1930 Census of Merchant Seamen




The Great Storms

Ships that have sailed into a crack in the lake

Great Lakes Lighthouses - U.S.

Great Lakes Lighthouses - Canadian

research resources



GLM Anchor

of terms you may see on these pages

- The situation of the sails when their surfaces are pressed aft against the mast by the force of the wind.
- (see AFT)
- Directly alongside a vessel
- The inside of a ship
- The situation of a vessel as soon as she has tacked, or changed her course
- Two or more vessels, lying with their sides parallel, and their heads equally advanced
- Relative proportions of a vessel representing her legal measurements and used for documentation
- Broken from her moorings and drifting about without control
- buoyed up by the water
- All that part of a vessel that lies forward, or near the stem
 AFT (or after)
- Toward the rear of a vessel
- The stern
- The mast set closest to the stern in a sailing ship carrying multiple masts;
  also called the mizzenmast in a three-masted sailing vessel
- Tangled with, or in a collision with
- When a vessel bottom, or any part of it, is lodged in the bottom or on the shore and cannot get off
- When all the sails are furled, and her helm is lashed to the lee side; by which she lies nearly with her side to the wind and sea, her head being somewhat inclined of the wind.
- The position of the helm when it is put down to the lee side.
- The state of the sails when they are parallel to the direction of the wind, so as to shake or shiver
 AMIDSHIPS (or midships)
- In the middle portion of the ship, along the line of the keel
- Place where a boat may anchor
- Single white light hoisted when a vessel is moored.
- Watch kept when a vessel is moored to a buoy or anchored.
- Across the ship at right angles to the keel
- So low in the water that the water is constantly washing across the surface
- To stop
- When the anchor is off the bottom
- (1) Ship's spine or keel
- Carry out a small anchor ahead of the large one, in order to support it in bad ground, and prevent it from loosening
- Arrange them in a situation which will cause the ship to move astern
- When the wind changes anti-clockwise
- Lay it aback, by bringing the sheet to the mizzen shrouds
- Device used to control buoyancy and stability
- Having no sail set
- vessel having no power of its own and needs to be towed
- Three masted ship with the foremast square-rigged and the mainmast and mizzenmast fore-and-aft rigged
- A three to five masted ship with foremast and mainmast square-rigged and mizzenmast fore-and-aft rigged
- Strip of wood used to fasten the edge of a tarpaulin to a hatch coaming
- Width of a vessel at the widest point
- Sides of a vessel
- Going toward the direction of the wind by alternate tacks
- Cabin or apartment. Anchorage or place alongside a wharf for a vessel.
- Rounded lower portion of the hull; the recess in the bottom of a ship which all water drains into
- A case or stand containing the ship's compass and a lamp
- Vertical post strongly bolted to the deck and used in making lines fast
- A ship is called a BOAT on the Great Lakes
- The deck on which lifeboats are kept
- Officer in charge of anchors, rigging, etc.
- A strong rope, chain or rod that exerts downward tension on a bowsprit to counteract the pull of the foresay
- Passageway above the boilers, immediately under the smokestack
- Long spar used to extend the horizontal foot of a sail
- Front of a boat
- A large mast or piece of timber which stands out from the bow
- The width or beam of a vessel at the deck's widest point
- A wave that piles up high enough for the top to cascade down the leading face.
- Artificial wall of concrete or stone built to protect a harbor from heavy waves
- Lifesaving device. Lines are fired out to shipwreck with a Lyle Gun and survivors are lifted to safety in a suspended harness, much like a pair of men's breeches.
- Narrow walkway that extends outward from both sides of the pilothouse. Used by officers when docking or maneuvering in locks or narrow waterways
- Two masted ship with a square-rigged fore mast and fore-and-aft rigged aft mast
- To turn the vessel broadside to heavy seas, or to lose control of steering in following seas so that the vessel is turned broadside to the waves..
- Wall like partition that divides a boat's hull
- Wood work around a vessel above deck
- Compartment where a boat's fuel is stored
- Ropes used for raising sails
- Caution marker
- The ability to float
- Where the end of a plank unites with the end of another
- When the masts of a vessel fall over the side
- Vessel built specially to navigate the locks in the old Welland Canal
- To incline
- A strong, thick block of wood having two large holes through it, the one square, the other round; used to confine the two masts together
- Device on the deck used for heaving heavy objects such as chains or anchors
- Timbers on on a ship's bows, with sheaves in them, by which the anchor is hoisted, after it has been hove up by the cable.
- Hook the cat-block to the ring of the anchor, and haul it up close to the cat-head.
- Narrow walkway on vessels or piers.
- Filling the seams of a ship with oakum.
- Thin board able to be lowered through the keel, to counteract the tendency of a sailing ship to move sidways.
- Telegraph device used to signal from the bridge to the engine room
- Place below the windlass where cables are stowed.
- A pipe through which an anchor chain is passed from the deck to a stowage compartment
- Heavy iron fitting through which a rope or hawser is passed
- Steering as close to the course as the wind will allow keeping the weather clew of the upper sail lifting.
- Verticle edge of a hatch or skylight
- A long curling wave.
- Cargo vessel with no power of its own, towed by a steam barge or a steamer; usually a schooner-barge.
- Flare or rocket used at night as a distress signal
- Wooden or metal bars joined crosswise on the mast to support sails and rigging
- Curved iron support boom used to swing out and lower lifeboats
- A type of window shutter in the stern of the ship, used only in very bad weather
- Calculating the course of a boat from only the speed, heading, and time.
- Flat upper surface of a ship
- Shelter built on deck
- A heavy lead attached to a line of 100 or more fathoms
- A measurement inside the hull from the underside of the deck to the top of the keel
- Ship adrift at sea without a crew
- The weight of water a boat displaces
- From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Produces steam for uses other than propulsion, such as steering or heating.
- On the Great Lakes, travelling from the northern lakes toward the southern lakes
- The distance from the water line to the bottom of the hull; depth of water required for a vessel to float
- Loose wood, etc., laid in the bottom of the hold to keep cargo from being damaged
- Small ropes used to fasten the upper corners of sails to the yards
- Flag worn at the stern
- Having the keel parallel with the horizon
- The stern overhang of a vessel
- 1 fathom = 6 feet
- To hold in place, catch hold or run aground
- Part of the engine room where boiler fires are fed
- Carferry term for crew's quarters
- An area above the pilothouse used as an operating station by officers during good weather
- Waves coming from behind.
- Throughout the entire ship's length
- Raised part of a boat's bow containing crew quarters
- Mast nearest the bow of a ship
- Large compartment just aft of the bow in the lower part of the ship
- Principal sail on the foremast of a schooner
- A stay from the foremast to the foredeck or bow of a ship
- Towards the bow of the ship
- The lower yard on the foremast.
- Sink in a disastrous way
- Amount of a vessel's hull that is out of the water
- Increase in a gale
Smokestack of a vessel
- To wrap or roll a sail close up to the yard or stay and secure it in place
- The upper spar of a fore-and-aft sail
- A strong wind, rated depending on velocity
  moderate (32 - 38 mph), fresh (39 - 46 mph),
  strong (47 - 54 mph), whole (55 - 63 mph)
- Kitchen of a vessel
- Metal buoy filled with compressed illuminating gas with a lantern on top that burns day and night
- Total internal capacity of a ship reckoned at 100 cu. ft. per ton
- Upper rail of a boat or vessel
- Compass operated by means of a gyroscope which indicates true north instead of magnetic north
- Ropes by which the sails are hoisted
- Turning the helm as far as possible
- The cover for a hatchway
- Opening in the deck, usually for loading cargo.
- Anchor or towing line; cable, chain or heavy rope.
- All sails set forward of the foremast and usually secured to the bowsprit.
- Stopping a vessel by setting the sails against one another so that she makes no progress.
- Strong winds with large waves
- Lean to one side
- Instrument by which the vessel is steered. Includes both the wheel and tiller as one general term
- (see Wheelsman)
- When the ends of a vessel are depressed from the level of the midships portion.
- Space inside a vessel where cargo or supplies are carried
- Frame or body of a vessel.
- The highest deck.
- Inside or toward the center of the ship
- A light rope ladder with wooden steps
- To throw cargo or heavy gear overboard in order to lighten a vessel.
- Foremost sail
- A spar used to extend the length of a bowsprit on sailing ships.
- Small triangular sail forward of a ship's foremast
- Small anchor with an iron stock
- supporting beam that runs the length of a boat's bottom
- Fore and aft timber placed over the keel to strengthen it
- Angled or curved pieces of iron or wood used to connect the beams of a vessel to her timbers.
- Naut. a unit of speed of one nautical mile (6,076.12 feet) an hour, approximately 1.15 mph
- To roll and pitch heavily.
- Ropes passed through dead eyes for setting up rigging
- Left side, looking towards the head
- Weight attached to a line for use in sounding
- Direction that the wind is blowing to
- The direction in which the wind is blowing
- Length of a ship from the stem to the aftermost point of the stern
- (See heave-to)
- A buoyant canvas vest used to keep a person afloat
- A member of the Lifesaving Service
- tilt to one side
- To remove cargo.
To put the helm over to bring the vessel closer to the wind. The weather edge of a fore and aft sail.
- Sudden rolling of a vessel to one side
- A heavy stay directly below the bowsprit, often the strongest on a ship. Frequently made of chain.
- Commander or captain of a ship
- Deck officer ranking below the captain
- Dining room of a ship
- The third mast back from the bow
- Distance from the top of the keel to the top of the upper deck amidships
- One minute of latitude or about 1.15 statute miles
- Old rope, untwisted and pulled open, to use for caulking seams of ships.
- The line attached to the bow of a yawl boat or dinghy
  - small "D" shaped room, having large windows along the curved portion, that sits atop the Texas deck and contains the engine order telegraph, chart table, compass, and steering wheel
- Line indicating the maximum depth to which a vessel may be loaded.
- One of 32 equal divisions of the compass card, each point containing 11 degrees, 15 minutes of arc
- Left side
- Sailing close to the wind with it blowing on the port side of the vessel.
- The part of a vessel's upper deck near the stern
- Small ropes fastened to the shouds by which the crew go aloft
- Part of a sail, from one eyelet row to another
- To shorten sail by reducing the exposed area
- Chain of rocks lying near the surface of the water
- All ropes, shrouds, stays, halyards &c. attached to the masts or yards.
- Ocean going vessel that visits the Great Lakes
- Sailing vessel having two or more masts, rigged fore and aft.
- Sailing vessel that is usually towed
- Square-built vessel with flat sides and usually a flat bottom.
- Schooner with shallow draft and boxy appearance.
- Propeller
- To move quickly in a straight line because or as if driven by the wind.
- Holes through which water runs from the deck
- Hole cut in the deck for use as a doorway
- Hole cut in the hull to make a vessel sink
- Space between planks in a vessel's hull or deck
- Longitudinal curve of the deck or gunwale.
- Ropes used in working a sail
- To take in water through a leak or break
- A false keel
- Projection of the keel abaft the stern frame where the spindle of the rudder rests.
- Range of large ropes extended from the mast-heads to both sides of a ship, to support the masts, and enable them to carry sail.
- Small sailing craft, usually less than 40 ft in length, with only one mast.
- To try the depth of water by use of a sounding line, marked at depth ranges.
- Mast
- Maindeck through which cargo is loaded
- To crack by strain in a gale, rendering it unsafe for use
- Sudden, violent blast of wind
- Right side
- A light spar extending from the bow of a vessel, which can be raised or lowered, and which is used to aid the wheelsman in navigation
- Piece of timber into which both sides of a ship are united at the fore end
- Rear of a boat
- To become stuck on a beach or obstruction.
- To work a vessel against the wind by special use of the sails and running on angles first to starboard, then to port
- The aftermost railing around the stern of a ship, often ornately carved.
- Deck on which the pilothouse is mounted
- 1. Displacement Tonnage: total weight of a vessel
- 2. Gross Tonnage: a function of the volume of all a boat's internal spaces
- Second sail above the deck
- Third sail above the deck
- The low point between two waves.
- Fore-and-aft sail set with a boom and gaff mounted on a small mast below the lower mast
- Capsize
- Move a vessel with the aid of a rope made fast to a fixed object
- Deck having no overhead protection
- The boat rail on the up wind side of the boat. The higher rail
- As the name implies, the person or persons whose usual job it is to steer the vessel
- A winch, esp. one worked by a crank
- triangular space enclosed within the bow of a vessel where the anchor windlasses are located
- Small rowboat or lifeboat

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