Nautical words

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Shifting Backstay. Backstay that was let go, when tacking, and shifted to the new weather side. Is a seaman's name for a man who has no standing job, but is put to any work that may require doing at the time.

Shifting Boards. Planks and boards erected in a hold to prevent a cargo from shifting. Particularly necessary with bulk grain and similar cargoes. Also used for preventing shift of solid ballast.

Shifting Centre.* Former name for 'Metacentre'.

Shifting Sands. Quicksands. Sands that are loose and fluid when wet, and cannot support weight.

Shift of Butts. Arrangement of a series of butted joints so that they do not lie in a line, or approximation of a line.

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