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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RACE A strong, rippling tide.
RACK To seize two ropes together, with cross-turns. Also, a fair-leader for running rigging.
RACK-BLOCK A course of blocks made from one piece of wood, for fair-leaders.
RAKE The inclination of a mast from the perpendicular.
RAMLINE A line used in mast-making to get a straight middle line on a spar.
RANGE OF CABLE A quantity of cable, more or less, placed in order for letting go the anchor or paying out.
RATLINES (Pronounced rat-lins.) Lines running across the shrouds, horizontally, like the rounds of a ladder, and used to step upon in going aloft.
RATTLE DOWN RIGGING To put ratlines upon rigging. It is still called rattling down, though they are now rattled up; beginning at the lowest.
RAZEE A vessel of war which has had one deck cut down.
REEF To reduce a sail by taking in upon its head, if a square sail, and its foot, if a fore-and-aft sail.
REEF-BAND A band of stout canvass sewed on the sail across, with points in it, and earings at each end for reefing.

A reef is all of the sail that is comprehended between the head of the sail and the first reef-band, or between two reef-bands.

REEF-TACKLE A tackle used to haul the middle of each leech up toward the yard, so that the sail may be easily reefed.
REEVE To pass the end of a rope through a block, or any aperture.
RELIEVING TACKLE A tackle hooked to the tiller in a gale of wind, to steer by in case anything should happen to the wheel or tiller-ropes.
RENDER To pass a rope through a place. A rope is said to render or not, according as it goes freely through any place.
RIB-BANDS Long, narrow, flexible pieces of timber nailed to the outside of the ribs, so as to encompass the vessel lengthwise.
RIBS A figurative term for a vessel's timbers.
RIDE AT ANCHOR To lie at anchor. Also, to bend or bear down by main strength and weight; as, to ride down the main tack.
RIDERS Interior timbers placed occasionally opposite the principal ones, to which they are bolted, reaching from the keelson to the beams of the lower deck. Also, casks forming the second tier in a vessel's hold.
RIGGING The general term for all the ropes of a vessel. (See RUNNING, STANDING.) Also, the common term for the shrouds with their ratlines; as, the main rigging, mizzen rigging, &c.
RIGHT To right the helm, is to put it amidships.
RIM The edge of a top.
RING The iron ring at the upper end of an anchor, to which the cable is bent.
RING-BOLT An eye-bolt with a ring through the eye. (See EYE-BOLT.)
RING-TAIL A small sail, shaped like a jib, set abaft the spanker in light winds.
ROACH A curve in the foot of a square sail, by which the clews are brought below the middle of the foot. The roach of a fore-and-aft sail is in its forward leech.
ROAD or ROADSTEAD An anchorage at some distance from the shore.
ROLLING TACKLE Tackles used to steady the yards in a heavy sea.
ROMBOWLINE Condemned canvass, rope, &c.
ROPE-BANDS or ROBANDS Small pieces of two or three yarn spunyarn or marline, used to confine the head of the sail to the yard or gaff.
ROPE-YARN A thread of hemp, or other stuff, of which a rope is made.
ROUGH-TREE An unfinished spar.
ROUND IN To haul in on a rope, especially a weather-brace.
ROUND UP To haul up on a tackle.
ROUNDING A service of rope, hove round a spar or larger rope.
ROWLOCKS or ROLLOCKS Places cut in the gunwale of a boat for the oar to rest in while pulling.
ROYAL A light sail next above a topgallant sail.
ROYAL YARD The yard from which the royal is set. The fourth from the deck.
RUBBER A small instrument used to rub or flatten down the seams of a sail in sail-making.
RUDDER The machine by which a vessel or boat is steered.
RUN The after part of a vessel's bottom, which rises and narrows in approaching the stern-post.

By the run. To let go by the run, is to let go altogether, instead of slacking off.

RUNG-HEADS The upper ends of the floor-timbers.
RUNNER A rope used to increase the power of a tackle. It is rove through a single block which you wish to bring down, and a tackle is hooked to each end, or to one end, the other being made fast.
RUNNING RIGGING The ropes that reeve through blocks, and are pulled and hauled, such as braces, halyards, &c.; in opposition to the standing rigging, the ends of which are securely seized, such as stays, shrouds, &.
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© 2018 Duncan Linklater