventing it from slipping through. Then we pass it through
the first reef cringle and down through the first hole of the other comb

Now we haul on the pendant till we have boused down the cringle to the
boom, and then lash it securely.

Next the tack is secured to the first reef cringle on the luff of the
sail, the foot of the sail is rolled up, and the first row of reef
points are tied.

Having got our reef down, we hoist up our reduced mainsail, slack out
the main and mizzen sheets to let the vessel pay off a bit, then let go
the weather foresheet and haul in the lee one and proceed on our voyage.
The sails are now nicely balanced again, and the man at the tiller no
longer grumbles at the arm pulling weather helm.

[Illustration: Fig. 43.]

In the next reach the wind is ahead, and we have to tack again; but the
tide has turned and is running strongly against us so that we find we
are making no progress. We therefore decide to return home. The helm is
put up, the mainsheet is eased off, and we bear away to run up the

By-and-by we are close hauled, and we observe that our sails are
standing very badly, the jib especially so, for its luff is bending
round in a great bow.

The cause of this is that our ropes have stretched, and a pull on the
halyards all round becomes necessary. While the steersman luffs up for a
moment so that the sails shake, a hand swigs down the jib halyards and
belays them. So again while a pull is being taken on each halyard in its
turn, the steersman luffs up, thereby relieving the sail of the pressure
of the wind, but without stopping the vessel’s way.

And now we approach our moorings; the tide and wind are both with us. We
lower our head sails, steer the yacht so that she takes a sweep round
into the wind, and we haul in the mainsheet as she comes up. We bring
her up head to wind, and she loses her way just as we are alongside the
mooring buoy. A hand forward picks up the buoy rope with a boat hook and
secures it. Then the mainsail and mizzen are quickly lowered, and we
stow the sails at our leisure.

The method here described is the most usual one of coming up to

To perform this manœuvre with confidence requires considerable
experience. The moment at which the vessel should be luffed up into the
wind and the nature of the curve she should be made to describe depend
on a variety of circumstances. The strength of the tide must be taken
into consideration, and also the tendency of the boat either to shoot
far ahead or lose her way quickly after she has been luffed up into the

A very slight mistake will bring the vessel up short of her moorings.
Then, having lost her way, she will drop astern with the tide and
possibly get foul of some other craft before head sail can be set and
way can be got on her.

We would therefore recommend the novice to always have his anchor ready
to let go when approaching his moorings.

When the wind and tide are in opposite directions the manœuvre is
sometimes rendered easier; for then the vessel can be made to run before
the wind up to her buoy under her mainsail, and then, the sail being
scandalized, she will no longer be able to stem the tide, but will come
to a standstill close to the buoy.

If the wind is strong, she can run up under her foresail only, which can
be lowered as soon as the buoy is reached.

To come to an anchor, the usual method is to lower the head sails, haul
in the mainsheet, and luff the vessel up into the wind till she stops
her way; then let go.

Before coming up to the anchorage a few fathoms of chain should be
ranged before the windlass, sufficient at least to allow the anchor to
reach the bottom when let go.

It is best not to let go the anchor until the vessel has begun to gather
stern way; then give her chain gradually until she has taken out
enough--that is, under ordinary circumstances, about three times as much
length of chain as the depth of the water. If the chain is allowed to
run out all at once it will fall on the top of the anchor, a coil will
get round one of the flukes, dislodge the other fluke from the ground,
and the vessel will drag.

The end of the chain, especially if no windlass is used, should be
secured to a bolt in the chain locker or otherwise; else a careless hand
may let it all run overboard and thus lose both anchor and cable.

The chain should be marked at every five fathoms, by attaching a small
piece of cord to the link. The loose end of the first cord can have one
knot tied in it, the second cord two knots, and so on. The length of
chain that is overboard is thus easily ascertained.

Our vessel being now moored or anchored, we neatly stow our sails,
fasten the tyers round them, belay all halyards and sheets, and coil the
mainsheet and the other falls. If the ropes are dry, belay them slack,
for a shower would shrink them, and if they were belayed taut all the
life would be stretched out of them.

In the course of our cruise we did not contrive to get our yacht
aground, which was perhaps well for us, seeing how hard it was blowing.

When a vessel has run aground, the method of getting her off again
varies with circumstances.

If the keel is in soft mud and we were not running before the wind when
our vessel struck, we may get her off by slacking the main and mizzen
right out, so that the wind does not press on the sails, or by lowering
the mainsail and mizzen, while we haul the head sheets to windward, so
that the head sails turn her bows round and drive her astern at the same
time. If this is not enough to move her, we can assist the action of the
sails by shoving her off with poles; also by making our crew run from
side to side to roll her and so dislodge her keel from the mud; or, if
she is only aground forward and the rest of her is afloat, by bringing
the weight of all hands aft and so lightening the bows.

But if she has run upon a sloping shoal of sand or shingle, the above
method will seldom prove of any avail, for the opposition of the hard
bottom will prevent the keel from turning. Under these circumstances,
our only plan will be to lower all sail and drag her off by the same way
that she came on, that is, we must shove her astern with the poles and
if that is not sufficient, take an anchor out in the dinghy and let it
go in the deep water some distance astern, when we can haul her off with
the cable. If the anchor holds well, we can--in case our own strength is
insufficient--clap a watch tackle on the cable or pass it round the
windlass so as to gain more power.

If we were running before the wind when we got aground, we must in this
case also lower all sail and haul the vessel off stern first.

If the tide is dropping, there must be no delay in getting her off, or
the water will leave us, and we will have to remain where we are till
the next flood.

Be careful not to run aground on the top of high water spring tides, or
you may be _neaped_ as it is called, that is, you will not have water to
float you off until the next springs, and must remain stuck in the mud
for maybe a fortnight.

Many of our smaller and little-navigated rivers have narrow channels
winding among extensive shoals. These channels are often but
indifferently marked with beacons, so that a stranger attempting to find
his way up them at half flood or later, when the shoals are covered,
will in all probability run his vessel ashore.

His best plan is to remain at anchor at the mouth of the river until low
water, he can then work his way up the channel on the young flood, when
the shoals are uncovered and the channels easily distinguished. And even
if he does run aground, the water is rising under him so that he will
soon float off.

While sailing a small craft, if you pass close under the lee of a large
vessel, you will find that she will take all the wind out of your sails
and you will be becalmed. Look out, if the day be a breezy one, for the
sudden blow with which the wind will strike you again when the vessel
is passed. As your vessel will probably have lost nearly all her way
while under the lee of the other, the first pressure of the wind will be
entirely exerted in heeling your craft over.

Therefore lower your peak, or have your sheets ready to slack out while
under the lee of the other vessel.

       *       *       *       *       *

The spinnaker is the only sail on board our yawl whose management has
not been described. When not in use, the spinnaker boom is topped along
the mast, and secured by lashings to the shrouds. To set the spinnaker,
cast off the boom lashings. Lower the boom over the side, keeping it
still well topped up. Guy it with the fore and the after guys. Bend the
outhaul and halyards on the sail. Belay the sheet loosely. First haul
the sail up with the halyards. Then haul it along the boom with the
outhaul. Then trim in the sheet.

Before we leave the subject of handling a fore-and-after, we will point
out that if a vessel be sluggish in stays, it is advisable, instead of
leaving the foresheet fast and keeping the foresail aback till the
vessel has paid off on the other tack, to let fly the foresheet as the
vessel comes up into the wind, thus taking the pressure off the head
sails and making her come up the quicker; then, as soon as the vessel is
in the wind’s eye, to haul the foresheet in again, so that the foresail
to windward helps the vessel round. Keep it to windward no longer than
is necessary; then, as before, let fly the weather sheet and trim in the



     Towing a dinghy--Berthon boats--To prevent a dinghy bumping against
     an anchored yacht--Foul anchor--Mooring--The drogue--The management
     of open boats in a heavy sea--Management of a yacht in a rough

In the last chapter we have described the principal manœuvres that must
be employed on a small yacht. This chapter will contain a variety of
wrinkles connected with the management of a yacht or boat which may be
of service to a novice.

TOWING A DINGHY.--If a yacht is running before a high sea, a dinghy
towing astern is apt to rush violently down upon the yacht at intervals
and possibly stave herself in. Some give a dinghy a long scope of
painter under these circumstances, so as to keep her far astern out of
the way. But the long painter allows her more play, and if she does
swoop down upon the yacht and strike her it will be with far greater
force than if the painter were short. The author, having no room for her
on the deck of his yacht, once towed a dinghy all the way to Copenhagen
and back, and though on several occasions he was running before a high
sea the dinghy never inflicted the slightest injury either on herself or
on the yacht. The method which he found to be the best in rough weather,
was to tow the dinghy with two very short painters, one to either
quarter of the yacht, while an iron half-hundred weight was lashed to
the floor of the dinghy close to her stern. This weight steadied her so
that she steered straight, did not yaw about, and did not run down upon
the yacht. The short painters kept her nose right out of the water so
that she could not be swamped. If a sea had filled her--it never did--it
would have almost all run out over her stern again. The yacht, it may be
mentioned, had a pointed stern, a great advantage when a boat must be
towed. Overhanging counters have caused the destruction of many dinghys.

Few small yachts have accommodation on deck for a wooden dinghy. A
Berthon collapsible boat, which can be easily stowed in the cabin or
laid flat on deck is therefore a great advantage for a small craft. For,
however safely a dinghy may tow astern, she greatly impedes the speed of
the yacht.

       *       *       *       *       *

When a yacht is lying at anchor with her dinghy afloat, it often happens
that the wind and tide being opposed to each other, now one and then the
other influences the dinghy most, so that she wanders in erratic fashion
as far as her painter’s length will allow, now scraping along the
yacht’s sides, and now thumping into her stern, much to the damage of
the new paint.

The patience of the novice is often severely tried by such tricks on his
dinghy’s part. Half a dozen times in the night he leaves his snug berth
and leaps on deck to shift the dinghy’s painter from one part of the
vessel to the other, first to one side, then to the other, then to the
bows, and then back to the stern again, but all to no avail, for as soon
as he has turned in, the dismal “thud,” “thud” recommences.

If the yacht be a large one, and the bowsprit be therefore sufficiently
high above the water, the dinghy’s painter can be made fast to the
bowsprit end, and the dinghy will thus keep clear of the yacht. But if
the vessel is a small one and this plan is not practicable, the
following method generally proves successful. Drop an iron bucket with
a line attached to its handle over the dinghy’s stern. The bucket
sinking in the water will offer so much resistance to the tide that the
dinghy will ride to the tide only, and the wind will not have power to
blow her over the tide against the yacht’s sides.

       *       *       *       *       *

FOUL ANCHOR.--If a yacht is at anchor in a tideway, the slack of the
chain is very liable to get round the anchor and foul it when the vessel
swings at the turn of the tide. It is therefore advisable to get in the
chain at slack water until the yacht is right over her anchor. As soon
as the new current has set in and the yacht has swung to it, the
necessary amount of chain can be given her.

       *       *       *       *       *

MOORING.--If it is blowing hard, or the holding ground is bad, it may be
necessary to moor, that is, to ride to two anchors in different
directions. Having come to with one anchor, pay out chain and let the
vessel drop astern until you have out twice the length of chain you
intend to ride by. Then let go the other anchor. Slack out the last
anchor chain and heave in that of the first till the same scope of chain
is on each. Moor with open hawse towards the direction from which the
greatest pressure of wind or current is expected, that is, with a line
drawn between the two anchors opposite that direction.

The vessel in swinging round to the tide may get a _foul hawse_, that
is, one chain may take turns over the other. By steering the vessel,
setting a sail, or by other means adapted to the particular
circumstances, so tend her while she is swinging at each turn of the
tide that she never makes a complete revolution, but swings backwards
and forwards in the same semicircle. Foul hawse will thus be avoided.

TO UNMOOR.--Heave in on one anchor and pay out chain to the other, get
the first anchor on board, then heave in on the other anchor. To ride
easily in heavy weather put rope springs on the chain cables.

A coir rope makes an excellent cable for a small yacht. It floats on the
water, and has plenty of spring in it, so that the yacht rides very

       *       *       *       *       *

THE DROGUE.--When a small yacht cruises on broad and stormy seas such as
the North Sea, it is advisable to have a drogue or deep sea anchor among
her inventory. Many a small fishing boat has been saved from destruction
by this precaution.

A drogue is a conical bag of stout canvas sometimes having its mouth
bent on to an iron ring. When a little craft is far from the land and so
high a sea is running that she cannot sail or even lie to with safety,
the drogue is attached by a bridle to a hawser and let go over the bows
like an anchor. It offers so much resistance to the water that as the
vessel is driven astern by the wind the strain on the hawser keeps her
head to wind and sea, and she rides safely and easily. A tripping line
is attached to the pointed end of the drogue so that it can be capsized
and easily hauled on board.

If an open boat is being pulled across the breakers on a bar so as to
make a harbour, or is being rowed towards the shore before a heavy surf,
a drogue or even a bucket towed astern will keep the boat’s stern back
and prevent her from broaching to.

If a small boat be blown right out to sea and it is impossible to bring
her back to the shore either by rowing or sailing, a floating anchor can
be made by lashing the oars, the mast, and the yard with the sail bent
on it, together. The sail must be loosed and a weight can be attached
to its foot so as to sink it and offer more resistance to the water. A
short rope secured to both extremities of the raft forms a span to the
middle of which the cable is bent. Such a floating anchor breaks the sea
in a marvellous manner, and small boats have been often known to ride
out the most furious gales in this way.

       *       *       *       *       *

BEACHING BOATS IN A SURF, ETC.--The National Lifeboat Institution has
published a very useful series of rules on the management of open boats
in rough water, these rules being founded on information gathered from
all parts of our coast as to the practice of the local boatmen and


As a general rule, _speed must be given to a boat rowing against a heavy
surf_. Indeed, under some circumstances, her safety will depend on the
utmost possible speed being attained on meeting a sea. For if the sea be
really heavy, and the wind blowing a hard on-shore gale, it can only be
by the utmost exertions of the crew that any headway can be made. The
great danger then is, that an approaching heavy sea may carry the boat
away on its front, and turn it broadside on or up-end it, either effect
being immediately fatal. A boat’s only chance in such a case is to
obtain such way as shall enable her to pass, end on, through the crest
of the sea, and leave it as soon as possible behind her. If there be
rather a heavy surf, but no wind, or the wind off shore, and opposed to
the surf, a boat might be propelled so rapidly through it that her bow
would fall more suddenly and heavily after topping the sea than if her
way had been checked; and it may therefore only be when the sea is of
such magnitude and the boat of such a character that there may be chance
of the former carrying her back before it, that full speed should be
given to her. It may also happen that, by careful management under such
circumstances, a boat may be made to avoid the sea, so that each wave
may break ahead of her; which may be the only chance of safety in a
small boat; but if the shore be flat, and the broken water extend to a
great distance from it, this will be impossible.


The one great danger, when running before a broken sea, is that of
_broaching to_. To that peculiar effect of the sea, so frequently
destructive of human life, the utmost attention must be directed. The
cause of a boat’s broaching to, when running before a broken sea or surf
is, that her own motion being in the same direction as that of the sea,
whether it be given by the force of oars or sails, or by the force of
the sea itself, she opposes no resistance to it, but is carried before
it. Thus, if a boat be running with her bow to the shore and her stern
to the sea, the first effect of a surf or roller overtaking her is to
throw up the stern, and as a consequence to depress the bow; if she then
has sufficient inertia (which will be proportioned to weight) to allow
the sea to pass her, she will in succession pass through the descending,
the horizontal, and the ascending position, as the crest of the wave
passes successively her stern, her midships, and her bow, in the reverse
order in which the same positions occur to a boat propelled to seaward
against a surf.

This may be defined as the safe method of running before a broken sea.
But if a boat on being overtaken by a heavy surf, has not sufficient
inertia to allow it to pass her, the first of the three positions above
enumerated alone occurs--her stern is raised high in the air, and the
wave carries the boat before it, on its front, or unsafe side, sometimes
with frightful velocity, the bow all the time deeply immersed in the
hollow of the sea, where the water being stationary, or comparatively
so, offers a resistance, whilst the crest of the sea, having the actual
motion which causes it to break, forces onward the stern or rear end of
the boat. A boat will in this position sometimes, aided by careful oar
steerage, run a considerable distance until the wave has broken and
expended itself. But it will often happen that, if the bow be low, it
will be driven under water, when the buoyancy being lost forward, whilst
the sea presses on the stern, the boat will be thrown end over end; or
if the bow be high, or if it be protected by a deck so that it does not
become submerged, that the resistance forward acting on one bow will
slightly turn the boat’s head, and the force of the surf being
transferred to the opposite quarter, she will in a moment be turned
round broadside by the sea, and be thrown by it on her beam ends, or
altogether capsize. It is in this manner that most boats are upset in a
surf, especially on flat coasts, and in this way many lives are annually
lost. Hence it follows that the management of a boat, when landing
through a heavy surf, must, as far as possible, be assimilated to that
when proceeding to seaward against one, at least so far as to stop her
progress shoreward at the moment of being overtaken by a heavy sea, and
then enabling it to pass her. There are different ways of effecting this

1. _By turning the boat’s head to the sea before entering the broken
water, and then backing in stern foremost, pulling a few strokes ahead
to meet each heavy sea, and then again backing astern._ If a sea be
really heavy and a boat small, this plan will be generally the safest,
as a boat can be kept more under command when the full force of the oars
can be used against a heavy surf than by backing them only.

2. _If rowing to shore with the stern to seaward, by backing the oars on
the approach of a heavy sea, and rowing ahead again as soon as it has
passed the bow of the boat_; or as is practised in some lifeboats,
placing the after oarsmen with their faces forward, and making them row
back at each sea on its approach.

3. _If rowed in bow foremost, by towing astern a pig of ballast or large
stone, or a drogue_, the object of each being to hold the boat’s stern
back and prevent her being turned broadside to the sea or broaching to.

_Heavy weights should be kept out of the extreme ends of a boat_; but
when rowing before a heavy sea, the best trim is deepest by the stern. A
boat running before a heavy sea should be steered by an oar as the
rudder will then at times be of no use.

The following rules may therefore be depended on when running before a
heavy surf.

1. As far as possible avoid each sea by placing the boat where the sea
will break ahead of her.

2. If the sea is very heavy, or if the boat is small, and especially if
she has a square stern, bring her bow round to seaward and back her in,
rowing ahead against each heavy surf sufficiently to allow it to pass
the boat.

3. If it be considered safe to proceed to the shore bow foremost, back
the oars against each sea on its approach, so as to stop the boat’s way
through the water as much as possible, and if there is a drogue or other
instrument in the boat which may be used as one, tow it astern.

4. Bring the principal weights in the boat towards the end that is
seaward, but not to the extreme end.

5. If a boat worked by both sails and oars be running under sail for the
land through a heavy sea, her crew should, under all circumstances,
unless the beach be quite steep, take down her masts and sails before
entering the broken water, and take her to land under oars alone. If she
have sails alone, her sails should be much reduced, a half-lowered
foresail or other small headsail being sufficient.


The running before a surf or broken sea, and the beaching of a boat, are
two distinct operations; the management of boats, as above recommended,
has exclusive reference to running before a surf where the shore is so
flat that the broken water extends to some distance from the beach.
Thus, on a very steep beach, the first heavy fall of broken water will
be on the beach itself, whilst on some very flat shores there will be
broken water as far as the eye can reach. The outermost line of broken
water, on a flat shore, where the waves break in three or four fathoms
water, is the heaviest, and therefore the most dangerous, and when it
has been passed through in safety, the danger lessens as the water
shoals, until, on nearing the land, its force is spent and its power is
harmless. As the character of the sea is quite different on steep and
flat shores, so is the customary management of boats on landing
different in the two situations. On the flat shore, whether a boat be
run or backed in, she is kept straight before or end to the sea until
she is fairly aground, when each surf takes her further in as it
overtakes her, aided by the crew, who will then generally jump out to
lighten her, and drag her in by her sides. As above stated, sail will,
in this case, have been previously taken in if set, and the boat will
have been rowed or backed in by oars alone.

On the other hand, on the _steep_ beach, it is the general practice, in
a boat of any size, to retain speed right on to the beach, and in the
act of landing, whether under oars or sail, to turn the boat’s bow half
round towards the direction from which the surf is running, so that she
may be thrown on her broadside up the beach, when abundance of help is
usually at hand to haul her as quickly as possible out of reach of the
sea. In such situations, we believe, it is nowhere the practice to back
a boat in stern foremost under oars, but to row in under full speed as
above described.

       *       *       *       *       *

MANAGEMENT OF A YACHT IN A ROUGH SEA.--When sailing a small yacht in a
rough sea certain precautions must be observed which we will describe as
briefly as possible, for to handle a vessel properly under these
circumstances requires a skill that cannot be imparted by books.

In the first place, do not carry on too much; for it will often be
necessary to bear away or luff according to the seas, regardless of the
wind; and if too much sail be carried this cannot be done.

A beam sea is the most dangerous. If you are obliged to sail in a
direction that brings the sea abeam, keep a sharp look-out and luff up
to every sea that looks dangerously steep, so as to take it at a sharp
angle instead of broadside on.

To run before a high sea is also dangerous, especially if the vessel is
a short and beamy one, for a sea may strike the stern on one side and
cause her to broach to; or again the vessel may be pooped, that is, a
sea may break on board over the stern, filling the well and even
swamping her.

While running before the sea, steer with great care, so that every
dangerous sea strike the vessel right aft, and not on the side, and be
ready to meet promptly with the tiller any tendency to broach to.

If you are sailing with the sea on the quarter, bear away to every
dangerous sea so as to bring it right aft.

To sail against the sea, as when one is close hauled, is the safest way
of meeting it. A sea breaking over the bows can do little harm in
comparison to one coming over the stern. Luff up so as to meet a
dangerous sea nearly end on, and bear away after it has passed, but take
care that the way of the vessel is not lost in doing this.

We have already explained how to heave to, the most prudent measure that
can be taken in bad weather, provided one has plenty of sea room to

It may happen that when one is sailing along the coast for some harbour
of refuge, the wind is dead on shore so that the seas are on one’s beam.
If the seas are so dangerous that it becomes very hazardous to proceed
in this way, it is best to sail in a zigzag fashion towards one’s
port--that is, first to sail almost close hauled out to sea, then,
having watched one’s opportunity in a smooth, to bear away again and run
right before wind and sea towards the shore, and so on till the harbour
is reached.

The sea and wind are fortunately generally in the same direction; but
what is called a cross sea sometimes rolls up at intervals, especially
if the direction of the wind has recently changed. These cross seas must
be carefully watched and steered for.

Always wait for a smooth before tacking in rough water. In open water
there is a regular rhythm in the movement of the seas, and it will be
observed that at regular intervals three exceptionally heavy seas will
follow each other in succession. These heavy waves are invariably
followed by a short period of comparatively smooth water; and a sharp
steersman will always wait for this smooth before putting his vessel
about in rough weather.

       *       *       *       *       *

BOARDING.--It will sometimes be necessary to go off in the dinghy to
one’s yacht when she is sailing or hove to in a rough sea, or one may
have to bring one’s boat alongside some large vessel, in order to board

In doing this, certain precautions must be observed. In the first place,
a vessel should be boarded to leeward, as the sea will not be so violent
on the lee as on the windward side.

In boarding a vessel that is rolling a good deal, lower your boat’s
mast, if she has one, before getting alongside.

The line by which you make fast to the vessel must be long enough to
allow for the rising and falling of the sea. Have this line ready to
slip in a moment.

If the vessel is hove to, do not get alongside while she has sternway;
wait till she has headway.

Sometimes, as in the case of boarding a stranded vessel, it is dangerous
to get under her leeside, as the masts may fall on one, or the boat may
get entangled among drifting rigging. It is the practice of lifeboats,
under such circumstances, to anchor to windward of the wreck and veer
cable until one can throw a line on board.



     Ballasting a yacht--Lead on keel--The anchor--Setting up
     rigging--Ventilation and dry rot--Mildew in sails--Stretching new
     sails--Laying up a boat for the winter--Inventory.

BALLAST.--In ballasting a yacht, whatever material be used, certain
general rules must be observed.

In the first place no ballast should be stowed at either extremity of a
vessel; it should, as far as is possible, be concentrated in the midship
section. This cannot be done unless a heavy and therefore compact form
of ballast such as lead or iron is employed. If ballast be divided
throughout the entire length of a vessel she will be sluggish in a
sea-way; her head will not rise to the waves, but plunge into them, and
it will be the same with her stern; she will be a wet and uncomfortable
craft. On the other hand, a vessel whose ballast is concentrated
amidships will be lively, her bow and stern in succession will rise
buoyantly to the seas, and she will be a dry, seaworthy craft.

It is always well to have some of the ballast or a small yacht outside,
on her keel; for it will be generally found impossible to stow all the
ballast in the midship section without raising the floor and so
sacrificing head-room in the cabin.

In placing ballast on the outside of a vessel, the same precaution must
be taken as when stowing it inside--no weight must be put at the ends of
the vessel. The lead or iron keel should not be carried down her whole
length, as it often is, but should be mortised into the central portion
of the wooden keel.

In the next place, ballast should be stowed as low as possible; for the
lower it is, the less amount of it suffices to give the vessel the
necessary stability. Here again the advantage of a metal keel is
apparent. The leverage of the outside ballast is so enormous that the
yacht becomes practically uncapsizable. But an excessive weight of lead
on the keel will strain a vessel in rough water, she will recover
herself with a quick jerk after heeling over to a puff, and her every
motion will be violent. The most comfortable vessel at sea is
undoubtedly the one that carries only a moderate weight of ballast on
her keel, and the bulk of it inside.

Should a vessel be coppered, care must be taken that the sheathing does
not touch--or even approach within an inch or two--the iron keel; for
the galvanic action set up between the two metals would rapidly corrode
the iron.

In order that the ballast may fit closely and so lie as low as possible
in a vessel’s hold, it is well to have it cast in moulds shaped like the
interior of the vessel’s bottom. This is more important in the case of
the limber ballast, that is, the lowest layer of ballast which rests on
the vessel’s timbers. This can be so moulded as to project downwards
between the limbers and fill up what would otherwise be empty space; for
ballast must on no account be supported by the planking, but always by
the timbers or framework of the vessel. If you put pressure from the
inside on your yacht’s planking, do not be surprised if she soon becomes
nail-sick and leaky.

If ordinary pig and not moulded ballast be used, the spaces between the
bottom timbers are empty. It is an excellent plan to fill them up fore
and aft with Portland cement. This, hardening to the shape of the
vessel, becomes as it were a part of her and, far from exerting outward
pressure on the planking, strengthens the bottom considerably. It not
only serves as ballast, but effectually prevents the water leaking
through that portion of the vessel covered by it.

Lead is far the best ballast that can be used, the only objection to it
being its great cost. However, it may be set off against this that lead
does not corrode to any extent, and if the yacht is broken up or sold,
the lead ballast can be sold at its market value with as much ease as if
it were a precious metal.

The specific gravity of lead is to that of iron, roughly, as eleven to
seven. Not oxidizing readily, it makes much cleaner ballast than iron,
and it does not produce appreciable galvanic action and corrosion when
in contact with another metal. Iron ballast, unless it is painted, fills
the bilge water with rust, which will stain everything it comes across
when pumped on deck. Even if the pump leads, as it should do, over the
side, the water thrown out will leave an ugly stain on the paint.

If pig iron is used as ballast, the interstices between the pigs can be
fitted up with small fragments of scrap iron, which can be purchased
very cheaply.

If the spaces between the timbers are not filled with Portland cement,
by which the bilge is kept quite sweet, the limbers or holes through the
bottom timbers must be kept clear, so that the bilge water cannot
accumulate anywhere and become offensive, but will run down freely to
the pump well.

With this object, a small chain is generally kept rove through the
limber holes. By drawing it backwards and forwards the limbers are
cleared of shavings or other obstacles that are blocking them up.

We may here remark that it is important to arrange the pump-well so that
it can be got at in a moment; if the pump is choked, it can thus be
quickly cleared.

To keep the inside of a vessel sweet, tar the bottom timbers and
plankings before putting the ballast in; this of course also serves to
preserve the wood.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ANCHOR.--A good anchor should combine various qualities, the chief
of which, so far as a yacht’s anchors are concerned, are, holding power,
exemption from fouling, and easy stowage. Trotman’s patent anchors
appear to us to be the best suited for small yachts. They are
manufactured in every size. The two arms of a Trotman’s anchor are in
one solid piece and oscillate on a pivot in the shank, so that the arm
that is holding the ground is spread out by the strain on the chain;
while the other arm folds up along the shank and so offers no projection
round which the chain can get foul when the vessel swings. This anchor
has great holding power, and is easily stowed on deck. Patent stockless
anchors are now made, in which the arms oscillate not to and from the
shank, as in Trotman’s, but transversely to it, so that the two arms
enter the ground together. These anchors are well spoken of by those who
have tried them.

       *       *       *       *       *

SETTING UP RIGGING.--The forestays, main shrouds, and other portions of
a yacht’s standing rigging are now very seldom made of hemp, but of
galvanized wire. These must always be set up taut as soon as they show
signs of slackness, but not quite so taut as hempen stays are set up,
for wire does not stretch like hemp does. Wire shrouds set up too taut
put an enormous strain on the sides of a boat, and will in course of
time pull them quite out of shape. The mast should not be so rigidly
stayed down that it has no play; on the contrary, when sail is set, a
mast should be allowed to bend and so take upon itself a considerable
proportion of the strain before any is thrown upon the weather shrouds.

The shroud lanyards are of rope, but are not long enough to give
sufficient play by stretching; however, they do give some life and
spring to the rigging, whereas the iron screws with which the shrouds on
some small yachts are set up cannot give and take in the least, must
strain the boat, and seem to us wholly objectionable, though they do
save some labour to an indolent mariner.

To set up a shroud, get it taut with a watch tackle (see Fig. 12)--the
smallest yacht ought to carry at least one watch tackle, or “handy
billy,” as sailors call it; it is useful for a variety of odd jobs--then
reeve the lanyards through the dead-eyes and make the ends fast.

When a yacht is under way in a fresh breeze the weather shrouds are very
taut and the lee shrouds slack. So the lee shrouds can easily be set up
by hand, and when the vessel has gone about on the other tack the other
shrouds will become the slack ones and can be set up in the same manner.

       *       *       *       *       *

VENTILATION AND DRY-ROT.--One cause of dry-rot is the use of unseasoned
timber in the construction of a vessel, but this fatal evil has its
origin most frequently in want of ventilation.

The air should permeate freely every portion of a vessel’s woodwork. The
ballast should be so stowed that it does not interfere with the
ventilation of the hold; and holes, which can form an ornamental
pattern, must be drilled at intervals along the panelling of the cabin.

       *       *       *       *       *

MILDEW IN SAILS is always the result of carelessness. It is not wet that
causes mildew, but dampness combined with want of ventilation. Thus, if
a sail be furled when it is damp, the inner folds will mildew. A wet
sail should always be furled loosely, and it should be shaken out and
dried at the earliest opportunity. If it has been lying furled in a damp
state for some time, do not wait for the sun, but shake it out and give
it air, even if the rain be falling.

Do not, because you have furled your sail dry and put its waterproof
cover on it, imagine that you can leave it thus with safety for an
indefinite time. The damp will get into it in some way, and half the
mildew in sails is due to a blind faith in sail-covers.

Remember that the light cotton of which the topsails and spinnakers of
small yachts are made is much more liable to mildew than flax canvas.

       *       *       *       *       *

STRETCHING NEW SAILS.--If a new sail is not treated with proper care
when it first comes from the makers, it will stretch irregularly,
forming a great bag in one place, and having tight wrinkles in another.
If a sail be thus spoiled at the outset, the fault can never be
remedied, and it will remain a badly standing sail to the end.

Do not put too great a strain on any part of a new sail. For instance,
while bending the mainsail, do not haul out its peak and clews along the
gaff and boom with powerful tackle. Have them out taut, of course, but
do not try and stretch them out at first by main force so as to save
yourself future trouble. Let the whole sail stretch equally.

It is a good plan, and the delay will be well repaid, not to get under
way at once with one’s new sails, but to remain at anchor for a few
days, and haul the sails up for some hours each day. They will then,
with their own weight and the slight action of the wind swinging them
about without filling them, stretch in a gradual and uniform way.

After this you will find your mainsail slack along the gaff, and you can
tighten up your peak lashing and lacing.

The first day that you get under way with your new canvas should be a
fine one. If it comes on to blow hard, and you have to reef your
mainsail, it will certainly be pulled out of shape. You must not expect
your sails to stretch in a day. You will have to tighten up the lacing
and haul out the earing many times before your mainsail has stretched
its full, and the oftener the better for your sail’s flatness.

       *       *       *       *       *

LAYING UP A BOAT FOR THE WINTER.--In laying up a small yacht, it is well
to have her upon shore, and if possible, under cover. She will thus
become thoroughly dry, and she will be far more buoyant when she is
launched again than if she had been lying on the mud all the winter with
the water soaking through her.

All the ballast should be taken out of a boat when she is laid up. If
the limber pieces be moulded to fit the shape of the bottom, each piece
should be numbered so that its particular place in the hold will be
known when fitting out again.

The bottom of the boat inside should be thoroughly cleaned and then

If any weeds are growing on the outside, scrape them off as soon as the
yacht is on shore. It is much easier to do so when they are moist than
after they have dried on the wood.

When taking the running rigging off a small yacht, the simplest plan is
not to unreeve the halyards, but to unhook the blocks and carry them
away with the halyards. Write the name of each halyard on one of its
blocks, or, better still, mark both blocks of a halyard, showing which
is the upper and which the under.

You will thus greatly simplify the task of rigging the vessel again on
the following season; for to recognize one’s rigging when ropes and
blocks are lying in front of one unmarked is no easy matter.

If the yacht is to be left out of doors for the winter, cover the decks
with common varnish and the spars with grease and white lead. Resin
dissolved in boiled oil makes a very good varnish for coating woodwork
that is to be exposed to the open air during the winter.

Remember that there is nothing that will so spoil and blacken a vessel’s
decks as an accumulation of snow upon them. It is a wise precaution to
build a rough sloping roof over the deck, of hurdles and old canvas, or
anything that comes handy, when laying her up. If she is laid up in a
river where she may be exposed to floating ice, fasten hurdles round her

Skylights and hatches must be frequently opened during the winter, so as
to ventilate the vessel, and any water must be pumped out of her. A
yacht will deteriorate more through one winter’s neglect than in ten
years’ fair sailing.

The sails should of course be thoroughly dried before being stowed away
for the winter. They should be stowed in a dry, well-ventilated loft. If
they are soaked in sea water before being dried, they are not so liable
to mildew.

       *       *       *       *       *

INVENTORY.--There are many small but necessary articles which the
amateur is likely to forget when starting for a cruise in his new boat.
We will enumerate some of the most important of these. Marline spikes, a
sail-maker’s needle and palm, plenty of spun-yarn and seaming twine.
Spare ropes, including stuff for lanyards, etc. Spare blocks, thimbles,
cliphooks, shackles, etc. The more necessary carpenter’s tools,
including the nails and screws likely to be required. Universal
spanners, for screwing on or unscrewing nuts of various sizes. Paints in
tins, with turpentine, oil, dryers, and brushes. Scrapers for removing
old paint, etc. Stout fenders, to be used while getting alongside a
wharf, and on other occasions, when outside paint is in danger. A good
warp--grass rope or coir will answer the purpose well. A watch tackle or
“handy billy,” which is, as we have shown, useful for a variety of
purposes. A snatch-block with a tail, very handy when a pull is required
on any rope, as it can be clapped on in a moment. A small screw-jack. A
serving mallet.



     The well--Arrangement of cabin--Leaky decks--Cabin lights--The
     forecastle--Cooking stoves.

The available space in a small yacht is generally partitioned off into
an open well, a cabin, and a forecastle.

The steering is done from the well, and all the sheets are belayed to
cleats within easy reach of it. The well is surrounded with seats and
lockers. The after locker is sometimes used as a sail room: but in a
very small yacht the forecastle answers better for this purpose, and the
warps, etc., can be stowed in the after locker.

One of the side lockers of the well can be fitted with shelves, and will
then serve as a larder. Pierce holes for ventilation into the front of
it at some height above the floor.

Holes should be cut through the floor of the well, so that any water
that comes on board may escape into the bilge. A wooden grating on the
floor will keep one’s feet dry.

The cabin generally communicates with the well by folding doors, while a
small hatch is made to slide back in the cabin roof, thus making the
aperture larger and facilitating ingress and egress.

Personally we do not like cabin doors in a small yacht; they are always
in the way while open, and as they cannot be--or at any rate never
are--made water-tight, if a little water is shipped in the well it will
find its way through the closed doors and make the cabin uncomfortable.

A better plan is to have a water-tight bulkhead dividing the cabin from
the well, and at the top of the bulkhead to have a square opening which
can be closed when necessary with a vertical shutter or slide. When this
is open, and the hatch on the cabin roof is pushed back, it is easy to
step over into the cabin. Fig. 44 illustrates this arrangement.

[Illustration: Fig. 44.]

It adds considerably to the safety of a small vessel if her well be made
completely water-tight. In this case there must be an additional pump
in the well, to throw out any water that gets into it.

It is very convenient to have an awning that will fit over the well when
the vessel is at anchor. An additional room is thus obtained which will
be found very useful to perform one’s toilette in.

The raised roof over the cabin is generally covered with canvas and
painted white. This effectually prevents leakage.

It is not easy to keep a small yacht’s decks quite water-tight, and
every one who has been to sea in a little craft has passed through the
unpleasant sensation of having the water falling drop by drop upon his
face, as he lies in his bunk at night, from the seams in the planking
between the raised cabin roof and the waterways.

In dry weather, water should be freely poured on the decks morning and
evening, to prevent them shrinking.

A black marine putty is now made which in our experience serves as well
as pitch, and as it does not require heating is much more convenient to
use. Wherever a leak is discovered in the deck seams while on a voyage,
stop with cotton (using a blunt knife, not a caulking-iron) and fill up
the seam with this putty.

Tagg’s patent caulking, which swells as the planking shrinks, seems to
be very well adapted for the decks of small yachts, and can be
recommended as the best method of preventing leakage, next to covering
all the deck with canvas, an unyachty and unsightly way of meeting the

The cabin of a small yacht generally has a bunk on either side, serving
as sofas by day and beds by night, with lockers under them, useful for
the stowage of such stores as will not be spoiled by water. Two or more
cupboards are in the corners, and a table--one that can be folded up
when not in use is best--stands in the centre of the floor.

Water is sure to find its way into the cabin sometimes, so every article
of furniture must be chosen with a view to its getting wet. A carpet is
not suitable for the floor of a small yacht; it is unpleasant when wet,
and is difficult to dry. Oilcloth or linoleum is better, but these are
cold to the feet. The best material with which to cover the floor is
cocoanut matting of a good quality. It is made in every width, so a
piece of the breadth of the cabin floor can be procured. Cocoanut
matting looks well, is pleasant and warm to walk upon with bare feet,
can be washed easily, and dries very quickly.

Horsehair is of course the best material with which to stuff the
cushions of the bunks. These are often covered with American cloth,
which dries quickly, but is cold and disagreeable, especially if one’s
blanket slips off at night and one’s naked foot comes in contact with
it. Cretonnes and other cotton stuffs are cold when damp, and are
altogether unsuitable for the purpose. After having tried many
materials, the author prefers dark blue flannel to any other for cushion
covers. The flannel feels warm even when it is wet, and one will not
catch cold while sleeping on it.

The panelling of the cabin should be, if possible, of some hard wood,
polished. This is much more ornamental than painted wood, and though
more costly at the outset, is more economical in the long-run, for in
order to keep up a smart appearance paint must often be renewed.

If the cabin be painted, white panelling with a plain gilt moulding
round the top looks very well; but white paint gets dirty quickly, and a
fresh coat is required very frequently. Possibly the white enamel
paints now largely manufactured would answer the purpose better, as they
form a very hard coat which can be thoroughly washed without injury.

For cabin lights, spring candlestick lamps, swinging on gimbals, are the
best; these can be obtained at any yachting warehouse; they are provided
with globes, and with smoke shades to be screwed into the ceiling above
to prevent its discoloration. They can be lit in a moment, and are much
cleaner to handle than other lamps. But while on a cruise it will often
be necessary to have a light burning all night in the cabin, so as to be
able to refer to the chart, etc. A paraffin lamp swung over the table
will then be more convenient and economical.

The interior of a small yacht’s cabin can be made to look very pretty
and snug. The library shelf can be on the forward wall, with the aneroid
on one side of it and the clock on the other. On the side walls above
the bunks the charts, guns, and fishing-rods can be slung. A rack for
glasses and another for pipes can be fitted where most convenient.

As the blankets that serve for the yachtsman’s bedding cannot well be
stowed out of sight in a small cabin, it is well to have them as
ornamental as possible. Red blankets neatly folded up at one end of the
blue flannel bunk cushions give a bright appearance to the cabin. The
windows and the skylight should have little blinds--red silk looks very

The forecastle of a yacht of the size we are speaking of is rarely large
enough to afford sleeping accommodation, unless it be to a small boy.
The chain-locker is here, and here too are stowed the spare sails, the
mops, brooms, buckets, etc. The cooking-stove should also be in the
forecastle. This, in our opinion, should invariably be a spirit stove,
on a small craft where little cooking is done. A paraffin stove has an
unpleasant smell, even if the wick be kept carefully trimmed, and it is
the cause of a great deal of dirt.

Excellent galvanized cooking-stoves for burning methylated spirits are
now manufactured. These produce no dirt. It may be of use to mention
here that spirits of wine for burning purposes can be procured in every
little continental town, and at a cost very far under that of methylated
spirits in England.

Mildew generates very quickly in the interior of a yacht; therefore it
is very necessary that all clothing and bedding be brought on deck to
dry at every convenient opportunity. Any shackles or other small iron
work not in use should--if ungalvanized--be greased before being put
away in the lockers.

There are so many odd corners in a yacht in which dirt can accumulate
and conceal itself that a scrupulous cleanliness is necessary. Scrub and
swab everything like a Dutch woman, and take care that no morsels of
meat or other perishable matter be swept through the chinks of the floor
into the bilge. Even paper and straw will produce a very unpleasant
odour after they have been lying sodden some while. Therefore take the
paper covers off your tins of meat before stowing them under the bunks.



     Board of Trade regulations concerning lights, fog signals, steering
     and sailing rules, pilot signals, etc.--Custom House clearance on
     returning from a foreign port--Explanation of the terms used in
     giving steering directions, etc.

Any one who ventures to take charge of even a small yacht should be
familiar with the Board of Trade regulations for preventing collisions
at sea, and not only with those rules which have been laid down for his
own guidance, but with those applying specially to steamers, to fishing
boats or other craft differing from his own, that he may recognize their
manœuvres when he comes across them, and thus be able to avoid collision
with them.

We will now quote the Board of Trade regulations, making such comments
and explanations as we think will be useful.

ART. 1.--In the following rules every steam ship which is under
sail and not under steam is to be considered a sailing ship; and
every steam ship which is under steam, whether under sail or not,
is to be considered a ship under steam.

The following are the RULES CONCERNING LIGHTS:--

ART. 2.--The lights mentioned in the following Articles, numbered
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11, and no others, shall be carried in
all weathers, from sunset to sunrise.

ART. 3.--A seagoing steam ship when under way shall carry--

     (_a_) On or in front of the foremast, at a height above the hull of
     not less than 20 feet, and if the breadth of the ship exceeds 20
     feet, then at a height above the hull not less than such breadth, a
     bright white light, so constructed as to show an uniform and
     unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 20 points of the
     compass; so fixed as to throw the light 10 points on each side of
     the ship, viz., from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on
     either side, and of such a character as to be visible on a dark
     night, with a clear atmosphere, at a distance of at least five

     (_b_) On the starboard side, a green light so constructed as to
     show an uniform and unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 10
     points of the compass; so fixed as to throw the light from right
     ahead to two points abaft the beam on the starboard side, and of
     such a character as to be visible on a dark night, with a clear
     atmosphere, at a distance of at least two miles.

     (_c_) On the port side, a red light, so constructed as to show an
     uniform and unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 10 points
     of the compass; so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to
     two points abaft the beam on the port side; and of such a character
     as to be visible on a dark night, with a clear atmosphere, at a
     distance of at least two miles.

     (_d_) The said green and red side lights shall be fitted with
     inboard screens projecting at least three feet forward from the
     light, so as to prevent these lights from being seen across the

ART. 4.--A steam ship, when towing another ship, shall, in addition to
her side lights, carry two bright white lights in a vertical line one
over the other, not less than three feet apart, so as to distinguish her
from other steam ships. Each of these lights shall be of the same
construction and character, and shall be carried in the same position as
the white light which other steam ships are required to carry.

ART. 5.--

     (_a_) A ship, whether a steam ship or a sailing ship, which from
     any accident is not under command, shall at night carry, in the
     same position as the white light which steam ships are required to
     carry, and, if a steam ship, in place of that light, three red
     lights in globular lanterns, each not less than 10 inches in
     diameter, in a vertical line one over the other, not less than
     three feet apart, and of such a character as to be visible on a
     dark night, with a clear atmosphere, at a distance of at least two
     miles; and shall by day carry, in a vertical line one over the
     other, not less than three feet apart, in front of but not lower
     than her foremast head, three black balls or shapes, each two feet
     in diameter.

     (_b_) A ship, whether a steam ship or a sailing ship employed in
     laying or in picking up a telegraph cable, shall at night carry in
     the same position as the white light which steam ships are required
     to carry, and, if a steam ship, in place of that light, three
     lights in globular lanterns, each not less than 10 inches in
     diameter, in a vertical line over one another, not less than six
     feet apart: the highest and lowest of these lights shall be red,
     and the middle light shall be white, and they shall be of such a
     character that the red lights shall be visible at the same distance
     as the white light. By day she shall carry in a vertical line one
     over the other not less than six feet apart, in front of but not
     lower than her foremast head, three shapes not less than two feet
     in diameter, of which the top and bottom shall be globular in shape
     and red in colour, and the middle one diamond in shape and white.

     (_c_) The ships referred to in this Article, when not making any
     way through the water, shall not carry the side lights, but when
     making way shall carry them.

     (_d_) The lights and shapes required to be shown by this Article
     are to be taken by other ships as signals that the ship showing
     them is not under command, and therefore cannot get out of the way.
     The signals to be made by ships in distress and requiring
     assistance are contained in Article 27.

ART. 6.--A sailing ship under way, or being towed, shall carry the same
lights as are provided by Article 3, for a steam ship under way, with
the exception of the white light, which she shall never carry.

ART. 7.--Whenever, as in the case of small vessels during bad weather,
the green and red side lights cannot be fixed, these lights shall be
kept on deck, on their respective sides of the vessel, ready for use;
and shall, on the approach of or to other vessels, be exhibited on their
respective sides in sufficient time to prevent collision, in such manner
as to make them most visible, and so that the green light shall not be
seen on the port side nor the red light on the starboard side.

To make the use of these portable lights more certain and easy, the
lanterns containing them shall each be painted outside with the colour
of the light they respectively contain, and shall be provided with
proper screens.

ART. 8.--A ship, whether a steam ship or a sailing ship, when at anchor,
shall carry, where it can best be seen, but at a height not exceeding 20
feet above the hull, a white light in a globular lantern, of not less
than 8 inches in diameter, and so constructed as to show a clear uniform
and unbroken light visible all round the horizon, at a distance of at
least one mile.

ART. 9.--A pilot vessel, when engaged on her station on pilotage duty,
shall not carry the lights required for other vessels, but shall carry a
white light at the masthead, visible all round the horizon, and shall
also exhibit a flare-up light or flare-up lights at short intervals
which shall never exceed fifteen minutes.

A pilot vessel, when not engaged on her station on pilotage duty, shall
carry lights similar to those of other ships.

ART. 10.--Open boats and fishing vessels of less than 20 tons net
registered tonnage, when under way and when not having their nets,
trawls, dredges, or lines in the water, shall not be obliged to carry
the coloured side lights; but every such boat and vessel shall in lieu
thereof have ready at hand a lantern with a green glass on the one side
and a red glass on the other side, and on approaching to or being
approached by another vessel, such lantern shall be exhibited in
sufficient time to prevent collision, so that the green light shall not
be seen on the port side nor the red light on the starboard side.

The following portion of this article applies only to fishing vessels
and boats when in the seas off the coast of Europe lying north of Cape

     (_a_) All fishing vessels and fishing boats of 20 tons net
     registered tonnage, or upwards, when under way and when not
     required by the following regulations in this Article to carry and
     show the lights therein named, shall carry and show the same lights
     as other vessels under way.

     (_b_) All vessels when engaged in fishing with drift nets shall
     exhibit two white lights from any part of the vessel where they can
     be best seen. Such lights shall be placed so that the vertical
     distance between them shall be not less than six feet, and not more
     than 10 feet; and so that the horizontal distance between them
     measured in a line with the keel of the vessel shall not be less
     than five feet and not more than 10 feet. The lower of these two
     lights shall be the more forward, and both of them shall be of such
     a character, and contained in lanterns of such construction as to
     show all round the horizon, on a dark night, with a clear
     atmosphere, for a distance of not less than three miles.

     (_c_) A vessel employed in line fishing with her lines out shall
     carry the same lights as a vessel when engaged in fishing with
     drift nets.

     (_d_) If a vessel when fishing becomes stationary in consequence of
     her gear getting fast to a rock or other obstruction, she shall
     show the light and make the fog signal for a vessel at anchor.

     (_e_) Fishing vessels and open boats may at any time use a flare-up
     in addition to the lights which they are by this Article required
     to carry and show. All flare-up lights exhibited by a vessel when
     trawling, dredging, or fishing with any kind of drag net, shall be
     shown at the after part of the vessel, excepting that, if the
     vessel is hanging by the stern to her trawl, dredge, or drag net,
     they shall be exhibited from the bow.

     (_f_) Every fishing vessel and every open boat when at anchor
     between sunset and sunrise shall exhibit a white light visible all
     round the horizon at a distance of at least one mile.

     (_g_) In fog, mist, or falling snow, a drift net vessel attached to
     her nets and a vessel when trawling, dredging, or fishing with any
     kind of drag net, and a vessel employed in line fishing with her
     lines out, shall at intervals of not more than two minutes make a
     blast with her fog horn and ring her bell alternately.

ART. 11.--A ship which is being overtaken by another shall show from her
stern to such last-mentioned ship a white light or a flare-up light.

It follows from the above regulations that the following lights must be
carried on board a small sailing boat--A white riding light, a green
starboard light, a red port light, and a bull’s-eye lantern, with which
last one can carry out the instructions conveyed in Article 11.

A very convenient lantern is now sold by the yachting outfitters, which
not only combines in itself the port and starboard lights, as permitted
by Article 10; but on the removal of a slide serves as a riding-light as

Small yachts are generally provided with lanterns of smaller size and
lesser illuminating power than those enjoined in the regulations; but it
is best to comply with these rules if possible, so that one can have the
right on one’s side in case of a collision. It often happens again that
small lights burn in an unsatisfactory manner, and frequently go out. A
riding light that does this is a great nuisance, and spoils one’s
night’s rest when one is brought up in a crowded thoroughfare.

We prefer lanterns that burn paraffin, for sea work; if colza is used,
some camphor should be dissolved in it: this increases the illuminating
power, and in our opinion the light is not so likely to go out when this
is done.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following rules relate to FOG SIGNALS. It will be observed that the
old-fashioned fog horn which is sounded with the mouth is not recognized
by the present regulations. It is, however, still generally used on
small craft, and will certainly make more noise than some of the
mechanical fog horns:--

ART. 12.--A steam ship shall be provided with a steam whistle or
other efficient steam sound signal, so placed that the sound may
not be intercepted by any obstructions, and with an efficient fog
horn to be sounded by a bellows or other mechanical means, and also
with an efficient bell. A sailing ship shall be provided with a
similar fog horn and bell.

In fog, mist, or falling snow, whether by day or night, the signals
described in this Article shall be used as follows; that is to

     (_a_) A steam ship under way shall make with her steam whistle, or
     other steam sound signal, at intervals of not more than two
     minutes, a prolonged blast.

     (_b_) A sailing ship under way shall make with her fog horn, at
     intervals of not more than two minutes, when on the starboard tack
     one blast, when on the port tack two blasts in succession, and when
     with the wind abaft the beam three blasts in succession.

     (_c_) A steam ship and a sailing ship, when not under way, shall,
     at intervals of not more than two minutes, ring the bell.

ART. 13.--Every ship, whether a sailing ship or steam ship, shall in
fog, mist, or falling snow, go at a moderate speed.

Next come the articles relating to the RULES OF STEERING AND SAILING.

In applying these the novice must never forget that when he stands on
his deck and looks forward, the port side of his vessel is on his left,
the starboard side on his right. When a vessel is on the port tack the
wind is blowing from the port or left side of him; when she is on the
starboard tack from the starboard or right side.

Let him also remember that though he should observe these rules as
closely as possible, Article 23 affords a fine loophole for the huge and
clumsy steamers that crowd the Thames and other rivers. It is a
well-known fact that big steamers _will not_ get out of the way of small
sailing craft, even when they can do so without difficulty, and the
little boat is expected to get out of their way.

The moral of this is:--Keep out of the way of the big steamers, not by
getting flurried and altering your course at the last moment, against
all the rules of the road, and so putting yourself in the wrong if there
is a collision, but by altering your course and showing them your
intentions some time before they are near you.

ART. 14.--When two sailing ships are approaching one another, so as
to involve risk of collision, one of them shall keep out of the way
of the other, as follows, viz.:--

     (_a_) A ship which is running free shall keep out of the way of a
     ship which is close hauled.

     (_b_) A ship which is close hauled on the port tack shall keep out
     of the way of a ship which is close hauled on the starboard tack.

     (_c_) When both are running free with the wind on different sides,
     the ship which has the wind on the port side shall keep out of the
     way of the other.

     (_d_) When both are running free with the wind on the same side,
     the ship which is to windward shall keep out of the way of the ship
     which is to leeward.

     (_e_) A ship which has the wind aft shall keep out of the way of
     the other ship.

ART. 15.--If two ships under steam are meeting end on, or nearly end on,
so as to involve risk of collision, each shall alter her course to
starboard, so that each may pass on the port side of the other.

     This Article only applies to cases where ships are meeting end on,
     or nearly end on in such a manner as to involve risk of collision,
     and does not apply to two ships which must, if both keep on their
     respective courses, pass clear of each other.

     The only cases to which it does apply are, when each of the two
     ships is end on, or nearly end on, to the other; in other words, to
     cases in which, by day, each ship sees the masts of the other in a
     line, or nearly in a line, with her own; and by night, to cases in
     which each ship is in such a position as to see both the side
     lights of the other.

     It does not apply, by day, to cases in which a ship sees another
     ahead crossing her own course; or by night, to cases where the red
     light of one ship is opposed to the red light of the other, or
     where the green, light of one ship is opposed to the green light of
     the other, or where a red light without a green light, or a green
     light without a red light, is seen ahead, or where both green and
     red lights are seen anywhere but ahead.

ART. 16.--If two ships under steam are crossing, so as to involve risk
of collision, the ship which has the other on her own starboard side
shall keep out of the way of the other.

ART. 17.--If two ships, one of which is a sailing ship and the other a
steam ship, are proceeding in such directions as to involve risk of
collision, the steam ship shall keep out of the way of the sailing ship.

ART. 18.--Every steamship, when approaching another ship, so as to
involve risk of collision, shall slacken her speed or stop and reverse,
if necessary.

ART. 19.--In taking any course authorized or required by these
Regulations, a steam ship under way may indicate that course to any
other ship which she has in sight by the following signals on her steam
whistle, viz.:--

     One short blast to mean “I am directing my course to starboard.”

     Two short blasts to mean “I am directing my course to port.”

     Three short blasts to mean “I am going full speed astern.”

The use of these signals is optional; but if they are used, the course
of the ship must be in accordance with the signal made.

ART. 20.--Notwithstanding anything contained in any preceding Article,
every ship, whether a sailing ship or a steam ship, overtaking any
other, shall keep out of the way of the overtaken ship.

ART. 21.--In narrow channels every steam ship shall, when it is safe and
practicable, keep to that side of the fairway or mid-channel which lies
on the starboard side of such ship.

ART. 22.--Where, by the above rules, one of two ships is to keep out of
the way, the other shall keep her course.

ART. 23.--In obeying and construing these rules, due regard shall be had
to all dangers of navigation; and to any special circumstances which may
render a departure from the above rules necessary in order to avoid
immediate danger.

ART. 24.--Nothing in these rules shall exonerate any ship, or the owner,
or master, or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect to
carry lights or signals, or of any neglect to keep a proper look-out, or
of the neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary
practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.

ART. 25.--Nothing in these rules shall interfere with the operation of a
special rule, duly made by local authority, relative to the navigation
of any harbour, river, or inland navigation.

ART. 26.--Nothing in these rules shall interfere with the operation of
any special rules made by the Government of any nation with respect to
additional station and signal lights for two or more ships of war, or
for ships sailing under convoy.

The next article relates to SIGNALS OF DISTRESS:--

ART. 27.--When a ship is in distress and requires assistance from
other ships or from the shore, the following shall be the signals
to be used or displayed by her, either together or separately, that
is to say:--

In the daytime--

     1. A gun fired at intervals of about a minute.

     2. The International Code signal of distress indicated by N.C.

     3. The distant signal, consisting of a square flag, having either
     above or below it a ball, or anything resembling a ball.

At night--

     1. A gun fired at intervals of about a minute.

     2. Flames on the ship (as from a burning tar barrel, oil barrel,

     3. Rockets or shells, throwing stars of any colour or description,
     fired one at a time at short intervals.

The flags of the International Code of signals should be carried on
every cruising yacht, they will often be found of service. For a small
yacht, flags 2 feet by 1½ will suffice. These, together with the Code
Signal Book, will cost a little over two pounds. The book explains the
use of the flags, which is easily acquired.

While we are dealing with the Board of Trade Regulations, it may be well
to remind the amateur skipper that should he call at any foreign port,
he is bound under a heavy penalty to report himself to the Customs
Officers at the first British port he enters on his return home; and
that if, after sailing from some foreign port, he is ascending the
Thames, he must bring up opposite the Customs landing-stage at
Gravesend, that the authorities may clear him, and until he has obtained
his clearance he must fly the national ensign by day and carry a light
under his bowsprit by night.

       *       *       *       *       *

The yachtsman will occasionally require the services of a pilot or local
fisherman to show him the way into some difficult harbour, and it is
probable that he will be considerably confused by the steering
directions given to him by his guide, and put the helm to port when he
should have put it to starboard or _vice versâ_. And this is not to be
wondered at; for even professionals are often puzzled by the somewhat
uncertain signification of the terms now in use.

First as to the orders most frequently given at sea--“Port!” and
“Starboard!” Surely there can be no vagueness about their meaning; but
every sailor will tell you that there is a vagueness, and one that is no
doubt responsible for many accidents.

When an English pilot cries out “Port!” or what comes to the same thing,
holds his hand out to port, he does not wish the vessel’s _head_ to be
turned to port, but that the _helm_ or _tiller_ be put to port, this
action of course turning the vessel’s head in a _starboard_ direction.

Wheels are now generally used in the place of tillers on all craft of
any size. Now a wheel works in a contrary direction to a tiller, that
is, a wheel turning to port turns the vessel’s head to port. In this
case, when an English pilot cries out “Port!” he means that the wheel
rudder and head of the vessel are all to be turned to starboard.

If this rule--viz., that on every occasion on which the orders “port” or
“starboard” are given, the vessel’s head must be turned in the opposite
direction--prevailed everywhere, all would accustom themselves to it and
there would not be much confusion. But, if we cross the Channel to
France, or visit some other continental countries, we find the pilots
always speak of the vessel’s head and not of the helm when they give an
order. In France, “Port!” does not signify “Port your helm!” but “Turn
your vessel’s head to port,” which is the reverse of what a British
pilot would mean when giving the same order.

There are other methods of giving orders to the man at the tiller which
must be thoroughly understood by every amateur. The author has seen a
somewhat experienced yachtsman puzzled when a boatman, who had come on
board to pilot us, cried out, “Bear up!” at the same time holding his
hand to windward.

Had he cried out “Bear away!” the yachtsman would have understood that
the order applied to the head of the vessel--that the vessel was to be
steered away from the wind. But “Bear up!” and the hand pointing to
windward confused him, and he steered to windward or luffed.

Now these two orders mean exactly the same; but whereas “Bear away!”
applies to the vessel’s head, “Bear up!” applies to the vessel’s helm or
tiller which must be pushed up to windward. So, too, the pilot’s hand,
pointing to windward, signified, “Put the helm in that direction,” and
not “Turn the vessel in that direction.”

In the table below the orders in general use are defined:--

     1. “PORT” signifies “Turn the helm or tiller to port.”

     2. “STARBOARD” signifies “Turn the helm or tiller to starboard.”

     3. “LUFF” signifies “Turn the vessel’s head to windward.”

     4. “BEAR AWAY” signifies “Turn the vessel’s head away from the

     5. “BEAR UP” signifies “Turn the helm or tiller to windward.”

     6. “PUT THE HELM DOWN” signifies “Turn the helm or tiller away from
     the wind.”

     7. “PUT THE HELM UP” signifies “Turn the helm or tiller to

It will be seen that 4, 5, and 7 are various methods of giving the same
order, while 3 and 6 are the same.

The following regulations relate to PILOT SIGNALS:--

     IN THE DAYTIME.--The following signals, numbered 1 and 2, when used
     or displayed together or separately, shall be deemed to be signals
     for a pilot in the daytime:--

     1. To be hoisted at the fore, the jack or other national colour
     usually worn by merchant ships, having round it a white border,
     one-fifth of the breadth of the flag; or

     2. The international code pilotage signal, indicated by P.T.[A]

     AT NIGHT.--The following signals, numbered 1 and 2, when used or
     displayed together or separately, shall be deemed to be signals for
     a pilot at night:--

     1. The pyrotechnic light, commonly known as a blue light, every
     fifteen minutes, or

     2. A bright white light, flashed or shown at short or frequent
     intervals, just above the bulwarks, for about a minute at a time.

     And “Any master of a vessel who uses or displays, or causes or
     permits any person under his authority to use or display, any of
     the said signals for any other purpose than that of summoning a
     pilot, or uses, or causes, or permits any person under his
     authority to use any other signal for a pilot, shall incur a
     penalty not exceeding twenty pounds.”



     Mercator’s chart--The mariner’s compass--The spirit
     compass--Variation--Deviation--The log ship and line--The lead

As soon as the amateur leaves the bay or river with whose features he is
well acquainted and ventures to take his vessel along a coast unknown to
him, he must provide himself with the necessary instruments for finding
his way and make himself familiar with their use.

As the management of large yachts is not within the scope of this book,
it will be unnecessary to treat here of navigation properly so called,
that is, the art of guiding a vessel across broad seas, out of sight of
land, by observation of the sun

[Illustration A: This is a square blue flag, having in its centre a
white square, hoisted over a flag of a similar shape--the latter showing
three vertical bars, coloured red, white, and blue.]

and stars and by dead reckoning. But we may remark that an educated man
will find no difficulty in rapidly acquiring the art of navigation if he
wishes to do so. It is the seamanship that will give him trouble; for to
acquire that a long apprenticeship and considerable natural capacity are

For coasting purposes and for crossing narrow seas such as the Channel,
and the North Sea, and even for a voyage to the Baltic, sextants,
chronometers, and other instruments of navigation proper are not
required, and the following is a complete list of all that is needed for
the purpose of finding one’s way. 1. The necessary charts. 2. A
mariner’s compass. 3. A parallel rule. 4. A pair of compasses or
dividers. 5. A log ship and line. 6. A hand-lead and line. 7. One of the
small nautical almanacs which give the tide tables for the principal
harbours of Europe. Pearson’s almanac, which only costs sixpence, is one
of the best of these and, in addition to the tides, imparts a great deal
of useful information.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARTS.--Whatever method is employed for representing a portion of a
globe on a plane surface, the result can only be approximately correct.
Charts are drawn on what is known as Mercator’s projection, which,
though it greatly distorts the relative magnitudes, is the most
convenient for purposes of navigation.

The parallels of latitude on the globe are everywhere equidistant. On
the other hand, the meridians of longitude are furthest apart at the
equator, and gradually approach till they meet at the poles.

In Mercator’s chart the meridians of longitude are drawn parallel and
equidistant. The distortion in the direction of longitude resulting from
this projection is counterbalanced by distorting the latitude to a
proportionate extent; that is, the parallels of latitude are drawn
further apart as the poles are approached.

Thus, on a chart of the world, the polar regions are greatly magnified
when compared to the regions near the equator; still, as the degrees of
latitude and those of longitude are proportionately magnified, the
general shape of any particular tract is preserved.

The reason why this projection is the most adapted for purposes of
navigation is that it produces no errors of _direction_; that is, if one
place is north-west of another, it appears so on a Mercator’s chart.

It follows, from what has been said, that one scale of miles will not
serve for a chart; as the scale is ever varying. The method of
overcoming this difficulty while measuring the distance from one place
to another on the chart will now be explained.

On inspecting an ordinary chart it will be found that the top of it is
true north the bottom true south.

Along the top and bottom are _graduated parallels_, which are divided
into degrees and minutes, and which enable us to distinguish the
longitude of any position on the chart.

So, too, on the right and left sides of the chart we find _graduated
meridians_ also divided into degrees and minutes and which enable us to
measure the latitude of any position on the chart.

Now, as a degree or a minute of latitude is the same length everywhere,
we can use these _graduated meridians_ as scales of miles. Each degree
is divided into sixty minutes. A minute or nautical mile is about
one-sixth longer than an English mile.

But as Mercator’s chart distorts the latitudes, each portion of the
_graduated meridians_ serves as a scale of miles only to that part of a
chart immediately opposite to it, that is, on the same latitude.
Consequently, to measure the distance between two places on the chart,
for instance, Falmouth harbour in latitude 50° and Madeira in latitude
30°, we proceed as follows. The dividers are spread out till their
points are over the two places on the chart. This distance is then
measured off on the graduated meridian, by so placing the dividers on
the scale that the mean latitude of the two places, that is, latitude
40°, is marked on the graduated meridian exactly halfway between the two
points of the dividers.

The graduated parallels cannot, of course, be used as scales of miles
for purposes of measurement.

While measuring distances on the large scale charts used for coasting
purposes it matters little what portion of the graduated meridians be
used as a scale, for the error will be imperceptible. It is only while
using what are known as general charts, which extend across many degrees
of latitude, that a considerable error will result from not measuring
from the mean latitude.

Compasses are generally designed on various portions of a chart. These
compasses usually indicate the _magnetic_ and not the _true_ bearings.

Various abbreviations are used on charts which are generally explained
in a corner of the chart itself. Thus the nature of the bottom is
indicated by _sft_ for soft, _c._ for coarse, _h._ for hard, etc., while
buoys are marked R. for red, H.S. for horizontally striped.

The soundings in fathoms or feet are indicated by numbers, the depth
being calculated at low water ordinary spring tides. Where shoals
sometimes dry, their height above low water spring tides is given by
underlined numerals.

Roman numerals on a chart give the hour of high water at that spot at
the full and change of the moon.

The velocity of the tide in knots is also indicated and its direction
shown by arrows.

The yachtsman should provide himself with large scale Admiralty charts;
for these alone can guide him into those shallow intricate channels
frequented by small coasters only, which he will be so often tempted to

THE MARINER’S COMPASS.--Every one is more or less familiar with the use
of the mariner’s compass, the instrument which enables us to know the
direction in which a vessel is sailing when out of sight of land.

[Illustration: Fig. 45.]

The compass card (Fig. 45) is divided into thirty-two points, so, as a
circle contains 360°, the distance from one point to the next is 11¼°.

Sometimes a point is expressed in its angular value, that is, the
number of degrees the point is west or east of the meridional line
joining north and south. Thus N. by E. would be called N. 11¼ E., and
N.E., N. 45° E.

Compass bearings are calculated to quarter points, as N.E. ¼ E., which
signifies N.E. and a quarter of a point towards E.

The compass card moves freely on a pivot in the _compass bowl_, which in
its turn is balanced on gimbals, enabling it to preserve a horizontal
position despite the vessel’s rolling and pitching.

The _binnacle_ or case in which the compass bowl is swung is provided
with a lamp, so that the man steering can read the compass card by

Inside the bowl is a small mark, called the “lubber’s line,” which is
exactly in a line with the head of the ship. That portion of the card
which touches the lubber’s line therefore indicates the direction in
which the vessel is pointing.

The jerky motion of a small craft will often cause an ordinary compass
card to oscillate and even to completely revolve, so that the direction
in which one is steering cannot be ascertained. It is therefore
necessary to use a heavy compass card whose movement will be more
sluggish. A spirit compass--such as Dent’s spirit compass--in which the
card is surrounded by fluid--is the best adapted for small vessels.

But when a little craft is pitching quickly the very best compass will
oscillate to some extent. In this case, one must observe the extreme
points on either side reached by the swinging card and take the mean
between them as the ship’s direction.

The needle points to the _magnetic_ north, which coincides with the
_true_ north in certain portions of the earth only. The difference
between the magnetic and real north is called the _variation_ of the
compass, it differs in different places, and is constantly but very
slowly changing.

The variation at the mouth of the Thames, for instance, is now roughly
20° W., that is, the needle is dragged 20° to the west of north, so that
if a vessel’s head be pointing true north, her compass will indicate a
direction of about N.N.E.

The compasses designed on a chart generally show, as we have already
explained, the magnetic and not the true bearings. Consequently, in
order to ascertain the course that should be steered from one place to
another, we lay one edge of the parallel rules on the two places on the
chart, and by opening the rule we slide the other edge along--always
preserving the direction--until it is on the centre of one of the
compass designs on the chart. The direction thus indicated represents
the course to be steered by compass.

But if the compasses on the chart are, as sometimes happens, true and
not magnetic, the course shown by the rule is not the one to be steered
by compass. We must, in this case, discover the variation existing in
the locality--generally given on the chart--and convert the true course
as indicated by the edge of the rule into a compass or magnetic course.
To do this, if the variation is so many degrees west, the course to be
steered will be that number of degrees east of the true course; if the
variation is so many degrees east, the course to be steered will be that
number of degrees west of the true course.

Where there is local attraction, as in an iron ship, the compass
bearings will not be correct magnetic, but the needle will be dragged on
one side or the other of the magnetic meridian. This error is called the
_deviation_ of the compass.

On board a wooden yacht, if certain precautions are observed, there
should be no perceptible deviation of the compass. As iron ballast is
generally used on a yacht, the compass should be as high as possible
above it. If the boat have a well, the binnacle can at least be on a
level with the raised hatch on the deck.

Care must be taken that no elongated iron mass, especially if vertical,
such as a bolt, be near the compass.

Deviation is not uniform, like variation. When the vessel’s head is
pointing about E. or W. the deviation is generally greatest, and it is
different with every direction the vessel is turned to.

The deviation, if any, is ascertained by what is termed _swinging_ the
vessel. The correct magnetic bearing of some distant object is first
obtained. The vessel is then slowly swung round--this can often be done
by carrying the mooring line along one side of the deck aft, and then
along the other side to the bows again--and as the vessel’s head comes
to each point of the compass, a compass bearing is taken of the object,
and the difference between that bearing and the true magnetic one is

A table can then be drawn out showing the deviation to be applied for
each point of the compass towards which a vessel is steering.

When steering by compass, do not keep the eyes constantly fixed on the
compass card, as this is extremely wearying, especially by night. When
you have got the vessel on her course, get some object ahead--a distant
vessel, a cloud, a star, if no land is in sight--in line with the mast,
or one of the shrouds, and steer for that; referring only occasionally
to the compass, so as to correct the direction and get a new mark to
steer for when necessary.

THE LOG SHIP AND LINE are employed to calculate the speed at which a
vessel is travelling through the water. The log ship (Fig. 46) is a
quadrant-shaped piece of wood, loaded with lead at the bottom, so that
it may preserve an upright position in the water. It is attached to the
log line by means of a bridle.

[Illustration: Fig. 46.]

The ordinary log line is 120 fathoms long. The log glass generally used
is a common sand-glass, running out in 28 seconds. The line is divided
into equal distances by knots, each distance being the same fraction of
a nautical mile as 28 seconds is of one hour; the distance therefore
between two knots is about 47 feet.

A bit of bunting is attached to the line about 12 fathoms from the log
ship. These 12 fathoms are called the _stray_ line.

The process known as “heaving the log” is performed as follows: One hand
stands by, with the glass in hand, full end downwards; another hand
heaves the log ship overboard, which floats away astern; the line is
then steadily paid out from the reel, in such a way that no strain is
put on the log ship.

At the moment when the piece of bunting marking the stray line goes
overboard, the glass is smartly turned. As soon as the sand has run out,
the man holding the glass calls out, “Stop!” and the log line is
suddenly checked. The number of knots that have been reeled off
represent the number of sea miles the vessel is sailing an hour.

Several forms of self-registering logs are now in general use. These are
towed astern, and communicate the revolutions of a screw rotator to a
register--either overboard or on the taffrail of the vessel--which
indicates the distance run.

These patent logs do not act in an altogether satisfactory way on small
sailing craft. They generally under log the distance run when the vessel
is sailing slowly, and are more adapted for use on steamers. For
ordinary cruising purposes, on a small fore-and-after, we prefer the
old-fashioned log ship and line, and it is not very often that one has
occasion to use even that.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LEAD LINE.--Two leads are employed on vessels--the _deep sea_ lead
weighing 28 lb., and the hand lead weighing 14 lb. The latter, or even a
lead weighing somewhat less, is sufficient for a small yacht.

The line used for a hand lead is 25 fathoms long, and is generally
marked as follows:--

At 2 fathoms, Leather, with two ends.
   3    “     Leather, with three ends.
   5    “     White calico.
   7    “     Red bunting.
  10    “     Leather, with hole through it.
  13    “     Blue serge.
  15    “     White calico.
  17    “     Red bunting.
  20    “     Strand, with two knots in it.

It is possible, by the different feel of the materials used, to tell
what mark is in one’s hand in the dark. The above depths are called
_marks_; the intervening depths in fathoms which are unmarked are
called the _deeps_. Thus, in five fathoms, the leadsman sings out, “By
the mark five,” in eleven fathoms, “By the deep eleven.” He also calls
out the halves and quarters of fathoms thus, “And a half six,” for six
and a half fathoms, “A quarter less six,” for five fathoms and

To sound when the vessel is under way, swing the lead round and throw it
as far forward as possible, so that the lead be at the bottom and the
line tight from it to the hand, when the vessel is just over the lead.

If the lead be hove properly, so that it draws the line through the
hands, it is easy to tell when it has reached the bottom, by the sudden
withdrawal of the strain.

When sailing on very shallow waters, soundings can be taken much quicker
with a pole or boathook than with a lead.

There is a hollow at the heel of a lead which can be filled--_armed_ as
it is termed--with tallow; a specimen of the bottom--mud, sand, or
shingle--is brought up with the lead, and this, by reference to the
chart, which generally marks the nature of the bottom, may enable us to
find our position.



     Cross bearings--Tacking across the sea--Leeway--How to allow for a
     current--To find the hour of high water.

Having in the last chapter described the various instruments which
enable a mariner to direct his course, we will now give some further
explanations of the method of employing the chart and compass.

CROSS BEARINGS.--When a vessel is in sight of land, her position can be
calculated with exactness by several methods.

_First._ By cross bearings of two known objects. If two well-known
landmarks are visible on shore, we observe how each of them bears by our
compass. We then refer to the chart, lay down these bearings with the
parallel rule, and the point where the lines cut will represent the
vessel’s position.

[Illustration: Fig. 47.]

For instance (see Fig. 47), the beacon A is found to be N.W. of us, the
beacon B N.E. of us. We lay our parallel rule on the magnetic compass
design on the chart so that its edge passes through N.W. and also
through the centre of the compass. We then slide the rule to the beacon
A on the chart--preserving the direction--and draw with a pencil the
line from A indicated by the edge of the rule.

In the same way we carry the direction N.E. from the compass design to
the beacon B, and draw the line from B indicated by the rule. The point
C where these lines cut represents the position of the vessel, and the
distance between C and the beacons or the shore can be measured with
the dividers by referring to the graduated meridian on the side of the
chart as a scale.

[Illustration: Fig. 48.]

While a vessel is sailing along the shore her distance from it can be
calculated as follows: We select any prominent point on the shore, as
the tree A in Fig. 48. We take its bearing, which we find to be N.W.
From A we draw the line A B in a N.W. magnetic direction by the compass
design. Our vessel’s course is N. by W. From any point B on the line A B
we draw a line B C in a N. by W. direction. When we have sailed a
certain distance, say five miles by the log, we take another bearing of
the tree and find it is now N.E. of us. From A we draw a line
corresponding to this last bearing, which cuts the line C B at C. Taking
C B a distance of five miles as our scale, we can measure the distance
between the vessel’s position C and the tree A. A chart is not needed
for the above method of calculating one’s distance. A sheet of paper
with a compass design sketched on it is all that is necessary.

The following is a very easy method of calculating the distance of an
object that one is passing, and requires no chart or diagram. Take a
bearing of the object, and observe the angle this bearing makes with
the vessel’s course; also note the time. As the vessel sails on, this
angle will increase until at last it is doubled. The vessel’s distance
from the object will then equal the distance she has travelled since the
first bearings were taken. Fig. 49 will make this method clear. A is the
object on shore, C and B the position of the vessel when the bearings
were taken. A C D is the angle formed by the course E D and the first
bearings. When this angle is doubled, as at A B D, the line B C will
equal the line A B.

[Illustration: Fig. 49.]

If one is sailing parallel to a coast, the following is a rapid method
of ascertaining one’s distance from the shore. Note the time when an
object on shore is exactly at right angles to the vessel’s course. When
one has brought the object at an angle of 45° to the vessel’s
course--looking aft--calculate the distance travelled since the time was
noted. The distance from the shore will be the same. Thus, in Fig. 50,
the vessel’s direction when she is at B is at right angles to the
bearings of A the object on shore. When the vessel has arrived at C, the
angle A C B has a value of 45°. It follows that C D, the distance from
the shore, equals C B, the distance travelled.

[Illustration: Fig. 50.]

An azimuth compass is one specially adapted for taking bearings. Its
card is more carefully divided than that of the steering compass, and it
is fitted with sight vanes.

However, bearings sufficiently accurate for practical purposes can be
taken with the ordinary compass. Hold a piece of string across the
centre of the compass, and, looking along it, direct it towards the
object whose bearing is required, as if taking an aim with a gun. The
direction of the string will then indicate the bearing on the compass
card beneath.

In taking cross bearings endeavour to obtain a difference between them
of as near 90° as possible; for if the difference be small, as, for
example, 10°, or large, as 150°, a small error in the bearing will cause
a great error in the calculation of the vessel’s position.

If, when directing one’s course out of sight of land, as, for instance,
from Yarmouth to the mouth of the Elbe, head winds are met with, and it
becomes necessary to tack, it is an advantage as a general rule to sail
on that tack on which the vessel looks up best for her port, and not to
go about until she has brought herself to a position on which the other
tack is the most favourable, and so on. The ship thus constantly keeps
her port in the wind’s eye, and any change in the direction of the wind
can be taken advantage of. But if a vessel stands on, till the tack be a
losing one in order that she may fetch her destination on the next tack,
a change in the wind may put her dead to leeward of her port and she
will have lost ground by the ill-judged tactics.

When tacking out of sight of land, the direction and length of each
successive board can be pricked out on the chart by using the dividers
and parallel rule in the manner already described, and the position of
the vessel at any time will thus be known.

Before land is lost sight of, what is termed a _departure_ is taken from
the last well-known object on the shore. Its bearing is taken by
compass, its distance by log is estimated, and the time is noted. A
departure can also be taken by cross bearings.

It is from the departure that the voyage is reckoned out.

In determining the course and position of a vessel at sea, allowance
must be made for leeway and for the set of the tide. The leeway is
greater when the sea is rough and when the sails are reefed. The amount
of leeway can be roughly estimated by looking over a vessel’s stern at
her wake, which will not be in the same line as her keel, but at an
angle to it.

Having measured this angle, apply it to the left when the vessel is on
the starboard tack, to the right when she is on the port tack.

If the strength and direction of a current are known, its effect upon
the vessel’s course and distance made must be allowed for.

If the set of the current is in the same direction as the ship’s
direction--either with her or opposed to her--her course is unaffected,
but her rate of motion over the ground is increased or lessened by as
many knots an hour as the current is flowing. The rate of current must
therefore be added to or deducted from the distance logged. The log, of
course, only indicates the vessel’s speed _through the water_, and does
not register the current.

If the current is across a vessel’s direction, it will influence both
her course and rate of sailing.

In order to find the course that should be steered so as to make good a
required course in a cross current we proceed as follows. In either of
the two Figs. 51 and 52, let A be the position of the vessel, B the
port we desire to make, and let the arrow represent the direction of the
current. With the dividers take from the scale at the side of the chart
the number of miles the current runs per hour, and lay down this
distance A C in the direction of the arrow. Then take from the scale the
number of miles the vessel is going per hour, and with this distance as
radius, and C as the centre, describe a circle.

[Illustration: Fig. 51.]

[Illustration: Fig. 52.]

The line joining C and D--the point where the circle and the line A B
cut--represents the direction in which the vessel must be steered so as
to keep on the line A B. Draw A E parallel and equal to C D. Then if the
vessel be steered from A towards E, and travel the distance A E through
the water she will in reality have made the distance A D in the
direction of her port. In the two figures the alteration of the vessel’s
course is about the same, but as the current is contrary in Fig. 51, A
D, the distance made, is much less than A E, the distance sailed,
whereas in Fig. 52 the current is favourable and therefore the distance
made is greater than the distance sailed.

In current sailing, every advantage must be taken of the tide, and it is
often possible to fetch a port dead to windward on one tack by what is
termed _underbowing the tide_.

For instance, if we are bound for a port due north of us, and the wind
is also due north, while we have a current running to the eastward, we
can, by putting our vessel on the tack that directs her to the westward
of north, that is, in this case the starboard tack, bring the tide on
the lee bow so that the result of our north-west course and the easterly
current is that our vessel travels due north.

Hence it is very necessary, while tacking across the sea, to know
exactly when the tide will turn, so that we can put the vessel about to
the best advantage.

If we are crossing a broad stretch of water such as the North Sea, with
the wind free, and are likely to be in more than one tide, we can
usually with advantage steer a course straight for our port, without
paying much attention to the currents, as the effects of the ebb and
flood will cancel each other, and we will be able to make a good

The rise, rate, and direction of the tide at springs and neaps are
generally given on the chart. If the hour of high water for the
particular day and place are known, the speed of the current and the
height above low water can be roughly calculated from the following
data. Unless the conformation of the coast produces a variation from the
general rule, the tide rises from low to high water in six hours and a
quarter and falls from high to low water in the same time. The rise and
fall are not uniform. During the first and last hours of flood the rise
is smallest. During the second hour it greatly increases. At the fourth
hour the tide has reached its maximum rate, and from then the rate of
rising diminishes in the same proportion until high water. The same,
rule applies to the ebb tide.

Fig. 53 represents the range of the tide in the open sea, which we have
divided into sixteen equal parts. It has been found that the tide will
rise one division in the first hour, three in the second hour, four in
the third hour, four in the fourth hour, three in the fifth hour, and
one in the last sixth hour and a quarter.

We have already explained that the time of high water at any particular
spot at the full and change of the moon is indicated on the chart--thus,
for instance, H.W. at F. and C. 6 h. 10 m., which signifies high water
at full and change of the moon at six hours ten minutes. If we have no
tide tables at hand, we can roughly calculate the time of high water for
the day by adding forty-eight minutes for every day that has passed
since the last full or new moon to the time at full and change given on
the chart.

[Illustration: Fig. 53

            +--_High Water 6¼ Hours._
            |--_5th. Hour_
            |--_4th. Hour_
            |--_3rd. Hour_
            |--_2nd. Hour_
            |--_1st. Hour of Flood_
            +--_Low Water_

But a more accurate method is to refer to the Admiralty tide tables, or,
what will answer the purpose equally well, to Pearson’s Nautical
Almanac, a little book which we strongly recommend to the yachtsman.
Here he will find daily tide tables, morning and afternoon, for London
and other principal English ports, together with the height of the rise
in feet.

Besides these, there is an extensive lists of ports and positions on the
coast of England and Europe with their _Tidal Constants_. The constant
for a given place is the number of hours and minutes that are to be
added to or subtracted from the time of high water at the standard port
or port of reference in order to obtain the time of high water at the
given place.

For instance, supposing London to be the standard port, as it is in
Pearson’s Almanac, and we require to know the hour of high water at
Portland Breakwater on a given day. We first refer to the table of
constants, and find + 5 h. 3 m. to be the constant of Portland
Breakwater. We then turn to the London tide table, and find the time of
high water for the day--morning or afternoon, as the case may be. We add
five hours and three minutes to this, and the result will be the
required time. Had the sign before the constant been-instead of + we
should have subtracted and not added.

If we require the high water at a port where the tidal constant is not
given in the tables, but where high water at full and change is given on
the chart, find the high water at full and change of some port--London,
for example, whose constant is in the tables. Subtract the lesser of
these two times from the greater, the remainder will be the constant of
our port--_additive_ if the full and change at the port be greater than
that of London, _subtractive_ if it be less.



     Use of the instruments--Forecasting weather from natural phenomena,

Weather wisdom is more necessary to the man who travels along the coast
in a small vessel than to any one else. A large vessel is constructed to
encounter any weather with safety, and she must take fair and foul as
she finds it; but the safety of a small craft often depends entirely on
an accurate forecast of the wind. When the skipper of the little yacht
undertakes a voyage, say from Harwich to Rotterdam, he has to pick his
weather. He waits in port till he gets a slant--that is, until he has
satisfied himself that in all human probability no wind of dangerous
strength will blow in the course of the next few days--then he weighs
his anchor, hoists his sails, and speeds across the broad sea as fast as
he is able, knowing that should a gale of wind spring up before he has
made the opposite coast, he will be in considerable peril and not
improbably be lost.

But the mariner who has made himself acquainted with the science of
meteorology can make a coasting voyage, even in a tiny craft, from one
end of Europe to the other, sailing from port to port in favourable
weather, and dodging the storms that would infallibly destroy him, by
foreseeing them and remaining in snug harbours until they have passed

In following the rules which we shall now lay down, the amateur will
sometimes find that his forecast of storm will prove a false alarm and
will keep him in port idle while he might have been at sea; but on the
other hand--and what is far more important--a forecast of fair weather
is very rarely wrong; a really dangerous wind is scarcely ever known to
spring up without having given a due warning of its approach.

If about to sail from any British port--for instance, across the
Channel--in a small yacht, it is useful to remember that one can
telegraph to the Meteorological Office, London, for a weather forecast
for that particular voyage. The reply--the charge for which is one
shilling--will be returned by telegraph without delay.

Such a forecast is more to be relied on than the opinion of all the
weather-wise old sailors on the coast.

The weather can be foretold with considerable accuracy by observing the
appearance of many natural phenomena, the clouds, the water, the sun and
moon, and also by the movements of fish and fowl; but the changes of the
barometer are far more to be depended on than the above as indications
of coming weather.

Every small yacht should be provided with an aneroid barometer, which is
more sensitive and indicates change more quickly than the mercurial
barometer, also with a thermometer, and, if the yachtsman wishes to have
a complete meteorological outfit, with a hygrometer or wet bulb
thermometer. These three instruments will enable him to measure the
_weight_, the _temperature_, and the degree of _moistness_ of the
atmosphere. The last of the instruments mentioned is not often found on
a small yacht, and indeed the aneroid and thermometer suffice for
ordinary purposes of weather-forecast.

It must be remembered, while foretelling the weather, that the barometer
is affected--

Firstly, by the _direction_ of the wind. The greatest rise being with
the north-east wind, the lowest fall with the south-west wind.

Secondly, by _moisture_, an increase of which will cause a fall.

Thirdly, by the _force_ of the wind. If a wind freshens, the moisture
and direction of the wind remaining the same, the glass will fall.

These three causes do not often act in accord; one is generally
affecting the glass in a way opposite to the other two. It is for this
reason that an observation of the barometer alone will often mislead us.
It must be read in conjunction with the thermometer and also with the
hygrometer, in order to determine the true cause of the rise or fall of
the mercury.

Admiral Fitzroy’s two well-known rules are--

THE BAROMETER RISES for northerly wind (including from N.W. by the N. to
E.), for dry or _less_ wet weather, for _less_ wind, or for more than
one of these changes; except on a few occasions, when rain (or snow)
comes from the N. with _strong_ wind.

THE BAROMETER FALLS for south wind (including from S.E. by the S. to
W.), for wet weather, for _stronger_ wind, or for more than one of these
changes; except on a few occasions, when _moderate_ wind with rain (or
snow) comes from the northward.

The following rules are selected from the official computation, which is
very comprehensive and should be studied by every yachtsman. Admiral
Fitzroy’s book should be on every yacht’s library shelf.

If the barometer has been at its ordinary height--about thirty inches at
sea-level--and is steady or rising, while the thermometer falls, and
dampness lessens, N.W., N., or N.E., or less wind may be expected.

If the barometer is falling, the thermometer rising, and the dampness
increasing, wind and rain, or snow may be expected from S.E., S., or

The most dangerous shifts of wind and the heaviest gales from N. happen
after the mercury first rises from a very low point.

A rapid rise of the barometer indicates unsettled weather; a slow rise,
or steadiness with dryness shows fair weather.

The greatest depressions of the barometer are with gales from S.E., S.,
or S.W.; the greatest elevations with winds from N.W., N., or N.E.

Sudden falls of the barometer with west wind are sometimes followed by
violent storms from N.W. and N.

If a gale sets in from the E. or S.E., and the wind veers by the S., the
barometer will continue falling until the wind becomes S.W., when a
comparative lull may occur, after which the gale will be renewed, and
the shifting of the wind towards the N.W. will be indicated by a fall of
the thermometer as well as a rise of barometer.

       *       *       *       *       *

If a change of weather is long foretold by the barometer, the longer the
presaged weather will last, and _vice versa_. The sailor expresses this
in the rhyme--

“Long foretold, long last;
Short warning--soon past.”

Many more rules have been laid down by the meteorological observers, for
which we have no space here; but we will now give a few brief rules on
the forecast of weather by the observation of natural phenomena, which
are useful by themselves, but still more so when confirming the forecast
we have made from the instruments.

A halo round the moon, especially if it appear distant and yet very
distinct, indicates a gale of wind, and probably rain.

When high lands are shrouded in mists, south-west gales and rain may be

If distant objects are very clear and raised by reflection, rain
(possibly wind also) is near.

“Wind dogs,” which are like broken portions of a rainbow seen to
windward in the morning, are very certain signs of a gale.

“Mare’s tails,” which are ragged streaks of cloud, having little motion,
foretell gales from the direction they radiate from.

In fine weather the wind generally follows the sun, that is, it blows
from the east in the morning and from the west in the evening.

If the wind blows from west in the morning, and “backs” against the sun,
till it is east in the evening, bad weather will follow.

A red sunset presages fine weather.

A red sunrise presages bad weather.

A bright yellow sky at sunset is a sign of wind; a pale yellow, of wet.

A gloomy dark blue sky is a sign of wind, while a light blue sky
indicates fine weather.

The sun’s setting or rising behind a bank of clouds indicates rough

A phosphorescent sea is a very certain sign of a continuance of fine

The presence of vast quantities of jelly-fish presages fine weather.

Sea-birds fly far out to sea in fine weather; but if they fly inland bad
weather may be expected.

When porpoises come into shallow water and ascend the rivers, stormy
weather is near.

In conclusion, we will remind the yachtsman that the Meteorological
Office issues a daily forecast of the weather for different portions of
the British Isles. This forecast is now published in nearly all the
leading morning papers, and should always be studied, if possible,
before one starts across a broad sea in a little yacht; for it warns us
of the “Yankee gale” that is on its way across the Atlantic, and whose
approach has been announced by cable long before the barometer or
appearance of the sky has given us any sign.



     The new Y.R.A. rule of measurement--Sail area--Time
     allowance--Rules of racing--Methods of starting.

Other things being equal, the speed of a vessel increases with her size;
so it has always been the custom to handicap yachts competing in a race
by giving time allowance to smaller craft.

In order to carry out this handicapping, it is of course necessary to
have some general rule of measurement by which the size--so far as
racing is concerned--of any yacht can be determined with exactitude. It
has taxed the brains of yachting men from the earliest days of the sport
to discover some standard of measurement which will be fair to all, and
which will tend to encourage the building of a class of seaworthy
pleasure vessels, and not of mere racing machines.

Until within the last two years the Yacht Racing Association rule for
measuring a yacht’s tonnage was as follows: “_Add the yacht’s greatest
breadth to her length along the load-line; multiply the sum thus
obtained by itself, and by the breadth; then divide the product by
1730; and the quotient shall be the tonnage in tons and hundredths of a

Thus the length and beam were the only factors to be taken into
consideration while calculating a yacht’s tonnage. The displacement,
draught, and sail area counted for nothing. The natural result followed.
As beam was discouraged, it became apparent that the fastest boat for
her tonnage, according to this artificial rule, was a long narrow craft
with great draught, large sail area, and a lead mine on her keel;
consequently uncomfortable in a sea way, and affording, for her size,
very cramped accommodation to her passengers; in short, a cup-winning
machine unfit for anything but racing.

But now, at last, all this has been changed. The old Y.R.A. rule has
been done away with, and a system of measurement on entirely new
principles has been introduced which does not tax a vessel’s beam, and
the sole factors in the calculation for which are _length_ and _sail

This revolution in yacht rating has taken place so recently that its
results, as regards the type of vessels that will be constructed with a
view to meeting the new conditions, have not yet had time to declare
themselves; but it is claimed by many sanguine people that under these
rules the old-fashioned wholesome beamy vessel will have its day again,
that the “plank set up on edge” style of craft is doomed, and that the
fastest yacht will also be the best boat.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following are the new Y.R.A. rules of measurement. We will quote the
more essential rules, and those parts only of these which apply to small
yachts such as we are writing about.

RULE 3.--The rating of every yacht entered to sail in a race shall be
ascertained by multiplying the sail area in square feet (as found in
the manner hereinafter enjoined) by the length in feet on the load
water-line, and dividing the product by 6000; the quotient shall be the
rating, and in rating above 10, a fraction of or exceeding ·01 shall
count as 1; but in rating from 1 to 10, a fraction smaller than .01
shall count as ·1 (see Rule 4). The length shall be taken in a straight
line from the fore-end to the after-end of the load water-line, provided
always that if any part of the stem or stern-post or other part of the
vessel below the load water-line project beyond the length taken as
mentioned, such projection or projections shall, for the purpose of the
rule, be added to the length taken as stated; and pieces of any form cut
out of the stem, stern post, or fair-line of the ridge of the counter,
with the intention of shortening the load water-line, shall not be
allowed for in measurement of length, if at or immediately below the
load-line, nor above if within six inches of the water-level.

       *       *       *       *       *

MAINSAIL.--A, measured from the top of the boom (over the pin for
outhaul sheave) to the gaff under the pin of the topsail sheet sheave,
provided the peak cringle of the mainsail does not extend beyond the
pin: in the case of the yacht having no topsail, or of the peak cringle
extending beyond the pin of the topsail sheet sheave, then the
measurement to be taken to the peak lacing-hole.

B, perpendicular to A, measured to underside of gaff close into the

C, measured from top of boom over the pin of the sheave for outhaul to
underside of gaff close into the mast.

D, perpendicular to C, measured in to the mast, in a line with the top
of the boom, or to tack cringle of mainsail, if below top of boom.

To find the area of the MAINSAIL, multiply A by B and C by D, and add
the two products together and divide by two.

[Illustration: Fig. 54.]

       *       *       *       *       *

JIB-HEADED TOPSAIL.--K, measured from top of gaff close in to mast to
pin of halyard sheave in topmast.

L, perpendicular to K, measured to pin of topsail sheet sheave in gaff;
or to lacing-hole in jackyard.

To find the area of the JIB-HEADER, multiply K by L and divide the
product by two.

       *       *       *       *       *

HEAD SAILS.--I, measured from the main boom gooseneck to the shoulder of
topmast, or in cases where no sails are attached to the topmast stay or
pole stay, the measurement to be taken from the main boom gooseneck to
the pin of the highest sheave in or on the topmast or pole, or to the
pin of the sheave of any block secured to the topmast or pole, and used
in either case for head sail or spinnaker.

J, measured from the foreside of the mast to top of cranse iron on
bowsprit end where cut by line of topmast stay or pole stay; or, in
cases where no sail or sails are attached to the stay, the measurement
to be taken from the foreside of the mast to the pin of the sheave for
jib outhaul.

In all cases, if the distance from the centre fore and aft line of the
mast to the outer end of spinnaker boom (when shipped in its place and
square to the keel) exceeds the distance from the fore side of the mast
to the cranse iron on the bowsprit end (where cut by the line of topmast
stay), or pin of sheave for jib outhaul as the case may be, the excess
shall be added to the base of the triangle formed by the head sails; and
the area of the head sail to be computed accordingly.

In the case of a yacht having no head sail, but carrying a spinnaker,
the area for head sail shall be computed from the length of spinnaker
boom and the height from main boom gooseneck to shoulder of topmast, or
highest pin in sheave of polemast, as provided for in this rule.

The length of head-stick or head-yard to spinnaker shall not exceed
one-twentieth the length of spinnaker boom. Foot yards not allowed on

To find the area of HEAD SAILS, jib, topsail, or spinnaker, multiply I
by J and divide by two.

To find the area of HEAD SAIL, for POLE MAST, multiply I by J and divide
by two.

       *       *       *       *       *

LUG SAILS WITH HEAD SAILS.--In the case of a lug sail, standing lug
sail, or balance lug sail being carried, the actual area of the same
shall be computed; and if head sail be also carried, the measurements
for computing the area of the same shall be taken from foreside of
mast, etc., in accordance with the method provided in the rule for head

       *       *       *       *       *

YAWL SAILS.--The area of a schooner’s sail or a yawl’s sail would be
similarly found; in the case of a yawl having a lug mizzen, the
lacing-holes in the yard would be taken as the upper boundaries.

       *       *       *       *       *

TIME ALLOWANCE (Rule 4).--Time shall be allowed on arrival for
differences in rating, according to the annexed scales, increased or
decreased in proportion to the length of different courses. In all time,
where time has to be allowed for difference of rating in yachts of 10
rating and under, it shall be computed by the rating and fractions of
the rating in accordance with the time scales.

The explanation of the calculations on which the time allowances are
based will be found in the little volume of the Y.R.A. rules, annually
published by Messrs. Harrison, of St. Martin’s Lane, London, in which
also will be found a scale of allowances for differences of rating
worked out in fractions of tenths for vessels of from ·1 to 571 rating.

It will suffice to say here, that if a vessel’s rating is _x_, _t_, the
allowance she makes per knot to a yacht whose rating is 1, will be thus
found: _t_ = 360-360/5√_x_. The result is the allowance in seconds. As
the allowance is calculated for one knot, the allowance for another
distance will be found by multiplying _t_ by the length of the course in
knots. To calculate the allowance that should be made by one yacht to
another, find the _t_, as above, for both yachts. Subtract the lesser
from the greater _t_. The result will be the time in seconds to be
allowed per knot by the yacht rating highest.

       *       *       *       *       *

recommend for the consideration of sailing committees: (1) That as mixed
races are no satisfactory test of the relative speed of yachts, the
different rigs should, whenever practicable, be kept separate; but when
mixed races are unavoidable, the following rule shall be observed:--

The rating of schooners and yawls to be reckoned for time allowance as
follows, viz. schooners at three-fifths, and yawls at four-fifths of
their actual rating; provided that in case of a yawl, her mainsail does
not exceed ·37 of her total sail area, and that her mizzen is not less
than ·06 of her total sail area. In the case of a pole-masted yawl, her
mainsail shall not exceed ·46 of her total sail area, and her mizzen
shall not be less than ·75 of her total sail area. In schooners, the
foreside of the mainmast shall, at the deck, be not further forward than
the middle of length of the load water-line.

Ketches and luggers shall be reckoned for time allowance at three-fifths
their rating; provided that in a ketch the distance between the masts
does not exceed half the length of the load water-line of the yacht, and
that the smaller sail is carried aft. In the case of a lugger, to be
entitled to the rig allowance, the yacht must have two or more masts,
and the after, or the middle mast, at the deck must not be forward of
the middle of length of the load water-line, and in the case of a
two-masted lugger, if the area of the after lug be less than half the
area of the main lug, she will be rated as a yawl.

In calculating the deduction for difference of rig, the rating by
certificate to the exact fraction must be used. The time allowances to
be calculated from each yacht’s reduced rating; but schooners and yawls
shall not be allowed to qualify to enter by their reduced rating in a
class race.

In racing for mixed rigs, the time allowances between yachts of the same
rig must be calculated on each yacht’s reduced rating.

       *       *       *       *       *

Yachts fitted with centre-boards have up till now been prohibited by the
Y.R.A. rule from competing in races sailed under those rules. But this
has now been changed, and in place of the old Rule 8, we have the
following regulation: Rule 8.--“In the case of a yacht fitted with a
centre-board or plate, or other form of shifting keel, manual power only
shall be employed in working in it.”

In Rule 17, the rules of the road for yachts racing are given. As these
are the same as the Board of Trade rules for avoiding collision, which
we have already quoted, we need not recapitulate them here. But the
following additional rules of the road have been framed especially for
yachts competing in a race.

RULE 18.--When rounding any buoy or vessel used to mark out the course,
if two yachts are not clear of each other at the time the leading yacht
is close to, and actually rounding the mark, the outside yacht must give
the other room to pass clear of it, whether it be the lee or weather
yacht which is in danger of fouling the mark. No yacht shall be
considered clear of another yacht, unless so much ahead as to give a
free choice to the other on which side she will pass. An overtaking
yacht shall not, however, be justified in attempting to establish an
overlap, and thus force a passage between the leading yacht and the
mark, after the latter yacht has altered her helm for the purpose of

RULE 19.--When passing a pier, shoal, rock, vessel, or other
obstruction to sea room, should yachts not be clear of each other, the
outside yacht or yachts must give room to the yacht in danger of fouling
such obstruction, whether she be the weather or the leeward yacht;
provided always that an overlap has been established before an
obstruction is actually reached.

RULE 20.--A yacht overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the
overtaken yacht; and a yacht may luff as she pleases to prevent another
yacht passing to windward, but must never bear away out of her course to
hinder the other passing to leeward--the lee side to be considered that
on which the leading yacht of the two carries her main boom. The
overtaking vessel, if to leeward, must not luff until she has drawn
clear ahead of the yacht she has overtaken.

RULE 21.--If two yachts are standing towards a shore or shoal, or
towards any buoy, boat, or vessel, and the yacht to leeward is likely to
run aground or foul of such buoy, boat, or vessel (a mark vessel
excepted), and is not able to tack without coming into collision with
the yacht to windward, the latter shall at once tack, on being hailed to
do so by the owner of the leeward yacht, or the person acting as his
representative, who shall be bound to see that his own vessel tacks at
the same time.

RULE 22.--Any yacht running on shore, or foul of a buoy, vessel, or
other obstruction, may use her own anchors, boats, warps, etc., to get
off, but may not receive any assistance except from the crew of the
vessel fouled. Any anchor, boat, or warp used, must be taken on board
again before she continues the race.

RULE 23.--Each yacht must go fairly round the course; and must not touch
any buoy, boat, or vessel, used to mark it out, but shall not be
disqualified if wrongfully compelled to do so by another yacht. Any
yacht causing a mark vessel to in any way shift her position to avoid
being fouled by such yacht, shall be disqualified. If a yacht, in
consequence of her neglect of any of these rules, shall foul another
yacht, or compel other yachts to foul, she shall forfeit all claim to
the prize, and shall pay all damages.

RULE 24.--No towing, sweeping, poling, or pushing, or any mode of
propulsion, except sails, shall be allowed, except for the purpose set
forth in Rule 22.

RULE 25.--A yacht may anchor during a race, but must weigh her anchor
again and not slip. No yacht shall, during a race, make fast to any
buoy, pier, or other object, or send an anchor out in a boat, except for
the purpose of Rule 22.

RULE 26.--No other means of sounding than the lead and line allowed.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following rules refer to various matters:--

RULE 6.--Each yacht entered for a race, must be the _bonâ fide_ property
of the person or persons in whose name or names she is entered, who must
be a member or members of a recognized yacht club.

A yacht, whilst let on hire, shall not be allowed to compete under these

RULE 7.--No owner shall be allowed to enter more than one yacht in a
race, except in cases in which a prize is given for each rig, when one
yacht of each rig may be entered; nor shall he be entitled to enter the
same yacht under different rigs for any race.

RULE 9.--Every yacht sailing in a race shall have on board a member of a
recognized yacht club, who, before the prize is awarded, shall sign a
declaration that the yacht under his charge has strictly conformed to
all the sailing regulations.

RULE 12.--There shall be no restrictions as to sails, or the manner of
setting and working them; but manual power only may be used for hoisting
and working them.

RULE 13.--There shall be no limit as to the number of paid hands, and no
restriction as to the number of friends, or to their working. No paid
hand shall join or leave a yacht after the signal to start, except in
case of accident or injury to any person on board. [This rule is not
intended to apply to Corinthian matches.]

RULE 14.--All yachts exceeding a rating of 10 shall be fitted below deck
with the ordinary fittings of a yacht, including two transverse
bulkheads of wood. The following shall apply to all yachts: their
platforms shall be kept down, and bulkheads standing.

No water shall be started from or taken into the tanks after the signal
to start has been made. No more than the usual anchors and chains shall
be carried during a race, which must not be used as shifting ballast, or
for altering the trim of the yacht. No bags of shot shall be on board,
and all ballast shall be properly stowed under the platform or in
lockers, and shall not be shifted or trimmed in any way during a race.
No ballast or other dead weight shall be shifted, shipped, or unshipped,
so as to alter the length of the load water-line, after a yacht has been
entered for a race, nor without giving notice thereof to the secretary
of the Yacht Racing Association, as enjoined in Rule 3.

       *       *       *       *       *

The races organized by the recognized yacht clubs of the British Isles
are all sailed under the Y.R.A. rules, but those clubs that have been
established to encourage the construction and racing of small boats,
such as are many of our Corinthian and river sailing clubs, adopt
different methods of measurement from those of the Y.R.A., which last
are not adapted for the classification of small craft. As a rule, small
boats are classed by length; in some cases, their rating is ascertained
by adding length, breadth, and depth together, the sum being the
measurement in feet and inches.

The Y.R.A. rules for ascertaining the area of sails for rating purposes
seriously handicap small yachts rigged in what may be termed river
fashion. For instance, the area of the head sails of a lug-sail boat is
computed in accordance with the method provided in the rule for a
cutter’s head sails; that is, the after limit of the area is taken along
the mast; whereas a lugsail, projecting before the mast, prevents the
boat from carrying head sails that will reach so far aft as the mast.

Again, in the case of a Una or balance lug boat carrying a spinnaker,
but no head sails, the whole area of the spinnaker is reckoned in the
rating; whereas in the case of a boat carrying head-sails as well as
spinnaker, the area of the spinnaker is not taken into account at all
unless it be larger than that of the head sail, in which case the
difference between them is added to the sail area. The result is that
the first boat only carries the sail area for which she is rated when
running before the wind.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are various methods of arranging the start in a yacht race. One
plan is to have the competing yachts anchored or moored in a line with
all sails down, or after sails up and head sails down, or all sail up,
as the sailing committee may direct. Lots are drawn for the different
stations. Five minutes before the start a Blue Peter is hoisted and a
gun is fired. At the expiration of the five minutes the Blue Peter is
hauled down, and a second gun is fired as a signal to start. The yachts
then slip from their moorings. If a yacht let go her moorings or drag
her anchor before the second gun is fired, she is liable to be
disqualified, unless the parting or dragging be explained to the
satisfaction of the committee, or unless she has returned, after the
signal to start, within the line of starting buoys, so as not to obtain
any advantage from the accident.

Another method of starting is what is known as a flying start. The
yachts are all under way, and have to keep inside an imaginary line
between two marks until the starting gun is fired. Then they cross the
line. If a yacht crosses the line before the signal, she must return and
recross it.

Should the owner of any yacht or his representative consider that he has
a fair ground of complaint against another for foul sailing, or any
violation of the rules, he must, if it arise during the race, signify
the same on first passing the committee vessel, by showing an ensign
conspicuously in the main rigging.

We refer the reader to the little book published by Harrison and Sons,
before mentioned, for the other racing regulations of the Yacht Racing
Association, and to the special rules of the sailing clubs in whose
regattas he wishes to compete.



Those nautical terms whose meanings have already been defined at some
length in this work, will not be repeated in this glossary.

ABACK.--Said of a sail when its sheet is to windward and it drives the
vessel astern.

ABOUT.--On the other tack.

A-LEE.--The position of the helm when it is put in an opposite direction
to the wind.

A-PEEK.--When the chain is hove taut and the vessel is over her anchor.

A-TRIP.--Said of an anchor when it is hauled clear of the ground--same
as _weighed_.

BALANCE REEF.--A diagonal reef in a fore-and-aft sail extending from
throat to clews.

BATTENS.--Pieces of wood fastened to the reef-bands of lug sails to make
them stand flat.

BEAMY.--Broad; said of a vessel when her breadth is great in proportion
to her length.

BEAR AWAY.--To steer so that a vessel sails off her course to leeward.

BELAY.--To make fast the end of a rope temporarily by turning it round a

BIGHT.--The loop formed by a rope when a knot or hitch is being made.

BOLT ROPE.--The rope surrounding a sail, and to which the canvas is

BRAIL UP.--To furl a sail along the mast by hauling on a rope which is
led from the mast round the sail.

BREAMING.--Cleaning a vessel’s bottom by burning the paint or tar off.

BRIDLE.--A rope with its two ends fastened to the two ends of a spar--as
to a trawl beam, or to a deep-sea anchor--and held by a rope attached to
the middle of the bight.

BROACH TO.--To fall off so much, when going free, as to bring the vessel
nearly broadside on to the wind.

BULKHEAD.--Partitions dividing a vessel into sections.

BUMPKIN.--A spar projecting from a vessel to which a sheet or other rope
is led; for instance, the mizzen sheet is led through a block or sheave
hole at the end of the mizzen bumpkin.

CHANNELS.--Stout pieces of timber bolted on the outside of a vessel, to
which the dead-eyes of the rigging are fastened.

CHOCK A BLOCK.--When the upper and lower blocks of a tackle touch each
other and one can hoist no higher.

CLEW.--The lower after corner of a fore-and-aft sail.

CLIP-HOOK.--A metal eye, with two hooks attached to it, working on the
same pivot, so that they overlap when closed.

CLOSE-HAULED.--Said of a vessel when she is sailing as close to the wind
as possible.

COAMINGS.--A raised ledge round the well of a boat to prevent the water
running in.

CRANSE-IRON.--An iron hoop at the bowsprit end, with eyes fitted to it,
to which the bobstay and topmast stay are fastened.

CRINGLE.--A rope eye spliced into the bolt rope of a sail enclosing an
iron thimble, through which a reef earing is rove.

CROWN OF AN ANCHOR.--Where the arms and shank join.

CRUTCH.--A wooden support for the main-boom when the mainsail is furled.

DEAD-EYE.--A wooden block with three sheaveless holes through which the
lanyards of the main-shrouds are rove.

DINGHY.--The smallest of a yacht’s boats.

EARING.--A rope which passes through the cringle of a sail and serves to
reef it.

EYES OF THE RIGGING.--The loops of the shrouds and stays which are
passed over the mast-head and rest on the hounds.

FAIR-LEADER.--A block or comb cleat for running rigging, _e.g._, jib
sheets to lead through.

FLUKES.--The barbs at the extremities of an anchor’s arms.

FOREFOOT.--A piece of timber at the fore end of the keel, to which the
heel of the stem fits.

FOREREACH.--To shoot ahead in stays.

GARBOARD STREAK.--The range of planks on each side of the keel.

GET IN IRONS.--A vessel is in irons when she is in the wind’s eye, and,
having lost all headway, will not go off on either tack.

GIMBALS.--A contrivance consisting of two or more metal hoops balanced
on pivots, so that a compass or lamp swung within the gimbals will not
oscillate, but preserve a vertical position.

GRAPNEL.--A small anchor having more than two arms.

GROUND TACKLE.--The tackle--anchor, cables, and springs--used in
anchoring a vessel.

GUY.--A rope attached to anything to steady it and prevent its moving.
Thus a spinnaker boom has its fore and after guys, and a mainboom is
guyed to prevent its swinging aft.

HAWSE-HOLE.--The hole in the bows through which the chain runs.

HAWSER.--A large rope used for warping, etc.

HELM DOWN.--When the helm is put over in the direction towards which the
wind is blowing.

HELM UP.--When the helm is put over in the direction the wind is blowing

HOUNDS.--The wooden shoulders at the masthead on which the eyes of the
shrouds rest.

HOUSE.--To house a topmast is to lower it.

JIBE.--When running, to bring the wind on the other quarter, so that the
boom swings over.

KEDGE.--A small anchor. To kedge, is to warp a vessel along with hawser
and kedge.

LANYARDS.--Ropes rove through the dead-eyes to set up the standing

LEE-HELM.--A vessel is said to carry lee-helm when she has a tendency to
pay off before the wind, and the tiller has to be kept down in order to
counteract this.

LIMBERS.--Holes cut in the floor timbers to allow the water in the bilge
to flow freely.

LIST.--Said of a vessel when she leans sideways, for instance to leeward
before the pressure of the wind.

MARLINE.--Small cord or spun-yarn.

MOUSE.--To put turns of rope yarn round a hook so as to prevent it
slipping out from what it is hooked to. For instance, the sister hooks
of the jib sheets are moused to prevent them escaping from the clew of
the jib.

NEAPED.--When a vessel has got aground at the top of the spring tides
and must await the next springs before she can get off.

PREVENTER.--An additional rope placed to assist another one in
supporting a strain, _e.g._, a preventer backstay.

PURCHASE.--An arrangement of ropes and pulleys by which a mechanical
power is gained.

QUARTER.--The after part of a vessel’s side.

RANGE.--To range chain, is to get a certain quantity before the windlass
so that, when the anchor is let go, it will run out to the bottom
without a check.

REEFING.--To reduce the area of a sail by rolling and tying up a portion
of it. Also to shorten the bowsprit by hauling it partly in board.

ROUND IN.--To haul in on a rope.

RUN.--The run of a vessel is the after part of her narrowing up to the
stern post. To let a halyard go _by the run_ is to let it go altogether
and not to slack it out gently.

RUNNING.--Sailing before the wind.

RUNNING RIGGING.--The ropes, such as halyards, that are hauled upon in
order to hoist or trim sails, as opposed to the _standing
rigging_--shrouds and stays which are not moved in working a vessel.

SAG.--To sag to leeward is to drift before the wind or make leeway.

SCUPPERS.--Holes through which the water runs overboard off the decks.

SHAKE UP.--To luff up for a short time without losing a vessel’s way, so
that the sails may shake, and the pressure of the wind being taken off
them, the crew are enabled to take a pull on the halyards or purchases.

SHANK.--The long bar or stem of an anchor connecting the arms with the

SHEAVE-HOLE.--A hole in a spar to reeve a rope through.

SHEET.--A rope attached to the clews of a sail, by means of which the
sail is trimmed to the wind.

SMALL STUFF.--Spun-yarn, marline, etc., used for serving, seizing, and
other purposes.

SPARS.--The masts, yards, booms, etc., on which a vessel’s sails are

STAYS.--Ropes supporting a mast. IN STAYS.--When a vessel is in the
wind’s eye while going about from one tack to another.

STERNBOARD.--When a vessel is going stern foremost.

STIFF.--A vessel is stiff when she can carry plenty of sail without
listing over. The opposite to _crank_.

STOCK.--The cross bar at the end of an anchor’s shank.

STOP.--A fastening of small stuff.

STROP.--An eye of rope or wire spliced round a block.

TABERNACLE.--A mast step on deck, in which the mast works on an iron
pivot, and so can be easily lowered.

TACK.--The lower fore corner of a sail.

TAFFRAIL.--The rail round a vessel’s stern.

THIMBLE.--An iron ring, with a concave outer edge, into which a strop
can be fitted.

TOGGLE.--A pin fastened to the end of a rope, which can be thrust
through the eye of another rope, and so secure them together. The jib
sheets are often secured to the clew of the jib in this way.

TOPPING LIFT.--The rope which sustains the weight of the end of the
boom, and by hauling on which the boom can be raised to the required

TRUCK.--A circular block of wood at the masthead with holes in it
through which the signal halyards are rove.

WAIST.--The midships section of a vessel.

WASH-BOARDS.--Board placed above the gunwale of a boat to keep the water

WATER-WAYS.--The long timbers running fore and aft that divide the decks
from the vessel’s sides.

WEATHER HELM.--A ship is said to carry weather helm when she has a
tendency to come up into the wind, and requires the tiller to be kept to
windward so as to counteract this.

WHIP.--A purchase formed by a rope rove through a single block.

YAW.--When a vessel goes off her course first to one side then to the



Admiralty charts, 113

Admiralty tide tables, 127

Almanac, Pearson’s Nautical, 110, 127

America, sailing in, 44.
  _See also_ Florida, etc.

American yachts, 21

Anchor, the, 85;
  foul, 73;
  a floating, 74;
  Trotman’s, 86

Aneroid barometer, 130

Azimuth compass, the, 123


Backstay, 6

Balance lug, the, 33

Balance reef, 38

Ballast, 23, 82

Barometer, the aneroid, 130;
  Admiral Fitzroy’s rules, 131

Battened sails, 28

Beaching boats, 75, 79

“Bear away!” order to, 108

“Bear up!” order to, 108

Bends, the common, and the carrick, 11

Berthon collapsible boat, the, 72

Bight of a rope, 10

Binnacle, the, 114

Blackwall hitch, the, 11

Board of Trade Regulations, 106

Boarding, 82

Bobstay, the, 6

Boom, the, 5, 32, 45

Bowline knot, 13

Bowsprit, 5;
  of a cutter, 42

Broaching to, 76

Bumpkin, the, 30,

Burgee, the, 60


Cabin, the, of a yacht, 94

Carrick bend, the, 11

Capsize, to, halyards, 59

Cat rig, the, 36

Caulking, Tagg’s, 93

Cement in the boat, 4

Centre-boards, 16, 20, 24

Centre of rotation, 18

Channel, weather in the, 130

Channels of a boat, 6

Charts, 109, 110, 113

Choice of a boat, 1

Clew, the, 44

Clove hitch, the, 13

Coasting, 109;
  in North Sea, 110

Code Signal Book, 106

Collapsible boat, a Berthon, 72

Compass, the azimuth, 123;
  Dent’s spirit, 114;
  the mariner’s, 113

Constants, tidal, 128

Corinthian matches, 144

Counters, 27

Cringle, the, 6

Cross bearings, 119

Cross section, the, 20

Customs landing-stage, Gravesend, 106

Customs officers and yachtsmen, 106

Cutter, rigging of a, 42


Dent’s spirit compass, 114

Dinghy, the, 72;
  towing a, 71

Dipping lug, the, 30

Distress, signals of, 105

Dogger Bank, a boat for the, 54

Drogue anchor, the, 74

Dry-rot and ventilation, 87, 91

Dutch waterways, boats for, 55


Elbe, the, headwinds at its mouth, 123

Enamel paints for cabin, 95

Eye splice, the, 9


False keels, 25

Fid, the, 42

“Fine Run,” 19

Finisterre, Cape, fishing rules north of, 100

Fisherman’s bend, 14

Fishing rules, north of Cape Finisterre, 100

Fitzroy, Admiral, his rules as to the barometer, 131

Flags, International Code of, 106.
  _See also_ Signals

Florida, sailing in, 37

Fog signals, 102

Foot sails, 6

Fore halyards, 43

Foresail, the, 6

Forestay, the, 5

Foul anchor, 73

Foul hawse, a, 73


Gaff, the, 45

Gammon iron, the, 42

Glossary of nautical terms, 146

Gooseneck, the, 45

Granny, a, 10

Gravesend, the Customs landing-stage there, 106

Gripe of a boat, 17

Griping, 63

Grommet, the, 9, 36


Half-decked boats, 22

Half-hitches, 13

Halyards, 6, 43

“Handy Billy,” 87

Harwich to Rotterdam, the voyage and the weather, 129

Head-sails, 6, 137

Heel rope, the, 49

Hitches, 11

Hoops, the, 45

Horse, the, of a foresheet, 46

Hounds, 5

Hygrometer, the, 130


Inventory for a boat, 90


Jib halyards, 43

Jib-head topsail, 137

Jib outhaul, the, 43

Jib-sail, 6

Jibe, a, 32


Keels, false, 25

Knots, 6


Lamps for yachts, 102

Lantern for yacht, 101

Laws of the sea, 97.
  _See also_ Rules

Laying up for winter, 89

Leach sails, 6

Lead line, the, 118

Lee-boards, 16, 25

Lee-helm, 17

Leeway, 124

Leg of mutton sail, 32

Leg, short, in sailing, 18;
  long leg, _ib._

Lifeboat Institution, the National, 75

Lifeboats of the P. and O. steamers, 55

Lights at sea, rules as to, 97

“Log, heaving the,” 117

Log ship and line, the, 116

Long leg, 18

“Lubber’s line,” the, 114

Luff sails, 6

Lug sails and head sails, 138

Lugs, 30


Mainsail, the, 6, 136;
  scandalizing a, 63

Mainsheet, fitting a, 47

Mainshrouds, 5

Maintack tackle, 45

“Mare’s tails,” 133

Mariner’s compass, the, 113

Mast, the, 5

Measurement of yachts, 135

Mercator’s chart, 109

Meteorological Office weather forecasts, 130

Mexico, the Gulf of, sailing in, 37

Mildew in sails, 87

Mooring, 73


National Lifeboat Institution, 75

Nautical Almanac, Pearson’s, 110, 127

Nautical terms, a glossary of, 146

North Sea, coasting in the, 110;
  sailing in the, 74, 126


Open boats, 22

Orders at sea, 107

Overhand knot, 10


Paraffin _versus_ colza oil lamps for yachts, 102

Parrel, the, 45

Peak halyards, 6

Pearson’s Nautical Almanac, 110, 127

Peninsular and Oriental steamers, their lifeboats, 55

Pilot signals, 108

Pilots, services of, 106

Porpoises and stormy weather, 133

“Port!” the order, 107

Portland Breakwater, 128

Preventer backstays, 49

Pump-well, the, 85


Reef, the balance, 38

Reef knot, 10

Reef pennant, 6

Reef points, 6

Rigging of a cutter, 42

Rigging, setting up, 86

Rigging small boats, 29

Rolling hitch, 11

Rope, standing part of a, 10

Ropes, 6

Rotation of a boat, the centre of, 18

Rotterdam and Harwich, the weather between, 129

Rowing to seaward, 75

Rudder, the, 18

Rules of steering and sailing, 103

Rules of the road for yacht racing, 141

“Run, fine,” of a boat, 19

Runners, 6

Running before a surf, 78

Running bowline, 14


Sailing, rules of, 103

Sails, 6;
  battened, 28;
  mildew in, 87;
  stretching new, 88.
  _See also_ Mainsails, lug sails, leg of mutton sails, etc.

Scandalizing a mainsail, 63

Sea, laws of the, 97;
  lights at, 97;
  orders at, 107;
  a phosphorescent, 133;
  rules of the road at, 141

Sea birds, flight of, 133

Selvage strops, 51

Short leg, 18

Shrouds, 5

Signal Book, Code, 106

Signals, of distress, 105;
  fog, 102;
  pilot, 108

Sloop, the, 39

Snotter, the, 29

Snow on deck, 90

Spars, 6

Speed, 20

Splicing, 8

Spinnaker boom, the, 49

Spinnaker halyard, the, 50

Spinnaker sail, the, 70

Sprit, the, 29

Spritsail, the, 32

Spritsail rig, the, 28

Standing lug, the, 31

“Starboard!” the order, 107

Stays, 5

Steering, rules of, 103

Sterns, square and pointed, 27

Stormy weather, 133

Strands of a rope, 7

Surf, running before a, 78


Tack, rope, 34

Tack tricing, 44

Tacking, 17;
  across the sea, 119

Tagg’s caulking, 93

Terms, nautical, glossary of, 146.
  _See also_ separate terms, _and under_ Inventory.

Thames’ mouth, variation of compass at, 115

Thames, yachtsmen entering the, 106

Theory of sailing, 15

Throat halyards, 43

Throat of a sail, 6

Tidal constants, 128

Tide tables, Admiralty, and Pearson’s, 127

Tides, 126

Tiller, the, 53

Time allowance of yachts, etc., 139

Tonnage of yachts, 135

Topmast, a, 49

Topping lift, the, 6

Topsail halyard bend, 14

Trotman’s anchor, 86

Tyers, 58


Una rig, 36, 135

Unmoor, to, 74


Ventilation and dry-rot, 87, 91


Watch tackle, 87

Weather forecasts, 130

Weather helm, 17

Weather wisdom, 129

Well, the, of a yacht, 91

“Wind dogs,” 133


Yacht, the, 56

Yacht racing, 134

Yacht Racing Association, rules, etc., 135, 146

Yacht Racing Calendar and Review, 30

Yarmouth, sailing from, 123

Yarns of hemp, 7

Yawl, the, 52

Yawl sails, 137


Zuyder Zee, boats for the, 55




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