Sailing Humor

Son:When I grow up, I want to be a sailor!
Dad:Sorry, you'll have to choose one of those.

Heard a good one? Send it in so I can list it for all to read!


Amidships Condition of being surrounded by boats
Anchor A device designed to bring up mud samples from the bottom at inopportune or unexpected times.
Anchor Light A small light used to discharge the battery before daylight.
Anchor windlass Either hand cranked or electrically operated, a winch used, when the anchor is stuck on the bottom, to try to pull the bow of the boat under water.
Backstay What unsteady folks should do in heavy weather
Beam Sea A situation in which waves strike a boat from the side, causing it to roll unpleasantly. This is one of the four directions from which wave action tends to produce extreme physical discomfort. The other three are 'bow sea' (waves striking from the front), 'following sea' (waves striking from the rear), and 'quarter sea' (waves striking from any other direction).
Berth A little addition to the crew.
Board Informal word for centerboard, dagger board, or, when making threats to children of some guests, State Corrections Board.
BOAT Break out another thousand
Boat hook A long pole that allows you to be pulled overboard while reaching for the mooring buoy when the skipper fails to slow down soon enough.
Boom Called boom for the sound that's made when it hits crew in the head on its way across the boat. For slow crew, it's called "boom, boom."
Bottom Paint What you get when the cockpit seats are freshly painted.
Bow A physical act performed to acknowledge those who are applauding your fine sailing skills.
Bulkhead Discomfort suffered by sailors who drink too much.
Calm Sea condition characterized by the simultaneous disappearance of the wind and the last cold beverage.
Chart A type of map that tells you exactly where you are aground.
Circumnavigation To sail all the way around the world, although seldom with the same spouse with whom one began.
Clew An indication from the skipper as to what he might do next.
COB Cash over board
Companionway A double berth.
Course The direction in which a skipper wishes to steer his boat and from which the wind is blowing.
Crew Heavy, stationary objects used on shipboard to hold down charts, anchor cushions in place and dampen sudden movements of the boom.
Cruising Fixing your boat in exotic locations.
Cruising Long periods of tedious boredom interspersed with moments of sheer terror!
Current Tidal flow that carries a boat away from its desire destination, or towards a hazard.
Dead Reckoning A course leading directly to a reef.
Deadrise Getting up to check the anchor at 0300.
Deck A complete set of playing cards.
Deviation Any departure from the Captain's orders.
Dinghy The sound of the ship's bell.
Displacement When you dock your boat and can't find it later.
Draft How deep a boat sits in the water. Shoal draft means the boat doesn't sit as very deep, but often deeper than you think, resulting in your ending up on a shoal.
Estimated Position A place you have marked on the chart where you are sure you are not.
Fall off To cause conscious crewmembers to become frantic and yell "Man overboard".
First Mate Crewmember necessary for skippers to practice shouting instructions to.
Flashlight Tubular metal container used on shipboard for storing dead batteries prior to their disposal.
Fluke The portion of an anchor that digs securely into the bottom, holding the boat in place;also, any occasion when this occurs on the first try.
Foul Wind Breeze produced by flying turkey.
Freeboard Food and liquor supplied by the owner.
GPS Battery operated navigation instrument that allows sailors to voyage with great confidence to parts of the world where batteries are not available.
Gybe A common way to get unruly guests off your boat.
Head up Leaving the boat toilet seat up. When boat skipper is female, leaving the head up is a serious offense.
Headway What you are making if you can't get the toilet to work.
Heave-Ho What you do when you've eaten too much Ho.
Iron jib Slang for engine. An engine thrown overboard for failure to start in a critical situation is known as a cast iron jib.
Jack Lines "Hey baby, want to go sailing?"
Jibe To speak an untruth.
Keel Term used by 1st mate after too much heel by skipper.
Keelhaul To drag beneath a boat as punishment (seldom used today).
Ketch A sailboat with good wine in the cabin.
Landlubber Anyone on board who wishes he were not.
Latitude The number of degrees off course allowed a guest.
Leeward Brother of Jay Ward, creator of Bullwinkle and Rocky.
Maroon Results of a red and a blue boat colliding.
Mast Religious ritual used before setting sail.
Mizzen An object you can't find.
Monohull Boat with a single hull. Considered to be the traditional type but this is true only if you believe that the Polynesians who were sailing multihulls before the time of Christ have no tradition.
Motor Sailer A sailboat that alternates between sail/rigging problems and engine problems.
NOAA Government agency responsible for producing weather forecasts most sailors listen to - when they want to have a laugh.
Noserly What to call the wind direction when it comes from where you're going
Off the wind Downwind or ready to take up powerboats.
Painter A line you use to tow the dingy. Also especially useful for preventing Tack (see below).
Port An alchoholic beverage made from fermented grape juice and served aboard a sailboat.
Quarter berth A bunk tucked up under the cockpit seats, usually near the navigators table and usually reserved for him or her, so that she can be the first into the life raft should a decision on her part bring the boat to an untimely end.
Ram An intricate docking maneuver sometimes used by experienced skippers.
Rhumb Line Two or more crew members waiting for a drink.
Rouge wave Huge unexpected wave that grows in size each time you tell the story.
Rudder More discourteous. Bob was rude, but George was even rudder.
Rules The racing rules. Similar to the Ten Commandments and the Bill of Rights but open to more interpretation and subject to more disputes.
Sailboat race Two sailboats going in the same direction.
Sailing The fine art of getting wet and becoming ill, while going nowhere slowly at great expense.
Sailing directions Just like cooking directions except that it is usually a lot harder to eat your mistakes.
Schooner A sailboat with a fully stocked liquor cabinet in the cabin.
Sextant A cover suspended over the cabin and cockpit to shade certain recreational activity.
Sheet Cool, damp, salty night covering.
Shroud Equipment used in connection with a wake.
Sloop A sailboat with beer and/or wine in the cabin.
Square Rigger A rigger over 30.
Starboard A dull motion picture produced by George Lucas.
Starboard Special board used by skippers for navigation (usually with "Port" on the opposite side.)
Steerageway If a boat is moving through the water fast enough so that it will respond to pressure from the rudder, this is called steerageway. If the boat has no steerageway and is simply drifting with the wind or tide, this is called a potential insurance claim.
Stern A facial expression frequently seen on the faces of very serious skippers.
Successful cruise Returning to the dock with the same number of people you left with.
Swell A wave that's just great.
Tack A common sticky substance left in the cockpit and on deck by other people's kids, usually in the form of foot- or handprints. (See Gybe for removal technique.)
Telling stories A fairy-tale begins "Once upon a time ". A sea story begins "So there I was"
Tiller Operator of farm equipment.
Trim Adjusting the sails so that they are working most efficiently. Because this can require the concerted, often physically taxing, effort of the entire crew, it is most often suggested by whoever has just taken over his turn at steering.
V-berth V-shaped double bunk squeezed into the bow of a boat. Since double bunks of any kind are rare on a boat, they sound romantic, until you actually try sleeping in one.
Watchmate Person who shares your watch. The word mate has none of the connotations it does in intimate personal relationships - unless you have been at sea a very long time.
Winch A female practitioner of the occult. A sorceress.
Yawl A sailboat from South Carolina, with some good bourbon stored down yonder in the cabin.
Zephyr Warm, pleasant breeze. Named after the mythical Greek god of wishful thinking, false hopes, and unreliable forecasts.

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You might be a sailing bum if:

  • you think a Rhodes Scholar is someone who knows all about a famous boat designer.
  • any of your wedding gifts came from West Marine.
  • you think girls look "hot" in foul weather gear.
  • you rather like wet underwear.
  • your boat's motor used to be a dashboard fan.
  • you think rum is the official state drink.
  • your best shoes are Topsiders.
  • your car's hood ornament is the top off of a sailing trophy.
  • your idol is Jimmy Buffett.
  • your halyards are brand new, but your belt has two splices.
  • you read Latitude 38 under the covers with a flashlight.
  • you've ever done the horizontal tango while wearing sailing gloves.
  • your underwear has a North Sail logo.
  • your bar tab equals your paycheck.
  • you have a beer can crusher mounted on your mast.
  • you use a marlin spike to break sunburn blisters.
  • the boat next to you threatens to cut you off at the mark and you threaten to cut off something of his in return.
  • you have at least one broken boat part in your car at all times.
  • your finish at the Annual Regatta made America's Funniest Home Videos.
  • you have a Mount Gay poster in your living room.
  • you've ever traded a Dramamine for a beer.
  • you have a Jello mold in the shape of a J/22.
  • your vacation plans center around World Championships.
  • you have to dress up to go to Wal-Mart.
  • you think of duct tape as a long term investment.
  • you've ever been involved in a fight over the last chocolate chip cookie.
  • you wear a sailing cap to church.
  • people are afraid to touch your foul weather gear.
  • you think matching wet weather boots are an acceptable wedding gift.
  • you've ever written your resume on a bar napkin.
  • your wind instruments cost $2,000 and you have a bucket for a head.
  • your beer cooler opens with The Clapper.
  • the local boat yard's phone number is number one on your speed dialer.
  • you think Roe vs. Wade deals with boat ownership.
  • you'll marry a girl just to keep a good foredeck person.

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One liners

They call it boat because all the other 4 letter words were taken.

#1 Rule of Boat Ownership – If it ain’t broke, don’t use it!

Sailing is not a matter of life or death, it is infinitely more important.

If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it.

If you sloop too late, yawl ketch a cod.

The reason people buy multihulls is that after they learn to sail they can take their training hulls off.

The major difference between sailors and powerboaters is that powerboaters are always on their way somewhere;Sailors, on the otherhand, are always right where they want to be.

The three stages of the aging sailor:

  • Impotence and loss of interest in the other sex.
  • Drooling while sleeping.
  • Pride of ownership in a powerboat.

The perfect boat:

  • Drinks six
  • Eats four
  • Sleeps two

Bay Breeze

There once was a young man named Jay,
Who thought he'd try sailing the Bay.
The wind, it did blow, for just half a day.
So young Jay is still out there today.

A mate's lament

It's not my job to drive the boat, the horn I cannot blow.
It's not my job to say how far the yacht's allowed to go.
It's not my job to throttle down, nor even clang the bell -
But let the d--n thing hit the dock and see who catches hell!

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Jet Ski

What is the difference between a jet ski and a vacum sweeper?
The location of the dirt bag.

What's the difference between a jet skier and a bucket of @#%* ?
The bucket.

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Suggestions for the ex-sailor who misses the Navy

  • Sleep on the shelf in your closet. Replace the closet door with a curtain. Six hours after you go to sleep, have your wife whip open the curtain, shine a flashlight in your eyes, and mumble "Sorry, wrong rack".
  • Don't eat any food that didn't come out of a can or need to have water added. Drink only Kool-Aid or powdered milk with your meals.
  • Paint the walls inside your house brown, the ceilings dirty white, and the staircases gray. Number all the doors and windows and mark them "X", "Y", and "Z".
  • Renovate your bathroom. Build a wall across the middle of your bathtub and move the shower head down to chest level. When you take showers, make sure you shut off the water while soaping.
  • Repeat back everything anyone says to you.
  • Every time there's a thunderstorm, go sit in a wobbly rocking chair and rock as hard as you can until you're nauseous.
  • Put lube oil in your humidifier instead of water and set it to "High".
  • Don't watch TV except movies in the middle of the night. Also, have your family vote on which movie to watch, then show a different one.
  • Don't do your wash at home. Pick the most crowded laundromat you can find.
  • Leave lawnmower running in your living room six hours a day for proper noise level.
  • Take hourly readings on your electric and water meters.
  • Sleep with your dirty laundry.
  • Invite guests, but don't have enough food for them.
  • Take out the trash only once a week. Store up garbage in the other side of your bathtub.
  • Wake up every night at midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale bread, if anything.
  • Make up your family menu a week ahead of time without looking in your food cabinets or refrigerator.
  • Set your alarm clock to go off at random times during the night. When it goes off, jump out of bed and get dressed as fast as you can, then run out into your yard and see if your neighbor's house is still there.
  • Once a month take every major appliance completely apart and then put them back together.
  • Use 18 scoops of coffee per pot and allow it to sit for 5 or 6 hours before drinking.
  • Invite at least 15 people you don't really know to come and visit for a couple of days.
  • Have a fluorescent lamp installed on the bottom of your coffee table and lie under it to read books.
  • Raise the thresholds and lower the top sills on your front and back doors so that you either trip over the threshold or hit your head on the sill every time you pass through one of them.
  • Put a complicated lock on your basement door and wear the key on a lanyard around your neck.
  • Lockwire the lug nuts on your car.
  • When making cakes, prop up one side of the pan while it is baking. Then spread icing really thick on one side to level off the top.
  • Every so often, throw your cat into the swimming pool, shout "Man overboard", run into the kitchen and sweep all the pots, pans and dishes off of the counter onto the floor, then yell at your wife for not having the place "stowed for sea".

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The Pirate Way

A sailor meets a pirate in a bar, and they take turns recounting their adventures at sea. Noting the pirate's peg-leg, hook, and eye patch the sailor asks "So, how did you end up with the peg-leg?"
The pirate replies "We was caught in a monster storm off the cape and a giant wave swept me overboard. Just as they were pullin' me out, a school of sharks appeared and one of 'em bit me leg off".
"Blimey!" said the sailor. "What about the hook"?
"Ahhhh...", mused the pirate, "We were boardin' a trader ship, pistols blastin' and swords swingin' this way and that. In the fracas me hand got chopped off."
"Zounds!" remarked the sailor. "And how came ye by the eye patch"?
"A seagull droppin' fell into me eye", answered the pirate.
"You lost your eye to a seagull dropping?" the sailor asked incredulously.
"Well..." said the pirate, " was me first day with the hook."

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Die Hard Sailor

Gordon, an avid sailor, died. So Susan went to the local paper to put a notice in the obituaries.
The gentleman at the counter, after offering his condolences, asked Susan what she would like to say about Gordon.
Susan replied, "You just put, 'Gordon died.'"
The gentleman, somewhat perplexed, said, "That's it? Just 'Gordon died?' Surely, there must be something more you'd like to say about Gordon. If it's money you're concerned about, the first five words are free. We really should say something more."
So Susan pondered for a few minutes and finally said, "O.K., then. You put 'Gordon died. Sailboat for sale.'"

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Sailboat Accident

Don McBride sends an oldie but goodie about a boater writing to his insurance company about an accident that occurred while he was working on his sailboat:

I am writing in response to your request for additional information for block number 3 of the accident reporting form. I put "poor planning" as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully and I trust the following detail will be sufficient.

I am a sailboat owner, and on the day of the accident I was working alone at the top of my 60-foot mast. When I had completed my work, I discovered that I had, over the course of several trips up the mast, brought up about 200 pounds of tools and spare hardware. Rather than carry the now unneeded tools and material down by hand, I decided to lower the items down in a small barrel by using a pulley which was attached at the top of the mast.

Securing the rope at deck level, I went to the top of the mast and loaded the tools and material into the barrel. Then I went back to the deck of the boat and untied the rope, holding tightly to ensure a slow descent of the 200 pounds of tools. You will note in block number 11 of the accident reporting form that I weigh only 155 pounds.

Due to my surprise of being jerked off the deck so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate of speed up the mast. In the vicinity of the 30 foot level, I met the barrel coming down. This explains my fractured skull and broken collarbone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley.

Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold onto the rope in spite of my pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of tools hit the deck and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the tools, the barrel now weighed approximately 10 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block number 11.

As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the mast. In the vicinity of the 30 foot level, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, and the lacerations of my legs and lower body. The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of tools and, fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked.

I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the tools, in pain, unable to stand and watching the empty barrel 60 feet above me, I again lost my presence of mind. I let go of the rope.

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