Sailor Speak of the Week – Capsize



  • When a vessel heels completely over until it floats bottom-up.


From 13th century. Probably from the Spanish word capuzan, to sink.


Obviously this is something that you do not want to happen. However, some vessels are self-righting. For example, 47′ motor lifeboats are designed to self-right within ten seconds of capsizing owing to a combination of ballast and other buoyancy features in their construction.


Angelucci, E. & Cucari, A. (1975). Ships. Milan, IT: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore.

Rogers, J.G. (1985). Origins of Sea Terms. Mystic, CT: Mystic Seaport Museum.

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