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Sailing Fundamental Glossary Terms

Toward the stern. abaft
At right angles to the centerline of a boat. abeam
On or in a boat; close to a boat. aboard
Toward the stern Aft, after
Overhead Aloft
Between fore and aft; the middle of the boat amidships
Immersed in water. awash
A wire support from the mast to the stern of the boat. backstay
To remove water from the boat. bail
Weight placed in the bottom fo the boat to give it stability. ballast
With all sails down. bare poles
Thin wooden or plastic strips placed in pockets in the leech of a sail to help hold its form battens
The width of a boat at its widest point beam
The compass (magnetic) direction from one object to another. bearing
a wind that blows across the boat from side to side. beam wind
To sail to windward. beat
To make secure. belay
To secure (for example, a sail to a spar or a line to a sail). bend
Loop. bight
The very lowest part of a boat's interior; where water is most likely to collect. bilge
To take wind from a sail. blanket.
A nautical pulley. block
A device for catching hold of a ring bolt or line when coming alongside a pier or picking up a mooring. boat hook
Rope secured to the edge of a sail to give it strength and to facilitate adjusting foot and luff tension. bolt rope
The spar to which the foot of the sail is attached with lacing, slides or a groove. boom
A line to steady the boom when off the wind. boom vang
Forward part of the boat. bow
A spar extending forward from the bow bowsprit
Docking line leading roughly at right angles from the boat's sides. breast line
Rope span with ends secured for the sheet block to ride on. bridle
To spin out of control and capsize or come close to a capsize; loss of steering. broach
Any floating object anchored in one place to mark a position or provde a mooring buoy
On a run, having the wind coming slightly from the side on which the sails are trimmed. by the lee
A buoy, used to mark a channel, colored green or black and given an odd number. can
To tip over. capsize
To place a boat on her side so that work may be carried out on her underwater parts. careen
To break or tear loose. carry away
To let go of a line when leaving the dock or mooring; to ease sheets. cast off
A sailboat with a single sail. catboat
A shaped blade attached to the underside of the hull to give the boat lateral resistance when it is sailing to windward. centerboard
To damage a line by rubbing. chafe
Metal plates bolted to the side of a boat to which shrouds are attached to support the rigging chainplates
A device affixed to the deck and used as a guide for an anchor or mooring line. chock
To clear a lee shore. claw off
The outer corner of a sail. clew
The most windward point of sail on which the wind is at about 45 degree. close-hauled
Describes a craft capable of sailing very close to the wind. close-winded
The raised protection around a cockpit. coaming
The space at a lower level than the deck in which the tiller or wheel is located;It may be center or aft. cockpit
A metal ring worked into the sail. cringle
Support for the boom when the sails are furled. crutch
The weight of water displaced by a boat. displacement
The body of water in which the boat sits while tied up to a float or pier (often used to mean the float or pier itself). dock
A line attached to the tack of the sail, used to trim the draft forward. downhaul
1) The depth or fullness of a sail; or 2) The depth of the keel or centerboard in the water. draft
The leeway or movement sideways of a boat. drift
Keeping a boat out of the water when not in use. dry sailing
To let out. ease
A fitting used to change the direction of a line, giving it a better angle from a sail or block to a winch or cleat. fairlead
The part of a tackle to which the power is applied in a hoisting. fall
A nautical measurement for the depth of water. fathom. One fathom is equal to six feet.
A windward course by which a craft can make her destination without having to tack. fetch
A floating platorm, usually accessible from shore, to which a boat is tied up when docked. float
The bottom length of a sail. foot
In the direction of the keel, from front to back. fore-and-aft
The forward part of the keel, adjoining the lower part of the stern. forefoot
The most forward mast of a sailboat having two or more masts. foremast
Foresail A jib.
Entangled or clogged. fouled
The skeleton of the ship, which holds the hull together and gives support. frames
Sailing on any point of sail except close-hauled. free
The distance from the top of the hull to the water. freeboard
Sailing sa close to the wind as possible with all the sails full. full-and-by
To fold or roll a sail on a boom and then secure it with sail ties. furl
A pole extending from a mast to support the head of a sail. gaff
A piece of rope or canvas used to secure a furled sail. gasket
Any equipment pertaining to a sailboat. gear
An overlapping foresail. genoa
A device used for suspending the compass so it remains level. gimbal
A boat required to keep out of the way of another vessel. give-way vessel
A device that secures the boom to the mast. gooseneck
A metal ring fastend in a sail. grommet
Anchor, rode, etc., used to secure a boat to her mooring. ground tackle
A fitting attached to the hull into which the rudder's pintles are inserted. gudgeon
The rail of the boat at deck level. gunwale
A line or wire used to adjust and position the spinnaker pole. guy
A line used to haul sails up and down the mast. halyard
The command used in coming about to inform the crew that the helm is being pushed hard. to leeward, turning the boat into the wind. hard alee
The top of a sail. head
With the bow headed into the wind and the sails luffing. head to wind
Any sail used forward of the mast, a foresail. headsail
A forward stay supporting the mast. headstay
To stop a boat by turning the bow to the wind and holding it there. A boat stopped this way is hove to. heave to
The tiller or wheel mechanism by which the boat is steered. helm
To lean over the side of a boat to help counterbalance heeling. hike
The vertical edge of a sail; to haul aloft. hoist
The main body of a boat. hull
Toward the centerline of the boat; mounted inside the hull. inboard
In the wind's eye and having lost all headway. A boat in this will not go off in irons
Also called in stays. on either tack
A triangular sail set forward of the mainmast. jib
To change tack on a downwind course. A boat begins to do this at the moment when, with the wind aft, the foot of her mainsail crosses her centerline. The boat completes the maneuver when the mainsail fills on the new tack. jibe
A wire supporting the mast to which the luff of the jib is attached. jibstay
A stay on the upper forward paret of the mast jumper
A heavy fin filled wit lead ballast under the hull. It prevents the boat from sideslipping by resisting the lateral force of the wind, and it gives the boat stability. keel
A two-masted sailing vessel with a small after mast stepped forward of the rudderpost. ketch
A nautical unit of speed: 6,076 feet or one nautical mile per hour. knot
A line fastened to an object, such as a pail, whistle, knife, or other small too for purposes of securing it. lanyard
The twisting or a rope's strands. lay
A small space below deck, usually aft, where spare parts are kept or an outboard motor is mounted. lazarette
The after edge of a sail. leech
Away from the wind. leeward, lee
A wire that encircles the deck to prevent crew members from falling overboard. lifeline
Sails made of a lightweight material for use in light winds. light sails
A leaning sideways due to excess weighton one side. list
A storage compartment on a boat. locker
A short post inside a compass used as a reference point when steering or taking bearings. lubber's line
1) The forward vertical edge of a sail, 2) To alter course toward the wind until the boat is head to wind. 3) The flapping of a sail caused by the boat being head to wind. luff
The principal mast of a sailboat. mainmast
The largest regular sail on a modern sailboat. mainsail
The line for controlling the main boom. mainsheet
A tall mast used with a jibheaded rig. marconi
The shorter mast aft on a yawl or ketch. mizzen
A heavy anchor or weight permanently in position mooring
A buoy fitted with a ring and used for mooring a boat. mooring buoy
Abuoy with a conical top, found on the starboard hand on entering a channel and painted red. They are usually numbered evenly. nun
Away from the shore. offshore
Sailing downwind or before the wind. off the wind
Sailing close-hauled. on the wind
Away from the centerline of the boat; mounted on the stern. outboard
The line that pulls the mainsail away from the mast and tightens the foot of the sail along the boom outhaul
A short piece of rope secured to the bow of a small boat and used for making her fst to a dock painter
To turn the bow away from the wind pay off
The upper after comer of a gaff sail. peak
A three-sided flag. pendant
To sail so close to the wind as to allow the sails to luff. pinch
A bolt of metal secured to the rudder and fitting into the grudgeon. It gives a swinging suppor to the rudder pintle
To head clsoe to the wind. point
The left side of a boat as one faces forward. port
A course with the wind coming from the port and the sails trimmed on the starboard side. port tack
That portion of a vessel's side near the stern. quarter
The outer edge of the deck. rail
The angle of a boat's mast from the vertical rake
Sailing with a beam wind. reach
The command given to prepare for coming about. ready about
The straight-line compass course between two points; hence the shortest course, except over long distances, where the great circle course is shorter rhumb line
1) In general, a boat's upper works. 2) To set up the spars and standing and running rigging of a sailboat. rig
The wire or lines used to adjust sails. rigging
The curve of the edge of the sail. roach
The line and chain that secure the anchor to the boat rode
A flat wooden shape fitted on the sternpost by pintles and grudgeons. rudder
Point of sail with the wind aft. run
Lengths of webbing used to secure a furled sail to a boom. sail ties
To move the rudder rapidly back and forth to propel the bioat forward. scull
An area with rough or moderate waves. seaway
To make safe. secure
The direction of the leeway of a vessel or of tde or current. set
A U-shaped piece of iron or steel with eyes in the ends, closed by a shackle pin. shackle
To let out a reef and hoist the sail. shake out
To reduce the area of a sail. reef
The wheel of a block pulley. sheave
The line used to control the forward or athwartships movement of a sail. sheet
Vertical wires that hold the mast upright. shrouds
A continuatio of the keel aft taht protects the propeller and sometimes connects to the heel of the rudder. skeg
A balloonlike sail used on a downwind course. spinnaker
To join rope by tucking the strands together. splice
An athwartships support atht holds the shrouds away from the mast. spreader
A line used when the boat is docked to keep her from moving forward and aft. spring line
A brief storm that arrives suddenly. squall
A vessel that maintains her course and speed. stand-on vessel
That part of a ship's rigging that is permanently secured and not movable (stays, shrouds, and spreaders). standing rigging
The right side of a boat as one faces forward. starboard
A course with the wind coming from the starboard and the sails trimmed on the port side. starboard tack
A rope of hemp, wire, or iron used for supporting a mast fore-and_aft. stay
A small triangular sail used forward of the mast on a reaching course. staysail
The timber at the extreme forward part of a boat, secured to the forward end of the keel and supporting the bow planks. stem
The frame into which the heel of a mast fits or stops. step
The after section of the boat. stern
To put away. stow
A row of planks in the hull. strake
To fill with water. swamp
1) The forward lower corner of a sail where the luff and foot meet. 2) Any course on which the wind comes from either side of the boat. 3) To change course by passing into the wind. tack
An arrangement of ropes and blocks to give a mechanical advantage. tackle
1) A small boat employed to go back and forth to the shore from a larger boat. 2) Heeling easily when close-hauled. tender
An iron ring grooved on the outside for a rope grommet. thimble
The athwartships seat in a boat. thwart
Steering instrument that controls the rudder. tiller
1) A line or wire to hold the boom off the deck when not in use (also called a boom lift). 2) A line from the mast to the spinnaker pole, controlling spinnaker pole height. topping lift
On deck. topside
The stern facing of the hull transom
A sliding fitting to which the mainsheet is attached, keeping the boom in the same place as it is moved in and out. traveler
1) To adjust the sails. 2) The position of the sails relative to the wind. trim
The delicate adjustment of a boat's rigging, sails, and hull to the proepr balance to assure the best sailing performance. tuning
A threaded link that pulls two eyes together, used for setting up standing rigging. turnbuckle
A change of direction, as in the wind. veer
The waves from a boat. wake
An imaginary line around the hull at the surface of the water when the boat is on an even keel waterline
The state of the atmosphere at a certian time and place. weather
Well equipped. well found
To bind the strands of a line's end with yam or cord. whip
A light spar extending from the mast and used to hold the jib out when sailig off the wind. whisker pole
A mechanical device to aid in trimming a line. It consists basically of a coil, on which the line is wound, and a crank to do the winding. winch
Toward the wind, the opposite of leeward. windward
Running before the wind with the sails set on both sides. wing-and-wing
The regular sails on a boat. working sails
General term for a boat used solely for the personal pleasure of the owner yacht
A two-masted boat with a small after mast located abaft the steering gear. yawl