Sunday, July 25, 2021

Here is a handy page of terms you will come across in the world of yachting. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but a good place to get started.

abaft Toward the rear (stern) of the boat, behind, or anything located aft of something else.
abeam At a right angle to the length of the boat.
amidships In the center of the boat.
astern Toward the stern of a vessel, or behind the boat.
beam The widest part of a boat.
Wooden struts running acorss the width of the boat to support the deck.
bow The front of the boat.
bridge The room from which a ship is  controlled. On a smaller boat this is usually not a room, is outside, and is known as a cockpit.
berth A place for a person to sleep.  Also, a place where a ship can be secured.
boatswain The  crewmember in charge of equipment and maintenance.
bosun Another name for the boatswain.
cabin A room inside a boat.
captain The person who is in charge of a vessel and legally responsible for it and its occupants.
centerline The center of the boat: from the stern to the bow.
chief mate The officer second in command of a ship.
cockpit The location from which the boat is steered, usually in the middle or the rear of the boat.
companionway The entryway into the cabin from the deck.
deck The surface on the top of the boat that people can stand on.
deckhand A crew member responsible for cleaning the deck, and an overall boat maintenance.
engineer A crew member responsible for keeping all of the mechanical and electronic aspects of the vessel running problem free.
ensign The national flag of a boat’s home nation.
fender A cushion hung from the sides of a boat to protect it from rubbing against a dock or another boat.
First mate Often called chief mate or chief officer, reports to the captain and is in charge of the deck crew and cargo.
fore Toward the bow (front) of the vessel.
forecabin The cabin towards the front of the vessel.
foredeck The forward part of the deck.
forepeak The compartment farthest forward in the bow of the boat. Often used for anchor or sail stowage. In larger ships, the crew’s quarters.
forward Toward the bow (front) of the boat.
galley The kitchen area on a boat.
gangway The area of a ship’s side where people board and disembark.
give-way To yield the right of way to another boat.
grab rails Hand-hold fittings mounted on cabin tops and sides for personal safety when moving around the boat.
hail To attempt to contact another boat or shore, either by voice or radio.
handsomely To do something carefully and in the proper manner, such as when stowing a line.
harbourmaster The individual who is in charge of a harbor.
hatch A small opening with a “door” on deck, allowing entry under the deck.
head The front of a vessel. The upper corner or edge of a sail. The toilet and toilet room on a ship.
heading The actual course of the vessel at any given time.
heave To throw or pull strongly on a line.
heel the lean of a sailboat when sailing; the extent of the tilt of the boat.
helm The wheel or tiller of a boat.
helmsman The person who is steering the boat.
hook Anchor.
hull The body of a boat.
inboard Toward the center of the boat. Also an engine mounted inside the boat.
jettison To throw overboard.
jury rig A temporary or emergency repair using improvised materials and parts.
keel A weighted extension of a boat running below it that prevents the boat from sliding sideways.
knot A speed of one nautical mile per hour. A method of attaching a rope or line to itself, another line or a fitting.
labour Heavy rolling or pitching while underway.
lanyard A short rope or cord that attaches to an item onboard a boat , usually for keeping it attached to the boat.
lazaret, lazarette A storage space below the deck in the cockpit.
league Three nautical miles.
lee The side sheltered from the wind.
length over all (LOA) Length of a boat at the longest measurement.
line Any rope used on a boat.
list Incline of a boat due to excess weight on one side or the other
logbook A boat’s record of activity.
master The person in charge of a vessel. The captain.
mate An assistant to the captain.
midship Center of the vessel, middle between bow and stern.
nautical Having to do with boats, ships, or sailing.
nautical mile One minute of latitude; approximately 6076 feet – about 1/8 longer than the statute mile of 5280 feet.
navigation The act of determining the position of a boat and the course needed to safely move the boat from place to place.
navigator The person responsible for navigating a boat.
offshore Away from land, toward the water. See inland.
offshore wind Wind that is blowing away from the land, towards the water.
onshore wind A wind blowing onto the land.
owner’s flag A boat owner’s private pennant..
passage A route between points or ports.
pilot An individual with specific knowledge of a harbor, canal, river or other waterway, qualified to guide vessels through the region. Some areas require that boats and ships be piloted by a licensed pilot.
pitch A fore and aft rocking motion of a boat. Also see roll and yaw. How much a propeelor is curved. A substance used to seal cracks in wooden planks.
planing A boat rising slightly out of the water so that it is gliding over the water rather than plowing through it.
poop deck A boat’s aft deck.
port The left side of the boat from the perspective of a person at the stern of the boat and looking toward the bow. The opposite of starboard. A place where ships go to dock. A porthole.
prevailing winds The typical winds for a particular region and time of year.
prop Slang for propeller.
put in To enter a port or harbor.
quarter The side of a boat aft of the beam. There are both a port quarter and a starboard quarter.
quarters Sleeping areas on the boat.
rail The edge of a boat’s deck.
regatta A series of boat races.
roll A side to side motion of the boat, usually caused by waves. Also see pitching and yawing.
roller A wave
rudder A flat surface attached behind or underneath the stern used to control the direction that the boat is traveling.
safe course A determined safe route acrossdangerous water.
salon Also saloon; main social cabin of a boat
scale Climb.
screw A propeller.
seat locker A storage locker located under a cockpit seat.
secure To make fast. To stow an object or tie it in place.
side lights Green and red lights on the starboard and port sides of the boat required for navigation at night.
skipper The person in charge of a vessel.
sky lounge Also called the second salon, located on the upper deck.
slip A space between two docks or piers where a boat can be moored.
snub To suddenly stop or secure a line.
sole A floor on a boat.
stateroom A private cabin or compartment with sleeping accommodations on a boat or ship; a captain’s or superior officer’s room on a ship.
starboard The right side of a boat, from the perspective of a person at the stern of the boat and looking toward the bow. The opposite of port.
statute mile A mile as measured on land, 5280 feet or 1.6 kilometers. Distances at sea are measured as nautical miles.
stern The aft part of a boat. The back of the boat.
steward(ess) An unlicensed crew member who reports to the captain and does stocking, cleaning and assisting with preparation and serving of meals.
stores Supplies on a boat.
strike To lower.
swell Large smooth waves that do not crest. Swells are formed by wind action over a long distance.
swim platform A platform, usually on the transom, allowing swimmers to easily climb back onto a boat.
taffrail A rail around the stern of a boat.
thwart A transverse structural member in the cockpit. In small boats, often used as a seat.
tiller A spar attached to the rudder by the rudder head, used to control the direction of the boat. Another possibility for steering mechanism is a steering wheel.
transom The flat area of the hull, at the stern of a boat.
trough The bottom of a wave, the valley between the crests.
under the lee On the lee side of an object, protected from the wind.
undertow Strong offshore current extending to the shore.
union jack A small flag representing the nationality of the boat.
v-berth Usually the forward berth of the boat, located in the bow
vessel Any kind of boat, ship or yacht.
VMG Velocity made good. Actual boat speed after adjusting for such factors as current and leeway.
wake Moving waves, that a boat leaves behind it, when moving through water.
watch A division of crew into shifts.
waterline A line painted on a hull which shows the point to which a boat sinks when it is properly trimmed.
waterline length The length of the boat at the waterline.
way The progress of a boat. If a boat is moving it is considered to be “making way.”
weigh To raise, as in to weigh anchor.
wet locker A locker equiped with a drain so that wet clothes can be stored in it without damaging other objects in the boat.
wetted surface The amount of area of the hull, keel, rudder, and other objects that is under water.
wide berth To avoid something by a large distance.
yacht A vessel larger than a boat and smaller than a ship. A sailboat used for pleasure, not a working boat. From the Dutch word “Jaghd”
yar Fit and beautiful (boat).
yaw, yawing To turn from side to side in an uneven course
zenith The point when the celestial sphere is directly overhead
zephyr A gentle breeze.
zulu Coordinated universal time.