Maritime Dictionary – Everything that Starts With the Letter “Q”

by | Last updated Nov 24, 2023 | Maritime Dictionary | 0 comments

Q – Code flag; My vessel is healthy and I request free practique. Morse Code; ▬ ▬ ● ▬.

Q Ship – Merchant vessel with concealed armament, and manned by naval crew, that decoyed German submarines into gun range during 1914-18 war.

Quadrant – Quarter of a circle. 2. Nautical reflecting instrument that preceded sextant and measured angles up to 90°. Invented by Thomas Godfray of Philadelphia and John Hadley of England in 1730, each being independent of the other. 3. A 13th century instrument for measuring the altitude of a star. It was a thin plate of metal or wood, a quarter of a circle in shape, marked with degrees round the arc and with pin-hole sights on one edge. A plumb line hung from the centre. Two observers were needed, one sighting the star, the other reading the scale. 4. Horizontal fitting, that is a sector of a circle, attached to head of rudder stock to take steering chains and form leverage for controlling rudder. Sometimes carries a toothed rack into which a pinion is meshed.

Quadrant Davit – Boat davit whose head can be moved outboard in a vertical plane; Welin type being, perhaps, the best known.

Quadrantal Deviation – Compass error arising from induced magnetism in horizontal soft iron. Changes name, E or W, in successive quadrants.

Quadrantal Triangle – Spherical triangle having one side of 90°.

Quadrantids – Meteor shower visible in northern sky at beginning of January; radiant point being in constellation Quadrans Muralis.

Quadrate – Said of two heavenly bodies when 90° apart.

Quadrature – Relative position of a heavenly body when 90° from another. 2. Position of Moon when she is halfway between conjunction and opposition, thus being quadrate with Sun.

Quadrireme – Roman vessel, possibly with four banks of oars. Greek equivalent ‘Tetreres’.

Quadropod Engine – Four-cylinder reciprocating engine in which steam goes to fourth expansion: Cranks in each pair are set 180° apart; one pair being at right angles to other pair.

Qualitative Fit Test (Q.L.F.T.) – A pass/fail fit test to assess the adequacy of respirator fit that relies on the individual’s response to the test agent.

Quality of the Bottom – Nature of the sea bed as ascertained by arming of lead.

Quant – Pole with flat disc at lower end. Used for propelling small craft by pushing on bed of river, or other shoal water.

Quarantine – Segregation and restraint of a vessel coming from an infected port, or having infections or contagious diseases on board.

Quarantine Flags – Flag Q signifies ship hoisting it is believed to be healthy and requests free pratique; QQ signifies ship requires health clearance.

Quarter – The after side areas of a vessel.

Quarter Badges – Carved ornamental work on quarters of olden ships. When gilded, were termed ‘gingerbread’.

Quarter Berth – A bunk partly under the side of the cockpit. A bed snugly fitted in the narrowing starboard or port quarter of a hull.

Quarter Bill – List of different stations manned in action, together with names of men manning each station.

Quarter Block – Wooden block, on quarter of yard, through which clewline is rove.

Quarter Boards – Additional weather boards erected above quarter rail in bad weather with following sea.

Quarter Boat – Boat carried at davits, on quarter of ship, and kept ready for immediate use when at sea.

Quarter Cask – Cask with a capacity of 28 gallons, or half a hogshead.

Quarter Cloths – Painted canvas on outboard side of hammock nettings on ship’s quarter.

Quarter Deck – Upper deck from mainmast to right aft. In vessels with a poop it ends at break of poop. In Royal Navy it extends from right aft on upper deck to some line forward of after gangway.

Quarter Deck Type – Steam vessels in which the upper deck abaft the machinery space is raised above the level of the forward deck; thus allowing vessels with full cargoes to trim by the stem.

Quarter Diurnal – Applied to a tidal undulation, or constituent, that occurs four times in a tidal day.

Quarter Fast – Mooring rope led aft from quarter when securing a ship.

Quarter Gallery – A balcony-like projection on quarters of olden ships; usually fitted with windows.

Quarter Gasket – Short length of sennit used for securing a furled sail at quarter of a yard.

Quarter Gunner – Responsible seaman who, under Gunner of the ship, was responsible for four guns.

Quarter Hoop – Hoop, on cask, barrel, etc., that is between chime and bilge hoops.

Quarter Iron – Boom iron on yard to take heel of studdingsail boom. Fitted at 3/16 length of yard from yard arm.

Quarter of Yard – One-third of a yard between slings and lift on either side; being named ‘first’, ‘second’ and ‘third’ quarters from slings.

Quarter Pieces – Carved figures at after ends of quarter gallery.

Quarter Pipe – Reinforced oval aperture in after bulwark plating. Used as fairlead for mooring ropes.

Quarter Rail – Quarter deck bulwarks in a wooden ship.

Quarter Slings – Standing lifts of a yard, made of chain or rope, used in 16th century.

Quarter Spring – Rope led forward, from quarter of a vessel, to prevent her from ranging astern; or to heave her ahead.

Quarter Timber – Frame timber in quarter of a wooden vessel.

Quarterdecker – Name given to an officer who is more conscious of his rank than of his duties. 2. Ship having a raised deck, but not a poop, aft.

Quartering Sea – Waves approaching a vessel on its quarter that typically create an unpleasant motion and require attention in steering.

Quartering Wind – Wind blowing from a point about four points abaft a vessel’s beam.

Quartermaster – In R. N. is a petty officer, or other responsible rating, who works under officer of the watch and is responsible that the helmsman carries out his duties correctly. He takes the wheel on important occasions. In harbour, he keeps his watch at the gangway. Senior seaman whose duties are to steer and tend the gangways. See Also: How to Steer a Ship and Become a Better Helmsman

Quarters – The allotted positions, or stations, of ship’s complement in specified circumstances, e. g. ‘General Quarters’. Living accommodation.

Quarters bill – A vessel’s station instruction listing the duties of crew persons.

Quay – Artificial erection protruding into the water to facilitate loading and discharge of cargo, landing and embarkation of passengers, repairing or refitting of ships. Solid structure built to berth vessels to.

Queen’s Hard Bargain – Nickname for an inefficient seaman.

Quick Flashing – Name given to lights, on buoys and other navigational aids, that show more than 60 flashes in one minute. See Also: The IALA Buoyage Systems – Seafarer’s Aids to Navigation.

Quick Freeze – Rapid freezing of food to preserve its natural qualities.

Quick Saver – Rope span, on fore side of sail, to prevent undue bellying of courses when sailing free.

Quick Work – Inside planking between gun ports. 2. Planking of ship’s side above upper deck. 3. Sometimes applied to underwater planking.

Quicksand – Sand that is permeated with water and is unable to support the weight of a man.

Quicksilver Horizon – Artificial horizon, consisting of mercury in a trough, used for taking sextant altitudes ashore.

Quid – Piece of tobacco for chewing. Variant of ‘cud’.

Quilting – Sennit-plaited around a bottle, or rounded object, to protect it.

Quinquereme – Large Roman vessel with, perhaps, five banks of oars. Greek equivalent ‘Penteres’.

Quintal – One hundred kilograms. Formerly, 100-lb. avoirdupois.

Quoin – Wedge-shaped piece of wood used for preventing rolling of casks, barrels or other rounded objects.



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