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  • Glossary
     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 

     A Return To Top
    Abeam - At right angles to the fore-and-aft line
    Aft - Towards the stern of the boat
    Astern - To travel backwards, or behind the stern

     B Return To Top
    Backstay - Part of the rigging that supports the mast (the wire runs from the top of the mast to the stern)
    Bearing - Direction according to a compass
    Beaufort Scale - Scale describing wind force. Winds are graded by the effect of their force
    Bilge - An area at the bottom of a boat where water collects (so that it may be pumped out)
    Bilge Pump - Pump used to remove water from the bilge
    Bow - Front of a boat
    Buoy - anchored float which marks a position on the water

     C Return To Top
    Capsize - To overturn a boat
    Catamaran - Twin-hulled boat
    Cleat - Fitting for securing ropes to
    Coaming - Raised structure around a hatch, devised to prevent water entering

     D Return To Top
    Dinghy - Small open boat, such as a small sailing or rowing boat
    Downwind - To move in the same direction as the wind
    Draught - The minimum water depth required for a vessel to float (ie the depth of a vessel below the waterline)

     E Return To Top
    Ebb Tide - Lowering water level after high water

     F Return To Top
    Fathom - Nautical depth measurement equivalent to six feet
    Flood Tide - Climbing water level after low water
    Foot - The lower edge of the sail

     G Return To Top
    GPS - Acronym for Global Positioning System (uses satellites in fixed orbit to pinpoint your location)

     H Return To Top
    Headsail - A sail attached ahead of the mast
    Helm - The wheel used to steer a boat

     I Return To Top

     J Return To Top

     K Return To Top
    Knot - i) A nautical unit of speed; ii) A fastening made by interweaving rope

     L Return To Top
    Latitude - Distance north or south from the equator (which is 0), measured in degrees
    Lee - The side of a vessel sheltered from the wind
    Leeward - Downwind
    Longitude - Distance east or west of the meridian, displayed in degrees

     M Return To Top
    Mast - Vertical structure holding the sails

     N Return To Top
    Nautical Mile - unit of distance at sea, one minute of latitude (or 6076 feet)

     O Return To Top
    Offshore Wind - wind blowing away from the land
    Onshore Wind - wind blowing towards the land

     P Return To Top
    Port - When looking forwards, the left side of a boat
    Painter - A rope attached to the bow of a boat for use in towing or mooring

     Q Return To Top
    Quarter - End of the side of a boat nearest the stern

     R Return To Top
    Reef - To shorten sail area (usually by rolling up and securing the bottom) when wind speed increases

     S Return To Top
    Sheet - A rope which controls the movement of a sail
    Spinnaker - A lightweight sail, attached in front of the mast, used in downward sailing
    Starboard - When facing front, the right side of the boat
    Stern - The rear of a boat

     T Return To Top
    Trim - Adjusting the sails
    Transom - Flat stern on the hull of a boat

     U Return To Top

     V Return To Top

     W Return To Top
    Windward - Towards the wind

     X Return To Top

     Y Return To Top
    Yacht - Small sailing ship (generally used for racing and recreation)

     Z Return To Top