Sailing Humor



A young woman was very depressed and decided to end it all by throwing herself into the ocean. Just as she was about to do so though, a young handsome sailor ran down to the shore and talked her out of it. "Look, you are young. There is so much you could do with you life." said the sailor. "In fact, my ship is sailing for Europe in the morning. I'll smuggle you on board and make sure you have plenty of food. If you'll just help me pass the lonely evening hours, I will get you over to Europe where you can start a new life."

That sounded great to the young women and took up living secretly in a room on board ship. Every evening the sailor would bring her some food and the two would spend the night together. After about a week of this though, the ship's captain discovered the woman hiding in the sailor's cabin.

"What are you doing in here?" asked the captain.

"Well, I have a deal with one of your sailors. He is smuggling me over to Europe, and he's screwing me."

"I'll say!" replied the captain. "This is the Staten Island Ferry."




A sailor who smelled like a distillery flopped on a subway seat next to a priest. The sailor's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket.

He opened his newspaper and began reading. After a few minutes, the sailor turned to the priest and asked, "Say, Father, what causes arthritis?"

"Mister, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol and a contempt for your fellow man."

"Well, I'll be damned," the sailor muttered, returning to his paper.

The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the seaman and apologized.

"I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?"

"I don't have it, Father. I was just reading here that the pope does."



The Mechanic

A gynecologist was getting sick of his job and decided that he needed a career change. He'd always enjoyed tinkering with engines so thought he'd become a marine diesel mechanic.

So he went along to marine mechanics school and the final test was to strip the diesel engine completely and reassemble it - obviously back into perfect working order. So our gynecologist friend did the test and anxiously awaited the result.

The day he received the results he got quite a surprise, he got 150%! He quickly phoned the instructor and queried the mark.

The instructor said, "No no that's right. First I gave you 50% for stripping down the engine-a very thorough job. Next I gave you 50% for reassembling it - a fantastic job really. Then I gave you a 50% bonus for doing it all through the exhaust port."


The Pirate Way

A sailor meets a pirate in a bar, and they take
turns recounting their adventures at sea. Noting the pirate's
peg-leg, hook, and eye patch The sailor asks "So, how did you end
up with the peg-leg?"

The pirate replies "We was caught in a monster storm off the cape
and a giant wave swept me overboard. Just as they were pullin'
me out, a school of sharks appeared and one of 'em bit me leg

"Blimey!" said the sailor. "What about the hook"?

"Ahhhh...", mused the pirate, "We were boardin' a trader ship,
pistols blastin' and swords swingin' this way and that. In the
fracas me hand got chopped off."

"Zounds!" remarked the sailor. "And how came ye by the eye

"A seagull droppin' fell into me eye", answered the pirate.

"You lost your eye to a seagull dropping?" the sailor asked

"Well..." said the pirate, " was me first day with the hook."



A thirsty sailor runs from his boat to the nearest bar and shouts to the bartender, "Give me twenty shots of your best scotch, quick!"
The bartender pours out the shots, and the sailor drinks them as fast as he can.
The bartender is very impressed and exclaims, "Wow. I never saw anybody drink that fast."
The sailor replies, "Well, you'd drink that fast too, if you had what I have."
The bartender says, "Oh my God! What is it? What do you have ?"
"Fifty cents !"




Two Swedish guys get off a ship and head for the nearest bar.
Each one orders two whiskeys and immediately downs them. They
then order two more whiskeys a piece and quickly throw them
back. They then order another two apiece. One of the men picks
up one of his drinks, and, turning to the other man, says,

The other man turns to the first and says, "Hey, did you come
here to talk, or did you come here to drink?"


Singing Sailors

Q: Why do opera singers make good sailors?

A: Because they can handle high seas. (high C's)

True Stories of a Stiletto Owner!

The Stiletto catamaran looks kinda funny when on it's trailer because of
the way it telescopes down to 8' from 14'. Well one day while
trailering it, I happen to pull in to a gas station when a young boy
came up to me and asked "Hey, is this your boat?" I replied "Well
yes!". Kinda excited and proud to say it was. The young boy then
asked, "Then who does the other one belong to?".

From: Guy Grafius

Gordon Died

Gordon died. So Susan went to the local paper to put a notice in the obituaries. The gentleman at the counter, after offering his condolences, asked Susan what she would like to say about Gordon.

Susan replied, "You just put, 'Gordon died.'"

The gentleman, somewhat perplexed, said, "That's it? Just 'Gordon died?'

Surely, there must be something more you'd like to say about Gordon. If it's money you're concerned about, the first five words are free. We really should say something more."

So Susan pondered for a few minutes and finally said, "O.K., then. You put 'Gordon died. Sailboat for sale.'"

The Islander

The purpose of work.....???

The American businessman was at the pier of a small South Pacific Island

village when a small proa with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small

proa was a dorrado several large grouper. The American complimented the Islander on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Islander replied, "Only a little while."

The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Islander said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my

children, take a late afternoon nap with my wife, Helia, stroll into the

village each evening where I sip rum and play guitar with my

friends, I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should

spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the

proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you

would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a

middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your

own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution.

You would need to leave this small fishing village and move to Australia, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding


The South Seas fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then?"

The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is

right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and

become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions, realy? Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small fishing

village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids,

take a late afternoon nap with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings

here you could sip rum and play your guitar with your friends."


Reflecting on the Past

An old sea captain was sitting on a bench near the wharf when a young man walked up and sat down. The young man had spiked hair and each spike was a different color.... green, red, orange, blue, and yellow.

After a while the young man noticed that the captain was staring at him. "What's the matter old timer, never done anything wild in your life?

The old captain replied, "Got drunk once and married a parrot. I was just wondering if you were my son!"



(This was a story told by a professor. It was presented as truth, but I have my doubts.)

A high school teacher applied for work at all the high schools in his city, and was hired by an exclusive all-girls school to teach sex ed. Not wanting to have to explain to his wife that he'd be discussing sex all day with schoolgirls, he told her he'd been hired to teach sailing. "But you don't know anything about sailing!" "Teaching is easy--you just have to stay one step ahead of the class and you'll be fine." The wife was unconvinced, but wanted to be supportive, so she went to the school on the first day of class and waited outside the door for class to end. Class let out, and wave after wave of girls streamed out, talking about what a great teacher they had. The wife stopped one of the girls and asked, "What did you think of the teacher?" "Oh, he's great! He really knows his stuff--you can tell he has a lot of experience." "Really? That's interesting--he's only gone twice, once he fell off and once he lost his hat."


 A guy is in a sailboat on the ocean when a storm comes up. A powerboat pulls up to him and offers to tow him to safety. He says "I am a devout man, I know that God will save me - you go ahead into shore." The storm gets a worse. A coast guard patrol boat pull up to him and offers to tow him to safety. He says again "I am a devout man, I know that God will save me - you go ahead into shore." The storm is getting terrible now - waves splash over his little boat. A helicopter comes out hovering over the boat and drops a ladder down to the man. He waves them off, saying again "I am a devout man, I know that God will save me" The storm rages out of control, the man is swept off the boat and drowns. Being a devout man, he goes up to heaven - where he meets God. He asks of God: "I have worshipped you all my life, yet you did not save me from the storm, why?" God replies: "Dumbass. I sent a powerboat to get you, I sent the Coast Guard to get you, I sent helicopters out to save you...."





There were two twins, Joe and John. Joe was the owner of an old dilapidated boat. It just so happened that John's wife died the same day Joe's boat sank.

A few days later a kindly old woman saw Joe, and mistaking him for John, said, "I'm sorry to hear about your loss. You must feel terrible."Joe, thinking she was talking about his boat, said" Fact is, I'm sort of glad to be rid of her. She was a rotten old thing from the begining.Her bottom was all shriveled up and she smelled like an old dead fish, she was always loosing her water, she had a bad crack in the back and a pretty big hole in the front too. Everytime I used her, the hole got bigger and she leaked like crazy. I guess what finally finished her off was when I rented her to those four guys looking for a good time.

I warned them that she wasn't very good, but they wanted to use her anyhow. The fools all tried to get in her at once and she split right up the middle.

The old woman fainted.




1. Invite 80 people you don't really like to come and visit for a couple months. Don't have enough food for them. Limit showers to weekly for all guests.

2. Spend as much time as possible indoors and avoid sunlight. Only view the world through the peep hole on your front door.

3. Sleep on the shelf in your closet. Two to three hours after you fall asleep, have your wife shine a flashlight in your eyes, and mumble, "Sorry, wrong rack."

4. Renovate your bathroom. Build a wall across the middle of your bathtub and move the shower head down to chest level. Shower once a week. Use no more than 2 gallons of water per shower.

5. Buy a trash compactor and use it once a week. Store garbage in the other side of your bathtub.

6. Paint the windshield on your car black. Make your wife stand up through the sunroof and give directions on where to drive. Drive through as many big puddles as possible.

7. Leave lawnmower running in your living room six hours a day for proper noise level.

8. Replace all doorways with windows so that you have to step up AND duck down to go through them.

9. Put lube oil in your humidifier instead of water and set it to "High."

10. Buy bunk beds (4-high type) and convert the narrowest hallway in your home to a bedroom.

11. Hook up your air compressor to the sewer line to the house and blow a shit geyser ten feet in the air. Come inside and tell your wife 'calmly,' "I forgot to shut the valve." Then, make her and the kids clean up the mess.

12. Change the plumbing under your house so that the sewer line is vented inside your home.

13. Every so often, yell "Emergency Dive," run into the kitchen and sweep all pots/pans/dishes off of the counter onto the floor. Then, yell at your wife for not having the place "stowed for sea."

14. Take the jack handle out of your car's trunk and install it in the ceiling over your stove. Several times a day, give it 112 turns and yell, "Main induction secured."

15. Practice walking quickly with your back to the wall.

16. While doing laundry, replace liquid fabric softener with diesel fuel.

17. Fill laundry tub with oil. Lay in it, on your back, and change the washers in the water faucets.

18. Take hourly readings on your electric and water meters.

19. Cut a hole in the floor of your house and install some batteries. Go down there once a day and take specific gravities.

20. Put on the headphones from your stereo (don't plug them in). Go and stand in front of your stove. Say (to nobody in particular) "Stove manned and ready." Stand there for 3 or 4 hours. Say (once again to nobody in particular) "Stove secured." Roll up the headphone cord and put them away.

21. Give your wife more free time. All of the ironing goes under the mattress.

22. Tag out the steering wheel, gas pedal, brake pedal, transmission and cigarette lighter when you change the oil in your car.
23. At night, replace all lightbulbs in the living room with red bulbs.

24. Repeat back everything anyone says to you.

25. Sit in your car for six hours a day with your hands on the wheel and the engine running, but don't go anywhere. Install about 200 extra oil temperature gages. Take logs on all gages and indicators every 30 minutes.

26. Lockwire the lugnuts on your car.

27. Watch only unknown movies with no major stars on TV, and then only at night. Have your family vote on which movie to watch, then watch a different one.

28. Have the paper boy give you a haircut.

29. Make up your family menu a week ahead of time without looking in your food cabinets or refrigerator.

30. Buy all food in cases and line the floor with them.

31. Eat only food that you get out of a can or have to add water to.

32. Wake up every night at midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale bread. (Optional -- cold beans and weenies, canned ravioli or soup).

33. Store your eggs in your garage for two months and then scramble a dozen each morning.

34. Use 18 scoops of coffee per pot and allow it to sit for 5 or 6 hours before drinking. Never wash any coffee cups.

35. When making cakes, prop up one side of the pan while it is baking. Then spread icing really thick on one side to level off the top.

36. Raise hell with your wife when she serves steak the next time. When she says that that's the way it came from the store, you ask, "BURNT?"

37. Go to the market and buy 100 quarts of milk. Pour them into a large white trash bag and secure. Put the bag in the refrigerator and rename it: "The Cow."

38. Use Kool Aid on your breakfast cereal for two months.

39. Just have someone chew your ass out over nothing, daily.

40. To duplicate normal in-port routine, hire about 20 drunks to come into your house about one in the morning and start cooking.






The fine art of getting wet and becoming ill, while going nowhere slowly at great expense.

Any of a number of heavy, hook-shaped devices that is dropped over the side of the boat on the end of a length of rope and/or chain, and which is designed to hold a vessel securely in place until (a) the wind exceeds 2 knots, (b) the owner and crew depart, or (c) 3 a.m.
Long, low-lying navigational hazard, usually awash, found at river mouths and harbor entrances, where it is composed of sand or mud, and ashore, where it is made of mahogany or some other dark wood. Sailors can be found in large numbers around both.
Any horizontal surface whose total area does not exceed one half of the surface area of an average man at rest, onto which at least one liter of some liquid seeps during any 12-hour period and above which there are not less than 10 kilograms of improperly secured objects.
Break Out Another Thousand.
Laterally mounted pole to which a sail is fastened. Often used during jibing to shift crew members to a fixed, horizontal position.
Burdened Vessel:
The boat which, in a collision situation, did not have the right-of-way. See PRIVILEGED VESSEL.
An abrasive sailcloth used to remove excess skin from knuckles
Any one of a number of substances introduced into the spaces between planks in the hull and decking of a boat that give a smooth, finished appearance while still permitting the passage of a significant amount of seawater.
Sudden and usually unpleasant surprise suffered by Spanish seaman.
Circuit Breaker:
An electromechanical switching unit intended to prevent the flow of electricity under normal operating conditions and, in the case of a short circuit, to permit the electrification of all conductive metal fittings throughout the boat. Available at most novelty shops.
Club, Yacht Club, Racing Association:
Troublesome seasonal accumulation in costal areas of unpleasant marine organisms with stiff necks and clammy extremities. Often present in large numbers during summer months when they clog inlets, bays, and coves, making navigation almost impossible. The infestations are most serious along the coasts of Conneticut, Massachusetts, and Maine. They can be effectively dislodged with dynamite, but, alas, archaic federal laws rule out this option.
Heavy, stationary objects used on shipboard to hold down charts, anchor cushions in place and dampen sudden movements of the boom.
Waterborne pleasure journey embarked on by one or more people. A cruise may be considered successful if the same number of individuals who set out on it arrive, in roughly the same condition they set out in, at some piece of habitable dry land, with or without the boat.
Tidal flow that carries a boat away from its desired destination, or toward a hazard.
Distress Signals:
International signals which indicate that a boat is in danger. For example, in American waters: the sudden appearance of lawyers, the pointing of fingers, and repression of memories; in Italian waters: moaning, weeping, and wild gesticulations; in French waters: fistfights, horn blowing, and screamed accusations; in Spanish waters: boasts, taunts, and random gunfire; in Irish waters: rhymthic grunting, the sound of broken glass, and the detonation of small explosive devices; in Japanese waters: shouted apologies, the exchange of calling cards, and minor self-inflected wounds; and in English waters: doffed hats, the burning of toast, and the spilling of tea.
Sailboats are equipped with a variety of engines, but all of them work on the internal destruction principle, in which highly machined parts are rapidly converted into low-grade scrap, producing in the process energy in the form of heat, which is used to boil bilge water; vibration, which improves the muscle tone of the crew; and a small amount of rotational force, which drives the average size sailboat at sppeds approaching a furlong per fortnight.
A line circling the earth at a point equidistant from both poles which separates the oceans into the North Danger Zone and the South Danger Zone.
Marine custom establishes a code of social behavior and nautical courtesy for every conceivable occasion. Thus, for example, a boat belonging to another boatman is always referred to as a "scow", a "tub", or a "pig-boat". When one skipper goes aboard another's boat, he does not hesitate to tell him frankly about any drawbacks or disadvantages he finds in comparison to his own craft. Sailors welcome every opportunity to improve their vessels, and so he knows that his remarks will be greatly appreciated. When one sailboat passes another, it is customary for the captain of the passing boat to make a bladderlike sound with his lips and tongue, and for the captain of the passed boat to return the courtesy by offering a smart salute consisting of a quick upward movement of the right hand with the second digit extended.
Decorative dummy found on sailboats. See CAPTAIN.
Any of an number of signalling pennants or ensigns, designed to be flown upside down, in the wrong place, in the wrong order, or at an inappropriate time.
Sailboats without auxiliary engines do not require fuel as such, but an adequate supply of a pale yellow carbonated beverage with a 10 percent to 12 percent alcohol content is essential to the operation of all recreational craft.
1. Ancient: Aspect of seafaring associated with slavery
2. Modern: Aspect of seafaring associated with slavery
Movable mountings often found on shipboard lamps, compasses, etc., which provide dieting passengers an opportunity to observe the true motions of the ship in relation to them, and thus prevent any recently ingested food from remaining in their digestive systems long enought to be converted into unwanted calories.
1. Any boat over 2 feet in length. 2. The skipper of any such craft. 3. Any body of water. 4. Any body of land within 100 yards of any body of water.
In maritime use, the ability to keep persons on board ship without resorting to measures which substantially violate applicable state and federal statutes
A situation calling for LEADERSHIP
Life Preserver:
Any personal flotation device that will keep an individual who has fallen off a vessell above water long enough to be run over by it or another rescue craft.
Commercial dock facility. Among the few places, under admiralty law, where certain forms of piracy are still permitted, most marinas have up-to-date facilities for the disposal of excess amounts of U.S. currency that may have accumulated on board ship, causing a fire hazard.
Mile (Nautical):
A relativistic measure of surface distance over water - in theory, 6076.1 feet. In practice, a number of different values for the nautical mile have been observed while under sail, for example: after 4 p.m., approximately 40,000 feet; in winds of less than 5 knots, about 70,000 feet; and during periods of threatening weather in harbor approaches, around 100,000 feet.
The act of bringing a boat to a complete stop in a relatively protected coastal area in such a fashion that it can be sailed away again in less than one week's time by the same number of people who moored it without heavy equipment and no more than $100 in repairs.
A form of movable internal ballast which tends to accumulate on the leeward side of sailboats once sea motions commence.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Underwater winch designed to wind up at high speed any lines or painters left hanging over the stern.
Affectionate slang term for ship's captain
Popular nautical contact sport
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.
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.
An entertaining, albeit expensive, device, which, together with a good atlas, is of use in introducing the boatman to many interesting areas of the earth's surface which he and his craft are not within 1,000 nautical mailes of.
A boat is said to be shipshape when every object that is likely to contribute to the easy handling of the vessel or the comfort of the crew has been put in a place from which it cannot be retrieved in less than 30 minutes.
Due to restricted space, limited water supplies, and the difficulty of generating hot water, showers on board ship are quite different from those taken ashore. Although there is no substitute for direct experience, a rough idea of a shipboard shower can be obtained by standing naked for two minutes in a closet with a large, wet dog.
Spanner Wrench:
One of the most useful tools for engine repair; in come cases, the only suitable tool. Not currently manufactured.
An extremely large, lightweight, balloon-shaped piece of sailcloth frequently trailed in the water off the bow in a big bundle to slow the boat down.
Method of joining two ropes by weaving together the individual strands of which they are composed. The resultind connection is stronger than any knot. Splicing is something of an art and takes a while to master. You can work on perfecting your technique at home by practicing knitting a pair of socks or a stocking cap out of a pound or so of well-cooked noodles.
To shift the course of a sailboat from a direction far to the right, say, of the direction in which one wishes to go, to a direction far to the left of it.
Stub your "toe"? Well then, it's time to brush up on your nomenclature! In nautical terms, a toe is a catchcleat or snagtackle. A few others: head - boomstop; leg - bruisefast; and hand - blistermitten.
As worn by yacht club members and other shore hazards, a distinctive form of dress intended to be visible at a distance of at least 50 meters which serves to warn persons in the vicinity of the long winds and dense masses of hot air associated with these tidal bores.
Name of German sea dog.
High-fiction coating applied as a gloss over minor details in personal nautical recollections to improve their audience-holding capacity over frequent retellings.
Weather Helm:
Marked tendency of a sailboat to turn into the wind, even when the rudder is centered. This is easily countered by wedging a heavy object against the tiller. See CREW.
Sound made by Vang when he wishes to be fed.
Sound made by Vang to show that he doesn't like that dry, lumpy dog food you put in his dish.
Useful accessory if that dry, lumpy dog food is all you happen to have on board.
Yacht Broker:
Form of coastal marine life found in many harbors in the Northern Hemisphere generally thought to occupy a position on the evolutionalry scale above algae, but somewhat below the cherrystone clam.
Southern version of ahoy.
A warm, pleasand breeze named after the mythical Greek god of wishful thinking, false hopes, and unreliable forecasts.


From A Sailor's Dictionary, by Henry Read and Roy McKie, Copyright 1981; Workman Publishing Company