Abaft: The direction towards the stern or near the back of the pleasure craft.

Abreast: Side by side; by the side of the craft.

Adrift: Loose, not on moorings or towline.

Aft: Towards the rear of the pleasure craft.

Aground: Touching or fast to the waterway bottom.

Ahead: The direction in front of the bow of the pleasure craft.

Amid ship: In or toward the centre of the boat.

Anchor swivel: The connector between the anchor and the anchor line

Beam: The width of a boat at its widest point.

Bilge: The lowest point on a boat.

Bow: The forward or front part of a boat.

Bow-eye: The part that the trailer winch hooks to on the boat.

Channel: A length of water wider than a strait that joins two larger areas of water.

Circle of death: This is the scenario in which a boat operator falls overboard while the engine is still running. The boat then circles back and hits the operator.

Coupler: A mechanism that is bolted or welded onto the end of a trailer tongue.

Double bottom: A compartment some boats have between the floor and hull of the boat, for safety.

Draft: The distance from the waterline to the lowest point of the hull.

Flame-tight: Secured tightly so as to be resistant to flame and preventive of explosion.

Freeboard: The height of a ship’s side between the waterline and the deck.

Gas separator: A device that removes water and solid contaminants from the fuel before it reaches the fuel pump.

Ground tackle: All of the anchor equipment including the anchor, the anchor line and the rode.

Grounded: Firmly planted on the ground, as a portable gas tank.


Hitch: Also called a tow-hitch or tow-bar, a device attached to the frame of a vehicle for towing a boat.

Inboard end: The end of the anchor line that is attached to the boat.

Intake grate: The suction area on the bottom of a PWC.

International waters: Oceans, seas, and waters outside of national jurisdiction.

Jet thrust nozzle: The part of a PWC through which water is forced to create propulsion.

Jetty: A narrow piece of land that extends into a waterway.

Lateral stability: The ability of a PWC to stay upright and not tilt sideways when crossing a wake.

Mainsail: The principal sail on a sailboat.

Non-pyrotechnic: Visual distress signals that do not ignite, such as hand signals or code flags.

Outboard end: The end of the anchor line that is attached to the anchor.

Outdrive: A power unit and attached propeller mounted at the stern of a boat, outside the hull.

Propulsion system: The source of power of a PWC, which is created by water being sucked in and propelled out.

Pyrotechnic: Igniting, as in visual distress signals that provide lighted visibility.

Rapids: A white-water area that is unsafe for boaters and especially unsafe for paddle crafts.

Rode: The line or chain attached to the anchor and secured to the boat.

Rudder: A device used to steer a boat. It may be either outboard or inboard. Outboard rudders are hung on the stern or transom. Inboard rudders are hung from a keel.

Running aground: When a boat hits shallow ground or an obstacle while underway and becomes stuck on the obstacle.

Sniff test: Using your nose to smell/detect gasoline fumes on your boat.

Trim: The forward/rear angle of the boat in the water.

Winch: A hauling or lifting device consisting of a rope or chain winding around a horizontal rotating drum.

Waterline: On the boat’s hull, this is the line at which the boat sits in the water when the boat is properly loaded with passengers and equipment.

VHF radio: Very High Frequency radio