Wind on the wrong side of the sails.
Toward the rear of the boat, behind the boat.
At a right angle to the length of the boat.
Off the side, even with the boat.
An accidental jibe happens when the boat is steered or the wind shifts suchthat the stern of the boat accidentally passes through the eye of the wind.This causes that main boom to swing violently to the other side of the boat.Without proper preparation when jibing, the force of the boom's motion canbe destructive, injuring the crew and damaging equipment. In strong windsand on large boats this force can dismast the boat and seriously injure crewmembers hit by the boom. Sometimes a preventer is used to reduce thepossibility of an accidental jibe.
Formal measurement of a boat for documentation.
The "law of the sea".
Floating free with the currents and tide, not under control.
Having a shape that that is not adversely affected by wind flowing past it.
Toward the stern (rear) of the boat.
After bow spring line
A mooring line fixed to the bow of the boat and leading aft where it isattached to the dock. This prevents the boat from moving forward in itsberth. Its opposite, the forward quarter spring line, is used to keep theboat from moving aft in its berth.
The line around the earth where there is no magnetic deviation betweenmagnetic north (as measured by a compass) and true north.
When a boat is in water too shallow for it to float in, i.e: the boat'sbottom is resting on the ground.
Aid to navigation
Any fixed object that a navigator may use to find his position, such aspermanent land or sea markers, buoys, radio beacons, and lighthouses.
To the leeward side (downwind).
Above the boat, in its rigging.
The outboard hulls of a trimaran.
In the center of the boat.
A bell required to be rung at certain times when at anchor during fog,according to the navigation rules.
A type of knot used to fasten an anchor to its line.
A chain attached to the anchor. The chain acts partially as a weight to keepthe anchor lying next to the ground so that it can dig in better. Chain isalso not damaged as much as line when lying on rocks. The weight of thechain also helps to absorb changes in the boat's position due to waves.
A white light, usually on the masthead, visible from all directions, usedwhen anchored.
A locker used to store the anchor rode and anchor.
The line or chain attached to the anchor and secured to the boat.
Also called bow roller. A fitting with a small wheel that allows the anchorand chain to roll over when dropping or raising the anchor. Some anchorrollers also have a provision to store the anchor as well.
A watch kept when the boat is at anchor in case the anchor starts to drag.
A windlass used to assist when raising the anchor.
(1) A heavy metal object designed such that its weight and shape will helpto hold a boat in its position when lowered to the sea bottom on a rode orchain. See kedge, lightweight, mushroom, and plow anchors.
(2) The act of using an anchor.
A place where a boat anchors, usually an established and marked area.
AnemometerA device that measures wind velocity.Aneroid barometer
A mechanical barometer used to measure air pressure for warnings of changingweather.
Poisonous paint used on the bottom of the boat to prevent barnacles andother organisms from growing on the ship's bottom.
The apparent direction of the wind, which is affected by a boat's motion.The apparent wind is only the same as the true wind if the boat is stopped.
Toward the stern of a vessel, or behind the boat.
At the dip
A flag hoisted half way up a flagpole. Also see close up.
Lying along the ship's width, at right angles to the vessels centerline.
Also called barometric pressure. The weight of the atmosphere, an average of1013.2 millibars or 29.2 inches of mercury at sea level. Measuring thechanges in atmospheric pressure can help predict weather.
A device used to steer a boat automatically, usually electrical, hydraulicor mechanical in nature. A similar mechanism called self steering gear mayalso be used on a sailing vessel.
A second method of propelling a vessel. On a sailboat this could be aengine.
To raise an anchor off the bottom.
Back to the TopBacking (wind)
The changing of the wind direction, opposite of veering. Clockwise in thesouthern hemisphere, counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere.
A method of weaving the end of a rope to keep it from unraveling.
A stay (line or cable) used to support the mast. The backstay runs from themasthead to the stern and helps keep the mast from falling forward.
When the wind pushes on the wrong side of the sail, causing it to be pushedaway from the wind. If the lines holding the sail in place are not released,the boat could become hard to control and heel excessively.
To remove water from a boat, as with a bucket or a pump.
A weight at the bottom of the boat to help keep it stable. Ballast can beplace inside the hull of the boat or externally in a keel.
A region of shallow water usually made of sand or mud, usually runningparallel to the shore. Bars are caused by wave and current action, and maynot be shown on a chart.
A long vessel with a flat bottom used to carry freight on rivers. Barges areusually not powered, being pushed or towed by a tugboat instead.
An instrument used to keep a record of atmospheric pressure, such as on apaper drum.
An instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure, usually measured ininches of mercury or millibars. Inches of mercury are used because somebarometers use the height of mercury in a sealed tube as a measuring device.
Atmospheric pressure as measured by a barometer.
Also batten the hatches. To put away all loose objects on the ship and toclose all openings, such as ports and hatches, in preparation for heavyweather. Hatches used to be secured with battens.
Pockets in a sail where battens can be placed to stiffen the sail.
Batten the hatches
Also batten down. To put away all loose objects on the ship and to close allopenings, such as ports and hatches, in preparation for heavy weather.Hatches used to be secured with battens.
(1) A thin strip of hard material, such as wood or plastic.
(2) Battens are attached to a sail to stiffen it to a more preferred shape.They are placed in pockets sewn into the sail called batten pockets.
(3) Battens also used to be used to secure hatches.
An enclosed body of water with a wide mouth leading to the sea.
Sailing on a point of sail such that the apparent wind is coming from thebeam (side) of the boat at about a 90° angle. A beam reach is usually thefastest point of sail. A beam reach is a point of sail between a broad reachand a close reach.
(1) The widest part of a boat.
(2) Abeam, at right angles to the length of the boat.
(3) Sturdy wooden timbers running across the width of a boat . Used tosupport the deck of a wooden boat.
Bear away, bear off
To fall off. A boat falls off the wind when it points its bow further fromthe eye of the wind. The opposite of heading up.
The direction of an object from the observer. "The lighthouse is at abearing of 90 degrees."
To sail on a tack (direction) toward the wind.
Tacking. To sail against the wind by sailing on alternate tacksdirections).
Beaufort wind scale
A method of measuring the severity of the force of wind, named after AdmiralBeaufort who created the system. 0 is no wind, whereas 12 would be ahurricane.
A loop at the end of a line.
A material used to join two objects completely. Usually used to create awater tight or very secure joint.
To attach a sail and prepare it for use.
A type of knot used to connect a line to a spar or another line. Also theact of using such a knot.
(1) A place for a person to sleep.
(2) A place where the ship can be secured.
(3) A safe and cautious distance, such as "We gave the shark a wide berth."
The center of a slack line. (i.e: where it sags). Also a small indentedcurve in a shoreline.
A mechanical, electrical, or manually operated pump used to remove waterfrom the bilge.
The lowest part of the interior of the boat where water collects.
A cover used to shelter the cockpit from the sun.
The mount for the compass, usually located on the wheel's pedestal.
A pair of small telescopes, one for each eye, used to magnify distantobjects.
A sturdy post mounted on the bow or stern to which anchor or mooring linesmay be attached.
The end of a line. Also the end of the anchor rode attached to the boat.
Block and tackle
A combination of one or more blocks and the associated tackle necessary togive a mechanical advantage. Useful for lifting heavy loads.
One or more wheels with grooves in them (pulleys) designed to carry a lineand change the direction of its travel. A housing around the wheel allowsthe block to be connected to a spar, or another line. Lines used with ablock are known as tackle.
A ladder used to board the vessel. Boarding ladders may be designed to beuseful from either the water or a dock and are usually stowed when not inuse.
A wave that breaks over the deck of the boat.
A pole with an attached hook at the end, used for either retrieving objectsor fending them off.
A small vessel used to travel on the water, powered either by wind, power oroars. Also any small vessel carried on a larger ship. Also an abbreviationfor; “Break Out Another Thousand”.
Also bosun, bos'n, bo's'n, and bo'sun, all of which are pronounced bosun. Acrew member responsible for keeping the hull, rigging and sails in repair.
A large pillar, usually made of concrete or steel, to which a boat's mooringlines can by tied.
A line (rope) sewn into the luff of a sail. The bolt rope fits in a notch inthe mast or other spar when the sail is raised.
Any system used to hold the boom down. This is useful for maintaining propersail shape, particularly when running or on a broad reach.
A spar that is used to secure the bottom of a sail, allowing more control ofthe position of a sail.
A boomkin is a short spar that may project either fore or aft on a sailing vessel, depending on its function. Traditionally, it was a strong, usually wooden spar extending forward over the bow of a Western sailing ship holding a block through which a headsail's sheet passed; on some modern sailing yachts with long main booms it is a short spar extending aft from the stern anchoring a central backstay.
A chair traditionally made from a plank and rope, used to hoist workersaloft to maintain the rigging.
A locker where tools for maintaining the deck, rigging and sails are kept.
Also boatswain, bos'n, bo's'n, and bo'sun, all of which are pronouncedbosun. A crew member responsible for keeping the hull, rigging and sails inrepair.
Bow & beam bearings
A set of bearings taken from an object with a known position, such as alandmark, to determine the ship's location. A type of running fix.
The front of the boat.
A reference book named after the original author, Nathaniel Bowditch.Updated versions contain tables and other information useful for navigation.
A knot used to make a loop in a line. Easily untied, it is simple andstrong. The bowline is used to tie sheets to sails.
A pole extending from the bow of a boat. The bowsprit is used to attach theheadstay forward of the front of the boat's deck. This allows added sailarea for the head sail.
A guy. A line used to control the movement of the object at the other end,such as a spar.
A method of making lines that allows for greater strength and durabilitywhen using modern materials.
A wave that approaches shallow water, causing the wave height to exceed thedepth of the water it is in, in effect tripping it. The wave changes from asmooth surge in the water to a cresting wave with water tumbling down thefront of it.
With sufficiently strong wind, large waves can form crests even in deepwater, causing the wave tops to tumble forward over the waves.
A structure build to improve a harbor by sheltering it from waves.
A line attached laterally from a boat to a dock, preventing movement awayfrom the dock.
(1) The room from which a ship is controlled. On a smaller boat this isusually not a room, is outside, and is known as a cockpit.
(2) A man made structure crossing a body of water, usually for the use ofautomobiles or train. A boat intending to pass under a bridge needs to makesure it has sufficient vertical clearance unless it is a swinging bridge ora drawbridge.
Pieces of varnished wood or polished metal on a vessel.
A term used to describe a clean and orderly ship.
An undesirable position in which a vessel is turned to expose its side tothe oncoming waves.
The unplanned turning of a vessel to expose its side to the oncoming waves.In heavy seas this could cause the boat to be knocked down.
Broad on the beam
The position of an object that lies off to one side of the vessel.
Sailing with the apparent wind coming across the quarter of the ship. Abroad reach is a point of sail between a beam reach and running.
An interior wall in a vessel. Sometimes bulkheads are also watertight,adding to the vessel's safety.
A type of knot used to attach a line to a shackle.
A floating device used as a navigational aid by marking channels, hazardsand prohibited areas.
The vessel responsible for moving out of another vessels path according tothe navigation rules. Also known as the give way vessel.
A type of flag used to identify a boater's affiliation with a yacht club orboating organization.
By the lee
A point of sail similar to running where the wind is coming over thequarter of the sailboat on the same side that the main sail and boom are on.This point of sail is considered dangerous because of the possibility of anaccidental jibe.
Back to the TopCabin
A room inside a boat.
A mechanical cleat used to hold a line automatically. It uses two springloaded cams that come together to clamp their teeth on the line, which isplace between them. Also see jam cleat.
The curvature of an object such as a sail, keel or deck. Usually used whenreferring to an objects aerodynamic or hydrodynamic properties.
A cylindrical buoy painted green and having an odd number used in the UnitedStates as a navigational aid. At night they may have a green light. Greenbuoys should be kept on the left side when returning from a larger body ofwater to a smaller one. Nun buoys mark the other side of the channel. Alsosee green and red daymarks
A manmade waterway used to connect bodies of water that do not connectnaturally. Canals use locks to raise and lower boats when connecting bodiesof water that have different water levels. The Panama and Suez canals aretwo of the most famous.
A pointed stern, such as those on a canoe.
Tightly woven cloth used for sails, covers, dodgers and biminis. Typicallymade from cotton, hemp or linen. Modern sails are made out of syntheticmaterials generally known as sailcloth.
When a boat falls over in the water so that is no longer right side up.
A rotating drum used to haul heavy lines and chains. Similar to a winch, butmounted vertically.
The person who is in charge of a vessel and legally responsible for it andits occupants.
A sliding fitting that attaches to a track allowing for the adjustment ofblocks or other devices attached to the car.
A synthetic material consisting of fibers glued together with epoxy that isvery strong for its weight.
The points of North, South, East and West as marked on a compass rose.
Structural pieces running fore and aft between the beams.
A knot used to tie two lines together.
To detach mooring lines as when leaving a dock.
A twin hulled boat. Catamaran sailboats are known for their ability to planeand are faster than single hulled boats (monohull) in some conditions.
A sailboat rigged with one mast and one sail.
The sag in a line strung between two points.
Material used to seal the seams in a wooden vessel, making it watertight.
A type of drag on a propeller caused by air bubbles forming near the tips ofa propeller that is spinning too fast. This causes inefficiencies andunnecessary wear and tear on the propeller.
A method of using the stars, sun and moon to determine one's position.Position is determined by measuring the apparent altitude of one of theseobjects above the horizon using a sextant and recording the times of thesesightings with an accurate clock. That information is then used with tablesin the Nautical Almanac to determine one's position.
An imaginary sphere surrounding the globe that contains the sun, moon, starsand planets.
The imaginary line running from bow to stern along the middle of the boat.
A device similar to a keel, except that it is usually either removable orcan pivot. Also see daggerboard. The centerboard is used like a keel toreduce the unwanted sideways motion of a boat.
A legal paper or license of a boat or its captain.
Wear caused by the friction of parts moving past each other.
Tape, cloth or other materials placed on one or more parts that rubtogether. By using chafing gear, hopefully the chafing gear will wear ratherthan the parts that it is protecting.
Storage for the anchor chain.
Metal links that are locked together to make a strong and flexible line.Chains are typically used for anchors and other places where high loads maybe exerted on the line, particularly in large vessels.
Plates on the deck to which lines and stays are attached.
A store that sells nautical gear.
A buoy or other mark used to mark a navigable path through a waterway.
A navigable route on a waterway, usually marked by buoys. Channels aresimilar to roads where the water is known to be deep enough for ships orboats to sail without running aground.
The water level used to record data on a chart. Usually the average low tidewater level.
A table designated as the area in the boat where the navigator will studycharts and plot courses.
Maps for boaters are known as charts. Charts are usually issued bygovernment agencies and include information on channels, navigational aids,water depth and hazards.
A block with one end permanently attached to a surface.
The location where the deck joins the hull of the boat.
A fitting that a line can pass through and be controlled.
When a line is pulled as tight as is can go, as when two blocks are pulledtogether.
Small, steep disorderly waves.
An accurate clock that is used for navigation.
Groups of boats organized for racing. Boats compete against others in thesame class, assuming that their performance will be similar.
A figure eight pattern used to tie a line to a cleat.
A fitting to which lines can be easily attached.
A metal pin used to attach fittings to each other or their mounts.
The lower aft corner of a sail.
Sailing with the sails hauled tight, sailing the boat towards the wind asmuch as possible.
Sailing with the wind coming from the direction forward of the beam of theboat. A close reach is the point of sail between a beam reach and closehauled.
A flag hoisted to the top of a flagpole. Also see at the dip.
A boat that is able to sail well into the wind.
A type of knot typically used when mooring. It is easily adjustable, but itmay work loose.
A jib or staysail that utilizes a small boom.
A boom on a jib or staysail.
Compressed natural gas. A type of compressed gas used as fuel for stoves andheaters. CNG is stored in metal cylinders prior to use. CNG is consideredsafer than other types of fuel such as propane (LPG) because it is lighterthan air and may rise into the sky in the event of a leak. Caution shouldstill be used as CNG can collect near the cabin ceiling, potentially causingan explosion. Propane is available in more areas around the world than CNGso CNG is not often used outside of North America.
A small wall to prevent water from entering the cockpit.
Books covering information about coastal navigation, including navigationalaids, courses, distances, anchorages and harbors.
The region of land near the water.
Navigating near the coast, allowing one to find one's position by use oflandmarks and other references.
A valve used to regulate the flow of water or gas.
Sole (floor) of the cockpit.
The location from which the boat is steered, usually in the middle or therear of the boat.
Any method of passing messages, such as visual or electronic Morse code,code flag pennants and semaphore.
Used in meteorology to describe a mass of cold air moving toward a mass ofwarm air. Strong winds and rain typically accompany a cold front.
A method of bending a material into an appropriate shape without heating orsteaming to soften the material first.
A watertight forward bulkhead designed to keep the boat from sinking in theevent of a collision.
The national flag and or other flags.
A term for the international rules designed to prevent collisions betweenboats.
To tack. To change a boat's direction, bringing the bow through the eye ofthe wind.
The entryway into the cabin from the deck.
A card labeling the 360° of the circle and the named directions such asnorth, south, east and west.
The course as read on a compass. The compass course has added the magneticdeviation and the magnetic variation to the true course.
Magnetic deviation. The difference between the reading of a compass and theactual magnetic course or bearing due to errors in the compass reading.These errors can be caused by metals, magnetic fields and electrical fieldsnear the compass. Prior to using a compass, magnetic deviation should berecorded for many different points on the compass as the error can bedifferent at different points. The act of checking for magnetic deviation iscalled swinging.
A circle on a chart indicating the direction of geographic north andsometimes also magnetic north. Charts usually have more that one compassrose. In that case the compass rose nearest to the object being plottedshould be used as the geographic directions and magnetic variations maychange slightly in different places on the chart.
(1) An instrument that uses the earth's magnetic field to point to thedirection of the magnetic north pole.
(2) A device used to draw circles.
An object made with more than one type of material.
Compressed natural gas
CNG for short. A type of compressed gas used as fuel for stoves and heaters.CNG is stored in metal cylinders prior to use. CNG is considered safer thanother types of fuel such as propane (LPG) because it is lighter than air andmay rise into the sky in the event of a leak. Caution should still be usedas CNG can collect near the cabin ceiling, potentially causing an explosion.Propane is available in more areas around the world than CNG so CNG is notoften used outside of North America.
A large land mass, such as Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe,North America, and South America.
A region of relatively shallow water surrounding each of the continents.
Coordinated universal time
A time standard that is not affected by time zones or seasons. Time measuredin coordinated universal time labeled with the term Zulu. It is used so thatpeople around the world can communicate about time without regard toindividual time zones.
Any rope or line.
A small metal pin used to keep other parts from changing their position,such as to keep a nut from turning or a clevis pin from falling out.
The part of the stern aft of where it leaves the waterline.
(1) The direction the boat is traveling or intends to travel.
(2) A path which racing boats are to follow.
A smaller version of the flag of the country being visited. It is flown fromthe starboard spreader.
A small sheltered recessed area in the shoreline.
Scoop like devices used to direct air into a boat.
Also called a plow anchor. Short for coastal quick release anchor. An anchorthat is designed to bury itself into the ground by use of its plow shape.
A frame to support a vessel when out of water.
(1) The top of a wave.
(2) The act of reaching the top of a wave.
One or more people that aid in the operation of a boat.
A fitting in a sail that allows a line to fasten to it.
When two vessels approach each other and their paths are crossing. The boatwith the other boat on its starboard side is the give way vessel and mustyield.
Spreaders. Small spars extending toward the sides from one or more placesalong the mast. The shrouds cross the end of the spreaders, enabling theshrouds to better support the mast.
Books that describe features of particular sailing areas, such as hazards,anchorages, etc.
A line used to control the tension along a sail's luff in order to maintainproper sail shape.
The movement of water, due to tides, river movement and circular currentscaused by the motion of the earth.
A sailboat with one mast and rigged a mainsail and two headsails. Also seesloop.
The front edge of the boat.
Back to the TopDacron
A synthetic polyester material.
Similar to a centerboard, except that it is raised vertically. Like a keel,daggerboards are used to prevent a sailboat being pushed sideways by thewind.
A brand of lightweight anchor. It has pivoting flukes that dig into theground as tension is placed on the anchor. It does not have a stock.
A device that projects beyond the side of the boat to raise objects from thewater. Typically a single davit is used on the bow of a vessel to raise ananchor, and a pair are used on the side or stern of the vessel to raise adinghy.
A navigational aid visible during the day. In the United States and Canada,square red daybeacons should be kept on the right and triangular greendaybeacons should be kept on the left when returning from a larger tosmaller body of water. Also see can and nun buoys.
A small boat intended to be used only for short sails or racing.
Black diamond, ball, and cone shapes hoisted on vessels during the day toindicate restricted movement ability or type. For example three balls meansaground.
A position directly in front of the vessel.
A position directly behind the vessel.
Running with the wind directly behind the boat.
A method of determining position by making an educated guess based on lastknown position, speed and currents.
Fixed ports that do not open, placed in the deck or cabin to admit light.
The measurement of the angle between the bottom of a boat and its widestbeam. A vessel with a 0º deadrise has a flat bottom, high numbers indicatedeep V shaped hulls.
A mast that is stepped (placed) on the deck of a boat rather than throughthe boat and keel stepped. The mast of a deck stepped boat is usually easierto raise and lower and are usually intended for lighter conditions than keelstepped boats.
The surface on the top of the boat that people can stand on.
The underside of the deck, viewed from below (the ceiling.)
An instrument that uses sound waves to measure the distance to the bottom.
See magnetic deviation or compass error.
A small boat used to travel from a boat to shore, carrying people orsupplies. Also known as a dink or tender.
The loss of a mast on a boat. Generally this also means the loss of some orall of the ability of the boat to sail.
A type of hull that only floats, even when in motion, as opposed to a typeof hull that allows a boat to skim across the surface of the water. Seeplaning hull.
Also hull speed. The theoretical speed that a boat can travel withoutplaning, based on the shape of its hull. This speed is 1.34 times the lengthof a boat at its waterline. Since most monohull sailboats cannot exceedtheir hull speed, longer boats are faster.
The weight of a boat measured as a the weight of the amount of water itdisplaces. A boat displaces an amount of water equal to the weight of theboat, so the boat's displacement and weight are identical.
Distance made good
The distance traveled after correction for current, leeway and other errorsthat may not have been included in the original distance measurement.
Any signal that is used to indicate that a vessel is in distress. Flares,smoke, audible alarms, electronic beacons and others are all types ofdistress signals.
A small bag.
(1) A red flag with a white stripe.
(2) The alpha flag is the legal requirement for boats with divers in thewater. Boats should probably display both flags when they have divers in thewater.
A navigational tool used to measure distances on a chart.
(1) A platform where vessels can make fast. The act of securing a boat insuch a place. Docks are often subdivided into smaller areas for dockingknown as slips.
(2) The act of entering a dock.
Licenses or registration papers for a vessel. Types of documentation varydepending on the country, vessel size and purposes.
A cover attached to the top of the cabin at the front of the cockpit.Dodgers help shelter the cockpit from wind and water.
A playful sea mammal. Also a type of fish. Also a group of piles used formooring or as a channel marker.
A type of vent designed to let air into a cabin and keep water out by theuse of baffles.
A line consisting of a braided inner core and a braided outer sheath.
A boat with a pointed stern. Known as a double-ender because the stern maylook very similar to the bow.
(1) To drop a sail quickly.
(2) To extinguish a candle, lamp, or fire.
To steer a sailboat toward the wind.
A line used to pull down on a spar or sail.
In the direction the wind is blowing.
(1) The depth of a boat, measured from the deepest point to the waterline.The water must be at least this depth or the boat will run aground.
(2) A term describing the amount of curvature designed into a sail.
The resistance to movement.
Description of an anchor that is not securely fastened to the bottom andmoves.
Draft. The depth of water that a boat requires to stay off the bottom. Avessel "draws" a certain amount of water.
A bridge that can be raised vertically to allow boats to pass underneath.
The velocity of a current.
Any object used to increase the drag of a boat. Typically shaped like aparachute or cone opened underwater, drogues slow a boat's motion in heavyweather. Also see sea anchor.
A dock where a boat can be worked on out of the water. The boat is usuallysailed into a dry dock and then the water is pumped out.
Used to describe the decay of wood. A misnomer, dry rot is actually causedby moist conditions in fresh water.
Storing on land. Many small boats are placed in dry storage over the winter.
Tubes used to move air, such as to ventilate an enclosed area.
Design waterline. Also length waterline or load waterline (LWL). This is thelength of the boat where it meets the water when loaded to its designedcapacity.
Back to the TopEase the sheets
To loosen the lines that control the sails.
To slowly loosen a line while maintaining control, such as when looseningthe sails.
East wind, easterly wind
A wind coming from the east.
One of the 4 cardinal compass points. East is at 90° on a compass card.
Ebb, ebb tide
The falling tide when the water moves out to the sea and the water levellowers.
An electrical fish finder or depth sounder that uses sound echoes to locatethe depth of objects in water. It does so by timing the sound pulses.
Water or air currents flowing in circular patterns.
The use of echo sounders, radio, and various electronic satellite and landbased position finders to determine a boat's location.
A tiller that is designed to be used in the event that wheel steering fails.
The national flag of a boat's home nation.
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. An emergency device that uses aradio signal to alert satellites or passing airplanes to a vessel'sposition.
An imaginary line around the center of the world at 0° of latitude.
A position based on dead reckoning estimations of a boat's position usingestimated speed, currents, and the last known position (fix) of the boat.
Eye of the wind
The direction that the wind is blowing from.
A splice causing a loop in the end of a line, by braiding the end intoitself or similar methods. It may or may not be reinforced by a metalfitting known as a thimble.
Back to the TopFair
In good condition.
A fitting designed to control the direction of a line with minimal friction.
Also bear away or bear off. A boat falls off the wind when it points its bowfurther from the eye of the wind. The opposite of heading up.
An item such as a nail, screw, rivet or other device used to fasten objectstogether.
A nautical measurement equaling 6 feet (182 cm). Usually used to measuredepth.
A brand name for a depth measuring device.
Federal Communications Commission Rules governing radio equipment andoperation in the United States.
A propeller that can have the pitch of its blade changed to reduce drag whennot in use. Also see folding and variable pitch propellers.
More than one foot. A foot is a unit of measurement used primarily in theUnited States. 1 foot equals 30.48 centimeters.
To push a boat away from another boat or dock by hand.
A cushion hung from the sides of a boat to protect it from rubbing against adock or another boat.
The distance that wind and seas (waves) can travel toward land without beingblocked. In areas without obstructions the wind and seas can build to greatstrength, but in areas such as sheltered coves and harbors the wind and seascan be quite calm. Fetch is also used to describe the act of sailing to alocation accurately and without having to tack.
A construction method using layers of woven glass mats that are bondedtogether with an epoxy (glue).
A tool used in splicing and working with rope.
A small rail on tables and counters used to keep objects from sliding offwhen heeled or in heavy seas.
A block with two sets of sheaves (sometimes three), one above the other.
A type of knot that can be used to stop a line from passing through a blockor other fitting.
A keel that is narrow and deeper than a full keel.
A small pier that projects from a larger pier.
Kedge anchor. A traditionally shaped anchor having flukes perpendicular tothe stock of the anchor and connected by a shank. These are less common thanmodern anchors such as the plow and lightweight anchors.
An accurate position of the vessel, as determined by any reasonably accuratemethod, such as by taking visual bearings.
To fold a sail in preparation for storage.
A device used to prevent or stop unwanted flames.
A device which burns to produce a bright light, sometimes colored, andusually used to indicate an emergency.
Used to describe a light that blinks on and off in regular patterns.
To coil a line flat on the deck in spirals.
An iron bar mounted on or near the compass to correct for magnetic deviationin steal hulled ships.
The incoming tide where the water comes in from the sea, lowering the waterlevel.
Debris floating on the water surface.
(1) The broad flat parts of an anchor that are designed to grab and hold inthe bottom.
(2) Also a fin on a whale.
A deck that is not obstructed by a cabin.
A high position from which to steer a boat.
A propeller having blades that fold up when not in use to reduce drag. Alsosee feathering and variable pitch propellers.
A sea with waves approaching from the stern of the boat.
(1) The bottom edge of a sail.
(2) sailing slightly more away from the wind than close hauled to increasethe boat speed.
(3) A unit of measurement used primarily in the United States. 1 foot equals30.48 centimeters. Units of more than 1 foot are known as feet.
Fore and aft sail
The more common position of the sail with its length running along theship's length as opposed to a sail such as a square sail which is mountedacross the width of the vessel.
Fore and aft
Running along the length of the boat.
Toward the bow (front) of the vessel.
The cabin towards the front of the vessel.
A weather prediction.
Also fo'c'sle or fo'csle. Pronounced fo'csle. The most forward below decksarea of a vessel.
The forward part of the deck.
The forward mast of a two or more masted vessel.
The furthermost forward storage area of a vessel.
A sail placed forward of the mast, such as a jib.
A line running from the bow of the boat to the upper part of the mastdesigned to pull the mast forward. A forestay that attaches slightly belowthe top of the mast can be used to help control the bend of the mast. Themost forward stay on the boat is also called the headstay.
A sail attached to the forestay as opposed to a jib which is attached to theheadstay.
The space between the mast, the deck, and the headstay.
Forward quarter spring line
A mooring line running forward from the stern of the boat. The forwardquarter spring line prevents the boat from moving backward while moored. Theafter bow spring line does the opposite.
Toward the bow (front) of the boat.
When a line ends up somewhere it does not belong and becomes jammed. Linescan foul on blocks, winches and other objects on a boat.
Used to describe a boat that is having difficulty remaining afloat. "Theboat foundered and then sank."
A type of rig where the jib attaches below the top of the mast.
The distance between the top of the hull and the waterline.
An opening in the rail (bulwarks) along the deck to allow water to drain.
A mast made out of exotic materials so that it can support itself withoutthe use of stays. See fully stayed mast.
Used in meteorology to describe bounderies between hot and cold air masses.This is typically where bad weather is found.
Full and by
Sailing as close to the wind as possible with full sails.
A keel that runs the length of the boat. Full keels have a shallower draftthan fin keels.
A sail having battens that run the full horizontal length of the sail.
A mast supported by the use of lines known as stays and shrouds.
To lower a sail. Sails are sometimes partially furled to reduce the amountof sail area in use without completely lowering the sail. This is usuallyknown as reefing.
Back to the TopGaff rigged
A type of traditional working boat using four sided gaff sails that arehoisted on gaffs.
A four sided sail used instead of a triangular main sail. Used on gaffrigged boats.
(1) A spar that holds the top of a four sided gaff sail.
(2) A pole with a hook at the end used to get a fish on board.
Gale force winds
Wind speeds strong enough to qualify the storm as a gale.
A storm with a wind speed between 34 to 40 knots.
The kitchen area on a boat.
A frame used to support the boom.
Ties used to tie up the sails when they are furled.
A large sail that is a cross between a spinnaker and a genoa. Hoistedwithout a pole, the tack is attached at the bottom of the headstay.
A large jib that overlaps the mast. Also known as a jenny.
The direction toward the top point of the line about which the earth rotates(between Canada and Russia in the Arctic Ocean.) See also magnetic north.
The position of a boat on a chart.
Hinges for objects such as lamps, compasses and stoves so that they canremain upright as the boat rolls.
Give way vessel
The vessel that must yield to another vessel according to the navigationrules. Also known as the burdened vessel.
Global Positioning System
GPS for short. A system of satellites that allows one's position to becalculated with great accuracy by the use of an electronic receiver.
A map of the earth drawn on a sphere so that both its distances and anglesare accurate.
Time measured in Greenwich Mean Time. Coordinated universal time is a newerstandard. A time standard that is not affected by time zones or seasons.
Global Positioning System. A system of satellites that allows one's positionto be calculated with great accuracy by the use of an electronic receiver.
See hand rail.
A bad knot that was probably tied in error, will not necessarily hold fast,and may be difficult to untie.
Great circle route
A course that is the shortest distance between two points, following a greatcircle. Great circle routes usually do not look like the shortest route whendrawn on a flat map due to deviations caused by trying to draw a flat map ofa round object such as the earth.
Any circle drawn around the earth such that the center of the circle is atthe center of the earth. The shortest distance between any two points on theearth lies along a great circle.
A can buoy. A cylindrical buoy painted green and having an odd number usedin the United States as a navigational aid. At night they may have a greenlight. Green buoys should be kept on the left side when returning from alarger body of water to a smaller one. Nun buoys mark the other side of thechannel. Also see green and red daymarks.
A navigational aid used in the United States and Canada to mark a channel.Green triangular daymarks should be kept on the left when returning from alarger to smaller body of water. Red daymarks mark the other side of thechannel. Also see can and nun buoys.
A solid mass of water coming aboard instead of just spray.
Greenwich Mean Time
GMT for short. Coordinated universal time is a newer standard. A timestandard that is not affected by time zones or seasons.
A ring or eyelet normally used to attach a line, such as on a sail.
Swells that become shorter and steeper as they approach the shore due toshallow water.
The anchor and its rode or chain and any other gear used to make the boatfast.
The hole in which the pin from a stern mounted rudder fits. The pin is knownas a pintle.
Cruising in shallow water and spending the nights in coves.
Pronounced gunnel. The rail around the edge of a boat. Smaller versions arecalled toe rails.
Also called a brace. A line used to control the movement of the object atthe other end, such as a spar.
Usually spelled jibe. To change direction when sailing in a manner suchthat the stern of the boat passes through the eye of the wind and the boomchanges sides. Prior to jibing, the boom will be very far to the side of theboat. Careful control of the boom and mainsail is required when jibing inorder to prevent a violent motion of the boom when it switches sides. Jibingwithout controlling the boom properly is known as an accidental jibe.Tacking is preferred to jibing because the boom is not subject to suchviolent changes. Jibing is usually needed when running with the wind andtacking is used when close hauled.
A windlass or capstan drum.
A large circular ocean current.
Back to the TopHail
To attempt to contact another boat or shore, either by voice or radio.
A simple knot usually used with another knot or half hitch.
A line used to hoist a sail or spar. The tightness of the halyard can affectsail shape.
Hand bearing compass
A small portable compass.
A weight attached to a line used to determine depth by lowering it into thewater.
A hand hold. Usually along the cabin top or ladder.
Someone who helps with the work on a boat.
To do something carefully and in the proper manner, such as when stowing aline.
A movable block and tackle.
A locker big enough to hang clothes.
(1) Clips used to fasten a sail to a stay.
(2) Using such slips to attach a sail to a stay.
An anchorage protected from storms either naturally or by man-made barriers.
The individual who is in charge of a harbor.
To move all the way in one direction, such as when turning the wheel.
A command to steer the boat downwind.
A hull shape with flat panels that join at sharp angles.
A sliding or hinged opening in the deck, providing people with access to thecabin or space below.
Remove a boat from the water.
Pulling on a line.
The part on the object which is hauled upon.
A hole in the hull for mooring lines to run through.
Pipes to guide lines through the hawse hole. On large vessels anchors arestored with their shanks in the hawsepipes.
A rope that is very large in diameter, usually used when docking largevessels.
An object that might not allow safe operation. A group of rocks just underthe water or a submerged wreck could be a navigational hazard.
Waves coming from the front of the vessel.
Head to wind
A position with the boat's bow in the direction that the wind is comingfrom. This will probably stop the boat and place it in irons.
To turn the bow more directly into the eye of the wind. The opposite offalling off.
(1) The front of a vessel.
(2) The upper corner or edge of a sail.
(3) The top or front of a part.
(4) The toilet and toilet room in a vessel.
The actual course of the vessel at any given time.
Any sail forward of the mast, such as a jib.
The furthest forward of all the stays on the boat.
The forward motion of a vessel through the water.
To throw or pull strongly on a line.
A light line used to be thrown ashore from which a larger rope can then bepulled.
Arranging the sails in such a manner as to slow or stop the forward motionof the boat, such as when in heavy seas.
When the water has large or breaking waves in stormy conditions.
Stormy conditions, including rough, high seas and strong winds. Probablyuncomfortable or dangerous.
When a boat tilts away from the wind, caused by wind blowing on the sailsand pulling the top of the mast over. Some heel is normal when under sail.
The error in a compass reading caused by the heel of a boat.
A warning from the helmsman that the boat is about to tack.
The wheel or tiller of a boat.
The person who is steering the boat.
Half of a sphere. On the globe hemispheres are used to describe the halvesof the earth north or south of the equator.
The point of a tide when the water is the highest. The opposite of low tide.
A location of higher barometric pressure than the surrounding area of aweather system.
An extension to the tiller allowing the helmsman to steer while hiking. Thismay be desired for improved visibility or stability.
Moving the crew's weight to or past the windward rail to counteract theheeling of a boat. Typically seen when boats are racing.
A knot used to attach a line to a cleat or other object.
(1) To raise a sail.
(2) To raise anything up.
The type of bottom that the anchor is set in. "Good holding ground."
A storage tank where sewage is stored until it can be removed to a treatmentfacility.
Using a radio direction finder to steer toward a source of radio signals.
Where the water and sky or ground and sky appear to intersect.
The angle measured between two fixed objects (usually on shore) to aid infinding a boats position by determining the arc of a circle on which theboat must lie.
A floatation device shaped like a U and thrown to people in the water inemergencies.
Also displacement speed. The theoretical speed that a boat can travelwithout planing, based on the shape of its hull. This speed is about 1.34times the square root of the length of a boat at its waterline. Since mostmonohull sailboats cannot exceed their hull speed, longer boats are faster.
The main structural body of the boat, not including the deck, keel, mast, orcabin. The part that keeps the water out of the boat.
A strong tropical revolving storm of force 12 or higher in the northernhemisphere. Hurricanes revolve in a clockwise direction. In the southernhemisphere these storms revolve counterclockwise and are known as typhoons.
A shape designed to move efficiently through the water.
A boat that has foils under its hull onto which it rises to plane across thewater surface at high speed. See displacement and planing hulls.
The study of the earth's waters.
Back to the TopICW
Short for Intercoastal Waterway. A system of rivers and canals along theAtlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States allowing boats to travel alongthem without having to go offshore.
A sailboat with its bow pointed directly into the wind, preventing thesails from filling properly so that the boat can move. It can be verydifficult to get a boat that is in irons back under sail. An old squarerigger could take hours to get underway again.
A motorboat with an inboard engine.
(1) Toward the center of the boat.
(2) An engine that is mounted inside the boat.
A unit of measurement used primarily in the United States equal to 2.54centimeters.
Inches of mercury
A unit used when measuring the pressure of the atmosphere. 33.86 millibars.Inches of mercury are used because some barometers use the height of mercuryin a sealed tube as a measuring device.
A dinghy or raft that can be inflated for use or deflated for easy stowage.
Rules for the operation of vessels in harbors, rivers and lakes.
Away from large bodies of water, surrounded by land. See offshore.
A bay or cove along a river, sea or lake coast line. A stream or bay leadinginland. A narrow passage between to bodies of land.
A system of rivers and canals along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of theUnited States allowing boats to travel along them without having to gooffshore.
International Code of Signals
A set of radio, sound, and visual signals designed to aid in communicationsbetween vessels without language problems. It can be used with Morse Code,with signal pennants, and by spoken code letters.
In irons. A sailboat with its bow pointed directly into the wind, preventingthe sails from filling properly so that the boat can move. It can be verydifficult to get a boat that is in irons back under sail. An old squarerigger could take hours to get underway again.
Lines drawn on a weather map indicating regions of equal pressure. When thelines are close together, this indicates a rapid change in air pressure,accompanied by strong winds.
A line connecting points of equal magnetic variation on a map.
Back to the TopJack line, jack stay
A strong line, usually of flat webbing, or a wire stay running fore and aftalong the sides of a boat to which a safety harness can be attached.
A rope ladder.
A cleat designed to hold a line in place without slipping. It consists oftwo narrowing jaws with teeth in which the line is placed. Also see camcleat.
A fitting holding a boom or gaff to the mast.
A genoa jib. A large jib that overlaps the mast.
A man made structure projecting from the shore. May protect a harborentrance or aid in preventing beach erosion.
A rope net to catch the jib when it is lowered.
A sheet (line) used to control the position of the jib. The jib has twosheets, and at any time one is the working sheet and the other is the lazysheet.
The stay that the jib is hoisted on. Usually the headstay.
A small jib set high on the headstay of a double headsail rig.
A triangular sail attached to the headstay. A jib that extends aft of themast is known as a genoa.
Also spelled gybe. To change direction when sailing in a manner such thatthe stern of the boat passes through the eye of the wind and the boomchanges sides. Prior to jibing the boom will be very far to the side of theboat. Careful control of the boom and mainsail is required when jibing inorder to prevent a violent motion of the boom when it switches sides. Jibingwithout controlling the boom properly is known as an accidental jibe.tacking is preferred to jibing because the boom is not subject to suchviolent changes. Jibing is usually needed when running with the wind andtacking is used when close hauled.
A method of lowering the sail in sections so that it can be reefed quickly.
A small sail on the mizzen mast of a yawl or a ketch.
Also known as a preferred channel buoy. A red and green horizontally stripedbuoy used in the United States to mark the separation of a channel into twochannels. The preferred channel is indicated by the color of the uppermoststripe. Red on top indicates that the preferred channel is to the right asyou return, green indicates the left. Also see can and nun buoys.
A temporary repair using improvised materials and parts.
Back to the TopKedging
(1) To kedge off. A method of pulling a boat out of shallow water when ithas run aground. A dinghy is used to set an anchor, then the boat is pulledtoward the anchor. Those steps are repeated until the boat is in deep enoughwater to float.
(2) A traditionally shaped anchor having flukes perpendicular to the stockof the anchor and connected by a shank. These are less common than modernanchors such as the plow and lightweight anchors.
A mast that is stepped (placed) on the keel at the bottom of the boat ratherthan on the deck. Keel stepped masts are considered sturdier than deckstepped masts.
A flat surface built into the bottom of the boat to prevent the reduce theleeway caused by the wind pushing against the side of the boat. A keel alsousually has some ballast to help keep the boat upright and prevent it fromheeling too much. There are several types of keels, such as fin keels andfull keels.
A beam attached to the top of the floors to add strength to the keel on awooden boat.
A sailboat with two masts. The shorter mizzen mast is aft of the main mast,but forward of the rudder post. A similar vessel, the yawl, has the mizzenmast aft of the rudder post.
The center plank on a wooden deck.
The top spoke on a wheel when the rudder is centered.
Supporting braces used for strength when two parts are joined.
A boat that has rolled so that she is lying on her side or even rolledcompletely over. A boat with appropriate ballast should right herself afterbeing knocked down.
(1) A speed of one nautical mile per hour.
(2) A method of attaching a rope or line to itself, another line or afitting.
Back to the TopLabor
Heavy rolling or pitching while underway.
A line used to attach a sail to a spar.
A boat in a dry dock.
A wind moving from the land to the water due to temperature changes in theevening.
Surrounded by land.
A distinctive reference point that can be used for navigation.
A line attached to a tool.
To tie something with a line.
The ability of a boat to keep from being moved sideways by the wind. Keels,daggerboards, centerboards, and leeboards are all used to improve a boat'slateral resistance.
Imaginary lines drawn around the world and used to measure distance northand south of the equator. 90° north is the North Pole and 90° south is theSouth Pole, and the equator is at 0°. Also see longitude.
(1) To put a boat in the water.
(2) A small boat used to ferry people to and from a larger vessel.
An imaginary line on which a sailboat can sail directly to its targetwithout tacking.
To prepare a boat for winter storage.
(1) The position of an item.
(2) The direction in which a stranded rope is twisted.
A small aft storage space for spare parts and other items.
A line attached to the boom to prevent it from accidentally jibbing.
Lines running from above the main sail to the boom to aid in the lowering ofthe sail, keeping the sail flaked and off of the deck.
A line led to a sail, but is not currently in use. The line currently in useis known as the working sheet. Usually the working and lazy sheets changewhen the boat is tacked.
A line with a weight on the end used to measure depth. The lead is droppedinto the water and marks on the line are read to determine the current waterdepth. The lead usually has a cavity to return a sample of the bottom type(mud, sand, etc.)
Lights that are separated in distance so that when they are lined up withone behind the other they provide a bearing. Usually used to enter a harboror navigate a channel.
Unlit navigational aids for use during the day. Like leading lights, theymark a bearing to a channel when they are lined up one above the other.
3 nautical miles.
The tendency, if any, for a sailboat to want to steer away from thedirection of the wind. The opposite condition is known as weather helm.
The shore that the wind is blowing toward. It is important to keep distancefrom the lee shore because the boat will be blown toward it if control ofthe vessel is lost.
The direction that the wind is blowing toward. The direction sheltered fromthe wind.
(1) Boards projecting into the water from the lee side of a vessel to helpkeep it from slipping sideways in the water when traveling across the wind,similar in intent to a keel.
(2) A board placed on the side of a berth to keep the occupant from fallingout.
A line used to tighten the leech of a sail, helping to create proper sailshape.
The aft edge of a fore and aft sail.
Cloths raised along the side of a berth to keep the occupant from fallingout.
The direction away from the wind. Opposite of windward.
The sideways movement of a boat away from the wind, usually unwanted. Keelsand other devices help prevent a boat from having excessive leeway.
A pilot with a license stating that they are qualified to guide vessels in aparticular area.
(1) Where an object is.
(2) To put an object in place.
A small boat used for emergencies such as when the parent boat is sinking.
A device used to keep a person afloat. Also called a life preserver, lifevest, PFD or personal floatation device.
A device used to keep a person afloat. Also called a life jacket, life vest,PFD or personal floatation device.
An emergency raft used in case of serious problems to the parent vessel,such as sinking.
A device used to keep a person afloat. Also called a life jacket, lifepreserver, PFD or personal floatation device.
A line running between the bow and the stern of a boat to which the crew canattach themselves to prevent them from being separated from the boat.
A list of lights arranged in geographical order.
A lit navigational aid such as a lighthouse that can be used at night or inpoor visibility.
A navigational light placed on a structure on land. The supporting structurewas a house in which the person that maintained the light lived. Most modernlighthouses no longer have living areas.
A light placed on a ship. The ship remained in a fixed position. Mostlightships have been replaced by lit buoys or other structures.
Danforth anchor. It has pivoting flukes that dig into the ground as tensionis placed on the anchor. It does not have a stock.
A hole in between compartments in the bottom of the boat to allow water toflow into the bilge where it is sent overboard.
On a boat most ropes are called lines.
A device used to keep a line from slipping, such as a jam cleat.
Liquid petroleum gas
LPG or propane for short. Propane is a common fuel used for cooking andheating. CNG (natural gas) is considered safer because propane is heavy thanair and will sink into the bilge if it leaks, creating the potential for anexplosion. Propane is more easily available throughout the world than CNGhowever, so it is used for most boats outside of North America.
A leaning to one side when not underway. Usually the result of an improperlyloaded boat. Heeling is different from a list because it is caused by theforces of wind acting upon a sailboat that is underway. When a boat changestacks, the direction of the heel will change sides, whereas a list is acontinual leaning to the same side under any condition.
Length overall. The total length of a boat including bowsprits or otheritems projecting from the bow or the stern of the boat.
A device that allows boats to pass between bodies of water havingdifferent water levels, such as in a canal. A boat enters a lock, then largedoors close behind it. The water level is then either raised or lowereduntil a second set of doors can be opened and the boat can pass through.
Any storage place on a boat. See also chain locker, hanging locker, and wetlocker.
(1) A device used to measure the distance traveled through the water. Thedistance read from a log can be affected by currents, leeway and otherfactors, so those distances are sometimes corrected to a distance made good.Logs can be electronic devices or paddle wheels mounted through the hull ofthe boat or trailed behind it on a line.
(2) A written record of a boat's condition, usually including items such asboat position, boat speed, wind speed and direction, course, and otherinformation.
A book in which the boat's log is kept. Each entry usually contains the timeand date of the entry, weather conditions, boat speed and course, positionand other information and observations.
A method of splicing two lines of identical thickness by unwrapping strandsand braiding the lines back together. Long splices have the advantage ofbeing able to fit through blocks and other devices, but are not as strong asother methods of joining lines.
Imaginary lines drawn through the north and south poles on the globe used tomeasure distance east and west. Greenwich England is designated as 0° withother distances being measured in degrees east and west of Greenwich. Forexample the center of California, USA is approximately 120° west and thecenter of Australia is around 135° east. Also see latitude.
A person designated to watch for other vessels and hazards.
A sail whose foot (bottom) is not attached to a boom or other rigid object.The opposite of club footed.
An electronic instrument using radio waves from various stations to findone's position. The LORAN system is being replaced by the GPS system andwill be obsolete in a few years. Many LORAN stations have already stoppedproviding service.
The point of a tide when the water is the lowest. The opposite of high tide.
Used in meteorology to describe an area of low atmospheric pressure.
Liquid petroleum gas or propane. Propane is a common fuel used for cookingand heating. CNG (natural gas) is considered safer because propane is heavythan air and will sink into the bilge if it leaks, creating the potentialfor an explosion. Propane is more easily available throughout the world thanCNG however, so it is used for most boats outside of North America.
A mark on a compass used to read the heading of a boat.
Bolt rope. A rope in the luff of a sail. The luff rope is usually used toattach the sail to a mast.
(1) The edge of a sail toward the bow of a boat.
(2) A term used to describe that edge when the airflow around it stalls.(see luffing)
A description of a flapping motion along the luff (leading edge) of a sail.A sail begins to luff when the air flow stalls when traveling across thesail. Luffing is a sign that the sail is not properly trimmed or that theboat is trying to sail too close to the eye of the wind (pinching.)
Metal or plastic pieces attached to a sail's luff that slide in a mast trackto allow easy hoisting of the sail.
A period of no wind. Lulls may be followed by a significant change of windspeed and direction.
Load waterline or length waterline. Also design waterline (DWL.) This is thelength of the boat at the waterline when loaded to its designed capacity.
A boat that is letting herself be subjected to prevailing conditions withoutthe use of sails or other devices. Lying ahull is usually not preferred toother actions because a boat may tend to lie with her beam to the waves andthe wind (parallel to the waves.) This can cause a boat to roll excessivelyand even become knocked down.
A boat that is almost stopped with her bow into the wind, probably with theaid of a sea anchor.
Back to the TopMagnetic bearing
The bearing of an object after magnetic variation has been considered, butwithout compensation for magnetic deviation.
The course of a vessel after magnetic variation has been considered, butwithout compensation for magnetic deviation.
Compass error. The difference between the reading of a compass and theactual magnetic course or bearing due to errors in the compass reading.These errors can be caused by metals, magnetic fields and electrical fieldsnear the compass. Prior to using a compass, magnetic deviation should berecorded for many different points on the compass as the error can bedifferent at different points. The act of checking for magnetic deviation iscalled swinging.
The direction to which a compass points. Magnetic north differs from truenorth because the magnetic fields of the planet are not exactly in line withthe north and south poles. Observed differences between magnetic and truenorth is known as magnetic variation.
The difference between magnetic north and true north, measured as an angle.Magnetic variation is different in different locations, so the nearestcompass rose to each location on a chart must be used.
The tallest (or only) mast on a boat.
A topsail on the main mast.
The main sail that is suspended from the main mast.
The line used to control the mainsail.
To attach a line to something so that it will not move.
Moving through the water.
A place where boats can find fuel, water and other services. Marinas alsocontain slips where boats can stay for a period of time.
(1) Marks used on a lead line or anchor rode indicating the length of theline at that point.
(2) A buoy or other object used to mark a location.
To wrap a small line around another.
A small line used for whipping, seizing, and lashing.
A pointed tool used to separate the strands of a rope or wire.
A protective cover wrapped around the mast at the deck on a keel steppedboat to prevent water from entering the boat.
A box where a deck stepped mast is stepped.
Supporting structures to take the load of the mast at the deck.
The place that supports the bottom of the mast. The mast step usually has abuilt in pattern fitting a matching pattern on the bottom of the mast,enabling the mast to be accurately positioned.
A track or groove in the back of the mast to which the sail is attached bymeans of lugs or the bolt rope.
Any vertical spar on the boat that sails are attached to. If a boat has morethan one mast, they can be identified by name.
The person in charge of a vessel. The captain.
Also known as a steaming light. The masthead light is a white light that isvisible for an arc extending across the forward 225° of the boat. When litthe masthead light indicates that a vessel under power, including sailboatswith engines running. Masthead lights are usually located halfway up themast rather than at the top.
The top of a mast. Wind direction indicators and radio antennas usuallycollect on the masthead.
An assistant to the captain.
An internationally recognized distress signal used on a radio to indicate alife threatening situation. Mayday calls have priority over any other radiotransmission and should only be used if there is an immediate threat to lifeor vessel. Mayday comes from the French "M'aidez" which means "help me." Forurgent situations that are not immediately life threatening there is the PANPAN identifier. Less urgent messages such as navigational hazards shouldsend a SECURITE message.
Mean low water
A figure representing the average low tide of a region.
Mean lower low water
In an area with two tides, this figure represents the average of the lowestof the low tides.
A course marked by buoys or ranges measuring one nautical mile. Measuredmiles are used to calibrate logs.
A method of docking with a boat's stern to the dock.
A type of projection of the globe used when making charts. Since the worldis a sphere, it is impossible to draw accurate charts on flat paper. AMercator projection shows all of the meridians as straight vertical linesrather than lines that would intersect. This is the type of projection usedon a typical world map, but the distances become very distorted near thepoles.
A longitude line. Meridians are imaginary circles that run through bothpoles.
A small line used to pull a heavier line or cable. The messenger line isusually easier to throw, lead through holes or otherwise manipulate than theline that it will be used to pull.
The study of weather.
A red and white vertically striped buoy used in the United States to markthe middle of a channel. Midchannel buoys may be passed by on either side.Also see nun and can buoys.
A place on a boat where its beam is the widest.
(1) Distance at sea is measured in nautical miles, which are about 6067.12feet, 1.15 statute miles or exactly 1852 meters. Nautical miles have theunique property that a minute of latitude is equal to one nautical mile(there is a slight error because the earth is not perfectly round.)Measurement of speed is done in knots where one knot equals one nauticalmile per hour.
(2) A statute mile is used to measure distances on land in the United statesand is 5280 feet.
A unit of pressure used to measure the pressure of the atmosphere. 1millibar equals 0.03 inches of mercury.
(1) When used to measure location a minute is one sixtieth of one degree.One minute of latitude is equal to one nautical mile. Each minute is dividedinto sixty seconds.
(2) When measuring time a minute is one sixtieth of one hour.
A smaller aft mast on a ketch or yawl rigged boat.
The sail on the aft mast of a ketch or yawl rigged sailboat.
A small sail that is sometimes placed forward of the mizzen mast.
A large heavy knot usually made in the end of a heaving line to aid inaccurate throwing.
A boat that has only one hull, as opposed to multihull boats such ascatamarans or trimarans.
To attach a boat to a mooring, dock, post, anchor, etc.
A buoy marking the location of a mooring. Usually attached to an anchor by asmall pendant.
A line used to secure a boat to an anchor, dock, or mooring.
A place where a boat can be moored. Usually a buoy marks the location of afirmly set anchor.
A code that uses dots and dashes to communicate by radio or signal lights.
A boat designed to use its motor for significant amounts of time and use thesails less often than a normal sailboat.
(1) An engine.
(2) The act of using an engine to move a boat.
(1) An attachment point for another object.
(2) The act of putting an object on its mount.
A line used to reeve lines.
Any boat with more than one hull, such as a catamaran or trimaran.
A type of anchor with a heavy inverted mushroom shaped head. Mushroomanchors are used to anchor in mud and other soft ground.
Back to the TopNatural gas
Short for compressed natural gas or CNG. A type of compressed gas used asfuel for stoves and heaters. CNG is stored in metal cylinders prior to use.CNG is considered safer than other types of fuel such as propane (LPG)because it is lighter than air and may rise into the sky in the event of aleak. Caution should still be used as CNG can collect near the cabinceiling, potentially causing an explosion. Propane is available in moreareas around the world than CNG so CNG is not often used outside of NorthAmerica.
An annually published book that contains information about the position ofthe sun, moon, planets and stars. This information is used for celestialnavigation.
Distance at sea is measured in nautical miles, which are about 6067.12 feet,1.15 statute miles or exactly 1852 meters. Nautical miles have the uniqueproperty that a minute of latitude is equal to one nautical mile (there is aslight error because the earth is not perfectly round.) Measurement of speedis done in knots where one knot equals one nautical mile per hour. A statutemile is used to measure distances on land in the United states and is 5280feet.
Having to do with boats, ships, or sailing.
Water of sufficient depth to allow a boat to travel through it.
Lights on a boat help others determine its course, position and what it isdoing. Boats underway should have a red light visible from its port bow, agreen light on the starboard bow and a white light at its stern. Otherlights are required for vessels under power, fishing, towing, etc.
The rules concerning which vessel has the right of way if there is apossibility of collision between two or more boats. The United States InlandRules of the Road and International Rules of the Road are slightlydifferent.
The act of determining the position of a boat and the course needed tosafely move the boat from place to place.
Any fixed object that a navigator may use to find his position, such aspermanent land or sea markers, buoys, radio beacons, and lighthouses.
The person responsible for navigating a boat.
The tide with the least variation in water level, occurring when the moon isone quarter and three quarters full. The lowest high tide and the highestlow tide occur at neap tide. The opposite is the spring tide.
A sighting taken for celestial navigation at noon, when the sun is at itshighest point in the sky.
The "top" point of the line about which the earth rotates.
Polaris, the North Star, is visible in the northern hemisphere and indicatesthe direction of north. In the southern hemisphere the Southern Cross isused to find the direction of south.
North wind, northerly wind
Wind coming from the north.
One of the 4 cardinal compass points. North is the direction toward theNorth Pole and is at 0° on a compass card.
Notices to Mariners
Official notices reporting changes to charts and other navigational andsafety items.
A conical buoy with a pointed top, painted red, and having an even number,used in the United States for navigational aids. At night they may have ared light. These buoys should be kept on the right side of the boat whenreturning from a larger body of water to a smaller one such as a marina. Canbuoys are used on the opposite side of the channel. Also see green and reddaymarks.
Back to the TopOar
A stick with a blade at the end used to row a rowboat. Oars are differentthan paddles because they have a provision to be secured to the rowboat forrowing, such as an oarlock.
A device to attach oars to a rowboat, allowing the operator to row ratherthan paddle the boat.
A position or fix determined by observing landmarks or other objects to findthe position.
A navigational light which turns on and off in a regular pattern, but is onmore than it is off. The opposite of a blinking light.
(1) The large body of salt water covering seven tenths of the earth.
(2) The Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic Oceans.
Off the wind
Sailing with the wind coming from the stern or quarter of the boat.
Wind that is blowing away from the land, towards the water.
Away from land, toward the water. See inland.
On the beam
To the side of the boat at right angles, abeam.
On the bow
To the bow of the boat, forward of the beam.
On the quarter
To the stern of the boat, aft of the beam.
On the wind
Sailing close hauled. Sailing toward the wind as much as possible with thewind coming from the bow.
A location that is not sheltered from the wind and seas. An open locationwould not make a good anchorage.
Out of trim
Sails that are not properly arranged for the point of sail that the boat ison. The sails may be luffing or have improper sail shape, or the boat may beheeling too much. These conditions will slow the boat down.
An engine used to power a small boat. Outboard engines are mounted on abracket aft of the stern of the boat.
On the side of the hull that the water is on. Outboard engines are sometimesjust called outboards.
A line used to tension the foot of a sail, used to maintain proper sailshape.
A floatation device attached to one or both sides of the hull to helpprevent a capsize.
The total length of the boat, including any object protruding from the bowor the stern. Also known as LOA.
In the water outside of the vessel.
Dangerously steep and breaking seas due to opposing currents and wind in ashallow area.
The area of the bow or stern which hangs over the water.
A line that becomes improperly wrapped over itself and fouls a winch.
A boat owner's private pennant.
Back to the TopPad eye
A small fitting with a hole used to guide a line.
(1) A stick with a blade in the end of it used to propel a small boatthrough the water.
(2) The act of using a paddle to propel a boat.
A painted line on the side of a boat at the waterline. The color usuallychanges above and below the waterline as the boat is painted with specialantifouling paint below the waterline.
A line attached to the bow of a dinghy and used to tie it up or tow it.
A tool worn on the hand with a thimble shaped structure on it and used whensewing sails.
An urgent message used on a radio regarding the safety of people orproperty. A PAN PAN message is not used when there is an immediate threat tolife or property, instead the MAYDAY call is used. PAN PAN situations maydevelop into MAYDAY situations. As with a MAYDAY, PAN PAN messages havepriority on the radio channels and should not be interrupted. In the case ofa less urgent safety message, such as a hazard to navigation, theappropriate signal to use is SECURITE.
An emergency signal flare that will float down on a parachute after launch,hopefully improving its visibility.
Sometimes used to describe a spinnaker.
Error that can be introduced when not reading an instrument directly fromits front, due to the separation of the indicator and the scale being read.
A navigational tool used to move a line on a chart from one location toanother without changing its angle, such as when moving a plotted course toa compass rose. Parallel rules are two straight edges that are mechanicallyconnected such that both edges always remain parallel. Lines can then be"walked" across a flat chart.
Material wrapped around a line to prevent chaffing.
A clip at the end of a spinnaker pole to hold the guy.
Supporting structures used to support areas where high loads come throughopenings in the deck, such as at the mast boot.
A journey from one place to another.
A type of log that uses a counter attached to a rotor on a line which istowed behind the boat to help measure distance and speed.
To let out.
The column that the wheel is mounted on.
A card marked in degrees and having sightings on it that is used to takebearings relative to the ship, rather than magnetic bearings as taken with acompass.
A small line attached to a mooring chain. Also sometimes called a pennant.
(1) A small flag, such as can be used for signaling. Flags can be usedtogether to spell words or individually as codes, such as the quarantineflag.
(2) A small line attached to a mooring chain, sometimes called a pendant.
Personal floatation device
PFD for short. A device used to keep a person afloat. Also called a lifejacket, life preserver or life vest.
Personal Floatation Device. A device used to keep a person afloat. Alsocalled a life jacket, life preserver or life vest.
A place extending out into the water where vessels may dock. Usually madeout of wood or cement.
A pole embedded in the sea bottom and used to support docks, piers and otherstructures.
An individual with specific knowledge of a harbor, canal, river or otherwaterway, qualified to guide vessels through the region. Some areas requirethat boats and ships be piloted by a licensed pilot.
The act of guiding a vessel through a waterway.
Steering a sailboat too close to the eye of the wind, causing the sails toluff.
A pin used to attach a stern mounted rudder. The hole that the pin fits isknown as a gudgeon.
When a boat's stern is thrown over its bow.
(1) A fore and aft rocking motion of a boat. Also see roll and yaw.
(2) How much a propeller is curved.
(3) A material used to seal cracks in wooden planks.
A hull design that is capable of planing.
The speed needed for a boat to begin planing.
Planing A boat rising slightly out of the water so that it is gliding over the waterrather than plowing through it.
Wood strips used to cover the deck or hull of a wooden vessel.
To find a ship's actual or intended course or mark a fix on a chart.
Also called a CQR or coastal quick release anchor. An anchor that isdesigned to bury itself into the ground by use of its plow shape.
(1) A tapered device, usually made from wood or rubber, which can be forcedinto a hole to prevent water from flowing through it. Plugs should beavailable to fit every through hull.
(2) The act of using anything to stop the water from flowing through a hole.
Point of sail
The position of a sailboat in relation to the wind. A boat with its headinto the wind is known as "head to wind" or "in irons". The point of sailwith the bow of the boat as close as possible to the wind is called closehauled. As the bow moves further from the wind, the points of sail arecalled: close reach, beam reach, broad reach, and running. The generaldirection that a boat is sailing is known as its tack.
(1) To sail as close as possible to the wind. Some boats may be able topoint better than others, sailing closer to the wind.
(2) The named directions on a compass such as north, northeast, etc.
Polaris, the North Star, is visible in the northern hemisphere and indicatesthe direction of north. In the southern hemisphere the Southern Cross isused to find the direction of south.
(1) A spar. Such as a pole used to position a sail.
(2) One of the two points around which the earth spins, known as the northand south poles.
(3) One of the two points that the earth's magnetic field emits from, themagnetic north and south poles.
A boat's aft deck.
A wave that breaks over the stern of the boat.
A sailboat sailing on a tack with the wind coming over the port side andthe boom on the starboard side of the boat. If two boats under sail areapproaching, the one on port tack must give way to the boat on starboardtack.
(1) The left side of the boat from the perspective of a person at the sternof the boat and looking toward the bow. The opposite of starboard.
(2) A place where ships go to dock.
(3) A porthole. A window in the side of a boat, usually round or withrounded corners. Sometimes portholes can be opened, sometimes they are fixedshut. Also see hatches
A port. A window in the side of a boat, usually round or with roundedcorners. Sometimes portholes can be opened, sometimes they are fixed shut.Also see hatches.
A mark of PD made on a chart when plotting a boat's position to indicatethat there is reason to doubt that the fix is accurate.
The action of a boat's bow repeatedly slamming into oncoming waves.
A type of dinghy with a flat bow.
Preferred channel buoy
Also known as a junction buoy. A red and green horizontally striped buoyused in the United States to mark the separation of a channel into twochannels. The preferred channel is indicated by the color of the uppermoststripe. Red on top indicates that the preferred channel is to the right asyou return. Also see can and nun buoys.
The typical winds for a particular region and time of year.
A line run forward from the boom to a secure fitting to prevent the boomfrom jibing accidentally when running. If the boat jibes anyway, this cancause the sail to become backwinded.
The 0° longitude line that runs through Greenwich, England.
The vessel that is required to maintain its course and speed when boats areapproaching each other according to the navigation rules. Also known as thestand on vessel.
Slang for propeller.
Also known as LPG (liquid petroleum gas). Propane is a common fuel used forcooking and heating. CNG (natural gas) is considered safer because propaneis heavy than air and will sink into the bilge if it leaks, creating thepotential for an explosion. Propane is more easily available throughout theworld than CNG however, so it is used for most boats outside of NorthAmerica.
The spinning shaft from the engine to which the propeller is attached.
An object with two or more twisted blades that is designed to propel avessel through the water when spun rapidly by the boat's engine.
A navigation tool used to measure angles on a chart.
The part of the bow forward of where it leaves the waterline.
A sturdy railing around the deck on the bow.
Removing waste from a holding tank.
Two or more blocks connected to provide a mechanical advantage when liftingheavy objects.
Also called stern pulpit. A sturdy railing around the deck at the stern.
Back to the TopQuadrant
A device connected to the rudder that the steering cables attach to.
The Quebec pennant is flown when first entering a country, indicating thatthe people on the ship are healthy and that the vessel wants permission tovisit the country.
The side of a boat aft of the beam. There are both a port quarter and astarboard quarter.
A sea which comes over the quarter of the boat.
Sleeping areas on the boat.
Also a wharf. A section parallel to the shore for docking and unloadingvessels.
Quick flashing light
A navigational aid with a light that flashes about once per second.
Back to the TopRadar arch
An arch to mount the radar, usually at the stern of the boat.
An object designed to increase the radio reflectivity of a boat so that itis more visible on radar. Many small boats are made with fiberglass andother materials that do not reflect radar very well on their own.
Radio detection and ranging. An electronic instrument that uses radio wavesto find the distance and location of other objects. Used to avoidcollisions, particularly in times of poor visibility.
A navigational aid that emits radio waves for navigational purposes. Theradio beacon's position is known and the direction of the radio beacon canbe determined by using a radio direction finder.
A bearing taken with a radio direction finder toward a radio beacon.
Radio direction finder
RDF for short. An instrument that can determine the direction that a radiotransmission is coming from. The RDF is used with a radio beacon to find aradio bearing to help determine the vessel's position.
An instrument that uses radio waves to communicate with other vessels. VHF(very high frequency) radios are common for marine use, but are limited inrange. Single side band (SSB) radios have longer ranges.
Invisible waves in the electromagnetic spectrum that are used to communicate(radio) and navigate (radar, RDF.)
(1) A small flat boat, usually inflatable.
(2) To moor with more than one boat tied together, usually using only oneboat's ground tackle.
The edge of a boat's deck.
A measurement of the top of the mast's tilt toward the bow or the stern.
(1) distance a boat can travel with its available fuel and supplies.
(2) The difference between high and low tides.
(3) Two lights or daymarks that can be aligned with one behind another toindicate that one is positioned on a line on a chart, typically used toguide a boat into a channel.
Small lines tied between the shrouds to use as a ladder when going aloft.
Radio direction finder. An instrument that can determine the direction thata radio transmission is coming from. The RDF is used with a radio beacon tofind a radio bearing to help determine the vessel's position.
Any point of sail with the wind coming from the side of the boat. If thewind is coming from directly over the side, it is a beam reach. If the boatis pointed with its bow more directly into the wind it is a close reach. Ifthe wind is coming from over the quarter, it is called a broad reach.
A bearing 180° from the other. A direction directly opposite the originaldirection.
A nun buoy. A conical buoy with a pointed top, painted red, and having aneven number, used in the United States for navigational aids. At night theymay have a red light. These buoys should be kept on the right side of theboat when returning from a larger body of water to a smaller one such as amarina. Can buoys are used on the opposite side of the channel. Also seegreen and red daymarks.
A navigational aid used in the United States and Canada to mark a channel.Red square daymarks should be kept on the right when returning from a largerto smaller body of water. Green daymarks mark the other side of the channel.Also see can and nun buoys.
Reinforced cringles in the sail designed to hold the reefing lines whenreefing the sail.
Also known as the square knot. This knot is an unreliable knot used toloosely tie lines around the bundles of sail that are not in use afterreefing.
Points where lines have been attached to tie the extra sail out of the wayafter reefing.
(1) To partially lower a sail so that it is not as large. This helps preventtoo much sail from being in use when the wind gets stronger.
(2) A line of rock and coral near the surface of the water.
Lines used to pull the reef in the sail. The reef line will pass throughreef cringles, which will become the new tack and clew of the reefed sail.
Leading a line through a block or other object.
A series of boat races.
A bearing relative to the boat or another object, rather than a compassdirection.
A line that passes through all meridians at the same angle. When drawn on aMercator chart, the rhumb line is a straight line. However the Mercatorchart is a distortion of a round globe on a flat surface, so the rhumb linewill be a longer course than a great circle route.
To weather a storm, either at sea or at anchor.
Anchor light. A white light displayed from the top of the mast to indicatethat the boat is at anchor.
Also called a stability sail or steadying sail. Any small sail set to helpthe boat maintain its direction without necessarily moving, as when atanchor or in heavy weather.
(1) A combination of sails and spars.
(2) To prepare the rig before sailing.
The wires, lines, halyards and other items used to attach the sails and thespars to the boat. The lines that do not have to be adjusted often are knownas standing rigging. The lines that are adjusted to raise, lower and trimthe sails are known as running rigging.
To return a boat that is not upright to its upright position.
A small inflatable boat that has a solid hull but has buoyancy tubes thatare inflated to keep it afloat.
A curve out from the aft edge (leech) of a sail. Battens are sometimes usedto help support and stiffen the roach.
A region between 40° south and 50° south where westerly winds circle theearth unobstructed by land.
Anchor rode. A line or chain attached to the anchor.
A side to side motion of the boat, usually caused by waves. Also seepitching and yawing.
A method of storing a sail usually by rolling the jib around the headstay orthe mainsail around the boom or on the mast.
A system of reefing a sail by partially furling it. Roller furling systemsare not necessarily designed to support the loads of reefing.
A knot used to attach a line to a spar or similar object.
Traditionally a line must be over 1 inch in size to be called a rope.
A method of moving a boat with oars. The person rowing the boat facesbackwards, bringing the blade of the oars out of the water and toward thebow of the boat. They then pull the oars through the water toward the sternof the boat, moving the boat forward.
A small boat designed to be rowed by use of its oars. Some dinghies arerowboats.
Rub rail, rub strake, rub guard
A rail on the outside of the hull of a boat to protect the hull from rubbingagainst piles, docks and other objects.
The post that the rudder is attached to. The wheel or tiller is connected tothe rudder post.
A flat surface attached behind or underneath the stern used to control thedirection that the boat is traveling.
Rules of the Road
The rules concerning which vessel has the right of way if there is apossibility of collision between two or more boats. The United States InlandRules of the Road and International Rules of the Road are slightlydifferent.
To take a boat into water that is too shallow for it to float in, i.e: thebottom of the boat is resting on the ground.
Also known as running backstays. Adjustable stays used to control tension onthe mast.
Also known as runners. Adjustable stays used to control tension on the mast.
A type of knot that tightens under load. It is formed by running thestanding line through the loop formed in a regular bowline.
A fix taken by taking bearings of a single object over a period of time. Byusing the vessel's known course and speed, the location of the vessel can befound.
Navigational lights that are required to be used when a vessel is in motion.
The lines and wires (rigging) that are used to raise, lower and adjust thesails.
(1) A point of sail where the boat has the wind coming from aft of theboat. Running can cause the danger of an accidental jibe.
(2) Used to describe a line that has been released and is in motion.
Back to the TopSafe overhead clearance
A distance that needs to be kept between the mast and overhead electricallines to prevent electrical arcing.
A device worn around a person's body that can be attached to jack lines tohelp prevent a person from becoming separated from the boat.
(1) Any pin that is used to prevent a fitting from falling open.
(2) A pin used to keep the anchor attached to its anchor roller when not inuse.
The shape of a sail, with regard to its efficiency. In high winds a sailwould probably be flatter, in low winds rounder. Other circumstances cancause a sail to twist. Controls such as the Cunningham, boom vang, outhaul,traveler, halyards, leech line, sheets, and the bend of the mainmast all canaffect sail shape. Also see sail trim.
A slot into which the bolt rope or lugs in the luff of the sail are insertedto attach the sail. Most masts and roller reefing jibs use sail tracks.Systems with 2 tracks can allow for rapid sail changes.
The position of the sails relative to the wind and desired point of sail.Sails that are not trimmed properly may not operate efficiently. Visiblesigns of trim are luffing, excessive heeling, and the flow of air pasttelltales. Also see sail shape.
(1) A large piece of fabric designed to be hoisted on the spars of asailboat in such a manner as to catch the wind and propel the boat.
(2) The act of using the wind to propel a sailboat.
A boat which uses the wind as its primary means of propulsion.
A fabric, usually synthetic, used to make sails.
Books that describe features of particular sailing areas, such as hazards,anchorages, etc.
A strong post used for to attach lines for towing or mooring.
An area in shallow water where wave or current action has created a small,long hill of sand. Since they are created by water movement, they can moveand may not be shown on a chart.
Navigation using information transmitted from satellites. See GlobalPositioning System.
The distance that the trough of a wave is below the average water level.With large waves in shallow water the scend is important to help determinewhether a boat will run aground.
A sailboat with two or more masts. The aft mast is the same size or largerthan the forward one(s). Also see ketch and yawl.
The length of the anchor rode relative to the depth of the anchor. Forexample 100 feet of anchor rode in 20 feet of water would be a scope of 5:1.A scope of 7:1 or more is usually used depending on the holding ground. Toolittle scope can cause the anchor to drag. Increased scope increases theswinging room.
A boat with a flat bottom and square ends.
A propeller or type of fastener.
To run before the wind in a storm.
Scull A method of moving a boat by using a single oar at the stern.
An opening through the toe rail or gunwale to allow water to drain back intothe sea.
To sink a boat.
Gossip. People talking about things that may or may not be true, usuallyabout other people or events. The term scuttlebutt evolved from the name ofa keg containing water and alcohol that sailors used to gather about beforemeals.
A drogue designed to bring a boat to a near stop in heavy weather. Typicallya sea anchor is set off of the bow of a boat so that the bow points into thewind and rough waves.
The last buoy as a boat heads to sea.
A valve used to prevent water from entering at a through hull.
A boat that comfortable in rough weather.
The average level of the oceans, used when finding water depths or landelevations.
Room for a boat to travel without danger of running aground.
(1) A body of salt water. A very large body of fresh water.
(2) Any body of salt water when talking about its condition or describingthe water around a boat. Heavy seas for example.
A vessel designed to be able to cross oceans.
The ability of a person to motor or sail a vessel, including all aspects ofits operation.
A port that is not directly listed in the tide tables but for whichinformation is available as a difference from a nearby standard port.
A navigational light that is visible only for a specific sector or arc of acircle, enabling a boat to determine that it lies within that sector. Sectorlights might mark the entrance to a channel.
An arc of a circle in which certain types of navigational lights known assector lights are visible.
To make fast. To stow an object or tie it in place.
A type of warning message transmitted by radio. Securite messages are usedto warn of impending storms, navigational hazards and other potentialproblems that are not immediately life threatening by themselves. MAYDAY andPAN PAN are used for more immediate problems.
Tying two lines, or a spar and a line together, by using a small line.
Said of an area, such as the cockpit, that is capable of rapidly drainingaway any water that may fill the area.
A locker or other area equipped with a drain capable of allowing any waterthat may collect in it to leave, such as from wet clothes or equipment.
Self steering gear
A device used to keep a sailboat on the same heading relative to the windwithout aid of a person. Self steering gear is a mechanical system using awind vane instead of electrical power as does an autopilot.
A method of signaling using two flags held in position by the signaler.
A weight hung from the anchor chain in order to keep the anchor lying asflat as possible to prevent dragging.
A region drawn on a chart to separate two lanes that have shipping vesselsmoving in opposite directions.
To wind small line around a rope to protect it from chaffing and weather.
(1) To put an object in place, as in "set the anchor."
(2) The manner in which an object is in place. "Are the sails setcorrectly?"
(3) The direction that a current is moving.
A navigational instrument used to determine the vertical position of anobject such as the sun, moon or stars. Used with celestial navigation.
A metal U-shaped connector that attaches to other fittings with the use of apin that is inserted through the arms of the U.
To remove a reef from a sail.
An initial trip with a boat to make sure that everything is operatingproperly.
The long bar part of an anchor. The flukes are at one end of the shank andthe stock is at the other.
All boats are referred to as female. "She is at anchor." "Her sails areset."
A pin attaching one part to another that is designed to break if excessiveloads are applied. For example to connect the propeller to the propellershaft so that the pin can break if the propeller strikes something,preventing damage to the propeller and engine.
A covering to protect the bottom of a boat.
A wheel used to change the direction of a line, such as in a block or atthe top of the masthead.
A knot used to temporarily shorten a line.
The top plank on the side of a wooden boat that follows the sheer of thedeck.
(1) The fore and aft curvature of the deck.
(2) A sudden change of course.
A type of knot used to tie two lines together.
A line attached to the clew of a sail and is used to control the sail'strim. The sheets are named after the sail, as in jib sheets and main sheet.
(1) A large vessel.
(2) To take an object aboard, such as cargo, or water.
(3) To put items such as oars on the boat when not in use.
Neat, orderly and ready to use.
(1) Shallow water.
(2) An underwater sand bar or hill that has its top near the surface.
The edge of the land near the water.
Where the land meets the water.
A quickly made splice joining two lines together. A short splice is widerthan the original line and will not fit through blocks or fairleads.
To push a boat, as from a dock or another boat.
Part of the standing rigging that helps to support the mast by running fromthe top of the mast to the side of the boat. Sailboats usually have one ormore shrouds on each side of the mast.
Green and red lights on the starboard and port sides of the boat requiredfor navigation at night. Each light is supposed to be visible through an arcof 112.5°, beginning from directly ahead of the boat to a point 22.5° aft ofthe beam.
The tendency of a boat to move sideways in the water instead of along itsheading due to the motion of currents or leeway.
Sight reduction tables
Tables containing information about the position of the sun, moon, planetsand stars. When using celestial navigation these tables help find theposition of a boat.
A halyard used to hoist signal flags.
A type of radio carried on a boat to transmit long distances.
(1) To go to the bottom of the water.
(2) To cause an object to go to the bottom of the water.
A vessel of a similar design to another.
Any flat protrusion on the outside of the hull that is used to supportanother object such as the propeller shaft or rudder.
A small boat.
The outside surface of a boat. Usually used when describing a fiberglass orother molded hull.
A period of almost no water movement between flood and ebb tides
(1) A line that is loose.
(2) To ease a line.
Also called a lug. Metal or plastic pieces attached to a sail's luff thatslide in a mast track to allow easy hoisting of a sail.
(1) Lines used to hoist heavy or awkward objects.
(2) The act of using such lines to hoist heavy or awkward objects.
(3) Ropes used to secure the center of a yard to the mast.
A space between two docks or piers where a boat can be moored.
A style of sailboat characterized by a single mast with one mainsail and oneforesail. Also see cutter.
The opening between the jib and the mainsail. Wind passing through thisopening increases the pressure difference across the sides of the mainsail,helping to move the boat forward.
Small lines used when whipping and serving.
A metal fitting with a arm that uses a spring to close automatically whenconnected to another object.
A block that can be opened on one side, allowing it to be place on a linethat is already in use.
To suddenly stop or secure a line.
An eye splice that does not use a protective insert.
A floor on a boat.
Signals required by navigation rules describing the type of vessels andtheir activities during times of fog.
The depth of the water as marked on a chart.
The "bottom" point of the line about which the earth rotates.
South wind, southerly wind
Wind coming from the south.
One of the 4 cardinal compass points. South is the direction toward theSouth Pole and is at 180° on a compass card.
A constellation in the shape of a cross used to determine the direction ofthe South Pole when traveling in the southern hemisphere.
A tall buoy used as a navigational aid.
A pole used as part of the sailboat rigging, such as masts, booms, spinnakerpoles and gaffs.
To relieve someone when taking turns at a task, such as manning the helm.
A ball shaped buoy marking a navigational hazard.
A metal band around a spar with an eye to take the shackles used on therunning rigging.
Spill the wind
To head up into the wind or loosen a sail, allowing the sail(s) to luff.
A tall cone shaped navigational buoy.
A halyard used to raise the spinnaker.
Spinnaker pole lift
Also spinnaker lift. A line running from the top of the mast, used to holdthe spinnaker pole in place.
Sometimes spinnaker boom. A spar used to extend the foot of the spinnakerbeyond the edge of the boat, and to secure the corner of the sail.
A very large lightweight sail used when running or on a broad reach.
A storm jib. A small jib made out of heavy cloth for use in heavy weather.Sometimes brightly colored.
The place where two lines are joined together end to end.
Small spars extending toward the sides from one or more places along themast. The shrouds cross the end of the spreaders, enabling the shrouds tobetter support the mast.
Docking lines that help keep the boat from moving fore and aft while docked.The after bow spring line is attached near the bow and runs aft, where it isattached to the dock. The forward quarter spring line is attached to thequarter of the boat, and runs forward, being attached to the dock near thebow of the boat.
The tide with the most variation in water level, occurring during new moonsand full moons. This is the time of the highest high tide and the lowest lowtide. The opposite of a neap tide.
To begin, as in "to spring a leak."
A sudden intense wind storm of short duration, often accompanied by rain.Squalls often accompany an advancing cold front.
Reef knot. A simple knot that can slip. Often used on sailboats whenreefing.
A sailboat having square sails hung across the mast.
A square sail hung from a yard on the mast. Best used when sailing downwind.
Single sideband radio. A type of radio used on a boat to transmit for longdistances.
A vertical pole on which flags can be raised.
Ability of a boat to keep from heeling or rolling excessively, and theability to quickly return upright after heeling.
(1) To stop moving.
(2) Air is sail to stall when it becomes detached from the surface it isflowing along. Usually air travels smoothly along both sides of a sail, butif the sail is not properly trimmed, the air can leave one of the sides ofthe sail and begin to stall. Stalled sails are not operating efficiently.
A post near the edge of the deck used to support life lines.
Stand on vessel
The vessel that is required to maintain its course and speed when boats areapproaching each other according to the navigation rules. Also known as theprivileged vessel.
A port for which information is listed in the tide tables. Other ports knownas secondary ports have information listed as a difference from the standardport rather that having complete tables.
The rigging of a boat that does not normally need to be adjusted.
The part of the line that will carry the load after a knot has been tied init.
A sailboat sailing on a tack with the wind coming over the starboard sideand the boom on the port side of the boat. If two boats under sail areapproaching, the one on port tack must give way to the boat on starboardtack.
The right side of a boat, from the perspective of a person at the stern ofthe boat and looking toward the bow. The opposite of port.
Sleeping quarters for the boat's captain or guests.
A mile as measured on land, 5280 feet or 1.6 kilometers. Distances at seaare measured as nautical miles.
Lines running fore and aft from the top of the mast to keep the mastupright. Also used to carry some sails. The backstay is aft of the mast andthe forestay is forward of the mast.
A triangular sail similar to the jib set on a stay forward of the mast andaft of the headstay.
Also stability sail or riding sail. Any small sail set to help the boatmaintain its direction without necessarily moving, as when at anchor or inheavy weather.
Also known as a masthead light. The steaming light is a white light that isvisible for an arc extending across the forward 225° of the boat. When litthe steaming light indicates that a vessel under power, including sailboatswith engines running. Steaming lights are usually located halfway up themast rather than at the top.
Tall and short waves caused by water current and wave directions beingopposite to the direction of the wind.
In order for the rudder to be able to properly steer the boat, it must bemoving through the water. The speed necessary for control is known assteerage way.
The forward edge of the bow. On a wooden boat the stem is a single timber.
(1) A fitting for the bottom of the mast (mast step.)
(2) The act of placing the foot of the mast in its step and raising themast.
(1) A mast that is in place is stepped.
(2) Where the mast is stepped, as in keel stepped or deck stepped.
A white running light placed at the stern of the boat. The stern lightshould be visible through an arc of 135°, to the rear of the boat.
A line running from the stern of the boat to a dock when moored.
Pushpit. A sturdy railing around the deck at the stern.
The aft part of a boat. The back of the boat.
Making way in reverse.
A boat that resists heeling.
A crossbeam at the upper part of an anchor.
A knot used in the end of a line to prevent the end from running through ablock or other narrow space. Stopper knots prevent a line that slips fromunthreading itself and getting lost.
A mechanical device or knot used to keep a rope from running.
Supplies on a boat.
Sometimes called a spitfire. A small jib made out of heavy cloth for use inheavy weather. Sometimes brightly colored.
The storm jib and storm trysail. Small sails built from heavy cloth for useduring heavy weather.
A very strong sail used in stormy weather. It is loose footed, beingattached to the mast, but not the boom. This helps prevent boarding wavesfrom damaging the sail or the rigging.
To put something away.
A row of wooden planks on the hull of a wooden boat or fiberglass on a moremodern fiberglass boat.
A length of line used in connecting two parts of a boat or its rigging.
Strum box A strainer in the bilge so that the bilge pump doesn't get clogged.
A fitting around the propeller shaft to keep the bearing lubricated and tokeep water out of the boat.
Cabins and rooms above the deck of a ship.
(1) The breaking waves and resulting foam near a shore.
(2) The sport of riding breaking waves on a board.
An inspection of a boat to determine its condition.
A person who is qualified to inspect a boat in order to determine itscondition.
(1) A mop made from rope.
(2) To use such a mop.
The place between the sheave (roller) and housing of a block, through whichthe line is run.
To fill with water.
Large smooth waves that do not crest. Swells are formed by wind action overa long distance.
A platform, usually on the transom, allowing swimmers to easily climb backonto a boat.
Swing a compass
The act of checking compass readings against known headings in order todetermine the compass error.
A bridge that swings away from the waterway so that boats may pass besideit.
Swinging circle, swinging room
The distance a boat can move around its anchor. Swinging room is importantbecause if other boats or objects are within a boat's swinging circle theymay collide.
A rotating fitting used to keep a line from tangling.
Back to the TopTabernacle
A hinged support for the bottom of a mast so that the mast can be loweredeasily when passing under bridges.
A gauge that measures engine revolutions per minute.
(1) The lower forward corner of a triangular sail
(2) The direction that a boat is sailing with respect to the wind. See alsoport tack and starboard tack.
(3) To change a boat's direction, bringing the bow through the eye of thewind.
(1) To change a boat's direction, bringing the bow through the eye of thewind.
(2) To tack repeatedly, as when trying to sail to a point up wind of theboat.
Lines used with blocks in order move heavy objects.
A rail around the stern of a boat.
(1) The end of a line.
(2) A line attached to the end of a wire to make it easier to use.
(3) To gather the unused end of a line neatly so that it does not becometangled.
(1) To remove a sail.
(2) To add a reef to a sail.
Also called a Dan buoy. A float with a flag at the top of a pole. Used tomark a position such as for a race or a man overboard.
A metal fitting on the mast that the spreaders are attached to.
A small line free to flow in the direction of the breeze. It is attached tosails, stays in the slot, and in other areas, enabling the helmsman and crewto see how the wind is flowing. Proper use of the telltales can help sailorsimprove their sail trim.
(1) A small boat used to ferry people and supplies between a larger boat andthe shore. See dinghy.
(2) Used to describe a boat that heels easily.
The bottom of the mast, with a shape designed to fit into the mast step.
A metal fitting used to strengthen an eye splice (loop) made in a rope orwire.
The forward upper corner of a four cornered sail known as a gaff riggedsail.
Fittings attached through the hull to which a sea cock and hose, atransducer, or other device is attached. Through hulls are used to expelwaste water, such as from a sink, to let sea water in, such as for enginecooling, and to allow placement of sensors such as depth gauges. A sea cockis attached directly to the through hull before any hoses are attached sothat the flow of water can be easily shut off if the hose fails. Plugsshould be available to force into a through hole in case the through holefails. Transducers should be equipped with caps to place over the holeshould the transducer itself need to be removed.
A seat running across the width a small boat.
Also athwartships. Across the width of a boat.
Small charts showing tidal stream directions and rate of flow.
Also called tidal stream. The flowing of water caused by the rising andlowering tidal waters.
The difference of a tide's high and low water levels.
The flow of water caused by rising and lowering tides.
Tables containing information about the time of the high and low tides andthe water level to be expected at that time.
The predictable, regular rising and lowering of water in some areas due tothe pull of the sun and the moon. Tidal changes can happen approximatelyevery 6 or 12 hours depending on the region. To find out the time and waterlevels of different tides, you can use tide tables for your area. The periodof high water level is known as high tide and the period of low water levelis known as low tide. In the Bay of Fundy, the tidal range exceeds 40 feet(13 meters.)
Also hiking stick. An extension to the tiller allowing the helmsman to steerwhile hiking. Commonly found on racing boats, they can help improvevisibility or stability.
An arm attached to the top of the rudder to steer a small boat. If thehelmsman wants to steer to starboard he pushes the tiller to port. Largerboats usually use a wheel instead of a tiller.
Regions of about 15° of longitude around the world where time is measured ona local scale. Each time zone keeps time slightly differently so that at12:00 noon the sun will be high in the sky. For example at noon in Englandit is midnight in New Zealand. If New Zealanders kept their clocks set tothe English time zone, it would be very dark at noon!
A small rail around the deck of a boat. The toe rail may have holes in it toattach lines or blocks. A larger wall is known as a gunwale.
The weight or displacement of a ship.
A boat that has too much weight up high. This can adversely affect theboat's stability.
A mast on top of another mast.
A mark on the top of a navigational buoy or daybeacon.
A line running from the end of the boom to the top of the mast used to keepthe boom from falling when the sail is not set.
A triangular sail set above the gaff on a gaff rigged boat.
The sides of the hull above the waterline and below the deck.
To pull a boat with another boat, such as a tugboat towing a barge.
Running lights that should be used by boats when towing to indicate that atow is in progress.
(1) The path that a vessel is taking.
(2) A guide in the mast or other spar that accepts lugs to attach a sail.
(3) A rail to which a sliding car is attached for easy adjustment of theposition of blocks and lines.
Winds in certain areas known for their consistent strength and direction.Trade winds are named because of their reliability, allowing for plannedvoyages along the routes favored by those winds.
The aft edge of a sail, more commonly called the leech.
An electronic device that uses sound waves to collect information such aswater depth and vessel speed, usually attached to a through hull. Thetransducer then converts that information to electrical signals that can beused by electronic displays in the cockpit.
Also called a range. Two navigational aids separated in distance so thatthey can be aligned to determine that a boat lies on a certain line.Transits can be used to determine a boat's position or guide it through achannel.
The aft side of the hull.
A belt and line used to help a crew hike out beyond the edge of a boat tocounteract the boat's heel. Usually used on small vessels for racing.
A track or rod with an attached block, allowing more controlled adjustmentof a sail's sheet. The traveler allows better control of the sail's shape.
A stay leading from one mast, such as the main mast to another, such as themizzen mast.
A running light allowed on some sailboats instead of the normal bow andstern lights. The tricolor light contains the red and green side lights andthe white stern light in a single fitting that is attached to the top of themast.
An adjustable section of the rudder that allows the rudder to be correctedfor lee helm or weather helm.
(1) To haul in on a sheet to adjust the sail trim.
(2) Sail trim.
(3) A properly balanced boat that floats evenly on its waterline. Improperlytrimmed boats may list or lie with their bow or stern too low in the water.
A boat with a center hull and two smaller outer hulls called amas. Also seecatamaran and monohull.
A line attached to the end of an anchor to help free it from the ground.
Tropic of Cancer
A line 23 degrees, 27 minutes north of the equator. On June 21 the sun isdirectly above the Tropic of Cancer, at all other times the sun is furthersouth.
Tropic of Capricorn
A line 23 degrees, 27 minutes south of the equator. On December 22 the sunis directly above the Tropic of Capricorn. At all other times the sun isfurther north.
The region around the equator between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic ofCapricorn. The tropics are known for their warm weather.
The bottom of a wave, the valley between the crests.
A cap for the top of the mast.
The course of a boat after being corrected for magnetic deviation andmagnetic variation.
Geographic north. Toward the North Pole.
The speed and direction of the wind. The motion of a boat will cause thewind to appear to be coming at a different direction and speed, which isknown as apparent wind
The place that the centerboard or daggerboard retracts into.
A hinged fitting at the top of a mast to hold another mast above it.
Also called storm trysail. A very strong sail used in stormy weather. It isloose footed, being attached to the mast, but not the boom. This helpsprevent boarding waves from damaging the sail or the rigging.
A small powerful boat used to help move barges and ships in confined areas.
To adjust the standing rigging or other equipment to make a boat performbetter.
For a boat to turn completely over such that its mast is pointing downinstead of up.
A metal fitting that is turned to tighten or loosen the tension on standingrigging.
The distance required for a boat to turn in a complete circle.
A bag in which a spinnaker or other large sail can be stowed with the linesattached so that it can be rapidly raised.
Small line used for whipping other light duties also known as small stuff.
Two half hitches
A knot with two half hitches (loops) on the standing part of the line.
A strong tropical revolving storm of force 12 or higher in the southernhemisphere. Typhoons revolve in a counterclockwise direction. In thenorthern hemisphere these storms revolve clockwise and are known ashurricanes.
Back to the TopUnder bare poles
Having no sails up. In heavy weather the windage of the mast and other sparscan still be enough to move the boat.
Under the lee
On the lee side of an object, protected from the wind.
A vessel in motion is under way.
Strong offshore current extending to the shore.
To unfold or unroll a sail. The opposite of furl.
To windward, in the direction of the eye of the wind.
United States Coast Guard.
Back to the TopVane
A flat device that is affected by the wind. Vanes are used in wind directionindicators and some self steering gear systems.
A hydraulic ram or block and tackle used to hold the end of the boom down.
A type of propeller that has adjustable blades for varying speeds ordirections, and may be able to reduce drag when under sail.
Magnetic variation. The difference between magnetic north and true north,measured as an angle. Magnetic variation is different in differentlocations, so the nearest compass rose to each location on a chart must beused.
A line drawn to indicate both the direction and magnitude of a force, suchas leeway or a current.
A shifting of the wind direction, opposite of backing. Clockwise in thenorthern hemisphere, counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere.
Velocity made good
Also VMG. Actual boat speed after adjusting for such factors as current andleeway.
The distance between the water level at chart datum and an overhead obstaclesuch as a bridge or power line.
Very quick flashing
A navigational aid with a light that flashes between 80 and 159 times perminute. Usually around twice per second.
(1) Very High Frequency radio waves.
(2) A radio that transmits in the VHF range. VHF radios are the most commoncommunications radio carried on boats, but their range is limited to "lineof sight" between the transmitting and receiving stations. Also see singlesideband.
A bearing taken by visually observing the location of known landmarks.
A fix taken by visually observing the location of known landmarks.
Velocity made good. Actual boat speed after adjusting for such factors ascurrent and leeway.
Back to the TopWake
Waves generated in the water by a moving vessel.
(1) A division of crew into shifts.
(2) The time each watch has duty.
The length of the boat at the waterline.
The line where the water comes to on the hull of a boat. Design waterline iswhere the waterline was designed to be, load waterline is the waterline whenthe boat is loaded, and the painted waterline is where the waterline waspainted. Actual waterline is where the waterline really is at any giventime.
Completely filled with water.
A river, canal or other body of water that boats can travel on.
The progress of a boat. If a boat is moving it is considered to be "makingway."
The tendency of a boat to head up toward the eye of the wind. The oppositeof lee helm.
To raise, as in to weigh anchor.
West wind, westerly wind.
Wind coming from west.
One of the 4 cardinal compass points. West is at 270° on a compass card.
A locker equipped with a drain so that wet clothes can be stored in itwithout damaging other objects in the boat.
The amount of area of the hull, keel, rudder, and other objects that isunder water.
Also a quay. A section parallel to the shore for docking and unloadingvessels.
One of two methods used to steer a boat. A wheel is turned in the directionthat the helmsman wants the boat to go. On smaller boats a tiller is usuallyused, which steers in the opposite manner.
To bind the strands of a line with a small cord.
A spar used to help hold the jib out when sailing off the wind.
A navigational buoy with a whistle.
To avoid something by a large distance.
A device used to give a mechanical advantage when hauling on the lines.
A funnel used to force wind in a hatch and ventilate the below decks area.
The amount of a boat, sail or other object that the wind can push on.
A mechanical device used to pull in cable or chain, such as an anchor rode.
In the direction of the wind. Opposite of leeward.
Wing and wing
A method of running before the wind with two sails set. Usually the mainsailon one side and a headsail on the other, or one headsail on each side.
The sails used on a particular sailboat in normal weather conditions.
The sheet that is currently taught and in use to control a sail. Theopposite of the lazy sheet.
Back to the TopYacht
A sailboat or powerboat used for pleasure, not a working boat.
The end of a yard.
A spar attached to the mast and used to hoist square sails.
Swinging off course, usually in heavy seas. The bow moves toward one side ofthe intended course. Also see rolling and pitching.
A two masted sailboat with the shorter mizzen mast placed aft of the rudderpost. A ketch is similar, but the mizzen mast is forward of the rudder post.
Back to the TopZenith
The point of the celestial sphere which is directly overhead.
A gentle breeze. The west wind.
Used to indicated times measured in Coordinated Universal Time, a successorto Greenwich Mean Time. A time standard that is not affected by time zonesor seasons.
Back to the Top