Western Steamboat Glossary
a-frame: pair of pivoting posts rigged for lifting
acorn: common finial design
ash pan: grated area beneath furnace
ash well: pipe running from ash pan out hull bottom
arm: paddlewheel spoke
backing bell: middle tone, used for signaling engineer
backing line: tie-up for pulling a vessel in reverse
balance bucket: heavy bucket (plank) in the paddlewheel used to balance weight of crank and pitman arm.
balanced rudder: rudder with area forward of tiller post.
bar: in a river, a sand or gravel obstruction/shallow area
beam: hull width
beam engine: used to transfer motion from piston to crankshaft
bed plate (or sole plate): cast iron base for marine engine
berths: beds aboard, or cabins containing beds
bilge: bottom of the hull
bilge streaks: longitudinal timbers atop frames or ribs in the bilge.
boiler: water-filled metal tank heated to produce steam for locomotive power
boiler, Cochran’s: early watertube boiler
boiler, double ended scotch: furnaces at each end
boiler, drop-flue: a return flue design which drops the carbons downward
boiler, dry bottom and wet bottom:
boiler deck: level above the boilers
bow: forward area of vessel
bowsprit: spar, forward-raking, to which tackle, sails and rigging attach.
braces: hogging posts and associated timbers