Here are few steamboat terms to toss around during Tall Stacks:
Back around - Turning the boat, like backing a car into a driveway and pulling into the street.
Barge - A vessel designed to be towed. On the Ohio, towing is done by pushing rather than pulling. A group of barges cabled together is called a tow.
Boiler deck - The second deck of a boat, above the boilers.
Bucket planks - The paddles of the paddle wheel.
Cabin - The enclosed portion of the boiler deck.
Capstan - The spool-like steam powered winch on the head of a steamboat, used for pulling lines.
Doctor - A pump that feeds water to the boilers.
Fantail - The deck alongside the paddle wheel.
Firebox - The boiler room.
Forecastle - The forward end of the main deck.
Guy - Any line used to hold a boom, mast or smokestack firmly in place.
Handy line - A throwing line made of soft rope used to reach a distant shore. A large knot, called a monkey's fist, is tied in the end.
Head - The front end of the boat. Not the restroom.
Hog chains - Iron rods that form a truss system that holds the ends of a boat up and the middle down.
Hurricane roof - The lowest of the boat's various roofs.
Lazy bench - The bench in the pilot house where everybody but the pilot sits.
Levee - To river men, a graded wharf. On a river, high embankments to prevent overflow of high water.
Packet - A river steamboat designed to carry freight on its decks and provided with cabins for passengers. An excursion boat carries passengers only, but has no cabins. A tourist boat carries passengers and provides staterooms.
Pitman arm - Similar to the connecting rod on a locomotive, it transfers engine power to the paddle wheel.
Ringbolts - Large iron rings on a wharf that a steamboat ties mooring lines to.
Stacks - Smokestacks. Never called funnels.
Stage - A gangplank or boardwalk, 40-60 feet long, swung out ahead of the boat, worked by a mast and boom and lowered at landings. Most Ohio boats had one stage. Mississippi boats had two, one on each side of the forecastle.
Steersman - Apprentice pilot.
Swing guys - The guys (lines) used to swing the stage to the side of the boat.
Texas - The top deck, on top of the skylight roof and surmounted by the pilot house.
Wharf - A sloped, stone landing where riverboats tie up.
Wharf boat - A boat used as a floating wharf for riverboats.
Yawl - A rowboat belonging to a steamboat.
Source: Pilotin' Comes Natural by Fred Way Jr. (New York; 1943)