Category Archives: Nautical Terminator

Nautical Terminator – Tonnage (Part 2)

            Last time we distinguished three sorts of tonnage applicable to boats: displacement, deadweight tonnage, and gross and net register tonnage. The displacement of your sailboat will be given in the owner’s manual. The deadweight tonnage is not normally a … Continue reading

Posted in Nautical Terminator | Leave a comment

Nautical Terminator – Tonnage (Part 1)

          If you like getting frustrated, and who doesn’t, you could do no better than trying to understand the nautical terms associated with tonnage. We have long tons, short tons, avoirdupois tons, imperial tons, gross register tons, gross tons, net … Continue reading

Posted in Nautical Terminator | 1 Comment

Nautical Terminator – Hull Down (Part 2)

We promised last time to apply our understanding of the old phrase “hull down” to modern circumstances. The issue arises when making offshore passages. Clearly, single-handers are in violation of Rule 5 of the Colregs because they cannot maintain a … Continue reading

Posted in Nautical Terminator | Leave a comment

Nautical Terminator – Hull Down (Part 1)

In a recent column we mentioned the phrase, “hull down.” In the great days of sail, this was the lookout’s way of communicating the distance to a ship he’s sighted, just coming over the horizon. So how far away is … Continue reading

Posted in Nautical Terminator | 1 Comment

Nautical Terminator – Points

            Our contemporary way of reading a compass is called the “three-figure” method, referring to the three numerals called out to the helmsperson by the navigator, as in “steer three-two-zero.” Early compass cards, however, were divided not into 360 degrees … Continue reading

Posted in Nautical Terminator | Leave a comment

Nautical Terminator – Curse Like a Sailor

The other day at a Tradewinds instructors meeting, the estimable Craig Walker, a true gentleman and our most accomplished teacher, opined that we should not be cursing during class. Now, on the one hand, I completely agree that our instructors … Continue reading

Posted in General, Nautical Terminator | Leave a comment

Nautical Terminator – Nautical Mile

By Tradewinds instructor Tony Johnson As we all learn in our first navigation class, a nautical mile equals one minute of latitude. Therefore, the distance in nautical miles between the equator and the poles is, by definition, 90 degrees times … Continue reading

Posted in Nautical Terminator | Tagged | 10 Comments

Sandbaggers

The term “sandbag” is used in several seemingly unrelated senses. As a verb it can mean to emplace bags to prevent flooding; to pretend to be a duffer at golf or poker or auto racing, only to reveal your mastery … Continue reading

Posted in General, Nautical Terminator | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Wind Speed

How hard is it blowing? I once used the phrase “it’s blowing like snot” in the presence of a Chesapeake sailor, who was horrified. He much preferred “blowing like spit.” Bay area sailors will have heard it said that it … Continue reading

Posted in Nautical Terminator, Sailing Trivia, Skipper's Tip | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

King Tides

By Tradewinds Instructor Tony Johnson In this world of few certainties, there is one thing that I am certain of: I am not certain how the tides work. Oh, it’s the moon’s gravity, and I think the sun is involved. … Continue reading

Posted in Nautical Terminator | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments