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Nautical Terms

Have fun learning some boat terminology. 


Looking forward we see the bow. It is the pointy end, but Tre Anni has a snub nose. Not so pointy but hopefully you get the point.  


Looking to the bow you look to your right and see the starboard side lit with a green light. The glowing green light indicates the starboard side. Ask us about our Stellar Night tour to see the stars shining from the starboard side and all around you. Amazing.  


Looking to the bow again you turn to your left and you are looking at the port side, lit with a red light. 

Little known fact: up until the mid to late 1800’s port was called larboard. Imagine the sailor on watch taking his post trying to navigate in heavy fog, standing on the bow while the captain navigates seldom seen shoals in the uncharted waters of Upper Canada. The watch yells “shoal to larboard hard to starboard”. As the fog absorbs the voice, the captain confused hears shoal to starboard hard to larboard. The ship runs aground with two barges in tow, late November.  Leaving shipwreck’s scattered throughout the Fathom Five. Is this the reason their are so many wrecks in Tobermory?  Not necessarily but definitely plausible. Ask us about our Shipwreck tours. 


Stern is the back of the boat where the 175 horsepower Mercury engine thrusts forward through the still water or waves.  Please follow the directions of your captain, for your safety.  You don't want to hear the stern voice of a captain.


Behind the stern lies the wake. The V-shaped formation of waves that froths and flows to the port and starboard respectively, as the engine drives on. 


The deep V hull of Tre Anni is made of aluminum. This part of the boat has an important job, it keeps the boat floating above the surface. It is the part underwater, below the deck.


This is the floor of the boat that you walk on. Just in case you blow out a flip flop with Jimmy Buffet, Tre Anni's deck is padded for your comfort. 


Below the deck lies a space we call the bilge. It lies between the hull and the deck. At times water gets on the deck and if it goes below deck the bilge pumps activate to keep this area free of water and the boat afloat.


The beam is the width of the boat. From port to starboard. Tre Anni has an eight foot beam. 


This is where the captain operates the boat while you enjoy the scenery as we ply the waters of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron on your particular tour.


This is the toilet.  This is where the term "I gotta hit the head" comes from.  This is important to know: Tre Anni does not have a head, so you have to be sure to use the onshore toilets, before we depart on your tour.  Luckily there are clean flushing toilets with sinks, at the end of the dock, just before you board Tre Anni for your adventure. Please be sure to use the toilet before your tour.


This is the depth of the hull in the water. This will dictate how shallow we can go, over shoals and close to shorelines. We have a three foot draft but we still like to keep at least ten feet of water below. 


Below the bilge and underneath the hull is the keel, it goes deeper into the water. This affects the draft and depths for safe navigation.  Oxford dictionary says: "the longitudinal structure along the centerline at the bottom of a vessel's hull, on which the rest of the hull is built, in some vessels extended downward as a blade or ridge to increase stability."  The Barques and Schooners of yester-years had deep keels to hold them true in the deep blue as the sails caught the wind and the boat would keel over, dancing on a list, askew to the horizon


Oxford says, "a flat piece hinged vertically near the stern of a boat or ship for steering."  In the shallows of some sites on Shipwreck tours, we can see massive rudders from barques, schooners and steam ships, over a century old and well preserved in the cool fresh water.  Tre Anni is a motor vessel with an outboard engine which acts as her rudder with powerful precision.


Surrounding the hull of Tre Anni, are grey PVC tubes, inflated to keep the boat afloat.  Even if the entire deck and bilge were to be filled with water, the six isolated cells of PVC tubes would keep Tre Anni floating, but with a sad and shameful countenance.


This looks like a fan blade and instead of moving air it pushes water through the blades thrusting forward or reverse. Tre Anni's mercury engine has a four blade propeller to propel. Tre Anni through the Fathom Five National Marine Park and observe the shoreline of the Bruce Peninsula National Park. 


A two way radio to monitor channel 16 for emergency updates and distress calls, to hail and communicate with other vessels, and to hear marine weather forecasts.  There is a second radio onboard so we can always hear the broadcasts of 16 while communicating with other vessels. The captain and crew also have a hand held radio as well.


"A system for detecting the presence, direction, distance, and speed of aircraft, ships, and other objects, by sending out pulses of high-frequency electromagnetic waves that are reflected off the object back to the source" (Oxford Dictionary c/o google).  Tre Anni's Garmin Radar can be seen on top of the canopy above the helm, between the two black VHF Radio antennas. All the data can be seen on the large touch screen Garmin chart-plotter at the helm.  At the stern you will see a radar beacon to make Tre Anni well seen by other vessels radar at night, in fog or under adverse weather conditions with reduced visibility.


A map of the water that shows depths, contours and shorelines.  These can be seen on the Garmin chart plotter.


Automated Identification System.  This new technology allows the captain and crew to see and identify other vessels on the chart-plotter and to be seen by all other AIS equipped vessels.


Emergency position-indicating radiobeacon. This device is for the unlikely event that a ship were to sink. When deployed, the EPIRB immediately sends a distress signal to the coast guard so that there will be an immediate and quick response.  This is a Transport Canada essential piece of safety equipment.  Tre Anni has one and we will go over this and all the safety equipment and procedures before we leave for your tour. 


A sailing ship, typically with three masts, in which the foremast and mainmast are square-rigged and the mizzenmast is rigged fore-and-aft.  Commonly these are called tall ships.


A sailing ship with two or more masts, typically with the foremast smaller than the mainmast, and having gaff-rigged lower masts.  Commonly these are called tall ships.


A one-masted sailboat with a fore-and-aft mainsail and a jib


A flat-bottomed boat for carrying freight, typically on canals and rivers, either under its own power or towed by another.


Sadly as the new technology of the steam engines arose, many of the aging tall sailing ships, be they Sloop, Schooner or Barque, were converted into barges to be towed in tandem to increase profits in a developing new world, hungry for the raw resources being harvested in what would soon become the Dominion of Canada. 


A ship that is propelled by a steam engine. The strength and power of the steam engine soon replaced the aging fleets of sailing ships that were dependent on winds and required more crew and even more time to make the journey from one port to another.  Massive boilers were built, fired by coal to power the massive pistons that propelled ships through massive waves and still seas alike.  Many of these boilers can still be seen from the surface, sunken in the shallow shoals.

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