Adapted from 'The Seaman's Friend...' by R. H. DANA Jr

Dana was also the author of ‘Two Years Before the Mast’

[Dum's copy: Thomas Groom & Co., Boston 1851. 6th Edition, Revised and Corrected]

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ABACK The situation of the sails when the wind presses their surfaces against the mast, and tends to force the vessel astern.
ABAFT Toward the stern of a vessel.
ABOARD. Within a vessel.
ABOUT On the other tack.
ABREAST Alongside of. Side by side.
A-COCK-BILL The situation of the yards when they are topped up at an angle with the deck. The situation of an anchor when it hangs to the cathead by the ring only.
ADRIFT Broken from moorings or fasts. Without Fasts.
AFLOAT Resting on the surface of the water.
AFORE Forward. The opposite of abaft.
AFT or AFTER Near the stern.
AGROUND Touching the bottom.
AHEAD In the direction of the vessel's head. Wind ahead is from the direction toward which the vessel's head points.
A-HULL The situation of a vessel when she lies with all her sails furled and her helm lashed a-lee.
A-LEE The situation of the helm when it is put in the opposite direction from that in which the wind blows.
ALL-ABACK When all the sails are aback.
ALL HANDS The whole crew.
ALL IN THE WIND When all the sails are shaking.
ALOFT Above the deck.
ALOOF At a distance.
AMAIN Suddenly. At once.
AMIDSHIPS In the centre of the vessel; either with reference to her length or to her breadth.
ANCHOR The machine by which, when dropped to the bottom, the vessel is held fast.
AN-END When a mast is perpendicular to the deck.
A-PEEK When the cable is hove taut so as to bring the vessel nearly over her anchor. The yards are a-peek when they are topped up by contrary lifts.
APRON A piece of timber fixed behind the lower part of the stern [sic], just above the fore end of the keel. A covering to the vent or lock of a cannon.
ARM. YARD-ARM The extremity of a yard. Also, the lower part of an anchor, crossing the shank and terminating in the flukes.
ARMING A piece of tallow put in the cavity and over the bottom of a lead-line.
A-STERN In the direction of the stern. The opposite of ahead.

Athwart-ships. Across the line of the vessel's keel.

Athwart-hawse. Across the direction of a vessel's head. Across her cable.

ATHWART-SHIPS Across the length of a vessel. In opposition to fore-and-aft.
A-TRIP The situation of the anchor when it is raised clear of the ground. The same as a-weigh.
AVAST or 'VAST An order to stop; as, "Avast heaving!"
A-WEATHER The situation of the helm when it is put in the direction from which the wind blows.
A-WEIGH The same as a-trip.
AWNING A covering of canvass over a vessel's deck, or over a boat, to keep off sun or rain.
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© 2018 Duncan Linklater