Boating terminolgy



Found this on another site, thought it might be useful, especially to any newbies to bone up on some of the terms used in boating.

It behoves anyone considering a boat purchase to become thoroughly familiar with the terminology associated with boating. Not only will it make you feel at ease discussing boats, but it also serves to warn others that you are an individual to be reckoned with. Here are some definitions for the nautical terms you will undoubtedly encounter in quest for your new boat. Take time to learn them now!

Aboard - A piece of wood that may be used to repair your boat.

Adrift - A method of moving across the water when nothing on your boat works. You normally do not have a lot of input as to where you are actually going, but you can get there.

Anchor - A mechanical device that is supposed to keep the boat in one place (see dragging). These devices are sometimes used to dispose of expensive anchor lines and chain when used without being properly secured at both ends of the anchor line.

Astern - A type of look. Your spouse gives you astern look when you attempt to buy things for your new boat.

Bilge - A storage area in the bottom of the boat for all the things you dropped and can not find. Also a mixing area for water, fuel and head output.

Bilge pump - An electrical device designed to remove the charge from your batteries.

Bow - What you do in front of your banker or spouse when you are asking for more money to spend on your boat. As your boat will surely cost much more than what you initially asked for, it is imperative that you learn how to do this quickly.

Bridge - Something you cross to get to the other side of a body of water when you do not have a boat available. Can also used for removing masts of sailing vessels if the bridge is low enough.

Capsize - They ask you this when you go to buy a hat or baseball cap.

Crew - This term refers to the people working on your boat. They are usually friends or acquaintances who do not find out about the "work" part of the ride until you are away from the dock. Crews have a high turnover rate, they normally will never want to see you again, let alone set foot on your boat.

Deck - This is what your spouse will do to you after discovering how much money you have spent on the boat without first obtaining permission.

Dock - A medical professional, not sure why the term shows up in a nautical dictionary.

Dragging - A method of moving when the anchor is deployed (see anchor).

GPS - An electronic device that allows you to navigate out of sight of landmarks before the batteries expire.

Hatch - A device similar in nature to a mousetrap, in that it will drop down on your head or hand without warning. Also an opening for admitting water into the boat.

Head - It is the part of your body that sits on top of your neck; you should not be buying a boat unless you already know this. Also useful for storing items like hats, sunglasses and such.

Keel - A stopping device for your boat similar to brakes. It works by contacting the bottom of the water body you are in, thus inhibiting forward motion.

Keys - These items are used for opening locks and lockers aboard your boat, starting the engine and such. Keys can usually be found in the water beneath your boat. Also a place in Florida.

No Wake Zone - An area of a waterway in which you are prohibited from waking people who may be sleeping.

Overboard - the final resting-place for anything expensive dropped while on board a boat.

PFD - Acronym for Personal Floatation Device. This is a multifunction device normally used as a cushion, packing material or sponge. The Coast Guard requires one for each person on board to ensure they have something soft to sit on in case standard seating is limited.

Port - What you drink when you are on the boat.

Propeller - A metal thing that looks like a fan and is attached to your motor.Propellers typically do not have the same number of blades they came with. The propeller is a dual-purpose item. It both propels your boat through the water and catches stray dock and rigging lines before they can harm wildlife.

Rudder - The device that steers your boat. The rudder is usually the first part of your boat to come off when you hit a rock.

Rock - Device used to remove rudders from boats. Also what your boat does just after you fill all your glasses to the brim with port.

Stern - The flat, back end of your vessel, included so you have a place to paint the name of your boat.

Through-the-hull fitting - A leak.

Wake - This event is part of a funeral and often confused with boating. Also what boaters participate in when they do not practice safe boating.

Anyone got any more to add?


Chandler (slang) - A swarthy unscrupulous ruffian

Cruiser - (slang) - Nocturnal shore-based hazard found hanging around outside naval establishments (see Slapper).

Compass - Magnetic device which always points North. Used mainly in the Solent where all the good pubs are on the mainland, therefore usless in Scotland. (See Reef)

Fender - Inflatable device with self-detaching cord for marking the ships wake.

Top Gallant Royal - The skipper's wife

Boom - long stick used as an anaesthetic.

Capstan - (obsolete) Superseded by Marlboro Lights.

Winch - rotating device for removing fingers (see boom)

Yatch - (dialect) corruption of Yacht. Used by West Country Skippers

Sloop - Notable pub at the head of Wooton Creek, I.o.W.

Mate - (dialect) A foodstuff for sandwiches - as in potted mate - cold mate etc.

Marine Mortgage - method of doubling the price of a boat, whilst halving its value.

Reef - Invisible underwater hazard used for checking compass deviation.

Course Made Good. The shortest distance between two pubs.

Leeway - The longest distance between two pubs.

Screw - (adj.) Method a Ship's Chandler uses to calculate retail prices.

Sea-Sick - see Marine Mortgage.

Poop Deck (sailing) - A downwind facility for the disposal of waste.

Collision Regulations (ColRegs) Paper based material used in conjunction with Poop-Deck operations.


Re: Boating terminolgy - DECK defination


It is much easier to get forgiveness than permission!


The meaning of B.O.A.T.

Break Out Another Thousand (£'s)