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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 282 pages of information about The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence.

[Footnote 146:  Previously the British East Indiaman, Elizabeth.]

[Footnote 147:  Forty-five degrees.]



(This glossary is intended to cover only the technical expressions actually used in the book itself.)

ABACK.  A sail is aback when the wind blows on the forward part tending to move the vessel astern.

ABAFT.  Behind, towards the stern.

ABREAST. } See “Bearing.”

AFT.  See “Bearing.”

AHEAD.  See “Bearing.”

ASTERN.  See “Bearing.”

BEAM.  The width of a vessel, so used because of the cross timbers, called beams.

BEAR, to.  To be in a specified direction from a vessel.

BEAR, to.  To change the direction of a vessel’s movement.

  To bear down, to move towards; to bear up, or away, to move
  away, from the wind or from an enemy.

BEARING.  The direction of an object from a vessel; either by compass, or with reference to the vessel itself.  Thus, the lighthouse bears north; the enemy bears abeam, or two points off the port bow.

BEARING, Line of.  The compass bearing on which the vessels of a fleet are ranged, whatever their bearings from one another.

BEARINGS, with reference to the vessel.

  Abeam. }
  Abreast. } Perpendicular to the vessel’s length.

  Aft. } Directly behind. 
  Astern. }

  Ahead.  Directly before; forward.

  Abaft the beam, starboard or port, weather or lee.  To the rear of
  abeam, to the right or left, to windward or to leeward.

  Before (or forward of) the beam (as above).  Ahead of abeam, etc.

  Broad.  A large angle of bearing, used ordinarily of the bow.  “Broad
  off the bow” approaches “before the beam.”

  On the bow, starboard or port, weather or lee.  To one side of
  ahead, to right or left, to windward or to leeward.

  On the quarter, starboard or port, weather or lee.  To one side of
  astern; to right or left, to windward or to leeward.

BEARINGS, by compass.  The full circle of the compass, 360 degrees, is divided into thirty-two points, each point being subdivided into fourths.  From north to east, eight points, are thus named:  North; north by east; north-northeast; northeast by north; northeast; northeast by east; east-northeast; east by north; East.

  From East to South, from South to West, and from West to North, a
  like naming is used.

BEAT, to.  To gain ground to windward, by successive changes of direction, called tacks.

BOOM.  See “Spars.”

BOW, or head.  The forward part of a vessel, which is foremost when in motion ahead.

  On the Bow.  See “Bearing.”  To head “bows-on”:  to move directly

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