Nautical words



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Bill of Sufferance. Customs authority for a vessel to carry dutiable goods when trading in British waters.

Billow. Large, crested wave. Word is used more by poets than by seamen.

Billy Blue. Nickname given to Admiral Cornwallis (1744-1819) because he usually hoisted the 'blue peter' immediately after anchoring.

Billyboy. Small, bluff-bowed sailing vessel of Humber river.

Binary Star. One that appears to be a single star but is actually two stars revolving around a common centre of gravity. SomeĀ­times one is dark star. In all cases the result is that apparent magnitude of star is a variable quantity.

Binnacle. Stand, of wood or metal, in which a compass is suspended and in which lighting and compensating units are carried. Top of binnacle protects compass from sea and weather and, also, reduces glare of lighting.


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