By default, all of your given terms have to appear in the ship name or citations on that ship page. This means that your terms won't always be in the results listed, but are indeed present on the ship's page, in the text of one or more of the citations.
There are a number of different things you can do with the query. Here are a few examples:
- Match all of your terms: This is the default behavior. All your terms must be present in either the ship name or one of its citations. For example: Mary & Elizabeth
- Match any of your terms: You can perform a search that matches either of your terms by using the | symbol, such as Mary | Elizabeth
- Exclude terms from results: If you want to make sure a term does not match, you can use an exclamation point, as in Mary Elizabeth !Jane
- More complex searching using grouping: You can create complex queries by grouping terms with parenthesis. (Mary | Elizabeth) & Queen
- Phrase matching: Rather than just matching single words, you can match phrases using quotes. "Queen Mary"
- Wildcard matching: Use an asterisk for wildcard searching. Note that you need at least three sequential literal characters – you can't just search for "*". "Eliza*"
- Limit searching to just the ship name (exclude citation matches): Quite often terms will match something in one of the citations, but if you don't want those matches returned, you can specify to perform the search just over the ship name by using "@ship_name". @ship_name Mary & Elizabeth
- Match at least so many words: To ensure that a certain number of your terms match (but not necessarily all) you can specify that number after a quoted set of terms with a slash. "Queen Mary Elizabeth"/2
- Specify first and/or last word: Use either or both of "^" and "$" to specify that the term should be at the beginning of the matching field or the end of it, respectively. ^Mary Elizabeth$
You may also refer to the sphinx query syntax reference for complete documentation of the options available to you.