May 15, 2018
Boating for Beginners
Learn these 8 Boating Terms so You Aren’t Given Away as an Amateur!
If you’re a beginner boater, the world of boating may seem to be confusing and complex. We’ve put together a guide of 8 commonly used boating terms that all beginners should know. Knowing these there’s no way other boaters will see you as an amateur.
Bow and Stern: Every great captain started out just like you, a beginner boater! The bow refers to the front while the stern is the rear. Similarly, equipment found at the bow of the boat (such as a line) would be called the bowline (What’s a bowline? Keep reading to find out!.
Port and Starboard: Easily the most important terms in boating because they are used to tell other boaters where you are going. Port and Starboard are used as universal directions for left and right from the captain’s perspective. Having a hard time remembering which one is which? Keep in mind that there are 4 letters in port and 4 letters in left.
Helm: This refers to the area from which the boat is steered and captained.
Waterline: A boater should always be paying attention to their waterline. It is the line on the hull that marks where the boat sits when it is properly loaded with equipment and passengers.
Draft: Relative to the waterline, a boat’s draft is the depth of water that a boat needs in order to float freely. The draft is measured from the waterline to the lowest point of the boat.
Mooring: The term refers to tying up your boat. A mooring is an anchored float that you can attach your boat to; then your boat is moored.
Cleat: The secure metal or plastic fitting that is used to attach lines to a boat. The lines on your boat such as your bowline (the line at the front of your boat) are used to secure the vessel to the dock by tying around the cleats.
Head, Galley, Saloon: These terms only apply to larger boats, as they are the terms for a boat’s bathroom, kitchen and living area in that order. Depending on the size of the boat, these spaces can range from quite cramped to vastly spacious.
And there you have it! Knowing your way around boating terminology is the first step to getting out on the water and becoming a smart and certified boater. Next up, make sure you know the rules of the waterways and get your very own Personal Craft Operator Card or Boating License.
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