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post #1 of 32 Old 03-05-2014 Thread Starter
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Yacht Question From Author

Hi everyone, I am an author writing a historical mystery and I am hoping you can all help me with a question. Although I've looked and looked, I have not been able to find out what the raised part of a deck is called (the top of the cabin). Here is the yacht I'm using as reference:
Gaff Rigged 41ft Cutter 1890 William Ferris William Ferris. Yachts sold by classic yacht broker..

One blog I came across seemed to indicate that it was the 'camber' but I've not been able to verify that.

Also, (1) would the ladder steps be referred to as the companionway? (2) As I understand it, the top of the surrounding railing is called the rail and the solid part the bulwark? Or is that only on larger ships? (3) And if two people were sitting on deck chatting while the boat is moored, where would be the likeliest place they'd sit (I'm assuming on the cabin top?)

Any help would be appreciated.

-Sabrina Flynn
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post #2 of 32 Old 03-06-2014
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

The top of the cabin could be the cabin top.
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

I've been calling it a cabin top
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

I've also heard cabin bunk
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabiny101 View Post
Hi everyone, I am an author writing a historical mystery and I am hoping you can all help me with a question. Although I've looked and looked, I have not been able to find out what the raised part of a deck is called (the top of the cabin). Here is the yacht I'm using as reference:
Gaff Rigged 41ft Cutter 1890 William Ferris William Ferris. Yachts sold by classic yacht broker..
I don't know the setting in your historical mystery, but I guess you have read the history of the boat.
She was converted to a "Cruiser" in 1913 and is a British built boat.
Boats from others parts of the world would have looked different.

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Originally Posted by Sabiny101 View Post
One blog I came across seemed to indicate that it was the 'camber' but I've not been able to verify that.
Cabin top seems to be the correct term

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabiny101 View Post
Also, (1) would the ladder steps be referred to as the companionway?
companionway Ladder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabiny101 View Post
(2) As I understand it, the top of the surrounding railing is called the rail and the solid part the bulwark?
Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabiny101 View Post
(3) And if two people were sitting on deck chatting while the boat is moored, where would be the likeliest place they'd sit (I'm assuming on the cabin top?)
In the Cockpit or maybe at the cabin top or maybe they carried small foldable chairs.
I would guess that it would depend of the weather / wind.

around 1900 and well into that century yachts like "LITTLE WINDFLOWER" often had payed hand(s) (aka crew).
They slept in the bunks forward and where not supposed to mingle with the owner and the guests.
The crew would often stay at the bow out of way for the owner/guests.
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

I can't get the picture of the yacht in question to open.

It sounds like you are referring to the coachroof, which is the raised part of the deck that allow for a higher headroom inside the cabin.

Yes, the steps from the cockpit into the cabin is the companionway.

The raised area around the cockpit may be referred to as the coaming, although, most use the term to refer to an accent piece on top of what is the coaming.

People ordinarily sit on deck in the cockpit. Although, in some new boats this has been enlarged, as on ours, and the term 'deck salon' has been coined.

I hope I got the questions correct, I couldn't see the pic.


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Re: Yacht Question From Author

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabiny101 View Post
Hi everyone, I am an author writing a historical mystery and I am hoping you can all help me with a question. Although I've looked and looked, I have not been able to find out what the raised part of a deck is called (the top of the cabin). Here is the yacht I'm using as reference:
Gaff Rigged 41ft Cutter 1890 William Ferris William Ferris. Yachts sold by classic yacht broker..

One blog I came across seemed to indicate that it was the 'camber' but I've not been able to verify that.

Also, (1) would the ladder steps be referred to as the companionway? (2) As I understand it, the top of the surrounding railing is called the rail and the solid part the bulwark? Or is that only on larger ships? (3) And if two people were sitting on deck chatting while the boat is moored, where would be the likeliest place they'd sit (I'm assuming on the cabin top?)

Any help would be appreciated.

-Sabrina Flynn
The cabin-top is properly referred to as the "coach roof". Folks might sit on the coach-roof but, considering it's exposure, not too often. The rail around the stern of a ship is know as the "taffrail", sometime elaborately carved. The rail around the remainder of the ship atop the bulwarks is properly a "cap-rail". The entry to a yacht accommodation from the deck is a "companionway". There are no stairs on a yacht but if there are steps to the sole within the accommodation from the companionway, they are referred to as the/a "companionway ladder" (there may be more than one). People might sit together anywhere on deck but are most often found in the cockpit where they likely have some sun protection and can lean back against the "combings" that commonly extend aft from the sides of the coach-house on either side of the cockpit and are intended to deflect seas that make it on deck away from the cockpit crew.

FWIW...
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Last edited by svHyLyte; 03-08-2014 at 03:47 PM. Reason: correct typo
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

The coach roof is more properly termed the "trunk" or "cabin trunk".

"Companioway steps/ladder" are commonly shortened to "companionway"

Suggest you check out the "Surveyors Lexicon"

or buy

The Sailors Word Book, Admiral W.H. Smyth, ISBN 1-897030-05-3

PS. Don't ever refer to a "salon", that will nail you in a heartbeat. the proper term is "saloon".

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Re: Yacht Question From Author

I agree..."Coach Roof" is the raised portion of the cabin providing interior head room on a boat.
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Re: Yacht Question From Author

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Originally Posted by knuterikt View Post
I don't know the setting in your historical mystery, but I guess you have read the history of the boat.
She was converted to a "Cruiser" in 1913 and is a British built boat.
Boats from others parts of the world would have looked different.

around 1900 and well into that century yachts like "LITTLE WINDFLOWER" often had payed hand(s) (aka crew).
They slept in the bunks forward and where not supposed to mingle with the owner and the guests.
The crew would often stay at the bow out of way for the owner/guests.
Thanks for your reply! The mystery is set in 1900 San Francisco. And the yacht in question is supposed to have been built by a local family of Portuguese boat builders in Sausalito as a sea going vessel. I'm mostly using the Little Windflower as a reference. Would a boat like this be described as a cruiser instead of a cutter then? And do you happen to know if these types of yachts had some kind of engine installed as early as 1890s? I know they had steam powered launches and such at the time period, but not sure in a boat like this.

And thanks for reminding me about my crew question. Would it be possible to single-hand a boat like this for a short trip? From the other forums and research I read, it seemed like it would be possible by an experienced sailor. And I read up on Joshua Slocum sailing the Spray around the world single-handed.
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