Accommodation Ladder: A term applied to a portable flight of steps suspended over the side of a vessel from a gangway to a point near the water, providing any easy means of access from a small boat. Accommodation Ladders are usually supplied with two platforms, one at each end. Sometimes called gangway ladder.
Adrift: Floating at random; not fastened by and kind of mooring; at the mercy of winds and currents; loose from normal anchorage. A vessel is said to be adrift when she breaks away from her moorings, wharfs, and so on.
Aft, After: Toward the stern or the back of the vessel. Between the stern and the midship section of the vessel.
Afterbody: The section of the vessel aft of amidships.
Agency Fee: A fee charged to the ship by the ships agent, representing payment for services while the ship was in port. Sometimes called attendance fee.
Air Draft: The distance from the vessels water line to the upper most point on the vessel, usually the top of a mast or radar tower. When a vessel has to transit areas where there may be overhead obstructions (bridges, power lines, cranes, loading arms, etc.) it is vital to know what its air draft (draught) will be at the time of transit. The air draft of a vessel will vary depending upon the draft of the vessel and its trim.
Aloft: Above the deck.
Amidships (or Midships): The middle portion of a vessel.
Ballast: Seawater taken into a vessel's tanks in order to submerge the vessel to proper trim. Ballast can be taken into cargo tanks, double bottoms, fore and aft peak tanks and/or segregated ballast tanks, (SBT).
(Ballast) Clean: Term applied to the seawater used for ballast when it is not contaminated by any oil and is carried in clean tanks.
(Ballast) Dirty: Term applied to the sea water used for ballast when it is contaminated with the remnants or residue left in cargo tanks that previously carried crude oil or heavy persistent refined oils.
(Ballast) Permanent: Ballast carried in ships tanks that were designed to carry nothing else.
Ballast Passage: The "ballast leg" of a voyage as differentiated from the "loaded leg."
Ballast Pump: A pump used for filling and emptying the ballast tank.
Ballast Tanks:The tanks used to carry the vessels ballast. They may be permanent, dedicated, or cargo tanks.
Barge: Also lighter. A general name given to a flat-bottomed craft specially adopted for the transportation of bulk cargoes.
Barrel: The standard unit of liquid volume in the petroleum industry. It is equal to 42 U.S. gallons.
Beam: The width of a ship. Also called its breadth.
Berth: Dockage space for vessel. Sleeping quarters. Also slang for having a crew position on the vessel.
Bilge: The lower internal part of the hull where the vertical sides meet the bottom. This term applies to both the inside and the outside of the hull. The internal space can be the lower part of a ships hold or the engine room and serves as a drainage area where accumulated water can run into and be pumped from.
Bitts: Cast steel heads serving as posts to which mooring lines and cables are secured on a ship.
Boilers: Steam generating units used aboard ship to provide steam for propulsion or for heating and other auxiliary purposes.
Boiler Room: Compartment in which the ships boilers are located.
Boom: A general name given to a projecting spar or pole that provides an outreach for handling cargo.
Bow: The forward most part of a vessel. This area usually houses gear lockers and is the end where anchors and mooring equipment are located.
Breadth: See Beam.
Bridge: A general term referring to that area of a vessel where the wheel house and chart room are located. It is the navigating section of a vessel.
Bridge AFT: Vessels with no midship house. All quarters with Bridge are contained in one superstructure at after end of vessel.
Bulbous Bow: A large protruding bow section designed to break water friction allowing the vessel to make better speeds.
Bulk Cargo: Usually a homogeneous cargo stowed in bulk, and not enclosed in any container.
Bulkhead: A partition in a ship that divides the interior space into various compartments in the walls of a vessel’s tanks.
Bum Boat: A small open rowboat employed in carrying supplies for sale to vessels in a harbour.
Bunkers: Fuel for a vessel. The type will vary depending upon the propulsion mode of the vessel. Steamships will use a heavy fuel oil, diesels use a range of fuels from heavy to light, and gas turbines generally use kerosene.
Buoy: A floating object employed as an aid to mariners to mark the navigable limits of channels, their fairways, sunken dangers, isolated rocks, telegraph cables, and the like.
Call Letters: The letters assigned to the ship's radio (station).
Capping: Routing a vessel around the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
Cargo Hose: A hose usually of 6 to 10 inches in diameter used for the transfer of cargo from ship to shore and vice versa.
Cargo Plan: A plan giving the quantities and description of the various grades carried in the ships cargo tanks.
Cargo Pump: Pump used on tankers for discharging cargo and loading or discharging ballast. Located, at the bottom of the pump room, these pumps are usually of the common duplex type, or turbine type of which the centrifugal is the most common.
Catwalk: A raised bridge running fore and aft from the Midship House, and also called "walkway." It affords safe passage over the pipelines and other deck obstructions.
Centreline: A horizontal fore-and-aft reference line for athwartship ship measurements, dividing the vessel into two symmetrical halves.
Centre Tanks: Cargo tanks located on the vessel’s centreline.
Chain Locker: The compartment for storing the anchor chains, located near the bow of the ship.
Clean Ship: Refers to tankers that have their cargo tanks free of traces of dark persistent oils that remain after carrying crudes and heavy fuels oils. Clingage:
The residue that adheres to the inside surface of a container, such as a ships tank or shore tank, after it has been emptied.
Cubic Capacity: The inside measurement of a tankers cargo compartments or tanks, usually expressed in barrels or cubic feet/meters.
Cubic Limitation: Reaching cargo tank capacity before vessel sinks to its load-line. This is usually caused by loading a light crude (crude with a high API) or clean products.
Davits: A set of arms on a ship from which its lifeboats are suspended. Deadweight Deadweight Tonnage (DWT):
The lifting or carrying capacity of a ship when fully loaded. This measure is expressed in long tons when the ship is in salt water and loaded to her marks. When loaded to her summer marks the value is for her summer deadweight (SWDT). It includes cargo, bunkers, water, (potable, boiler, ballast), stores, passengers and crew.
Deadweight Scale: A table that is part of the vessel plans and indicates the draft the vessel will be down to at any particular phase of loading.
Deck: A platform or horizontal floor that extends from side to side of a ship. The main deck is the highest complete deck on a ship (the one which runs the full length of the ship).
Deck Log: Also called Captains Log, scrap logbook or rough logbook. A full nautical record of a ship’s voyage, written up at the end of each watch by the deck officer on watch. The principle entries are: course steered; distance run; compass variations, sea and weather conditions; ships positions, principal headlands passed; names of lookouts, and any unusual happenings such as fire, collision, and the like.
Deck Officer: As distinguished from engineer officer, refers to all officers who assist the master in navigating the vessel when at sea, and supervise the handling of cargo when in port.
Deck Stores: The spare gear and consumable stores provided for the upkeep and safe working of the tanker and her cargo, excluding stores used in engine room.
Deep Water Route: A designated area within definite limits which has been accurately surveyed for clearance of sea bottom and submerged obstacles to a minimum indicated depth of water.
Dirty Ballast: Applies to the seawater used for ballast when it is contaminated with the remnants or residue left in cargo tanks that previously carried crude persistent refined oils.
Dispatch: The function of issuing voyage instructions or sailing orders to vessels. Also an agreed amount to be charged by terminals for prompt vessel turn around.
Displacement Tonnage: Expressed in tons it is the weight the water displaced by the vessel which in turn is the weight of the vessel at that time. The vessels light displacement is the weight of the vessel only and the vessels loaded displacement is the weight of the vessel and all cargo, stores, fuel, water, etc. on board.
Double Bottom: A general term used for all watertight spaces contained between the outside bottom plating, the tank top and the margin plate. Double bottoms are usually sub-divided into a number of separate tanks and can be used to hold clean ballast, potable or boiler feed water, or fuel. They also provide a measure of protection for cargo tanks if bottom plating is damaged in the event of grounding. Chances of pollution may be diminished due to this protection.
Draft: The depth of a ship in the water. This distance is measured from the bottom of the ship to the surface of the water. Draft marks are cut into or welded on the surface of a ships plating. They are placed forward and aft on both sides of the hull and also amidships. At the midship’s draft we will also find the authorized Load Line markings which designate maximum drafts allowed for vessels under various conditions.
Dry-dock: An enclosed basin into which a ship is taken for underwater cleaning and repairing. It is fitted with water tight entrance gates which when closed permit the dock to be pumped dry. Also called gracing dock, gracing dry dock.
Flag State: Any state that allows ships to be registered under its laws.
Flags of Necessity (or Convenience): Flag states that provide lesser economic, financial, tax and/or regulatory burdens to ship owners registering their ships in those countries.
Fore, Foreward: Toward the stem or the bow. The section of the vessel between the stem and amidships.
Forepeak: The narrow extremity of the vessels bow. Also the tank located in that part of the ship.
Frames: The ribs of a ship.
Freeboard: The distance from the water line to the top of the weather deck on the side.
Freight Rate: The charge made for the transportation of freight.
Fuel Oil: A name given to the heaviest grades of residual fuel used in marine oil burning boilers.
Gangway (Gangplank): A device by which persons come on board or disembark the vessel.
Gauging: Measuring depths, usually by means of a steel tape.
Gross Tonnage: The internal capacity of a vessel measured in units of 100 cubic feet.
HW: High water in port as determined by tides which might affect the amount of cargo a vessel can load.
Harbour Dues: Various local charges against all seagoing vessels entering a harbour, to cover maintenance of channel depths, buoys, and lights etc. All harbours do not necessarily have this charge.
Hawse Pipe, Hawse: The hole in the bow through which the anchor chain passes.
Hawser: A cable used in warping or mooring the vessel.
Hog (Hogging): The condition of a vessel caused by the unequal distribution of cargo. When a vessel loads too heavily at the ends it causes an arching, or bending upward, of the hull at the midship’s area. This can also be caused by the vessel working in heavy seas with a large wave under the amidships section.
Hull: The body of the vessel not including its masting, rigging etc.
Innage: The amount of space within a tank that is occupied by oil.
Innages are sometimes called soundings or body gauges.
Inshore Traffic Zone: A designed area between the landward boundary of a traffic separation scheme and the adjacent coast intended for coastal traffic.
Inspector: A person assigned to determine the quantity and/or the quality of a commodity.
Independent Inspector (Cargo Surveyor): A person or organization of persons acting independently, but on behalf of, one or more parties involved in the transfer, storage, inventory or analysis of a commodity for purposes of determining the quantity, and/or quality of a commodity. They may also be assigned to the calibration of various measurement instruments and/or storage tanks ashore or on vessels.
International Loadline Certificate: A document issued by a classification society stating the minimum freeboard granted to a vessel and giving the position of the loading disc on the ships side.
Jacobs Ladder: A rope ladder with wooden rounds used for getting on or off a vessel not at a berth. Also referred to as a pilot’s ladder because of its extensive use by vessels’ pilots.
Jettison: The act of throwing goods or pumping cargo overboard to lighten a ship to improve stability in an emergency.
Lay days: The period of time described in the charter party during which the owner must tender his ship for loading. The charterer is not obliged to start loading before the commencement of lay days. The charterer may cancel the charter if the ship does not tender prior to the expiration of lay days.
Laytime: The allowable time specified in the charter party for vessels loading or discharging of cargo.
Length Overall (LOA): The extreme length of the vessel measured from the foremost part to the aftermost part of the hull.
Lighter: 1) General name for a broad, flat-bottomed boat used in transporting cargo between a vessel and the shore. The distinction between a lighter and a barge is more in the manner of use than in equipment. The term "lighter" refers to a short haul, generally in connection with loading and unloading operations of vessels in harbour while the term "barge" is more often used when the cargo is being carried to its destination or over a long distance.
2) To load or discharge cargo to or from another vessel.
Lighterage: 1) Fee charged for conveying cargo by lighters or barges.
2) Area where vessels normally lighter.
Lightering: Conveying cargo with another vessel known as a lighter from a ship to shore, or voyage.
Limber Holes: Holes in the bottoms of stringers through which cargo flows through to the suction strums.
List: The leaning of the vessel to the port or starboard.
Lloyds Register of Shipping: British classification society.
Load Displacement: The displacement of a vessel when it floats at its loading draft.
Load Line: The maximum draft to which the vessel may load. The line on a vessel indicating the maximum depth to which that vessel can sink when fully loaded with cargo. Also known as its marks.
Loaded Passage: The passage during which the tanker is carrying cargo.
Log: An apparatus for measuring the speed of a vessel through the water.
Also, an entry made in a logbook to record any event e.g. to enter in the logbook the name of a seaman and his offence and the penalty attached to it.
Long Ton: A unit of weight = 2,240 pounds or 1,106 kilos.
Marine Surveyor: A duly qualified person who examines ships to ascertain their condition, on behalf of owners, underwriters, etc. Also called "ship surveyor" or simply "surveyor".
Maritime Law: That system of jurisprudence that prevails in courts having jurisdiction of marine causes. Also called marine or admiralty law. It is a branch of both international and commercial law.
Mean Draft: The average of the drafts measured at the bow and the stern.
Metric Ton: A unit of weight 2,204.6 pounds (1,000 kilograms).
Midship Draft: The draft read at the midship markings. This draft can, and often does, differ from the Mean Draft due to hogging or sagging.
Mooring Line: Any hawser by which a vessel is secured to a dock or mooring. It may be made of natural materials (manila), synthetics, (polypropylene), or wire. Under certain circumstances the anchor chain is detached from the anchor and a section of that is used to secure the vessel.
Net Capacity: The number of tons of cargo which a vessel can carry when loaded in salt water to her summer freeboard marks. Also called cargo carrying capacity, cargo deadweight, and useful deadweight.
Net Tonnage: The volumetric cargo capacity of a ship expressed on the basis of 100 cubic feet to the ton. On passenger vessels it also includes space used by passengers.
Panamax: The maximum size ship that can fit through the Panama Canal in terms of width, length and draft generally about 80,000dwt.
Passage: A journey from one port or place to another, as distinguished from the term "voyage" which refers to a ballast and loaded passage.
Also sometimes called trip.
Peak Tank: Tanks in the forward and after ends of the vessel. The principal use of peak tanks is in trimming the ship.
Pilot House: The enclosed space on the navigating bridge from which a ship is controlled when underway.
Plating: The steel plates which form the shell or skin of the vessel.
Plimsoll Mark: The mark on the side of a classed vessel which indicates its safe load lines at varying seasonal conditions.
Port: The left side of a vessel when an observer is facing forward looking toward the bow. Also a door on a ship.
Port Charges: General term which includes charges and dues of every nature assessed against the vessel or its cargo in a port. It usually includes harbour dues, tub boat charges, pilotage fees, custom house fees, consular fees, etc.
Port of Registry: The port at which a vessel is registered and to which she is considered to belong. The port of registry is shown on the stern below the name of the vessel.
Position Report (Position Sheets): A summary of worldwide movements for vessel prepared by the Fleet Coordinators.
Pumproom: An enclosed area on a tank vessel which houses main and stripping cargo pumps, ballast pumps, educators and the associated piping and valves necessary for their operation.
Rogue Wave: An ocean wave much larger than the current wave sequence. This wave may also be outside the current wave direction and may be 100 feet or more in height.
Route: See Deep Water Route, Traffic Route, Two-Way-Route.
Means whichever type is appropriate in the context unless otherwise specified.
Rudder: The flat or shaped frame hung to the sternpost of a ship, which is used to steer the ship.
Rules of the Road: The rules and regulations accepted by international agreement and enforced by law in marine countries which govern the movements of ships when approaching each other under such circumstances that a collision may possibly ensue.
Sag (Sagging): The condition of a vessel caused by the unequal distribution of cargo. When a vessel loads too heavily in the centre it causes a bending downward of the hull at the midship’s area. This can also be caused by the vessel working in heavy seas with large waves under each end and no support under the centre of the ship. Sag is the opposite of Hog.
Salvage: The property which has been recovered from a wrecked vessel, or the recovery of the vessel herself.
Scupper: Any opening or tube leading through the ships side to carry water away from the deck.
Sea Trials: A series of trials conducted by the builders during which the owner’s representatives on board act in a consulting and checking capacity to determine if the vessel has met the specifications.
Seaworthiness: The sufficiency of a vessel in materials constructions, equipment, crew and outfit for the trade in which it is employed. Any sort of disrepair to the vessel by which the cargo may suffer; overloading; untrained officers; may constitute a vessel unseaworthy.
Seaworthiness Certificate: A certificate issued by a classification society surveyor to allow a vessel proceed after she has me with a mishap that may have affected its seaworthiness. It is frequently issued to enable a vessel to proceed, after temporary repairs have been effected, to another port where permanent repairs are then carried out.
Separation Zone or Line: A zone or line separating traffic proceeding in one direction from traffic proceeding in another direction. A separation zone may also be used to separate a traffic lane from the adjacent inshore traffic zone.
Ships Agent: A person or firm who transacts all business in a port on behalf of shipowners or charterers. Also called shipping agent; agent. Shipbreaker:
A company that demolishes or cuts up vessels which are obsolete or unfit for sea. The steel is used for scrap.
Ship Chandler: Particular merchants handling ships stores, supplies, and sundries, etc. Sometimes handles spare parts as accommodation to ship operators.
Shipper: The person for whom the master of a ship agrees to carry cargo. Also called consignor.
Short-Handed: Said of a vessel inadequately manned or without the regular number of men. Short Ton A unit of measurement equal to 2,000 pounds.
Sister Ships: Ships built on the same design.
Skin: The plating of a ship.
Slops: A mixture of petroleum and water normally arising from tank washings.
Sludge: A mixture of petroleum and water, usually semi-solid, frequently containing sand and scale.
Spill: Oil getting into the sea in any amount for any reason.
Starboard: The right side of a vessel when an observer is facing forward looking toward the bow.
Stern: The after most part of a vessel. The stern will house the steering gear room and various stowage areas. It is that section of a vessel over the rudder and propeller.
Stem: The upright post or bar of the bow.
Stores: A general term for provisions, materials, and supplies used aboard ship for the maintenance of the crew, and for the navigation, propulsion and upkeep of the vessel and its equipment.
Suezmax: The maximize size ship that can sail through the Suez canal generally considered to be between 150-200,000 DWT depending on ships dimensions and draft.
Superstructure: Any structure built above the uppermost complete deck such as a pilothouse, bridge, accommodation house etc.
Tackle: Any combination of ropes and blocks that multiply power.
The equipment on a vessel used to perform working tasks on the vessel.
Tender (TO): A master tenders his vessel when he advises the charterer or supplier that he is ready to load. Tonnage See Deadweight, GRT and NRT.
Tons Per Inch Immersion (TPI): The number of tons required to change a vessels draft one inch in the water. TPI varies with the draft and its values can be found on a vessels deadweight scale.
Topping-Off: 1) The operation of completing the loading of a tank to a required ullage.
2) Filling up cargo tanks which were only partially filled at the loading port because of port or canal draft restrictions. The filling up occurs outside the loading port via lightering activities, or at another loading port.
Traffic: Movement of shipping.
Traffic Lane: An area within definite limits inside which one-way traffic is established.
Traffic Separation Scheme: A scheme that separates traffic proceeding in opposite or nearly opposite directions by the use of a separation zone or line, traffic lanes or by other means.
Trim: The condition of a vessel with reference to its longitudinal position in the water. It is the difference between the forward and after drafts expressed in feet/inches or meters/centimetres. Trim forward is called "by the head" and trim aft is called "drag".
Trim By The Head (By The Stern): A vessel is said to trim by the head (or stern) when its draft forward
(or aft) is greater than aft (or forward).
Ullages: Measurements taken with a steel tape from the lip of the ullage hole to the to the surface of the liquid; usually read to the nearest 1/8 inch. Underwriter:
In marine insurance one who subscribes his name to the policy indicating his acceptance of the liability mentioned therein consideration for which he receives a premium.
Unseaworthiness: The states or condition of a vessel when it is not in a proper state of maintenance, or if the loading equipment or crew, or in any other respect is not ready to encounter the ordinary perils of sea.
Vessel Crossing: A vessel proceeding across a fairway/traffic lane/route.
Vessel Leaving: A vessel which is in the process of leaving a dock, pier, quay or anchorage. When she has entered the navigable fairway she will be referred to as an outward, inward crossing or turning vessel.
Vessel Outward: A vessel which is proceeding from harbour or dock to seawards.