Basic boat terminology: boating terms you should know

Basic boat terminology: boating terms you should know

Whether you own a boat or you just love reading upon them, it is good to have a basic boat knowledge of terminology, especially if you are looking to buy one. Here are some of the main boating terms you should get yourself familiarized with.

  • STERN → the rear end of a boat while the BOW refers to the front of the boat.
  • The AFT → means moving towards the rear end of the boat while FORWARD means going towards the front end of the boat.
  • UNDERWAY → refers to a boat moving. It can be used both if a boat is moving by wind or motor.
  • AHEAD → refers to the boat moving forward while ASTERN means the boat is moving backward or in reverse.
  • PORT → refers to the left side of the boat if you stand at the rear end of the vessel looking towards the front.
  • STARBOARD → refers to the right side of the boat when you stand at the rear end of the vessel looking towards the front.
  • PORT BOW → the front left side of the boat.
  • PORT QUARTER → the rear left side of the boat.
  • STARBOARD BOW → the front right side of the boat.
  • STARBOARD QUARTER → the rear right side of the boat.
  • AMIDSHIP → the central part of the boat.
  • TOPSIDE → going from a low deck to an upper deck.
  • ABACK → refers to sail filled by the wind from the opposite side than how the vessel usually moves forward. The main purpose of sails being aback is to reduce speed. When sails are put aback from a sudden change in the wind, the vessel risks getting damaged.
  • BROADSIDE → one side of the vessel above the waterline.
  • UPBOUND → means traveling upstream.
  • WATERLINE → the line where the hull of the ship is directly connected to the water.
  • WETTED AREA → the part of the hull that is inside the water.
  • WINDAGE → the resistance of the boat towards the wind.
  • TRAILBOARD → a decorative part of the bow of the boat that usually contains its name.
  • TOPSAIL → the second sail when you count from the bottom.
  • SWAYING → means the boat is moving from side to side.
  • MAST → the vertical pole that supports the sail on a boat.

Knowing these terms is very important when you want to buy a boat and ask for details when you are talking to port staff as well as the crew that looks after the boat. You can learn more terms and find out more details regarding boats in TheBoatAPP, the complete database of boats and yachts.

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