Learning about boats

*note: this blog post is going to use the word "boat" instead of the word "ship", just to piss off any people who actually know about boats, who may be reading. sorry guys, i just think it's funny.

So. I need to learn about boats. Because of the Book. The main character spends about 2/3 of the book on a boat. I have written lots of the stuff on the boat, leaving out big holes. Like this:

Hannah climbed up the ladder to the ?? deck. She leaned against the ??, and stared up at the ??. The wind whistled through the ?? and made the ??s flap against the ??.

I need to learn about boats. And I've watched many episodes of Hornblower (mmm...sailory men...) and gone on a couple of replica boats, and taken photos, and watched Master & Commander (mmm... paul bettany with a cello...). But I still don't know my ?? from my ??.

I have bought a book called The 50-Gun Ship: A Complete History, by Rif Winfield. I would have rathered something designed for 12 year old boys with lots of clear labels, easy-to-understand language and cross-sections, but this will do.

And to ensure that I actually LEARN something from this book, and don't just leave it on my bookshelf looking Impressive, I am going to issue myself a challenge:

This time next week, I will tell all of my faithful readers what the following are:

scantlings (sounds like a nice title for a novel...)
tumblehome (so does that)

I encourage you, in the meantime, to come up with your own creative definitions. (no cheating and looking it up in the dictionary!)