The foremost end of a ship, the opposite of stern. From bow to stern, the whole length of a ship. The word is frequently used in the plural, as ‘the bows of a ship’. It was also used at one time to give an approximate bearing of an object in relation to the fore-and-aft line of the ship, as e.g. ‘the buoy bears 15° on the port bow’ or ‘two points on the starboard bow’, as the case may be. On the bow, within an arc of four points (45°) extending either side of the bow. It is the position in the ship where the hawseholes for the anchors are situated and where the jackstaff is stepped. See also bulbous bow. For illus.
Subjects: Maritime History.