Nautical Literacy 101: All Aboveboard

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Nautical literacy is a means to add a bit of verve to any charter chatter. During your evening aperitif or morning mimosa, amaze your charter guests and friends with your maritime eloquence.

Nautical Literacy for luxury charter chatter
A View of His Majesty’s Brigg Observer, Commanded by Lieut. John Crymes, engaging the American Privateer Ship Jack, John Ropes (commander), by Night on the 29th of May 1782, Off the Harbour of Hallifax, Nova Scotia”. Aquatint by Robert Dodd, 1784

Aboveboard, Above Board, Above-Board All Above Board

Webster: in a straightforward manner, first known use 1594.

Webster Origin: from the difficulty of cheating at cards when the hands are above the table

Dictionary of Americanisms, by John Russell Bartlett (1848): Above-Board: In open sight; without artifice, or trick. “A figurative expression,” says Johnson, “borrowed from gamesters, who, when they put their hands under the table, are exchanging their cards.” It is the part of an honest man to deal above board and without tricks.

Nautical Literacy for Luxury Yacht Charter
The Card Players, Theodoor Rombouts (1597–1637)

Nautical Origin: A trick, common to warships and pirates alike, both of which had very large crews, was to keep all but a few of their men below deck and out of sight. When an enemy ship’s  officer scanned the decks with a telescope they would be fooled into thinking they were seeing a peaceful merchant vessel with a small crew, which posed no threat. The unscrupulous captain concealed his men low behind the bulwarks or below the top deck. An honorable captain with nothing to hide would keep his crew above board.

Contact Select Yachts and book your ideal charter yacht from our superb selection of megayachts, power yachts, luxury sailing or racing yachts, and crewed catamarans to insure the opportunity of showing off your nautical literacy to your shipmates.


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