forty-footer

nile84

Senior Member
Persian
Hi

Friends, what kind of a boat/ship is a forty-footer? I googled the term but found nothing.

The biggest boat moored at the dock looked to be a forty-footer. Most of the others looked to be lobster boats, aged and constructed of wood.
(Since We Fell-Dennis Lehane)
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    A 'forty-footer' means a boat that's forty-foot long. It measures forty feet.
    A six-foot tall man might be called a 'six-footer'. The important thing to note is the use of the singular 'foot', not 'feet/er', in these idiomatic descriptive terms and adjectival nouns.
     

    nile84

    Senior Member
    Persian
    A 'forty-footer' means a boat that's forty-foot long. It measures forty feet.
    A six-foot tall man might be called a 'six-footer'. The important thing to note is the use of the singular 'foot' in these idiomatic descriptive terms and nouns.
    Interesting. Thank you.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Um ... . I see Andy says '
    It's forty feet long.
    '. Now I see that Barque does too! This is worrying, but I have to do something else right now, despite my anxiety about speaking proper English. :)
    Just thought that forty-foot long has to be followed by a noun? "It's a forty-foot long boat", but "The boat is forty feet long.":confused:
     
    Last edited:

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    A forty-foot boat is (about) forty feet long.

    An eleven-man team consists of eleven men.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    A 'forty-footer' means a boat that's forty-foot long. It measures forty feet...
    That is the most likely meaning in this case, and that is how this sort of expression should usually be understood. However, boats - especially sailboats - are not always described logically. A twelve-meter boat, for example, does not measure 12 meters long. It is usually almost twice that long. It is a boat whose weights and measurements, when put into a formula that tries to equalize various factors that all affect speed, produces a result that is under 12m. (Such large boats are very expensive to design and operate, so these boats are seldom seen today. However, the America's Cup was contested in 12-meter boats for many years.) Similarly, six-meter sailboats, much less expensive and therefore a popular racing class in many parts of the world, usually measure 10-11m long.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hermione, I don't understand your confusion. The word "forty-footer" is a noun. It means "a boat that is forty feet long" or a "a forty-foot boat".

    Egmont. I think that bringing in racing yacht classes could cause confusion. A 12-metre yacht is never called a "12-metre-er", and there's never been a racing yacht forty-foot rule. I'm not sure that cost is relevant either; one could readily build a 12-metre rule yacht for the price of putting a 2017 America's Cup 45-footer into the water.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top