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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 06-06-2002
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Sailing command language

Hi to you all and pardon my bad english (I''m German)!
Can somebody please give me advice where in the Web I could find a list of the sailing commands and replies (in English, that is) given by the skipper for standard situations like tacking, gybing, hoisting sails, falling off, docking ... Sure I do know all this stuff in my mother language but I do believe that it helps for sailing with international crew if I would know this stuff in English language, too. If you don''t know any website, maybe you could write some of it down yourself? If each of you write down just one command a complete list should be fixed in no time.

Thank you
Dirk
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Old 06-06-2002
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Sailing command language

This book may help: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0924486961/schoonermanA/002-2818487-0790426#product-details
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Old 06-11-2002
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Sailing command language

Dirk,
Please note that English as spoken by our American friends can be signficantly different to English as spoken by the Brits. You will need to decide if you are more likely to have Brits or Americans in your crew before deciding on the terminology to use. Examples:

Brit-speak - heave-ho
Ameri-speak - hard a'' lee

Brit-speak - fender
Ameri-speak - bumper

Brit-speak - kicking strap
Ameri-speak - vang

and there must be many others! Come to think of it, a Brit-speak / Ameri-speak sailing dictionary would be a great project!

Jonathan

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Old 06-11-2002
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Sailing command language

Hi Jonathan, yes, I agree. Such a dictionary would be great. Perhaps one should include Kiwi-speak? Right know I don''t care much about British or American English (for the purpose of commands, that is). I just want to establish a common command language for international crew on board of my vessel. Brits or Americans are not that often on board. Most of the times we are Greeks and Germans (I sail in Greece). Dictionaries exist already, but you always find just single expressions explained (Starboard - Steuerbord, Boom - Baum ...). You even find tack or gybe explained and translated, but no dictionary lists the correct flow of the commands to perform this manouvres. (Okay, for tacking and gybing I''ve learned it, but I''ve no idea what to say in cases of anchoring, docking, hoisting sails... Even English/American books about sailing don''t list them (the two or three I have, that is). So, what to do? Dirk
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Old 06-17-2002
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Sailing command language

DirkJ,

Guten Tag, mein Freund!

Regarding commands used for anchoring, we don''t use very many "standard commands". The crew is instructed as to what actions are required, then hand signals are used.

For hoisting sails, the skipper might say:
"turn into the wind", "hoist the main (sail)", "tighter" (to adjust the luff tension), "OK" (when it is tight enough).

For docking, you might say: "prepare to dock port (or starboard) side to", "deploy fenders", "prepare the bow, stern, and forward/after spring lines", "Johann, to the foredeck", "Willi, handle the stern line", Greta, stand by with the forward spring"

I hope this helps a little. Good luck.

Duane
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Old 06-18-2002
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Sailing command language

Duane, Danke, Freund! Yes, this is what I''m looking for. Dirk
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Old 01-16-2009
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I know that I am a few years late in the game finding this site, but it also depends entirely on the type of vessel you command. Some commands are the same, but if you command a vessel that is a schooner versus a rig, there will be many different things. "Steady on the mooring lines" is a command given before preparation of droping the anchor of a three mast sailing ship or other actual "sailing ship". It does not matter what dialect of "English" is spoken. If you prepare a vessel for anything, whether for departure or to dock, the commands are the same. "Weigh Anchor" means the same thing, whether it is British English, New Zealand English, Australian English, Candaian English, or American English. A translated dictionary is pointless, since all commands to do anything all mean the same thing. Example: "All hands on deck" means everyone on deck. The only exception would be if you didn't have hands, and well, if you didn't have hands, you wouldn't be crew on a ship, now would you?
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Old 01-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomsonjd View Post
Dirk,

Brit-speak - fender
Ameri-speak - bumper

Jonathan
I've always called a fender, FENDER. Could be due to my Naval background but I always found calling a fender "bumber" was very land-lubberish to put it politely.

A Fender is a Fender.... And I have always, due to the fact that I was breed, born and Raised American, spoke, speak, and write American English...
Gish!! Dang nabbit!! Damn landlubbers trying to bastardize the seagoing vernacular
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Old 01-16-2009
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Well, to Americans, a Fender is either a brand of electrical guitar or the thing on either side of an auto. I am still trying to figure out exactly what a "bumber" is, other than the rear end of a very well endowed lovely lady! HAHA!
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Old 01-16-2009
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It occurs to me that perhaps someone ought to do a FAQ here on Sailnet. Perhaps CD could do it, should keep him busy for awhile, since he has little else here to do. /grin
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