Synonyms of sailboat

  • as in yacht
  • More from M-W
  • To save this word, you'll need to log in. Log In

Thesaurus Definition of sailboat

Synonyms & Similar Words

  • square - rigger

Thesaurus Entries Near sailboat

Cite this entry.

“Sailboat.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/sailboat. Accessed 10 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on sailboat

Nglish: Translation of sailboat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sailboat for Arabic Speakers

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Play Quordle: Guess all four words in a limited number of tries.  Each of your guesses must be a real 5-letter word.

Can you solve 4 words at once?

Word of the day.

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Popular in Grammar & Usage

What's the difference between 'fascism' and 'socialism', more commonly misspelled words, commonly misspelled words, how to use em dashes (—), en dashes (–) , and hyphens (-), absent letters that are heard anyway, popular in wordplay, the words of the week - june 7, 8 words for lesser-known musical instruments, 9 superb owl words, 10 words for lesser-known games and sports, your favorite band is in the dictionary, games & quizzes.

Play Blossom: Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

  • Daily Crossword
  • Word Puzzle
  • Word Finder
  • Word of the Day
  • Synonym of the Day
  • Word of the Year
  • Language stories
  • All featured
  • Gender and sexuality
  • All pop culture
  • Writing hub
  • Grammar essentials
  • Commonly confused
  • All writing tips
  • Pop culture
  • Writing tips

Advertisement

noun as in a boat propelled with wind by sailcloth

Strongest matches

Strong matches

Weak matches

  • gaff-rigged sailboat
  • wooden boat

Discover More

Example sentences.

Have a bite to eat at a former sailboat repair shop at Rockport’s Glow.

He traveled to Monaco, and saw sailing yachts like the Parsifal and it has been “big sailboats” ever since.

A sweep of the space takes in a copy of “Philosophy of Nietzsche,” Batman and Robin action figures, random trophies and a miniature sailboat in the window.

For many years he was a carpenter, even building his own sailboat which, the last he knew, still floats.

His name was Peter Nickless and he lived in Baja California, on a sailboat called Expectation.

That it would sit there and bob calmly like a sailboat on a millpond-calm sea?

There is a confessional in the bookstore and the main table was made out of a sailboat by a friend.

Across the street from Dockside and the VFW, another 30-foot sailboat was capsized.

There was a channel among the reefs, which a small sailboat could pursue, if one were accurately acquainted with its windings.

Suddenly, without warning, he put his tiller over so that the sailboat headed away from the Viking for an instant.

Presently an unexpected hail came across the water to them from a sailboat they had overhauled.

Enough light remained, though, for the sharp eyes of Ferral to read the name on the sailboat's stern.

The Hawk followed the sailboat as far as the channel leading through the bar at the entrance to the Inlet.

Related Words

Words related to sailboat are not direct synonyms, but are associated with the word sailboat . Browse related words to learn more about word associations.

noun as in vehicle for water travel

noun as in vessel

noun as in boat

noun as in pleasure boat

  • cabin cruiser
  • sailing boat

Viewing 5 / 6 related words

On this page you'll find 32 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to sailboat, such as: catamaran, craft, cutter, schooner, ship, and skiff.

From Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

sailing and sailboat terms

50 Nautical, Sailing & Boat Terms for Beginners 

words like sailboat

Table of Contents

Last Updated on September 29, 2023 by Boatsetter Team

Boating has its own vocabulary and if you’re going to be spending time on the water, you should understand a few basic boat terms. Knowing these will make you safer as well as more useful whether boating on your own, chartering or helping friends on their boat.

Let’s divide these words into basic nautical terms and specific sailing terms, listed in alphabetical order.

Ready to Hit the Water? Find Local Boat Rentals Near You

30 Commonly Used Nautical & Boating Terms

Here are a few expressions you’ll hear aboard both a powerboat and sailboat, or even at the dock before boarding your boat rental or charter.

  • Aft – the direction toward the back or stern of a boat.
  • Ashore – not on a boat but on land or a dock .
  • Ballast – extra weight laid low in a boat to provide stability.
  • Beam – the width of a boat at its widest point, usually the middle.
  • Bow – the front of a boat. Multihulls like catamarans have more than one bow.
  • Bunk – a built-in bed on a boat.
  • Cabin – the sleeping accommodations on a boat .
  • Cockpit – the main seating area of a boat that may also include the helm station .
  • Crew – the people or staff that help drive and manage the boat.
  • Deck – the top or horizontal structure that is laid over the hull of a deck.
  • Dock line – the ropes used to tie a boat to a dock.
  • Fender – a rubber, vinyl or foam bumper used to protect the boat at a dock; often referred to by novice boaters as “bumpers.”
  • Forward – the direction toward the front or bow of a boat.
  • Galley – the kitchen on a boat. It can be inside or out on deck.
  • Head – the toilet or bathroom on a boat.
  • Helm – the boat’s steering mechanism. It can be a tiller or a wheel.
  • Helm station – the area where from which you command or drive a boat.
  • Hull – the body or shell of a boat including the bow and stern.
  • Keel – the longitudinal structure at the bottom of the hull and generally on the centerline. The keel helps with stability and tracking.
  • Knot – either various loops tied in a line or a unit of speed which equals one nautical mile per hour.
  • Line – any rope on a boat is referred to as a line – not a rope.
  • Nautical mile – a unit of measurement used on the water. A nautical mile is approximately 1.2x a statue mile.
  • Onboard – on a boat whether on deck, on the cockpit or below.
  • Port – the left-hand side of a boat when you’re facing forward or toward the bow.
  • Rudder – an appendage below the boat that is controlled by the wheel or tiller to steer the boat. A boat may have more than one rudder.
  • Starboard – the right-hand side of a boat when you’re facing forward.
  • Stern – the place at the back of a boat.
  • Transom – the actual structure of the back edge of a boat.
  • Wake – the turbulence left behind a moving boat.
  • Waterline – the place where the hull of a boat meets the surface of the water.

nautical terms and boat terminology

20 Sailing & Sailboat Terms

Within boating, sailing has its own specific vernacular. You’ll want to understand it before you step aboard a sailboat to help crew or when taking a lesson.

  • Apparent wind – the combination of true wind and the motion of the boat at the time. It’s the wind you feel onboard.
  • Boom – the horizontal pole which extends from the mast aft. It holds the bottom of the mainsail.
  • Ease – to adjust sails outward or away from the centerline of a boat.
  • Halyard – the line used to raise a sail whether a mainsail or a headsail.
  • Headsail – a sail that is forward of the mast. It can be a genoa, a jib, a staysail or a small storm sail.
  • In irons – technically a point of sail when you’re head-to-wind meaning the bow is pointing directly into the true wind and the boat is unable to maneuver.
  • Jibing (also spelled gybing) – changing direction where the stern swings through the eye of the wind.
  • Leeward – the direction away from where the wind is blowing.
  • Mainsail – the primary sail on a boat which is usually attached in some way to the mast and boom. On most sailboats it’s the primary source of power.
  • Mast – the vertical pole that supports the sails. The mast itself is supported by the rigging.
  • Points of sail – the boat’s direction under sail relative to the true wind . The points of sail are: close-hauled, close reach, beam reach, broad reach and dead run.
  • Reefing – shortening or reducing the area of a sail to de-power a sailboat usually used in a strong wind.
  • Sheet – the line that controls the angle of a sail. There are mainsheets, jib/genoa sheets and others.
  • Shroud – a part of the boat’s rigging that supports the mast from side-to-side
  • Stay – a part of the boat’s rigging that supports the mast fore and aft.
  • Tacking – changing direction under sail where the bow swings through the eye of the wind.
  • Trim – to adjust sails inward or closer to the centerline of a boat.
  • True wind – the actual wind that is blowing – both direction and speed.
  • Winch – a rotating drum used to help control lines with a lot of pressure on them. A winch is cranked with a winch handle.
  • Windward – the direction from where the wind is blowing.

Browse Available Sailboat Rentals Near You

Zuzana-Prochazka

Zuzana Prochazka is an award-winning freelance journalist and photographer with regular contributions to more than a dozen sailing and powerboating magazines and online publications including Southern Boating, SEA, Latitudes & Attitudes and SAIL. She is SAIL magazines Charter Editor and the Executive Director of Boating Writers International. Zuzana serves as judge for SAIL’s Best Boats awards and for Europe’s Best of Boats in Berlin. 

A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana founded and manages a flotilla charter organization called Zescapes that takes guests adventure sailing at destinations worldwide. 

Zuzana has lived in Europe, Africa and the United States and has traveled extensively in South America, the islands of the South Pacific and Mexico. 

Browse by experience

words like sailboat

Explore articles

words like sailboat

Boatsetter Owners Tips and Tricks: Improve Your Boat Listing!

words like sailboat

8 Ways to Soak in the Last Bit of Summer Sun

A greenblocked wrasse or surge wrasse

Fishing Roundup: Meet the founder of Hashtag and Release

Beaches in Key Largo.

5 Best Beaches in Key Largo

16 Sailing Terms for Landlubbers

By tim brinkhof | apr 23, 2024, 9:42 am edt.

This is no time to batten down the hatches.

In a humorous scene from Pirates of the Caribbean : At World’s End (2007), Jack Sparrow and his mutinous helmsman-turned-ally Hector Barbossa stomp down the deck of the Black Pearl barking orders at the crew. “Trim that sail!” one of them shouts. “Slack windward brace and sheet!” another roars. “Haul the pennant line!” they bellow in unison.

Although the scene ultimately revolves around the unsolved question of which one of them is captain, much of the comedy derives from the fact that the film ’s audience—largely comprised of 21st-century landlubbers with a limited understanding of sailing jargon—has absolutely no idea what the characters are talking about.

Out on the open ocean, seafarers developed a language totally distinct from the ones spoken on dry land. While a handful of these centuries-old sailing words remain known only to the saltiest of seamen, many terms have since abandoned ship, swimming shoreward and embedding themselves in the vernacular to such an extent that their original, maritime meaning has become obscured behind contemporary, terrestrial connotations. Here are 16 of them.

Batten Down the Hatches

Crow’s nest, keelhauling, letter of marque.

Starboard denotes the right-hand side of a vessel. Contrary to popular belief, its etymology has nothing to do with constellations and their use in navigation. In truth, starboard derives from the Old English words stéor , meaning “steer,” and bord , meaning “side of a boat.” Because most people are right-handed, the steering oar was generally placed on the right side of a vessel, or starboard for short.

Port refers to the left-hand side of a vessel. Compared to starboard , which is thought to have originated during the 9th century CE, port is a relatively recent invention. Earlier terms include the Old English bæcbord —living on today as Backbord in German and bâbord in French—and laddebord , which means “loading side.” Port is shorthand for portside , as most vessels would load and unload on the left side when docked at ports.

19th-century illustration of capsized boat and three sailors in the water

Every sailor’s worst nightmare, capsizing is the act of a vessel being overturned in the water. Etymologists speculate that the word, which emerged during the late 18th century, derived from the Spanish verb capuzar , meaning “to sink (a ship).” It might also be related to the Spanish cabo , meaning “head,” and chapuzar , meaning “to dive or duck.”

Flotsam is wreckage or cargo from a ship found floating at sea. The word comes from the Anglo-French floteson , derived from the Old French flotaison , meaning “a floating.”

Plastic bottles and debris washed up on a tropical beach

In contrast to flotsam, jetsam is unwanted materials that have been deliberately thrown overboard by a vessel’s crew—a trivial difference in the eyes of a landlubber, but crucial in the context of maritime law , since the distinction determines who can lay claim to the goods. Jetsam , for its part, came from the Middle English jettison , which in turn came from the Old French getaison , meaning “throwing.”

Today, the phrase batten down the hatches roughly translates to “prepare for hard times ahead,” which isn’t far removed from its original meaning . For crewmates, it was a command to secure the tarpaulin or canvas covers over the vessel’s openings (hatches) with wooden pieces called “battens” to shield the ship’s interior from the elements, especially during storms.

An even-keeled person is balanced and won’t tip over if provoked or pushed. Replace person with boat , and you essentially get at what the term was originally used for. In shipbuilding , a keel is the spine of a ship. Connected to the bottom of the hull, its job is to keep the ship afloat and, crucially, balanced. Otherwise, it will capsize. (According to the Oxford English Dictionary , even-keeled was first used as an adjective in an 1869 issue of a local newspaper called the Christian Advocate .)

An illustration of a chip log

As every sailing student will tell you, a knot is a unit of measurement for the speed of the air and water when at sea. Used on ships and aircrafts alike, a knot equals one nautical mile (or 1.15 statute miles) per hour. The reason it is called a knot is because, during the early 17th century, sailors calculated wind and water speed with a device known as a chip log , a knotted rope with a piece of wood that would be unspooled in the water behind a moving vessel. However many knots were unfurled within a given time would reveal the speed of the ship.

Nowadays, the word cockpit is mostly used to refer to the compartment of the pilot in an air- or spacecraft. Before the invention of airplanes and rockets, however, cockpit was the name of the location on the ship where one could find the cockswain . Derived from the term cock , meaning “small boat,” and swain , meaning “servant,” the cockswain was in charge of controlling a ship’s movement.

An anchorage is a safe area where ships can drop their anchor. In case you’re wondering, this is also the concept to which Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, owes its name . The waters surrounding the state are treacherous, and the coast off what would later become Anchorage, originally called “Knik Anchorage” (after the abandoned village of Knik, across an inlet from present capital), was one of the few places in the area where boats could safely rest.

Before the term footloose became synonymous with the eponymous 1984 dance flick , footloose was used to describe a sail that had not been properly secured to the base of a mast, which is also called the foot, causing it to blow freely in the wind.

Illustration of a 19th-century Royal Navy petty officer at a ship's wheel

Usually followed by sir or captain , this double affirmation was used by sailors to confirm that they had not only understood a command from their superior, but also that they would carry it out without question. Crewing a ship is a complicated and potentially dangerous task, one that requires military-like discipline from all hands.

A common concept in stories about pirates and buccaneers, the crow’s nest is a small platform at the top of a ship’s mast that functions as a lookout station. Legend has it the term derives from a Viking navigational practice. In poor weather conditions, a sailor would climb up to the nest and release a crow or other small bird that—informed by instinct—would fly away in the direction of the nearest shore.

Barnacles on the hull of a boat.

Keelhauling , derived from the Dutch word kielhalen, refers to a maritime method of punishment where prisoners were tied to a rope and dragged underneath the hull of a ship at sea which, being covered in sharp barnacles, could cause a slow and extremely painful death. The Lex Rhodia or Maritime Codex, a legal document outlining punishment for piracy in ancient Greece, suggests keelhauling was practiced as early as 700 BCE [ PDF ].

A letter of marque, mentioned several times in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, was a government license issued by the English High Court of Admiralty authorizing privately owned ships ( privateers ) to attack and capture enemy merchant ships in times of conflict. The earliest letter of marque was issued in 1293, starting a tradition that lived on until privateering was outlawed in 1856.

Something can be called shipshape if it’s neat and orderly. This definition is not far off from the term’s original meaning , which emerged in Bristol, UK. A portmanteau of ship and shapen , which means “to give shape to something,” it arose during a time when Bristol was one of the country’s important port cities and renowned for its high quality of ship maintenance. Back then, a shipshape ship was also said to be of “Bristol fashion.”

Read More Nautical Stories:

Nomadic Sailing

Sailing Terminology List: 300+ Sailing Terms

Three sailboats on water

There’s a massive amount of sailing terms that any sailor will eventually learn with time and it can seem daunting essentially learning a new language.

Need to know sailing terminology will help you out when communicating with your crew members and captains of other vessels, so having a sailing terminology list handy can do a lot of good.

That’s why I put together this list of common sailing terms that’ll help you out the next time you head out on the water.

Aback – A foresail when against the wind, used when tacking to help the vessel turn. Abaft – Toward the stern, relative to some object. Abeam – On the beam, a relative bearing at right angles to the ship’s keel. Aboard – On or in a vessel. Adrift – A boat drifting without being propelled. Aft – At or towards the stern or behind the boat. Aground – A boat whose keel is touching the bottom. Amidships – The middle section of a vessel with reference to the athwartships plane, as distinguished from port or starboard. Apparent wind – The wind felt aboard a moving boat. Astern – Behind the stern of the boat. Athwartships – Across the boat from side to side.

Backstay – The standing rigging running from the stern to the top of the mast, keeping the mast from falling forward. Bail – To empty the boat of water. Ballast – Weight in the keel of a boat that provides stability. Barometer – An instrument that measures air pressure, an aid to forecasting the weather. Batten – A thin wood or fiberglass slat that slides into a pocket in the leech of a sail, helping to maintain an aerodynamic shape. Beam – The width of a boat at its widest point. Beam reach – Sailing in a direction at approximately 90 degrees to the wind. Bear away – To “fall off” or head away from the wind. Bearing – The direction from one object to another expressed in compass degrees. Beating – A course sailed upwind. Below – The area of a boat beneath the deck. Bend – To attach a sail to a spar or a headstay or to attach a line to a sail. Bight – A loop in a line. Bilge – The lowest part of a boat’s interior where water on board will collect. Bitter end – The end of a line. Blanket – To use the sail or object to block the wind from filling a sail. Block – A pulley on a boat. Boat hook – A pole with a hook on the end used for grabbing hold of a mooring or retrieving something that has fallen overboard. Boltrope – The rope that is sewn into the foot and luff of some mainsails and the luff of some jibs by which the sails are attached to the boat. Boom – The spar extending directly aft from the mast to which the foot of the mainsail is attached. Boom vang – A block and tackle system, which pulls the boom down to assist sail control. Bottom – The underside of a boat. Bow – The forward part of the boat. Bowline – A line running from the bow of the boat to the dock or mooring. Bow spring – A line running from the bow of the boat parallel to the dock or mooring that stops the boat from moving forward along the dock. Bowline – A knot designed to make a loop that will not slip and can be easily untied. Breast line – A short line leading directly from the boat to the dock. Broach – An uncontrolled rounding up into the wind, usually from a downwind point of sail. Broad reach – Sailing in a direction with the wind at the rear corner (the quarter) of the boat. Approximately 135 degrees from the bow of the boat. Bulkhead – A wall that runs athwartships on a boat, usually providing structural support to the hull. Buoy – A floating navigation marker. Buoyancy – The ability of an object to float. Bulwark – A solid side wall, often about waist high, from the outside edge of the deck to prevent someone from falling overboard. Burdened vessel – The vessel required to give way for another boat when the two may be on a collision course. By the Lee – A sailboat running with the wind coming over the same side of the boat as the boom.

Cabin – The interior of the boat. Can – In the U.S., it’s an odd-numbered green buoy marking the left side of the channel when returning to harbor. Capsize – To tip or turn a boat over. Cast off – To release a line when leaving a dock or mooring. Catamaran – A twin-hulled vessel with a deck or trampoline between the hulls. Catboat – A boat with only a mainsail and an unstayed mast located at the bow. Centerboard – A pivoting board that can be lowered and used like a keel to keep a boat from slipping to leeward. Centerline – The midline of the boat running from bow to stern. Chafe – Wear on a line caused by rubbing. Chainplates – Strong metal plates which connect the shrouds to the boat. Channel – A (usually narrow) lane, marked by buoys, in which the water is deep enough to allow a vessel safe passage. Chart – A nautical map. Charter – To rent a boat. Chock – A guide mounted on the deck through which dock lines and anchor rode are run. Chop – Rough, short, steep waves. Cleat – A nautical fitting that is used to secure a line. Clew – The lower aft corner of a sail. The clew of the mainsail is held taut by the outhaul. The jib sheets are attached to the clew of the jib. Close hauled – The point of sail that is closest to the wind when the sails are hauled close to the centerline of the boat. Close reach – Sailing in a direction with the wind forward of the beam (about 70o from the bow). Coaming – The short protective wall that surrounds the cockpit or hatch. Cockpit – The lower area of the deck in which the steering and sail controls are located. Coil – To loop a line neatly so it can be stored, or a reel of line. Come about – To alter course so as to cause the bow of the boat to pass through the eye of the wind. Companionway – The steps leading from the cockpit or deck to the cabin below. Compass – The magnetic instrument which indicates the direction in which the boat is headed. Compass rose – The circles on a chart which indicate the direction of true and magnetic north. Course – The direction in which the boat is being steered. Crew – Besides the skipper, anyone on board who helps run the boat. Cunningham – A line running through a grommet a short distance above the tack of the mainsail which is used to tension the luff of the main. Current – The horizontal movement of water caused by tides, wind, and other forces. Cutter – A single-masted boat rigged with both jib and staysail.

Daysailer – A small sailboat. Dead downwind – Sailing in a direction straight downwind. Deck – The mostly flat area on top of the boat. De-power – Reducing the power in the sails by luffing, easing the sheets, or stalling. Dinghy – A small sailboat or rowboat. Displacement – The weight of the boat; therefore the amount of water that it displaces. Dock – The quay or pontoon where a boat may be tied up. Dockline – A line used to secure a boat to the dock. Dodger – A canvas protection in front of the cockpit of some boats that are designed to keep spray off the skipper and crew. Downhaul – A line used to pull down on the movable gooseneck on some boats to tension the luff of the mainsail. Draft – The depth of a boat’s keel from the surface of the water.

Ease – To let out a line or sail. Ebb – An outgoing tide.

Fairlead – A fitting that guides sheets and other lines in a way that reduces friction and therefore chafe. Fairway – The center of a channel. Fake – Lay out a line on the deck using large loops to keep it from becoming tangled. Fall off – Alter course away from the wind. Fast – To secure something. Fathom – A measure of the depth of water. One fathom equals six feet. Fender – An inflated rubber or plastic bumper used to protect a boat by keeping it from hitting the dock. Fend off – To push off. Fetch – The distance of open water to windward between the shore and the boat. Fid – A tapered spike used to open the lay of a rope when splicing. Flood – An incoming tide. Following sea – Wave pattern hitting the stern of the boat. Foot – The bottom edge of the sail. Fore – Another word for “forward”. Forepeak – An accommodation or storage area in the bow below the deck. Foresail – A jib or genoa. Forestay – The standing rigging running from the bow to the mast top and to which the foresail is secured. Forward – Towards the bow. Fouled – Another word for “tangled”. Fractional rig – When the forestay is attached to the mast some distance below the top. Foul weather gear – Water resistant clothing. Freeboard – The height of the hull above the water’s surface. Full – Not luffing. Furl – To fold or roll up a sail.

Gaff – On some boats, a spar along the top edge of a four-sided fore and aft sail. Genoa – A large foresail whose clew extends aft of the mast. Give way vessel – The vessel required, by the regulations, to give way in a collision situation. G.M.T. – Greenwich Mean Time. The time at the prime meridian in Greenwich, London, England. Now referred to as Universal Time Coordinated U.T.C. Gooseneck – The strong fitting that connects the boom to the mast. Great Circle – A line drawn on a chart which is accurate over a long distance, a section of the Earth which intersects the center of the Earth. Grommet – A reinforcing ring set in a sail. Ground tackle – Collective term for the anchor and rode (chain and line). Gudgeon – A fitting attached to the stern into which the pintles of a rudder are inserted. Gunwale – The edge of the deck where it meets the topsides. Gybe – Another alternative spelling of “jibe”.

Halyard – A line used to raise or lower a sail. Hank – A snap hook which is used to secure the luff of a foresail to the forestay. Hard a-lee – The call given to the crew that will initiate the action of tacking. Hard over – To turn the helm or tiller as far as possible in one direction. Hatch – A large covered opening in the deck. Haul in – To tighten a line. Head – The toilet on a boat as well as the top corner of a sail. Headboard – The small reinforcing board affixed to the head of a sail. Headed – A wind shift which causes the boat to head down or causes the sails to be sheeted in. Heading – The direction of the boat expressed in degrees. Head down – Changing course away from the wind. Head off – Another word for “head down”. Head up – Changing course towards the wind. Headsail – A jib/genoa attached to the forestay. Headstay – The standing rigging running from the bow to the top of the mast. Head to wind – When the bow of the boat is dead into the wind. Headway – Forward progress. Heave – To throw. Heave to – To hold one’s position in the water by using the force of the sails and the rudder to counteract each other. Holding ground – The seabed or bottom ground in an anchorage. Hove to – A boat that has completed the process of heaving to with its aback, its main trimmed, and its rudder positioned to hold the vessel close to the wind. Heavy weather – Strong winds and large waves. Heel – The lean of the boat caused by the wind. Helm – The tiller. Helmsman – The person responsible for steering the boat. Hull – The body of the boat, excluding the rig and sails. Hull speed – The theoretical maximum speed of a sailboat determined by the length of its waterline.

Inboard – Inside of the rail of the boat. In irons – A boat that is head to wind and unable to move or maneuver.

Jackstay – A wire or webbing strap attached at the front and back of a vessel along the deck to which a safety harness line may be clipped. Jib – The small forward sail of a boat that is attached to the forestay. Jibe – To change the direction of the boat by steering the stern through the wind. Jibe oh – The command given to the crew when starting a jibe. Jiffy reef – A quick reefing system allowing a section of the mainsail to be pulled down and tied to the boom. Jury rig – An improvised temporary repair.

Kedge – A smaller anchor than the main or bower anchor. Often used for maneuvering or kedging off. Kedge off – To use an anchor to pull a boat into deeper water after it has run aground. Keel – The heavy vertical fin beneath a boat that helps keep it upright and prevents it from slipping sideways in the water. Ketch – A two-masted sailboat on which the mizzen (after) mast is lower than the mainmast and is located forward of the rudderpost. Knockdown – A boat heeled so far that one of its spreaders touches the water. Knot – One nautical mail per hour.

Land breeze – A wind that blows over the land and out to sea. Lash – To tie down. Lay – To sail a course that will clear an obstacle without tacking. Lazarette – A storage compartment built into the cockpit or deck. Lazy sheet – The windward side jib sheet that is not under strain. Lead – To pass a line through a fitting or block. Lee helm – The boats tendency to turn away from the wind. Lee shore – Land which on the leeward side of the boat. Leech – The after edge of a sail. Leeward – The direction away from the wind that is the direction that the wind is blowing to. Leeward side – The side of the boat or sail that is away from the wind. Leeway – The sideways slippage of the boat in a downwind direction. Lifeline – Rope or wire supported by stanchions. Lift – The force that results from air passing by a sail or water past a keel that moves the boat forward and sideways. Line – A rope. L.O.A. – The maximum Length Overall fore and aft along the hull. Lubber line – A line on a magnetic compass to help the helmsman steer the correct course. Luff – The leading edge of a sail as well as the fluttering of a sail caused by aiming too close to the wind. Lull – A decrease in wind speed for a short duration. L.W.L. – The length fore and aft along the hull measured at the waterline.

Magnetic – In reference to the magnetic north rather than true north. Mainmast – The taller of two masts on a boat. Mainsail – The sail hoisted on the mast of a sloop or cutter or the sail hoisted on the mainmast of a ketch or yawl. Mainsheet – The controlling line for the mainsail. Marlinspike – A pointed tool used to loosen knots. Mast – The vertical spar in the middle of a boat from which the mainsail is set. Masthead – The top of the mast. Maststep – The fitting in which the foot of the mast sits. Mizzen – The small aftermost sail on a ketch or yawl hoisted on the mizzenmast. Mizzenmast – The shorter mast aft of the main mast on a ketch or yawl. Mooring – A permanently anchored ball or buoy to which a boat can be tied.

Nautical mile – Standard nautical unit of distance equal to one minute of arc of the Earth’s latitude or 6080 feet. Navigation rules – Laws established to prevent collisions on the water. No-go zone – An area into the wind in which a sailboat cannot produce power to sail. Nun – A red even numbered buoy marking the right side of a channel when returning to port.

Offshore wind – Wind blowing away from the shore and out to sea. Offshore – Away from or out of sight of land. Off the wind – Not close-hauled point of sail. On the wind – Sailing upwind in a close-hauled point of sail. Outboard – Outside the rail of a boat. Outhaul – The controlling line attached to the clew of a mainsail used to tension the foot of the sail. Overpowered – A boat that is heeling too far because it has too much sail up for the amount of wind.

Painter – The line attached to the bow of a dinghy. Pay out – To ease a line. P.F.D. – A Personal Flotation Device such as a life jacket. Pinching – Sailing too close to the wind. Pintle – Small metal extension on a rudder that slides into a gudgeon on the transom. Point – To steer close to the wind. Points of sail – Boat direction in relation to the wind. Port – The left-hand side of the boat when facing forward, a harbor, or a window in a cabin on a boat. Port tack – Sailing on any point of sail with the wind coming over the port side of the boat. Prevailing wind – Typical or consistent wind direction. Puff – An increase in wind speed. Pulpit – A guardrail at the bows of a vessel.

Quarter – The sides of the boat near the stern.

Rail – The outer edges of the deck. Rake – The angle of the mast. Range – The alignment of two objects that indicate the middle of a channel. Reach – One of the several points of sail across the wind. Ready about – The command given to the crew to prepare to tack. Ready to jibe – The command given to the crew to prepare to jibe. Reef – To reduce the area of a sail. Reeve – To pass a line through a ring or block. Rhumb line – A straight line drawn on a Mercator chart, which intersects all meridians at the same angle. Rig – The design of a boat’s masts, standing rigging and sail plan. Rigging – The wires and lines used to support and control sails. Roach – The sail area aft of a straight line running between the head and clew of a sail. Rode – The line and chain attached from the boat to the anchor. Roller-furling – A mechanical system to roll up a headsail around the headstay. Rudder – A vertical blade attached to the bottom of the hull which is used to steer the boat. Run – Point of sailing when the wind is coming from dead astern. Running rigging – The lines used to control the sails.

Sail ties – Lengths of line or webbing used to secure sails when they are dropped or to secure the unused portion of a reefed sail. Schooner – A two-masted boat whose foremast is the same height or shorter than its mainmast. Scope – The length of anchor rode paid out in relation to the maximum depth of water. Scull – To propel a boat with a single oar fixed in a notch through the transom. Scupper – A cockpit or deck drain. Sea breeze – A wind that blows from the sea onto the land. Seacock – A valve which opens and closes a hole used as an intake or discharge from the boat. Secure – The make safe or tie down. Set – The direction of the current as well as to trim the sails. Shackle – A metal fitting at the end of a line used to attach the line to a sail or another fitting. Shake out – To remove a reef. Sheave – The wheel inside a block or fitting over which the line runs freely. Sheet – A line used to control a sail by pulling it in or easing it out. Shoal – An area of shallow water. Shroud – Standing rigging at the side of the mast. Singlehanded – Sailing alone. Skeg – A vertical fin in front of the rudder. Sloop – A single-masted sailboat with mainsail and headsail. Sole – The floor in a cockpit or cabin. Spar – A pole used to attach a sail on a boat, for example, the mast, the boom, or a gaff. Spinnaker – A large downwind headsail not attached to the head stay. Splice – The joining of two lines together by interweaving their strands. Spreader – A support strut extending athwartships from the mast used to support and guide the shroud from the top of the mast to the chainplate. Spring line – A dock line running forward or aft from the boat to the dock to keep the boat from moving fore or aft. Squall – A fast moving short intense storm. Stanchions – Stainless steel or aluminum supports at the edge of the deck which holds the lifelines. Standing rigging – The permanent rigging of a boat, including the forestay, backstay, and shrouds. Starboard – The right-hand side of the boat when looking forward from the stern. Starboard tack – Sailing on any point of sail with the wind coming over the starboard side of the boat. Stay – A wire support for a mast, part of the standing rigging. Staysail – Any sail which is attached to a stay. Steerage way – The minimum speed of the boat through the water that allows the rudder to function efficiently. Stem – The foremost tip of the boat. Stern – The aft part of the boat. Stern spring – A line running from the stern of the boat parallel to the dock or mooring that stops the boat from moving backward along the dock. Stow – To store properly. Swamped – Filled with water.

Tack – To alter course so as to cause the bow of the boat to pass through the eye of the wind. Tackle – A series of blocks and line that provide a mechanical advantage. Tail – To hold the end of a line so as to keep it under tension on a winch. Telltales – Short lengths of yarn or cloth attached to the sails which indicate when the sail is properly trimmed. Tide – The rise and fall of water level due to the gravitational effects of the sun and the moon. Tiller – A long handle attached to the rudder which is used to steer the boat. Toe rail – A low rail around the outer edge of the deck. Topping lift – A line used to hold the boom up when the mainsail is lowered or stowed. Topsides – The sides of a boat between the waterline and the deck. Transom – The vertical surface of the stern. Trim – To adjust the sail controls to create optimum lift from the sails. Trimaran – A three-hulled vessel. True wind – The actual speed and direction of the wind as you would feel when standing still. Tune – To adjust the boats standing rigging. Turnbuckle – A mechanical fitting attached to the lower ends of stays allowing the standing rigging to be adjusted.

Underway – A boat that is not attached to the ground by either anchor or mooring lines. Upwind – Towards the direction of the wind. U.S.C.G. – United States Coast Guard. U.T.C. – Universal Time Coordinated. As the modern term for Greenwich Mean Time, this is the standard reference time which is used internationally for navigational information.

Vang – A block and tackle system, which pulls the boom down to assist sail control. Veer – A clockwise change in the wind direction. Vessel – Any sailboat, powerboat, or ship.

Wake – Waves caused by a boat moving through the water. Waterline – The horizontal line on the hull of a boat where the surface of the water should be. Weather helm – The tendency of the boat to head up towards the wind, this increases as the sailboat becomes overpowered. Whip – To bind together the strands at the end of a line. Whisker pole – A pole temporarily mounted between the mast and the clew of the jib. Used to hold the sail out and keep it full when sailing downwind. Winch – A deck-mounted drum with a handle offering a mechanical advantage when used to trim sheets. Windward – Towards the wind. Windward side – The side of the boat closest to the wind. Wing-and-wing – Sailing downwind with the jib set on the opposite side to the mainsail. Working sails – The mainsail and the standard jib. Working sheet – The leeward sheet that is under tension.

Yard – The horizontal spar from which a square sail is suspended. Yawl – A two-masted vessel on which the mizzenmast is mounted aft of the rudderpost.

Get the very best sailing stuff straight to your inbox

Nomadic sailing.

At Nomadic Sailing, we're all about helping the community learn all there is to know about sailing. From learning how to sail to popular and lesser-known destinations to essential sailing gear and more.

Quick Links

Business address.

1200 Fourth Street #1141 Key West, FL 33040 United States

Copyright © 2024 Nomadic Sailing. All rights reserved. Nomadic Sailing is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

words like sailboat

The Only 50 Sailing Terms You'll Need To Know (With Pictures)

Ever get confused by all those odd sailing terms? Starboard, tack, jib… Well, no worries. In this article, I'll go over the most important sailing terms for beginners.

This is a great resource for beginning sailors that need an overview of the most important sailing terms without drowning in it . For a comprehensive list, check out this Wikipedia glossary of nautical terms . There are A LOT of nautical terms there. But no one in his or her right mind will read through that entire page (it has 48.434 words!). There are a lot of obscure words listed that no one really uses anyways. So in this article, I've filtered out the most important ones to get you up to speed quickly. I've also added pictures so you'll know what we're talking about.

Let's jump straight in. For the sake of good manners, I have categorized them by topic. If you are looking for a specific term, just ctrl+f your way directly to it.

Here are the only 50 sailing terms you'll need to know:

words like sailboat

Orientation

Parts of the boat, parts related to sails, other terms.

...because it isn't as easy as 'left', 'right', 'front' and 'back'. No, no.

Port is the left side of the boat. It's as simple as that. I'm not entirely sure why don't they just call it 'left' these days. The name came to existence because centuries ago, you always docked your big boat with the harbor (port) being on the left side. And the word stuck with us till today.

words like sailboat

Starboard is the right side of the boat. If in a car, you say 'look to your right', on a boat, you say 'look to the starboard'. Again, you might as well just call it 'right'. Oh, wait… you wouldn't seem as cool if you did. Alright, let's keep calling it starboard.

words like sailboat

The bow is the front of the boat. The word likely comes from the Middle Dutch 'boech' (nowadays spelled 'boeg'). If you call it 'front' instead, you will get your message across just as well. But it won't get you the admiring looks from those around you.

words like sailboat

Stern is the back of the boat. That is where you, as a captain, will spend most of your time. Whether you will force your crew to call it 'stern' or let them use the word 'back', like the dry land creatures they are, is up to you. After all, you are the captain.

words like sailboat

The windward side of the boat is the side facing into the wind. So if the wind is coming from the right side, the windward side is on the right. Unlike some of the previous ones, this term actually makes sense - at times you need to talk about a direction not fixed in relation to the boat, but rather relative to the direction of the wind.

words like sailboat

Leeward side of the boat is the lee side. If the wind is coming from the right side, the leeward side is on the left. Note that neither windward nor leeward specify the angle of the wind. Thus even if the wind was coming 20 degrees right off of the direction of the boat, so almost from the front, left would still be considered the leeward side.

words like sailboat

Since there are gadgets and parts on the boat that you won't see anywhere else, it only makes sense they all have their own special name. You want to know these because unlike the direction terms where you can do with 'left' and 'right', you don't want to call a tiller 'that stick thing back there'.

Helm is the boat's steering wheel. In this case, I forgive those who came up with this name, since it is shorter than 'steering wheel' and thus saves valuable time that we can spend on sailing. Though I doubt linguistic economy was the reason.

words like sailboat

Tiller is the long stick that operates your boat's rudder. A steering stick, if you will. It has the same function as a helm does, but it is usually used on smaller boats, where a helm would take up too much space. Or by people who prefer it to a helm, since a tiller offers a bit more in terms of response.

words like sailboat

The rudder is the long, flat piece of metal or wood that sits underwater below the back of your boat. Connected to a tiller or a helm, it is used to control the direction of your exciting voyage. By the way, since aerodynamics and hydrodynamics work in similar ways, a plane is also operated by a rudder. Though that one isn't underwater. Hopefully.

words like sailboat

Hull is the boat's body. Whatever the shape or size, whether opened on top (like a dinghy) or closed by a deck, (like a traditional sailboat) it's all called a hull. Structures sitting on top of the deck, like a deck salon or cabins, aren't considered a part of the hull anymore.

words like sailboat

The keel is an underwater fin below the boat's belly. The sizes and shapes vary, sometimes it is relatively short and goes deep, (fin keel) sometimes it runs from the front all the way to the back (full keel or ballast keel). It is there mainly for stability and to help maintain forward direction when sailing.

words like sailboat

The cockpit is the area where a boat is operated from. On sailboats, it is usually in the back and it is an open area without a roof, though this varies. You will find the rudder control and winches there. In 'smaller' (below 70 ft or so) sailboats this area oftentimes doubles as a deck dining place with a table and seating.

words like sailboat

The bimini is a sun roof or shade that is covers the cockpit, and is generally attached to a steel frame which runs over the cockpit.

This is where things tend to get confusing. There are a whole lot of parts and a whole lot of names for them. It pays off for you and your crew to know them though, as during the stormier moments, you all want to be on the same boat (ha, ha) linguistically, as every second counts.

Lines are ropes. Not much more to add here. I suppose a 'line' sounds a bit fancier than a 'rope'. One thing this article will teach you is that if there is the slightest crack in the wall of your boat, linguistic elitism will leak its way in.

words like sailboat

This one is quite self-explanatory. The mainsail is the main, largest sail of the boat, attached to the mast on the side and the boom at the bottom. It has a triangular shape and serves as the most important sail, the first one you should get acquainted with if you are just starting out.

words like sailboat

The jib is the front sail of your boat, sometimes also called the genoa. That is as long as you are sailing on the traditional sloop - the classical two sail setup you see the most often. The jib is wrapped around the line that goes from the top of your mast to the boat's bow.

words like sailboat

Spinnaker is the third type of sail you are the most likely to encounter on your travels. It goes in front of your boat and has a half balloon or kite-like shape. This is because it is constructed specifically for sailing downwind. Its purpose is to grab as much backwind as it can and drag your boat forward. It is not attached to the boat most of the time like the mainsail or the jib, instead, it is stored separately and used only when needed.

words like sailboat

The mast is the tall, vertical pole that goes from the floor of your salon, through the deck, meters above your boat. All the sails are attached to it, also radars and lights, giving sailboats radio and visual visibility far greater than that of equally sized motorboats. Take that, ya noisy stinkies!

words like sailboat

The boom is the horizontal pole right above the deck, attached to the mast at the right angle. The bottom of the mainsail is attached to it, it is used to determine its shape and direction. It is also where the mainsail is often stored, folded and covered with a protective sheet. The boom is also among the top causes of injuries on a sailboat, as in certain winds it tends to swing with force powerful enough to knock a few grown men overboard. Stay away from its reach at all times when under sail.

words like sailboat

The forestay is the cable going from the top of the mast to the very front of the bow. It is there to hold the mast in place. Sometimes you will find people refer to it as the 'headstay'. It is often made of steel, so it is safe to hold on to it when you are pretending to be Jack on the bow of the Titanic's, the boat hits a wave and you lose your balance.

words like sailboat

This diagram is from our guide on sailboat parts , which I really recommend for beginners. It walks you through all the most important sailboat parts in normal words.

The backstay is the cable going from the top of the mast to the very back of the boat. In many cases it is doubled at the bottom, each end attached to one corner of the back of the boat so that they don't interfere with space and provide more stability for the mast. Just as with forestay, these are made of steel.

Shrouds are the cables going from the top of the mast to the left and right side of the boat. Sometimes there are four, two on each side. Together with forestay and backstay, they make sure your mast withstands all the forces exerted on it when the wind pushes the sails.

The foot of a sail is its bottom edge. If you imagine a sail as a triangle, the base is called the foot. You probably won't use this term while sailing, but when researching proper sail trim, it is likely you will stumble upon it.

words like sailboat

This diagram is again from our guide on sailboat parts , which I really recommend for beginners. If you're looking for a good starting point to learn your sailboat ins and outs, this article is perfect for you.

Leech of a sail is its back side edge. Thus it is the part closest to you when you are standing at the helm. Just as with the foot, this is a term quite often used when describing sail trimming techniques, since the shape of the leech determines the shape of the whole sail.

Luff of a sail is its front side edge. Thus the part the furthest from you when you are standing at the helm. For mainsail, it is the edge that is right next to the mast, for the foresail it is the edge right next to the forestay. Just as with foot and leech, the shape of these edges determines the overall shape of the sail so you will most likely encounter these terms in trimming lessons and tutorials.

The head of a sail is its top corner. On a traditional sloop, you will have the 'main head' and the 'jib head'. There is usually a reinforcing patch of some kind on these corners, as you will find a hole in them to which a line is attached.

It's also something else entirely, but more on that later ...

Halyard is the line attached to the sail head. On your boat, you will most likely have two. The 'main halyard' which is what you use to hoist your mainsail if it is folded on the boom, and the 'jib halyard' which holds the jib head up.

words like sailboat

Clew of a sail is its back corner. The line attached to the 'main clew' will be used to hoist your mainsail if it is wrapped inside of the mast. The line attached to the 'jib clew' will be used to open the jib on most sailboats since jibs are most often wrapped around the luff.

Telltales are light, usually cotton or wool pieces of ropes attached to a sail, showing you the airflow around it. These are important because they help you determine if your trim is effective or not. Because of the material they are made of, you might sometimes encounter them being called 'woolies'.

Vang, or a 'boom vang' is a device pulling the boom down. This is important because it controls the tension of the mainsail, influencing its shape greatly. You won't find it on every boat though. Holiday cruisers often don't have it, as it is a piece of equipment focused on performance and thus not necessary for your average trip.

words like sailboat

Topping Lift

The topping lift is a line that is attached to the aft (back) end of the boom and runs to the top of the mast. It supports the boom whenever you take down the mainsail.

Also referred to as a 'horse', the traveler is a side to side track to which the boom is attached, allowing the control of the extent to which the boom goes off the centerline. This is important especially if the wind is blowing from behind and you need to control the angle of the mainsheet.

words like sailboat

Outhaul is the line attached to the mainsail or the jib clew, allowing the control of the foot tension. This is important for determining the sail shape - for instance in stronger winds, you want the foot to be more tense to achieve a more effective airflow as opposed to slower winds where you can allow the foot to arch more.

words like sailboat

Reefing is reducing the sail area to lessen the power exerted on it by the wind. You may want to reef if the wind is getting too strong for your boat, or if it is changing too rapidly, as an overpowered boat is difficult to control. Fun fact: they say that when you feel you need to reef because the wind got too strong, it is already too late to reef.

words like sailboat

A batten is a slat placed horizontally in the body of the sail to support its shape. You will not find them on all sailboats, it is a performance-enhancing element that many cruisers lack. It helps tremendously as without it, sails tend to belly out and lose their shape under certain conditions.

The cleat is a piece of fitting where a line can be secured and immobilized, even if under great tension. It usually consists of two cogwheel-like pieces fastened close to each other, in the middle of which the rope is placed, unable to move thanks to friction. This type is great as it allows for a quick release. Sometimes though, it is a simple piece of metal or plastic where the rope is tied.

...and then there are all those things that just float around you when sailing, those little things that are the reason for you having to carry a dictionary in your pocket.

Fenders are bumpers allowing some contact with other boats or piers while docked, without scraping the paint. They are often balloon-shaped, made of rubber or some relatively soft material. They are usually attached to the boat's railing and you move them around as you need.

words like sailboat

The beam is the width of the boat. Could be just called width, I know. The word comes from the fact that there are transverse reinforcing beams in the boat hull and deck. Next time you are choosing your charter boat for holidays, you will know what this attribute means.

True wind is the actual direction and speed of the wind. This is different than the apparent wind, which is wind direction and speed relative to the boat. Apparent wind is a combination of the true wind and the headwind, which is the wind the boat experiences solely by being in motion.

The berth is a sleeping space on a boat. Thus if a boat has eight berths, it means eight people can comfortably sleep on it. Note that this often includes the salon couches, so a berth is not necessarily a space in an actual bed for one person.

words like sailboat

Boat's draft is the distance from the water surface to the deepest point of the boat. In other words, the draft is the minimum water depth you can go to and not scrape your hull or keel. Better double this number when sailing, just to be safe, as hitting the seabed can have disastrous consequences.

Tacking is zig-zagging towards your destination. It is necessary in case your destination is in the direction of the wind since sailboats can not go directly into it. Since the closest to the wind direction you can sail is around 45 degrees, you have to change direction left and right from your desired course.

words like sailboat

This diagram is from our guide on sailing into the wind for beginners , which explains in 7 simple steps how to get good upwind sailing performance.

Bareboat is a boat without a skipper. You will encounter this term in boat charters and it means you rent the boat without any crew, thus you need to operate it yourself. It is the best way to sail unless you enjoy living in close proximity to a sea wolf who you also have to feed.

The chart is a nautical map. It differs from classical maps as it depicts information relevant for a sailor - water depth, navigational hazards, seabed material, anchorages and so on. Formerly made of paper, these days made of ones and zeros. As is everything in this digital world.

words like sailboat

We have a guide that explains all the different chart types clearly for beginners - read it here .

Galley on a boat is its kitchen. Also a medieval warship, but if you find this term in a boat's description, war is not likely what they have in mind.

words like sailboat

Heads on a boat is the bathroom. Though in all my years of sailing I have never ever heard anybody use this term instead of a 'bathroom'. I suppose saying that you are going to use the heads just sounds odd.

words like sailboat

A knot is the unit of speed of boats. It is equal to one nautical mile per hour. That is 1.852 kilometers per hour or 1.5078 miles per hour. Though a bit confusing and annoying at times, you will have to get used to this, since most of your boat's instruments will use this unit. It dates all the way back to the seventeenth century when boat's speed was measured with a rope with knots tied on it.

words like sailboat

Mooring is attaching the boat to a buoy that is anchored to the seabed. This is usually a cheaper option to docking in a marina. It also means larger space between the boats anchored in the same area, thus more privacy. Though you will have to use your dinghy to get to shore instead of just stepping on the pier directly from your deck.

words like sailboat

A salon on a boat is its living room. On smaller boats, it is usually in the same room as the boat's kitchen and the captain's corner with navigation instruments.

words like sailboat

A skipper is the captain of a sailboat. If you ask me, the word 'captain' is much better than a skipper, which to me sounds like a small boy who sits on the shore the whole day, skipping stones. But hey, who am I to talk.

words like sailboat

A monohull is a classical boat with a single hull. A boat with two hulls is called a catamaran, or a 'cat'. Although rare, there are also trimarans, boats with three hulls. Multihulls with four or more hulls do happen but they are an unnecessary freak of nature.

words like sailboat

So there you have it. Fifty sailing terms you will encounter the most when traveling or learning. I know you might think some of them are a bit unnecessary since they have a perfectly fine 'real world' equivalent. I agree. But until the tradition changes, you might want to get some of these under your skin.

A boat's freeboard is the distance from the upper deck to the waterline. Classic yachts have low freeboards, so they appear to lay deeper in the water, as opposed to more modern yachts, which have a higher freeboard. It literally means 'free-board' : the amount of visible board.

The lunch hook is a light anchor setup that is used to moor small yachts temporarily. It typically uses a lightweight anchor on a short scope that takes little effort to set. The lunch hook is only used when the crew is on board and will be monitoring the anchor.

In naval architecture and ship design: “Head” = WC = Bathroom. A toilet is still a toilet. The toilet is in the head. In olden day, the toilet was a hole in the head.

Hi Rich, you’re absolutely right. I’ve corrected the error. Thanks for pointing it out.

A nautical mile is one minute of a degree, so if you travel 60 nautical miles that means you have gone 1 degree around the “globe”. (Note: arc length not actual length.) This is the original definition. As such the average was agreed upon and the lengths given a standardization. Which you mentioned.

As such 1 knot is to travel one nautical mile in an hour.

Also 1.5078. I think you made a mistake as it should be 1.1508 miles to a nautical mile.

Thanks for the information. Sorry about being a pedantic mathematics teacher.

So, where is the “nautical mile” calculated from, the equator or one of the tropic lines?

Just to clarify a nautical mile. If you draw an imaginary line from the North Pole or South Pole to the center of the Earth and draw another line from the center of the Earth to any point on the equator, it forms a right angle, which is 90 degrees. This equates to latitude. The equator is 0 degrees and the poles are 90 degrees. Your latitude is the angle that you are north or south of the equator. Each degree of latitude is divided into 60 minutes. A minute of latitude is the same distance matter where you are on Earth. It is 6,076 feet. This is the length of a nautical mile. A statute mile is 5,280 feet, so a nautical mile is 1.1508 statute miles.

Thank you very clear and well explained. Hopefully I’ll remember The Fifty

KöhnSharkösz

Really? No gunwale? No transom? Those or basic terms to the Washington State Boater Education Card required to operate watercraft here. Definitely more of a “need to know” than bimini.

Thank you, those definitions and explanations were clear, thorough, and helpful. I’m really glad I found my way (somehow) to your webpage.

Leave a comment

You may also like, 17 sailboat types explained: how to recognize them.

Ever wondered what type of sailboat you're looking at? Identifying sailboats isn't hard, you just have to know what to look for. In this article, I'll help you.

Lean sailboat in blue, protected waters with just the mainsail up

How Much Sailboats Cost On Average (380+ Prices Compared)

Cruising yacht with mainsail, headsail, and gennaker

The Ultimate Guide to Sail Types and Rigs (with Pictures)

Diagram of the Hull Parts of a sailboat

Sailboat Parts Explained: Illustrated Guide (with Diagrams)

words like sailboat

How To Live On a Boat For Free: How I'd Do It

Own your first boat within a year on any budget.

A sailboat doesn't have to be expensive if you know what you're doing. If you want to learn how to make your sailing dream reality within a year, leave your email and I'll send you free updates . I don't like spam - I will only send helpful content.

Ready to Own Your First Boat?

Just tell us the best email address to send your tips to:

words like sailboat

Sailing Terms and Phrases: A Comprehensive Guide to Nautical Jargon

by Emma Sullivan | Jul 19, 2023 | Sailboat Racing

words like sailboat

Short answer sailing terms and phrases:

Sailing terms and phrases refer to language specific to the sport of sailing. They include terms related to boat parts, sailing maneuvers, wind direction, and navigation. Understanding these terms is crucial for effective communication and safe sailing practices.

Understanding the Basics: A Guide to Sailing Terms and Phrases

Welcome aboard, fellow sailors and landlubbers alike, as we embark on a voyage through the mesmerizing world of sailing terms and phrases. Whether you’re an enthusiastic beginner or a seasoned seafarer looking to brush up on your nautical knowledge, this guide will have you speaking like a true sailor in no time.

As with any specialized field, sailing has its own unique language that can bewilder even the most erudite wordsmiths. But fear not! We’re here to break down the basics and shed light on those mysterious terms that have been floating around in your mind like buoys at sea.

Let’s start by hoisting the main sail and diving headfirst into some essential terminology:

1. Port and Starboard: If someone shouts “Hard to port!” during your sailing adventure, don’t panic – they simply mean turn left. In maritime lingo, “port” refers to the left side of a vessel when facing forward, while “starboard” is the right side. Thinking of them as counterparts can help avoid confusion during moments of high-seas excitement.

2. Bow and Stern: Don’t forget where your front and back are while navigating the open waters. The bow is the forward part of the vessel (a great spot for taking epic photos), while the stern is located at the rear. Trust us – being able to differentiate between these two proves invaluable when following directions or describing intriguing sights.

3. Aft vs Forward: Just as knowing which way is up is vital for surviving gravity’s pull, understanding aft (the back part of a ship) versus forward (the front part) is crucial aboard a boat too! Being able to navigate with ease relies heavily on using these terms correctly when maneuvering around onboard.

Now that we’ve set our bearings straight let’s proceed further into more advanced seamanship jargon:

4. Shiver me Timbers: Ahoy, matey! Surely, you’ve heard this catchy phrase in pirate movies or read it in adventure novels. But do you know what it means? “Shiver me timbers” originated from the old seafaring days when wooden ships were prevalent. When they were hit by fierce storms or cannonballs, the creaking and vibrations of the hull made the timber “shiver.” Nowadays, it’s an exclamation expressing surprise or disbelief.

5. Nautical Mile: Avast, ye landlubbers! A nautical mile is a unit of measurement used specifically for sea and air travel. It’s equal to one minute of latitude along any meridian – approximately 1.15 statute miles (or about 1.85 kilometers). So, whether you’re voyaging across vast oceans or navigating through treacherous straits, understanding this term will keep you on course.

6. Windward and Leeward: When sailing the high seas, understanding wind patterns becomes crucial to harnessing their power effectively. Windward refers to the direction from which the wind is blowing (usually against your face), while leeward indicates the sheltered side where the wind is blocked by your vessel or other objects nearby. Skippers who can master these concepts will navigate their vessels with grace and ease.

7. Keelhaul: Now here’s a term that harkens back to darker maritime times! To keelhaul someone often meant dragging them under a ship’s keel as a form of punishment. Luckily for us nowadays, it has mostly been relegated to seafaring folklore and modern-day sailors rarely seek to employ such discipline.

So there you have it – a comprehensive yet entertaining guide to essential sailing terms and phrases that will surely make waves amongst your fellow salts-in-arms! From knowing your port from starboard all the way down to deciphering historical jargon like “shiver me timbers,” embracing these nautical expressions will not only deepen your understanding but also add a touch of maritime flare to your conversation.

So raise your glasses – or rather, yer grog – as you confidently navigate the mighty seas armed with newfound knowledge, humor, and a dash of seafaring slang. Bon voyage!

Exploring the World of Sailing: How Sailing Terms and Phrases Enhance Your Experience

Title: All Aboard! Unveiling the Secrets of Sailing: How Nautical Jargon Enhances Your Pleasure on the High Seas

Introduction: Welcome, fellow sailors and nautical enthusiasts, as we embark on an exciting voyage through the realm of sailing. Beyond the wind in our sails and the wide expanse of water beneath us lies a colorful world steeped in traditions, camaraderie, and rich terminology. In this blog post, we delve into how mastering sailing terms and phrases can elevate your experience on the open seas from ordinary to extraordinary. So hoist your anchor and adjust your compass – let’s set sail!

1) The Lingua Franca of Seafarers: Just as each industry has its unique lexicon, sailing boasts an impressive repertoire of its own jargon. While initially overwhelming to nascent sailors, these terms are not merely maritime buzzwords; they create a sense of belonging among seafaring communities globally. From ‘starboard’ to ‘jib’ or ‘tacking,’ understanding nautical terminology not only facilitates effective communication but also unlocks doors to a world where legends and rituals intertwine.

2) Paint Your Own Nautical Canvas: Imagine being able to articulate intricate details about your surroundings with painterly precision. As you acquaint yourself with sailing lingo, you gain access to an exquisite palette that will enable you to vividly describe cloud formations (cumulonimbus clouds), waves (swell), or even the wonders beneath (bioluminescence). By employing phrases such as “the sea rose like a mighty kraken” or “whispering zephyrs guided our course,” you’ll be painting masterpieces with words.

3) Channeling History’s Echoes: The language of sailing is deeply rooted in history, connecting us to generations past who braved unforgiving waters aboard wooden vessels. Embracing these linguistic relics imbues your journey with a sense of timelessness and reverence for those who came before us. Employing phrases like “avast ye scurvy dogs” or “there she blows!” lets you channel the spirit of earlier sailors, forging an indelible bond across ages.

4) The Poetry of Seamanship: Sailing brings together the precision of a science and the lyricality of art, creating an environment where language emotively intertwines with experience. By embracing sailing terms, you’ll find yourself effortlessly conversing in poetic cadences – from referring to land as the “shores of belonging” to desiring nothing more than catching a glimpse of the “dancing dolphins’ aqueous ballet.” These evocative expressions invite you to craft narratives that rival those crafted by Homer himself!

5) A Flotilla United by Secret Code: Picture yourself amidst a fleet regatta, surrounded by fellow sailors all fluent in this secret maritime lexicon. This peculiar linguistic bond establishes instant connections beyond conventional exchanges shared in mainstream society. An initiation into sailing terminologies is akin to unlocking a secret code, granting you access to new friendships built on shared experiences and mutual appreciation for life’s most elemental forces: wind, water, and adventure.

Conclusion: As we conclude our journey through the oceanic tapestry woven by nautical terms and phrases, it becomes evident that their power extends far beyond mere communication. Sailing lingo elevates your voyage from practicality to poetry, endowing each moment on deck with historical significance and artistic resonance. By embracing these traditions and enriching your sailing vernacular with colorful expression, you become part of a timeless legacy that has inspired dreamers and adventurers throughout centuries. So let us hoist our sails high while whispering tales told countless times before – may our newfound command over nautical terminology enhance our quest for freedom on the open seas!

Sailing Terms and Phrases Step by Step: From Beginner to Pro

Title: Sailing Terms and Phrases Step by Step: From Beginner to Pro – Unleashing the Sailor in You!

Introduction: Ahoy, aspiring sailors! Embark on an exciting journey into the world of sailing, where the wind becomes your silent ally and the vast ocean your playground. Whether you’re a beginner dipping your toes into this majestic realm or a seasoned sailor looking to polish your knowledge, our comprehensive guide will equip you with essential sailing terms and phrases. So batten down the hatches, and let’s sail through this blog together!

1. Setting Sail: Grasping the Basics Before we dive deeper into nautical jargon, let’s start by understanding fundamental concepts crucial for all sailors. We’ll cover key aspects such as wind direction, points of sail (angles relative to the wind), and boat maneuvers—tacking and gybing—to harness the wind’s power efficiently.

2. Navigating Seas of Terminology Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the essentials, it’s time to raise anchor on our expedition of sailing terminology. From bow to stern, we’ll unravel intricate vernacular such as port and starboard (left and right), keel (the underwater part keeping your vessel steady), rigging (the system supporting sails), and many more nautical gems.

3. Anchoring Your Knowledge: Knots & Ropes No sailor can be without a reliable knot repertoire! Discover step-by-step instructions for tying knots like reef knot (square knot), figure-eight knot, clove hitch, bowline, and more. Mastering these techniques ensures safety onboard while securing sails, tying lines around cleats, or attaching fenders effortlessly.

4. Weathering Any Storm: Meteorological Mastery Weather plays an indispensable role in sailing dynamics; understanding its patterns keeps both novices and experts safe at sea. Delve into concepts such as barometric pressure systems, reading weather charts, interpreting cloud formations, and utilizing meteorological apps. Equip yourself to anticipate wind shifts, gauge tides, and discern when a storm is approaching.

5. SOS – Safety on the Seven Seas Safety should always come first! Gain insights into maritime safety procedures, including personal flotation devices (PFDs), harnesses, life rafts, flares, distress signals, and emergency protocols to ensure your sailing experience remains secure and enjoyable.

6. Racing Ahead: Sail Trim & Performance Ready to up your game? Discover the art of sail trimming—the fine-tuning required to extract maximum speed from your vessel. Learn about cunningham lines, boom vangs, halyards, traveler controls—the subtle adjustments that balance power versus pointing ability during a regatta or an adventurous day sail.

7. Navigate Like a Pro: Charting Your Course Navigational skills are the backbone of any sailor’s toolbox. Dive into the world of nautical charts—those intricate maps guiding you amidst an ocean expanse—and grasp concepts such as understanding symbols and markings; plotting courses using latitude and longitude; employing GPS systems; avoiding hazards; and converting true headings into magnetic ones for compass navigation.

8. Tales from the Sea: Maritime Lore and Trivia Immerse yourself in captivating tales woven by seasoned sailors while exploring intriguing maritime traditions like baptizing ships or crossing the equator ceremoniously. Learn lesser-known facts about famous shipwrecks or legendary seafarers who etched their names in history—fueling your passion for adventures beyond imagination!

9. Starboard ahead! Sailing into Greener Horizons In this digital era of sustainable living, embark on a conversation regarding eco-friendly sailing practices aimed at preserving our breathtaking marine ecosystems. Explore tips for reducing carbon footprints while sailing—with alternatives like electric propulsion—and join the movement towards cleaner seas with recycling initiatives that minimize plastic waste onboard.

10 Ahoi, Captain! Mastering the Ropes Congratulations on reaching this stage of our sailing odyssey. Armed with an arsenal of sailing terms, navigational prowess, safety awareness, and a passion for the sea, you’re well on your way to becoming a true sailing pro. So hoist those sails high and brace yourself for limitless adventures that await you—the world is your oyster!

Epilogue: As you set sail on this journey from beginner to pro sailor, remember to embrace the wonders of the sea while respecting its power and beauty. With time, experience, and dedication, you’ll be speaking the language of seasoned sailors confidently. Bon voyage on your nautical endeavors; may fair winds forever fill your sails!

Frequently Asked Questions about Sailing Terms and Phrases Answered

Sailing is a unique and exciting experience that brings together the beauty of nature and the thrill of adventure. Whether you are an experienced sailor or a novice looking to learn more about this captivating activity, it’s important to understand the various sailing terms and phrases that are commonly used in the sailing community. To help you navigate through these sometimes confusing waters, we have put together a list of frequently asked questions answered with detailed professional explanations, sprinkled with witty and clever anecdotes. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of sailing terminology!

Q1: What exactly is a “jib”?

A1: Ah, the jib! This term refers to a triangular sail located at the front of the boat, usually attached to the forestay (the wire that holds up the mast). The jib serves as one of the primary sources of propulsion for sailing vessels. Think of it as the boat’s secret weapon – it catches wind and propels your vessel forward! Just like a jester adding an element of surprise in medieval courts.

Q2: Can you explain what “tacking” means?

A2: Tacking is perhaps one of the most fundamental maneuvers in sailing. It involves turning your boat into or across the wind so that your sails switch sides. Picture yourself maneuvering your way through rush hour traffic – except instead of cars, there are waves crashing against each other! Tacking allows sailors to make headway against windward, zigzagging their way to their destination like Shakespearean characters in a fiery debate.

Q3: I’ve heard people talk about “heeling.” What does it mean?

A3: Ahoy there! Heeling refers to when a sailboat leans over sideways due to strong winds pushing against its sails. This ‘Michael Jackson-esque’ dance move can be quite exhilarating for thrill-seekers, but it requires careful balance and control. Imagine holding a delicate ballet pose on a tilting stage while attempting to impress the judges. That’s what heeling is all about – finding the perfect equilibrium between adventure and stability.

Q4: What is meant by “mainsail”?

A4: The mainsail is the largest and most visible sail on a sailing vessel. It is typically attached to the mast and plays a crucial role in powering the boat forward when the wind hits it just right. This sail can be compared to the lead vocalist of a band – it takes center stage and commands attention, providing maximum power to propel your floating oasis across the water.

Q5: Can you explain what “port” and “starboard” mean?

A5: Ahoy, matey! Port refers to the left side of a boat when facing its bow (front), while starboard refers to its right side. Now, how do you remember which is which? Here’s a clever trick: port has four letters, just like LEFT, so it’s easy to associate them together. And starboard has more letters than port or left, so that must be RIGHT! Remember this little rhyme, and you’ll never steer your ship in the wrong direction again.

So there you have it – some frequently asked questions about sailing terms and phrases answered with detailed professional insight mixed with witty and clever comparisons. We hope this helps unravel some of the mysteries behind those nautical expressions that sailors throw around with ease. Happy sailing!

Mastering the Jargon: Unraveling the Language of Sailing

Sailing, with its long and storied history, offers enthusiasts an escape into a world rich in tradition and adventure. From battling treacherous waves to navigating the vast expanses of the open sea, sailors are no strangers to challenges. However, there is one aspect of sailing that can often leave beginners feeling adrift – the intricate and sometimes befuddling language used in this esteemed practice.

In this blog post, we aim to demystify the jargon of sailing, allowing novices to navigate conversations with seasoned sailors and ultimately feel more at home on deck.

Tacking and Jibing – Oh My!

One of the most fundamental concepts in sailing revolves around changing direction – but don’t call it turning! Sailors use specific terms like tacking and jibing to describe these maneuvers. Tacking involves turning into the wind by steering through a series of tight angles, while jibing entails turning away from the wind in a more fluid motion. So if you hear someone say “Prepare to tack!” or “Jibe ho!”, now you’ll know what they mean.

Hoist That Main Sail!

As you familiarize yourself with sailboats, you’ll swiftly encounter talk about different sails – mainsails being one of them. The mainsail is crucial for propelling your vessel forward and adjusting its position relative to the wind. When you hear someone shout “Hoist that main!” they’re simply telling their crewmates to raise or unfurl this essential sail. Remember, timing is key when hoisting your main as it affects your boat’s performance and maneuverability.

Trimming Your Sails

Ever wondered what sailors mean by “trimming” their sails? No, they’re not talking about giving them a haircut! Trimming refers to adjusting your sails’ position relative to the wind for optimal efficiency – something akin to finetuning your instrument. By playing with the sheets (lines that control sail shape), sailors can harness the wind’s power effectively, propelling themselves along smoothly and efficiently.

The Wind Angle – A Sailor’s Best Friend

Understanding wind angles is paramount for any sailor worth their salt. When sailors refer to “the point of sail,” they are describing the direction they are sailing relative to the wind. Different points of sail include close-hauled (sailing as close to the wind as possible) and running (sailing in the same direction as the wind). Knowledge of these angles determines how a skilled sailor adjusts their sails, achieving optimal speed and stability.

Raising Anchor – Setting Sail!

Embarking on a sailing adventure often begins with raising anchor or setting sail. However, it’s not just about hoisting a heavy object; there is an art to it! The crew works together seamlessly, making sure the anchor is secured safely before preparing to lift it from its watery resting place. With a well-coordinated effort, they can free themselves from shore and set out into open waters to seek out new horizons.

Navigating Lingo Land

As you delve deeper into sailing culture, you’ll soon notice a myriad of unique terms specific to this maritime world – jargon like ‘batten down the hatches,’ ‘hard-a-lee,’ or ‘full-and-by.’ Each phrase has its own charm and colorful history that adds character and camaraderie amongst sailors. Embrace this lexicon with enthusiasm, for it symbolizes connection with centuries-old traditions and ensures clear communication at sea.

So whether you decide to hoist your sails under clear blue skies or undertake epic adventures across stormy seas, mastering the jargon of sailing will undoubtedly enhance your experience. Armed with this newfound knowledge, you’ll be able to hold engaging conversations with fellow sailors while feeling like an old salty sea dog yourself. Fair winds ahead!

Exploring Yachts Sailing in Croatia: A Seafaring Paradise

If you’re dreaming of an unforgettable sailing experience amidst stunning landscapes and crystal-clear waters, look no further than Croatia. With its picturesque coastline, countless islands, and vibrant culture, Croatia offers an idyllic setting for yacht sailing adventures.

Why Choose Yachts Sailing in Croatia?

Croatia boasts over a thousand islands, each with its own unique charm waiting to be explored. From the lively ports of Split and Dubrovnik to the secluded coves of Hvar and Vis, there’s no shortage of destinations to discover. Navigate through the serene waters of the Adriatic Sea, soak up the Mediterranean sun, and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of this coastal paradise.

The SkipperCity Experience

For the ultimate yachting adventure in Croatia, look no further than SkipperCity. With a fleet of luxurious yachts and experienced skippers at your service, SkipperCity ensures a seamless and unforgettable sailing experience. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a novice explorer, their expert team will tailor a bespoke itinerary to suit your preferences, ensuring every moment on board is nothing short of magical.

Sailing videos Youtube @SkippercityYachtCharter

To embark on your own yachts sailing adventure in Croatia with SkipperCity, simply click here to visit their website and start planning your dream getaway. With their wide range of yachts and personalized service, you’ll be setting sail for adventure in no time.

Taking Your Boating Game Up a Notch with Essential Sailing Terms and Phrases

Are you ready to elevate your boating skills and impress everyone on board with your extensive knowledge of sailing terms and phrases? Look no further, as we’re here to help you take your boating game up a notch!

Sailing has its own unique language that can initially seem daunting to beginners. However, mastering these essential sailing terms and phrases not only enhances your understanding of the sport but also ensures seamless communication with fellow sailors. So let’s dive into this linguistic adventure and emerge as refined seafarers!

1. Bow: This term refers to the front part of the boat. Imagine standing at the bow, with the wind blowing through your hair, as you confidently navigate through the open waters.

2. Stern: The opposite of the bow, the stern is the back end of the vessel. Picture yourself lounging on the stern while basking in the sun, enjoying a leisurely day on your boat.

3. Port: When facing forward towards the bow, port refers to the left side of a boat or yacht. Remember it by associating “port” with “left,” both consisting of four letters.

4. Starboard: In contrast to port, starboard indicates the right side of a boat when facing forward. An easy way to remember is by imagining a bright star guiding you towards success.

5. Tacking: To change direction against or across the wind using sails is known as tacking. It involves turning or pivoting through head-to-wind coordination, allowing your boat to zigzag efficiently while harnessing variable wind angles.

6. Jib: A triangular sail positioned in front of a mast is called a jib and primarily aids in steering when sailing close-hauled or reaching conditions.

7. Mainsail: The largest sail on most boats, attached vertically along a mast toward aft (near stern) direction commands utmost respect – it’s called a mainsail! Mastering control over the mainsail is essential for maximizing speed and maneuverability.

8. Windward: The direction from which the wind is coming is referred to as windward. Sailing toward the windward side can be challenging yet exhilarating, requiring precise navigation techniques for optimal performance.

9. Leeward: The opposite of windward, leeward denotes the side away from the wind or downwind direction. When sailing on the leeward side, you’ll experience smoother conditions with less turbulence — a perfect opportunity for relaxation and enjoying your boating adventure.

10. Rudder: Acting as a ship’s steering mechanism, the rudder controls its movement by changing its course in response to the helmsperson’s commands. Mastering rudder control ensures smooth sailing and accurate navigation.

Now armed with these essential sailing terms and phrases, you can confidently navigate through any boating expedition while impressing your friends with your newfound knowledge! So hoist those sails, trim them accurately, and let these words navigate you towards becoming an impeccable sailor. Fair winds and following seas await you on this exciting journey!

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t hesitate to apply these terms during your next sailing adventure. Happy sailing!

Recent Posts

Essential Tips

  • Sailboat Gear and Equipment
  • Sailboat Lifestyle
  • Sailboat Maintenance
  • Sailboat Racing
  • Sailboat Tips and Tricks
  • Sailboat Types
  • Sailing Adventures
  • Sailing Destinations
  • Sailing Safety
  • Sailing Techniques

A Complete List Of Sailing Terms

Paul Stockdale Author Avatar

Sailing terminology and jargon can be difficult to understand for a complete beginner.

We've compiled a list of sailing terms, vocabulary, lingo, and phrases with their meanings and definitions.

Filter the sailing terms by letter:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

The sailing terms beginning with the letter A are:

  • Abaft : Toward the stern of a boat and behind the middle of the boat
  • Abandon Ship : An instruction to leave the boat immediately. This is an emergency situation and everyone needs to get off the boat
  • Abeam : On a line at right angles to a ship's or an aircraft's length
  • Able Seaman : A crew member with experience and expertise in working on deck and handling the sailboat's rigging and equipment
  • Aboard : This is a nautical term to describe being on or in a boat
  • Above Board : This means anything on or above the boat deck
  • Adrift : Not anchored or not securely moored, drifting with the current or wind
  • Aft : The aft is the area at the back of the boat. It is also known as the stern
  • Aft cabin : This is a sleeping cabin at the aft side (rear) of the boat
  • Aftmost : Furthest towards the stern (back) of the boat
  • Aground : When the boat is resting on or touching the ground below the bottom of the water
  • A-hull : A-hull refers to a situation where a boat is secured to its anchor and is lying in the direction of the wind and waves, with all sails furled and no movement. This is typically done as a safety measure in severe weather conditions when the boat is in danger of capsizing or otherwise being damaged. It is also used as a strategy to wait out a storm or other adverse weather
  • Alee : Away from the wind
  • All Hands On Deck : This phrase is used to call all crew members to the deck of a sailing vessel, and is often used as a call to action in times of emergency. It is also considered a good omen for a ship to have all hands on deck before setting sail.
  • Aloft : Above the deck or in the upper parts of the mast or rigging
  • Anchor : A device used to hold or anchor a boat in a specific location on the water
  • Anchor Buoy : A buoy attached to an anchor that is used to indicate the location of the anchor on the bottom
  • Apeak : When the anchor is at the highest point of the bow when it is rode out
  • Apparent Wind : The wind direction and speed observed by the crew in combination with the true wind direction and speed, which can be different due to the boat's motion
  • Ashore : To or on the shore or land from the direction of the sea
  • Astern : Behind or at the rear of a boat. If a boat is traveling astern, it is going in reverse
  • Athwartship : Having a position across a vessel from side to side at right angles to the keel

The sailing terms beginning with the letter B are:

  • B & R Rigging : B&R rigging refers to a specific type of rigging system used on sailing boats. The B&R rigging system is a combination of a traditional forestay and backstay system, with a flexible rig that allows for a more efficient sail shape in a wide range of wind conditions
  • Back A Sail : Back a sail refers to the action of filling a sail with wind from the opposite direction, or "backwards" direction of the sailboat's forward motion. This is done by adjusting the sail and the direction of the boat so that the wind is blowing into the back of the sail, causing the sail to fill with wind and push the boat in the opposite direction. Backing a sail can be used to slow the boat down, change direction, or to help keep the boat in a specific location
  • Backstay : A rope or cable that runs from the mast to the stern of a sailboat. It is used to support the mast and control the shape of the sails
  • Baggywrinkle : A soft covering for cables to reduce sail chafe
  • Ballast : Ballast refers to the weight placed on the bottom of a sailboat to improve its stability and balance. The weight of the ballast helps to counteract the force of the wind on the sails
  • Ballast Keel : A vertical downward extension of the boat's hull, narrowly V-shaped. It is ballasted or weighted for stability and lateral resistance
  • Barque : This is a sailboat with 3 or more masts with all the masts being square-rigged except the sternmost, which is fore-and-aft-rigged
  • Batten : A batten is a primary structure of a mainsail. It supports the sail's shape
  • Beam : The width of the boat, measured at its widest point
  • Beam Reach : A point of sail in which the wind is coming from the side of the boat, resulting in the sails being at a 90-degree angle to the centerline of the boat
  • Bear Away : Bear away, also known as falling off, means to turn a boat away from the direction of the wind
  • Beat : This is sailing in a zig-zag formation toward the wind
  • Beaufort Scale : A scale used to measure wind speed and the resulting sea conditions. It is named after Francis Beaufort, an officer in the Royal Navy
  • Below Deck : Below deck in boating refers to the interior of a boat, typically the area below the main deck. This area is usually enclosed and protected from the elements, and typically includes living spaces such as cabins, heads (bathrooms), galley (kitchen), and salon (common area).
  • Bermuda Rig : A Bermuda rig, also known as a Marconi rig, is a type of sailboat rigging that is characterized by a triangular mainsail and a jib sail. The mainsail is attached to the mast and the boom, with the boom extending out from the mast. The jib sail is attached to the forestay, which is a cable or rope that runs from the bow of the boat to the mast
  • Bermuda Sloop : Bermuda sloop is a specific type of sailboat design that originated in Bermuda. It is characterized by a single mast, with a triangular mainsail and a jib sail, and it is the most popular sailboat design in the world. Bermuda sloops are known for their efficiency and ability to sail well in a wide range of wind conditions.
  • Berth : A bed or sleeping area on a boat. For example, a 6-berth boat is a boat that can sleep 6 people
  • Bight : A bend in a sailing rope
  • Bimini Top : A Bimini top is a type of boat cover or canopy that is mounted on the top of a sailboat, typically on the stern or the cockpit area. The Bimini top provides shade and protection from the sun and rain for the passengers and crew on the boat
  • Bilge : The lowest part of a boat's interior, typically located near the keel, where water collects and needs to be pumped out
  • Binnacle : A binnacle is a housing or container on a boat that is used to protect and secure a vessel's compass. It is typically located near the helm or steering station
  • Bon Voyage : This is a French phrase that literally means "good voyage" and is often used as a way to say "good luck" to someone setting out on a journey
  • Boom : A boom on a sailboat is a horizontal spar, or pole, that extends out from the mast of a sailboat. The boom is used to support and control the bottom edge, or foot, of a sail. The boom also helps to shape the sail and control the angle at which the wind hits it, allowing the boat to move efficiently through the water
  • Bosun : A crew member in charge of maintenance and upkeep of the boat's hull, rigging, and equipment.
  • Bow : The bow is the front area of a boat
  • Bridge : A room or platform area of a boat from which the boat can be operated
  • Brig : A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts
  • Brigantine : A two-masted sailboat, square-rigged on the foremast but fore-and-aft-rigged on the mainmast
  • Bulkhead : A bulkhead refers to a vertical wall within the interior of a boat that helps to divide the space and provide structural support. They are typically found below deck on a sailboat
  • Bumper : A type of fender used to protect a boat from damage when it is moored or docked.
  • Buoy : It is a device or object that is placed in the sea to aid navigation. For racing, it's used to set the race course and for recreational sailing, it is used to mark areas to avoid (among a few other purposes)

The sailing terms beginning with the letter C are:

  • Cabin : This is a room inside a boat, typically found below the deck
  • Canvas : A boat canvas refers to the various types of fabric or material used on boats to provide protection, shade, and shelter. Types of canvas include Bimini top, sail cover, dodger, etc.
  • Capsize : When a boat heels over so far that the keel is lifted out of the water and the boat overturns
  • Captain : The person in command of the sailboat. They are responsible for operating the boat safely
  • Catamaran : Any vessel with two hulls
  • Center-board : A board lowered through a slot in the keel to reduce leeway
  • Chart Plotter : An electronic navigation device that plots the location and position of a sailboat on the water
  • Cleat : A cleat is a device used on boats to secure ropes or lines. It typically consists of two horizontal arms with holes or slots that can be tightened around a rope by pulling on the line and then making a turn or two around the arms. Cleats are used to secure lines when docking, mooring, or anchoring a boat, and can be found on the deck, gunwale, or cockpit of a boat
  • Clew : A clew is the lower aft corner of a sail
  • Clipper : A sailboat designed for speed
  • Cockpit : An enclosed space on a sailboat's deck where a sailboat is controlled or steered
  • Cook : A crew member responsible for preparing and cooking meals for the crew
  • Course : This is the direction in which a boat is traveling
  • Close-Hauled : A point of sail where the boat is sailing as close to the wind as possible

The sailing terms beginning with the letter D are:

  • Dead Reckoning : a method of navigation that involves calculating a ship's position by using information about its speed and direction over a certain period of time
  • Deadrise : The angle between the bottom of a boat and the horizontal plane of the water
  • Deck : The horizontal surface area on the top of the boat
  • Deckhand : A member of the crew responsible for various tasks such as hoisting sails, steering the ship, and maintaining the deck
  • Dock : A fixed structure attached to the shore to which a vessel is secured when in port
  • Downbound : This is when a vessel is traveling downstream
  • Draft : The depth of water a boat requires to float measured from the waterline to the lowest point of the hull
  • Drift : The sideways movement of a boat caused by wind or current
  • Drogue : A device that is towed behind a boat to slow it down or to keep it from drifting too quickly
  • Drowned Out : When the wind is too strong for the sails and the boat can no longer make headway

The sailing terms beginning with the letter E are:

  • Ease : To let out or slacken a line or sail
  • Emergency Tiller : A backup steering system for a boat, typically used when the regular steering system fails
  • Engineer : A crew member responsible for the maintenance and operation of the sailboat's engines and mechanical systems
  • Entering A Port : This refers to the process of navigating a boat into a harbor or marina
  • External Lead : This refers to the navigation method of determining the position of a boat by measuring the angle between two visible objects on shore or on buoys, using a lead line
  • Eye Of The Wind : The direction from which the wind is blowing
  • Eye-Splice : A way of creating a permanent loop in the end of a sailing rope

The sailing terms beginning with the letter F are:

  • Fair Winds And Following Seas : This phrase is often used as a wish for good luck and smooth sailing
  • Fairlead : A fitting through which ropes are led in order to change their direction or reduce friction
  • Fathom : A unit of measurement for depth, equal to six feet
  • Fender : A device placed between a boat and a dock or another boat to protect the boat from damage
  • First Mate : The officer in charge of the deck crew, responsible for navigation and safety
  • Foresail : A sail located at the front of a sailboat, also called jib
  • Freeboard : The distance from the waterline to the deck of a boat
  • Frigate : A type of ship, typically used for naval warfare or as a command ship for a fleet
  • Furl : To roll or wrap a sail around a boom or mast in order to take it down
  • Fetch : The distance over which a wind has blown without significant obstacle
  • Front : The boundary between two different air masses, often associated with changes in temperature and precipitation

The sailing terms beginning with the letter G are:

  • Gaff : A spar used to extend the upper edge of a fore-and-aft sail
  • Gale : A strong wind with a speed of between 34-47 knots
  • Geared Winch : A mechanical winch that is powered by gears and used to raise or lower a sail
  • Genoa : A type of jib sail that is larger than a standard jib
  • Give-Way Vessel : A vessel required to take action to avoid a collision with another vessel as per the international regulations for preventing collisions at sea (COLREGS)
  • Godspeed : This phrase is used to wish someone a safe and successful journey
  • Gunwale : The upper edge of the side of a boat
  • Gybe : A maneuver in which a boat changes direction by turning its stern through the wind and causing the sail to change sides
  • Gyroscopic Compass : A type of compass that uses a spinning wheel to provide stable and accurate heading information

The sailing terms beginning with the letter H are:

  • Heading : The direction in which a boat is pointed, usually measured in degrees from true or magnetic north
  • Heading Up : This refers to turning the bow of a sailboat towards the wind
  • Heavy Weather : Severe weather conditions such as high winds, heavy seas, and storms
  • Halyard : A rope or line used to hoist or lower a sail or flag. There is likely 1 halyard for each sail
  • Hard Alee : An order to turn the bow of the boat as far as possible in the opposite direction of the wind
  • Hatch : An opening in the deck of a boat, used for access to the interior or for ventilation
  • Headstay : The cable or rod that supports the forestay, and holds the mast in the forward direction
  • Helm : The helm of a sailboat is the steering mechanism of the boat, typically located at the back or the stern of the boat, and is used to control the direction of the boat. The helm is typically a wheel or tiller
  • Helmsman : The person who steers the boat
  • Helmsman's Seat : A seat located close to the helm, used by the helmsman to steer the boat
  • Hiking : When a crew member moves out on the rail of the boat to counteract the heeling force of the wind and keep the boat level
  • Hiking Strap : A strap used by a crew member to hold on to while hiking out on the rail of the boat
  • Hurricane : A severe tropical storm with winds of 74 mph (119 km/h) or greater

The sailing terms beginning with the letter I are:

  • International Regulations for Preventing Collisions At Sea (COLREGS) : A set of rules that govern the behavior of vessels on the water in order to prevent collisions
  • Inboard : A motor or engine that is located inside the boat, as opposed to an outboard motor which is mounted outside the boat
  • In Irons : A situation when a sailing vessel is stopped or hindered in its progression through the water because the wind is blowing directly onto the sail, preventing the vessel from moving forward
  • Inhaul : A line or rope used to adjust the position of a sail
  • Inshore : Close to the shore
  • Inner Forestay : A rope or cable that supports the mast and holds the jib or genoa sail in place
  • Iron Mike : This is a slang term for a sailboat's autopilot
  • Irons : When a boat is stopped or hindered in its progression through the water because the wind is blowing directly onto the sail, preventing the vessel from moving forward
  • Islands : Natural land formations that are surrounded by water

The sailing terms beginning with the letter J are:

  • Jib : A triangular sail located at the front of a sailboat, also known as a foresail
  • Jibe : A maneuver in which a boat changes direction by turning its stern through the wind and causing the sail to change sides
  • Jib Sheet : A line used to control the angle of the jib sail
  • Jumper Stay : An additional stay that supports the mast and is used to tension the headstay
  • Jib Tack : The lower forward corner of a jib sail
  • Jibing : Turning the boat so that the wind blows on the opposite side of the sail
  • Jib Hanks : metal or plastic clips that hold the jib sail to the forestay
  • Jib Furling : A system for rolling up a jib sail and securing it to the forestay when not in use

The sailing terms beginning with the letter K are:

  • Keel : A long, heavy structural member that runs along the bottom of a boat's hull, providing stability and helping to keep the boat upright
  • Knot : A unit of speed, equal to one nautical mile per hour
  • Kedge : A small anchor used to hold a boat in a particular position or to move a boat by hauling it on a line
  • King Plank : The centerline plank in the bottom of a boat that runs parallel to the keel
  • Knees : Strong brackets that are used to support the deck and reinforce the hull-to-deck joint of a boat
  • Knockdown : When a boat is hit by a large wave and it's knocked down on its side, causing water to flood the deck
  • Kedge Anchor : a small anchor used as a temporary anchor to hold a boat in a particular position

The sailing terms beginning with the letter L are:

  • Lazy Jacks : Lines or webbing that are used to guide the mainsail as it is lowered, making it easier to handle
  • Leach : The back edge of a sail
  • Lead Line : A line with a weight (lead) on the end, used to determine the depth of water beneath a boat
  • Leeward : The direction away from the wind
  • Luff : The leading edge of a sail, or the flapping or fluttering of a sail caused by wind coming from the wrong angle
  • Luffing : When a sail is flapping or fluttering caused by wind coming from the wrong angle
  • Lying Ahull : When a boat is allowed to drift without any sail set, used in heavy weather to prevent capsizing
  • Life Jacket : A device worn by people on boats to keep them afloat in case of emergency, also known as a personal flotation device (PFD)
  • Lifeline : A safety line that runs around the perimeter of a boat, used to prevent crew members from falling overboard
  • Log : A device used to measure the speed of a boat through the water
  • Long keel : A type of keel that extends the full length of the boat's hull, providing stability and helping to keep the boat upright

The sailing terms beginning with the letter M are:

  • Mainsail : The largest sail on a sailboat, located at the back of the boat and controlled by the main sheet
  • Main Sheet : A line used to control the angle of the mainsail
  • Mast : The tall vertical spar that supports the sails of a boat
  • Moor : To tie or anchor a boat in a specific location
  • Mooring : A location where a boat can be tied or anchored
  • Motor Sailor : A boat with both a sail and an engine propulsion
  • Mainsail Halyard : A rope or line used to hoist the mainsail
  • Mark : A buoy or other object used as a reference point for navigation
  • Mariner's Compass : A type of compass that is used on boats and ships, typically featuring a magnetized needle that points towards magnetic north.
  • Man Overboard (MOB) : A situation in which someone falls off a boat and into the water

The sailing terms beginning with the letter N are:

  • Nautical Mile : A unit of measuring distance at sea that is used in navigation, equal to 1.85 kilometers
  • Navigation Lights : lights required by international regulations to be displayed on boats in order to indicate the boat's position and direction of travel at night
  • Navigation : The process of planning, tracking, and controlling the movement of a boat or ship
  • Navigator : The officer responsible for charting the sailboat's course, using navigation instruments and maps
  • Navigational Aids : Any device or system that helps a boat or ship navigate, such as buoys, lighthouses, and radar.
  • Nautical Chart : A map specifically designed for navigation on the water, showing water depths, coastlines, navigational hazards, and other important information
  • Natural Navigation : the traditional method of navigation using natural cues such as the stars, sun, moon, and the movement of ocean currents and waves
  • Navigation Rules : A set of regulations that govern the movement of boats and ships in order to prevent collisions
  • Navigation Software : Computer programs that assist in navigation by providing information such as navigation chart, water depth, weather forecasts and routes
  • Navigation Lights : Lights that are required by international regulations to be displayed on boats and ships in order to indicate the vessel's position and direction of travel at night
  • Navigational Sextant : An instrument used for measuring the angle between two visible objects, typically the horizon and a celestial body, used for navigation and determining a vessel's position at sea

The sailing terms beginning with the letter O are:

  • Outboard : Also called outboard motor, an outboard refers to a motor or engine that is mounted outside the boat, as opposed to an inboard motor which is located inside the boat.
  • Overboard : When something falls or is thrown off the boat into the water
  • Offshore : Away from the shore
  • Off The Wind : Sailing with the wind blowing from behind the boat.
  • Outhaul : A line or rope used to adjust the position of a sail.
  • Outrigger : An extension or framework that is attached to the side of a boat to increase stability.
  • Overfall : A type of wave that forms when the wind and current are opposing, leading to steep, breaking waves.
  • Overhead : The highest point in a boat, typically the top of the cabin or the coach roof
  • Owner's Cabin : A room in a boat that is reserved for the owner, usually the largest and most comfortable cabin

The sailing terms beginning with the letter P are:

  • Paddle : A tool used for propelling a boat through the water, typically consisting of a long shaft with a flat blade on one end
  • Piling : A vertical structural member driven into the bottom of a body of water to support a dock or pier
  • Porthole : A small window in the hull of a boat that provides light and ventilation to the interior
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD) : A device worn by people on boats to keep them afloat in case of emergency, also known as a life jacket
  • Port : The left side of a boat when facing the bow (front)
  • Pitch : The up-and-down movement of a boat caused by waves
  • Planking : The process of covering a boat's hull with thin wooden planks
  • Planking Seam : The joint between two adjacent planks on a boat's hull
  • Point Of Sail : This is the direction you are going relative to the direction from where the wind is coming
  • Propeller : A device that is attached to the bottom of a boat's hull, used to propel the boat through the water

The sailing terms beginning with the letter Q are:

  • Quartering Sea : Waves that are coming from the side of a boat at a 45-degree angle
  • Quarterdeck : The area of a sailboat located at the aft (rear) of the main deck, traditionally reserved for the ship's officers on larger boats
  • Quartermaster : A crew member responsible for steering the sailboat, and also sometimes responsible for navigation. They are most commonly found on large sailboats and ships
  • Quay : A man-made structure built alongside a body of water to provide a place for boats to tie up and load or unload cargo
  • Quicksilver : An older term for Mercury, it was used to refer to a liquid in a barometer or thermometer
  • Quartering : When a boat is sailing at an angle to the wind, with the wind blowing from the side
  • Quartering Wind : A wind that is blowing on the side of the boat
  • Quilting : A technique used to make a piece of clothing or sail that involves stitching together multiple layers of material
  • Quoins : Blocks of wood or metal used to adjust the tension on a sail
  • Quick Release : a device that allows you to quickly release a rope or line under load

The sailing terms beginning with the letter R are:

  • Rudder : A flat underwater structure located at the stern of a boat. It is used to steer the boat
  • Reef : To reduce the size of a sail by rolling or folding a portion of it and fastening it in place to reduce the sail's wind-catching surface
  • Rope : a strong cord made of natural or synthetic fibers, used for a variety of purposes on a boat, including hoisting sails, tying up to a dock, and securing gear
  • Running Lights : Lights that are required by international regulations to be displayed on boats and ships in order to indicate the vessel's position and direction of travel at night
  • Rigging : The ropes, cables, and chains that are used to support the mast and control the sails of a boat
  • Rode : The anchor line and chain used to secure a boat to the sea floor
  • Rocker : The curvature of a boat's bottom from the centerline to the keel
  • Roller Furling : A system for rolling up a sail and securing it to the mast or boom when not in use
  • Roller Reefing : A method of reefing a sail in which the sail is rolled around a foil on the mast or boom
  • Right Of Way : The responsibility of a vessel to give way to other vessels as per the international regulations for preventing collisions at sea (COLREGS)

The sailing terms beginning with the letter S are:

  • Safe Harbor : A safe harbor is considered a symbol of good luck for sailors
  • Sheet : A rope used to control the position of a sail
  • Shroud : A rope or cable that runs from the mast to the side of the boat to provide support for the mast
  • Starboard : The right side of the boat when facing forward
  • Stern : The rear end of the boat
  • Starboard Tack : Sailing with the wind coming from the right side of the boat
  • Steward/Stewardess : A crew member responsible for the provisioning, cleaning, and maintenance of the sailboat's interior
  • Spinnaker : A large, triangular sail used when sailing downwind
  • Sail : A sheet of fabric that is attached to a mast and used to propel a boat through the wind
  • Skipper : The person in charge of a sailboat
  • Spar : A wooden or metal pole that supports a sail
  • Shackle : A U-shaped metal fastener with a pin that is used to connect ropes or cables to the boat
  • Scull : A method of steering a boat by using a oar or paddle at the stern of the boat
  • Shrouds : A set of ropes or cables that run from the top of the mast to the sides of the boat to provide support for the mast
  • Scuttlebutt : A nautical term for gossip or rumors
  • Sea Room : The amount of space around a boat that is necessary to safely navigate
  • Sea State : The condition of the surface of a body of water, often used to describe the roughness of the water during bad weather
  • Sextant : An instrument used for navigation at sea, used to measure the angle between two visible objects, typically the horizon and a celestial object, in order to determine the ship's position
  • Spinnaker : A spinnaker is a sail designed specifically for sailing off the wind on courses between a reach (wind at 90° to the course) to downwind (course in the same direction as the wind)
  • Storm Sail : A sail that is designed for use in heavy weather
  • Steering Compass : A compass mounted on or near the helm of a boat that is used to help the helmsman steer the boat
  • Shipshape : A term used to describe a boat that is well-maintained and in good condition
  • Squall : A sudden, strong wind often accompanied by rain or snow
  • Swell : Large ocean waves that are caused by distant storms or winds

The sailing terms beginning with the letter T are:

  • Tack : The direction in which a sailboat is moving
  • Topsail : A sail set above the main sail on a ship's mast
  • Tiller : A handle or lever used to steer a boat
  • Trim : The adjustment of a sail's angle to the wind to optimize the boat's speed and direction
  • Tacking : The act of turning a sailboat into the wind in order to change direction
  • Tender : A small boat used to transport people or goods to and from a larger boat
  • Tumblehome : The inward slope of a sailboat's sides above the waterline
  • Topsides : The upper side of a ship's hull above the waterline
  • Tugboat : A powerful boat used to tow or move other boats or ships
  • Thwart : A seat that runs across a boat, typically used in a canoe or rowboat
  • Tarpaulin : A heavy-duty waterproof sheet used to cover and protect equipment on a boat
  • Telltale : A small flag or ribbon used to indicate the direction of the wind
  • Topsheets : The sheets that control the uppermost sails of a square-rigged vessel
  • Towing : The act of pulling a boat or ship behind another using a line or cable
  • Toe Rail : A narrow rail along the edge of the deck used to prevent water from running onto the deck
  • Trough : An elongated area of low pressure often associated with stormy weather
  • Thunder Squall : A sudden, severe thunderstorm with high winds and heavy precipitation

The sailing terms beginning with the letter U are:

  • Underway : Describes a boat that is not anchored or aground
  • Upwind : Sailing towards the direction from which the wind is blowing
  • Unfurl : To release and extend a sail from a furled position
  • Uphaul : A rope or line used to raise a sail
  • Underwater Gear : Equipment or gear used for activities under the water surface, such as diving gear or fishing gear
  • Upstream : Against the direction of a current or flow
  • Underbody : The bottom of a boat or ship's hull
  • Underwater Lights : Lights used to illuminate the underwater area around a boat
  • Underwater Soundings : Measurements taken to determine the depth of water beneath a boat
  • Unstep : To remove a mast from a boat
  • Unbend : To remove a sail from a boat or to remove a rope from a cleat or winch
  • Unmoor : To release a boat from its moorings

The sailing terms beginning with the letter V are:

  • Veer : To change the direction of the wind
  • VHF Radio : A radio used for communication on boats and ships, operating on very high frequency
  • Vang : A rope or lever used to control the angle of a sail
  • Ventilator : A device used to allow air to flow into a boat
  • Vane : A device used to determine wind direction
  • Velocity : The speed at which a boat or ship is moving
  • Valve : A device used to control the flow of fluids or gases
  • VHF Antenna : A type of antenna that is used for VHF radios
  • Velocimeter : An instrument used to measure the speed of a boat through the water.
  • Visibility : The maximum distance at which an object can be seen
  • Vent : A hole or opening on the sailboat that allows air or gases to escape

The sailing terms beginning with the letter W are:

  • Wake : The trail of water left behind a sailboat as it moves
  • Waterline : The line where the water meets the side of a boat or ship
  • Windward : The direction from which the wind is blowing
  • Watertight : Describes a boat that is designed to prevent water from entering
  • Wharf : A platform or dock used for loading and unloading boats and ships
  • Warps : Ropes or lines used to secure a boat or ship to a dock or buoy
  • Windlass : A mechanical device used to raise or lower an anchor
  • Watertight Bulkhead : A partition that is designed to prevent water from penetrating the interior of a boat or ship
  • Watertight Door : A door that is designed to prevent water from penetrating the interior of a boat
  • Whipping : A method of securing the end of a rope to prevent fraying
  • Watertight Hatch : A hatch that is designed to prevent water from penetrating the interior of a boat or ship
  • Waterspout : A type of tornado that forms over water
  • Wench : A mechanical device used for hauling or lifting heavy loads on a boat

The sailing terms beginning with the letter X are:

  • X-Yachts : A brand of luxury performance sailing yachts
  • X-Bow : A type of bow design that features a sharp, vertical bow that is designed to reduce slamming in heavy seas

The sailing terms beginning with the letter Y are:

  • Yard : A spar that extends horizontally from the mast of a sailboat, used to support and shape the sails
  • Yaw : When a boat deviates from its course, typically caused by wind, waves, or steering issues

The sailing terms beginning with the letter Z are:

  • Zephyr : A light breeze often used to refer to a gentle wind in sailing terms
  • Zigzag : A course that changes direction frequently, often used to avoid obstacles or to make progress in difficult wind conditions
  • Zone of Confidence : The area around a sailboat where the skipper is confident of his/her ability to handle the sailing vessel safely

Frequently Asked Questions About Sailing Terminology

Below are the most commonly asked questions about sailing terminology.

What Are The Most Popular Sailing Terms?

The most popular sailing terms are bow, port, stern, starboard, helm, keel, rigging, rudder, sails, deck, below deck, above deck, inboard, outboard, jib, anchor, skipper, aft, captain, rope, berths, knot, tack, mast, boom, mainsail, heading, furling, visibility, buoy, batten, main sheet, dock, offshore, inshore, nautical mile, man overboard, personal flotation device, reef, life jackets, hull and mooring.

What Are The Least Popular Sailing Terms?

The least popular sailing terms are iron mike, irons, toe rail, zephyr, scuttlebutt, rocker, luffing, shipshape, sea room, zigzag, quartering sea, beat, piling, and quilting.

What Are Sailing Terms For Wind?

Sailing terms for wind are windward, leeward, close-hauled, beam reach, running, tacking, jibing, true wind, apparent wind, fetch, and beaufort scale.

What Are Sailing Terms For Good Luck?

Sailing terms for good luck are bon voyage, all hands on deck, fair winds and following seas, godspeed and safe harbor.

What Are Sailing Terms For The Crew?

Sailing terms that pertain to the crew include captain, first mate, navigator, bosun, deckhand, quartermaster, able seamen, steward/stewardess, engineer and cook.

What Are Sailing Terms For Sails?

Sailing terms for sails are mainsail, jib, genoa, spinnaker, boom, halyard, sheet, clew, tack, reef, leach, and luff.

What Are Sailing Terms For Bad Weather & Storms?

Sailing terms for bad weather and storms are squall, gale, storm, hurricane, trough, front, sea state, swell, thunder squall and fetch.

What Are Sailing Terms For Beginners?

Sailing terms for beginners are hull, mast, sail, boom, rudder, keel, anchor, port, starboard, bow, captain, skipper, stern, deck, cabin, cleat and tack.

What Are Sailing Terms For Parts Of The Sailboat?

Sailing terms for parts of the sailboat are hull, mast, boom, rigging, standing rigging, running rigging, bow, stern, deck, cabin, bow pulpit, stern pulpit, gunwale, keel, rudder, tiller, winch, cleat, chocks and chain plates.

  • Paddle Board

Boating Beast

A to Z of Nautical Terms: A Complete Glossary of Boat Terminology

John Sampson

Are you a new boat owner? Whether you bought a jet ski or a 40-foot cabin cruiser, you’re going to need to understand the lingo while you’re out on the water. Here’s a glossary of basic nautical terms to have you sounding like a sailor.

Toward the stern of the vessel.

A sail position with the wind striking on its leeward side.

Around or near the stern of the vessel.

At a right-angle to the boat’s center-line.

Lashing the helm to the leeward side to ride out bad weather without the sails set.

The center of the deck of the vessel between the fore-and-aft.

Automatic Identification System.

Apparent Wind

The speed and direction of the wind combined with the boat’s movement and the true wind speed and direction.

To look behind the boat while driving in reverse.

Automatic Radar Plotting Aid.

Athwartships

At a right-angle to the aft-and-fore line of the vessel.

The act of measuring the angular distance on the horizon circle in a clockwise method, typically between a heavenly body and an observer.

When the wind starts to shift in an anti-clockwise direction.

Back a sail

Sheeting the sail to the windward direction, so the wind fills the sail on the leeward side.

The stay supports the aft from the mast, preventing its forward movement.

Baggywrinkle

The teased-out plaited rope wound around the stays or shrouds preventing chaffing.

Iron or lead weights are fixed in a low-access area of the vessel or on the keel to stabilize the boat.

A flexible and lightweight strip feeds into the sail leech’s batten pocket, supporting the roach.

Ballast Keel

A ballast bolted to the keel, increasing the vessel’s stability to prevent capsizing.

The widest point of the vessel or a traverse member supporting the deck. On the beam, objects are at a right-angle to the center-line.

Taking the action of steering the vessel away from the wind.

To tag a zig-zagging approach into the wind or close-hauling with alternate tacks.

The object’s direction from the observer measured in magnetic or true degrees.

To fasten the rope around the cleat using a figure-8 knot.

Securing the sail to the spar before hoisting it or connecting two ropes using a knot.

A sleeping quarters on a boat or a slip occupied by a vessel in a marina or harbor.

The loop or bend in a knot.

The round, lower part of the hull where the water collects.

The pulley fixed inside a plastic or wooden casing with a rope running around a sheave and changing to pulling direction.

Boot-Topping

The narrow-colored stripe is painted between the topside enamel and bottom paint.

The heeling action of the boat when it slews to the broadside while running downwind. Abroach usually occurs in heavy seas.

Broad Reach

The point of sailing the vessel between a run and the beam reach with the wind blowing over the quarter.

The partitioning wall in the vessel athwartship.

A measurement of distance equal to 0.1-sea mile, 185-meters, or 200-yards.

Center-Line

The center of the vessel along the aft-to-fore line.

Center-Board

A board lowers through a slot on the keel for reducing leeway.

The fitting slipping over the boom like a claw. It attaches to the main sheet after you finish reefing the sail.

Chart Datum

The reference level on the charts below which the low tide level. The sounding features below the chart datum. The datum level varies depending on country and area.

The metal, wooden, or plastic fitting used to secure ropes.

Close-Hauled

The skill of sailing close to the wind, also known as beating.

The lower, aft corner of the sail where the leech and foot meet.

Close Reach

The point where you’re sailing between the beam reach and the close-hauled or when the wind blows toward the forward of the beam.

The direction that you steer the vessel in degrees. Mariners can use true or magnetic readings or use a compass to plot the course.

Close-Winded

The act of sailing a boat close to the wind.

The rope loop at either end of the line reef points or an eye in a sail.

The difference between the direction indicated by the magnetic meridian and the compass needle, caused by carrying metal objects aboard the vessel.

Sailing with the wind blowing to the aft, in line with the center-line of the vessel.

Displacement

The displacement hull design displaces boat weight in the water and is only supported by its buoyancy.

The weight of the water displaced by the vessel is equal to the vessel’s weight.

The rope used to pull down the spar or sail.

To float the vessel with the wind or current. Or the distance covered by the boat while drifting in the current, measured in time.

The distance between the lowest point on the keel and the center-line of the vessel measured as a vertical distance.

The sea anchor thrown over the stern of a life raft or boat or to reduce drift.

Digital Selective Calling (a function on Marine radios ).

A retractable keel drawn into the vessel’s hull.

Emergency Position Indication Radio Beacon.

Estimated Position.

Estimated Time of Departure.

Estimated Time of Arrival.

The fitting adjusting the feeding line allows you to change the direction of the lead line.

The raised border on cabin tables, chart tables, preventing objects from falling off the surface.

Measurement of water depth and rope lengths.

  • 1 Fathom = 6-feet = 1.83-meters.

The vessel positioning plotted by two or more positioning lines.

The vertical distance between the top of the deck and the waterline.

The closest stay running between the masthead and stemhead, hankering the mainsail.

A large-size headsail is available in various sizes, overlapping the mainsail before hoisting in fresh to light winds on all sailing points.

Two concentric rings pivot at right-angles to keep objects horizontal despite the swaying motion of the boat.

Global Navigation Satellite System.

Global Maritime Distress and Safety System.

To change tack by turning the boat into the eye of the wind.

Booming out the headsail in a windward position using the whisker pole to hold it on the opposite side of the mainsail.

The fitting anchoring the mast to the boom, allowing free movement in all directions.

This metal rail surrounds the boat’s edges, allowing easy gripping to prevent falling overboard.

Turning the stern through the wind to change from one tack to another.

The spinnaker guy controls the steadying rope for the spar through the aft-fore position of the spinnaker pole. The foreguy keeps the spinnaker pole in the forward position.

Global Positioning System.

The rope hoisting the lower sails.

Highest Astronomical Tide.

The fitting for attaching the sail’s luff to a stay.

The deck opening provides the crew with access to the berth or cabin interior.

The streamlined surround of a forestay featuring the groove allows for the sliding attachment of the luff sides of the headsail.

Head-to-Wind

When the bow of the vessel points into the direction of the wind.

The forward motion of the vessel through the water.

The toilet.

The action of backing the jib and lashing the tiller to the leeward side in rough weather conditions. The heave-to encourages the vessel to reduce headway and lie quietly.

When the vessel exaggeratedly leans to one side.

International Maritime Organization.

International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

International Telecommunication Union

The lines on weather maps joining places with equal atmospheric pressure.

The temporary device for replacing damaged or lost gear.

The line running from aft-to-fore on both sides of the vessel. The jackstays allow for the clipping attachment of safety harnesses to prevent being lost at sea when falling overboard.

A secondary, smaller, lightweight anchor.

A dual-masted sailboat featuring a mizzen mast that’s slightly smaller than its mainmast, with a stepped forward position of the rudder post/stock.

The center-line of the vessel features the attachment of the ballast keel, allowing for the lowering of the center-board.

Kicking Strap

The line for pulling down the boom or keeping it in the horizontal position when on a run or reach.

A short length of line attached to an important object that you don’t want to lose, such as the jet ski key. The lanyard can connect to your wrist or lifejacket.

The aft edge of the triangular sail. Both side-edges of a square sail.

Lowest Astronomical Tide.

The shore on which the wind is blowing.

The natural tendency of vessels to bear away from the direction of the wind.

Moving in a direction away from the wind. The direction in which the wind is blowing.

The vessel’s leaning to one side due to improper distribution of weight in the boat’s hull.

The leading edge of the sail. Luffing up is turning the head of the boat into the wind.

The sideways motion off course resulting from the wind blowing on one side of the hull and sails.

The instrument for measuring the distance and speed of a boat traveling through the water. It is also the act of recording the details of a voyage in a logbook.

Marinized engine

A car engine or motorbike motor adapted for use in watercraft.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The keel socket locating the base of the mast.

Measured Mile

The distance marked on charts measures one nautical mile between islands at sea or onshore ranges.

The short after-mast on the yawl or ketch.

This imaginary longitudinal line circling the earth, passing through both poles, cutting at right-angles through the equator.

Mean Low Water Neaps.

Mean High Water Neaps.

Mean High Water Springs.

Mean Low Water Springs.

Maritime Mobile Service Identity.

The rope used for pulling out the sail’s foot.

Overall Length (LOA)

The extreme length of the vessel. The measurement from the aftmost point of the stern to the foremost points of the bow. This measurement excludes the self-steering gear, bowsprit, etc.

An emergency call requesting immediate assistance.

The bowline on a tender or dinghy for towing or making fast.

To gradually let out the rope.

The left-hand side of the vessel when looking forward.

Point of Sailing

The angles of the wind allowing for the sailing of the boat. Or the boat’s course relative to its direction and the direction of the wind.

Your vessel is on its port track when the wind is striking the boat’s port side first, and the mainsail is out to the starboard side.

Line of Position/Position Line

The line on charts shows the bearing of the vessel and the position where the boat mist lie. Or two positional lines providing a location fix.

The steel guard rail fitted to the bow to provide additional safety for the crew when working around the boat’s edge.

The steel guard rail fitted around the stern of the boat to prevent the crew from falling overboard.

The section of the vessel midway between the beam and the stern.

The difference in water levels between the high and low tides is the range of tides. Or the distance at which you can see the light.

The act of reducing the sail surface area through folding or rolling additional materials onto the forestay or boom.

Reefing Pennant

The sturdy line allowing you to pull down the leech cringle or luff to the boom while reefing.

When sailing with the wind blowing onto the beam, with all sailing points between close-hauled and running.

Riding Sail

The small sail you hoist to maintain the steerage way during stormy weather.

The imaginary line cuts through all meridians at the same angle. Or the course of the vessel moving in a fixed direction.

Rigging Screw

The deck fitting allowing for tensioning of the standing rigging.

The act of sailing with the wind to the aft of the vessel and with the sails eased into the wide-out, full position.

The curve in a leech sail extending beyond the direct line formed from clew to head.

Running Rigging

All moving lines like halyards and sheets used for trimming and setting sails.

Search and Rescue.

A vessel with two or more masts and the mainmast featured in the aftermost position.

Search and Rescue Transponder.

The toe-rail holes allowing water to drain off the deck.

The room in which the vessel can maneuver clear of submerged dangers.

The shut-off valve for the underwater outlet or inlet passing through the vessel’s hull.

This is French for “radio silence.” You’ll use it when reporting a distress call or incident at sea.

The act of hoisting a sail. Or how the sails fit or the direction of a tidal stream or current.

A procedure word for identifying safety calls.

A steel link featuring a removable bolt crossing the open end. The shackle comes in various designs, from “S” to “U” shapes and more.

The cables or ropes typically fund in pairs, leading from the mast to the chainplates at the deck level. These shrouds prevent the mast from falling to the side, and it’s part of your standing rigging.

The rope attaching to the boom to the sail’s clew allows for the trimming and control over the sail.

Skin Fitting

A through-hull fitting featuring a hole in its skin allows for air and water passing. The seacock is the accessory used for sealing the cavity when not in use.

A boat with a single-masted design for one headsail and one mainsail.

The general term for any metal or wooden pole on board a boat. The pole gives shape to the sails.

Safety of Life at Sea.

Speed Over the Ground

A lightweight, large balloon-shaped sail for running or reacting.

The horizontal struts attach to the mast and extend to the shrouds to assist with supporting the mast.

The act of joining wires or ropes using a weaving process interlacing the fibers in the cable or rope.

The sail will stall if the airflow over the sail surface breaks up, causing the vessel to lose its momentum.

Standing Part

The part of the line you don’t use when making a knot. Or the part of a rope you use to tie around the knot.

The metal post bolted to the deck in an upright position to support the guard railing.

Standing Rigging

The stays and shrouds provide permanent support to the mast.

Starboard Tack

The vessel is on the starboard tack when the boom is out to post, and the wind strikes the boat’s starboard side.

The right-hand side of the vessel when looking forward.

The rope or wire supports the mast in the fore-and-aft direction. It is a part of the standing rigging for your boat.

The sternward movement of the vessel towards the backward direction.

Steerage Way

The vessel has steerage when it reaches sufficient speed, allowing for steering or answering the helm.

The loop of rope or wire attaches the spar to the block to make a sling.

The railing around the vessel’s stern prevents the crew from falling overboard. Modern yachts do not have the elegant wooden railing of older models. Instead, they feature tubular steel or aluminum railings, called Pushpits.

Telegraph Buoy

The buoy marks the position of a submerged cable.

To pull on the end of the rope or cable, wound around a winch.

The compass mounted over the captain’s berth, allowing for the easy reference to what’s going on in the vessel’s helm.

The metal fitting forming eyes at the end of cables, wires, or ropes.

A description for any small boat, usually inflatable models. These boats will take supplies and people between a larger vessel and the shore.

Thermal Wind

The wind occurring from the difference in the heating of the sea and the land by the sun. The sun heats the land faster than the sea, resulting in the onshore wind from the sea replacing the air rising over the land, causing the “sea breeze” phenomenon.

Thumb Cleat

A small cleat featuring a single horn.

The wooden pegs featuring vertical pairs in the gunwale for constraining the oars for rowing.

Topping Lift

The rope linking the mast to the boom end. It supports the boom, allowing for its lowering and raising.

The progress on the vessel’s journey over the ocean. The trajectory line of the boat.

The sides of the hull between the waterline and the deck.

The netting stretching across the hulls of a catamaran.

A watch period or watch duty at the helm of the vessel.

Traverse beams forming part of the stern and fixed to the sternpost of a wooden ship.

Tricolor Lamp

A lamp displaying red in proper port sectors, green in the starboard sectors, and white astern. Some authorities permit the tri-color light on smaller boats instead of conventional stern and bow lights.

Turk’s Head

A decorative knot featuring variable numbers of interwoven strands that form a closed loop.

The direction and velocity of wind measured by stationary observers. Apparent wind is wind experienced by moving objects.

Sturdy steel fittings used for attaching standing rigging to the spar or mast.

The low, forward corner of the sail. Or the action of turning the boat through the wind to get it to blow on the other side of the sails.

Sailing close-hauled to work windward on an alternate course. The wind is on one side then the other.

The low strip of steel, wood, or strapping running along the edge of the deck. You’ll use it in combination with the hand railing to hold your feet to the deck to prevent falling overboard.

The rise and fall of the ocean are caused by the moon’s gravitational effect on the earth and the ocean.

The line moving from the mast had to the spar or the boom used in raising it.

To adjust the sail angle using sheets to achieve optimal efficiency from the sail. Or it describes the action of adjusting the load, influencing the fore-and-aft angle at which it floats.

The course of the boat making good on its travel plan. A fitting of on the boom or mast to the slide on the sail fit. The fitting along which the traveler runs for altering the sheet tension.

The speed and direction of the wind when anchored, stationary on the water, or land.

Turn Buckle

The apparatus used for tightening the standing rigging on the vessel.

A line used in raising something like a spinnaker pole vertically.

The vessel is underway when it releases it fastening to shore when it is not aground or at anchor.

See kicking strap.

The wind will veer when shifting in a clockwise direction. Veering can also mean paying out anchor rope or cable in a controlled manner.

Velocity Made Good

Very High Frequency

The disturbed water left behind (astern) the boat as it moves forward in the water, usually caused by a motor.

Weather Helm

The tendency of the vessel to turn into the wind.

The distance between the radio waves.

Weather Side

The side of the vessel to which the wind is blowing.

World Geodetic Survey of 1984 (most common chart datum).

A mechanical device featuring a cable or line attached to a motor. The winch pulls the boat aboard the trailer and helps with the vessel’s launch from the trailer. The winch also gives more pulling power to withdrawing nets or other apparatus from the water.

Whisker Pole

A lightweight pole used for holding the clew out of the headsail when on a run.

The winch features a vertical handle and a horizontal shaft used in hauling up the anchor chain.

The parts of the vessel that increase the drag on the boat. Examples would be the spars, rigging, etc.

The direction from which the wind blows toward the wind (the opposite way to leeward).

Cross Track Error. The perpendicular distance between two waypoints off track.

A dual-masted vessel with its mizzen stepped aft of its rudder post/stock.

Avatar photo

John is an experienced journalist and veteran boater. He heads up the content team at BoatingBeast and aims to share his many years experience of the marine world with our readers.

What to Do If Your Boat Engine Won’t Start? Common Problems & How to Fix Them

How to launch a boat by yourself: complete beginner’s guide, how to surf: complete beginner’s guide to get you started.

Comments are closed.

Type above and press Enter to search. Press Esc to cancel.

life-of-sailing-logo

Sailing Terms: A Complete Guide

Sailing Terms: A Complete Guide | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

June 15, 2022

Learning sailing terms when you first get into boating can be a daunting task.

Some sailing terms are logical, like 'fore' means forward or front of the boat, while others might as well be in a different language. Athwartship, for example. Nothing in our daily lexicon gives any clues as to what that might mean. Like it or not, it's time to dust off the old noodle and get to memorizing some new vocab words!

Knowing the difference between a clew and a tack, a luff and a leech, will help you communicate with your sail maker regarding which part of your sail needs resewn. If you need to have your rigging adjusted, you must know the difference between your shrouds and your stays, your standing rigging vs. your running rigging.

By educating yourself in the correct names of all parts of your sailboat, you can avoid situations in which you may need to use terms such as ‘thingy’ or ‘that round part at the end of that thing’. While even the most seasoned sailor occasionally troops over the vernacular, it is always beneficial to have as wide a nautical vocabulary as possible. Many in the sailing community get by without knowing the entire sailing dictionary, but if you’re interested in avoiding vocabulary embarrassment, check out the list I’ve compiled of sailing terms that every sailor ought to know.

I’ve been sailing on and off throughout my life and I know from experience that it is incredibly helpful to know the correct terms for each part of your sails, rigging, and boat.

Sailors are among the kindest, most helpful people you’ll ever meet. But, if you’re looking for help on why you’re not getting the most speed out of your mainsail and you know don’t know the correct terms for each part of the sail, it may be hard to get advice from you fellow sailor on why ‘the back of the mainsail is flappy’. They would be more likely to give useful advice if you’re able to tell them that you’re struggling to keep wind in the roach of your mainsail. Check out my list of sailing terms and see if a few don’t stick. I’ve done my best to include pictures when possible.

Table of contents

Sailing Terms

Abeam : When an object, craft or island is abeam your vessel, that means that it is off the side of your boat. It is 90 degrees from the centerline of your boat.

Abaft : Toward the stern. “Honey, have you seen my boat shoes?” “They’re abaft the navigation table!” This is the opposite of forward.

Aft : In the stern of the boat. For example, the back cabin is referred to as the aft cabin.

Apparent wind : The wind direction and speed which the crew observes to be blowing in combination with the true wind. This is often different from the true wind direction and speed due to the boat's motion.

Astern : The area behind the boat. If you go astern, you are going in reverse.

Athwartship : Directionally perpendicular to the centerline of the boat.

Backing (a sail) : Forcing the sail to take wind into its opposite side by pulling the sail to the opposite side of the boat.

Backstay : The wire that runs from the back of the boat to the mast head. This prevents the mast from falling forward.

Bailer : Any scoop-like container that is used to remove water from within a vessel’s hull.

Ballast : Weight which adds stability to the vessel. The weight usually is composed of lead or iron and placed low in the boat's hull, such as within the keel.

Batten : a thin, flexible strip (often fiberglass) that is inserted into the main sail to help it stay open to the wind. The batten runs from the back edge of the sail (leech) toward the front edge (luff).

Beam : The width of the vessel at its widest point.

Beam reach : Sailing with the wind blowing perpendicular to the direction the boat is traveling.

Bearing off or Bearing away : Steering the boat away from the direction in which the wind is blowing.

Bend : a knot which connects two ropes.

Berth : A slip, a mooring, or a bed within the boat.

Bight : A bend or loop in a rope. When a rope forms a bight, it has changed direction 180 degrees.

Bilge : The lowest area within a boats hull. This area collects water which is then pumped overboard by a bilge pump.

Bimini : The covering over the cockpit. Usually constructed from a stainless steel frame covered with canvas or fiberglass. It provides protection from sun and rain, but not wind.

Binnacle : The pedestal centrally located in the cockpit that generally holds the steering wheel and navigational instruments.

Block : A pulley.

Boom : This pole runs perpendicular to the mast and holds the bottom of the mainsail in place. Its position is adjustable side to side as needed for the wind direction.

Boom vang : A tackle which ensures that the boom does not lift upward from wind pressure in the mainsail.

Boot Top or Boot Stripe : The stripe of tape or paint between the boat's underwater (bottom) paint and it’s above water (topside) paint.

Bow : Front end of the boat

Bowsprit : The forward most protruding pole or platform which some boats possess. This spar allows for the sails and rigging to be attached further forward.

Broach : When a boat sailing downwind accidentally ends up sideways to the waves and heels over dangerously. This can be caused by large seas or poor steering.

Broad reach : Sailing with the wind coming off your stern quarter. If you’re standing at the helm facing the bow, the wind is blowing halfway between the side and the back of the boat.

Bulkhead : The walls in a boat which run athwartship, or perpendicular to the centerline of the vessel.

Capsize : When a vessel tips over past 90 degrees.

Catamaran : A vessel with two hulls.

Centerboard : A retractable keel which helps the sailboat maintain course and stability underway. When raised, the vessel is able to enter shallow waters.

Centerline : An imaginary line that runs from the center of the bow to the center of the stern.

Chainplate : A metal plate that is secured to the boat's hull to which wires supporting the mast are attached. The chainplates may be exterior or interior, visible or hidden.

Chandlery : A store that sells boat supplies and parts.

Cleats : The wooden or metal piece to which ropes are secured.

Chock : A fitting that a line passes through to change direction without chafing.

Clew : The lower back corner of a sail. This is where the foot and leech of the sail meet.

Close-hauled : Sailing as close to the direction the wind is coming from as possible with the sails pulled in tight. (See Points of Sail for infographic.)

Close Reach : Sailing between close hauled and beam reach. (See Points of Sail for infographic.)

Coamings : The lip around a hatch or window which stops water from entering. Also the raised area around the cockpit to keep out water.

Cockpit : The area from which steering occurs. This can be in the center of the boat or in the back of the boat.

Companionway : The doorway into the cabin.

Cotter pin : a bendable metal pin which is inserted into a metal rod then bent to lock it in place.

Daybeacons : Markers for navigation which are on posts. These are red or green.

Dead run : Sailing with the wind coming from directly behind the boat. Sails are fully out to catch the wind.

Dead reckoning : Determining a vessel's position by knowing the direction and speed traveled.

Dinghy : A small boat which is used to travel to shore from the main vessel. This can be propelled oars or a motor.

Dodger : The structure at the front of the cockpit which protects the cockpit and companionway from wind and spray. This is generally made of stainless steel frame covered with canvas and plastic windows. It can also be a solid structure with solid windows.

Dismasting : When the mast breaks off the boat. This can occur due to rigging failure or structural failure of the mast.

Displacement : The weight of the water that would otherwise be in the place of the boats hull.

Drogue : A sea anchor which is deployed to help control the drift of a vessel. It can be constructed like a parachute, bucket, or even a rope dragging behind the boat.

Ebb tide : After high tide when the water is receding towards low tide.

EPIRB : Stands for Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. This device transmits a distress signal to emergency services and notifies them of a vessel's location.

Fairlead: A fitting which encloses a line within a smooth ring and helps guide its direction.

Fathom : A measurement of water depth equal to 6 feet.

Fid : A pointed tool used when splicing a line.

Fiddle : The raised edge around a table which prevents objects from falling off as the boat rocks or heels.

Fix : Determining a vessel's location by using the compass bearing of two or more fixed points of reference such as landmarks or buoys.

Fin keel : A fixed, ballasted keel which is centrally located beneath the hull. It does not run the full length of the hull.

Flogging : When a sail flaps noisily because it is not being filled by the wind.

Flood tide : Time period between low tide and high tide when the water is rising.

Foot : The bottom edge of a sail.

Fore : At or near the bow of a vessel.

Forestay : The wire which leads from the bow to the top of the mast. The forward most sail attaches to the forestay either directly or by use of a roller furling system.

Full keel : A fixed, ballasted keel which runs the full length of the hull.

Furling system : A system around which the sail wraps when not in use and is unwrapped for sailing. This may be around the forestay or within the mast.

Freeboard : The distance on a vessel from the waterline to the deck.

Galley : The kitchen on a boat.

Gelcoat : A colored resin which is painted onto the outside surface of a boat and forms a protective glossy layer.

Genoa : A large forward sail which, when fully extended, comes back past the mast. Larger than a jib sail.

Gimbals : Often attached to a boat's stove, it is the fitting which allows an object to maintain an upright position when a vessel heels.

Gooseneck : The point at which the boom attaches to the mast. It allows the boom to move in all directions.

Ground tackle : The anchor, chain, and line used to fix a boat to the bottom when anchoring.

Gunwale : Pronounced “gunnel”. This is the top edge of a boat's hull.

Halyard : The line which attaches to a sail to raise it.

Hanks : The clips that attach the front edge (luff) of a sail to the forestay.

Hatch : An opening window in the cabin roof much like a skylight.

Head : Bathroom on a boat. Also, the uppermost corner on a sail.

Headway : The forward motion of a vessel through the water.

Heave to : A method of controlling a boat’s position to the waves and limiting headway by backwinding the forward sail and keeping the rudder hard over into the wind.

Heel : The tilt that occurs to a boat's hull when the sails are filled with wind.

In-Irons : When a sailboat is bow into the wind with sails flapping. No steerage is possible as the vessel has no forward motion. (See Points of Sail for infographic.)

Jackline or Jackstay : Lines that are run from the bow to the stern. To these safety lines, sailors attach a lanyard connected to their harness so that they may work on deck without fear of being swept overboard in rough seas.

Jib : A triangular forward sail.

Jib sheets : Lines used to control the jib.

Jibing : Pronounced with a long i sound. Steering the boat from one downwind direction to another downwind direction by turning the stern of the boat through the wind. This will cause the sails to move across the boat to the other side, i.e. from port to starboard.

Kedge anchor : A small, lighter second anchor.

Keel : The bottom most part of a boat's structure. This part provides ballast and stability.

Ketch : A sailboat with two masts. The forward mast is the taller mast.

Knot : Regarding speed, one knot is equal to one nautical mile per hour.

Lazyjacks : Light lines that run from the boom to the mast and help contain the mainsail while it’s being lowered to the boom.

Leech : The back edge of a sail. If the sail is square, then this term refers to the outside edges of the sail.

Lee shore : The shore onto which the wind is blowing. On an island, the side of the island facing into the wind is the lee shore.

Leeward : The direction to which the wind is blowing. If the wind is coming from the north, then south is leeward.

Luff : The forward edge of the sail.

Lying a-hull : When a vessel is drifting with all of it’s sails down.

Mainsail : Pronounce main’sil. The primary sail of a boat that is hoisted up or unfurled from the mast.

Mayday : An emergency call put out over a marine radio when there is clear and present danger to the crew of the vessel.

Mizzen : The shorter mast behind the main mast on a ketch.

Monohull : A vessel with a single hull.

Mooring field : An anchorage in which permanently anchored buoys are present to which vessels may be secured.

Multihull : A vessel with more than one hull such as a catamaran or trimaran.

No-sail zone : This is an area 45 degrees to either side of directly into the wind. It is not possible for a boat to sail in this zone as the sails cannot fill with wind. Tacking is necessary. (See Points of Sail for infographic.)

On the hard : When a vessel is out of the water and being stored on land.

Painter : The line which secures the bow of a dinghy to the main boat.

Pan Pan : Pronounced pon-pon. This is an urgent distress radio call which is used when a vessel needs assistance. It is one step below Mayday.

Points of sail : The vessels course in relation to the direction of the wind.

Port : The left side of the boat when facing forward.

Port tack : Sailing with the wind hitting the port side of the vessel and the sails are out on the starboard side.

Pulpit : The metal rails at the bow of the boat which protect the crew from going overboard.

Pushpit : The metal rails at the back of the boat to protect the crew from going overboard.

Quarter : The back corner area of the boat. This area is 45 degrees behind, or abaft, the beam of the vessel.

Reef : reducing the size of the sail in high winds for the safety of the crew and equipment. This is done by either tying or rolling the sail to the boom or forestay.

Rigging : All the wires and ropes used to hold the mast in place and adjust the sails.

Roach : The outer back edge area of the mainsail. If you were to draw a diagonal line from the head of the sail to the clew (back corner), the roach would be outside this diagonal line.

Roller furling : A system which rolls the sail up when not in use. The sail is stored on the roller either at the mast or boom for the mainsail, and at the forestay for the jib or genoa.

Rudder : Steering fin at the back of the boat. Controlled by a steering wheel or tiller from the cockpit.

Running : Sailing in a downwind direction.

Running rigging : The lines, such as sheets and halyards, which control the sails.

Schooner : A sailing vessel with two or more masts. The mainmast is at the back.

Seacock : a valve which can be open or closed to allow water to flow in or out of a through hull fitting.

Scope : The length of chain and line that is between the anchor and the boat.

Scuppers : Deck drains which allow water to flow overboard.

Securite : Pronounced securi-tay. This is a radio call to provide mariners with local marine safety information.

Shackle : A metal U or D shaped link which has a removable pin through the ends.

Sheet : A line or rope which connects to the clew (back corner) of a sail. It is used to control or trim the sail.

Shrouds : Wires or ropes which run from the deck chainplates to the mast. The shrouds prevent the mast from moving side to side.

Skeg : A section of the hull from which the rudder hangs. It provides a variable amount of protection to the rudder depending on its size.

Sloop : A single masted sailboat with a mainsail and a foresail.

Slugs : Fittings on the front edge (luff) of the mainsail that slide into the mast track for hoisting the sail.

Spinnaker : A large, light, often colorful sail that is used off the bow of the boat for sailing downwind (running).

Splice : Connecting two lines together by weaving their strands together.

Spreaders : The horizontal arms extending out from the sides of the mast.

Spring line : Dock lines positioned from the bow to a midship point on the dock or from the stern to a midship point on the dock. This line configuration helps decrease forward and backward motion of the boat while docked.

Stanchions : The metal posts along the outside edge of the deck through which the lifelines run.

Standing rigging : The wires and ropes, such as the shrouds and stays, that are permanently in place and hold up the mast.

Starboard : The right side of the boat when facing forward.

Starboard tack : Sailing with the wind hitting the starboard side of the boat and the sails out on the port side.

Stays : The wires or ropes which run from the bow and stern to the mast top to keep the mast from moving forward or backward.

Steerage way : When a vessel is moving through the water with enough speed to allow the rudder to steer the boat.

Stern : The back end of a boat.

Storm jib : A small, strong forward sail used in heavy winds.

Swing : The circular motion of an anchored boat around it’s anchor due to wind and water movement.

Tack : The forward lower corner of a sail.

Tacking : Turning the boat across the direction the wind is coming from to change course direction. This causes the sails to travel to the other side of the boat.

Tender : Small boat used to transport from shore to the main boat.

Tiller : A bar which controls the rudder and is used to steer the boat from the cockpit. It is used in place of a steering wheel.

Toe rail : The raised lip around the edge of the deck. This can be constructed of wood, fiberglass, or aluminum. It helps prevent items from rolling overboard.

Topping lift : A wire or rope which runs from the back end of the boom to the mast top. This line controls the height of the boom.

Trysail : A small, strong storm sail that is used in place of the mainsail in high winds.

Trim : To adjust the sails.

Winch : A round, drum-like mechanical device used to pull on a line to raise or adjust sails.

Windlass : A winch used to raise and lower the anchor.

Windward : The direction from which the wind is blowing.

Wing on wing : Sailing downwind with the mainsail out on one side and the foresail on the opposite side.

Related Articles

Beth lives on board her 1983 30ft S2 sailboat with her husband, 6 year-old son, and her two fur babies. She has been sailing and boating for most of her life. Beth has been blessed to experience cruising in the Great Lakes, the Bahamas, and in Alaska. She loves to travel and adores living on her tiny boat with her family.

by this author

Most Recent

What Does "Sailing By The Lee" Mean? | Life of Sailing

What Does "Sailing By The Lee" Mean?

Daniel Wade

October 3, 2023

The Best Sailing Schools And Programs: Reviews & Ratings | Life of Sailing

The Best Sailing Schools And Programs: Reviews & Ratings

September 26, 2023

Important Legal Info

Lifeofsailing.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.

Similar Posts

How To Choose The Right Sailing Instructor | Life of Sailing

How To Choose The Right Sailing Instructor

August 16, 2023

Cost To Sail Around The World | Life of Sailing

Cost To Sail Around The World

May 16, 2023

Small Sailboat Sizes: A Complete Guide | Life of Sailing

Small Sailboat Sizes: A Complete Guide

October 30, 2022

Popular Posts

Best Liveaboard Catamaran Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Best Liveaboard Catamaran Sailboats

December 28, 2023

Can a Novice Sail Around the World? | Life of Sailing

Can a Novice Sail Around the World?

Elizabeth O'Malley

Best Electric Outboard Motors | Life of Sailing

4 Best Electric Outboard Motors

How Long Did It Take The Vikings To Sail To England? | Life of Sailing

How Long Did It Take The Vikings To Sail To England?

10 Best Sailboat Brands | Life of Sailing

10 Best Sailboat Brands (And Why)

December 20, 2023

7 Best Places To Liveaboard A Sailboat | Life of Sailing

7 Best Places To Liveaboard A Sailboat

Get the best sailing content.

Top Rated Posts

Lifeofsailing.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. (866) 342-SAIL

© 2024 Life of Sailing Email: [email protected] Address: 11816 Inwood Rd #3024 Dallas, TX 75244 Disclaimer Privacy Policy

ASA / American Sailing

  • Find A School
  • Certifications
  • North U Sail Trim
  • Inside Sailing with Peter Isler
  • Docking Made Easy
  • Study Quizzes
  • Bite-sized Lessons
  • Fun Quizzes
  • Sailing Challenge

Sailboat with "a bone in her teeth"

40 Sailing Phrases to Know

By: American Sailing American Sailing , Nautical Trivia , Sailing Fun , Sailing History

In 1983, the American Sailing Association was founded by Lenny Shabes. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of sailors have become certified sailors with the ASA sailing curriculum. This year, we celebrate 40 years as the leading sailing education entity in the United States. So when you get out on the water, you can be sure that ASA-certified sailors are sailing safely and confidently.  

Sailors have a way of speaking, and the sport has its own language. Some sailing phrases are common in everyday language, while others are only really used on a sailboat. The ones common in our everyday language have a nautical origin that will make you a more enlightened sailor, as well. The ones used only on a sailboat? Well, the sailing lifestyle lends itself to a specific language to describe situations and offer comedic relief when we are at the mercy of the conditions, and those will make you smarter and more adaptable in real life as well.

With that, we want to offer 40 sailing phrases you should know, some of which you may already be acquainted with.

Enjoy these sailing phrases, and may the best sailor win at nautical trivia night!

  • Batten Down the Hatches – a phrase used to prepare for a storm, or in everyday language, prepare for a difficult upcoming situation.
  • Aye Aye, Captain – a form of ”aye aye, sir”. It literally means “yes, yes” and is used in the military to show that the person who says it will follow an order that has been given and will follow it before doing anything else. It also shows the person knows the order and what it is requiring him or her to do.
  • Fair Winds and Following Seas – a phrase derived from two original sources that has become a nautical blessing used to wish someone good luck on their journey. Fair winds speak to favorable winds that will carry you home, and following seas speak to the direction of the waves generally pushing you in the direction of your heading.
  • Sheet Happens – a humorous phrase used when something goes wrong on a sailing trip. Sheets are the lines that trim sails.
  • Ship-shape and Bristol Fashion – a term used to describe something that is in good order or condition. The word is of nautical origin, based on the obligation of a sailor to keep his or her quarters arranged neatly and securely due to the limited space typically allotted to service members aboard ship, and against turbulence at sea. Bristol fashion refers to the port’s days as a bustling port of trade.
  • All Hands on Deck – During a storm or other crises, the boatswain’s cry of “all hands on deck” signaled the entire crew to handle the sail. These days it is an entreaty or order for everyone to pitch in and help with a problem or reach a goal.
  • Shiver Me Timbers – in everyday language, an exclamation of surprise or excitement. In nautical terms, a reference to the timbers, which are the wooden support frames of a sailing ship. In heavy seas, ships would be lifted up and pounded down so hard as to “shiver” the timbers, startling the sailors.
  • Walk the Plank – Sailors, usually pirates, set a plank that would hang off the ship’s side and made the punished sailors walk to the end and meet their death in the ocean. Today it’s a metaphor for receiving a punishment or facing a situation beyond one’s control.
  • Keel Over – a term used to describe a boat tipping over on its side so far that it capsizes or turns turtle. In every day language, it refers to someone tumbling or falling over.
  • Even Keel – The phrase even keel describes a ship that is level and balanced with its keel perpendicular to the surface of the water. Figuratively it has come to mean a calm, stable state of mind. The opposite is to keel over meaning to capsize.
  • Taken Aback – A ship is pushed backward when violent winds or a careless helmsman cause the sails to blow rearward against the mast. This sudden predicament could snap the mast or severely damage the rigging. As a figure of speech, taken aback means to be astonished by some unwelcome occurrence.
  • Three Sheets to the Wind – a term used to describe someone who is drunk. The sheets are the lines that control the sails on a sailboat. If the lines are not secured — particularly the three which are the two jib sheets and the mainsheet — the sails flop in the wind, and the ship loses headway and control, like a drunk person.
  • Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – The “devil” was the topmost plank of the ship’s side closest to the deck. Caulking this long seam in the tight space was a grueling task. One false move and a sailor could find himself plunging into the water. Today someone between the devil and the deep blue sea is in a lousy situation with no good options.
  • Let the Cat Out of the Bag – A whip composed of nine pieces of cord with three knots at the striking end, the cat-o’-nine-tails was one of the authorized instruments of punishment in the British Navy until 1881. It was kept in a cloth bag. A sailor who reported the misdeeds of another let the cat out of the bag.
  • Scuttlebutt – a nautical term for a water dispenser, but also a term used for gossip or rumors on board a ship. A “butt” was a large wooden drinking water cask where sailors gathered around and swapped rumors and stories. On long voyages, water was rationed by carving a hole in the cask’s side so that it could only be half filled. A cask with a hole was “scuttled.” Not much has changed except we now gossip around a water cooler.
  • Anchors Aweigh – a phrase used to describe the moment when an anchor is lifted from the seabed; colloquially it also has come to mean the beginning of a journey.
  • A Bone in Her Teeth – a term used to describe a boat that is moving fast through the water creating a prominent bow wave that looks similar to a dog with a bone in its mouth. Has also come to mean someone who is in a hurry.
  • Tide Over – To tide over was the technique of alternating between sailing and anchoring when battling headwinds and unfavorable tides. This allowed a boat to hold its position until conditions improved. The term now describes enabling someone to get through a difficult period, most commonly by lending money, or with a child, to give a snack to tide them over until dinner.
  • Sailing Close to the Wind – a term used to describe sailing as close to the direction of the wind as possible (any further and you would be in irons and unable to progress). Figuratively, this phrase means to be on the verge of doing something illegal or improper.
  • Cast Off – a term used to describe releasing a mooring line or anchor so a vessel can set sail; in everyday language means to “set free”, for obvious reasons!
  • Dead Reckoning – used in a navigation sense primarily; a method of navigation based on estimating a ship’s position using previous positions and estimated speed and direction of travel
  • Helm’s Alee – a command used when starting to turn the boat through the wind, i.e. tacking. Primarily used on a sailboat, but also an American rock band that started in the early 2000’s in Seattle.
  • Square-rigged, and Squared Away – a term used to describe a ship with square sails. To be squared away, a square-rigged ship had its yards (horizontal bars that held up the sail) positioned at right angles to the deck to best catch the wind. Squared away now means to put things in order or a state of readiness.
  • A Shot Across the Bow – in everyday language, a warning or threat issued to someone. In the 18th century, navies forced oncoming ships to identify themselves by firing a cannon shot over their bow. If the approaching ship hoisted enemy colors an attack might ensue. Traditionally warships had the right to disguise themselves by sailing under neutral or false flags, but once they went into battle they were required to fly their country’s true colors.
  • Crow’s Nest – a platform located high on a mast used as a lookout point. The term is sometimes used metaphorically for the topmost structures in buildings, towers, etc.
  • Jibe Ho – a command spoken when jibing, and the sailboat is heading downwind and across the wind. It is a warning to sit down or be clear of the boom before it swings!
  • Lower the Boom – The boom is the long horizontal pole that controls the movement of the mainsail. It can deliver sailors a knockout blow if it swings wildly or collapses in heavy weather. These days the phrase means to put a stop to, chastise, or rebuke.
  • Headwinds – winds blowing in the opposite direction of the ship’s movement; has also come to mean resistance or opposition to a plan, often referred to as “economic headwinds” in business.
  • Sea Legs – the ability to adjust to the motion of a ship and maintain balance; To “have one’s sea legs” is to be able to walk calmly and steadily on a tossing ship, or to become accustomed to a new or strange situation
  • Run Aground; or High and Dry – to be run aground is when the bottom of the boat hits the sea floor and stops the boat. For a ship to run aground in a receding tide is to be left high and dry. Getting stuck with the check when everyone else has taken off is also to be left high and dry.
  • Dead in the Water – when there is no wind and the water is completely still, giving no chance of any sailing. The phrase also means a proposal or plan with zero chance of success.
  • Fathom – a unit of measurement for depth, equal to six feet. This nautical unit of measurement is based on the span of a man’s outstretched arms. The word comes from the Old English “faedem,” to embrace. Sailors measured ocean depths, anchor chains, ropes, and cables in fathoms. Although marines eventually abandoned fathoms for meters, we onshore still reach for the word fathom to express our ability to comprehend, grasp, or get to the bottom of things.
  • Gunwale – the upper edge of the side of a boat, pronounced “gunnel”, named for where the guns on a ship would sit. To be “full to the gunnels” means to be completely full.
  • In Irons – A sailing vessel is “in irons” when she is trapped in the “No Go Zone”, unable to bear away and begin sailing. The term dates from when criminals aboard old sailing ships were secured to the deck with leg-irons, unable to move.
  • Kedge – a smaller anchor used to move the ship slowly in a desired direction. Used primarily in nautical situations, but can be adapted to mean a clever way of moving in a direction when the obvious method won’t work.
  • The Cut of One’s Jib – “Jib” is the name of the foresail that controls the general performance of a ship. In everyday life, it also means the way one looks or conducts themselves (usually negative).
  • Cup of Joe – The days of rum, beer, and officers’ personal wine supply dried up with the appointment of Josephus Daniels as Secretary of the Navy. In 1914 this stern Methodist and prohibitionist banned “…the use or introduction for drinking purposes of alcoholic liquors on board any naval vessel, or within any navy yard or station.” As a substitute, stewards increased orders for coffee. Naval lore has it that the disgruntled sailors tagged the poor substitute “cup of Josephus Daniels,” and later the shorter “cup of Joe.” That’s one theory, anyway, but one thing we know — any day, aboard a ship or not, deserves its properly caffeinated start!
  • Groundswell – Deep ocean waves grow larger as they move over uneven seabeds and are felt as surface undulations. Colloquially, the term describes a widespread surge of public opinion.
  • It’s an Ill Wind that Blows No Good – While a sailor could be frustrated by an unfavorable wind, it might be a great wind for a sailor going another direction. This translates into everyday life to mean that what’s bad for one person may be good for another.
  • Know the Ropes – Old, tall ships had miles of rigging. Today’s sailboats also have quite a lot of line. Each serves a purpose, and it’s critical for sailors to correctly identify each one. Securing or unlashing the wrong line at the wrong time could be catastrophic, or at least cause you to lose the regatta. In sailing and in real life, to be well versed and familiar is to know the ropes.

Related Posts:

2024-04-985-saipan-sailing-school-main-1600×900

  • Learn To Sail
  • Mobile Apps
  • Online Courses
  • Upcoming Courses
  • Sailor Resources
  • ASA Log Book
  • Bite Sized Lessons
  • Knots Made Easy
  • Catamaran Challenge
  • Sailing Vacations
  • Sailing Cruises
  • Charter Resources
  • International Proficiency Certificate
  • Find A Charter
  • All Articles
  • Sailing Tips
  • Sailing Terms
  • Destinations
  • Environmental
  • Initiatives
  • Instructor Resources
  • Become An Instructor
  • Become An ASA School
  • Member / Instructor Login
  • Affiliate Login

Words Related to Boat

Below is a massive list of boat words - that is, words related to boat. The top 4 are: ship , yacht , canoe and kayak . You can get the definition(s) of a word in the list below by tapping the question-mark icon next to it. The words at the top of the list are the ones most associated with boat, and as you go down the relatedness becomes more slight. By default, the words are sorted by relevance/relatedness, but you can also get the most common boat terms by using the menu below, and there's also the option to sort the words alphabetically so you can get boat words starting with a particular letter. You can also filter the word list so it only shows words that are also related to another word of your choosing. So for example, you could enter "ship" and click "filter", and it'd give you words that are related to boat and ship.

You can highlight the terms by the frequency with which they occur in the written English language using the menu below. The frequency data is extracted from the English Wikipedia corpus, and updated regularly. If you just care about the words' direct semantic similarity to boat, then there's probably no need for this.

There are already a bunch of websites on the net that help you find synonyms for various words, but only a handful that help you find related , or even loosely associated words. So although you might see some synonyms of boat in the list below, many of the words below will have other relationships with boat - you could see a word with the exact opposite meaning in the word list, for example. So it's the sort of list that would be useful for helping you build a boat vocabulary list, or just a general boat word list for whatever purpose, but it's not necessarily going to be useful if you're looking for words that mean the same thing as boat (though it still might be handy for that).

If you're looking for names related to boat (e.g. business names, or pet names), this page might help you come up with ideas. The results below obviously aren't all going to be applicable for the actual name of your pet/blog/startup/etc., but hopefully they get your mind working and help you see the links between various concepts. If your pet/blog/etc. has something to do with boat, then it's obviously a good idea to use concepts or words to do with boat.

If you don't find what you're looking for in the list below, or if there's some sort of bug and it's not displaying boat related words, please send me feedback using this page. Thanks for using the site - I hope it is useful to you! 🕸

show more

  • fishing boat
  • boat capsized
  • luxury yacht
  • fishing boats
  • motorsailer
  • submersible
  • lightvessel
  • water vehicle
  • water vessel
  • cigarette boat
  • pleasure boat
  • pontoon boat
  • capsized boat
  • outrigger canoe
  • personal watercraft
  • lifejackets
  • choppy waters
  • ocean liner
  • unregistered
  • shipbuilder
  • boatmanship
  • boatbuilder
  • boatbuilding
  • gravy holder
  • antifouling
  • dismastment
  • shiphandler
  • travel on water
  • surface watercraft
  • mean of transport
  • sail dinghy
  • sail vessel
  • patrol boat
  • accommodation ladder
  • lake freighter
  • naval tradition
  • mesopotamia
  • ballast tank
  • packet boat
  • police boat
  • mackinaw boat
  • ship's boat
  • narrow boat
  • mooring line
  • float on water
  • boat whistle
  • cross ocean
  • dragon sail
  • surface ship
  • modern naval ship
  • over canvass
  • passenger ship
  • coxless pair
  • coxless four
  • go fast boat
  • vehicle type
  • banana boat
  • superstructure
  • diesel engine
  • sternwheeler
  • pesse canoe
  • pinus sylvestris
  • centerboard
  • sportfisherman
  • indus valley civilization
  • pliny the elder
  • displacement
  • cabin cruiser
  • paddle steamer
  • outboard motor
  • purse seiner
  • dugout canoe
  • portovenere
  • cruise ship
  • barrow, alaska
  • inupiat people
  • bowhead whale
  • bearded seal
  • glass-reinforced plastic
  • bessemer process
  • fibre-reinforced plastic
  • united states coast guard
  • water caterpillar
  • extruded polystyrene
  • tom mcclean
  • folly island
  • ganges river
  • historic center of quito
  • tracked vehicle
  • flat-bottomed boat
  • ming dynasty
  • south carolina
  • atlantic ocean
  • wanli emperor
  • composite material
  • water travel
  • indian ocean
  • ancient egypt
  • motor vessel

That's about all the boat related words we've got! I hope this list of boat terms was useful to you in some way or another. The words down here at the bottom of the list will be in some way associated with boat, but perhaps tenuously (if you've currenly got it sorted by relevance, that is). If you have any feedback for the site, please share it here , but please note this is only a hobby project, so I may not be able to make regular updates to the site. Have a nice day! 🐦

Boat/Vessel Registration

If you own a sailboat over eight feet long or a boat/vessel with a motor (no matter the size), you must register it with DMV in order to legally operate it on California waterways.

To register your boat/vessel, you will need:

  • A completed Application for Vessel Certificate of Number (BOAT 101) form. 
  • If the original certificate is lost or damaged, complete an Application for Replacement or Transfer Title (REG 227) form to request a copy.
  • Applicable fees .
  • If you own a trailer for your boat/vessel, you need to register it separately .

You may also need:

  • To complete an approved boating safety course and obtain a California Boater Card if you plan to operate a motorized vessel on a state waterway.
  • Bill(s) of sale (if you bought your boat/vessel from a private party instead of a dealer). 
  • A Statement of Facts (REG 256) form, in case you do not have a copy of the bill of sale.

You can register your boat/vessel at any DMV field office , or mail your registration application and related documents to:

Department of Motor Vehicles PO Box 942869 Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

You may also need to pay the Quagga and Zebra Mussel Infestation Fee and obtain a Mussel Fee sticker. Please see the Mussel Fee sticker request page for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Any boat or vessel that you can use to transport yourself on water, such as a:

  • Sail-powered boat/vessel that is over eight feet long.
  • Vessel/boat with a motor (no matter how big it is).

If you bought your boat/vessel from an out-of-state seller, or if you recently moved to California, you need to register your boat/vessel with DMV within 120 days of bringing it into the state.

There are some boats/vessels that  do not  have to be registered:

  • Canoes, rowboats, or any boats/vessels that use paddles or oars
  • Sailboats shorter than eight feet long
  • Sailboards or parasails
  • A ship’s lifeboat
  • Seaplanes on the water
  • Boats that run on a track, such as amusement park rides
  • Floating structures that are tied to land and use power, water, and a sewage system on the shore.

Dinghies must be registered with DMV.

Houseboats that have a motor must be registered with DMV.

Commercial boats/vessels that weigh more than five net tons and are longer than 30 feet must be registered (documented) by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Yes. Any boat/vessel that travels or is moored in California waterways, including private lakes, must be registered with DMV.

  • A  documented boat/vessel  is registered with the U.S. Coast Guard and has a marine certificate. These boats/vessels do not have to be registered with DMV.
  • An  undocumented boat/vessel  is registered with DMV and does  not  have a marine certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard.

If you buy a new boat/vessel, it is automatically considered undocumented, so you have to register the boat/vessel with DMV before you can put it in California waters.

Your boat/vessel will get a vessel registration number (beginning with CF before the numbers) when you register your boat/vessel with DMV.

You have to display your vessel registration number on your boat/vessel. Make sure it meets the following requirements.

Your Vessel Registration Number must:

  • Be painted on or permanently attached to each side of your boat/vessel’s bow.
  • Be written in plain, vertical block letters and numbers that are more than three inches high.
  • Be properly arranged so you can read it from left to right.
  • Contrast with the color of the background so that it is easy to see and read.
  • Example A:  CF 1234 AB
  • Example B:  CF-1234-AB

In addition to your vessel registration number, you will also receive a registration sticker. You should attach it to the both sides of your boat/vessel, three inches apart from your vessel registration number.

Your registration sticker must be clearly visible at all times. Please do not place any numbers, letters, or devices near the registration sticker (other than your vessel registration number and Mussel Fee sticker (if required)).

Starboard and port sides of vessels. Arrows indicate where to place Mussel Fee and Registration stickers. On the starboard side of the hull the stickers are placed to the immediate left of the CF number. On the port side the stickers are placed to the immediate right of the CF number.

If you boat in California fresh waters such as the Delta, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and streams, you must purchase and display a Mussel Fee sticker next to your registration sticker. The Mussel Fee sticker matches the registration sticker by color and date.

You may purchase the Mussel Fee sticker online . The vessel registration/renewal and sticker transactions are separate. Once you receive your Mussel Fee stickers, place them on either side of the registration sticker as shown below.

Since 1972, all boats/vessels manufactured in the U.S. come with a Hull Identification Number (HIN).

The HIN must be:

  • Painted on or permanently attached to your boat/vessel so that it cannot be changed or removed.
  • Assigned and attached by manufacturers to commercially built boats/vessels.
  • Assigned by DMV for homemade boats/vessels.

If your California Certificate of Ownership is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can submit a completed Application for Duplicate or Transfer of Title (REG 227) form.

If you lost your sticker, you can submit a completed Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents (REG 156) form to replace the lost certificates and/or stickers.

You can then mail the forms to DMV or visit a DMV field office in person.

You must renew your boat/vessel registration by December 31 of every odd-numbered year (for example, 2013, 2017, etc.), even if you do not use your boat/vessel.

To remind you that you need to renew your registration, DMV will mail you a renewal notice 60 days before your registration expires.

Visit our online registration page to see if your vessel is eligible to be renewed online.

You can also renew your registration by phone (automated system), mail, or by visiting a DMV field office in person.

Phone:  1-800-777-0133 Mail: Vehicle Registration Operations Department of Motor Vehicles PO Box 942869 MS C271 Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

If you renew your registration by mail, please return the bottom portion of your renewal notice in the envelope provided with a check, cashier’s check, or money order to cover your fees .

If you do not receive or lose the renewal notice, you may contact DMV and pay your fees.

When you buy a boat/vessel from another person, you should also get the California Certificate of Ownership from the person who sold it to you. That person should sign/endorse the certificate on line 1. If there is a lienholder, you need their signature on line 2.

Once you have the California Certificate of Ownership, write your name and address on the back. Then you can submit the certificate to DMV along with the transfer fee, use tax, and any renewal fees that might be due.

If the boat/vessel has a trailer, you need to get the trailer title. If you cannot get a copy of the title, you can complete a Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) Certification and Application (REG 4017) form to transfer it into your name.

If you decide to sell your boat/vessel, you need to:

  • Give the Certificate of Ownership to the person who buys it. Make sure you sign the certificate on the front.
  • Contact the DMV within five days of the sale and fill out a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (REG 138)  form.

You must provide the boat/vessel information (vessel registration number, HIN), the name and address of the buyer, and the sale date on the form.

  • Submit the form online or by mail.

If the boat/vessel has a trailer, give the titling and/or registration documents to the buyer and submit a separate  Notice of Release of Liability (REG 138)  form.

Additional Information

Boats and vessels registered in California are included in property taxes by the county tax collector, depending on where the boat/vessel is stored or moored. DMV might deny registration renewal or transfer if the county tax collector tells DMV that you have not paid your personal property taxes.

Vessel registration becomes invalid when a boat/vessel is:

  • Required to be documented by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Transferred to a new owner.
  • Destroyed or abandoned.
  • No longer used primarily in California.

You must tell the DMV when a boat/vessel is:

  • Moved to a different storage location.
  • Documented through the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Destroyed, lost, or abandoned. Return the California Certificate of Ownership to DMV within 15 days.

Learn more about vessel registration transaction requirements by visiting the Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual .

Need something else?

Registration fees.

How much will it cost to register your boat?

Boat/Vessel Guide

Our special interest guide for boat owners is full of great information on everything from registration to quagga requirements.

Everything you need to know about owning and transferring titles, including vessel titles.

General Disclaimer

When interacting with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Virtual Assistant, please do not include any personal information.

When your chat is over, you can save the transcript. Use caution when using a public computer or device.

The DMV chatbot and live chat services use third-party vendors to provide machine translation. Machine translation is provided for purposes of information and convenience only. The DMV is unable to guarantee the accuracy of any translation provided by the third-party vendors and is therefore not liable for any inaccurate information or changes in the formatting of the content resulting from the use of the translation service.

The content currently in English is the official and accurate source for the program information and services DMV provides. Any discrepancies or differences created in the translation are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or enforcement purposes. If any questions arise related to the information contained in the translated content, please refer to the English version.

Google™ Translate Disclaimer

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website uses Google™ Translate to provide automatic translation of its web pages. This translation application tool is provided for purposes of information and convenience only. Google™ Translate is a free third-party service, which is not controlled by the DMV. The DMV is unable to guarantee the accuracy of any translation provided by Google™ Translate and is therefore not liable for any inaccurate information or changes in the formatting of the pages resulting from the use of the translation application tool.

The web pages currently in English on the DMV website are the official and accurate source for the program information and services the DMV provides. Any discrepancies or differences created in the translation are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or enforcement purposes. If any questions arise related to the information contained in the translated website, please refer to the English version.

The following pages provided on the DMV website cannot be translated using Google™ Translate:

  • Publications
  • Field Office Locations
  • Online Applications

Please install the Google Toolbar

Google Translate is not support in your browser. To translate this page, please install the Google Toolbar (opens in new window) .

About Words – Cambridge Dictionary blog

Commenting on developments in the English language

words like sailboat

Searching out and tracking down: talking about finding or discovering things

Listen to the author reading this blog post:

view from under a piece of furniture draped with white cloth - through a gap in the cloth, a girl's face is visible upside-down, as well as her hand holding a torch, as she searches for something that has fallen underneath the furniture - illustrating the concept of finding and discovering things

by  Liz Walter

My last post was about hiding things , and today I am writing about finding or discovering them.

Find is a very general word, used both for when you look for something deliberately or when you find it by accident. It is usually used to talk about an object or something you can see. For information, we are more likely to use the phrasal verb find out . Discover is used for objects and information, and tends to be used more when we find something by accident or for the first time:

I found my keys under a cushion.

How did you find out my address?

We discovered a secret door that led to a tunnel.

If you trace someone or something or track them down , you find them, usually after some effort:

The police are trying to trace the man’s family.

I managed to track down a copy of the book.

If you search out something that is difficult to find, you make an effort to find it, but if you come across something or – even more emphatically – stumble across it, you find it by accident:

We spent our evenings searching out the best restaurants.

I came across a wonderful cheese shop in one of the back streets.

I stumbled across a book of her poems.

We sometimes use the slightly formal verb locate to talk about finding the exact position of something, especially something difficult to find. If you uncover something, especially information that was secret or hidden, you find it, either deliberately or by accident. Unearth is used in a similar way, but can also be used for finding physical objects, usually ones that have been buried underground:

A plumber was trying to locate the source of the leak.

The journalist uncovered proof of the fraud.

I’ve managed to unearth some information about my great-grandfather.

He unearthed a small wooden chest when he was digging in the garden!

There are a few idioms connected with finding or discovering things. If you catch someone red-handed , you discover them in the process of doing something bad or illegal. If you run someone or something to ground , you find them after a lot of searching. If information is brought to light , it is discovered or made known, while if you get wind of something that someone was trying to keep secret, you discover information about it:

I caught her red-handed stealing my lunch from the office fridge.

A police officer ran the gunman to ground in an old warehouse.

Recent research has brought new evidence to light.

Workers somehow got wind of plans to downsize the company.

Thank you for tracking down (or stumbling across!) this post, and I hope you have discovered some useful new vocabulary here.

Share this:

  • Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
  • Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)
  • Click to print (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)

8 thoughts on “ Searching out and tracking down: talking about finding or discovering things ”

A great lesson, thanks

Amazing! Thanks.

Thank you @LizWalter for tracking down these useful phrases ! This blog is nowhere near as good as any other!

Great one, thanks. I’ve come across another two posts on searching for information: https://dictionaryblog.cambridge.org/2022/06/22/probing-and-digging-around-searching-for-information/ https://dictionaryblog.cambridge.org/2022/06/29/digging-up-and-getting-wind-of-information-finding-information-words-and-phrases/

Thank you for all the information. I think the phrase ‘track down’ has been used a lot recently. I’ve come across it twice.

The most useful information! Thank you ever so much, friends!

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Discover more from about words - cambridge dictionary blog.

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Type your email…

Continue reading

  • Employee quick setup

Download and install apps

  • Setup and use Outlook
  • Move your email, calendars, and contacts
  • Setup OneDrive
  • Collaborate and meet with Teams
  • Create an email signature
  • Security features and settings
  • Create a hub for your team
  • Collaborate on business documents
  • Share files with my team members
  • Create polls to survey employees
  • Let customers book appointments
  • Schedule meetings with anyone
  • Save and share files with clients
  • Add your clients as guests
  • Manage your business finances
  • Track product inventory
  • Plan projects and track deadlines
  • Scheduling staff shifts
  • Suport resources
  • Welcome to Microsoft 365 for business
  • Buy Microsoft 365
  • Microsoft 365 Admin Center
  • Add a custom domain
  • Manage payment information
  • Add more users
  • All about passwords
  • Remote work
  • File sharing and storage
  • Secure your business

words like sailboat

As you're getting your Microsoft 365 business subscription set up, you'll want to download and install your Microsoft 365 apps, like Word, Excel, Microsoft Teams, and PowerPoint, on your PC or Mac.

Go to microsoft365.com and sign in with your Microsoft 365 account.

Select Install apps.

Install apps at Microsoft365.com

Follow the instructions in the browser to download the installer and start your installation.  

As your apps are installing you might see the User Account Control prompt pop up and ask  Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?  Select  Yes .

Close the installer window after it's finished.

The first time you open an app like Word or PowerPoint you might need to sign in with your new business email address and password to activate the app.  

Signing in connects the apps to the rest of Microsoft 365, letting you save files to the cloud, share files with others, and have your documents save automatically as you work.

To set up and use Outlook with your subscription, see Set up and use Outlook .

Get expert advice, dedicated support and personalized guidance from business specialists. With Business Assist, get help making Microsoft 365 products work for you and everyone in your business. Learn More

Related topics

Microsoft 365 help for small businesses on YouTube

Download and install or reinstall Microsoft 365 or Office 2021 on a PC or Mac

Set up Office apps and email on a mobile device

Small business help and learning

Need more help?

Want more options.

Explore subscription benefits, browse training courses, learn how to secure your device, and more.

M365 subscription benefits illustrative icon

Microsoft 365 subscription benefits

M365 training illustrative icon

Microsoft 365 training

Microsoft Security shield illustrative icon

Microsoft security

Accessibility center illustrative icon

Accessibility center

Communities help you ask and answer questions, give feedback, and hear from experts with rich knowledge.

words like sailboat

Ask the Microsoft Community

Microsoft Tech Community illustrative icon

Microsoft Tech Community

Windows Insiders illustrative icon

Windows Insiders

M365 Insiders illustrative icon

Microsoft 365 Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback.

COMMENTS

  1. SAILBOAT Synonyms: 38 Similar Words

    Synonyms for SAILBOAT: yacht, ship, schooner, sloop, dinghy, frigate, vessel, galley, bark, windjammer

  2. 26 Synonyms & Antonyms for SAILBOAT

    Find 26 different ways to say SAILBOAT, along with antonyms, related words, and example sentences at Thesaurus.com.

  3. Sailboat Words

    Ultimately, the words related to sailboats offer us a glimpse into a world of adventure, skill, and exploration. Whether we are setting sail on a vast ocean or simply admiring these magnificent vessels from afar, understanding the language of sailboats allows us to fully immerse ourselves in the captivating realm of sailing.

  4. Sailboat synonyms

    Another way to say Sailboat? Synonyms for Sailboat (other words and phrases for Sailboat). Synonyms for Sailboat. 275 other terms for sailboat- words and phrases with similar meaning. Lists. synonyms. antonyms. definitions. sentences. thesaurus. words. phrases. Parts of speech. nouns. verbs. Tags. boat. sailcloth. raft. suggest new.

  5. 50 Nautical, Sailing & Boat Terms for Beginners

    Shroud - a part of the boat's rigging that supports the mast from side-to-side. Stay - a part of the boat's rigging that supports the mast fore and aft. Tacking - changing direction under sail where the bow swings through the eye of the wind. Trim - to adjust sails inward or closer to the centerline of a boat.

  6. Sailing Terms You Need To Know

    photo by b. cohen. Here are the key sailing terms you'll want to know as you begin learning to sail! Port: Facing forward, this is anything to the left of the boat. When you're onboard, you can use this term pretty much any time you would normally say "left.". Starboard: Facing forward, this is anything to the right of the boat.

  7. 16 Sailing Terms for Landlubbers

    Port. Port refers to the left-hand side of a vessel. Compared to starboard, which is thought to have originated during the 9th century CE, port is a relatively recent invention. Earlier terms ...

  8. SAILBOAT in Thesaurus: 100+ Synonyms & Antonyms for SAILBOAT

    Most related words/phrases with sentence examples define Sailboat meaning and usage. Thesaurus for Sailboat. Related terms for sailboat- synonyms, antonyms and sentences with sailboat. Lists. synonyms. antonyms. definitions. sentences. thesaurus. Parts of speech. nouns. verbs. Synonyms Similar meaning. View all. sailing boat. yacht. sailing ...

  9. Sailing Terminology List: 300+ Sailing Terms

    D. Daysailer - A small sailboat. Dead downwind - Sailing in a direction straight downwind. Deck - The mostly flat area on top of the boat. De-power - Reducing the power in the sails by luffing, easing the sheets, or stalling. Dinghy - A small sailboat or rowboat. Displacement - The weight of the boat; therefore the amount of water that it displaces.

  10. The Only 50 Sailing Terms You'll Need To Know (With Pictures)

    A skipper is the captain of a sailboat. If you ask me, the word 'captain' is much better than a skipper, which to me sounds like a small boy who sits on the shore the whole day, skipping stones. But hey, who am I to talk. Monohull. A monohull is a classical boat with a single hull. A boat with two hulls is called a catamaran, or a 'cat'.

  11. Sailing Terms and Phrases: A Comprehensive Guide to Nautical Jargon

    By employing phrases such as "the sea rose like a mighty kraken" or "whispering zephyrs guided our course," you'll be painting masterpieces with words. 3) Channeling History's Echoes: The language of sailing is deeply rooted in history, connecting us to generations past who braved unforgiving waters aboard wooden vessels.

  12. 59 Sailing Terms [Basic and Funny Terms]

    Five of the most basic sailing terms that you should know are as follows: Aft - the back of a sailboat. Bow - the front of a sailboat. Port - the left-hand side of a sailboat. Starboard - the right-hand side of a sailboat. Leeward - the direction where the wind is blowing towards. There are many other sailing terms.

  13. A Complete List Of Sailing Terms

    A. The sailing terms beginning with the letter A are: Abaft: Toward the stern of a boat and behind the middle of the boat; Abandon Ship: An instruction to leave the boat immediately.This is an emergency situation and everyone needs to get off the boat; Abeam: On a line at right angles to a ship's or an aircraft's length; Able Seaman: A crew member with experience and expertise in working on ...

  14. A to Z of Nautical Terms: A Complete Glossary of Boat Terminology

    The sail will stall if the airflow over the sail surface breaks up, causing the vessel to lose its momentum. Standing Part. The part of the line you don't use when making a knot. Or the part of a rope you use to tie around the knot. Stanchion. The metal post bolted to the deck in an upright position to support the guard railing. Standing Rigging

  15. Sailboat Words

    Sailboat Words. Below is a massive list of sailboat words - that is, words related to sailboat. The top 4 are: yacht, boat, sail and sailing. You can get the definition (s) of a word in the list below by tapping the question-mark icon next to it. The words at the top of the list are the ones most associated with sailboat, and as you go down the ...

  16. BOAT in Thesaurus: 1000+ Synonyms & Antonyms for BOAT

    What's the definition of Boat in thesaurus? Most related words/phrases with sentence examples define Boat meaning and usage. Thesaurus for Boat. Related terms for boat- synonyms, antonyms and sentences with boat. ... sink like a stone. automobile. banger. bicycle. bomb. brass era automobile. brass era car. brougham. bucket. bucket of bolts. bug ...

  17. 50 Nautical Terms and Sailing Phrases That Have Enriched ...

    11. Three Sheets to the Wind. Meaning: Very, very drunk. 12. Left High and Dry. Meaning: Abandoned (by an individual or group) in a difficult situation. 13. Sailing Close to the Wind. Meaning: Taking risks that may be unreasonable, being close to breaking the law.

  18. Sailing Terms: A Complete Guide

    Backing (a sail): Forcing the sail to take wind into its opposite side by pulling the sail to the opposite side of the boat. Backstay: The wire that runs from the back of the boat to the mast head. This prevents the mast from falling forward. Bailer: Any scoop-like container that is used to remove water from within a vessel's hull.

  19. 40 Sailing Phrases to Know

    Primarily used on a sailboat, but also an American rock band that started in the early 2000's in Seattle. Square-rigged, and Squared Away - a term used to describe a ship with square sails. To be squared away, a square-rigged ship had its yards (horizontal bars that held up the sail) positioned at right angles to the deck to best catch the ...

  20. Boat Words

    Boat Words. Below is a massive list of boat words - that is, words related to boat. The top 4 are: ship, yacht, canoe and kayak. You can get the definition (s) of a word in the list below by tapping the question-mark icon next to it. The words at the top of the list are the ones most associated with boat, and as you go down the relatedness ...

  21. Like sailboats Crossword Clue

    The Crossword Solver found 30 answers to "Like sailboats", 6 letters crossword clue. The Crossword Solver finds answers to classic crosswords and cryptic crossword puzzles. Enter the length or pattern for better results. Click the answer to find similar crossword clues . Enter a Crossword Clue.

  22. 100+ Best Boat Names for the Most Creative Ideas on the Seven Seas

    Rowbie (for a rowboat) Starter Boat. Small Wonder. The Dilly Bar (ironic shoutout to one of the world's biggest yachts, the Dilbar) Yak (for a kayak) Kaia (also for a kayak) Sparky. Jason Biggs ...

  23. Boat/Vessel Registration

    A documented boat/vessel is registered with the U.S. Coast Guard and has a marine certificate.These boats/vessels do not have to be registered with DMV. An undocumented boat/vessel is registered with DMV and does not have a marine certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard.; If you buy a new boat/vessel, it is automatically considered undocumented, so you have to register the boat/vessel with DMV ...

  24. Talking about finding or discovering things

    Find is a very general word, used both for when you look for something deliberately or when you find it by accident. It is usually used to talk about an object or something you can see. For information, we are more likely to use the phrasal verb find out. Discover is used for objects and information, and tends to be used more when we find ...

  25. Download and install apps

    Select Install apps. Follow the instructions in the browser to download the installer and start your installation. Tip. As your apps are installing you might see the User Account Control prompt pop up and ask Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device? Select Yes. Close the installer window after it's finished.

  26. Kim Chiu

    June 3. 18th year in showbiz. ️🙏🏻🥹 I am out of words, but I am just thankful for this beautiful journey. ️ Special thank you to my @teamkcg family for reminding me that day and for taking the time, effort, love, and unconditional support you've given me through the years. Grabe pa surprise nyo that day.🥲 Huge Thank you, Monika and Mich. Grabe!🥹 Thank you for the Led ...

  27. Vanna White says an emotional goodbye to Pat Sajak on 'Wheel of Fortune

    CNN —. Vanna White grew emotional as she said a tearful early goodbye to host Pat Sajak on "Wheel of Fortune.". The longtime host will leave the show on Friday after 41 seasons. The two have ...