Nautical words



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Topsail Halliard Bend. Made by taking three turns around a spar, then end around standing part and under all three turns, then back over two turns and under the last turn. Allows spar to be hoisted close to block.

Topsail Schooner 358 Torricelli's Theorem

Topsail Schooner. Schooner, usually two-masted, having square topsails on fore mast.

Topsail Sheet. Rope by which clew of a topsail is hauled out. To 'pay a debt with a topsail sheet' is to sail without paying the debt.

Topsail Yard. Yard to which head of a topsail is bent.

Topside Line. Sheer line drawn above top timber at upper edge of gunwale.

Topsides. That part of ship's side that is above waterline. Used colloquially for 'on deck'.

Top Tackle. Purchase used for swaying a topmast.

Top Timber. Timber immediately above the futtocks in ribs of ship's side.

Tormentor. Large fork used for lifting boiled salt meat out of a galley copper.

Tornado. Whirlwind having a diameter of less than a quarter of a mile, and a speed of travel of about 30 knots. Wind velocity may exceed 200 knots. Local effects may be disastrous.

Torpedo. Fish that kills its prey by making physical contact and discharging electricity. Varies in weight between 20 and 100 Ib. Its electrical shock can kill a human being. 2. Name formerly given to a submarine mine or any container of explosive fired, above or below water, when alongside an enemy vessel. 3. Loco­motive container of explosive that can be adjusted to travel at a desired depth, along a pre-arranged course or courses-and to explode on graze or impact.

Torpedo Boat. Small, fast craft introduced for attacking large warships with torpedo. First in Royal Navy (1877) was H.M.S. 'Lightning', 27 tons, 19 knots. Modern torpedo-boats are motor-propelled.

Torpedo Booms. Steel booms hinged near waterline and with heads attached to a steel ridge rope to which a torpedo net was laced. Netting was normally carried on shelf along ship's side. When torpedo attack was expected, nets were dropped and booms hauled perpendicular to ship's fore and line; thus forming a net screen against torpedoes.


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