Nautical Terms That Begin with the Letters E & F

Nautical Terms That Begin with the Letters E & F

If you’ve been keeping up with our maritime terms and phrases blogs as we take a voyage through the alphabet, you should have already read our posts Nautical Terms That Begin with the Letter A, Nautical Terms That Begin with the Letter B and Nautical Terms That Begin with the Letter C.

So if you’re curious to find out the meanings of some more weird and wonderful words to do with shipping, sailing, seafarer jobs, merchant navy ranks and vessels, keep on reading as we explore some nautical words that start with E and F.

Nautical Terms That Begin with the Letters E and F


Electrical Cadet
An Electrical Cadet is someone undergoing a cadetship with the goal of learning how to maintain and repair the electrical and electronic equipment and machinery onboard a vessel. A cadetship involves time spent in the classroom as well as practical on-the-job training at sea.

Electro-Technical Cadet
An Electro-Technical Cadet is someone undergoing a cadetship with the goal of learning how to maintain and repair the electrical and electronic equipment and machinery onboard a vessel. A cadetship involves time spent in the classroom as well as practical on-the-job training at sea.

The goal of an ETO Cadet / Electro-Technical Cadet is to progress through the Seafarer Ranks to become an ETO / Electro-Technical Officer.

Electro-Technical Officer
An Electro-Technical Officer or ETO as it is usually shortened to, is one of the newer Seafarer Ranks and they are responsible for ensuring that all of the electrical and electronic equipment onboard are monitored and maintained to ensure the safe and efficient running of the vessel.

The advancement in electrical and electronic equipment has meant that specialist crew members are required to take care of it - the ETO in other words.

seafarers looking at equipment
Courtesy of the IMO #MaritimeWomenPhotoShare Campaign

Engine Cadet
An Engine Cadet on a ship is an apprentice, or trainee, seafarer who is at the very start of his or her career in the maritime industry. They are simultaneously onboard to work and to learn so that they can progress through the various Seafarer Ranks found in the engine room of a vessel.

Engineer
An Engineer on a ship makes sure that all of the machinery in the engine room is in good working order to facilitate a problem-free voyage. Part of the Engine Department, they will normally start their maritime career as an Engine Cadet, working their way through the ranks of Junior Engineer, Fourth Engineer, Third Engineer, Second Engineer and Chief Engineer.

Even Keel
Even Keel is the term used to describe it when the draft (the depth of a loaded ship in the water) of a vessel’s fore and aft are equal.

Excavator Driver
An Excavator Driver, AB-Excavator Driver, or Excavator Operator on a ship is very similar to their shore-based counterparts in that their main duty is to safely and efficiently operate plant machinery. The main difference being is that an excavator on a ship is located on the deck and used for cargo operations, salvage operations and dredging.

backhoe dredger with an excavator

Exposure Suit
An Exposure Suit (also called an Anti-Exposure Suit) is a garment designed to protect the wearer from an extreme environment. For example, from wet and cold environments found at sea, specifically in evacuation or rescue operations, or in diving.

Depending on the type of suit and the situation it has been designed for, the garment may provide buoyancy, total isolation from the environment, or thermal insulation.  

Now let’s check out some maritime words and terms that begin with F.

FAK
FAK stands for Freight All Kinds which is a method in which freight is charged per container, regardless of the nature of goods in that container.

container ship

FPSO Vessel
FPSO stands for Floating Production, Storage & Offloading vessel or unit. FPSO Vessels are used by the offshore oil and gas industry for storing oil and producing and processing hydrocarbons. Often, these vessels are former service tankers.

Fathom
A Fathom is a nautical measurement used for discerning the depth of water and length of rope. 1 Fathom = 6 ft. = 1.83m

Feeder Port
A Feeder Port is smaller in size to a main port and is not accessible to bigger vessels. It is primarily used by Feeder Vessels which collect containers from that port and deliver them to a main port so that they can be 'fed' to the larger vessels which will transport them to their destination.

Feeder Vessel
A Feeder Vessel, Container Feeder or Feedermax is a mid-sized ship whose primary purpose is to collect shipping containers from ports and deliver them to central container terminals or hubs where they are then loaded onto larger container ships for onward transport.

In this sense, the feeder vessel is ‘feeding’ the larger ship with containers.

smaller cargo ship

Fender Pile
A Fender Pile is an upright wooden or plastic pile, normally freestanding, on the outer edge of a dock, harbor or wharf that absorbs the shock and protects the structure from the impact of a ship docking.

Ferry
A Ferry is any vessel that is used for transporting passengers, and often vehicles, from one point to another and back again. For example, across a river, a harbor, or across relatively short distances via sea.

FiFi
FiFi (FIre FIghting) is the fire fighting capability of a vessel. The higher the FiFi rating is, the greater the water capacity is and the vessel’s fire fighting abilities

Fireboat
The water-based or offshore cousin to a fire engine or fire truck, the Fireboat is a vessel that has onboard equipment, such as nozzles, hoses and pumps, that are used to fight and extinguish fires both on other ships, as well as along the coastline, on docks and in ports and warehouses.

a fireboat

First Dog Watch
The First Dog Watch is the period of being on duty (AKA Watch) that takes place onboard a vessel between 1600hrs and 1800hrs. It is 2 hours shorter than the usual four hour watches as it is split into First Dog Watch and Second Dog Watch so that those on duty may eat their evening meal.

First Watch
The First Watch is the period of being on duty (AKA Watch) that takes place onboard a vessel between 2000hrs and 0400hrs.

Flag of Convenience (FOC)
The Flag of Convenience is a practice in which the owner of a ship registers the vessel in a country other than their own. The ship then flies the civil ensign of that country - this country is known as the flag state.

This is a tactical business decision as vessels that are registered under ‘flags of convenience’ are able to cut operating costs or bypass stricter regulations in the owner's country.

different country flags

Not all countries allow this practice so a shipowner will need to find a country that has an open ship registry, or a nation that allows vessels owned by foreign entities to be registered. Some countries are well-known for this; Panama is one.

Fleeting
Fleeting is an area in which tugboats, towboats and barges are berthed until required.

Floating Crane
A Floating Crane is a heavy duty crane that can handle extremely heavy cargo that regular gantry cranes are unable to.

Forecastle
The Forecastle is the raised part of the forward end of a ship's hull - i.e. at the bow. Its name comes from the sailing ships of olden days where the Forecastle was almost literally a 'castle' at the fore of the ship and used to defend the vessel.

On the majority of newer vessels, this area is now used for storing equipment such as tackle, paint, tarpaulins and other essential items. However on some older ships it may still be used as crew quarters (crew accommodation.)

seafarers standing on the bow of the ship

Forenoon Watch
The Forenoon Watch is the period of being on duty (AKA Watch) that takes place onboard a vessel between 0800hrs and 1200hrs.

Forty Foot Equivalent Unit (FEU)
A Forty Foot Equivalent Unit is used to describe the storage capacity of a container ship, a FEU is a unit of measure unique to the maritime industry. It is equal to the space taken by a forty foot shipping container.

Free On Board (FOB)
Free On Board (FOB) refers to the cost of a product before transportation costs are added in.

Freight
Freight is goods or merchandise that are transported in bulk by ship. (Or any other form of transport.)

container port

Freight Forwarder
A Freight Forwarder is a person or company who represents the owner of cargo and who arranges shipments for them.

Freight Rate
The Freight Rate is the amount of money charged by a company for transporting freight.

Looking for even more nautical terms, words, acronyms and phrases? You should be able to find what you’re after in our Shipping Glossary!

Read the previous post in this series: Nautical Terms That Begin with the Letter D