Sailing Terminology

The prime focus of this page is sailing terminology or the terms used by sailors. Sailors are known to use traditional terminology in sailing for the parts of or directions on a vessel. The sailing language discussed here on this page will help you get well familiar with the sailing lingo.

Given below are the most common terms used by sailors:

Above board – On or above the deck, in plain view
Abeam – On the beam
Aboard – On or in a vessel
Adrift – Afloat and unattached in any way to the shore or seabed
Aft: rearward
Ahoy – A cry to draw attention.
Anchorage – A suitable place for a ship to anchor
Avast – Stop! Cease from whatever is being done.
Aye, aye – Reply to an order or command
Bend – A knot used to join two ropes or lines
Bow – The front of a ship
Fish – To repair a mast or spar with a fillet of wood
Foot – The lower edge of any sail.
Port: left
Forward or fore: front
Bow: forward part of the hull
Stern: aft part of the hull
Beam: the widest part
Masts: Vertical spars
Booms: horizontal spars
Ship's company – The crew of a ship
Windage – Wind resistance of the boat
Rope - Term used only for raw material
Lines - Steel cables that support masts
Walls - bulkheads or ceilings
Floors - 'soles' or decks.
Head - Refers to the toilet
Galley -The kitchen
Vanishing angle – The highest degree of heel after which a boat is unable to return to an upright position.
Touch and go – The bottom of the ship touching the bottom, but not grounding.
Sick bay – The compartment reserved for medical purposes.
Ox-eye – Any weather phenomenon indicating an upcoming storm.
Jack –A sailor.

The above mentioned terms used by sailors do not cover the entire sailing terminology. However these are some of the common sailing lingo which one should be well aware of.



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