Sailors Choice
Nautical Terms


LAND BREEZE An evening wind coming from the land
LANDLOCKED Surrounded by land
LANYARD  A short line, often with a clip, used to fasten things together
LASH 1) to tie something down or together with line
2) a strike of a whip or cat-of-nine
LASK To sail with the wind on the quarter, i.e., well abaft the beam 
--from the glossary of Peter Padfield's "Maritime Supremacy and the
Opening of the Western Mind".  Thanks--Ken Atkatz
The use of a keel, centerboard, daggerboard or leeboard to keep a boat from being pushed sideways by the wind
LATITUDE East and west circle lines running parallel to the Equator at 0o, measuring distance north and south at 90o 
LAUNCH 1)  a small boat used as transport to a larger vessel
2)  to set a boat or ship afloat
LAY  1) Lay the course, able to fetch a given point when close-hauled 
2) The twist of a line's strands, if twisted left,  it is left laid
LAZARETTE Stowage lockers in the cockpit
LAZY SHEET A line attached to a sail but not in use when the boat is on the opposite tack as opposed to the working sheet
LEAD LINE A weighted line, knotted at fathoms, lowered from the deck and used to determine water depth
LEAGUE Three nautical miles
LEECH The trailing edge of a sail
LEECH LINE An integrated line in a sail used to tighten the leech to create the proper shape in various wind conditions
LEE CLOTH Usually a piece of canvas attached to a berth and fastened so as to keep one in bed when heeled
LEE HELM Sailing with the tiller over to leeward by force of the wind
LEEWARD Toward the lee side, away from the wind
LEEWAY  The distance a boat slips to leeward by force of the wind
LEG  The distance sailed on one tack. The course from one mark to another
LIFT  A sudden wind shift away from the bow
LIGHT SAILS Sails, such as the spinnaker, reacher and reaching staysail used when running or reaching
LIMBERS  Holes in the bilge crossframes to allow bilge water to drain to the lowest point 
LINES  Ropes 
LIST When a boat leans to one side
LOA Refers to Length Overall, the measurement from the leading edge of the bow  to the end of the stern or any overhang
LOCKER  A closet or stowage compartment
LOG, LOG BOOK A record of all activities of the boat and conditions.  In the early days of sailing ships, the ship's records were written on shingles cut from logs. These shingles were hinged and opened like a book. The record was called the "log book." Later on, when paper was readily available and bound into books, the record maintained it name.
LONG-SPLICE Joining ends of two lines in so that the splice will pass freely through a block
LONGITUDE North and south circle lines pointing true north, measuring distance east and west 180 degrees from the prime meridian at Greenwich, England. The International Date Line is longitudinal
LOOSE-FOOTED A sail not attached to a boom or secured to a boom at the track and clew only
LORAN A positioning systems using broadcast radio waves from a known positions to determine your location.  Is being replaced by GPS
LUBBER LINE   A line on the forward side of the compass bowl representing the bow of the ship and used to steer a course 
LUFF 1) To alter course more nearly into the wind  
2) The forward edge of a sail
These are informative only and are not the last word!!!
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