from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Nautical, the part of the side of a vessel or boat which lies between the line of flotation and the upper side of the deck (or a point corresponding to it), or, when there are several decks, of the uppermost watertight deck.
- n. The minimum free-board to which British merchant vessels may be loaded is indicated by a mark known as the Plimsoll mark. Lloyd's Register is empowered to assign the deepest water-line to which a vessel may be loaded. The lines must be permanently marked on the side of the vessel, as shown in the cut. F W is the fresh-water free-board line to which the ship can be loaded in a fresh-water harbor. S is the corresponding summer load-line for the same displacement in salt water. W is the winter free-board line. WNA is the winter free-board line for voyages in the North Atlantic. I S is the line for summer voyages in the Indian Ocean. L R is Lloyd's Register. For sailing-vessels the FW and WNA lines only are marked.
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