PDA

View Full Version : Boat Questions



WriteMinded
09-19-2011, 12:58 AM
If someone stands at the stern of a boat, then turns around and rests his back against it. Would you say he rested his back against the wall of the stern? or the ???? I don't know how to refer to it.

Also, if he leans his elbows on it, what is he leaning his elbows on?

Thank you boaters, one and all.

BRDurkin
09-19-2011, 01:14 AM
That would depend on how this particular boat is built. Is it a solid thing he's resting his elbows on, railing, or lines?

If it's solid, it would probably be referred to as a gunwale. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunwale See the diagram.

If it's a railing, it would be a... well, railing.

If it's lines or ropes/cables that make up the protective barrier which keep people falling over the side, in the Navy, we called them "lifelines."

Hope this helps.

WriteMinded
09-19-2011, 01:47 AM
That would depend on how this particular boat is built. Is it a solid thing he's resting his elbows on, railing, or lines?

If it's solid, it would probably be referred to as a gunwale. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunwale See the diagram.

If it's a railing, it would be a... well, railing.

If it's lines or ropes/cables that make up the protective barrier which keep people falling over the side, in the Navy, we called them "lifelines."

Hope this helps.Thanks for answering. Nice diagram. Exactly what I need, except my novel is early medieval fantasy. "Boats" I picture are wood with oarsmen. Big enough to carry a few horses.

BigWords
09-19-2011, 04:49 AM
Those would be ships, not boats. :)

ULTRAGOTHA
09-19-2011, 05:50 AM
Thanks for answering. Nice diagram. Exactly what I need, except my novel is early medieval fantasy. "Boats" I picture are wood with oarsmen. Big enough to carry a few horses.

What sort of ship? Viking longship? Early tall ship? Curricle? Cog?

If you want a ship big enough to hold some horses, yet moved only with oars, you're looking at pre-Viking ships. Before the Vikings in Europe we have the Sutton Hoo ship as a model. Looking much like a Viking ship but with no sails and no oar holes. They used thole pins instead.

If you want a ship that can be maneuvered with oars or sail, take a look at the Norman ships on the Bayeux 'tapestry' (actually an embroidery). Viking ships look just like that. And they can carry horses.

If you're going later than the 11th century, you'll want to do a bit of research into what kinds of ships they had. I stop at 1066 as far as knowledge of ships goes.

Unless you're setting this in a Mediterranean or Egyptian or Oriental cultures? Their ships are different.

Drachen Jager
09-19-2011, 06:05 AM
Writeminded, I think if you're going to be dealing with ships and/or boats in your stories you should really spend some time learning about them. There are so many nautical terms which, when misused will only serve to show your audience that you don't know what you're talking about.

For example there are no 'ropes' on a sailing vessel. Ropes are called 'sheets', 'painters', 'lines' or a few other things, but never a 'rope'. The way a boat handles will depend on it's build, and you really need to decide what kind of boat is appropriate for your culture (as is mentioned in the post above). IMO it's well worth a few hours of research to get the details right.

WriteMinded
09-19-2011, 06:34 AM
What sort of ship? Viking longship? Early tall ship? Curricle? Cog?

If you want a ship big enough to hold some horses, yet moved only with oars, you're looking at pre-Viking ships. Before the Vikings in Europe we have the Sutton Hoo ship as a model. Looking much like a Viking ship but with no sails and no oar holes. They used thole pins instead.

If you want a ship that can be maneuvered with oars or sail, take a look at the Norman ships on the Bayeux 'tapestry' (actually an embroidery). Viking ships look just like that. And they can carry horses.

If you're going later than the 11th century, you'll want to do a bit of research into what kinds of ships they had. I stop at 1066 as far as knowledge of ships goes.

Unless you're setting this in a Mediterranean or Egyptian or Oriental cultures? Their ships are different.Britain, end of 5th beginning of 6th century. I pictured a ship rather like the Viking ship. But mine would be Roman or copied from a Roman vessel - probably.

I'm not going to go into detail about the ships/boats. I only need to use them once to transport some men (50) and horses (100) from Ireland to Britain. They make several trips to get them all across. I need them to be as small as possible because they are stolen and I don't want to start a war over it. :)

I just wanted a way to describe them without making a big deal over it. I guess I can just skip the whole question of what the wall at the stern is called, huh?

Thank you so much for answering me.

WriteMinded
09-19-2011, 06:45 AM
Writeminded, I think if you're going to be dealing with ships and/or boats in your stories you should really spend some time learning about them. There are so many nautical terms which, when misused will only serve to show your audience that you don't know what you're talking about. Yes, of course, I agree. Book is not about boats, ships, or sea voyages. I only need to get my guys and horses from Ireland to Britain. I don't really need any nautical terms.


For example there are no 'ropes' on a sailing vessel. Ropes are called 'sheets', 'painters', 'lines' or a few other things, but never a 'rope'. The way a boat handles will depend on it's build, and you really need to decide what kind of boat is appropriate for your culture (as is mentioned in the post above). IMO it's well worth a few hours of research to get the details right.I don't believe I said anything about a rope. I asked what the upright part (wall?) at the stern was called. I've done quite a lot of plodding around the internet. Though I found information on smaller boats, the information for something big enough to transport a few horses continues to elude me.

Thank you for answering.

Devil Ledbetter
09-19-2011, 06:45 PM
If someone stands at the stern of a boat, then turns around and rests his back against it. Would you say he rested his back against the wall of the stern? or the ???? I don't know how to refer to it.

Also, if he leans his elbows on it, what is he leaning his elbows on?

Thank you boaters, one and all.I believe the elusive word is transom. It applies to any size boat. He leaned against the transom.

And I agree with others who say his elbows are on the rail.

Boating does have a highly specialized language. If you're writing from omni, get it right. If you're writing from the POV of a character who is new to boating, you have a tad more leeway.

ULTRAGOTHA
09-19-2011, 09:13 PM
I do not know anything about Roman ships from this time period.

English ships, however, would be more or less like the Sutton Hoo Ship. Google it if interested. Sutton Hoo style ships look roughly like Viking longships with no sails and no oar ports. Instead, the oars are held in place with thole pins, which are wave-shaped pieces of wood that the oar is braced against when pulling. There's a loop of leather or line tied around the oar and through a hole in the thole pin to prevent the oar from skidding along the gunwhale when pushing it forward.

No Transoms on such ships. They are pointed at both ends. The person standing in the stern is the steersman. These ships are steered with a steering board ('starboard' in Old Norse) lashed to the right side of the stern of the ship. The steersman holds a tiller, which is inserted at right angles into the top of the starboard. By pushing the tiller away from him or pulling it towards him, he can change the direction of the ship.

There may be room next to the steersman for another person to stand. If he's facing backwards, then turns around and leans against the side of the ship, then he's probably leaning against the gunwhale or the sheer strake (that's the uppermost plank of wood making up the side of the ship).

I own and sail viking vessels.

Mark G
09-19-2011, 11:53 PM
I don't know much about vessels of the 5th/6th century other than what I've read about Viking long ships and such.

The only advice I'd offer is to avoid the term "Gunwale" since it's origin apparently involves mounting a Gun.
(link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunwale))

Originally the gunwale was the "Gun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun) ridge" on a sailing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailing) warship (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warship). This represented the strengthening wale or structural band added to the design of the ship, at and above the level of a gun deck (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_deck). It was designed to accommodate the stresses imposed by the use of artillery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon).

...and Guns were not even a dream in the 6th century...
(link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_firearm))


Gunpowder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder) was invented in the 9th century[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_firearm#cite_note-0)[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_firearm#cite_note-1)[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_firearm#cite_note-chase-2) and firearms in the 12th century in China.[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_firearm#cite_note-Lu_1988-3) These inventions were later transmitted to the Middle East and to Europe.


You'd think using "stern" would be safe, but apparently the origin of that word is dated 1250-1300:
(courtesy Dictionary.com)


stern

2    /stɜrn/ http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/IPA_pron_key.html) Show Spelled[sturn] http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/Spell_pron_key.html) Show IPA
noun 1. the after part of a vessel (often opposed to stem ).

2. the back or rear of anything.

3. ( initial capital letter http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.png) Astronomy . the constellation Puppis.

4. Fox Hunting . the tail of a hound.



Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English sterne, probably < Old Norse stjōrn steering (done aft; see sternpost (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sternpost))


Likewise, "aft" may have came into the language later as well.

So, you may want to say "tail" or "back"...

On the other hand, if the story was to be written in the language of those times, we modern folk probably wouldn't be able to read it. So you can disregard my whole post as the ramblings of someone trying to fill a lunch break with something more interesting than masticating tacos.

Devil Ledbetter
09-20-2011, 12:11 AM
Since the transom literally is the "wall" or horizontal timbers (or in modern boats, plywood or fiberglass or what have you) that makes up the stern, transom is the word that's called for here.

ULTRAGOTHA
09-20-2011, 12:16 AM
The OP could call it a caprail, which might be a more accurate term. But I defy the average reader to know what the heck a caprail is! :)

Rípr is the Old Norse term for gunwhale.

ETA: If you really want your character to lean against the actual back of the ship and not against a side, and he's in a Sutton Hoo style ship, he could lean against the sternpost. But that might interfere a bit with the steersman.

WriteMinded
09-20-2011, 05:48 AM
Thanks to all of you for your help.


I believe the elusive word is transom. It applies to any size boat. He leaned against the transom.

And I agree with others who say his elbows are on the rail.

Boating does have a highly specialized language. If you're writing from omni, get it right. If you're writing from the POV of a character who is new to boating, you have a tad more leeway.3rd POV. But, hey, can't an omni narrator be ignorant about ships? :)


I do not know anything about Roman ships from this time period.Apparently, Google doesn't either.


[SIZE=2]English ships, however, would be more or less like the Sutton Hoo Ship. Google it if interested. Sutton Hoo style ships look roughly like Viking longships with no sails and no oar ports. Instead, the oars are held in place with thole pins, which are wave-shaped pieces of wood that the oar is braced against when pulling. There's a loop of leather or line tied around the oar and through a hole in the thole pin to prevent the oar from skidding along the gunwhale when pushing it forward.

No Transoms on such ships. They are pointed at both ends. The person standing in the stern is the steersman. These ships are steered with a steering board ('starboard' in Old Norse) lashed to the right side of the stern of the ship. The steersman holds a tiller, which is inserted at right angles into the top of the starboard. By pushing the tiller away from him or pulling it towards him, he can change the direction of the ship.

There may be room next to the steersman for another person to stand. If he's facing backwards, then turns around and leans against the side of the ship, then he's probably leaning against the gunwhale or the sheer strake (that's the uppermost plank of wood making up the side of the ship).Yes, I've seen pictures of the Sutton Hoo ship - I really did try researching this on my own. I looked it up again yesterday. I found some great pics of thole pins, too. Clever those Norsemen.


[SIZE=2]I own and sail viking vessels.
I really want to say something to that. All I can think of is, WOW!!!


I don't know much about vessels of the 5th/6th century other than what I've read about Viking long ships and such.

The only advice I'd offer is to avoid the term "Gunwale" since it's origin apparently involves mounting a Gun.
(link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunwale))


...and Guns were not even a dream in the 6th century...
(link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_firearm))


You'd think using "stern" would be safe, but apparently the origin of that word is dated 1250-1300:
(courtesy Dictionary.com)



Likewise, "aft" may have came into the language later as well.

So, you may want to say "tail" or "back"...

On the other hand, if the story was to be written in the language of those times, we modern folk probably wouldn't be able to read it. So you can disregard my whole post as the ramblings of someone trying to fill a lunch break with something more interesting than masticating tacos. I didn't know that about stern or aft, but yeah, I'm using understandable English. Thanks for filling part of your lunch break trying to help me out. Mmmm, tacos.


The OP could call it a caprail, which might be a more accurate term. But I defy the average reader to know what the heck a caprail is! :)

Rípr is the Old Norse term for gunwhale.

ETA: If you really want your character to lean against the actual back of the ship and not against a side, and he's in a Sutton Hoo style ship, he could lean against the sternpost. But that might interfere a bit with the steersman. The MC and his best friend are having a private conversation while they watch their homeland, Ireland, get farther away. I think a steersman would trash the mood. I'll either move them or have one of them play steersman. Somebody has to do it. :)

ULTRAGOTHA
09-20-2011, 06:16 PM
Having sailed in ships that are pointy at both ends (that's a technical term! ;) ) it would be more natural to turn and lean against the hull, not the sternpost. You're already leaning more against the side while looking backwards. The stern post is in the way of looking straight backwards, especially if the ship has a carved, er, figuretail. So your character, in looking back, is having to lean to one side or the other to see around the sternpost anyway.

He can turn, lean against the hull, and carry on his conversation. Or, if you want him to turn and rest his arms on the "gunwhale" you can call it a gunwhale, which is what we call it on the Sae Hrafn (http://www.longshipco.org/), or call it a "caprail" or call it a "sheer strake".

WriteMinded
09-21-2011, 06:08 PM
Having sailed in ships that are pointy at both ends (that's a technical term! ;) ) it would be more natural to turn and lean against the hull, not the sternpost. You're already leaning more against the side while looking backwards. The stern post is in the way of looking straight backwards, especially if the ship has a carved, er, figuretail. So your character, in looking back, is having to lean to one side or the other to see around the sternpost anyway.

He can turn, lean against the hull, and carry on his conversation. Or, if you want him to turn and rest his arms on the "gunwhale" you can call it a gunwhale, which is what we call it on the Sae Hrafn (http://www.longshipco.org/), or call it a "caprail" or call it a "sheer strake".
And AGAIN - thank you so much. That is very helpful. :)