Safe Boating Tip # 02 – Drain Plug

Check your drain plug before launching

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Safe Boating Tip # 01 – Trailering

The proper way to trailer launch a boat

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What is the origin of the term “Shows his true colors”?

Q – What is the origin of the term “Shows his true colors“? Early warships often carried flags from many nations on board in order to elude or deceive the enemy. The rules of civilized warfare called for all ships to hoist their true national ensigns before firing a shot. Someone who finally “shows his […]

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What is the origin of the term “Toe The Line “?

Q – What is the origin of the term “Toe The Line “? The space between each pair of deck planks in a wooden ship was filled with a packing material called “oakum” and then sealed with a mixture of pitch and tar. The result, from afar, was a series of parallel lines a half-foot […]

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What is the origin of the term “The Whole Nine Yards”?

Q – What is the origin of the term “The Whole Nine Yards“? The Whole Nine Yards: Yards are the spars attached to the mast that support square sails. On a fully rigged, three masted ship, there are three major square sails on each mast. If the nine major sails are employed, the whole nine […]

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What is the origin of the term “Holy Stone”?

Q – What is the origin of the term “Holy Stone“? Holy stone: to clean the ship’s decks by scrubbing with an abrasive stone. One of the more hated duties of the seaman during the golden age of sail. The expansive hardwood decks were cleaned of dirt, blood and other accumulations by the backbreaking labor […]

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Son of a Gun

Q – What is the origin of the term Son of a Gun? When in port, and with the crew restricted to the ship, women were allowed to live aboard. Sometimes children were born on the ship and a convenient place was between the guns on the gun deck. If a child’s father was unknown, […]

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Port and Starboard

Q – Every mariner knows the different between port and starboard. Hundreds of years ago, however, a different word was used to refer to the left side of the boat. What is it?  What is the origin of the term port and starboard? A – The term originally used for the left side of the […]

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If you harden up, I believe you can lay that nun to starboard

Q- What is the translation of the term, “If you harden up, I believe you can lay that nun to starboard”? This was a Harbor pilot’s advice to a schooner captain entering Boston harbor in 1830. Translation: Sail closer to the wind and you can safely leave the red buoy to the right. His directions […]

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What is a Fouled Anchor?

What is a Fouled Anchor? A fouled anchor is a Naval symbol that’s a anchor with a chain wrapped around it.  A fouled anchor has long been the symbol of the Cheif Petty Officer.  It symbolizes trials and tribulations that every officer has to face. A fouled anchor is an anchor that has caught on […]

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