CrewScene™ / CrewTalk™ / CrewGlossary™


Page type: Glossary


Towards the stern


Abandon ship

A verbal order to leave the vessel immediately, usually in the face of some imminent overwhelming danger. It is an order issued by the Master or a delegated person in command. It is usually the last resort after all other mitigating actions have failed or become impossible, and destruction or loss of the ship is imminent. Usually preceded by transmitting an SOS signal if time allows, and customarily followed by a command to "man the lifeboats" or life rafts.


Abreast of or at right angles to the fore and aft line of the vessel

Aviation Maritime


On or in a vessel, synonymous with "on board".





Account (online)

A website account identifies a sign in with a username and password. An account might be as basic as just to receive and manage email subscriptions or hold more detailed information to enable faster communications with other users.



Towards the stern or rear of the vessel

Aviation Maritime


An area of land set aside for the take-off, landing, and maintenance of aircraft.



A complex of runways and buildings for the take-off, landing, and maintenance of civil aircraft, with facilities for passengers.


Airworthiness Advisory CircularAAC


AlphaA verbal

A in NATO phonetic alphabet

Aviation Maritime navigation communications alphabet

anchorage verb

Port charge relating to a vessel moored at approved anchorage site in a harbor.


Anchorage noun

A suitable place for a ship to anchor, usually an area of a port or harbour.


Area Approach Control CentreAACC


Astern, to go astern

Go backward, put the engine in reverse



Aviation Maritime navigation

Bearing, MagneticnnnM

The magnetic bearing (or relative)is ...... (example: 120M)

Aviation Maritime

Bearing, TruennnT

The true bearing (or absolute) or just bearing is .... (example: 120T)

Aviation Maritime

Berth (dock)

A space for a ship to dock and moor, or an aircraft or vehicle to park.

Aviation Maritime

Berth (sleeping)

A berth is a bed or sleeping accommodation on vehicles. A bed on a boat or aircraft is sometimes known as a berth, bunk, or a double-bunk.
• Settee berth: the settee or transom berth is the most common arrangement.
• V-berth: frequently yachts have a bed in the extreme forward end of the hull (usually in a separate cabin called the forepeak)
• Quarter berth: A single bunk tucked under the cockpit, usually found in smaller boats where there is no room for a cabin in this location.

Aviation Maritime Transport


A relatively small, usually open craft or vessel designed to float on, and provide transport over, water. An inland vessel of any size.



A non-commissioned officer responsible for the sails, ropes, rigging and boats on a ship who issues "piped" commands to seamen. A Bosun may also be called a Boatswain.

Bosun's call

Also known as a bosun's pipe, or bosun's whistle, is a high-pitched pipe or a non-diaphragm-type whistle used on naval ships by a bosun, historically to pass commands to the crew but in modern times limited to ceremonial use.

Bosun's chair

A short board or swatch of heavy canvas, secured in a bridle of ropes, used to hoist a man aloft or over the ship's side for painting and similar work. Modern bosun's chairs incorporate safety harnesses to prevent the occupant from falling.


The front end of the vessel


BravoB verbal

B in NATO phonetic alphabet

Aviation Maritime navigation communications alphabet

browse verb

To look through websites on the internet, books, or magazines without reading everything. Or looking at several things without intending to buy anything.


Browser (person) noun

A person who browses the internet. The word "browser" seems to have originated prior to the Web as a generic term for a person who looks casually through publications or websites or at goods for sale, trade, or bartering.


Browser (program) noun

An application program with a graphical user interface to display HTML files, and uses HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to navigate and interact with all the information on the World Wide Web by making requests of Web servers throughout the Internet on behalf of the browser user.



A vertical partition dividing the hull into separate compartments, often made watertight to prevent excessive flooding if the ship's hull is breached, it's a similar partition in an aircraft or spacecraft.

Aviation Maritime


A built-in bed on board ship, aircraft, or truck. Often erected in tiers one above the other

Aviation Maritime Transport


Floats that warn of hazards such as rocks or shallow ground, to help ships maneuver through unfamiliar harbors.



Floats that warn of hazards such as rocks or shallow ground, to help ships maneuver through unfamiliar harbors.

Maritime navigation


An enclosed room or compartment on a vessel.

Aviation Maritime


The visit of a vessel to a port.

Call Sign

One of the earliest applications of radiotelegraph operation, long predating broadcast radio, were marine radio stations installed aboard ships at sea. Merchant vessels are assigned call signs by their national licensing authorities.

In the case of states such as Liberia or Panama, which are flags of convenience for ship registration, call signs for larger vessels consist of the national prefix plus three letters (for example, 3LXY, and sometimes followed by a number, i.e. 3Lxy2).


When a ship or boat lists too far and rolls over, exposing the keel. On large vessels, this often results in the sinking of the ship.



A vessel with two hulls.


Central Processing UnitCPU

CPU (pronounced as separate letters) is the abbreviation for central processing unit. Sometimes referred to simply as the central processor, but more commonly called processor, the CPU is the brains of the computer where most calculations take place.


Centre of Gravity

The point of equilibrium of the combined weight of a ship and its cargo. For maximum stability, it must be as low as possible in the centre of the structure.

Aviation Maritime


A board or plate lowered through the hull of a dinghy on the centreline to resist leeway.


Wear on line or sail caused by constant rubbing against another surface.

CharlieC verbal

C in NATO phonetic alphabet

Aviation Maritime navigation communications alphabet


The legal person who has signed a charter party with the owner of a vessel or an aircraft and thus hires or leases a vessel or an aircraft or a part of the capacity thereof.


A piece of wood or other material placed at the side of cargo to prevent rolling or moving sideways.

Clean Bill Of HealthB/H

A certificate issued by a port indicating that the ship carries no infectious diseases. This is also called a pratique.

Aviation Maritime

Clean Bill of LadingB/L

A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were received in 'good order and condition,' without damage or other irregularities. If no notations or exceptions are noted, the B/L is assumed to be 'clean.'

Aviation Maritime

Clean Slate

At the helm, the watch keeper would record details of speed, distances, headings, etc. on a slate. At the beginning of a new watch the slate would be wiped clean.



A stationary device used to secure a rope aboard a vessel. A strip of wood or metal used to afford additional strength, to prevent warping, or to hold in place.


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