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post #11 of 25 Old 09-19-2013
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Re: This curious nautical language

My references all come from H.A.Calahan's "Learning to Cruise" written in 1934. Not all that long ago and yet all but one of those terms has either disappeared or been replaced by close variation.

Halliard more commonly spelt Halyard today. I'd never seen the Halliard spelling before this.

Blackwall Hitch is still in use it seems. Handy Billy is a form of black and tackle.

Dandy and/or Jigger is a form of mizzen sail, most commonly seen on yawls.

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post #12 of 25 Old 09-19-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: This curious nautical language

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Halliard more commonly spelt Halyard today. I'd never seen the Halliard spelling before this.
Since the original term was "haul-yard" - because, on a square-rigger, it's the rope you use to actually haul the yard up, sail attached, once you've got it unfurled and sheeted to your liking - the spelling shift is an odd one indeed.

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Blackwall Hitch is still in use it seems.
.. as is the Topsail Hitch, even though neither find much use on a modern yacht.

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Handy Billy is a form of black and tackle.
..and a pump if you're American. Worked by blacks perhaps, TD??


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Dandy and/or Jigger is a form of mizzen sail, most commonly seen on yawls.
..and on a great many full-rigged ships, so that one will be around for a while yet. It does tend to dance around a bit when sailing down-wind though, and perhaps that's where the reference to certain types of people came from.

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"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"

Last edited by Classic30; 09-19-2013 at 02:25 AM.
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post #13 of 25 Old 09-19-2013
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Re: This curious nautical language

Lately I've been learning how to "blow the guy."


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post #14 of 25 Old 09-19-2013
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Re: This curious nautical language

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Lately I've been learning how to "blow the guy."
I'm not touching that with a barge pole.

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Re: This curious nautical language

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Lately I've been learning how to "blow the guy."
I want to Google that yet not at the same time.
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Re: This curious nautical language

The guy is the line that runs to the spinnaker pole. What were ya'll thinking it was?!?


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post #17 of 25 Old 09-20-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: This curious nautical language

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The guy is the line that runs to the spinnaker pole. What were ya'll thinking it was?!?
Lot's of lines run to the spinnaker pole. Technically, you're thinking of the brace aren't you??

Certainly whatever it is you're meaning by "blow the guy" isn't in any old-time nautical language list I've ever seen - it doesn't even sound nautical..

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post #18 of 25 Old 09-20-2013
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Re: This curious nautical language

The gammon is the the bracket that bolts or lashes the bowsprit to the stem head and prevents it from lifting (pull of fore stays) Sailors sitting in the bows may have a chat and so are having a gam. A four masted vessel has its jigger aft of the mizzen. A handy billy ,, a pair of small blocks, usually one has a hook but the other has a short line to lash to larger line or shroud with a rolling hitch. I use one to set up my lanyards and deadeyes.Swigging up is the last bit of bouse and tail (before haul yard winches) Sort of like snugging the snotter. Now if you knew what's a snotter!! Would it help to know it goes though the beehole.? Even a little nipper knows that.

Last edited by Capt Len; 09-20-2013 at 01:42 AM.
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Re: This curious nautical language

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Lot's of lines run to the spinnaker pole. Technically, you're thinking of the brace aren't you??

Certainly whatever it is you're meaning by "blow the guy" isn't in any old-time nautical language list I've ever seen - it doesn't even sound nautical..
It's in Wikipedia so it must be a somewhat common nautical term, right?

"Retrieving the spinnaker is a multi-step process, and the take-down depends on wind position. First, the windward corner is detached from the spinnaker pole and the guy is released. This step is referred to as blowing the guy. This allows the spinnaker to collapse into the shadow of the mainsail, where the foot is gathered by a crew member. The halyard is then lowered..."

It was also in a 1985 article in Sailing World magazine: http://www.sailingworld.com/sites/al...-takedowns.pdf.


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Last edited by gamayun; 09-20-2013 at 02:13 AM.
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Re: This curious nautical language

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The gammon is the the bracket that bolts or lashes the bowsprit to the stem head and prevents it from lifting (pull of fore stays) Sailors sitting in the bows may have a chat and so are having a gam.
IIRC, the word "gammon" also describes the rope lashing that keeps the topmasts in place and "gammoning" the job of actually doing it... but either way, in the bows or up the mast, in a decent swell it sounds like hard work to me!

"Snugging the snotter.." - I like that.

Repeat after me: "Serve and parcel with the lay, turn and serve the other way." A laborious and messy job unless you happen to really like the smell of Stockholm Tar.

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"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"

Last edited by Classic30; 09-20-2013 at 03:12 AM.
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