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Note; if this is the wrong place for this thread,please feel free to post it appropriately.It encompasses several forums.

There is so much specialized terminology in sailing ships that can be confusing to new builders, or even just readers of sea novels. Deck fittings,mast parts,spars,sails, rigging, etc. Is there some site or app that gathers a lot of these terms in one searchable,indexed place? Up until now, I've just googled unfamiliar terms, with variable results. I thought that Model Ship World would have such a thing, but maybe I'm missing it. It would be great to have a resource right on my phone or tablet where I could quickly find out what the heck the plans and instructions are talking about!

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Hi Paul,

 

I would like to suggest that you go "old school" and invest in a copy of the Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea by Peter Kemp. Not only will it cover off all the items you mention, but a multitude of others you didn't even know you were interested in! I used it when I was reading Patrick O'Brian novels and needed to know what the heck he was refering to when he wrote about various sailing ship manoeuvers, ship parts and all things nautical in the age of sail.

If you need to satisfy your tech itch in obtaining this information, you can order the book online! Try Abe Books. They are a great source for used books.

Happy reading!

Peter

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I think both suggestions are great.  Ill add that simply googling the offending word can get you a quick answer that is accessible by phone or tablet.   Typing "define spars" or "define t'gallant sail" directly into google will get you a reasonably accurate answer right away.  Adding the "define" variable can help a lot in the accuracy and context of your query.

 

 

 

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Thanks guys-- I just ordered The Oxford Companion from eBay for the princely sum of $4.74. That should be a huge help. I have indeed Googled unknown terms with good luck but I don't always have internet access in my shop. I'm building an old school ship (Constitution cross section) so an old school isn't bad. I'll probably just browse it even when I'm not building.

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My first edition of The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea has held an honored place in my research library since its publication in 1976. Definitely a "must have." It's out in paperback now, too, I believe. The hardcover will set you back close to a hundred bucks retail, but there are lots of used copies available.

 

There certainly is an online searchable index. The 2007 edition of the OCSS is also available on line for free with a handy hot-linked look-up feature at https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199205684.001.0001/acref-9780199205684?btog=chap&hide=true&pageSize=20&skipEditions=true&sort=titlesort&source=%2F10.1093%2Facref%2F9780199205684.001.0001%2Facref-9780199205684

 

 

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Speaking of terminology and on a lighter note, not long ago I picked up a book called The Pirate Dictionary at a congregational book sale.  I get a kick out of national Talk Like A Pirate day and pirate humor so I figured that's what this book would be. It's actually a pretty informative dictionary about real pirates as well as lots of general nautical terminology. I wouldn't say to go run out and buy it, but if you happen across it give it a look. I'm more likely to browse it cover to cover and pick up some information.

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