Glossary of Terms

This section defines confusing terminology that is found in the publication.

After hold – The cargo deck of a ship.  The fact that it is called the after hold indicates it was probably in the aft (the rear) of the ship.

Astern – Behind a ship.

Bulkhead – An upright partition separating compartments.

Companion-way – a set of steps leading from a ship’s deck down to a cabin or lower deck.

Custom(s) house – A building where customs and duties are paid or collected and where vessels are entered and cleared.

Deckhouse – A superstructure on a ship’s upper deck.

Dinghy/Dingy – a small rowing boat.

Filibuster – An irregular military adventurer – specifically, an American engaged in fomenting insurrections in Latin America in the mid-19th century.

Foundered – To become submerged.

Galley – The kitchen and cooking apparatus of a ship.

Gunwale – The upper edge of a ship’s or boat’s side.

Leeward davit – A crane that projects over the side of a ship or a hatchway and is used especially for boats, anchors, or cargo.  Leeward indicates it is located on the left side of the vessel.

Oiler – A ship worker whose main task was to oil machinery on the ship.

Pilothouse/Pilot house – A deckhouse for a ship’s helmsman containing the steering wheel, compass, and navigating equipment.

Quarterdeck/Quarter deck – The stern area of a ship’s upper deck.

Revenue Cutter Boutwell – The full name of the ship is the USRC George S Boutwell. This was a tug-boat repurposed after the American Civil War for service on the coast of the Atlantic. The USRC (United States Revenue Cutter) series of ships were a precursor to the United States Coast Guard.

Rollers –  Long heavy ocean waves.

Stevedore – A person employed at a dock to load and unload ships.

Stokers – One that tends a marine steam boiler.

Triangle – When Crane says “triangle,” he is referring to The Revenue Cutter Boutwell.

Valise – A suitcase.