Foul (nautical)

Example of a fouled anchor

Foul is a nautical term meaning to entangle or entwine, and more generally that something is wrong or difficult. The term dates back to usage with wind-driven sailing ships.

Fouled anchor

It is usually applied to the state of an anchor, which has become hooked on some impediment on the ground, or has its cable wound round the stock or flukes. The term is generally utilized when speaking of items of historical value such as the US Navy chief petty officer emblem.[1] The fouled anchor is also the official seal of the Lord High Admiral of Britain, presently HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, and is flown on the ship carrying the monarch to sea. It is also flown during the launching of a warship of the Royal Navy.

Flag of the Lord High Admiral, depicting a fouled anchor

Other usage

The term can be applied to many nautical situations:


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