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Toronto Dinner Cruises - The Great Lakes Schooner Company


On the "A Sail Through Time" Program, you and your guests have an opportunity to explore the unique world of the sailor. Below are some of the terms and concepts you will explore during this exciting adventure:


The Kajama, pictured above, is a type of boat known as a schooner. A schooner is a ship that has two or more masts and sails that are set fore and aft lengthways.

Can you think of another famous schooner?
HINT: It is on the back of the dime. That's right, the Bluenose

Bow   The forward part of the boat also known as the fore deck. HINT: You always bow forward.
Stern   The part of boat that is at the back, also known as the aft deck.
Amidship   Is the centre part of the boat.
Port   The left side of the boat when facing forward. It can also refer to a harbour. HINT: Port has four letters, just like left.
Starboard   The right side of the boat when facing forward.
Helm/Wheel   A wheel used to steer the boat by moving the rudder. On the challenge, there are two helm wheels, one at the stern and one amidship in the wheelhouse.
Hull   The structural body of the boat (the sides and bottom of the boat).
Rudder   The paddle in the water at the stern that controls the direction of the boat.
Mast   A vertical spar or pole that rises from the deck and are the main support of the sails and rigging.
Fore Mast   The mast most forward.
Main Mast   The mast in the centre amidship.
Mizzen Mast   The mast at the stern or rear of the boat.
Moor   To fasten or tie a boat in place.
Anchor   A very heavy piece of metal attached to a line that keeps a boat in one place.


Get some hands-on experience with the following:

Sails   The fabric that is stretched between the masts and is used to catch the wind and move the boat forward in the water. Think of the sails as wind driven engines. The Challenge has seven sails to be identified and discussed on your voyage.
Stay   A strong rope or wire used to support the mast of a ship.
Lines   The general term for rope used on boats to raise and control sails, docking, etc.
Halyards   The lines used to hoist (raise) the sails up the mast.
Sheets   Sheets are often thought to be sails but in fact they are the lines used to control the lateral movement of the sails, that is to tighten or loosen them depending on wind conditions.
Roller Furling   A modern method of winding sails around a stay (rod) that runs parallel to the mast.
Cleat   A fitting to which sheets, halyards, and docking lines are temporarily attached.
Winch   A drum-like device that is used to pull on a line, it provides a mechanical advantage. In some cases a winch handle is attached to the winch for even more power.


Navigation is the science of determining a vessel's position and course.

Charts   Sea going maps showing water depth, buoys and areas of danger.
Compass   An instrument that shows magnetic north.
Buoys   Floating markers indicating location of channels, rocks, or other obstructions.
Course   The direction in which a vessel is to be steered.


A real Sailor uses these unusual terms:

Galley   A ship's kitchen.
Head   A ship's toilet.
Portholes   Small round openings in the side of a boat that let in air and light.
Down Below   Term used instead of downstairs.
On Deck   Term used instead of upstairs.


This will be easy for all you Scouts:

Knots, bends or hitches are commonly used to secure or fasten various parts of the sailing rig. The following are examples, these will be demonstrated the day of your voyage: Half Hitch, Clove Hitch, Sheet Bend, Square Knot, Bowline.

Knot is also a term used to describe a ship's speed:
1 Knot = 1.15 land miles per hour.

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