A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W

 

Halyard

Rope used to hoist a sail

Halyard lock

If a halyard is used to hold a sail up a mast as well as hoist it, which is the usual situation, the rope from which it is made has to carry an immense load all the time, not just the weight of the sail down the aft side of the mast, but also the tension applied to the halyard down the other twice the load in fact. This compression load has to be carried by the mast, making it heavier than it need be. Cut the compression load, cut the mast weight. The way to do this is to lock the halyard at the top of the mast. Halyard locks are usually special top slides attached to the sail, which run up the track on the aft side of the mast and which have a pin or two which engage in the track to lock things off.

Harness

A webbing harness worn about the torso, generally over any clothing, with a detachable tether made from nylon with attachment hooks. Intended to prevent a crew member falling overboard and becoming detached from the boat.

Head

Top corner of a sail. Also the term for a boat's toilet.

Headsail

One of the triangular sails set forward of the mast. Interchangeable with jib.

Headfoil

An extruded profile, usually in plastic, which is fitted over the forestay and is specially shaped to take the luff of a headsail. The smooth leading edge thus ensuring aerodynamic efficiency. The headfoil usually has two grooves to allow headsails to be changed by hoisting one over the next and then pulling the first down. This avoids a bare headed change.

Heave to

To stop the boat by easing the main sheet and backing the jib and, depending on the way the boat behaves, probably putting the rudder fully over too.

Heel

A boat heels when it leans over due to the sideways force of the wind.

Helm

Not the person who steers the boat, that is the helmsman or helmswoman, but the device with which they steer, either a tiller or a wheel.

Helmsman

The person steering the boat.