If you are currently learning to sail – or if you are thinking of buying a sailboat of your own – these practical terms can provide you with an overview of the basics of sailing with which you should familiarize yourself.
Knowing these boat terms will also make it easier to communicate with the people aboard the boat and make your experience new and fun. We want to make sure you have the best possible experience on your sailing trip, so here is our list of 10 basic boating terms.
A Handy Glossary of Nautical Terms For Sailing Beginners
Know these basic boating terms and enjoy the peace of mind of a safe voyage not only for you but for your vessels’ passengers as well. These boating terms come in useful when talking to dock staff and any communication related to the Coast Guard. With a little practice and memorization, you’ll be speaking with boat terms in no time.
- Stern – Refers to the rear of a ship. If something is at the stern, it is at the rear of the sailboat. Also known as the stern.
- Bow – The front part of the boat is known as the prow. It is important to know its location to define two other of the most common sailing terms: port (to the left of the bow) and starboard (to the right of the bow).
- Port – Port is always the left side of the boat when facing the bow. Since “right” and “left” can become confusing sailing terms when used in open water, the port is used to define the left side of the boat relative to the bow or the front.
- Starboard – Starboard is the right side of the boat when facing the bow. Since “right” and “left” can become confusing sailing terms when used in open water, starboard is used to define the right side of the boat in relation to the bow or the front.
- Leeward – Refers to the direction opposite to the way the wind is blowing at the time.
- Windward – Refers to the direction in which the wind is blowing at the time. Windward is the opposite of leeward. Sailboats, in this case, tend to move with the wind, making windward direction an important sailing term to know.
- Boom – This is the horizontal pole extending from the bottom of the mast. Adjusting the boom to the wind direction is how the sailboat can harness the force of the wind to move forward or backward.
- Rudder – The rudder is a flat piece of wood, fiberglass, or metal used to steer the boat. Larger sailboats control the rudder through a wheel, while smaller sailboats have a steering mechanism directly at the stern.
- Tacking – It refers to turning the boat’s bow across the wind so that the wind shifts from one side of the boat to the other. A boat’s boom will always move from one side to the other when tacking.
- Jibing- This consists of turning the stern of the boat through the wind so that the wind shifts from one side of the boat to the other. Gybing is a less common technique than tacking, as it involves turning the boat directly into the wind.
Start Your Boating Experiences With Lone Star Marina
Lone Star Marina is located in Cedar Creek Lake, and we offer boat and dock rentals, dry storage, vendors of Wave Armor floating docks, and more. With us, you will have a great time on a boat on the lake with friends and family. We have it all. Contact us to find more information!