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HomeMaritime TerminologyCommon Maritime Terminology Used In Ships (E-K)

Common Maritime Terminology Used In Ships (E-K)

  • EPIRB: The term EPIRB stands for Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon which sends radio signals once activated to alert and inform of the ships or boat position to satellite, airplanes and nearby ships. It is much like an emergency location beacon which will inform others ( search party ) of your actual position.
  • Enclosed Space: A confined space on a ship of any kind where there is not appropriate natural ventilation. On ships, it is considered dangerous to go alone in such confined spaces; and thus special permits are required to go and do work inside these spaces.
  • Enclosed waters: Any navigation waterways too close or surrounded by lands at sides are called enclosed waters. For example, areas near ports and all navigating water lines such as channels and canals are considered enclosed waters.
  • Ensign: The flag of the concerning flag state that represents the nationality of the vessel; is known as the ensign of that boat or ship.
  • Engine room: An engine room is the powerhouse of the ship located in the lowest most deck on the aft of the ship. It contains important machinery such as the main engine, auxiliary engine ( Alternator ), shafting, boiler, fresh water generator, air compressor, calorifier, purifier, incinerator, pumps, heat exchangers, workshop machinery, etc.
  • Forward: Meaning upfront or towards the bow.
  • Freeboard: It is referred to as the part of the ship’s hull exposed to air. In simple terms, it is the distance from the waterline to the main deck ( for ships ) or gunwale ( for boats ).
  • Flybridge: In some boats, the steering compartment is built atop a cabin with additional features like; large space and entertainment facilities. Such up top steering station is called flying bridge or flybridge.
  • Foredeck: It is the forwardmost deck located near the bow in a ship; withholding critical instruments such as windlass and anchor with anchor chain.
  • Fastened/Fast: It is a marine terminology used to describe to tie securely or tied or to tie.
  • Fender: It is an essential instrument filled with air/foam that protects your boat or ships hull from damage by acting as a bumper. When two boats or ships approach each other it is used to absorb the residual forces; which could have otherwise damaged the vessel or docking platform.
  • Flare: An emergency equipment used to signal other ships or nearby planes for rescue or help.
  • Flank: It is the maximum speed of a ship or boat that can ever go under any condition. It is different than full speed which means the maximum speed a vessel will go under normal condition. Generally, flank speed is reserved for emergency situations and are not used otherwise.
  • Fouled: An instrument, machine or device is said to be fouled when it breaks down, jammed or clogged due to dirt.
  • Funnel: The chimney of the ship from where the exhaust or flue gas escape from the ship. It mainly contains exhaust from the boiler, auxiliary and main engine of the ship.
  • Forecastle: The forecastle is a raised deck structure forward to the foremast used to store machinery and stores. In the older days and many naval ships, it’s used as the crew ( Below Officer Level ) quarters.
  • Give-way: It is a marine terminology used to state a situation where a ship or boat has to alter its course or change its speed; to allow a safe distance between the ships. It’s simply about giving a pass or keeping out of her expected path.
  • Galley: A dedicated place on ship or boat where food is prepared or cooked; in simple terms the kitchen of the ship.
  • Gangway: A gangway is a narrow passage ( temporary stairs ) used to embark and disembark of most ships. It can also be stated as an opening in the bulwark used for embarking in some ships or boats.
  • GPS: The term GPS stands for “Global Positioning System”. It is a satellite-based radio navigation system helps us navigate and geolocate across the earth. This helps ships keep away from each other maintaining safe distance and thus avoid collisions.
  • Grounding: It a phenomenon when a ship or boat keel touches the ground or sea bed. This results in an impact force that can damage the ship and many a time lead to flooding; in one or more of the lower compartments.
  • Gunwales: The top edge of a ship’s or boat hull is called gunwale. You can also consider it to be the topmost part of the boat side.
  • Grab-Rails: A boat rolls and pitch as it moves so there are special metal fittings around the boat in common places; that help you safely move around the boat holding them even in most severe weathers. Such metal fittings for safety need are called grab-rails.
  • Hull: The main body of the ship surrounding its outer boundaries on which all major structures are built. It extends below the waterline to protect the internal ship structure from the outside water and the environment. In simple terms, everything that is stored and situated within the main ship structure is covered and protected by the ship’s hull.
  • Head: On boats and yacht the marine toilets are generally termed as the head. It is also sometimes used to refer to the top or forward direction.
  • Hatch: A nautical door or cover that is either water, heat or weatherproof and is used to separate different compartments is called hatch. They are also termed as hatch cover.
  • Helm: The place on a boat where all the steering and engine controls are located in just one place. Another meaning of the term helm is the steering wheel used to steer the ship.
  • Harbor: A harbor is a safe place in the sea near land protected from the effects of weather; used mostly to anchor, berthing, loading and discharging operation. It can be both man-made or natural and is used by both boats and ships.
  • Hawse pipe: It is a shaft or hole in the ship’s hull at its side at the front from which anchor chain passes to the anchor. You can see it on your boat as the hole to which the anchor is finally secured.
  • Headway: The forward motion of a boat is called headway.
  • Helmsman: The person responsible for steering the ship or a large boat is called helmsman. While a captain or chief officer can take the wheel any time; it is the helmsman who had this dedicated duty to hold the wheel and steer.

  • Keel: The bottom-most central part of the ship or boat hull on which entire structure of the ship is built upon.
  • Knot: The term knot is used to represent or denote nautical miles. One nautical mile is equivalent to 1.15 miles or 1.85 miles
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