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3966 Secluded Circle, S.W.
Lilburn, Georgia 30047-2233


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Ever Hear This?

"Absolutely nothing beats just messing around on boats!"

"A bad day on the water beats a good day in the office!"

Need a better understanding of all the new terms?

Halyard  - Line For Hoisting Sails.
The sails used to be referred to as the "Yards" as in yards of canvas. The line you "Hauled" the "Yards" up with became known as the "Haul Yard", or Halyard. 

 Head  - Ship's Toilet
In the days of old square riggers that could only sail down wind, the toilet was merely a hole cut in a plank hung out overboard on the downwind most end of the boat, the bow, often called the "head" of the boat. That way any odors were blow ahead of the ship. Thus the toilet became known as the head because of it's historical location on the ship. 

 Port  - Left Side.
To protect their steering boards from damage, ships would park along the dock with the opposite side of the vessel. That was the side you stepped off the boat from when you were at port, thus became known as the "Port" side of the vessel.

Starboard  - Right Side.
Prior to the advent of the stern rudder, vessels had their steering oars or steering board mounted on the right side of the vessel.  Thus the term "Steerboard" or Starboard side.

Tonnage  - Weight/Capacity.
When is a ton not a ton?  When it involves a boat. There are 3 types of "Tonnage".

1) A Short ton is 2000 lbs.
2) A Metric ton is 2200 lbs.
3) A Long ton is 2240 lbs.

Displacement is the amount of water a vessel, well displaces. This is equal to the weight of the vessel and is measured in Long tons, or in the case of a recreational vessel converted into pounds based on a long ton. 

Deadweight tonnage used for commercial vessels is the cargo-carrying capacity of the vessel, in Long tons.  This is a measure of the vessels full load displacement minus its lightship displacement. 

Gross tonnage is also a measure of a vessel's capacity but has absolutely nothing to do with weight.  One gross ton equals 100 cubic feet and is explained in chapter 46 sub-part 69 of the Code of Federal Regulations, though not in very simple terms.  Gross tonnage is a measure of the interior volume of a vessel.  This is the tonnage found on your certificate of documentation.  To add to the confusion, an ultra-light racing sailboat could have the same gross tonnage as a heavy cruiser of equal size, while their difference in displacement could be measured in tons (weight). A non-documented vessel may not have a tonnage rating.  The law allows for this, and an estimation formula can be found in chapter 46 sub-part 69.209. 

For sailboat gross tonnage use the following calculation.  

                                                Gross Tons = (Length x Depth x Beam / 100) x .5

          A 42' sailboat that is 8' deep (Don't count the draft of the keel, but usable space below),
          with a 14' beam would be 23.5 gross tons.  ((42*8*14)/100)*.5

          If must use depth that includes the keel, use .75 as the multiplier vs .5.

A multi hull sailboat would use the sum of all the hulls

A vessel not designed for sailing would use the following calculation.

                                                Gross Tons = (Length x Depth x Beam / 100) x .67

Net Tonnage, to further confuse the issue,  is the theoretical earning capacity of a vessel. Net tonnage equals gross tonnage minus non income potential volume area, such as crew quarters, engine spaces, fuel spaces and the bridge, measured in 100 cubic-foot units. Sorry you asked, right?

The New Alphabet?  - Give the Phonetic Alphabet a try!
Letter Pronunciation Letter Pronunciation
A Alpha (AL fah) N November (no VEM ber)
B Bravo (BRAH VOH) O Oscar (OSS cah)
C Charlie (CHAR lee) P Papa (pah PAH)
D Delta (DELL tah) Q Quebec (keh BECK)
E Echo (ECK oh) R Romeo (ROW me oh)
F Foxtrot (FOKS trot) S Sierra (see AIR rah)
G Golf (GOLF) T Tango (TANG go)
H Hotel (hoh TELL) U Uniform (YOU nee form)
I India (IN dee ah) V Victor (VIK tah)
J Juliett (JEW lee ETT) W Whiskey (WISS key)
K Kilo (KEY loh) X X Ray (ECKS RAY)
L Lima (LEE mah) Y Yankee (YANG key)
M Mike (MIKE) Z Zulu (ZOO loo)

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