Not fastened; loose. also, to loosen.

Related Terms


Taking up the last bit of slack on a line such as a halyard, anchor line or dockline by taking a single turn round a cleat and alternately heaving on the rope above and below the cleat while keeping the tension on the tail.


To take in the slack of (a rope or chain).


A graphic table showing the speeds of the flood and ebb currents and the times of slack and strength over a considerable stretch of the channel of a tidal waterway, the times being referred to tide or tidal current phases at some reference station.


The difference between the time of slack water (or minimum current) or strength of current in any locality and the time of the corresponding phase of the tidal current at a reference station, for which predictions are given in the Tidal Current Tables.


The mean interval between the transit of the moon over the meridian of Greenwich and the time of strength of flood, modified by the times of slack water (or minimum current) and strength of ebb. In computing the mean current hour an average is obtained of the intervals for the following phases: flood strength, slack (or minimum) before flood increased by 3.10 hours (one- fourth of tidal cycle), slack (or minimum) after flood decreased by 3.10 hours, and ebb strength increased or decreased by 6.21 hours (one-half of tidal cycle). Before taking the average, the four phases are made comparable by the addition or rejection of such multiples of 12.42 hours as may be necessary. The current hour is usually expressed in solar time, but if the use of lunar time is desired the solar hour should be multiplied by the factor 0.966.


A lead placed on the bottom to indicate movement of a vessel. At anchor the lead line is usually secured to the rail with a little slack and if the ship drags anchor, the line tends forward. A drift lead is also used to indicate when a vessel coming to anchor is dead in the water or when it is moving astern. A drift lead can be used to indicate current if a ship is dead in the water.


Duration of flood is the interval of time in which a tidal current is flooding, and the duration of ebb is the interval in which it is ebbing; these intervals being reckoned from the middle of the intervening slack waters or minimum cur- rents. Together they cover, on an average, a period of 12.42 hours for a semidiurnal tidal current or a period of 24.84 hours for a diurnal current. In a normal semidiurnal tidal current, the duration of flood and duration of ebb will each be approximately equal to 6.21 hours, but the times may be modified greatly by the presence of a nontidal flow. In a river the duration of ebb is usually longer than the duration of flood because of the fresh water discharge, especially during the spring months when snow and ice melt are the predominant influences.


The movement of a tidal current toward the shore or up a tidal river or estuary. In the mixed type of reversing current, the terms greater flood and lesser flood are applied respectively to the flood currents of greater and lesser speed of each day. The terms maximum flood and minimum flood are applied to the maximum and minimum speeds of a flood current, the speed of which alternately increases and decreases without coming to a slack or reversing. The expression maximum flood is also applicable to any flood current at the time of greatest velocity. The opposite is EBB CURRENT.


A tidal current which flows alternately in approximately opposite directions with a slack water at each reversal of direction. Currents of this type usually occur in rivers and straits where the direction of flow is somewhat restricted to certain channels. When the movement is towards the shore or up a stream the current is said to be flooding, and when in the opposite direction it is said to be ebbing. The combined flood and ebb movement including the slack water covers, on an average, 12.4. hours for the semidiurnal current. If unaffected by a nontidal flow, the flood and ebb movements will each last about 6 hours, but when combined with such a flow, the durations of flood and ebb may be quite unequal. During the low in each direction the speed of the current will vary from zero at the time of slack water to a maximum about midway between the slacks. Also called RECTILINEAR CURRENT.


Tidal current in which tidal day current cycle consists of two flood currents and two ebb currents, separated by slack water; or two changes in direction, 360° of a rotary current. This is the most common type of tidal current throughout the world.

Related questions

MarineProHelp 2018 - 2021