Terminology Request - Hull Sides

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by K12479, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. K12479
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    K12479 New Member

    Hi,

    I don't know too much about boats but have been wondering what the correct terminology for a particular part is & haven't found anything so far.

    Small boats have the deck flush with the level of the top of the hull, with maybe a railing around the edge. On bigger boats & ships the deck is recessed beneath the top of the hull leaving a sort of side or wall. What is this area refered to as? Am I correct in thinking the gunwale is just the top edge of it?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    alan white Senior Member

    Bulwarks is the word for the structure above deck level. Gunwale is the word for capping atop the topsides when there are no bulwarks of any substantial height. The top of a ship's bulwarks would be the rails. I think.
    I always think of the bottom of a ship's bulwarks, where the deck is joined to the hull sides as the gunwale, just below the scuppers, but others may correct me on that

    Alan
     
  3. K12479
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    K12479 New Member

    Thanks, that just what I was after.
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    If it's small, less the a couple of inches tall and screwed down to the deck edge, it's a toe rail. Anything bigger, typically which have stanchions coming through the deck or bolted through, to support it, will be called a bulwark.
     

  5. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Open boats do not have toe rails, not having a deck, and that upper termination of the hull's side is commonly called the gunwale. I think you're right in saying toerail, PAR. I meant the capping pieces including both toe rail and rub rail, but in fact I don't see much reference to gunwale except in open boats. Funny how the word gunwale (which I believe comes from "gun wall") is replaced by bulwarks (ballworks, or cannon ball works--- probably Swedish for ball is "bull").
    My own boat, which I am modifying as we speak, has the deck below the sheer clamp (fiberglass hull but all else wood). The sheer clamp is about 2" high and 2 1/4" wide made of three 3/4" thiicknesses of cedar through which the deck beams are bolted from underneath. I wanted a toe rail but not bulwarks, which it had before when the deck was 4" below the gunwale (so called because most of the boat was open except forward where the foredeck was).
    Yet the bulwarks in the former arrangement were only bulwarks forward, and the rest (same pieces of wood) were gunwales.
    All originally ships terms, like "sloop boat" or "yawl" which have different meanings today.
    Or "ballast", which is Scandinavian, from "bal" and "last" meaning "bulk" and cargo"---- a truck, in Sweden, are called a "lastbil", or cargo vehicle.
     
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