Nautical Terms >
Aft The back of the boat.
Ahoy A greeting at sea
Alee Command to head away from the wind.
Anchor types Danforth, Yatchsman, Mushroom,
Nothhill, Plow, Kedge.
Anchors aweigh Nautical command to bring up
the anchor.
Avast Nautical command to stop or cease
Aviso A small boat to communicate or
advise other boats
Aweather Nautical command to head into the wind.
Aweigh The position of anchor when it is clear
of the bottom.
Astern Toward the stern of the boat.
Ballast Weight placed in a ship's bottom
Barque A boat with three or more masts
Batten down To take measures to protect from
bad weather.
Beam The widest part of the boat.
Belay To secure a line to a cleat or belaying pin.
Berth A spot at marina or pier to keep
a boat.
Bilge The interior of the hull below the
floor boards.
Bilge pump Used to remove water accumulating
in the bilge.
Binnacle Stand that holds compass
Bitter end :The last segment of a rope or chain
Boat types Canoe, Dinghy, Skiff, Dory, Cog, Dhow, Sloop, Ketch, Barque, Schooner, Yacht, Trimaran
Boatswain or Bosun A non-commissioned officer responsible for the sails, ropes, and rigging.
Boom Pole attached to mast that is the attachment for the bottom of the mainsail.
Bow The forward part of a boat.
Bowsprit A long spar that projected from the
ship's prow.
Bridge A platform or room on a large ship from which the captain controls the ship.
Buoy Positioning marker anchored to bottom
Capsize To turn over a boat.
Cleat Horned-shape fixture on deck to
fasten lines to.
Clew Back lower corner of a sail.
Closehauled Sailing close to the wind direction.
Cog A type of olden sailing ship with a single mast and square-rigged single sail
Come around Nautical command to turn into the wind
Crows nest Viewing platform at the top of the mast.
Daggerboard Vertical board that can be lowered through the bottom to stabilize the boat.
Davit Crane-like fixture to lower a lifeboat.
Davy Jones locker Bottom of the sea
Deck Visible top suface of a boat to which
mast is installed
Deck Names Berth, Boiler, Bridge, Flight, Forecastle, Flush, Lido, Lower, Main, Orlop, Poop, Promenade, Quarter, Tween, Upper, Weather, Well
Dhow Ancient traditional sailing vessels with one or more masts with lateen sails
Dinghy A small flat-bottomed row boat.
Displacement A boat's weight in terms of the weight of water displaced.
Dock To tie up (park) a boat at a marina or pier.
Dory A small flat-bottomed boat with high bow and tapered stern
Draft The depth of water a boat can float
without hitting bottom.
Ensign Flag or banner flown by a ship to
indicate her nationality.
Fathom Six feet.
Fender A cushion to prevent damage to
side of a boat.
Fluke The flattened arm of an anchor.
Furl To roll up a sail against its mast or spar.
Galley The kitchen area of a boat.
Gangway Walkway on to a boat
Gunwale The upper edge of a boat's sides.
Hatch An opening in a boat's deck with a watertight cover.
Halyard Line use to raise and lower the main sail
Hawser Large rope used for mooring or
towing a vessel.
Head A marine toilet.
Head upper corner of a sail.
Heading The direction of the boat's movement.
Helm The wheel or tiller controlling the rudder.
Hold A compartment below deck tostore cargo.
Hull The main body of a vessel.
Jacobs Ladder A rope ladder lowered from the deck
Jetty A structure to protect a harbor entrance.
Jib Triangular sail located at the bow.
Jibe (or Gybe) Change position of the mainsail to the opposite side of the boat to catch
the wind during tacking.
Keel The backbone of a boat running.along the centerline of the boat's bottom.
Ketch A two-masted fore-and-aft rigged sailboat
Land ahoy "I see land !"
Lazarette A storage space in a boat's stern area.
Leech The aft or trailing edge of a fore-and-aft sail
Lubber's Line A mark on a compass indicating the center line of the boat
Luff The forward edge of a sail.
Mae West A personal flotation device
Marina A location to park (dock) and service boats
Marlinspike A tool for opening the strands of a rope while splicing.
Mast Pole attached to deck to support the
main sail.
Mooring Securing a boat to a mooring buoy or a pier.
Nun buoy Navigational beacon
Palm The flattened arm of an anchor.
Pipe A whistle used by Boatswains (bosuns) to issue commands.
Poop deck A high deck on the aft superstructure of a ship.
Port The left side of a boat looking forward.
Port A harbor.
Prow. The front of a boat
Quarter The sides of a boat aft of amidships.
Reach Sailing with the mainsail about 45 degrees either side of the wind direction.
Reef To l ower mainsail in bad weather.
Regatta A series of boat races
Rudder A vertical plate or board for steering a boat.
Running Sailing with the mainsail 90 degrees off the wind direction for maximum speed.
Sail Ho "I see a ship"
Sail parts

Clew, Leech, Luff, Head, Tack, Foot, Batten, Clew cringle, Head cringle, 
Tack cringle.

Sail Types Main, Jib, Storm Jib, Genoa, Spinnaker, Staysill, Mizzen, Lanteen, Jenny
Saloon Part of boat below deck serving as
a sitting room.
Salt A sailor
Schooner A type of with fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts
Scope Length of anchor line from the bow to the anchor on the bottom.
Screw A boat's propeller.
Scull An oar used for sculling .
Sea Dog An old sailor.
Sextant Navigational instrument used to measure a ship's latitude.
Sheet Line that positions a sail.
Shoal Shallow water that is a hazard to navigation.
Shroud A rope or cable supporting the mast.
Skiff A small boat used for leisure or fishing
Slip A place for a boat to dock at a marina.
Sloop A boat with only one mast
Sole Cabin or saloon floor.
Spar A pole used to support rigging and sails.
Squall A sudden, violent storm and wind
Starboard The right side of a boat when looking forward.
Stern The back (aft) part of the boat.
Stow To put an item in its proper place.
Tack Make a series of jibes to sail into the wind.
Tack The front bottom corner of a sail.
Tar A sailor
Thole Pegs on sides of a boat to support the oars.
Trimaran A vessel with three hulls.
Trim Adjust position of sails
Tiller A bar or handle for positioning the rudder
Yaw Motion to the side to swing or steer off course
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