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Tabernacle
A hinged support for the bottom of a mast so that the mast can be lowered easily when passing under bridges.
  
Tachometer
A gauge that measures engine revolutions per minute.
  
Tack
(1) The lower forward corner of a triangular sail (2) The direction that a boat is sailing with respect to the wind. See also port tack and starboard tack. (3) To change a boat's direction, bringing the bow through the eye of the wind.
  
Tacking
(1) To change a boat's direction, bringing the bow through the eye of the wind. (2) To tack repeatedly, as when trying to sail to a point up wind of the boat.
  
Tackle
Lines used with blocks in order move heavy objects.
  
Taffrail
A rail around the stern of a boat.
  
Tail
(1) The end of a line. (2) A line attached to the end of a wire to make it easier to use. (3) To gather the unused end of a line neatly so that it does not become tangled.
  
Take in
(1) To remove a sail. (2) To add a reef to a sail.
  
Tall Buoy
Also called a Dan buoy. A float with a flag at the top of a pole. Used to mark a position such as for a race or a man overboard.
  
Tang
A metal fitting on the mast that the spreaders are attached to.
  
Telltale
A small line free to flow in the direction of the breeze. It is attached to sails, stays in the slot, and in other areas, enabling the helmsman and crew to see how the wind is flowing. Proper use of the telltales can help sailors improve their sail trim.
  
Tender
(1) A small boat used to ferry people and supplies between a larger boat and the shore. See dinghy. (2) Used to describe a boat that heels easily.
  
Tenon
The bottom of the mast, with a shape designed to fit into the mast step.
  
Thimble
A metal fitting used to strengthen an eye splice (loop) made in a rope or wire.
  
Throat
The forward upper corner of a four cornered sail known as a gaff rigged sail.
  
Through Hull
Fittings attached through the hull to which a sea cock and hose, a transducer, or other device is attached. Through hulls are used to expel waste water, such as from a sink, to let sea water in, such as for engine cooling, and to allow placement of sensors such as depth gauges. A sea cock is attached directly to the through hull before any hoses are attached so that the flow of water can be easily shut off if the hose fails. Plugs should be available to force into a through hole in case the through hole fails. Transducers should be equipped with caps to place over the hole should the transducer itself need to be removed.
  
Thwart
A seat running across the width a small boat.
  
Thwartships
Also athwartships. Across the width of a boat.
  
Tidal Atlas
Small charts showing tidal stream directions and rate of flow.
  
Tidal Current
Also called tidal stream. The flowing of water caused by the rising and lowering tidal waters.
  
Tidal Range
The difference of a tide's high and low water levels.
  
Tidal Stream
The flow of water caused by rising and lowering tides.
  
Tide
The predictable, regular rising and lowering of water in some areas due to the pull of the sun and the moon. Tidal changes can happen approximately every 6 or 12 hours depending on the region. To find out the time and water levels of different tides, you can use tide tables for your area. The period of high water level is known as high tide and the period of low water level is known as low tide. In the Bay of Fundy, the tidal range exceeds 40 feet (13 meters.)
  
Tide Tables
Tables containing information about the time of the high and low tides and the water level to be expected at that time.
  
Tiller
An arm attached to the top of the rudder to steer a small boat. If the helmsman wants to steer to starboard he pushes the tiller to port. Larger boats usually use a wheel instead of a tiller.
  
Tiller Extension
Also hiking stick. An extension to the tiller allowing the helmsman to steer while hiking. Commonly found on racing boats, they can help improve visibility or stability.
  
Time Zone
Regions of about 15 of longitude around the world where time is measured on a local scale. Each time zone keeps time slightly differently so that at 12:00 noon the sun will be high in the sky. For example at noon in England it is midnight in New Zealand. If New Zealanders kept their clocks set to the English time zone, it would be very dark at noon!
  
Toe Rail
A small rail around the deck of a boat. The toe rail may have holes in it to attach lines or blocks. A larger wall is known as a gunwale.
  
Tonnage
The weight or displacement of a ship.
  
Top Heavy
A boat that has too much weight up high. This can adversely affect the boat's stability.
  
Top Mast
A mast on top of another mast.
  
Topmark
A mark on the top of a navigational buoy or daybeacon.
  
Topping Lift
A line running from the end of the boom to the top of the mast used to keep the boom from falling when the sail is not set.
  
Topsail
A triangular sail set above the gaff on a gaff rigged boat.
  
Topsides
The sides of the hull above the waterline and below the deck.
  
Tow
To pull a boat with another boat, such as a tugboat towing a barge.
  
Towing Light
Running lights that should be used by boats when towing to indicate that a tow is in progress.
  
Track
(1) The path that a vessel is taking. (2) A guide in the mast or other spar that accepts lugs to attach a sail. (3) A rail to which a sliding car is attached for easy adjustment of the position of blocks and lines.
  
Trade Wind
Winds in certain areas known for their consistent strength and direction. Trade winds are named because of their reliability, allowing for planned voyages along the routes favored by those winds.
  
Trailing Edge
The aft edge of a sail, more commonly called the leech.
  
Transducer
An electronic device that uses sound waves to collect information such as water depth and vessel speed, usually attached to a through hull. The transducer then converts that information to electrical signals that can be used by electronic displays in the cockpit.
  
Transit
Also called a range. Two navigational aids separated in distance so that they can be aligned to determine that a boat lies on a certain line. Transits can be used to determine a boat's position or guide it through a channel.
  
Transom
The aft side of the hull.
  
Trapeze
A belt and line used to help a crew hike out beyond the edge of a boat to counteract the boat's heel. Usually used on small vessels for racing.
  
Traveler
A track or rod with an attached block, allowing more controlled adjustment of a sail's sheet. The traveler allows better control of the sail's shape.
  
Triatic Stay
A stay leading from one mast, such as the main mast to another, such as the mizzen mast.
  
Tricolor Light
A running light allowed on some sailboats instead of the normal bow and stern lights. The tricolor light contains the red and green side lights and the white stern light in a single fitting that is attached to the top of the mast.
  
Trim
(1) To haul in on a sheet to adjust the sail trim. (2) Sail trim. (3) A properly balanced boat that floats evenly on its waterline. Improperly trimmed boats may list or lie with their bow or stern too low in the water.
  
Trim Tab
An adjustable section of the rudder that allows the rudder to be corrected for lee helm or weather helm.
  
Trimaran
A boat with a center hull and two smaller outer hulls called amas. Also see catamaran and monohull.
  
Trip Line
A line attached to the end of an anchor to help free it from the ground.
  
Tropic of Cancer
A line 23 degrees, 27 minutes north of the equator. On June 21 the sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer, at all other times the sun is further south.
  
Tropic of Capricorn
A line 23 degrees, 27 minutes south of the equator. On December 22 the sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn. At all other times the sun is further north.
  
Tropics
The region around the equator between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The tropics are known for their warm weather.
  
Trough
The bottom of a wave, the valley between the crests.
  
Truck
A cap for the top of the mast.
  
True Course
The course of a boat after being corrected for magnetic deviation and magnetic variation.
  
True North
Geographic north. Toward the North Pole.
  
True Wind
The speed and direction of the wind. The motion of a boat will cause the wind to appear to be coming at a different direction and speed, which is known as apparent wind
  
Trunk
The place that the centerboard or daggerboard retracts into.
  
Trunnion Hoop
A hinged fitting at the top of a mast to hold another mast above it.
  
Trysail
Also called storm trysail. A very strong sail used in stormy weather. It is loose footed, being attached to the mast, but not the boom. This helps prevent boarding waves from damaging the sail or the rigging.
  
Tugboat
A small powerful boat used to help move barges and ships in confined areas.
  
Tune
To adjust the standing rigging or other equipment to make a boat perform better.
  
Turn Turtle
For a boat to turn completely over such that its mast is pointing down instead of up.
  
Turnbuckle
A metal fitting that is turned to tighten or loosen the tension on standing rigging.
  
Turning Circle
The distance required for a boat to turn in a complete circle.
  
Turtle
A bag in which a spinnaker or other large sail can be stowed with the lines attached so that it can be rapidly raised.
  
Twine
Small line used for whipping other light duties.
  
Two Half Hitches
A knot with two half hitches (loops) on the standing part of the line.
  
Typhoon
A strong tropical revolving storm of force 12 or higher in the southern hemisphere. Typhoons revolve in a counterclockwise direction. In the northern hemisphere these storms revolve clockwise and are known as hurricanes.
  
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