Monday, January 21, 2008


Wooden boats have FRAMES (called RIBS) they are set into the keel at a right angle, and covered with planking. Each line of planking along the hull from bow to stern is called a STRAKE. The lowest strake, next to the keel, is the GARBOARD STRAKE. The GUNWALE is the upper part of the SHEER STRAKE.
When the topsides are above the level of the deck, they are called BULWARKS, and at the top of the bulwarks is the RAIL. There are TOE RAILS, narrow strips placed on top of the gunwale to finish it off and provide safety for per­sonnel on deck.

A heavier strake in the topsides extending beyond the exposed face of the planking is termed a RUBBING STRAKE and is intended to protect the topsides from the rough­ness of piles, piers. A strip of wood for the same purpose added externally to the planking is generally called a RUB RAIL.

A BREAST HOOK is a triangular reinforcing member, usu­ally of wood, placed horizontally behind the stem of a boat to strengthen the bow. When another timber is fastened along the top of the keel to strengthen, it is called a KEELSON. On some boats an extra piece is fastened externally to the bottom of the keel to protect it.

If a deck is arched to aid in draining off water, it is CAMBERED. Camber occurs on the tops of cabins, deckhouses. The deck over the forward part of a vessel, or the forward part of the total deck area, is termed a FOREDECK. The AFTERDECK is located in the after part of the vessel. The deck of a cockpit or in­terior cabin is called the SOLE.

LIMBER HOLES are passages cut into the lower edges of floors and frames next to the keel to allow bilge water to flow to the lowest point of the hull, where it can be pumped out. These limber holes must be kept clean so that drain­age can occur, on some vessels a LIMBER CHAIN is run through these holes so that it can be pulled back and forth to clean them out.

SEA COCKS are valves installed just inside THROUGH-HULL FITTINGS where water is taken in for engine cooling, oper­ation of heads, etc. they are important safety devices.
The BOOT TOP is the portion of the exterior hull at the waterline. It is usually finished with special paint called BOOT­TOPPING.

Areas that are varnished are called BRIGHTWORK. Polishing brass maybe called the same.

LIFELINES are used on larger vessel's at the edges of the side decks to prevent people from falling overboard. These lines are of wire rope, with plastic-covered, supported above the deck on STANCHIONS. If they are made of solid material wood or metal they are called LIFERAILS.

A PULPIT is an extension, usually a heavy plank with rails extending from the stem, beyond the bow. Bow rails on sailboats are called pulpits, they extend forward of the stem.