1) Competition. The race course is the route required to complete the race. A match race is between two boats (for example in the America's Cup), a team race is between two teams of three or four boats, a fleet race is among several boats. A race committee is a group of officials who run a sailboat race. 2) Tide (tidal) race, see tide.
racer-cruiser, cruiser-racer, dual-purpose boat
A sailboat that is fast and has comfortable accommodations.
racing machine, racer, stripped-out racer
A sailboat or powerboat with very few comfort features that is designed and used primarily for racing.
The Racing Rules of Sailing, written and imposed by the International Sailing Federation. They govern the conduct of racing sailboats. Beginning in 1997 these rules comprise the simplified racing rules, which are less complex than the old rules. Infractions of the racing rules are fouls. The rules are enforced by the race participants and by officials serving as the regatta's judges or members of the jury or protest committee. See protest.
A device that sends a signal when it senses a vessel's radar. Often installed on buoys and other aids to navigation to make them more visible.
An electronic device that detects objects at a distance and shows their location and bearing on a monitor (radar scope). Radar arch, see arch. A radar reflector is hoisted in the rigging to make a vessel visible on another vessel's radar. See racon.
radial cut, radial clew, radial head
Describe a sail whose seams extend fingerlike from the corners toward the middle to control stretch. Compare with crosscut.
radio direction, finder, RDF
An electronic navigation device that takes bearings on radio signals.
A radio transmitter and receiver linking a boat with other boats and the shore. The common types are very high frequency radio (VHF-FM), whose range usually is less than about 60 miles, and single-sideband radio (SSB), which has a much greater range.
To tie boats side by side when one or more of them are at anchor.
The outer edge of the deck where it meets the gunwale (pronounced "gunnel") at the top of the topside. The rail sometimes is raised to stop waves and provide a toerail.
1) To hoist. 2) To sight an object.
A flush deck.
The angle of the mast, bow, or transom. If vertical it has no rake. Otherwise it is raked aft or raked forward.
Launching ramp. See launch.
1) In navigation, a pair of objects that when lined up one behind the other indicate the channel. 2) Distance to an object. The range and bearing to a waypoint or other point is its distance and the course of it. A rangefinder is an instrument used to determine distance to an object. See stability, tide, visibility.
rating rule, rating system
A method for handicapping a sailboat race so boats of different sizes and designs may compete. A boat's potential speed is predicted by entering her measurements into a formula to produce a number (the rating). The rating is then applied to the length and type of course to produce time allowances. One rating rule is the International Measurement System (IMS). See first. Compare with handicap.
Radio direction finder.
1) The point of sail on which a boat sails across the wind. On a beam reach the wind is dead abeam, 90 degrees from the course. On a close reach the wind is between about 60 and 90 degrees (also called sailing shy). On a broad reach the wind is on the quarter, between 90 and abou 170 degrees. A reacher is special spinnaker or jib used when reaching. A reaching strut is a shor tspar that holds the spinnaker after-guy away from the shrouds on a beam or close reach. "Jockey pole" in Britain. 2) A narrow body of water between an island and the mainland.
A verbal warning to prepare for a tack when sailing. It is followed by "hard alee"("lee-oh"). Compare with "stand by".
The course opposite to the current course, or 180 degrees in the other direction. See Williamson turn.
1) A barely submerged line of rocks or land. 2) To make a sail smaller. In roller reefing, the sail is either rolled around a wire at its luff or lowered, a few feet and rolled around the boom. In jiffy, slab, or tied-in reefing, the sail is lowered a few feet, a strain is taken on the bottom of the sail with reefing lines (earings) passed through reef cringles in the sail, and the halyard is tightened. The excess sail material may be secured to the foot with light lines (reef points). A flattening reef is a very small reef taken to flatten the bottom part of the sail. To shake out a reef is to take it out. A reef knot is a square knot.
To lead or pass a line through a block or eye. A line that has been led is rove.
Something that makes an object more visible by reflecting radar signals or light. Reflective tape, which reflects light, is placed on buoys, PFDs, foul-weather gear, and other objects. A radar reflector reflects radar signals. Compare with racon.
A scheduled race or series of races.
Replacement, replace. Relieving tackle, see tackle.
A line's movement as it is eased through a block.
A gathering of boats away from their hailing ports.
Opposite to the usual. A reverse transom slopes forward toward the deck. Reverse sheer is humped rather than hollow.
The straight course between two points. See great circle route.
A boat's situation in the water. To ride at anchor is to be anchored and move around as the wind shifts. In a hard ride the boat pounds and slaps the water uncomfortably, in a soft ride she comes down easily. There is considerable spray in a wet ride, but none in a dry ride. To ride easy (easily) is to move comfortably. To ride out a storm is to survive a storm, gale, or heavy weather by using a storm tactic. See storm.
See anchor, hook.
See steadying sails.
To rig is to prepare the boat or her component for use. To unrig is to take the boat or its components apart. To jury rig is to make a quick, expedient repair in an emergency.
The rig consists of the spars, fishing gear, trailer, etc. and their attached equipment. The usual sailboat rigs are:
The old square rig (set by square-riggers) had most sails set athwartships on yards.
Most sailboats today use the fore-and-aft rig, with most sails set lengthwise on booms. There are variations on the fore-and-aft rig:
The Macaroni (Bermudian, jib-headed) rig is the modern sailing fore-and-aft rig, with a three-sided mainsail defined by the mast and boom. (Reportedly first used in Bermuda, it seemed so tall when it first appeared on large boats in the 1920s that people compared it to the towering radio transmitters built by Guglielmo Marconi).
The gaff rig is low and has four sides defined by the mast, boom, and gaff. The mainsail's luff is attached to the mast using mast hoops, wooden rings around the mast that slide up and down as the throat halyard is raised and lowered.
The lateen rig, used on the popular Sunfish class of sailboats, has a boom projecting forward of the stubby mast where it connects with a sprit that extends aloft at a sharp angle to support the sail's head.
There are three single-masted rigs: the sloop rig, with the mast less than one-third of the overall length abaft the headstay; the cutter, whose mast is more than one-third of the boat's overall length abaft the headstay; and the cat rig, which does not have a jib.
The multimasted rig (divided rig, split rig) has two or more masts in three combinations:
The yawl, a two-masted sailboat whose after mast (the mizzenmast) is smaller than the forward mast (mainmast) and located abaft the rudder post.
The ketch, a two-masted sailboat whose mizzenmast is smaller than the mainmast and located forward of the rudder post.
The cat ketch or cat yawl carries two cat-rigged masts, with no jibs.
The schooner, in which the most forward mast (the foremast) is shorter than the after masts.
Sailboat rigs are also known by where the headstay attaches to the mast and by how many stays it has forward of the mainmast:
The masthead rig--the jib halyard is at the masthead.
The fractional rig--the headstay intersects the mast partway down from the masthead.
The double-headsail (double-head, cutter) rig has two stays, the headstay and the forestay (running aloft inside the headstay). Of the two jibs, the one on the headstay is the jib, the one on the forestay the forestaysail (staysail).
See overrigged, stay, tall ship, underigged, wishbone boom.
The masts, booms, tuna towers, and the wires that support the rig are the standing rigging. The ropes, blocks, and other movable gear that adjust sails and equipment set on the standing rigging make up the running rigging.
A knife with a long blade, a marlinespike, and (often) a slot used to unscrew the clevis pins that are in screw shackles.
British term for turnbuckle.
Fitting that connects the end of a stay or other wire to a turnbuckle or other fitting. See swage.
To bring a boat upright after a capsize. A self-righting boat can be righted without outside assistance. The righting arm is the force that provides a boat's stability and resists capsize. It is characterized as an arm (as in "lever arm") because it works like a lever whose fulcrum is the center of buoyancy (the locus of all flotation). The end of this "lever" is the boat's center of gravity (the locus of all weights holding her down). The farther the center of gravity is from the center of buoyancy in the direction away from the boat's rail, the longer is the arm and the more stable is the boat.
right of way
The right granted to a vessel by the Navigation Rules (rules of the road) to continue on the present course without giving way to another vessel. That vessel is the right-of-way vessel, (also stand-on vessel).
The convex or concave curve in a sail's leech or foot when seen from the side.
road, roads, roadstead
A partly protected anchorage.
The curve of the bottom of the hull from bow to stern when seen from the side. The deeper the curve, the greater the rocker.
A tube recessed in a powerboat's rail to hold a vertical fishing rod.
Stays made of steel rod, which stretches less than wire rope.
A tactic for slowing and steadying a sailboat, devised by Roderick Stephens, Jr. The jib is doused, the mainsail is pushed out all the way to the leeward shrouds, and the boat is steered on a close reach about 60 degrees off the wind.
To put one rail down, then the other. In a roll tack (roll jibe) a racing sailboat is rolled by her crew in order to increase the apparent wind speed aloft and speed up the boat.
A device that douses a sail by rolling it up around itself, usually on a wire, so the crew need not lower it. A roller furler may also be used to reef a sail by roller reefing.
room to maneuver
See sea room.
A small, steep ridge of water in the wake of a fast-moving boat.
A length of cordage. When cut up for use on a boat it becomes "line". The only rope on a boat is the boltrope. Most rope is braided, or woven in a complex weave; double-braided rope has a core inside a sleeve. In laid rope (stranded rope), three or four large strands are twisted around each other; its lay is the direction in which the strands twist (to right or left).
Describes a boat whose bottom is curved. Compare with flat-bottomed, V-bottomed.
round off, round up
Head off or up sharply.
rowboat, pulling boat
A boat propelled manually by a rower (oarsman) using an oar, a long rod with a paddle or blade at one end. When the oarsman pulls the other end, the oar pivots at the boat's rail in a rowlock (oarlock), and the blade pulls through the water, providing propulsion.
rubbing strake, rubwale
A strip of rubber or wood on a boat's side protecting her rail from objects alongside. Compare with fender.
The underwater fin usually located near or at the stern and controlled by the helm to steer the boat. The rudder blade is the wing-shaped portion under water. Dual (twin) rudders are two rudders used on sailing multihulls or especially beamy monohulls. There is one on each side so that one rudder is completely in the water when the boat heels.
The rudder post is the shaft in the hull that connects the helm (tiller or wheel) to the rudder through the rudder stock, a rod in the forward part of the rudder.
An outboard rudder (transom-mounted rudder) hangs off the stern on gudgeons and pintles. A canting rudder swings sideways as the boat heels so it remains vertical and provides best performance. A popup rudder lifts in shallow water.
An inboard rudder is under the hull; it is suspended from and pivots on the rudder stock, which connects to the rudder post, which is turned by the helm.
Among different types of inboard rudders, an attached rudder is hung on the aft edge of the keel, while a separate rudder is remote from the keel. A separate rudder may be hung on a skeg (a small fin) or it may be a spade rudder, not supported by either a skeg or the keel. If a spade rudder projects forward of the stock it is a balanced rudder.
See sound signal.
rules of the road
See Navigation Rules.
1) The point of sail on which the wind is astern. To run before it (run off, run with it, scud) is a storm tactic that involves sailing slowly on a run in heavy weather. 2) To lead or direct. To run the jibsheet forward is to pull the end of the sheet forward. 3) The boat's bottom under the stern. A flat run is a flat bottom. 4) A boating trip lasting a day or less. 5) To run out your time, a navigation tactic used in fog, is to calculate how long it will take to arrive at a destination, and then sail or power for that period of time.
The basic powerboat. Smaller than about 25 feet, it has a small deck and, usually, an outboard engine.
The vertical angle a powerboat hull makes to the water when under way.
running backstay, runner
The propellers, rudders, and other equipment needed for a powerboat to operate.
See navigation lights.