XVth Century
Sailing Terminology

The first word listed is the correct English term for the part of the ship, or maneuver, etc. The word in the brackets directly after it is the Spanish word for the same thing. Unfortunately, I could not find Spanish words for everything, so if you know of the correct word for something that I don't have, please E-mail Me and let me know what it is.

English Term   Spanish Term   Definition
Aft {atrás} Direction towards the stern.
Anchor   {ancla}   A heavy iron object with flukes, lowered by a line to the bottom of a body of water to prevent a vessel from drifting.
Avast   {N/A}   Yelled as a signal for everyone onboard to stop what they are doing immediately and freeze. Used only if something is wrong.
Backstay   {N/A}   Mast support leading aft to deck or to another mast.
Belay  {N/A}   To make fast or secure a line to a cleat or pin.
Bitt  {N/A}   Any of the strong deck posts (usually in pairs) around which ropes and cables are wound and held fast; Usually used for mooring.
Bitter End  {N/A}   The working end of a line.
Block   {Moton}   To increase the mechanical power of the ropes used in hauling heavy loads. Parts of the Block: Shell, sheave, and pin.
Bobstay  {N/A}   Line from stem to cutwater securing bowsprit.
Bolt Rope   {Relinga}   To which material is sewn going around the edges of the sail to create the Leech.
Bonnet   {Bonetas}   Pieces of sail added to the foot of the main sail on the Santa Maria to create more sail area.
Boomkin   {Botalon de Popa}   Spar projecting from the stern of the ship to run the mizzen sheet.
Bow   {Proa}   Forward part of the ship.
Bowline   {Bolina}   Lines leading fore from the upper sides of the square sail to help widen the sail surface to better catch the wind.
Bowsprit   {Baupras}   Spar extending from the bow to secure headstays and running the bowlines.
Brace   {Braza}   A line passed through a block at the end of a yard, used to swing the yard about from the deck.
Brail   {Brioles}   Lines used to clew up the main sail and to assist in furling.
Breast   {Traves}   Mooring line leading at a right angle to the ship's centerline.
Cap rail   {Tapa de Regala}   The upper edge of the side of a ship or boat.
Capstan   {Cabostrante}   Mechanical device for heavy hoisting or heaving objects like the anchor, dinghy or cargo.
Cleat   {Cuña}   A wooden fitting with projecting ends attached to the deck of a ship for the purpose of securing a rope.
Clew   {Puño}   Lower corner of a sail marked by a loop of leather covered rope.
Clew Garnet   {Palanquin}   Ropes connecting the clews of the sail with the yard used in raising, lowering and furling of the sail
Columbus' Cabin   {Chupeta}   The cabin found on the aft of the Santa Maria.
Counter Lift   {Contra Amantillo}   Lines connecting the main deck with the yard arms to act against the lifts.
Deadeye   {Bigota}   A round flat block of wood with three holes in it for lanyards used in pairs to hold the shrouds and stays taut.
Deck   {Cubierta}   Planked floor of the ship.
Dinghy   {Batel}   The small boat on deck.
Douse   {Dowse}   To lower or slacken suddenly.
Drabbler   {Dos Boneta}   Pieces of sail added to the foot of the bonnet on the Santa Maria to create more sail area.
Earring   {Anillo Oreja}   Upper corners of the sail these are tied to the outer ends of the yard arms.
Ease Away   {Largar}   This means to play out some line but with control.
Eye   {Ojo}   Closed loop of rope.
Fighting Top   {Cofa}   A platform on top of the Santa Maria's main mast used to work on the top mast.
Fo´c´sle     Underneath the forecastle.
Foot of Sail   {Relinga de Pujamen}   Bottom edge of the sail.
Fore Mast   {Palo de Trinquete}   Forward most mast of a square rigger.
Fore Sail   {Trinquete}   Square sail that works on the fore mast.
Forecastle   {Castillo de Proa)  Raised forward deck of the ship.
Forward   {Delantero}   Direction towards the bow.
Furl   {Doblez}   To roll the sail snugly on the yard and secure it.
Gasket   {Randa}   Each of two yards attached to the end of a yard and are wound inward to secure a furled sail to the yard.
Grommet   {Ollao}   Rope ring sewn into the sail.
Half Deck   {Tolda}   Aft deck above the main deck.
Halyard   {Driza}   Line used to raise the yard.
Harness   {Ostas}   Rope loop used to connect the tye to the yard.
Hatch   {Escotilla}   Large rectangular openings in the deck used to connect different levels of the ship.
Haul   {Cobrar}   This command is an order to pull on the line.
Hawsehole   {Escobera}   Openings on the bow and stern of a vessel used for mooring lines and the anchor cablesto feed through.
Head of Sail   {Relinga de Envergues}   Top edge of a square sail.
Keel   {Quilla}   Back bone of the ship running beneath the ship from fore to aft.
Kevel   {Hacer Firme}   A bitt or large cleat used for securing heavy lines.
Lanyard   {Acollador}   Small line fixed on the shrouds that is threaded through the deadeyes to put tension on a shroud or stay.
Lateen  {N/A}   Aft rigged sail secured to a long yard and hoisted obliquely to our mizzen masts.
Lead Line  {N/A}   Line secured to a piece of lead marked at regular intervals to test the waters for depth.
Leech   {Gratil}   Side edges of a square sail and the after edge of a lateen sail.
Leeward   {Leeward}   Away from the source of the wind.
Lift   {Amantillo}   Lines used to control the angle of tilt of a yard.
Line   {Línea}   A rope or cable used on board a ship.
Loose   {Flojo}   To unfurl a sail.
Luff   {Orza}   Come close to the wind or the edge of a lateen sail along the yard.
Main Deck   {N/A}   The principal deck of a ship (usually the highest complete deck.)
Main Mast   {Palo Mayor}   The largest mast located roughly amidship.
Marrying Lines   {Amadrinar}   When lowering a yard the lines of the halyard between the blocks are gripped tightly and twisted to prevent their slipping.
Martnet   {Apaga Penol}   Used to clew up the sail.
Mizzen mast   {Mesana}   Short mast at the stern of the ship for the lateen sail.
Mizzen yard   {Entena}   The angled yard of the Mizzen sail.
Mooring  {N/A}   The act of docking the ship when in port or the lines used for this.
Parrel   {Raca}   String of rolling beads around the mast connected to the middle of a yard.
Port   {Barbor}   Left side of the ship when looking fore from the stern.
Roband   {Envergues}   Lines used to secure the sail to the yards.
Rudder   {Cana}   Large wooden plane attached vertically to the stern of the ship to cause the ship to change course when needed.
Sails   {Navega}   Flexible vertical airfoils using wind pressure and vacuum to propel a sailboat.
Scuppers   {Imbornales}   Slits in the cap rail at deck level so that water can be sloughed off the main deck as it accumulates.
Seam   {Costura}   Space between two planks or the stitching holding two pieces of cloth together.
Sheet   {Escota}   Lines leading aft from the clew of a square sail or to the boomkin from the clew of a lateen sail.
Spritsail  {N/A}   Small square sail hanging under the bowsprit on the Santa Maria.
Stand By  {N/A}   Prepatory order to get ready to perform a task.
Square Sail  {N/A}   A four sided sail.
Starboard   {Estribor}   Right side of the ship when looking fore from the stern.
Stays  {N/A}   Lines used to secure the mast from fore and aft.
Stern  {N/A}   The rear of the ship where the rudder is located.
Sterncastle   {Toldilla}   Partial rear deck raised above the half deck.
Tack   {Virar}   Change ships direction by turning into the wind.
Tack   {Amuras}   Line leading fore from the clew of a square sail or from the inboard end of the mizzen yard so as to fix the mizzen yard's position.
Tiller   {Timon}   Steering handle attached to the rudder.
Top Sail   {Gavia}   Square sail set above the main sail on the top mast.
Topmast   {Mastelero}   Second mast above the main deck of the Santa Maria worked on from the fighting top.
Tye   {Ostaga}   Line connecting the harness of a yard to a halyard.
Wear   {Trasluchar}   Change ships direction by turning away from the wind and looping back around to a new course. (Easiest way to change course)
Windward   {Barlovento}   Towards the source of the wind.
Yard   {Verga}   A slender rod or spar tapering towards the ends fastened at right angles across a mast to support a sail.
Yard Arm   {Penol}   Ends of the yard.

Click on the Piece of Eight to return to the Main Page