PACK-ICE - Numbers of large pieces of floating ice that have come together and lie more or less in contact.


PADDY'S PURCHASE - Seaman's scornful name for any lead of a rope by which effort is lost or wasted. "Paddy's purchase, spun yarn over a nail."


PAINTER - A line attached to the bow of a boat for use in towing or making fast


PANCAKE ICE - Small, circular sheets of newly-formed ice that do not impede navigation.


PAPER JACK - A licensed captain seen to be incompetent


PARALLELS OF DECLINATION – Imaginary circles parallel to the celestial equator (similar to parallels of latitude on Earth)


PARCEL A ROPE - Is to put a narrow piece of canvass round it before the service is put on.


PARCLOSE - Limber hole of a ship.


PAD EYE - A small fitting with a hole used to guide a line.


PARALLEL OF LATITUDE – An imaginary line on the surface of the Earth, parallel to the plane of the equator.  It connects all points of equal latitude


PASSENGER - A form of movable internal ballast which tends to accumulate on the leeward side of sailboats once sea motions commence.


PAY OUT - To feed line over the side of the boat, hand over hand.


PEA – The tip of an anchor fluke, also called the bill


PEAK - Outer end of the gaff -upper aft corner of a gaff sail


PEGGY - Merchant Navy nickname for seaman whose turn of duty it is to keep the messing place clean.


PELICAN HOOK – A hinged hook held together by a ring.  When the ring is knocked off, the hook swings open


PELORUS – A sighting instrument used for taking bearings, having a calibrated 360° card and two sighting vanes


PENNANT - A triangular flag


PFD (PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES) - A popular type of life jackets


PIER - A loading platform extending at an angle from the shore.


PIG BOAT - Submarine


PIGGIN - Very small wooden pail having one stave prolonged to form a handle. Used as a bailer in a boat


PILE - A wood, metal or concrete pole driven into the bottom. Craft may be made fast to a pile; it may be used to support a pier (see PILING) or a float.


PILING - Support, protection for wharves, piers etc.; constructed of piles (see PILE)


PILLAR BUOY – A very large structural buoy that may have a light, bell or whistle


PILOTHOUSE - A small cabin on the deck of the ship that protects the steering wheel and the crewman steering.


PILOTING -Navigation by use of visible references, the depth of the water, etc.


PINCH - To sail as close as possible towards the wind.


PINNACE - Formerly, small, two-masted sailing vessel sometimes with oars. Now rowing, sailing or mechanically-propelled boat of R.N. Is diagonal built: 36ft. in length.


PINTLE -Part of hinge with pin. See Gudgeon.


PITCH -1. The alternate rise and fall of the bow of a vessel proceeding through waves; 2. The theoretical distance advanced by a propeller in one revolution; 3. Tar and resin used for caulking between the planks of a wooden vessel.


PITCHING - The movement of a ship, by which she plunges her head and after-part alternately into the hollow of the sea.


PITCHPOLING - Boat being thrown end-over-end in very rough seas.


PLANING - A boat is said to be planing when it is essentially moving over the top of the water rather than through the water.


PLANING HULL - A type of hull shaped to glide easily across the water at high speed.


PLANKING - Wood boards that cover the frames outside the hull.


PLOT – To draw lines on a chart, indicating bearings, courses and positions


POINT - to turn closer towards the wind (point up), or 11-1/4° of the compass


POINTS - Traditional units of angular measurement from the viewpoint of someone on board a vessel. They are: Straight ahead of you, right up there; Just a little to the right of the front; Right next to that thing up there; Between those two things; Right back there, look; Over that round doohickey; Off the right corner; Back over there; and Right behind us.


POLYCONIC – A chart projection


POLYPROPYLENE – A synthetic material made into lines that float


POOPING - Said of a vessel, or of the sea, when following seas sweep inboard from astern.


POOP DECK - A boat’s aft deck.


POPPLE - A short, confused sea.


PORT - The left side of a boat looking forward. A harbor.


PORT TACK - Wind over the port side.


PORTHOLE - A glass-covered opening in the hull designed in such a way that when closed (while at sea) it admits light and water, and when open (while at anchor) it admits, light, air, and insects (except in Canadian waters, where most species are too large to gain entry in this manner).


PRAM - A type of dinghy with a flat bow.


PRATIQUE - Technical maritime term for customs procedure on entering foreign waters. When passing through customs, particularly in the tropics - the most common foreign destination for American pleasure craft - it is customary to display a small amount of that country's official currency in a conspicuous place and to transfer it to the officer who examines the boat's documents during the parting handshake. A nice sharp slap on the back as the captain effects the transfer shows he cares about appearances. And it is by no means out of place for the skipper to add a friendly word or two, such as "Here, Sparky, this is for you. Why don't you go out and buy yourself some joy juice and get stupid?" incidentally, these inspectors are justly proud of their educational attainments, and the savvy boat owner can win some fast friends by remarking with surprise and admiration on their ability to read and write.


PREVENTER - Line and/or tackle which limits the movement of the boom, usually for the purpose of preventing accidents or. An extra rope, to assist another-


PRIME MERIDIAN – The meridian through Greenwich, England (Lo 000°)


PRIVELEGED VESSEL - A vessel which, according to the applicable Navigation Rule, has right-of-way (this term has been superseded by the term "stand-on").


PRIVILEGED VESSEL - The vessel which in a collision was "in the right". If there were witnesses, the owner could bring an admiralty court case - know as a "wet suit" or a "leisure suit" - against the owner of the other boat, and if he proves "shiplash", he could collect a tidy sum.


PROLONGED BLAST – A blast of from 4 to 6 seconds duration


PROPELLER - A rotating device, with two or more blades, that acts as a screw in propelling a vessel. A device for automatically coiling and shortening expensive dock lines.


PROPELLER - Underwater winch designed to wind up at high speed any lines or painters left hanging over the stern


PROW  - The part of the bow forward of where it leaves the waterline.


PUFF - A sudden burst of wind stronger than what is blowing at the time.


PULPIT - Metal railing at bow.


PUNT - Small craft propelled by pushing on a pole whose lower end rests on the bottom of the waterway. 2. To propel a boat by resting end of a pole on bottom of waterway.


PUOY - Spiked pole used for propelling a barge or boat by resting its outboard end on an unyielding object.


PURCHASE - Any sort of mechanical power employed in raising or removing heavy bodies.


PURSER'S GRIN - Hypocritical smile, or sneer.


PUSHPIT - Metal railing enclosing stern. Opposite of Pulpit.