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The water carried along with a ship as it moves through the water. It is maximum at the waterline and decreases with depth. It increases in a direction towards the stern

Related Terms


The pulsation in and out of the bow and stern plating as the ship alternately rises and plunges deep into the water


A compartment immediately forward of the stern post usually below the load water line.


Falls which flow alternately in opposite directions in a narrow channel in the St. John River, New Brunswick, Canada, due to the large range of tide and a constriction in the river. The direction of flow is upstream or downstream according to whether it is high or low water on the outside, the falls disappearing at the half- tide level.


Straining of the ship that tends to make the middle portion lower than the bow and stern (See hogging)


The displacement in tons of the ship complete with all outfit, equipment, and machinery on board but excluding all fuel, water in tanks, cargo, stores, passengers, dunnage, and the crew and their effects. The light condition displacement includes the lubricating oil for the machinery and water in the boilers at steaming level. Also called light weight.


The force exerted by a propeller which tends to throw the stern right or left cause by torque from the velocity and angle at which the surrounding water impinges upon the propeller blades.


A common measure of ship carrying capacity. The number of tons (2240 lbs.) of cargo, stores and bunkers that a vessel can transport. It is the difference between the number of tons of water a vessel displaces 'light' and the number of tons it displaces 'when submerged to the 'deep load line'.' A vessel's cargo capacity is less than its total deadweight tonnage. The difference in weight between a vessel when it is fully loaded and when it is empty (in general transportation terms, the net) measured by the water it displaces. This is the most common, and useful, measurement for shipping as it measures cargo capacity.


A controllable propeller placed in the athwartships direction to provide a transverse thrust to assist a ship in manoeuvring.


A sail on the mast nearest the stern of a square-rigged ship


A narrow (fine) in appearance from the vantage point of a lookout or other person viewing activity in the vicinity of a ship, e.g., another ship off the starboard bow with her bow or stern facing the viewer's ship could be described as 'fine on the starboard bow' of the viewer's ship.

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