1. Above board
On or above the deck, in plain view, not hiding anything.
2. Above-water hull
The hull section of a vessel above the waterline, the visible part of a ship. Also, topsides. 3. Act of Pardon or Act of Grace
A letter from a state or power authorising action by a privateer. Also see Letter of marque. 4. Abaft
Toward the stern, relative to some object ("abaft the fore hatch"). 5. Abaft the beam
Further aft than the beam: a relative bearing of greater than 90 degrees from the bow: "two points abaft the port beam". Abandon ship!
An imperative to leave the vessel immediately, usually in the face of some imminent danger. It is an order issued by the Master or a delegated person in command. It is usually the last resort after all other mitigating actions have failed. Abeam
On the beam, a relative bearing at right angles to the centerline of the ship's keel. "Abel Brown"
A sea shanty (song) about a young sailor trying to sleep with a maiden. Aboard
On or in a vessel (see also "close aboard").
Special pennant flown to indicate absence of commanding officer, admiral, his chief of staff, or officer whose flag is flying (division, squadron, or flotilla commander). Absolute bearing
The bearing of an object in relation to north. Either true bearing, using the geographical or true north, or magnetic bearing, using magnetic north. See also "bearing" and "relative bearing". Accommodation ladder
A portable flight of steps down a ship's side.
Accommodation ship (or accommodation hulk)
A ship or hulk used as housing, generally when there is a lack of quarters available ashore. An operational ship can be used, but more commonly a hulk modified for accommodation is used. Admiral
Senior naval officer of Flag rank. In ascending order of seniority, Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, Admiral and Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy). Derivation Arabic, from Amir al-Bahr ("Ruler of the sea"). Admiralty
A high naval authority in charge of a state's Navy or a major territorial component. In the Royal Navy (UK) the Board of Admiralty, executing the office of the Lord High Admiral, promulgates Naval law in the form of Queen's (or King's) Regulations and Admiralty Instructions. Admiralty law
Body of law that deals with maritime cases. In the UK administered by the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice or supreme court. Adrift
Afloat and unattached in any way to the shore or seabed, but not under way. It implies that a vessel is not under control and therefore goes where the wind and current take her (loose from moorings, or out of place). Also refers to any gear not fastened down or put away properly. It can also be used to mean "absent without leave". Advance note
A note for one month's wages issued to sailors on their signing a ship's articles. Adviso
1. In, on, or toward the front of a vessel.
2. In front of a vessel.
1. The portion of the vessel behind the middle area of the vessel. 2. Towards the stern (of the vessel).
Of a vessel which is floating freely (not aground or sunk). More generally of vessels in service ("the company has 10 ships afloat"). Afternoon watch
The 1200–1600 watch.
Resting on or touching the ground or bottom (usually involuntarily). Ahead
Forward of the bow.
A cry to draw attention. Term used to hail a boat or a ship, as "Boat ahoy!" Ahull
1. lying broadside to the sea.
2. to ride out a storm with no sails and helm held to leeward. Aid to Navigation
(ATON) Any device external to a vessel or aircraft specifically intended to assist navigators in determining their position or safe course, or to warn them of dangers or obstructions to navigation. Aircraft carrier
A warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Since 1918, the term generally has been limited to a...
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