Sailors Choice
Nautical Terms


PAD EYE A round eye attached through the deck used to fasten a line or block to some part of the boat
PAINTER  The line attached  to the bow of a dinghy for towing or tying up
PALM  A leather glove with a thimble built into the palm for sewing canvas
PARALLEL RULE  Tool used to transferring course and bearing to and from the compass rose on a chart
PAY OUT  To ease out on a line
PEA COAT Sailors who have to endure pea-soup weather often don their pea coats but the coat's name isn't derived from the weather. The heavy topcoat worn in cold, miserable weather by seafaring men was once tailored from pilot cloth, a heavy, course, stout kind of twilled blue cloth with the nap on one side. The cloth was sometimes called P-cloth for the initial letter of "pilot" and the garment made from it was called a p-jacket,
later, a pea coat. The term has been used since 1723 to denote coats made from that cloth.
PINCHING  Sailing too close to the wind
PIPING Boatswains have been in charge of the deck force since the days of sail. Setting sails, heaving lines, and hosting anchors required coordinated team effort and boatswains used whistle signals to order the coordinated actions. When visitors were hoisted aboard or over the side, the pipe was used to order "Hoist Away" or "Avast heaving." In time, piping became a naval honor on shore as well as at sea.
PIRATE From the Latin "pirata" meaning marine adventurer
PISTOL SHOT Pistol shot is an inexact term used for a distance. Think of it as 20 meters or less.  Long pistol shot may be forty meters.
PITCH Fore and aft movement (up and down)  as the bow and stern rise and fall with  the waves, also called hobby horsing
POINT Being able to sail close to the wind
POOP Stern section of a ship
POOPED To be swamped by a high, following sea.
PORT The left side of a vessel when facing forward
PORT HOLES An opening in the structure of a vessel with a closable section.  The word "port hole" originated during the reign of Henry VI of England (1485). King Henry insisted on mounting guns too large for his ship and the traditional methods of securing these weapons on the forecastle and aftcastle could not be used. A French shipbuilder named James Baker was commissioned to solve the problem. He put small doors in the side of the ship and mounted the cannon inside the ship.  These doors protected the cannon from weather and were opened when the cannon were to be used. The French word for "door" is "porte" which was later Anglicized to "port" and later went on to mean any opening in the ship's side, whether for cannon or not.
PORT TACK  Sailing with the wind coming over the port side  
PRAM  A square-ended dinghy 
PREVENTER A line and two blocks or  the boom vang used to keep the boom over when  reaching or running and to prevent an out of control swing during an accidental jibe
PROP WALK Sideways force created by the spinning of the prop.  Cat 36's back to port because of "prop walk"
PROW The bow, stem and above the waterline.
PURCHASE   A block and tackle with multiple passes of the line to give power ration increase
These are informative only and are not the last word!!!!
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