Glossary of maritime terminology
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.
A fathom is a nautical measurement used for discerning the depth of water and length of rope. 1 Fathom = 6 ft. = 1.83m
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
Fire Control Plan
A ship’s fire control plan informs crew about the fire detection and alarm systems, fire fighting systems and equipment such as sprinklers and extinguishers onboard, including their location. It also details the means of escape from the various areas on the vessel. Having an onboard fire control plan is a mandatory requirement of SOLAS - the Safety of Life at Sea convention.
Fire Detection System
Most fire detection systems, also known as fire detection and alarm systems, on a ship consist of sensors to detect fire, heat and/or smoke and an alarm panel which will activate both visible and audible alarms that indicate the location of the fire.
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.
First Dog Watch
The First Dog Watch is maritime terminology and refers to 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.
The First Watch is the period of being on duty (AKA watch) that takes place onboard a vessel between 2000hrs and 0400hrs.
Fixed CO2 System
A fixed CO2 system, sometimes also known as a CO2 flooding system or central bank CO2 system, is a commonly installed fire detection system on vessels that consists of smoke detectors, alarms and cylinders of carbon dioxide (CO2.) In the event of a fire occurring in the cargo hold, engine room, pump room, purifier room or other protected area, the system releases CO2 to extinguish the fire.
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. 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 is an area in which tugboats, towboats and barges are berthed until required.
A floating crane is a heavy duty crane that can handle extremely heavy cargo that regular gantry cranes are unable to.
Floating Production Storage & Offloading Vessel
Usually referred to as FPSO vessels, floating production storage and offloading vessels are large, floating platforms that are used to produce, store, and offload oil and gas. Most floating production storage and offloading vessels are moored in one location for an extended period of time.
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.).
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 a maritime term used to describe the storage capacity of a container ship. A FEU is a unit of measure unique to the maritime industry and is equal to the space taken by a forty foot shipping container.
Foxtrot stands for the letter F in the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, which is most often referred to as the NATO Phonetic Alphabet or simply the Phonetic Alphabet. This is the most commonly used group of code words used to clearly communicate the letters of the Roman alphabet, particularly over the radio and is essential in helping seafarers give and receive messages, orders and instructions clearly and correctly.
FPSO stands for floating production storage and offloading vessels. These are large, floating platforms that are used to produce, store, and offload oil and gas. Most FPSO vessels are moored in one location for an extended period of time.
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.
Free On Board (FOB)
Free On Board (FOB) is a freight term that refers to the cost of a product before transportation costs are added in.
Freight is goods or merchandise that are transported in bulk by ship. (Or any other form of transport.)
A freight forwarder is a person or company who represents the owner of cargo and who arranges shipments for them.
The freight rate is the amount of money charged by a company for transporting freight.
Fresh Water Generator
A fresh water generator (FWG) on a ship converts saltwater/seawater into fresh water by a process of distillation. Commonly found on all types of vessels, these enable the generation of the fresh water supplies needed for passengers and/or crew while at sea.
FGW stands for fresh water generator. In shipping terms, this means that on a vessel the machinery converts saltwater/seawater into fresh water by a process of distillation. Commonly found on all types of ships, these enable the generation of the fresh water supplies needed for passengers and/or crew while at sea.