A strake is a course of the planking or plating of the hull of a vessel. In a wooden construction it is a strip of planking (or multiple planks combined into one) running longitudinally along the vessel’s bottom and sides. In a metal ship it is a course of plating.
Strakes are fastened to the bow at its stem at the front of a ship and stern at its transom at its rear.
In boat and ship construction the strake immediately adjacent to either side of the keel is known as the garboard strake or A strake. The next two are the first broad or B strake and second broad or C strake. Working upward come the bottom strakes, lowers, bilge strakes, topside strakes, and uppers also named sequentially as the D strake, E strake, etc. The uppermost along the topsides is called the sheer strake. Strakes are joined to the stem by their hood ends.
A rubbing strake was traditionally built in just below a carvel sheer strake. It was much less broad but thicker than other strakes so that it projected and took any rubbing against piers or other boats when the boat was in use. In clinker boats, the rubbing strake was applied to the outside of the sheer strake. Many current pleasure craft reflect this history in that they have a mechanically attached (and therefore replaceable) rub rail at the location formerly occupied by a rubbing strake, often doubling to cover the joint between a GRP hull and its innerliner.
A stealer is a short strake employed to reduce the width of plank required where the girth of the hull increases or to accommodate a tuck in the shape. It is commonly employed in carvel and iron/steel shipbuilding, but very few clinker craft use them.
Schematic view of the bow of a ship, showing:Athemartingale stay,Bthedolphin strikerandCthebobstay.
Adolphin striker(an older term for amartingale boomor simply amartingale; sometimes called astriker) is a small vertical or near vertical ancillarysparspanning between thebowspritand martingale thereby redirecting the tension in the forward end of the martingale slightly more vertically. This vertical component is necessary to more effectively oppose the forestays’ mostly upward tension on the forward end of the bowsprit than would be the case in the absence of the dolphin striker.
Running riggingis theriggingof asailing vesselthat is used for raising, lowering, shaping and controlling thesailson a sailing vessel—as opposed to thestanding rigging, which supports themastandbowsprit. Running rigging varies between vessels that are rigged fore and aft and those that are square-rigged.
Ratlines, pronounced “rattlin’s”, are lengths of thin line tied between the shrouds of a sailing ship to form a ladder. Found on all square-rigged ships, whose crews must go aloft to stow the square sails, they also appear on larger fore-and-aft rigged vessels to aid in repairs aloft or conduct a lookout from above.
Lower courses in a ratline are often made of slats of wood (battens) for support where the distance between shrouds is greatest. These wooden boards are called rat-boards. In some instances, holes in these slats guide and organize low-tension lines between the deck and the rig.
Modern tourists turn a capstan. Sailors would coordinate the rhythm of their movements by singing a particular type ofsea shantyas they walked around the capstan. The tensioned portion of the rope would hoist aforesailand could also be used to lift a heavy spar into position on the mast or to transfer cargo to or from a dock orlighter.
A capstan is a vertical-axled rotating machine developed for use on sailing ships to multiply the pulling force of seamen when hauling ropes, cables, and hawsers. The principle is similar to that of the windlass, which has a horizontal axle.
A capstan on a sailing ship. The upper portion is operating the anchor windlass below in theForecastle
In its earliest form, the capstan consisted of a timber mounted vertically through a vessel’s structure which was free to rotate. Levers, known as bars, were inserted through holes at the top of the timber and used to turn the capstan. A rope wrapped several turns around the drum was thus hauled upon. A rudimentary ratchet was provided to hold the tension. The ropes were always wound in a clockwise direction.
Capstans evolved to consist of a wooden drum or barrel mounted on an iron axle. Two barrels on a common axle were used frequently to allow men on two decks to apply force to the bars. Later capstans were made entirely of iron, with gearing in the head providing a mechanical advantage when the bars were pushed counterclockwise. One form of capstan was connected by a shaft and gears to an anchor windlass on the deck below. On riverine vessels, the capstan was sometimes cranked by steam power.