The jack whistle, or "peep" whistle, is one of two whistles on many tugboats. The ship's whistle -- the big, deep-throated horn, is used to signal other vessels. The jack whistle, on the other hand, is used to communicate within the vessel.
The jack whistle may "peep" or "toot," and it can be heard on nearby vessels and docks, but it's really all about that particular boat.
Two "jacks" is for the engineer: fire-up the engines, or come on up to the wheelhouse. One jack let's the deckhand know he's needed on deck to put up a line or take one in. Three jacks means "all finished with engines." And so on.
It seemed like a good name for a new blog about working on tugboats. Seeing how I've stretched this one way beyond crewboats.
Anyway, if you're interested, drop in for a visit.