Sailors Choice
Nautical Terms


SALVAGE  To save or recover a vessel or cargo
SCUD  To run before a gale with little or no sail set.... Also.... a gust of wind. Ragged low clouds, moving rapidly beneath another cloud layer. American Heritage 3rd Edition.
Billie Johnston...Sailing Vessel Tango Checking out your nautical terms.... actually, to name our new dog...... (Also happens to be the name of a friend's boat.)
SCUPPER  A hole which allows water to run off the deck
SCUTTLEBUTT a nautical term for a drinking fountain, or rumors. Derived from the cask containing drinking water in the days of sail, around which the crew used to gather and talk shop - Jeffrey Cizek


Cool air pulled ashore by rising thermal air currents caused by the air inland rising as the land heats up
SEA ROOM A safe distance away from a shore, jetty or other boat
SEA LAWYER  An argumentative crew member
SEACOCK A valve in a line that restricts the flow of water operated by a  handle
SEIZE   1) To bind with  thread 
2) To freeze up, as a valve
SET 1) To raise a sail 
2) The direction the current is flowing
SHARPEN UP To come up more into the wind 
SHEAVE (Shiv)  The roller in a block
SHEER  The upward curve in a deck
SHEET A line used to trim a sail 
SHEET BEND A handy knot for joining two ropes' ends


Path through open water used for commercial vessel passage and so noted on chart
SHORT-SPLICE  To permanently join two pieces of rope. It will not pass through a block since it increases the diameter 
SHROUDS  Rigging which supports the mast from the sides 
SLACK AWAY To let out a line 
SLACK WATER  Absence of current. The time between flood and ebb tides when there is no current flow
SLOOP A one masted vessel carrying a mainsail and a jib or genoa
SNATCH BLOCK A block which opens on the side so that the bight of a line can be led into the block and closed  without running the whole length through
SPARS  Booms, gaffs, masts yards and spars that attach to the mast
SPINNAKER  A light-weight, spherical sail used in reaching and running
SPLICE  To join two ropes by tucking their strands over and under each other in various manners
SPLIT TACKS  To take the opposite tack when sailing to windward with another yacht
SNUB  To stop the running out of a  line by taking a turn around a cleat 
SPRING LINE  A dock line leading forward or aft, to prevent a vessel from moving ahead or astern
SQUARE KNOT  A knot consisting of two overhand knots used for tying reef points
STANDING PART The part of a line that is made fast
STANDING RIGGING  The shrouds and stays that support the mast 
STAND ON VESSEL The one having the right of way 
STARBOARD  The right side of a boat when facing forward
STARBOARD TACK  Sailing with the wind coming over the starboard side
STAYS Rigging used to support the mast from forward or aft
STAYSAIL A triangular sail set from stays or 'flying' on halyard
STEERAGE WAY   Sufficient forward movement for the rudder to affect steering
STEM  The upright post or bar of a boat 
STERN  The afterpart of a boat
STOPS (or ties) Pieces of line or canvas strips used to secure a sail when furling it
STOW  To put stuff away


Metal support attached to the hull and propeller shaft to align
STUFFING BOX The fitting that seals and lubricates the propeller shaft where it passes through the hull

These are informative only and are not the last word!
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