Nautical words



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Back and Fill. To fill sails and then back them, alternately. Done to keep vessel in a position for the time being.

Backboard. Board athwart after end of stern sheets of a rowing boat, for passengers to lean against.

Backbone. Fore and aft wire along middle of an awning.

Back Freight. Money payable to ship for carrying cargo back to port of shipment when it was impossible to discharge cargo at destination.

Back Letter. Name sometimes given to a 'Letter of indemnity'.

Back Pressure. In a steam cylinder, is pressure set up by steam on exhaust side of piston. In a pump, is resistance generated when discharge has to be forced.

Backrail. Name formerly given to 'Backboard'.

Back Rope. Small chain, or rope pendant, used for staying a dolphin striker.

Back Sailing. Hauling boom of mainsail, or mizen, to windward when a vessel loses way in going about. This forces her head on a new tack, and is a kind of box hauling.

Back Ship. To work ship astern with sails or engines.


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