Glossary

This page will probably always be under developement !

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A

Apron : This is a vertical timber that lies immediately behind the stem post. The stem post is fastened to it. Also fitted to the apron are the “hood ends” of the hull planks.

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B

Barrel :  The central section of the winch on which the main halyard is wound up as the sail is raised.

Binn : The deck edge that overhangs the planking of the hull, also known as the rubbing strake.

Binn Iron : Binn Iron is converse feather edge iron strip (not half round) approx 2" wide that is fitted around the Binn (gunwhale) to protect the boat.

Block : One or more pulley wheels mounted in a wooden casing for a sheet or halyard to run through. (There are 2 trebles for the mainsheet, 2 trebles for the forestay and 2 singles and a double for the gaff).

Bonnet : Sail extension. The bonnet runs the length of the sail & is about three feet in height. It is attached to the lower edge of the main sail using French lacing and is lashed to the sail cringles at the luff and the leach. This makes a light wind sail.

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C

Cabin Slip : Slipping board or sliding hatch over entrance to aft cabin. Only found on high sternsheet wherries.

Carling hatch : Technically the carling (or carline) is the name for the stringers (or bearers) that go across the deck. The carling hatch is a hatch on the forward deck that is set into the carlings. This hatch, when open, allows the mast to swing from vertical to horizontal position (& vice versa). Also a storage area and site for pump. In the pleasure wherry/wherry yacht it was also the area where the crew slept.

Ceiling : The floor, of course ! The planked area which covers the hold floor and rests on both frames and floors.

Chains : Chain was traditionally carried on trading wherries to assist in their passage through Great Yarmouth. Chains would be run out from the bow of the boat once it had turned into the ebbing tide and the boat would go into Yarmouth astern with the chains dragging in the mud to control progress as slack water arrived. Once the tide had turned the crew would haul in the chains and the wherry would take the new flood.

Clamp : A long horizontal stringer that ties together the top of the frames and runs inside the hull.

Cleat : A device with two prongs, resembling 'horns' attached to a flat surface for securing a rope. Albion has two mainsheet cleats, below either end of the horse.

Cringle : A metal ring used to reinforce holes in sails etc. against wear and for strength.

Crutch block : Block that supports the gaff jaws.

Coburg : The visible part of the chimney from the cuddy stove. Faired to prevent snagging with sheet blocks or sail.

Cuddy : The cabin, designed for crew of two. The interior has two bunks, cupboards and a stove for warmth and for cooking.

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D

Dead Hatch : The forward most hatch. It is fixed to surrounding timbers and does not lift. Hence its name.

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E

 

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F

Forepeak : Forward deck area around carling hatch.

Forestay : A fitting, usually of stranded cable that runs from a deck fitting to the top of the mast. In a wherry the lower end of the cable ends by being joined to two blocks, which control the raising & lowering of the mast & which can also tension the forestay.

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G

Gaff : Wooden spar from which the sail is suspended. The leather covered gaff jaws rest against the mast.

Gaff line : Rope from the gaff-end to the sternsheets. Used to help control gaff during raising/lowering of the sail. Can also be used when gybing with the sail scandalised.

Gybe : The sail moving quickly in a controlled manner from one side to the other. Occurs when the wind direction relative to the boat changes enough to have an effect on the front of the sail. The sail is pulled in quickly by the main sheet, secured on the cleat and then released when the sail is in the new position. The skipper will often shout "gybe-ho" as a warning to those on board.

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H

Halyard : Rope used for raising and lowering the sail.

Harpen iron : The name given to the binn iron where it bends round the stem of the boat. 

Hatches : Removable hold coverings, 16 in total.

Herring eye : An iron ring with shank that is secured within the stem post. The ring has the forestay gear attached to it.

Herring hole : The hole at the top of the mast that the main halyard passes through. Within the hole is fitted a sheave.

Hog : The spine of the boat. To this is fastened the keel below it and the garboard planks to either side. The hog is usually rebated to allow the garboard planks to snug into it and they are nailed into place, usually with nails driven in at an angle for security. A boat is said to be "hogged" when it bends, with ends down and the centre up.

Hood ends : The name for the end part of hull planks (both fore & aft) which consists of end grain (the most porous part of a piece of wood). A potential rot area so usually these are set within a rebate formed in the rear edge of the stem (stern) post. In the case of Albion the stem post overlaps them forming a “false” rebate.

Horse : Iron rail on which the block for the mainsheet slides.

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I

 

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J

Jenny Morgan : The pennant (flag) fixed to the top of the mast, carrying an identifying symbol and a wind vane. Often used generically for any wherry vane although specifically these were wherry vanes where the vane's gate was the shape of a Welsh girl.

Jibe : See gybe.

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K

Keel : In a wherry this is usually one that can be taken off for sailing in shallow water (ie a slipping keel). The keel is fastened to the boat with three long bolts and two "irons" that pass either side of the stem post and are secured with a bolt or similar fixing.

Knees : Reinforcing pieces, generally shaped as a right-angle, with grain following the bend. Used in the vertical as well as in the horizontal plane.

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L

Leach : The rear edge of the sail. 

Luff : The forward edge of the sail.

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M

Main Beam : In a wherry this is one of the two main structural components that run across the beam of the boat. The forward main beam lies just behind the tabernacle and defines the forward part of the hold. The aft main beam defines the rear of the hold area and the start of the cuddy.

Main sheet : The rope running through two treble blocks that allows the wherryman to haul in or let out the sail according to wind conditions.

Martingale : The assembly of chains & cables that supports the gaff.

Moving Rightup : Individual boards that slot on top of standing rightups. Removable to make access to hold area easier for loading/unloading.

Mud Weight : Lead weight used as anchor.

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N

 

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O

 

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P

Patten Bar : Second gear bar fitted below main winch barrel to give a valuable reduction in effort required for raising sail.

Plankway : Side deck.

Planksheer : Also known as cover board. The edging of the deck which defines its extent. Covers the sheer plank and plankway against water ingress.

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Q

Quant : A wooden pole used for propelling a wherry in calm or unfavourable wind/river conditions. They have a turned cap/button ("bott") for shoulder leverage and a wooden foot/toe to prevent it sinking into mud. A typical wherry quant would be 22' or 24' long.

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R

Rubbing strake : See binn.

Rond anchor : Single armed anchor used for securing the wherry ashore at "soft" moorings where there are no mooring posts.

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S

Scandalise : Technique to reduce the effective sail area. The gaff line is taken to the helm and then the sail lowered to a mid point. Used in some conditions to make the wherry more responsive and manageable on turns.

Scumble : A glaze painting technique, often used to decorate cuddy interiors, often applied with a dry brush or comb.

Sheer plank : The top plank around the hull. It defines the shape of the sheer.

Sheer : A gentle concave curve seen at the line of the deck.

Slipping keel : See keel.

Spen : The v-shaped cradle of wire (chain) that is part of the gaff supporting gear. The spen block controls it.

Standing Rightup : The fixed part of the sides of the hold. They are fastened to the plankways. Along them there are supporting posts and steel plates. The supporting posts hold up the plankways and help, with the steel plates to form a slot into which the moving rightups fit. The joint between moving and standing rightup is a rebate, which allows the two to fit together and helps in shedding any water outboard.

Stanchion : Oak timber that runs in a generally vertical direction between the frames and the standing rightups, supporting the plankway and forming part of the supporting slot which holds the moving rightups.

Stem post : Vertical baulk of timber that is mounted at bow of boat. The stem post covers the end grain of the “hood ends” of the hull planks, which are fastened to the apron. In case of a wherry the herring eye is fitted into its top surface and two “eyes” are bored horizontally through it. The top one of these holes is to bolt the slipping keel on, whilst the lower is used for hauling the boat out on to land.

Stern post : See stem post for basic function.

Sternsheet : The area behind the mainsheet horse. The majority of wherries such as Albion where known as low sternsheets wherries. In such cases the skipper would manage the tiller from a small well (or cockpit) from where he could enter the cuddy via two small doors. The other case were high sternsheets wherries where the tiller would be manned from the deck and the cuddy would be accessed via steps. In the latter case the tiller was curved sharply upwards to provide a more comfortable position for the wherryman. High sternsheet wherries were usually associated with the timber trade to allow for high stacking of the timber and the "elevated" position allowed the helm to see over load.

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T

Tabernacle : Two sturdy vertical posts (supported by knees) that hold the mast. The top of the tabernacle has a slot into which the trunnion of the mast sits. The mast can pivot on this into a horizontal position for passing under Broadland bridges.

Timberheads : Timber extensions fore and aft that form bollards for the attachment of mooring ropes.

Trunnion : A pin which passes through the mast to allow for its support within the tabernacle and allows the mast to swing from vertical to horizontal.

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U

 

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V

Vane : The generic name for all masthead devices of whatever type. The main purpose of which was to show which way the wind was blowing. A yard or fathom of red bunting was attached which caught the slightest breeze. The body of the vane (or gate) took many forms but often made some reference to the wherry's name. For example an early Albion vane consisted of a serrated-edged circle with the letter "A" within the circle. A "Jenny Morgan" was just one type of such a vane depicting a Welsh girl but is often used generically for a wherry vane.

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W

Well : In low sternsheet wherries this is the small cockpit from where the wherryman holds the tiller and controls the mainsheet. It also acts as the entrance to the cuddy.

Winch : Situated over the carling hatch on winch posts, the halyard is wound around the winch barrel, used for raising and lowering the sail.

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X

 

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Y

 

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Z

 

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