RACING - Popular nautical contact sport


RADOME - A bun-shaped cover placed over a radar scanner to prevent risk of fouling and to protect it from the weather.


RAFTING - Overlapping of edges of two ice-floes, so that one floe is partly supported by the other.


RAKE – The angle of a vessel’s mast from the vertical


RAPTURE OF THE DEEP - Also known as nautical narcosis. Its symptoms include an inability to use common words, such as up, down, left, right, front, and back, and their substitution with a variety of gibberish which the sufferer believes to make sense; a love of small, dark, wet places; an obsessive desire to be surrounded by possessions of a nautical nature, such as lamps made from running lights and tiny ship's wheels; and a conviction that objects are moving when they are in fact standing still. This condition is incurable.


RANGE – 1.Two aids to navigation which, when seen to be in line, establish a line of position (transit).  2. The difference in depth between high and low tides


REACH - Sailing with a beam wind.


READY ABOUT – An expression used to indicate that the boat is about to tack


REEFING -The operation of reducing a sail by taking in one or more of the reefs


REEF BANDS - Pieces of canvass, about six inches wide, sewed on the fore part of sails, where the points are fixed for reefing the sail.


REEF KNOT – A joining knot


REEF POINTS - Short line through the reef band to secure the foot of the sail


REEVE - Leading a line through a block or other object.


RELATIVE WIND – The direction and velocity of the wind as observed from a moving vessel


RHUMB LINE - A line that passes through all meridians at the same angle. When drawn on a Mercator chart, the rhumb line is a straight line. However the Mercator chart is a distortion of a round globe on a flat surface, so the rhumb line will be a longer course than a great circle route.


RIGGING - There is, generally, two types of rigging, even on a modern steam ship, standing and running rigging. Standing rigging is that rigging which is fixed in place, such as halyard and stays which support a mast, and are not intended to be easily adjusted or changed. Running rigging is that which is easily adjustable, such as the main sheet, used to adjust the main sail, or the rigging on a ships crane which raises and lowers cargo.


RIGHT – To return to a normal position, as a vessel righting after heeling


RIGHT-OF-WAY - A right-of-way boat has precedence over others on conflicting courses and has the right to maintain its course. NOTE: This is a hypothetical concept not recognized by power boats and PWC’s.


RINGBOLT – A blot fitted with a ring through it’s eye, used for leading running rigging


ROACH - The part of the sail that extends beyond the straight line between the head and the clew. Roach is sometimes also applied to the foot.


ROCKS AND SHOALS - The portion of naval regulations concerning punishments for crimes


RODE - The anchor line and/or chain.


ROLLERS – Long swelling waves moving with a steady sweep


ROLLER REEFING - Reducing sail by rolling sail around forestay


ROOMING - The navigable water to leeward of a vessel


ROPE - In general, cordage as it is purchased at the store. When it comes aboard a vessel and is put to use it becomes line.


ROPE-YARN SUNDAY - An afternoon off devoted to washing and sewing clothes


RUDDER - A vertical plate or board for steering a boat.


RUDDER - A large, heavy, vertically mounted, hydrodynamically contoured steel plate with which, through the action of a tiller or wheel, it is possible, during brief intervals, to point a sailing vessel in a direction which, due to a combination of effects caused by tide, current, the force and direction of the wind, the size and angle of the waves, and the shape of the hull, it does not wish to go.


RUDDER POST - The post that the rudder is attached to. The wheel or tiller is connected to the rudder post.


RUMMAGE - Originally meant "to stow cargo". Now, means "to search a ship carefully and thoroughly".


RUN - To allow a line to feed freely.  Sailing downwind.


RUN OUT - To put out a mooring, hawser or line from a ship to a point of attachment outside her.


RUNNING – Sailing with the wind abaft of the beam


RUNNING FIX – A position determined by the use of bearings that have an appreciable time difference between them


RUNNING LIGHTS - Lights required to be shown on boats underway between sundown and sunup.


RUNNING RIGGING - Lines which run through pulleys and block and tackle, that are used to adjust the sails and yards