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post #1 of 7 Old 02-09-2004 Thread Starter
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terminology question

When heading into the wind, is it correct for the helmsman to say "helm''s a-weather", as the boat is turning into the wind, or "helm''s a-lee" as the tiller is moving to the lee side? Obviously with a wheel one is not turning the wheel to the lee when one is heading to wind, but my dear brother (who is not a sailor) insists that the terminology is grounded in the tiller-steered tradition (and he argues that one would in fact say "helm''s a lee" when turning into the wind even when steering with a wheel).

Many thanks for your help in clearing this up.
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-09-2004
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terminology question

I''ve always said "Helm''s a Lee" to notify my crew that I have started to turn through the wind after "ready to come about" or "ready to tack" and Definately after I hear "Ready" from my crew (who I have had to flog numerous times to remember to say...joke, joke...)
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-09-2004
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terminology question

The traditional U.S. commands are ''prepare to come about'' followed by ''Hard a lee'' or ''Helm(s) down''. Your dear brother is correct, it does not matter whether you use a tiller or wheel, the command is still ''hard a lee'' or ''Helms down''.

Jeff
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-16-2004
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terminology question

Ahoy Mateys, Once again the unflappable Jeff is correct, However one demensional as always , ere in dis Pirates fleet the command is Hard a lee.. so ducks youse bloom''in heads ye mangy scoundrels. Helms over and ye be too iffin you don''t liven up .AARRGGHH . Pirate of Pine Island
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-17-2004
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terminology question

Eye, Cap''n. I be duckin me head at yer command!
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-23-2004
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terminology question

I love the old lingo. Have to say I''ve never heard "Helm''s aweather!" "Ready about!" and Helm''s alee!" take you thru a tack. "Prepare to jibe!" and "Jibe ho!" take the stern thru, and "Wear ship!" says you are bearing off to leeward and will jibe when the wind comes aft, with no further orders. Personally, I make it clear that "Ready about!" is an order, not an invitation for the crew to let me know when they would like to tack.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-23-2004
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terminology question

Traditionally ''Wear ship'' had a different definition than you have given it. Although square riggers could not reach very high above a beam they could in fact close reach above abeam reach. They could not tack at all, so to go from one close or beam reach to the other they had to jibe. That process was called ''wearing ship'' and the order to go through that 200 or so degree swing was ''Wear ship''. Traditional working Jucks could not tack through the wind reliably and so would also wear ship.

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