Website visitor Larry J. wrote to ask that I scan and post
this article for the "Critter" radio controlled sailboat that appeared
in the July 1973 edition of American Aircraft Modeler.
Author, designer, draftsman, builder, and sailor Victor F. Miglierina
has done an incredible job at documentation. The level of detail
in the plans and all the detailed drawings for fittings, sails,
ballast molds, etc., are second to none. The vast majority of R/C
sailboats manufactured today have fiberglass, carbon fiber, or ABS
plastic hulls, and go together fairly rapidly. Larry's effort to
build from wood is to be commended. I built a Dumas
Pride of Pay-n-Pak hydroplane from a
wood kit a long time ago and appreciate the effort that goes into
it. I also built a couple static display wood sailboat kits from
Midwest, Muscongus Bay
Lobster Smack and Sharpie Schooner.
Completing the Critter will take more effort and skill than all
my endeavors combined. May 31, 2015 Update: Larry J. sent photos
of his completed Critter R/C sailboat - amazing craftsmanship on
display! Larry added a mizzen mast (the rear mast) to the original,
which was a standard sloop configuration with a mainmast holding
the mainsail and jib. He scaled it to a 48" hull length, and it
uses a little over 13 pounds of lead ballast. I will ask him for
a photo of the radio compartment.
Critter R/C Sailboat
By Victor F. Miglierina
Building and sailing a model racing yacht is a healthy pastime
and a challenge to one's imagination, skills and patience. The results
will be rewarding - the satisfaction of the many hours of patient
craftsmanship it represents, plus the thrill of sailing the model
that can be handled like a real yacht, thanks to RC, except for
the fact you're not on board.
Simplified construction all wood racing yacht
in the Marblehead 50-800 Class. It is an easy sailing model even
for us RC airplane nuts.
The boat is 50 in. long with a beam of nine in. and is planked
from the sheer line down to W.L.-3. Below this, the lift or "bread
and butter" method is used. The model is built upside down on a
large flat jig board (3/4 x 12 x 52"). Mark off the centerline and
frame spacing per plans and attach the cross pieces, equal in length
to the breadth of the frames, to the jig board in the proper positions.
Trace the frame outlines on 1/2" marine plywood allowing 1/2"
thickness for the innerface of the frame and decreasing the outerface
by 1/8" to allow for the planking. (See Fig. 1A). The small lips
extending past the upper ends of each frame are for proper alignment
and are later cut off. (Always reset the sheer and W.L. references
on the faces and edges of the frames that are cut away during construction.)
Note that the keel, due to its curvature, rests on the forward edge
of the notches in the midships and fore body frames and the after
edge of the notches in, the after-body frames. All the notches,
including the flush fitting frames 3 and 4, must be filed off to
permit the backbone to fit across them. Set the frames in place
and fasten to the cross pieces with screws.
Trace the backbone outline on 1 1/4" thick mahogany or clear
white pine, marking all station positions, rabbet line, keel bolt
and stuffing box holes and skeg slot location. The "noseblock" at
the stem serves to fasten the stem to the jig board and will be
cut off later. Cut out and finish the backbone to the correct profile.
Locate and drill the keel bolt and stuffing box holes. Shape the
backbone to the dimensions shown on the half breadth plan and cut
the skeg slot 3/16" deep, "dead" on the centerline from station
The next phase of construction is that of the keel from W.L.-3
through W.L.-8 using the lift method. In some lifts the upper face
of the layer is larger than the lower face then the converse occurs.
It is important to remember this point in sawing the layer to shape,
as the outline is governed by the larger face. (Though requiring
more labor, all lifts may be cut to a uniform width of 1-3/8" with
the length determined from the profile.) Trace the outline of each
lift to one-in. thick pine keeping the grain running in the same
direction. (The forward rudder is part of the keel and will be cut
out later.) Cut out the lifts, mark all references and drill required
holes. Using the keel bolt holes for aligning, glue and clamp up
the lifts. When the glue has hardened, cut the keel to proper profile.
The diagonal lead line is cut straight across the beam. Assemble
the keel sections to the backbone installing beveled blocks on the
innerface of the keel.
Next, the keel is fitted to the frames and right across them.
When fitted, glue up and secure the frames to the backbone, fastening
the stem in position through the nose block (from the underside
of the jig board) and with a brass countersink screw through the
keel to the fashion piece. At this stage your boat should look like
Before planking can be applied, the frames must be faired up
to allow the planks to lie snugly on them. This is best accomplished
by laying a strip of planking across several frames, keeping it
parallel to the W.L., and filing the frames until the plank lies
"true" across them. Sight the batten frequently when fairing out
to detect any unusual kinks. Before planking, there are several
things to bear in mind:
(1) The planking material must be uniform in thickness and width,
straight, free from knots and well seasoned. (Spruce was used.)
(2) Each plank should be in one piece from stem to stern.
(3) Each plank must fit its neighbor without forcing or strain,
butting up to it with an absolutely tight joint.
(4) The work must be kept "level" on both sides of the hull.
Therefore, the planks must be put on in pairs.
(5) Pre-drill all plank holes staggering (fore and aft) the holes
so that they do not go through the same frame ply and spliit it.
Use two holes per frame, per plank.
(6) Use round toothpicks, dipped in waterproof glue, for. fastening
the planks to the frames; wire brads may be used provided they are
"set" and filled.
(7) Keep planks parallel to the W.L. as much as possible.
Since each plank has a different shape and curvature, the best
method of finding the shape of each plank is by "spiling." Prior
to spiling, plank widths are selected and tentatively laid off on
the frames. (Generally the sheer strake is made wide enough to take
care of the deck line and the balance vary from 1/2" to 3/4".) Fit
a piece of planking to the boat across the frames and as nearly
parallel to the W.L. as possible. When properly sighted, clamp the
batten in place.
Sequence of hull construction. Built upside down
on a flat board assembly is quick and accurate. When you remove
it from the board, and have sanded the hull, the inside must be
carefully painted for waterproofing protection. Decking and controls
Number and mark the centerline position of each frame on the
plank. Set a pair of dividers with their points apart and parallel
to the frame centerline at a distance greater than the space between
the edge of the spiling batten and the shape to be obtained (sheer
strake) and prick off spots from the sheer line on each station.
(See Fig. 3A).
Remove the plank from the boat and set the references and measurements
just taken on the plank from which the sheer strake is to be made.
(See Fig. 3B). Draw a line through the spots to get the shape of
the upper edge of the sheer strake. The stem end shape of the plank
can be obtained by offering it to the rabbet while the stern end
can be cut flush to the after edge of the inner transom. The rabbet
can be cut using a piece of planking to measure its depth. Bevel
the keel at each station, first, and then remove the waste wood
in the areas between, afterward dressing the surface between the
rabbet line and the keel centerline. (See the stem head on the half
As each side planking is prepared it must be
an even fit all along the lift line where each plank meets the next
one. Do both sides at one time to prevent warping the hull.
To obtain the bottom edge, take the dividers and measure on each
station to spots set out for the top of the next plank. The line
is again run in using a batten. The plank is finished to the lines.
A duplicate strake is made for the other side of the boat and fitted.
When final fitting has been satisfied, the strakes can be glued
in place, fastening to the stem and inner transom with two No. 0
x 3/8" F.H. countersink brass screws and with toothpicks or brads
at the frames. For the second set of planks, the spiling plank is
again brought into use; proceed exactly as before except that the
measuring point is the lower edge of the sheer strake instead of
a row of spots. The lower edge of the plank is obtained in the same
manner as for the sheer plank. Cut the planks just outside the marked
lines, fit them to the boat, to the lower edge of the sheer strake
and extend the rabbet. When satisfactorily fitted, glue, pin and
screw in position in the same manner as the sheer plank except that
the edges are also glued to the sheer strake. When planking is complete
the keel is beveled to the centerline.
The lift sections of the keel are shaped using templates of stations
3-5 (See Fig. 1B). Start by removing the corners of the lifts at
the stations and fairing in between until all the waste is removed.
When contours are satisfied, sand to a smooth finish fairing into
the planked section of the hull.
With the interior varnished for waterproofing
the hull is ready for internal fittings and then the deck. Note
mounting holes for the lead keel and carrying handle.
The fin is made, fitted and glued to the backbone. Next, the
rudders may be cut out, the leading edges shaped and fitted with
rudder posts. (There must be no movement between the posts and rudder.)
Make, fit and glue the outer transom to the fashion piece.
Single-control sailing generally means a pre-set
main and jib sheet with steering control by RC only. Your sheet
setting is a compromise for all "points" of sailing. Critter is
a lively and swift moving yacht, so the sheets are kept fairly close
in except in very windy conditions.
Set the hull aside and make a cradle as shown in Fig. 4.
Remove the hull from the building board; set in the cradle and
cut off the stem nose block and frame lips to conform to the sheer
line and deck curvature.
The keel is formed from 15 lb. of lead poured into a greased
(Vaseline) plaster mold fitted with the keel bolts. The split mold
(be sure to allow for a right and left mold) is made as shown in
Fig. 5; filled with molding plaster and "formed" using the prefinished
and waxed ballast pattern removed from the hull. Note that the mold
is split at the centerline of the ballast and this line is used
as the plaster leveling line. Bake the plaster molds at 375°
for three hours. Assemble with tape, set the keel bolts and pour
in molten lead-leveled off at W.L.-4. Cut off excess bolts at bottom
of keel, smooth out any irregularities, fill voids with auto body
filler and "true" up the top edge (W.L.-4) to insure proper fit
with the hull via the brass plate.
Shape, fit and fasten the brass plate to the hull. Assemble the
ballast to the hull installing the handle, washers and wing nuts
accordingly. Make, fit and install the forward rudder post guide.
Figs. 6 & 7 and the hull drawings indicate the sizes, shapes
and positions of the various components making up the control system.
A Digit-Migit system is used as the action is positive and reliable.
Further, it can be readily expanded to encompass sail control units
if desired. Make, fit and install the control system in whatever
sequence you desire, but naturally, the system must have freedom
of movement. When adjustment and operation is satisfactory, remove
the RC gear. (A change in the RC gear is the use of NiCads, wired
and taped together and the installation of a charging plug.)
Part of her character is the twin rudder arrangement.
Note that the keel has a rudder which is linked with the aft rudder.
Numbers stitched on the sail indicate racing class and the. owner's
number. The model is registered in AMYA (American Model Yachting
Assoc., 4761 Niagara Ave., San Diego, Calif. 92107).
The hull should now be given a final check for smoothness, open
seams, tool marks, dents, low spots, etc. Fill and smooth where
necessary and sand to a glassy surface. Apply successive coats of
sealer, pure shellac and two of under-coater, sanding between coats
with 180 W-D paper.
To support and properly crown the deck, a King plank and deck
beams must be installed and the hatch framed as shown in Figs. 8 &
9 and the hull plans. Gunwales must be installed between the deckbeams
in positions occupied by the cross pieces and all beveled to proper
The inside of the hull should now be varnished with three coats
of spar varnish rubbed well into the seams and the first coat cut
50% with turpentine permitting good penetration. Do not varnish
the top of members to receive the deck or permit spillage on the
A birch deck is fit, cut and "planked" as shown in Fig. 10. The
underside is given one coat of sealer and under-coater between the
areas to receive glue and the top side finished with two coats of
varnish, the first being thinned 50%. Glue and fasten the deck to
the hull with 1/2" No. 18 "set" brads or 3/8" No. 1 F.H. countersink
brass screws. Sand the edges even with the hull.
The two models above are tacking to starboard,
however, the boat to the right is pointed so directly into the wind,
it is not moving as swiftly as its companion.
The hull and deck are ready for their final finishes which is
left to the builder. If a multi-colored hull is desired, the W.L.
may be established by placing the hull in a tub of water, the surface
of which has been sprinkled with talcum powder, and allowed to float
free. When finished apply auto wax to the hull and deck and polish
to a shine.
The main hatch is made as shown in Fig. 9 and finished similar
to the deck. The lube hatch is made from a "pill" box as noted on
plan. A maple mast with straight after edge is made as described
in Fig. 11 and fitted with the Ferrule and pin. The backstay brace
(Fig. 12) is made and fastened to the top of the mast and the mast
finally finished with two coats of shellac and one coat of spar
varnish. The main and jib booms, Fig. 13 are made as described and
finished in similar manner as the mast. Attach the goose neck and
jib club swivel, respectively to the forward edges.
Refer to Fig. 14 for the sail nomenclature. For the mainsail,
draw the chords between the head, tack and clew. Divide the leech
chord in half and measure out two in. for the roach. Sweep a fair
curve from the clew to the head, allowing a slight more curve at
the top half of the leech. Layout the four four-in. batten pockets
perpendicular to the leech chord by dividing it into five equal
parts. Tablings are made from 1" iron-on tape and headboards from
1/32" plastic. Tablings are sewed with two rows of stitches, corners
reinforced with triangular patches of tape and battens of 1/16"
plastic are slipped into the pockets. Sew No. 90 dress hooks on
the luff and foot of the mainsail spacing them 3" and 2" o.c. respectively
(Fig. 11, 12, 13), alternating the hooks on either side of the sail.
Eyelets will be installed and crimped during rigging. The jib is
made in similar fashion using a 1" roach and three two-in. battens
with the hooks spaced two-in. o.c. on the luff (Fig. 13B).
Install deck fittings (Fig. 10) in their proper positions. Install
sheet jackstays Figs. 11, 12, 13. Installation of the rigging (Fig.
15) can best be described by reversing the method of unshipping
the rig; (See Figs. 11-13 & 15-17 to become familiar with the
interrelationship of the fittings.) Therefore, with mast in design
(1) Unhook the backstay sheet hook from the backstay brace by
slacking the bowsers.
(2) Unhook the kicking strap from the gunwale eye on mast by
slacking the bowser.
(3) Unlock antenna snap swivel from antenna loop.
(4) Unhook the jacklinesheet hook from the aft traveler by slacking
(5) Uncouple the jumperstay turnbuckles from the tangs. Note:
Run up the turnbuckles when uncoupled to prevent their loss.
(6) Uncouple the swivel turnbuckle from the shrouds at the stayplate.
(7) Slacken the head stay swivel turnbuckle in at the jib rack.
Slip head loop out of screw eye, located immediately below the backstay
brace, and pass head loop over and out of the backstay brace.
(8) Unship the mast from the mast step.
(1) Untie the jib forestay and halyard from the spring cleats
and slip through the sheave.
(2) Unhook the jackline sheethook from the forward traveler by
slacking the bowser.
(3) Disengage the jib club swivel from the jib rack.
Tuning and Sailing:
It's a lot easier to sail a boat than try to talk or write about
it. Experience is the best teacher and all must recognize that there
is but one power - the wind.
First you must be aware of the "telltale," the angle of apparent
wind, which is the difference between the true wind and the forward
speed of the boat. This is the wind effect you sail with, and it
is by keeping the head of the sail as parallel as possible to the
telltale that you get the maximum drive from the sail body. A telltale
can be made from silk ribbon 1/2 x 4" secured to a pin pressed into
the top of the mast. The sail, because it's like an airplane wing,
derives its greatest force on the leeward side.
Subsequent actions and reactions of the sails and hull would
entail a lengthy discussion. However, the problem at hand is finding
the correct position of the mast covering the maximum sailing range
and trimming the sails accordingly or raking the mast. If the sail
plan is too far forward, the yacht will not point up to the wind.
If too far aft, the boat will go into irons. These conditions can
be controlled by moving the entire sail plan forward or aft by the
slots in the mast step. The principal function of the jib, besides
furnishing additional drive, is to guide the flow of air around
the leeward side of the mainsail. It should not under any circumstances,
backwind the mainsail. If it does, either trim the main closer or
slack off the jib, if the point of sailing will permit it. If the
boat comes into the wind, the jib shaking first, trimming the head
sail may correct this condition and keep the boats head off, permitting
her to sail a steady course. If the mainsail shakes first, then
the jib, shift the rig forward. The following figure illustrates
some positions of sailing a boat in relation to the wind.
Visualize the angle that each sail makes with the wind when the
craft is close hauled on the port or starboard tack, reaching and
running. When running or broad reaching, the jib, blanketed by the
mainsail, has little drawing force. Hence, the use of the spinnaker.
Tacking is simply sailing a zigzag course, due to the fact that
you cannot sail directly into the wind, by making headway, first
on the starboard tack, coming about, then making headway on the
port tack. Spinnaker is hooked up as shown in Fig. 18.
Get to know your boat, the adjustments required and how much
control is to be applied to make her go where you want her to. Above
all, keep the gear moving freely and batteries charged. Happy sailing!
Part Nos. are from A. J. Fisher, Inc. catalog. (1002 Etowah Ave.,
Royal Oak, Mich. 48067)
Critter R/C Sailboat
<click for larger image>
For your convenience, an abbreviated Glossary of Nautical Construction
Terminology begins below .
Glossary of Nautical Construction Terminology
This is not a complete nautical glossary, but rather a list of
terms, words and expressions needed to understand and follow instructions
for the construction of "Critter."
Abeam - At right angles to the line of the keel.
Aft (Abaft) (After) - At or toward the stern.
Amidship - The center of a ship either midway from bow to stern
or in-board (thwartships) from her sides.
Apparent Wind - The difference between the true wind and the
forward speed of the boat.
Astern - A relative term meaning behind. Backbone - The lowest
permanent part of a vessel (see Keel).
Backstays - Ropes or wires from the masthead slanting aft and
out to the hull to help support the mast. (stays requiring adjustment
with each change of tack are known as running backstays: while ones
leading directly to the stern are known as permanent backstays).
Ballast - Dead weight carried low inside a boat to increase its
stability by lowering the center of gravity. Lead and iron keels
are termed outside ballast.
Battens - Thin wooden or plastic strips, fitted into a batten
pocket, used to keep the trailing edge of the sail stiff.
Beam - The greatest breadth, or width, of a vessel; also a structural
member on which the deck is laid.
Beat - A course by which the boat sails to windward. Beating
is sailing to windward by a zig-zag course. The term beating to
leeward is used when a boat sails down the wind in a series of zig-zags
known as jibes (see Jibe).
Bearding Line - The after side of the rabbet formed by the meeting
of the inner faces of the planks and the side face of the backbone
Bend - To fasten in place. To "bend a sail" is to make it fast
to a spar.
Bermuda Rig - A fore and aft rig with a triangular sail and a
mast with an extreme rake.
Bilge - The turn of the hull below the water line; also that
part inside the hull where water collects above or near the keel.
Block - A pulley with one or more rollers (sheaves).
Boom - A spar at the foot of a sail; also a pole used to hold
Bow - The forward part of a vessel.
Bowline Knot - A knot forming a nonslip noose.
Bowser - A device used for adjusting the ropes on a model yacht.
Bowsprit - A boom or spar which projects over the stem of a vessel
to carry sail forward.
Bread and Butter - A system of lift construction (see Lift).
Buoyancy - The ability of a vessel to float.
Buttock Lines - Outlines of a number of equally spaced longitudinal
sections taken through the hull vertically and parallel to the centerline
of the hull.
Camber - The upward curve of a deck. Center of Effort (C.E .)
- The point on the sail plan through which the force of the wind
acts. (Normally considered to be the C.G. of the sail plan.)
Center of Gravity (C.G .) - The point about which all parts of
a vessel balance each other.
Center of Lateral Resistance (C.L.R.) - The point at which the
boat, when afloat and pushed sideways, will move evenly sideways.
It is the C.G. of the underwater profile of the boat.
Chainplates - (Shroud and or stay plates) - Plates used to fasten
the lower ends of the shrouds.
Cleat - A "horned" fitting around which ropes are made secure.
Clew - The lower aft corner of any sail.
Club - A short spar at the foot of a sail, especially a jib.
Close Hauled - Sailing as close to the wind as possible with
sails trimmed for beating to windward.
Deck - The floor of a vessel.
Deck Beams - Beams across the width of the boat supporting the
Diagonal - Sloping straight lines across the sections in the
body plan, meeting and crossing in the centerline of the plan. They
indicate the shape in an inclined plane and are valuable in shaping
Downhaul - A rope or tackle by which a sail is pulled downward.
Draft - The depth of water needed to float a boat.
Ease - To relieve pressure on a sailor helm (steering system).
Eyelets - Ringlets in sails to receive lacings.
Fairing - To develop curves around which a plank or batten
can be bent without breaking or having humps and waves.
Fairlead - An eye or fitting which changes the direction of a
rope led through it.
Fin - A thin projection from the under-body for the purpose of
steadying and stability.
Fly - A masthead pennant to assist in determining the apparent
wind direction as related to the mast. (Also known as the telltale.)
Foot - Lower edge of a sail.
Frames - Ribs to which planks are attached.
Freeboard - Vertical distance from the water line to deck.
Garboard (strake) - Plank nearest to keel.
Gooseneck- A hinge or fitting, normally a universal joint, attaching
the boom to the mast.
Gunwale - A timber around the upper, top side, of a boat.
Guy - A rope or wire used to steady or support.
Half-Body Plan - A view showing the transverse or cross sections
of one half (forebody and afterbody from the midships section) the
hull taken at selected points or stations.
Half-Breadth Plan - A view or elevation showing one half the
hull as seen from above.
Halyard - A rope or wire used to hoist sails.
Head - Upper corner of a sail.
Headboard - A wooden, metal or plastic fitting at the head of
Head To Wind - With bow headed into wind and sails shaking.
Headway - Forward motion of a boat.
Heel - The tilt, tip or laying over of a boat, usually due to
Helm - Tiller or wheel used to steer a boat.
Hull - The main body of a boat exclusive of masts, spars, sails
In Stays or In Irons - When head to wind while tacking. When
a vessel re-mains "in stays" unduly long with no forward motion
she is "in irons."
Jackline - The line fitted under the boom to receive the bowsers
that adjust the sheets.
Jackstay - A wire running along the spar to which the sail is
hooked in lieu of lacing it around the spar.
Jib - A triangular sail set forward of the foremast.
Jib Club (swivel) - A fitting used on the fore end of a jib boom.
Jibe (Gybe) - To change tacks by turning away from the wind with
the boom shifting from one side to the other.
Jib-Head & Jib-Headed - A tall rig with triangular mainsail.
Often called a Marconi or Bermuda rig.
Jib Rack - A fitting mounted on the bow of the vessel to receive
the jib club & swivel.
Jib Stay - The forward stay on which the jib is hoisted.
Jenny (Jumper) Stay - A single or forked strut placed aloft on
the forward side of a mast for added support.
Keel - The lowest permanent and main member (backbone) of the
hull running fore and aft to which are fastened the stem, stern
post and frames. In keel boats it extends below the rest of the
hull. I n centerboard boats, it is the central timber through which
the board is lowered.
Kicking Strap - Fittings, cable or line attached to the mast
and boom which keeps the leach taut during a jibe in addition to
holding the boom down when it swings.
King Plank - Center plank of the .deck.
Knot - Tying or sewing of a rope. Also a measure of speed. One
knot = one nautical mph.
Leach (Leech) - The aft edge of any sail.
Lee or Leeward - The side away from the wind, hence lee side
and to leeward. Leeward helm, an unbalanced condition which turns
the bow of the boat away from the wind.
Lift - Horizontal sections through the hull which give the shape
of the water lines.
Lines-A general term for light ropes and for any running rigging.
Load Water Line - The plane of floatation of the hull at its
Luff - The forward edge of a fore and aft sail. Also the shaking
of a sail when a boat points too high for her trim (much like stalling
as in an airplane wing).
Mainmast - The principal mast of a vessel.
Mainboom - Boom at the foot of the mainsail.
Mainsail - The triangular, fore and aft sail set on the aft side
of a mainmast.
Mast - A vertical spar supporting sails and rigging.
Mast Step - A slotted "T" fitting permitting fore and aft positioning
of the mast.
Off The Wind - Sailing on any course except to windward.
On The Wind - Close hauled.
Outboard - Beyond the boat's side or hull.
Outhaul - A line used to secure the clew of a sail.
Pay Off, Pay Out - A boat pays off when her bow turns away from
the wind. Payout is to slacken.
Pennant - A small narrow flag.
Pinch - To sail a boat so close to the wind that her sails shake
or her progress slows.
Point, Pointing - To head high, close to the wind.
Port - The left side of a boat when facing forward'.
Port Tack - When the wind blows over the port side.
Profile or Sheer Plan - A view of the hull broadside on.
Quarter - The part of the boats side aft of abeam and forward
of the stem.
Rabbet - A notch in the backbone into which the plank is fitted.
Rake - The inclination of a mast from the vertical.
Reach, Reaching - All sailing courses between close hauled and
running. Close reach, sailing nearly close hauled sheets just eased.
Beam reaching, sailing with the wind abeam. Broad reach, sailing
with the wind abaft the beam and with the sails well out on the
Rib - See Frame.
Rig - The distinctive shape, number and arrangement of sails
Rigging - The wires and ropes of a boat. Running rigging sets
or trims sails. Standard rigging is permanently secured rigging.
Roach - The outward curve of the leach of a sail.
Running - To sail almost directly before the wind.
Secure - To make fast.
Sheave - The wheel in a block.
Sheer - The curve of the deck between bow and stem (sheer line).
Sheet - Rope controlling the trim of a sail.
Shrouds - Wires or ropes supporting mast. (Usually on each side
Skeg - An extension or protrusion of the keel aft, usually to
Spar- General "term for masts and booms to support sails
Spinnaker - A light, balloon or parachute shaped sail used when
running and reaching. It is held out from the mast by a spinnaker
pole or boom.
Starboard - The right side of a boat when facing forward.
Starboard Tack - When the wind blows over the starboard side.
Stays - Ropes or wires supporting masts.
Stayplate - Deck fitting to which stays are secured.
Stem - The foremost timber at the bow of a boat.
Stealer plank - A short plank used to fill in a gap due to errors
in spacing strakes.
Spiling - A method used to determine the shape of planks.
Stern - The aft end of a boat.
Strake - Any plank on the side or bottom of a hull.
Stuffing Box - A tube (watertight) through which the rudder post
is passed (also for propellers).
Tack - The forward lower corner of a fore and aft or triangular
Tacking - Sailing to windward in zig-zags.
Tang - A wire or rope used to steady a spar or boom.
Telltale - See Fly.
Tiller - A bar or rod fitted to the top of the rudder or rudder
post used to steer boats.
Transom - The stern of a vessel. (Inner transom is the stern
frame and the outer transom is the solid stern end of a vessel.)
Traveller- Metal rod on which sheet blocks slide athwartships
for trimming purpose.
Trim - To set sails correctly in relation to the wind. The fore
and aft balance of a boat.
Tumblehome - The inward curve of the upper sides of a hull.
Tuning - The adjustment of a boat's rigging, sails and hull to
the proper balance to obtain optimum sailing performance.
Turnbuckle - A threaded link which pulls two eyes together for
setting, up standard rigging.
Wake - Foamy disturbed water astern of a moving boat.
Water Line - A longitudinal line, parallel, in profile, to the
load water line which shows the shape of the hull in the half-breadth
Windward - Toward the wind, hence the weather side of a boat
and to windward. Windward (weather) helm is one which tends to turn
the boat's bow toward the wind.
Yacht - Any pleasure craft.
Yaw - The side to side swinging of a boat.
Posted May 15, 2014