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    Re: Backing & Hauling in Slocum
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2003 Dec 17, 21:36 +0000

    >George Huxtable wrote:
    >> And Herbert Prinz replied-
    >> >No, Bill. The wind "draws" simply means that it fills the sails. The
    >>change of
    >> >direction that is opposite to "haul" is expressed by "farther [...] from the
    >> >direction of the pole".
    >> >From George-
    >> I think it's less simple than Herbert makes out. I will quote below two
    >> mailings from earlier this year on a related thread, "Veering and backing"
    >I don't understand how the discussion about veering and backing comes into
    >'Draw' means neither. In Slocum's text (and most sailor's terminology),
    >"the wind
    >draws" is synonym with "the wind blows [with some benefit for the boat]".
    >If 'draw'
    >indicated a change in direction, Slocum would have said "draws a few
    >points", but
    >he says "draws a few points further from ...". Since Slocum makes it
    >clear which way the wind turns, there is hardly any need for speculation
    >what words
    >mean that don't appear in the text.
    >Bill thought that Slocum intended to explain 'draw' by the text that
    >follows. This
    >is a misunderstanding of what Slocum says. The text immediately following
    >_qualifies_ the drawing action, it does not _explain_ it.
    >Furthermore, Bill thinks that Slocum's use of 'haul' is self evident, and
    >with this
    >I agree.
    >Herbert Prinz
    Thr relevant bit (and perhaps I should have picked it out and discarded the
    rest) is the section about what "haul" means, from Gershom Bradford, in "A
    glossary of Sea Terms", as follows-
    "If the wind is abeam and changes forward, it is said to haul, and if it
    changes aft it veers. It is, however, often spoken of as "hauling aft."
    Here is a completly different application of the word "veer", now with
    respect to the direction of the ship's bow."
    And that's the sense in which I, too, have used and understood the word
    "haul" over many years, here in the UK. Usually with something added, such
    as "haul ahead" or "haul aft", and generally the wind hauling (on its own)
    would imply hauling ahead, arriving from nearer the bow. I've never known
    it to be used here to describe the following (in Herbert's words), or its
    "The change of direction that is opposite to "haul" is expressed by
    "farther [...] from the direction of the pole"".
    In fact, I simply can't think of any word to describe that concept, of
    "farther [...] from the direction of the pole" or its converse, nearer to
    the direction of the pole, other than "more Southerly" or "more Northerly".
    A few more words of explanation from Herbert might help, here.
    Bradford mentions "veer". In Cook's day, a "veer" simply implied a change
    of direction, either way.
    Now, in Britain, a wind-shift that changes clockwise is a "veer" and
    anticlockwise is a "back". Does this have a different meaning elsewhere? In
    the Southern Hemisphere? In the tropics? At the equator?
    As for "draw", it's used in Britain, usually, in "let draw", which means to
    fill the sails by turning away from the wind, usually from very
    close-hauled with sails a-shiver, or by filling the jib from hove-to. But
    it can be used, suitably qualified, to express the opposite, when the wind
    "draws ahead".
    These sea-terms may be defined in dictionaries, but they don't always
    comply with usage at different places in different eras. On some craft,
    indeed, there may well be a contrary skipper who sticks to a contrary
    meaning, as his crew may find to their cost. It could be me...
    contact George Huxtable by email at george@huxtable.u-net.com, by phone at
    01865 820222 (from outside UK, +44 1865 820222), or by mail at 1 Sandy
    Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.

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