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Definition of yachting noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  • They go yachting at weekends.
  • a yachting holiday

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meaning of yachting in one word

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Definition of yacht

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Definition of yacht  (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

Examples of yacht in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'yacht.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

obsolete Dutch jaght , from Middle Low German jacht , short for jachtschip , literally, hunting ship

1557, in the meaning defined above

1836, in the meaning defined above

Phrases Containing yacht

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Cite this Entry

“Yacht.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yacht. Accessed 1 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of yacht.

Kids Definition of yacht  (Entry 2 of 2)

from obsolete Dutch jaght (now jacht ), short for jachtschip, literally, "hunting ship"

More from Merriam-Webster on yacht

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yacht

Nglish: Translation of yacht for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yacht for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yacht

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Definition of 'yachting'

IPA Pronunciation Guide

yachting in American English

Yachting in british english, examples of 'yachting' in a sentence yachting, trends of yachting.

View usage over: Since Exist Last 10 years Last 50 years Last 100 years Last 300 years

In other languages yachting

  • American English : yachting / yˈɒtɪŋ /
  • Brazilian Portuguese : iatismo
  • Chinese : 帆船运动
  • European Spanish : vela
  • French : navigation de plaisance N
  • German : Segeln
  • Italian : yachting
  • Japanese : ヨットの操縦
  • Korean : 요트 놀이
  • European Portuguese : iatismo
  • Spanish : vela

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100 Basic Yachting & Sailing Terms You Need To Know

100 Basic Yachting & Sailing Terms You Need To Know

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Yachting is an increasingly popular activity that involves exploring and enjoying bodies of water aboard sailboats or motorboats. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned sailor or brand-new to the sport; knowing the language used in yachting is crucial for efficient communication and secure navigation. We’ll look at some of the most often used terminology and expressions in the world of yachting in this list of 100 fundamental yachting terms, from boat parts to navigation and safety gear, and more. This list is an excellent place to start whether you’re seeking to brush up on your yachting terminology or are just beginning into the sport.

Aft – Toward the back of the boat

Anchor – A heavy object used to keep a boat in place

Ballast – Weight added to the bottom of a boat to improve stability

Beam – The width of a boat at its widest point

Bilge – The lowest point inside the boat where water collects

Bimini – A type of sunshade or canopy used on boats

meaning of yachting in one word

Bow – The front of a boat

Buoy – A floating marker used to mark channels, hazards or anchorages

Cabin – An enclosed space on a boat used for sleeping and living quarters

Capsize – To tip over or turn upside down

Cleat – A metal or plastic fitting used to secure ropes or lines to the boat

Cockpit – The open area in the back of the boat where the steering and controls are located

Compass – A navigational tool used to determine the direction

Crew – The people who work on a boat, assisting with sailing or other duties

Deck – The top surface of a boat where people can stand or walk

Dock – A platform or structure where boats can be tied up or moored

Draft – The depth of a boat below the waterline

Fender – A cushion or bumper used to protect the boat from damage when docking

Flag – A piece of fabric used to signal or communicate on a boat

Galley – The kitchen area on a boat

Genoa – A type of sail that is used for cruising and racing

GPS – Global Positioning System, a navigational system that uses satellites to determine the location

Halyard – A rope or line used to hoist or lower a sail

Hatch – An opening in the deck or cabin of a boat

Head – The bathroom on a boat

Hull – The main body of the boat, typically made of fiberglass or wood

Jib – A small triangular sail located forward of the mast

Keel – A fin-shaped object located under the boat that provides stability and helps prevent drifting

Knot – A measure of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour

Lanyard – A short cord or rope used to secure equipment or gear on a boat

Latitude – A measure of distance north or south of the equator

Leeward – The side of the boat sheltered from the wind

Lifeline – A line or rope used to provide safety and support on the deck of a boat

Log – A device used to measure speed and distance traveled

Mast – A vertical pole or spar that supports the sails

Mooring – The process of securing a boat to a dock or anchor

Nautical – Relating to or involving ships, sailors, or navigation on water

Navigation – The process of planning and controlling the course of a boat

Oar – A long pole with a flat blade used for rowing a boat

Outboard – A motor located on the outside of the boat

Port – The left side of a boat when facing forward

Propeller – A device that uses rotating blades to provide forward motion to a boat

Pulpit – A railing or fence located on the bow of the boat

Rudder – A flat object located at the back of the boat used to steer

Sail – A piece of fabric used to catch the wind and propel the boat

Sailing is the practice of using the wind to power a vessel through the water

Sheet – A line or rope used to control the angle of the sails

Skipper – The person in charge of operating a boat

Stern – The back of the boat

Tack – The direction of a boat when it is sailing upwind

Throttle – The control used to increase or decrease engine speed

Tiller – A handle or lever used to steer a boat

Transom – The flat, vertical surface at the back of the boat where the outboard motor is mounted

Trim – The adjustment of the sails and other equipment to optimize performance

Wake – The waves created by a boat as it moves through the water

Windward – The side of the boat facing into the wind

Winch – A device used to pull or hoist heavy objects on a boat

Yacht – A larger, more luxurious type of boat typically used for pleasure cruising

Bilge pump – A device used to pump water out of the bilge

Boom – The horizontal pole or spar that extends from the mast to support the bottom of the sail

Bowline – A knot used to secure a line to a fixed object

Cam cleat – A device used to secure a line under tension

Catamaran – A type of boat with two parallel hulls

Centerboard – A movable fin located underneath the boat that helps improve stability and maneuverability

Chafe – The wearing away or damage to a rope or line caused by friction against another surface

Clew – The lower corner of a sail

Current – The flow of water in a particular direction

Dinghy – A small boat used to transport people or supplies to and from shore

Fairlead – A device used to guide a line or rope in a particular direction

Flotation device – A piece of equipment used to keep a person afloat in the water

Forestay – The wire or rope that supports the mast at the front of the boat

Gaff – A spar used to support the upper edge of a sail

Headway – The forward motion of a boat

Inboard – A motor located inside the boat

Jibsheet – The line or rope used to control the jib sail

Keelboat – A type of sailboat with a fixed keel for stability and maneuverability

Luff – The forward edge of a sail

Masthead – The top of the mast where the highest sails are attached

Navigation lights – Lights used to signal other boats of the position and direction of a boat at night

Outhaul – The line or rope used to control the tension of the bottom of the sail

Planing – The state of a boat when it is moving quickly across the water and partially out of the water

Powerboat – A type of boat that is powered by an engine rather than sails

Ratchet block – A device used to reduce the effort required to pull a line under tension

Reefing – The process of reducing the size of the sails in high wind conditions

Rigging – The system of ropes and wires used to support and control the sails and mast

Rudderpost – The vertical post or shaft that the rudder is attached to

Scow – A type of sailboat with a flat bottom and squared-off ends

Shackle – A metal fitting used to connect two pieces of rope or chain

Spinnaker – A large, lightweight sail used to catch the wind when sailing down

wind 90. Spreaders – The horizontal struts on a mast that help to support and spread the shrouds

Standing rigging – The fixed parts of a boat’s rigging system, such as the mast and shrouds

Stern light – A white light on the back of a boat used to signal other boats at night

Stowaway – A person who hides on a boat in order to travel without permission

Tiller extension – A device used to extend the length of the tiller to make steering easier

Topside – The upper part of a boat, above the waterline

Transom door – A door in the back of a boat that provides access to the water

Traveler – A device used to move the mainsail along the boom

Waterline – The level at which a boat floats in the water

Winch handle – A handle used to turn winches to control the sails and lines

Yawl – A type of sailboat with two masts, the smaller of which is located aft of the rudder post.

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Superyacht Glossary: Terms You Will Need To Know

Are you starting a yachting career but not from a boating background? Then, it’s time to get across the superyacht jargon to feel well-versed on your first boat or day working experience. Here’s a glossary of terms about your new workplace.

meaning of yachting in one word

The Basics: Navigating Your Way Around the Boat

Bow : Front of the boat. (Pointy end.)

Stern : Back of the boat. (Blunt bit.)

Foredeck . Forward deck.

Aft deck : Rear deck.

Midships : The halfway point between bow and stern. Also, amidships. 

Port : Left-hand side of the boat (when facing the bow).

Starboard : Right-hand side of the boat (when facing the bow).

Quarter : A yacht can be divided into quarters, and this can help a captain direct their crew where to go on deck. Port Bow and Starboard Bow cover the two areas from midships up to the bow. Port Quarter and Starboard Quarter cover the areas running aft from midships to the stern.

Beam : Width of the yacht at its widest point.

Draft/draught : Depth of the yacht under the waterline.

Hull : The ’base’ of the boat. Everything from the main decking down.

Superstructure : Everything built on top of the hull. (Upper decks)

Bridge/Wheelhouse : Where the captain drives the boat. An interior space on an upper deck with good visibility across the front of the yacht to sea.

Flybridge : A secondary exterior helm station where the captain drives the boat from the yacht’s top deck. The flybridge is outdoors and offers almost 360-degree visibility.

Cockpit : An area on deck where the captain drives the boat (sailboat). Also, often a seating/dining area.

Helm : The yacht wheel and steering system. One can ’stand at the helm’, ’go to the helm’ or even ’helm the boat’.

Galley : Where the magic happens. (Never call it a kitchen!)

Forepeak : A compartment/large locker or cabin located up in the nose of the boat, under the foredeck. On small sailing boats, the crew may live in the forepeak cabin.

Swim platform : A platform at the back of the boat, off the aft deck, for swimming and launching the water toys.

Transom : The vertical span across the stern where the boat’s name is written.

Passerelle : The gangplank! There’s nothing like walking across a superyacht passerelle for the first time. (Remember, never step on the passerelle with your shoes on).

Lazarette : Storage in the boat’s stern, under the aft deck area, is generally where the water toys are stored.

Main Salon : The formal lounge space on the main deck. Adjoins typically the formal dining room, often as an open-plan space.

Sky Lounge : Upper salon. A comfortable lounge space, generally with a large-screen TV, card/occasional tables and possibly a piano.

Sundeck : Top deck of a motor yacht, where you’ll find sunbeds, BBQ, a bar, a dining table, and a Jacuzzi.

Stateroom : Cabin. Across the industry, superyacht cabins are increasingly called staterooms or suites on larger yachts. However, in practice, crew generally continue to call them cabins —or they cut off the word altogether, instead saying ’clean the master/VIP/starboard forward’ etc.

Head and Day head :   In sailor-speak, a ’head’ is a boat toilet. On superyachts, it’s relatively uncommon to call a bathroom a head, except in one crucial leftover case: the day head. This small toilet/washroom is one that guests will use when they want to avoid going back to their cabin to use the bathroom. On superyachts, they are located on the main and upper decks and occasionally on the sundeck.

Note that you’ll still hear some crew say, ’I’m going to use the head’ instead of ’I’m going to the toilet/bathroom’ because the word ’head’ is much more common on sailboats than motor yachts.

meaning of yachting in one word

Lines and Equipment

Bow Line/Aft Line : The rope tied from the bow/aft to the dock stops the vessel from moving when in its berth. 

Spring Line : A line tied diagonally from the bow or stern to a point on the dock to stop the yacht from moving forwards or backwards. 

Cleat : A piece of stainless steel fixed to the deck or capping rails that lines are tied to.

Bulwark : The sides of a motor yacht that rise up from the deck. (The outside bit that stops you from falling off).

Capping rail : The rail on top of the bulwark, which is usually varnished to a high gloss.

Fender : The strong rubber ’balloons’ suspended over the sides of the yacht to protect the paintwork when the yacht is docked or manoeuvring in or out of berths.

Stabiliser : Underwater systems to reduce the yacht rolling at sea. Zero-speed stabilisers are stabilisers that work both at anchor and underway.

Tender : A small boat used to ferry guests ashore, get supplies, take rubbish in etc. There’s a vast range of tenders, including high-speed and limousine tenders, which are covered tenders that protect the guests from wind and sea spray.

Rescue tender : A rescue tender is a tender over 3.8m that is classed as one of the yacht’s vessels for rescue operations under SOLAS guidelines. It has certain safety specifications but can also be used for everyday boat operations, just like a standard tender, so you’ll often hear the captain say, ’Take the rescue tender’.

meaning of yachting in one word

Other Yachting Terms You’ll Need To Know

An APA is a sum, usually 25-35% of the charter fee, that the charterer will pay in advance so that the yacht crew can stock the yacht with food, drink, and fuel and have money in the kitty for things like berthing fees. Any unused money at the end of the trip is returned to the charterer.

Bimini : A shade awning.

Bulkheads : The yacht’s internal walls and watertight compartments.

Ensign : The yacht’s flag, indicating which country it is registered in. Note that yachts are only sometimes registered in the nationality of the people that own them. And also that a yacht is legally considered a tiny, floating part of the country whose flag it flies and therefore operates under its laws and jurisdiction.

Knot : A measure of speed used on boats equal to one nautical mile (1.8km/hr).

Nautical Mile : Different from land miles! A nautical mile (1852m) is longer than a land mile (1609m).

Preference sheet : The form a charterer fills out to inform the yacht’s crew of their preferences regarding food, drink, activities etc. This preference sheet is given to the senior crew before the charter so the captain, chef, and chief stew can prepare the yacht for the charter.

Pullman : A pull-down berth to add an extra bed. These pull-down wall-mounted bunks are usually found in twin cabins for a third bed.

Phew! See? You’re already an expert :)

meaning of yachting in one word

Contact information

Sharon Rose

Understanding the yachting world: Definitions and origins

  • Understanding the yachting world: Definitions and origins

The world of yachting and sailing is a realm of elegance, adventure, and rich history. However, the terminology surrounding these nautical activities can sometimes be confusing. From the definition of a yacht to the spelling of various sailing-related terms, this article sets out to demystify the language of the seas, offering insight into the origins and meanings of these captivating words.

Decoding the yacht: Definition and origin

A yacht is more than a vessel; it's a symbol of luxury and sophistication. Derived from the Dutch word "jacht," meaning "hunt" or "chase," yachts were initially swift, maneuverable ships used for pursuit. Over time, yachts have evolved into opulent pleasure craft enjoyed by sailing enthusiasts and the elite.

Exploring the nautical term "sailing"

Sailing goes beyond moving through water using wind power; it encapsulates a spirit of exploration and freedom. It's the art of harnessing wind energy to navigate the vast oceans, representing a harmonious relationship between humans and nature.

Read our top notch articles on topics such as sailing, sailing tips and destinations in our Magazine .

Unveiling the word "yacht" and its meaning

The term "yacht" conjures images of sleek vessels gliding gracefully across the water. Its meaning, however, extends beyond aesthetics. A yacht signifies an elegant and luxurious ship, often associated with pleasure and leisure rather than utilitarian purposes.

Yachting in focus: Definition and significance

Yachting is the activity of sailing on a yacht, encompassing both recreational and competitive aspects. It's a way to experience the allure of the open waters while indulging in the comforts and amenities offered by these sophisticated vessels.

The intricacies of yacht pronunciation

The pronunciation of "yacht" varies across regions, with some emphasizing the "ch" sound, while others opt for a softer "y" sound. This linguistic diversity adds an interesting layer to the yachting world, reflecting the global appeal of sailing.

Luxury yacht

Luxury yacht

Name or yacht? Understanding the terminology

In the yachting community, the term "name yacht" refers to a yacht that is well-known and often carries a reputation. These yachts are associated with luxury, innovation, and the personalities of their owners.

Diving into the origins of yachts

The origin of yachts traces back to the 17th century Netherlands, where they were initially used for naval purposes and later transformed into vessels for recreational sailing. Their evolution mirrors the changing perceptions of sailing from utility to leisure.

Yacht vs. yatch: Spelling matters

The correct spelling is "yacht," and "yatch" is a common misspelling. Spelling accuracy is vital, especially in maritime communication, where precision ensures clear understanding and effective conveyance of information.

Sailing terminology: What is a dinghy?

A dinghy is a small, open boat often used for short trips, transportation between a larger vessel and the shore, or for recreational sailing. Dinghies come in various sizes and are an essential part of sailing activities.

Deciphering "catamaran" and its spelling

A catamaran is a type of boat characterized by two parallel hulls connected by a deck. The spelling is "catamaran," and understanding this term is crucial for discussing and identifying different types of vessels.

Sailing's essence: The word and its meaning

Sailing embodies more than the physical act; it's a metaphor for life's journey. Just as sailors navigate challenges on the water, individuals navigate the currents of their lives, guided by the winds of opportunity and the compass of determination.

The language of yachting and sailing is rich with history and significance. From the definition of a yacht to the meaning of sailing-related terms, understanding these words enhances our appreciation of the maritime world and the timeless allure of the seas.

So what are you waiting for? Take a look at our range of charter boats and head to some of our favourite sailing destinations .

FAQs about definitions and origins

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21 Common Yachting Terms Explained

Does it ever feel like yacht enthusiasts speak a whole other language? We get it. Everyone was new to yachting once and we all had to learn what different terms mean. Luckily, you have Ahoy Club to show you the ropes. Brush up on your sea vocabulary with some common definitions in our glossary below.

yachting-terms-explained/

Essentially, parking your yacht so that you can hop over to shore and explore. It also refers to the literal anchor which holds your yacht in place.

APA (Advanced Provisioning Allowance)

A deposit paid by charterers to cover expenses during their trip. Expenses may include taxes, harbour fees, food and alcohol.

Base charter rate

The rate that you pay for the hire of your yacht and its crew. This does not include on board expenses and taxes which are covered by your APA (see above).

The total width of the yacht at its widest point.

The bedrooms on your yacht.

A type of yacht with two hulls. It was designed this way for increased stability on the water.

Explorer yacht

A yacht that is built to go to the farthest corners of the globe and into rough terrains. See examples in our past blog .

The territory under which a yacht is registered. The yacht’s flag state will govern the laws and regulations which it must follow.

A traditional motorised sailing yacht typically found in Turkey.

The main body of the yacht floating in the water; covers the front, sides, back and underside.

A boat or yacht’s speed measured in nautical miles per hour (see below).

A large luxury yacht typically measuring over 70m.

A boat with a single hull. May be a sailing yacht, motor yacht, luxury super- or megayacht. See Catamaran above for comparison.

Motor yacht (or M/Y)

A yacht which is powered with engines. 

Nautical mile

A measure of distance on the water. One nautical mile is equal to 1852 metres or 1-minute of latitude on a navigational chart.

Preference sheet

The questionnaire that guests fill out before beginning their charter. It is meant to provide as much information as possible to the captain, crew and chef so that they may meet your preferences for an excellent trip.

Sailing yacht (or S/Y)

A yacht which is primarily powered with wind sails. Most also have motors as a backup.

The main living or lounge area on your yacht. Pronounced ‘sal-on’ not ‘sal-oon’.

A luxury yacht measuring between 24-69m.

A smaller boat housed on your yacht which can be used for transfers to shore, with your watertoys or on short day trips.

VAT (Value Added Tax)

A compulsory consumption tax set out by the countries you are visiting. See our blogs on the recent changes in Italy and France to learn more.

Yachting from A to Z with Ahoy Club

With Ahoy Club, you can expect everything about yacht chartering to be simpler. From our digital platform allowing you to browse thousands of yachts to our concierge team here to help with any questions. Check out our yachts for charter and test out your new yachting lingo ASAP.

Make an Enquiry

meaning of yachting in one word

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Nautical + Sailing Terms You Should Know [578 Phrases]

Nautical + Sailing Terms You Should Know [578 Phrases]

June 5, 2019 2:05 pm

A seaman’s jargon is among the most challenging to memorize. With over 500 terms used to communicate with a captain, crew, and sailors regarding navigation and more, there’s a word for nearly everything. No need to jump ship, this comprehensive list will have you speaking the lingo in no time.

Abaft the beam: A relative bearing of greater than 90 degrees from the bow. e.g. “two points abaft the port beam.”

Abaft: Toward the stern, relative to some object (“abaft the fore hatch”).

Abandon Ship: An imperative to leave the vessel immediately, usually in the face of some imminent danger.

Abeam: “On the beam”, a relative bearing at right angles to the centerline of the ship’s keel.

Aboard: On or in a vessel. Close aboard means near a ship.

Above board: On or above the deck, in plain view, not hiding anything.

Accommodation ladder: A portable flight of steps down a ship’s side.

Admiral: Senior naval officer of Flag rank. In ascending order of seniority, Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, Admiral and Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy). Derivation reputedly Arabic, from “Emir al Bath” (“Ruler of the waters”).

Admiralty law: Body of law that deals with maritime cases. In the UK administered by the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice.

Adrift: Afloat and unattached in any way to the shore or seabed. It may also imply that a vessel is not anchored and not under control, therefore goes where the wind and current take her, (loose from moorings, or out of place). Also refers to any gear not fastened down or put away properly. It can also be used to mean “absent without leave”.

Affreightment: Hiring of a vessel

Aft: Towards the stern (of the vessel).

Afterdeck: Deck behind a ship’s bridge

Afterguard: Men who work the aft sails on the quarterdeck and poop deck

Aground: Resting on or touching the ground or bottom.

Ahead: Forward of the bow.

Ahoy: A cry to draw attention. A term used to hail a boat or a ship, as “Boat ahoy!”.

Ahull: With sails furled and helm lashed to the lee-side.

Aid to Navigation: ( ATON) Any device external to a vessel or aircraft specifically intended to assist navigators in determining their position or safe course, or to warn them of dangers or obstructions to navigation.

All hands: Entire ship’s company, both officers and enlisted personnel.

All-Round White Light: On power-driven vessels less than 39.4 feet in length, this light may be used to combine a masthead light and sternlight into a single white light that can be seen by other vessels from any direction. This light serves as an anchor light when sidelights are extinguished.

Aloft: Above the ship’s uppermost solid structure; overhead or high above.

Alongside: By the side of a ship or pier.

Amidships (or midships): In the middle portion of the ship, along the line of the keel.

Anchor ball: Black shape hoisted in the forepart of a ship to show that ship is anchored in a fairway.

Anchor buoy: A small buoy secured by a light line to anchor to indicate the position of the anchor on the bottom.

Anchor chain or cable: Chain connecting the ship to the anchor.

Anchor detail: Group of men who handle ground tackle when the ship is anchoring or getting underway.

Anchor light: White light displayed by a ship at anchor. Two such lights are displayed by a ship over 150 feet (46 m) in length.

Anchor watch: Making sure that the anchor is holding and the vessel is not drifting. Important during rough weather and at night. Most marine GPS units have an Anchor Watch alarm capability.

Anchor: An object designed to prevent or slow the drift of a ship, attached to the ship by a line or chain; typically a metal, hook-like object, designed to grip the bottom under the body of water.

Anchorage: A suitable place for a ship to anchor. Area of a port or harbor.

Anchor’s aweigh: Said of an anchor when just clear of the bottom.

As the crow flies: A direct line between two points (which might cross land) which is the way crows travel rather than ships which must go around land.

Ashore: On the beach, shore or land.

Astern: Toward the stern; an object or vessel that is abaft another vessel or object.

ASW: Anti-submarine warfare.

Asylum Harbor: A harbor used to provide shelter from a storm.

Athwart, athwartships: At right angles to the fore and aft or centerline of a ship.

Avast: Stop! Cease or desist from whatever is being done.

Awash: So low in the water that the water is constantly washing across the surface.

Aweigh: Position of an anchor just clear of the bottom.

Aye, aye: Reply to an order or command to indicate that it, firstly, is heard; and, secondly, is understood and will be carried out. (“Aye, aye, sir” to officers).

Azimuth circle: Instrument used to take bearings of celestial objects.

Azimuth compass: An instrument employed for ascertaining the position of the sun with respect to magnetic north. The azimuth of an object is its bearing from the observer measured as an angle clockwise from true north.

Back and fill: To use the advantage of the tide being with you when the wind is not.

Backstays: Long lines or cables, reaching from the rear of the vessel to the mast heads, used to support the mast.

Baggywrinkle: A soft covering for cables (or any other obstructions) that prevents sail chafing from occurring.

Bale Cube (or Bale Capacity): The space available for cargo measured in cubic feet to the inside of the cargo battens, on the frames, and to the underside of the beams.

Ballaster: One who supplies ships with ballast.

Bank (sea floor): A large area of elevated sea floor.

Banyan: Traditional Royal Navy term for a day or shorter period of rest and relaxation.

Bar pilot: A bar pilot guides ships over the dangerous sandbars at the mouth of rivers and bays.

Bar: Large mass of sand or earth, formed by the surge of the sea. They are mostly found at the entrances of great rivers or havens, and often render navigation extremely dangerous, but confer tranquility once inside. See also: Touch and go, grounding. Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘Crossing the bar’ an allegory for death.

Bargemaster: Owner of a barge.

Barrelman: A sailor that was stationed in the crow’s nest.

Beacon: A lighted or unlighted fixed aid to navigation attached directly to the earth’s surface. (Lights and daybeacons both constitute beacons).

Beam ends: The sides of a ship. “On her beam ends” may mean the vessel is literally on her side and possibly about to capsize; more often, the phrase means the vessel is listing 45 degrees or more.

Beam: The beam of a ship is its width at the widest point or a point alongside the ship at the mid-point of its length.

Bear away: Turn away from the wind, often with reference to a transit.

Bear down: Turn away from the wind, often with reference to a transit.

Bearing: The horizontal direction of a line of sight between two objects on the surface of the earth.

Bee: Hardwood on either side of bowsprit through which forestays are reeved

Before the mast: Literally, the area of a ship before the foremast (the forecastle). Most often used to describe men whose living quarters are located here, officers being housed behind (abaft) the mast and enlisted men before the mast. This was because the midships area where the officers were berthed is more stable, being closer to the center of gravity, and thus more comfortable. It is less subject to the up and down movement resulting from the ship’s pitching.

Belay: To secure a rope by winding on a pin or cleat

Belaying pins: Bars of iron or hardwood to which running rigging may be secured, or belayed.

Berth: A bed on a boat, or a space in a port or harbor where a vessel can be tied up.

Best bower (anchor): The larger of two anchors carried in the bow; so named as it was the last, best hope.

Bilge: The bilge is the compartment at the bottom of the hull of a ship or boat where water collects so that it may be pumped out of the vessel at a later time.

Bilged on her anchor: A ship that has run upon her own anchor.

Bimini: Weather-resistant fabric stretched over a stainless steel frame, fastened above the cockpit of a sailboat or flybridge of a power yacht which serves as a rain or sun shade.

Bimmy: A punitive instrument.

Binnacle list: A ship’s sick list. The list of men unable to report for duty was given to the officer or mate of the watch by the ship’s surgeon. The list was kept at the binnacle.

Binnacle: The stand on which the ship’s compass is mounted.

Bitter end: The anchor cable is tied to the bitts when the cable is fully paid out, the bitter end has been reached. The last part of a rope or cable.

Bitts: Posts mounted on a ship for fastening ropes

Bloody: An intensive derived from the substantive ‘blood’, a name applied to the Bucks, Scrowers, and Mohocks of the seventeenth centuries.

Blue Peter: A blue and white flag hoisted at the foretrucks of ships about to sail.

Boat: A craft or vessel designed to float on, and provide transport over, water.

Boatswain or bosun: A non-commissioned officer responsible for the sails, ropes, and boats on a ship who issues “piped” commands to seamen.

Bobstay: Rope used on ships to steady the bowsprit

Bollard: From “bol” or “bole”, the round trunk of a tree. A substantial vertical pillar to which lines may be made fast. Generally on the quayside rather than the ship.

Boltrope: Strong rope stitched to edges of a sail

Booby hatch: A sliding hatch or cover.

Booby: A type of bird that has little fear and therefore is particularly easy to catch, hence booby prize.

Boom vang: A sail control that lets one apply downward tension on the boom, countering the upward tension provided by the mainsail. The boom vang adds an element of control to mainsail shape when the mainsheet is let out enough that it no longer pulls the boom down. Boom vang tension helps control leech twist, a primary component of sail power.

Boom: A spar used to extend the foot of a fore-and-aft sail.

Booms: Masts or yards, lying on board in reserve.

Bosun: Boatswain

Bottomry: Pledging a ship as security in a financial transaction.

Bow: The front of a ship.

Bower: Anchor carried at bow of a ship

Bowline: A type of knot, producing a strong loop of a fixed size, topologically similar to a sheet bend. Also, a rope attached to the side of a sail to pull it towards the bow (for keeping the windward edge of the sail steady).

Bowse: To pull or hoist.

Bowsprit: A spar projecting from the bow used as an anchor for the forestay and other rigging.

Brail: To furl or truss a sail by pulling it in towards the mast, or the ropes used to do so.

Bream: To clean a ship’s bottom by burning off seaweed.

Bridge: A structure above the weather deck, extending the full width of the vessel, which houses a command center, itself called by association, the bridge.

Bring to: Cause a ship to be stationary by arranging the sails.

Broaching-to: A sudden movement in navigation, when the ship, while scudding before the wind, accidentally turns her leeward side to windward, also use to describe the point when water starts to come over the gunwale due to this turn.

Buffer: The chief bosun’s mate, responsible for discipline.

Bulkhead: An upright wall within the hull of a ship. Particularly a load bearing wall.

Bulwark: The extension of the ship’s side above the level of the weather deck.

Bumboat: A private boat selling goods.

Bumpkin: An iron bar (projecting outboard from a ship’s side) to which the lower and topsail brace blocks are sometimes hooked. Chains supporting/stabilizing the bowsprit.

Bunt: Middle of sail, fish-net or cloth when slack.

Buntline: One of the lines tied to the bottom of a square sail and used to haul it up to the yard when furling.

Buoy: A floating object of defined shape and color, which is anchored at a given position and serves as an aid to navigation.

Buoyed Up: Lifted by a buoy, especially a cable that has been lifted to prevent it from trailing on the bottom.

Burgee: Small ship’s flag used for identification or signaling.

By and Large: By means into the wind, while large means with the wind. By and large, is used to indicate all possible situations “the ship handles well both by and large”.

By the board: Anything that has gone overboard.

Cabin boy: attendant on passengers and crew.

Cabin: an enclosed room on a deck or flat.

Cable: A large rope; also a measure of length or distance. Equivalent to (UK) 1/10 nautical mile, approx. 600 feet; (USA) 120 fathoms, 720 feet (219 m); other countries use different values.

Cabotage: Shipping and sailing between points in the same country.

Camber: Slight arch or convexity to a beam or deck of a ship.

Canister: A type of anti-personnel cannon load in which lead balls or other loose metallic items were enclosed in a tin or iron shell. On firing the shell would disintegrate releasing the smaller metal objects.

Cape Horn fever: The name of the fake illness a malingerer is pretending to suffer from.

Capsize: When a ship or boat lists too far and rolls over, exposing the keel. On large vessels, this often results in the sinking of the ship.

Capstan: A huge rotating hub (wheel) mounted vertically and provided with horizontal holes to take up the capstan bars (when manually rotated), used to wind in anchors or other heavy objects; and sometimes to administer flogging over.

Captain’s daughter: The cat o’ nine tails, which in principle is only used on board on the captain’s (or a court martial’s) personal orders.

Careening: Cause the ship to tilt on its side, usually to clean or repair the hull below the water line.

Cargo Deadweight Tons: The weight remaining after deducting fuel, water, stores, dunnage and such other items necessary for use on a voyage from the deadweight of the vessel.

Carlin: Similar to a beam, except running in a fore and aft direction.

Cat Head: A beam extending out from the hull used to support an anchor when raised in order to secure or “fish” it.

Cat: To prepare an anchor, after raising it by lifting it with a tackle to the Cat Head, prior to securing (fishing) it alongside for sea. (An anchor raised to the Cat Head is said to be catted).

Catamaran: A vessel with two hulls.

Catboat: A cat-rigged vessel with only one sail, usually on a gaff.

Centreboard: A removable keel used to resist leeway.

Chafing Gear: Material applied to a line or spar to prevent or reduce chafing. See Baggywrinkle.

Chafing: Wear on the line or sail caused by constant rubbing against another surface.

Chain-wale or channel: A broad, thick plank that projects horizontally from each of a ship’s sides abreast a mast, distinguished as the fore, main, or mizzen channel accordingly, serving to extend the base for the shrouds, which supports the mast.

Chine: A relatively sharp angle in the hull, as compared to the rounded bottoms of most traditional boat hulls.

Chock: Metal casting with curved arms for passing ropes for mooring ship.

Chock-a-block: Rigging blocks that are so tight against one another that they cannot be further tightened.

Clean bill of health: A certificate issued by a port indicating that the ship carries no infectious diseases.

Clean slate: At the helm, the watch keeper would record details of speed, distances, headings, etc. on a slate. At the beginning of a new watch the slate would be wiped clean.

Cleat: A stationary device used to secure a rope aboard a vessel.

Clew: Corner of sail with a hole to attach ropes.

Clew-lines: Used to truss up the clews, the lower corners of square sails.

Club: hauling the ship drops one of its anchors at high speed to turn abruptly. This was sometimes used as a means to get a good firing angle on a pursuing vessel.

Coaming: The raised edge of a hatchway used to help keep out water.

Cocket: Official shipping seal; customs clearance form.

Cofferdam: Narrow vacant space between two bulkheads of a ship.

Cog: Single-masted, square-sailed ship with a raised stern.

Companionway: A raised and windowed hatchway in the ship’s deck, with a ladder leading below and the hooded entrance-hatch to the main cabins.

Compass:   Navigational instrument that revolutionized travel.

Complement: The full number of people required to operate a ship. Includes officers and crewmembers; does not include passengers.

Cordage: Ropes in the rigging of a ship.

Corrector: a device to correct the ship’s compass.

Courses: The mainsail, foresail, and mizzen.

Coxswain or cockswain: The helmsman or crew member in command of a boat.

Cringle: Loop at the corner of a sail to which a line is attached.

Crosstrees: Horizontal crosspieces at a masthead used to support ship’s mast.

Crow’s nest: Specifically a masthead constructed with sides and sometimes a roof to shelter the lookouts from the weather, generally by whaling vessels, this term has become a generic term for what is properly called masthead. See masthead.

Cube: The cargo carrying capacity of a ship, measured in cubic feet.

Cuddy: A small cabin in a boat.

Cunningham: A line invented by Briggs Cunningham, used to control the shape of a sail.

Cut and run: When wanting to make a quick escape, a ship might cut lashings to sails or cables for anchors, causing damage to the rigging, or losing an anchor, but shortening the time needed to make ready by bypassing the proper procedures.

Cut of his jib: The “cut” of a sail refers to its shape. Since this would vary between ships, it could be used both to identify a familiar vessel at a distance and to judge the possible sailing qualities of an unknown one.

Cut splice: A join between two lines, similar to an eye-splice, where each rope end is joined to the other a short distance along, making an opening which closes under tension.

Cutline: The “valley” between the strands of a rope or cable. Before serving a section of laid rope e.g. to protect it from chafing, it may be “wormed” by laying yarns in the cuntlines, giving that section an even cylindrical shape.

Daggerboard: A type of centerboard that is removed vertically.

Davit: Device for hoisting and lowering a boat.

Davy Jones (Locker): An idiom for the bottom of the sea.

Daybeacon: An unlighted fixed structure which is equipped with a dayboard for daytime identification.

Dayboard: The daytime identifier of an aid to navigation presenting one of several standard shapes (square, triangle, rectangle) and colors (red, green, white, orange, yellow, or black).

Deadeye: A round wooden plank which serves a similar purpose to a block in the standing rigging of large sailing vessels.

Deadrise: The design angle between the keel (q.v.) and horizontal.

Deadweight Tons (DWT): The difference between displacement, light and displacement, and loaded. A measure of the ship’s total carrying capacity.

Deadwood: Timbers built into ends of a ship when too narrow to permit framing.

Deckhand: A person whose job involves aiding the deck supervisor in (un)mooring, anchoring, maintenance, and general evolutions on deck.

Deck supervisor: The person in charge of all evolutions and maintenance on deck; sometimes split into two groups: forward deck supervisor, aft deck supervisor.

Deckhead: The under-side of the deck above. Sometimes paneled over to hide the pipework. This paneling, like that lining the bottom and sides of the holds, is the ceiling.

Decks: the structures forming the approximately horizontal surfaces in the ship’s general structure. Unlike flats, they are a structural part of the ship.

Demurrage: Delay of the vessel’s departure or loading with cargo.

Derrick: A lifting device composed of one mast or pole and a boom or jib which is hinged freely at the bottom.

Directional light: A light illuminating a sector or very narrow-angle and intended to mark a direction to be followed.

Displacement, Light: The weight of the ship excluding cargo, fuel, ballast, stores, passengers, and crew, but with water in the boilers to steaming level.

Displacement, Loaded: The weight of the ship including cargo, passengers, fuel, water, stores, dunnage and such other items necessary for use on a voyage, which brings the vessel down to her load draft.

Displacement: A measurement of the weight of the vessel, usually used for warships. Displacement is expressed either in long tons of 2,240 pounds or metric tons of 1,000 kg.

Disrate: To reduce in rank or rating; demote.

Dodger: Shield against rain or spray on a ship’s bridge.

Dog watch: A short watch period, generally half the usual time (e.g. a two-hour watch between two four hour ones). Such a watch might be included in order to slowly rotate the system over several days for fairness  or to allow both watches to eat their meals at approximately normal times.

Dolphin: A structure consisting of a number of piles driven into the seabed or riverbed in a circular pattern and drawn together with wire rope.

Downhaul: A line used to control either a mobile spar or the shape of a sail.

Draft, Air: Air Draft is the distance from the water line to the highest point on a ship (including antennas) while it is loaded.

Draft: The distance between the waterline and the keel of a boat; the minimum depth of water in which a boat will float.

Dressing down: Treating old sails with oil or wax to renew them, or a verbal reprimand.

Driver: The large sail flown from the mizzen gaff.

Driver-mast: The fifth mast of a six-masted barquentine or gaff schooner. It is preceded by the jigger mast and followed by the spanker mast. The sixth mast of the only seven-masted vessel, the gaff schooner Thomas W. Lawson, was normally called the pusher-mast.

Dromond: Large single-sailed ship powered by rowers.

Dunnage: Loose packing material used to protect a ship’s cargo from damage during transport. Personal baggage.

Dyogram: Ship’s chart indicating compass deflection due to ship’s iron.

Earrings: Small lines, by which the uppermost corners of the largest sails are secured to the yardarms.

Embayed: The condition where a sailing vessel is confined between two capes or headlands, typically where the wind is blowing directly onshore.

Ensign: Large naval flag.

Escutcheon: Part of ship’s stern where name is displayed.

Extremis (also known as “in extremis”): The point under International Rules of the Road (Navigation Rules) at which the privileged (or stand-on) vessel on a collision course with a burdened (or give-way) vessel determines it must maneuver to avoid a collision. Prior to extremes, the privileged vessel must maintain course and speed and the burdened vessel must maneuver to avoid a collision.

Fairlead: Ring through which rope is led to change its direction without friction.

Fardage: Wood placed in the bottom of the ship to keep cargo dry.

Fathom: A unit of length equal to 6 feet (1.8 m), roughly measured as the distance between a man’s outstretched hands.

Fender: An air or foam filled bumper used in boating to keep boats from banging into docks or each other.

Fiddley: Iron framework around hatchway opening.

Figurehead: Symbolic image at the head of a traditional sailing ship or early steamer.

Fireship: A ship loaded with flammable materials and explosives and sailed into an enemy port or fleet either already burning or ready to be set alight by its crew (who would then abandon it) in order to collide with and set fire to enemy ships.

First Lieutenant: In the Royal Navy, the senior lieutenant on board; responsible to the Commander for the domestic affairs of the ship’s company. Also known as ‘Jimmy the One’ or ‘Number One’. Removes his cap when visiting the mess decks as a token of respect for the privacy of the crew in those quarters. Officer i/c cables on the forecastle. In the U.S. Navy the senior person in charge of all Deckhands.

First Mate: The Second in command of a ship.

Fish: To repair a mast or spar with a fillet of wood. To secure an anchor on the side of the ship for sea,otherwise known as “catting”.

Flag hoist: A number of signal flags strung together to convey a message, e.g. “England expects…”.

Flagstaff: Flag pole at the stern of a ship.

Flank: The maximum speed of a ship. Faster than “full speed”.

Flatback: A Great Lakes slang term for a vessel without any self-unloading equipment.

Flemish Coil: A line coiled around itself to neaten the decks or dock.

Flog: To beat, to punish.

Fluke: The wedge-shaped part of an anchor’s arms that digs into the bottom.

Fly by night: A large sail used only for sailing downwind, requiring little attention.

Following sea: Wave or tidal movement going in the same direction as a ship.

Foot: The bottom of a sail.

Footloose: If the foot of a sail is not secured properly, it is footloose, blowing around in the wind.

Footrope: Each yard on a square-rigged sailing ship is equipped with a footrope for sailors to stand on while setting or stowing the sails.

Fore: Towards the bow (of the vessel).

Forebitt: Post for fastening cables at a ship’s foremast.

Forecabin: Cabin in the fore part of a ship.

Forecastle: A partial deck, above the upper deck and at the head of the vessel; traditionally the sailors living quarters. Pronounced “foc-sle”. The name is derived from the castle fitted to bear archers in time of war.

Forefoot: The lower part of the stem of a ship.

Foremast: Mast nearest the bow of a ship

Foresail: The lowest sail set on the foremast of a square-rigged ship.

Forestays: Long lines or cables, reaching from the front of the vessel to the mast heads, used to support the mast.

Forward: The area towards the bow.

Founder: To fill with water and sink → Wiktionary.

Frap: To draw a sail tight with ropes or cables.

Freeboard: The height of a ship’s hull (excluding superstructure) above the waterline. The vertical distance from the current waterline to the lowest point on the highest continuous watertight deck. This usually varies from one part to another.

Full and by: Sailing into the wind (by), but not as close-hauled as might be possible, so as to make sure the sails are kept full. This provides a margin for error to avoid being taken aback (a serious risk for square-rigged vessels) in a tricky sea. Figuratively it implies getting on with the job but in a steady, relaxed way, without undue urgency or strain.

Furl: To roll or wrap a sail around the mast or spar to which it is attached.

Futtock: Rib of a ship.

Gaff: The spar that holds the upper edge of a fore-and-aft or gaff sail. Also, a long hook with a sharp point to haul fish in.

Gaff-topsail: Triangular topsail with its foot extended upon the gaff.

Galley: The kitchen of the ship.

Gangplank: A movable bridge used in boarding or leaving a ship at a pier; also known as a “brow”.

Gangway: Either of the sides of the upper deck of a ship

Garbled: Garbling was the (illegal) practice of mixing cargo with garbage.

Garboard: The strake closest to the keel (from Dutch gaarboard).

Genoa: Large jib that overlaps the mainsail

Global Positioning System (GPS): A satellite-based radio navigation system providing continuous worldwide coverage. It provides navigation, position, and timing information to air, marine, and land users.

Grain Cube (or Grain Capacity): The maximum space available for cargo measured in cubic feet, the measurement being taken to the inside of the shell plating of the ship or to the outside of the frames and to the top of the beam or underside of the deck plating.

Grapnel: Small anchor used for dragging or grappling.

Gross Tons: The entire internal cubic capacity of the ship expressed in tons of 100 cubic feet to the ton, except certain spaces which are exempted such as: peak and other tanks for water ballast, open forecastle bridge and poop, access of hatchways, certain light and air spaces, domes of skylights, condenser, anchor gear, steering gear, wheelhouse, galley and cabin for passengers.

Groundage: A charge on a ship in port.

Gudgeon: Metal socket into which the pintle of a boat’s rudder fits.

Gunnage: Number of guns carried on a warship.

Gunwhale: Upper edge of the hull.

Gybe: To swing a sail from one side to another.

Halyard or Halliard: Originally, ropes used for hoisting a spar with a sail attached; today, a line used to raise the head of any sail.

Hammock: Canvas sheets, slung from the deckhead in mess decks, in which seamen slept. “Lash up and stow” a piped command to tie up hammocks and stow them (typically) in racks inboard of the ship’s side to protect the crew from splinters from shot and provide a ready means of preventing flooding caused by damage.

Hand Bomber: A ship using coal-fired boilers shoveled in by hand.

Handsomely: With a slow even motion, as when hauling on a line “handsomely.”

Hank: A fastener attached to the luff of the headsail that attaches the headsail to the forestay. Typical designs include a bronze or plastic hook with a spring-operated gate or a strip of cloth webbing with a snap fastener.

Harbor: A harbor or haven is a place where ships may shelter from the weather or are stored. Harbors can be man-made or natural.

Haul wind: To point the ship so as to be heading in the same direction as the wind, generally not the fastest point of travel on a sailing vessel.

Hawse: Distance between ship’s bow and its anchor.

Hawse-hole: A hole in a ship’s bow for a cable or chain, such as for an anchor, to pass through.

Hawsepiper: An informal maritime industry term used to refer to a merchant ship’s officer who began his or her career as an unlicensed merchant seaman and did not attend a traditional maritime college/academy to earn the officer license.

Hawser: Large rope for mooring or towing a ship.

Head of navigation: A term used to describe the farthest point above the mouth of a river that can be navigated by ships.

Head: The toilet or latrine of a vessel, which for sailing ships projected from the bows.

Headsail: Any sail flown in front of the most forward mast.

Heave down: Turn a ship on its side (for cleaning).

Heave: A vessel’s transient up-and-down motion.

Heaving to: To stop a sailing vessel by lashing the helm in opposition to the sails. The vessel will gradually drift to leeward, the speed of the drift depending on the vessel’s design.

Heeling: The lean caused by the wind’s force on the sails of a sailing vessel.

Helm: Ship’s steering wheel.

Helmsman: A person who steers a ship.

Hogging or hog: The distortion of the hull where the ends of the keel are lower than the center.

Hold: In earlier use, below the orlop deck, the lower part of the interior of a ship’s hull, especially when considered as storage space, as for cargo. In later merchant vessels, it extended up through the decks to the underside of the weather deck.

Holiday: A gap in the coverage of newly applied paint, slush, tar, or other preservatives.

Holystone: Sandstone material used to scrape ships’ decks

Horn: A sound signal which uses electricity or compressed air to vibrate a disc diaphragm.

Horse: Attachment of sheets to the deck of the vessel (Main-sheet horse).

Hounds: Attachments of stays to masts.

Hull: The shell and framework of the basic flotation-oriented part of a ship.

Hydrofoil: A boat with wing-like foils mounted on struts below the hull.

Icing: A serious hazard where cold temperatures (below about -10°C) combined with high wind speed (typically force 8 or above on the Beaufort scale) result in spray blown off the sea freezing immediately on contact with the ship.

Idlers: Members of a ship’s company not required to serve watches. These were in general specialist tradesmen such as the carpenter and the sailmaker.

In Irons: When the bow of a sailboat is headed into the wind and the boat has stalled and is unable to maneuver.

In the offing: In the water visible from on board a ship, now used to mean something imminent.

Inboard: Inside the line of a ship’s bulwarks or hull.

Inboard-Outboard drive system: A larger Power Boating alternative drive system to transom mounted outboard motors.

Jack: Ship’s flag flown from jack-staff at the bow of a vessel.

Jack-block: Pulley system for raising topgallant masts.

Jack-cross-tree: Single iron cross-tree at the head of a topgallant mast.

Jacklines or Jack Stays: Lines, often steel wire with a plastic jacket, from the bow to the stern on both port and starboard. The Jack Lines are used to clip on the safety harness to secure the crew to the vessel while giving them the freedom to walk on the deck.

Jackstaff: Short staff at ship’s bow from which the jack is hoisted.

Jackyard: Spar used to spread the foot of a gaff-topsail

Jib: A triangular staysail at the front of a ship.

Jibboom: Spar forming an extension of the bowsprit.

Jibe: To change a ship’s course to make the boom shift sides.

Jigger-mast: The fourth mast, although ships with four or more masts were uncommon, or the aft-most mast where it is smallest on vessels of less than four masts.

Junk: Old cordage past its useful service life as lines aboard ship. The strands of old junk were teased apart in the process called picking oakum.

Jurymast: Mast erected on a ship in place of one lost.

Kedge: Small anchor to keep a ship steady.

Keel: A boat’s backbone; the lowest point of the boat’s hull, the keel provides strength, stability and prevents sideways drift of the boat in the water.

Keel: The central structural basis of the hull.

Keelson: Lengthwise wooden or steel beam in ship for bearing stress.

Kentledge: Pig-iron used as ballast in ship’s hold.

Killick: A small anchor. A fouled killick is the substantive badge of non-commissioned officers in the RN. Seamen promoted to the first step in the promotion ladder are called “Killick”. The badge signifies that here is an Able Seaman skilled to cope with the awkward job of dealing with a fouled anchor.

Ladder: On board a ship, all “stairs” are called ladders, except for literal staircases aboard passenger ships. Most “stairs” on a ship are narrow and nearly vertical, hence the name. Believed to be from the Anglo-Saxon word “hiaeder”, meaning ladder.

Lagan: Cargo jettisoned from the ship but marked by buoys for recovery.

Laker: Great Lakes slang for a vessel who spends all its time on the 5 Great Lakes.

Landlubber: A person unfamiliar with being on the sea.

Lanyard: Rope or line for fastening something in a ship.

Larboard: The left side of the ship.Derived from the old ‘lay-board’ providing access between a ship and a quay.

Lastage: Room for stowing goods in a ship.

Lateen: Triangular sail rigged on ship’s spar.

Lateral System: A system of aids to navigation in which characteristics of buoys and beacons indicate the sides of the channel or route relative to a conventional direction of buoyage (usually upstream).

Laveer: To sail against the wind.

Lay down: To lay a ship down is to begin construction in a shipyard.

Lay: To come and go, used in giving orders to the crew, such as “lay forward” or “lay aloft”. To direct the course of the vessel. Also, to twist the strands of a rope together.

Lazaret: Space in ship between decks used for storage.

League: A unit of length, normally equal to three nautical miles.

Lee shore: A shore downwind of a ship. A ship which cannot sail well to windward risks being blown onto a lee shore and grounded.

Lee side: The side of a ship sheltered from the wind (opposite the weather side or windward side).

Leeboard: Wood or metal planes attached to the hull to prevent leeway.

Leech: The aft or trailing edge of a fore-and-aft sail; the leeward edge of a spinnaker; a vertical edge of a square sail. The leech is susceptible to twist, which is controlled by the boom vang and mainsheet.

Lee helm: If the helm was centered, the boat would turn away from the wind (to the lee). Consequently, the tiller must be pushed to the lee side of the boat in order to make the boat sail in a straight line.

Leeward: In the direction that the wind is blowing towards.

Leeway: The angle that a ship is blown leeward by the wind. See also “weatherly”.

Length at Waterline (LWL): The ship’s length measured at the waterline.

Length Overall (LOA): The maximum length of the ship.

Length: The distance between the forwardmost and aftermost parts of the ship.

Let go and haul: An order indicating that the ship is in line with the wind.

Lifeboat: A small steel or wood boat located near the stern of a vessel. Used to get the crew to safety if something happens to the mothership.

Line: The correct nautical term for the majority of the cordage or “ropes” used on a vessel. A line will always have a more specific name, such as mizzen topsail halyard, which describes its use.

Liner: Ship of The Line: a major warship capable of taking its place in the main (battle) line of fighting ships. Hence the modern term for most prestigious passenger vessel: Liner.

List: The vessel’s angle of lean or tilt to one side, in the direction called the roll.

Loggerhead: An iron ball attached to a long handle, used for driving caulking into seams and (occasionally) in a fight. Hence: “at loggerheads”.

Loxodograph: Device used to record the ship’s travels.

Lubber’s line: A vertical line inside a compass case indicating the direction of the ship’s head.

Luff: The forward edge of a sail. To head a sailing vessel more towards the direction of the wind.

Luffing: When a sailing vessel is steered far enough to windward that the sail is no longer completely filled with wind. The flapping of the sail(s) which results from having no wind in the sail at all.

Lugsail: Four-sided sail bent to an obliquely hanging yard.

Lutchet: Fitting on ship’s deck to allow the mast to pivot to pass under bridges.

Lying ahull: Waiting out a storm by dousing all sails and simply letting the boat drift.

Mainbrace: The brace attached to the mainmast.

Mainmast (or Main): The tallest mast on a ship.

Mainsail: Principal sail on a ship’s mainmast.

Mainsheet: Sail control line that allows the most obvious effect on mainsail trim. Primarily used to control the angle of the boom, and thereby the mainsail, this control can also increase or decrease downward tension on the boom while sailing upwind, significantly affecting sail shape. For more control over downward tension on the boom, use a boom vang.

Mainstay: Stay that extends from the main-top to the foot of the foremast.

Man overboard: A cry let out when a seaman has gone overboard.

Manrope: Rope used as a handrail on a ship.

Marina: A docking facility for small ships and yachts.

Martingale: Lower stay of rope used to sustain the strain of the forestays.

Mast: A vertical pole on a ship which supports sails or rigging.

Master: Either the commander of a commercial vessel, or a senior officer of a naval sailing ship in charge of routine seamanship and navigation but not in command during combat.

Masthead Light: This white light shines forward and to both sides and is required on all power-driven vessels.

Masthead: A small platform partway up the mast, just above the height of the mast’s main yard. A lookout is stationed here, and men who are working on the main yard will embark from here. See also Crow’s Nest.

Matelot: A traditional Royal Navy term for an ordinary sailor.

Mess: An eating place aboard ship. A group of the crew who live and feed together.

Midshipman: A non-commissioned officer below the rank of Lieutenant. Usually regarded as being “in training” to some degree.

Mizzen staysail: Sail on a ketch or yawl, usually lightweight, set from, and forward of, the mizzen mast while reaching in light to moderate air.

Mizzen: Three-masted vessel; aft sail of such a vessel.

Monkey fist: A ball woven out of line used to provide heft to heave the line to another location. The monkey fist and other heaving-line knots were sometimes weighted with lead (easily available in the form of foil used to seal e.g. tea chests from dampness) although Clifford W. Ashley notes that there was a “definite sporting limit” to the weight thus added.

Moonraker: Topmost sail of a ship, above the skyscraper.

Moor: To attach a boat to a mooring buoy or post. Also, to a dock a ship.

Navigation rules: Rules of the road that provide guidance on how to avoid collision and also used to assign blame when a collision does occur.

Net Tons: Obtained from the gross tonnage by deducting crew and navigating spaces and allowances for propulsion machinery.

Nipper: Short rope used to bind a cable to the “messenger” (a moving line propelled by the capstan) so that the cable is dragged along too (Used because the cable is too large to be wrapped around the capstan itself). During the raising of an anchor, the nippers were attached and detached from the (endless) messenger by the ship’s boys. Hence the term for small boys: “nippers”.

Oakum: Old ropes untwisted for caulking the seams of ships.

Oreboat: Great Lakes Term for a vessel primarily used in the transport of iron ore.

Orlop deck: The lowest deck of a ship of the line. The deck covering in the hold.

Outhaul: A line used to control the shape of a sail.

Outrigger: Spar extended from the side of the ship to help secure mast.

Outward bound: To leave the safety of the port, heading for the open ocean.

Overbear: To sail downwind directly at another ship, stealing the wind from its sails.

Overfall: Dangerously steep and breaking seas due to opposing currents and wind in a shallow area.

Overhaul: Hauling the buntline ropes over the sails to prevent them from chaffing.

Overhead: The “ceiling,” or, essentially, the bottom of the deck above you.

Overreach: When tacking, to hold a course too long.

Overwhelmed: Capsized or foundered.

Owner: Traditional Royal Navy term for the Captain, a survival from the days when privately-owned ships were often hired for naval service.

Ox-Eye: A cloud or other weather phenomenon that may be indicative of an upcoming storm.

Painter: Rope attached to the bow of a boat to attach it to a ship or a post.

Pallograph: Instrument measuring ship’s vibration.

Parrel: A movable loop, used to fasten the yard to its respective mast.

Patroon: Captain of a ship; coxswain of a longboat.

Pay: Fill a seam (with caulking or pitch), or to lubricate the running rigging; pay with slush (q.v.), or protect from the weather by covering with slush. See also: The Devil to pay. (French from paix, pitch).

Paymaster: The officer responsible for all money matters in RN ships including the paying and provisioning of the crew, all stores, tools, and spare parts. See also: purser.

Pilot: Navigator. A specially knowledgeable person qualified to navigate a vessel through difficult waters, e.g. harbor pilot, etc.

Pipe (Bos’n’s), or a Bos’n’s Call: A whistle used by Boatswains (bosuns or bos’ns) to issue commands. Consisting of a metal tube which directs the breath over an aperture on the top of a hollow ball to produce high pitched notes. The pitch of the notes can be changed by partly covering the aperture with the finger of the hand in which the pipe is held. The shape of the instrument is similar to that of a smoking pipe.

Pipe down: A signal on the bosun’s pipe to signal the end of the day, requiring lights (and smoking pipes) to be extinguished and silence from the crew.

Piping the side: A salute on the bos’n’s pipe(s) performed in the company of the deck watch on the starboard side of the quarterdeck or at the head of the gangway, to welcome or bid farewell to the ship’s Captain, senior officers and honored visitors.

Pitch: A vessel’s motion, rotating about the beam axis, so the bow pitches up and down.

Pitchpole: To capsize a boat end over end, rather than by rolling over.

Pontoon: A flat-bottomed vessel used as a ferry or a barge or float moored alongside a jetty or a ship to facilitate boarding.

Poop deck: A high deck on the aft superstructure of a ship.

Port: Towards the left-hand side of the ship facing forward (formerly Larboard). Denoted with a red light at night.

Preventer (Gybe preventer, Jibe preventer): A sail control line originating at some point on the boom leading to a fixed point on the boat’s deck or rail (usually a cleat or pad eye) used to prevent or moderate the effects of an accidental jibe.

Primage: Fee paid to loaders for loading ship.

Privateer: A privately-owned ship authorized by a national power (by means of a Letter of Marque) to conduct hostilities against an enemy. Also called a private man of war.

Propeller walk or prop walk: Tendency for a propeller to push the stern sideways. In theory, a right-hand propeller in reverse will walk the stern to port.

Prow: A poetical alternative term for bows.

Purser: Ship’s officer in charge of finances and passengers.

Quarterdeck: The aftermost deck of a warship. In the age of sail, the quarterdeck was the preserve of the ship’s officers.

Quartering: Sailing nearly before the wind.

Quayside: Refers to the dock or platform used to fasten a vessel to.

Radar reflector: A special fixture fitted to a vessel or incorporated into the design of certain aids to navigation to enhance their ability to reflect radar energy. In general, these fixtures will materially improve the visibility for use by vessels with radar.

Radar: Acronym for Radio Detection And Ranging. An electronic system designed to transmit radio signals and receive reflected images of those signals from a “target” in order to determine the bearing and distance to the “target”.

Rake: The inclination of a mast or another part of a ship.

Range lights: Two lights associated to form a range (a line formed by the extension of a line connecting two charted points) which often, but not necessarily, indicates the channel centerline. The front range light is the lower of the two, and nearer to the mariner using the range. The rear light is higher and further from the mariner.

Ratlines: Rope ladders permanently rigged from bulwarks and tops to the mast to enable access to topmasts and yards. Also, serve to provide lateral stability to the masts.

Reach: A point of sail from about 60° to about 160° off the wind. Reaching consists of “close reaching” (about 60° to 80°), “beam reaching” (about 90°) and “broad reaching” (about 120° to 160°).

Reef points: Small lengths of cord attached to a sail, used to secure the excess fabric after reefing.

Reef: To temporarily reduce the area of a sail exposed to the wind, usually to guard against adverse effects of strong wind or to slow the vessel.

Reef-bands: Long pieces of rough canvas sewed across the sails to give them additional strength.

Reef-tackles: Ropes employed in the operation of reefing.

Reeve: To pass a rope through a ring.

Rigging: the system of ropes, cables, or chains employed to support a ship’s masts and to control or set the yards and sails.

Righting couple: The force which tends to restore a ship to equilibrium once a heel has altered the relationship between her center of buoyancy and her center of gravity.

Rigol: The rim or ‘eyebrow’ above a port-hole or scuttle.

Roach: Curved cut in the edge of sail for preventing chafing.

Roband: Piece of yarn used to fasten a sail to a spar.

Roll: A vessel’s motion rotating from side to side, about the fore-aft axis. List (qv) is a lasting tilt in the roll direction.

Rolling-tackle: A number of pulleys, engaged to confine the yard to the weather side of the mast; this tackle is much used in a rough sea.

Rostrum: Spike on the prow of warship for ramming.

Rowlock: Contrivance serving as a fulcrum for an oar.

Royal: Small sail on the royal mast just above topgallant sail.

Running rigging: Rigging used to manipulate sails, spars, etc. in order to control the movement of the ship. Cf. standing rigging.

Sailing Certification : An acknowledgment of a sailing competence from an established sailing educational body (like NauticEd).

Sail-plan: A set of drawings showing various sail combinations recommended for use in various situations.

Saltie: Great Lakes term for a vessel that sails the oceans.

Sampson post: A strong vertical post used to support a ship’s windlass and the heel of a ship’s bowsprit.

Scandalize: To reduce the area of a sail by expedient means (slacking the peak and tricing up the tack) without properly reefing it.

Scud: To sail swiftly before a gale.

Scudding: A term applied to a vessel when carried furiously along by a tempest.

Scuppers: An opening on the side rail that allows water to run off the deck.

Scuttle: A small opening, or lid thereof, in a ship’s deck or hull. To cut a hole in, or sink something.

Scuttlebutt: Cask of drinking water aboard a ship; rumour, idle gossip.

Scuttles: Portholes on a ship.

Sea anchor: A stabilizer deployed in the water for heaving to in heavy weather. It acts as a brake and keeps the hull in line with the wind and perpendicular to waves.

Sea chest: A valve on the hull of the ship to allow water in for ballast purposes.

Seaman: Generic term for a sailor.

Seaworthy: Certified for, and capable of, safely sailing at sea.

Self-Unloader: Great Lakes slang term for a vessel with a conveyor or some other method of unloading the cargo without shoreside equipment.

Shaft Horsepower (SHP): The amount of mechanical power delivered by the engine to a propeller shaft. One horsepower is equivalent to 746 watts in the SI system of units.

Shakes: Pieces of barrels or casks broken down to save space. They are worth very little, leading to the phrase “no great shakes”.

Sheer: The upward curve of a vessel’s longitudinal lines as viewed from the side.

Sheet: A rope used to control the setting of a sail in relation to the direction of the wind.

Ship: Strictly, a three-masted vessel square-rigged on all three masts, though generally used to describe most medium or large vessels. Derived from the Anglo-Saxon word “scip”.

Ship’s bell: Striking the ship’s bell is the traditional method of marking time and regulating the crew’s watches.

Ship’s company: The crew of a ship.

Shoal: Shallow water that is a hazard to navigation.

Shrouds: Standing rigging running from a mast to the sides of ships.

Sickbay: The compartment reserved for medical purposes.

Sidelights: These red and green lights are called sidelights (also called combination lights) because they are visible to another vessel approaching from the side or head-on. The red light indicates a vessel’s port (left) side; the green indicates a vessel’s starboard (right) side.

Siren: A sound signal which uses electricity or compressed air to actuate either a disc or a cup-shaped rotor.

Skeg: Part of ship connecting the keel with the bottom of the rudderpost.

Skipper: The captain of a ship.

Skysail: A sail set very high, above the royals. Only carried by a few ships.

Skyscraper: A small, triangular sail, above the skysail. Used in light winds on a few ships.

Slipway: Ramp sloping into the water for supporting a ship.

Slop chest: A ship’s store of merchandise, such as clothing, tobacco, etc., maintained aboard merchant ships for sale to the crew.

Small bower (anchor): The smaller of two anchors carried in the bow.

Snotty: Naval midshipman.

Sonar: A sound-based device used to detect and range underwater targets and obstacles. Formerly known as ASDIC.

Spanker: Sail on the mast nearest the stern of a square-rigged ship.

Spanker-mast: The aft-most mast of a fore-and-aft or gaff-rigged vessel such as schooners, barquentines, and barques. A full-rigged ship has a spanker sail but not a spanker-mast (see Jigger-mast).

Spar: A wooden, in later years also iron or steel pole used to support various pieces of rigging and sails. The big five-masted full-rigged tall ship Preussen (German spelling: Preußen) had crossed 30 steel yards, but only one wooden spar—the little gaffe of its spanker sail.

Spindrift: Finely-divided water swept from the crest of waves by strong winds.

Spinnaker pole: A spar used to help control a spinnaker or other headsail.

Spinnaker: A large sail flown in front of the vessel while heading downwind.

Spirketing: Inside planking between ports and waterways of a ship.

Splice: To join lines (ropes, cables, etc.) by unraveling their ends and intertwining them to form a continuous line. To form an eye or a knot by splicing.

Sponson: Platform jutting from ship’s deck for gun or wheel.

Sprit: Spar crossing a fore-and-aft sail diagonally.

Spritsail: Sail extended by a sprit.

Squared away: Yards held rigidly perpendicular to their masts and parallel to the deck. This was rarely the best trim of the yards for efficiency but made a pretty sight for inspections and in the harbor. The term is applied to situations and to people figuratively to mean that all difficulties have been resolved or that the person is performing well and is mentally and physically prepared.

Squat effect: Is the phenomenon by which a vessel moving quickly through shallow water creates an area of lowered pressure under its keel that reduces the ship’s buoyancy, particularly at the bow. The reduced buoyancy causes the ship to “squat” lower in the water than would ordinarily be expected.

Standing rigging: Rigging which is used to support masts and spars, and is not normally manipulated during normal operations. Cf. running rigging.

Starboard: Towards the right-hand side of a vessel facing forward. Denoted with a green light at night. Derived from the old steering oar or ‘steerboard’ which preceded the invention of the rudder.

Starbolins: Sailors of the starboard watch.

Starter: A rope used as a punitive device.

Stay: Rigging running fore (forestay) and aft (backstay) from a mast to the hull.

Staysail: A sail whose luff is attached to a forestay.

Steering oar or steering board: A long, flat board or oar that went from the stern to well underwater, used to control the vessel in the absence of a rudder.

Steeve: To set a ship’s bowsprit at an upward inclination.

Stem: The extension of the keel at the forward of a ship.

Stemson: Supporting timber of a ship.

Stern tube: The tube under the hull to bear the tail shaft for propulsion (usually at the stern).

Stern: The rear part of a ship, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter to the taffrail.

Sternlight: This white light is seen only from behind or nearly behind the vessel.

Sternpost: Main member at the stern of a ship extending from keel to deck.

Sternway: Movement of a ship backward.

Stevedore: Dock worker who loads and unloads ships.

Stokehold: Ship’s furnace chamber.

Strake: One of the overlapping boards in a clinker-built hull.

Studding-sails (pronounced “stunsail”): Long and narrow sails, used only in fine weather, on the outside of the large square sails.

Stunsail: Light auxiliary sail to the side of principal sails.

Supercargo: Ship’s official in charge of business affairs.

Surge: A vessel’s transient motion in a fore and aft direction.

Sway: A vessel’s motion from side to side. Also used as a verb meaning to hoist. “Sway up my dunnage.”

Swigging: To take up the last bit of slack on a line such as a halyard, anchor line or dock line by taking a single turn round a cleat and alternately heaving on the rope above and below the cleat while keeping the tension on the tail.

Swinging the compass: Measuring the accuracy in a ship’s magnetic compass so its readings can be adjusted – often by turning the ship and taking bearings on reference points.

Swinging the lamp: Telling sea stories. Referring to lamps slung from the deckhead which swing while at sea. Often used to indicate that the storyteller is exaggerating.

Swinging the lead: Measuring the depth of water beneath a ship using a lead-weighted sounding line.

Taffrail: Rail around the stern of a ship.

Tail shaft: A kind of metallic shafting (a rod of metal) to hold the propeller and connected to the power-engine. When the tail shaft is moved, the propeller may also be moved for propulsion.

Taken aback: An inattentive helmsmen might allow the dangerous situation to arise where the wind is blowing into the sails “backward”, causing a sudden (and possibly dangerous) shift in the position of the sails.

Tally: The operation of hauling aft the sheets, or drawing them in the direction of the ship’s stern.

The Ropes: Refers to the lines in the rigging.

Thole: Pin in the side of a boat to keep an oar in place.

Three sheets to the wind: On a three-masted ship, having the sheets of the three lower courses loose will result in the ship meandering aimlessly downwind.

Tiller: Handle or lever for turning a ship’s rudder.

Timberhead: Top end of ship’s timber used above the gunwale.

Timenoguy: Rope stretched from place to place in a ship.

Timoneer: From the French, “timonnier”, is a name given on particular occasions to the steersman of a ship.

Ton: The unit of measure often used in specifying the size of a ship. There are three completely unrelated definitions for the word. One of them refers to weight, while others refer to volume.

Tonnage: A measurement of the cargo-carrying capacity of merchant’s vessels. It depends not on weight, but on the volume available for carrying cargo. The basic units of measure are the Register Ton, equivalent to 100 cubic feet, and the Measurement Ton, equivalent to 40 cubic feet. The calculation of tonnage is complicated by many technical factors.

Topgallant: Mast or sail above the topmast and below the royal mast.

Topmast: The second section of the mast above the deck; formerly the upper mast, later surmounted by the topgallant mast; carrying the topsails.

Topsail: The second sail (counting from the bottom) up to a mast. These may be either square sails or fore-and-aft ones, in which case they often “fill in” between the mast and the gaff of the sail below.

Topsides: The part of the hull between the waterline and the deck. Also, Above-water hull.

Touch and go: The bottom of the ship touching the bottom, but not grounding.

Towing: The operation of drawing a vessel forward by means of long lines.

Traffic Separation Scheme: Shipping corridors marked by buoys which separate incoming from outgoing vessels. Improperly called Sea Lanes.

Tranship: To transfer from one ship to another.

Transire: Ship’s customs warrant for clearing goods.

Transom: A more or less flat surface across the stern of a vessel.

Travellers: Small fittings that slide on a rod or line. The most common use is for the inboard end of the mainsheet; a more esoteric form of traveler consists of “slight iron rings, encircling the backstays, which are used for hoisting the top-gallant yards, and confining them to the backstays”.

Treenail: Long wooden pin used to fix planks of the ship to the timbers.

Trice: To haul in and lash secure a sail with a small rope.

Trick: A period of time spent at the wheel (“my trick’s over”).

Trim: Relationship of ship’s hull to the waterline.

Trunnel: Wooden shipbuilding peg used for fastening timbers.

Trysail: Ship’s sail bent to a gaff and hoisted on a lower mast.

Tuck: Part of the ship where ends of lower planks meet under the stern.

Turtleback: Structure over ship’s bows or stern.

Turtling: When a sailboat (in particular a dinghy) capsizes to a point where the mast is pointed straight down and the hull is on the surface resembling a turtle shell.

Under the weather: Serving a watch on the weather side of the ship, exposed to wind and spray.

Underway: A vessel that is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground.

Underwater hull or underwater ship: The underwater section of a vessel beneath the waterline, normally not visible except when in drydock.

Unreeve: To withdraw a rope from an opening.

Vanishing angle: The maximum degree of heel after which a vessel becomes unable to return to an upright position.

Wake: Turbulence behind a ship.

Wales: A number of strong and thick planks running length-wise along the ship, covering the lower part of the ship’s side.

Walty: Inclined to tip over or lean.

Wardroom: Quarters for ship’s officers.

Washboard: Broad thin plank along ship’s gunwale to keep out sea water.

Watch: A period of time during which a part of the crew is on duty. Changes of watch are marked by strokes on the ship’s bell.

Watching: Fully afloat.

Watercraft: Water transport vessels. Ships, boats, personal watercraft.

Waterline: The intersection of a boat’s hull and the water’s surface, or where the boat sits in the water.

Waveson: Goods floating on the sea after a shipwreck.

Wear: To turn a ship’s stern to windward to alter its course

Weather deck: Whichever deck is exposed to the weather—usually either the main deck or, in larger vessels, the upper deck.

Weather gage: Favorable position over another sailing vessel to with respect to the wind.

Weather side: The weather side of a ship is the side exposed to the wind.

Weatherboard: Weather side of a ship.

: If the helm was centered, the boat would turn towards the wind (weather). Consequently, the tiller must be pulled to the windward side of the boat in order to make the boat sail in a straight line. See lee helm.

Weatherly: A ship that is easily sailed and maneuvered; makes little leeway when sailing to windward.

Weatherly: Able to sail close to the wind with little leeway.

Weigh anchor: To heave up (an anchor) preparatory to sailing.

Wells: Places in the ship’s hold for the pumps.

Wheelhouse: Location on a ship where the steering wheel is located, often interchanged with pilothouse and bridge.

Whipstaff: Vertical lever controlling ship’s rudder.

White Horses: Waves in wind strong enough to produce foam or spray on the wave tops.

Wide berth: To leave room between two ships moored (berthed) to allow space for a maneuver.

Windage: Wind resistance of the boat.

Windbound: A condition wherein the ship is detained in one particular station by contrary winds.

Windlass: A winch mechanism, usually with a horizontal axis. Used where mechanical advantage greater than that obtainable by block and tackle was needed (such as raising the anchor on small ships). Modern sailboats use an electric “Windlass” to raise the anchor.

Windward: In the direction that the wind is coming from.

Xebec: Small three-masted pirate ship.

Yard: Tapering spar attached to ship’s mast to spread the head of a square sail.

Yardarm: The very end of a yard. Often mistaken for a “yard”, which refers to the entire spar. As in to hang “from the yardarm” and the sun being “over the yardarm” (late enough to have a drink).

Yarr: Acknowledgement of an order, or agreement.

Yaw: A vessel’s motion rotating about the vertical axis, so the bow yaws from side to side.

Yawl: Ship’s small boat; sailboat carrying mainsail and one or more jibs.

Zabra: Small Spanish sailing vessel.

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Cambridge Dictionary

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Meaning of yacht in English

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  • They spent their annual holiday on a chartered yacht in the Caribbean .
  • He spent three days adrift on his yacht.
  • His eyes were fixed on the distant yacht.
  • If they can afford a yacht, they must be rolling in it.
  • She sailed around the world single-handed in her yacht.
  • cabin cruiser
  • dragon boat
  • rubber dinghy

yacht | American Dictionary

Examples of yacht, collocations with yacht.

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a large amount of ice, snow, and rock falling quickly down the side of a mountain

Keeping up appearances (Talking about how things seem)

Keeping up appearances (Talking about how things seem)

meaning of yachting in one word

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Yachting and Boating Glossary of Terms

Yachting Glossary Terms

Which side is "Starboard"? Important yachting and boating terms, all in one place!

The yachting world is full of nicknames and jargon - it can be hard to understand some of the technical language used. Scroll down to read through some of the most popular sailing terms and what they mean! 

aft sailing terminology

Aft deck . On motor yachts, the guest area closest to the back of the boat on the main level. Often the location of the main outdoor dining area. Aft cabin . Sleeping quarters beneath the aft or rear section of the boat (sometimes called a mid cabin when located beneath the helm) Alee . The side of a boat or object away from the direction of the wind. Aloft . Above deck in the rigging or mast. Amidships . In the center of the yacht Anti-fouling paint . A special paint applied to a boat's hull to prevent marine growth. APA . Advance Provisioning Allowance. The APA is money paid to a bank account for the Captain of the yacht to provision on the charterer’s behalf. Key provisioning is fuel, food, drinks, and port fees.  The Captain is obligated to keep all receipts and balance the account for the charterer. At the end of the charter, the Captain provides a full account of expenditures, and any amounts not used will be refunded. Apparent wind . The direction and speed of the wind as felt in a moving boat - the way it 'appears”. Astern . The direction toward or beyond the back of the boat (stern). Athwartships . Perpendicular to the yacht’s centerline. An 'athwartships berth,” means the bed is parallel to the yacht’s sides instead of to its bow and stern. This can create uncomfortable motion while you sleep. Aweigh . An anchor that is off the bottom. Antigua. North of Guadeloupe , a popular bareboating destination. Anguilla.   An exclusive destination in the Caribbean. 

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what is a bow of a boat

Backstay . Support for the mast to keep it from falling forward. Banyan.  A short period of rest, often a day or so, while on a charter Bareboat . A yacht that you charter and run yourself, without a crew. See our Bareboat Page . Base charter rate . The rate the charterer pays on a charter for the yacht and crew. The base rate does not typically include provisioning or other expenses such as food, fuel, dockage and tip. Beam . Measurement of a boat at its widest point. Also, a transmitted radio, sonar or radar signal. Bearing . Direction to an object from your current position. Bear off . To turn away from the wind. Beating . Sailing upwind. Berth .  1 - A cabin or other place to sleep aboard a boat. 2 - A  boat slip at a dock where the boat can be moored. Bermuda Triangle . A section of the North Atlantic Ocean off North America in which more than 50 ships and 20 airplanes are said to have mysteriously disappeared. Bermuda . A British island territory in the North Atlantic Ocean known for its pink-sand beaches such as Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay. Bimini . A sun shade or rain cover that covers a portion of a yacht or boat. Blue Peter.   A blue/white flag that indicates the yacht is ready to sail Bow . Forward portion/front of a boat. Bowline. The most popular, and essential knot. It has many uses, and is easily 'broken' even when pulled tight.  Buoy (normally pronounced "boowie”, but sometimes "boy”). An anchored floating object that serves as a navigation aid or hazard warning.  BVI . The British Virgin Islands .  A major sailing and yachting area in the Caribbean, near the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico .

Bareboats!  

captain only charters

Captain-only charter . A yacht that comes with a captain but no additional crew. The captain drives the yacht, and you take care of everything else, including cooking and housekeeping.  Often called Bareboat with Skipper Charter yacht broker . A person who specializes in booking personalized yacht vacations on behalf of clients. Also, the firm that person works for, as in Charter Yacht Broker Agency . See our article on why you should use a Charter broker . Charter terms . The contract under which you charter a yacht. There are different terms used in different parts of the world. Some give you everything on an all-inclusive basis, some give you all meals aboard, some give you no meals aboard, and so forth. Charter yacht . A yacht that is available for charter/rental. Cockpit . The outdoor area of a sailing yacht (typically in the stern) where guests sit and eat, and from where the captain may steer and control the boat. Commission . The fee a yacht’s owner pays to a charter broker for booking a charter. Note - the charterer does not pay the charter broker’s commission directly. Crew . The team that operates your charter yacht. The crew can include a captain plus any combination of: mate, deckhand, stewardess, engineer and chef. Some crew has additional skills such as wellness/massage therapy and scuba instruction . Crewed charter . The charter of a yacht that has a permanent crew aboard who run and manage all aspects of the yacht and charter. See more about Crewed Charter . CYBA . Charter Yacht Broker Association, one of the primary professional organizations for reputable charter brokers. Corsica.   A French island north of  Sardinia. Cuba . Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba , is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos located in the Caribbean sea .

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what does a draft mean in sailing terminology

Dead Ahead.   Right in front, just ahead. The direction you are sailing/cruising. Dinghy . A small boat that a yacht carries or tows. Used for transfers to and from shore, and short day cruises and, if powerful enough, water sports. Also typically called a tender on larger yachts. Displacement . The weight of water displaced by a hull. Also, a type of hull that smoothly displaces (pushes aside) water as opposed to tipping up and riding on top of it. Dodecanese .  The Dodecanese islands located in the southeastern Aegean Sea, are a group of Greek islands known for their medieval castles, beaches and ancient archaeological sites. Double cabin . A charter yacht cabin that includes a double bed to sleep two guests. Not to be confused with "twin cabin," which means a cabin with two twin-size beds. Draft . The depth of a yacht below the waterline, as measured vertically. It is important when navigating shallow water to assure the boat can pass.

Destinations!  

E Flag

e-boat . A boat or yacht powered entirely by electricity (no diesel motor or generator). See more on our Electric Boat Revolution page. Ease . To slacken (loosen) a rope/line. Eco . 1) the spoken term for the letter "E" 2) short for Ecological, eg. good for the environment. Eddy water . Area of calm sea. Electric generator. Equipment that burns fuel to provide electricity aboard when there are no electrical connections or sources.

what is fethiye in sailing terminology

Fathom . Depth measurement equaling six feet. Fethiye . Fethiye is a port on Turkey's southwestern Turquoise Coast First Mate . The second in command on the yacht Fleet . A group of yachts that are under management by the same company, called a fleet manager or  CA. Flank . The maximum speed of a ship Flotilla . A group of yachts cruising together. Flying bridge  (or Flybridge). A raised, second-story helm station (steering area) that often also has room for passengers, providing views and a sun deck. Furling . Rolling or folding a sail on its boom. Many charter yachts today are 'self-furling” which takes much of the work out of dropping the sails. French Riviera. A stretch of coastline in the southern part of France. The 'Riviera' doesn't have an official boundary, however, most locals say that from Toulon to the Italian border is considered the  'French Riviera'.  

yachting terms and types of yachts

Galley . The kitchen/cooking area on a yacht. Gulet . A type of motorsailer typically found in Turkey. Gulets originated from sponge boats, but now offer luxury crewed charters, normally with en-suite bathrooms, large deck space, and full service. See more about Gulet Charters . Gunwale  (Gun-ul). The upper edge of the side of a boat. Gybe . Also spelled jibe. To change the course of a boat by swinging a fore-and-aft sail across a following wind (eg the wind is blowing from behind the boat). Gocek.  A popular bareboating sailing destination in Turkey.  Gulf.  Is a sizable amount of the ocean that penetrates the land. See 'Mexican Gulf'. 

what is a harbour

Halyard . Line (rope) used to hoist a sail. Harbour. An area designated for yachts to moor. Harbor fees . Charges paid by the yacht, and normally passed on to the charterer, for docking in certain harbors around the world. The rate depends very much on the season and attractiveness of the port. Harbormaster . The person at a harbor in charge of anchorages, berths and harbor traffic. Head . Toilet room. Heel . To temporarily tip or lean to one side. Monohulls heel more than catamarans. Helm . The steering wheel of the boat or yacht Hull . The structural body of the boat that rests in the water and is built to float.

sailing itineraries

'Inclusive” charter rate . The cost of a charter that includes nearly all expenses, including the yacht and crew, food, alcohol (within reason), fuel and dockage. Itinerary . The course a yacht intends to travel while on charter. The itinerary is normally planned in advance but should remain flexible depending on weather conditions and guest preferences. Idle. When the engines run on 'idle' this means the yacht is just ticking over. Often referred to in fuel rates "Rates include fuel with engines at idle" In Irons. A sailing word to describe a yacht losing her forward momentum when heading into the wind. The yacht becomes untearable as she loses her way.  Ischia.   Ischia is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Naples , Italy, known for its mineral-rich thermal waters.  Inboard. When the engine is IN the yacht, as opposed to being attached to the stern - this would be called an OUTboard.  Inshore. Close or near the shoreline so line-of-sight sailing is possible.  Iron wind. Sailor's nickname to the engine.  

what is a jib sail

Jib . Triangular sail projecting ahead of the mast. Jibe . See gybe Jackeline's.  Lines that run from Aft > forward that your harness can be attached to in bad weather.  Jury rig (jerry-rig). A temporary fix to something which has broken on the yacht. 

K is for knot - boatbookings

Knot . A unit of speed equivalent to one nautical mile per hour. "We are cruising at 6 knots". See nautical mile. Kedge. A small anchor that can be thrown overboard to either change the direction of the yacht (pivot point) or to help anchor the yacht further in bad weather. Often used then yachts "raft up".  Ketch. A two-masted yacht.  Kicking strap. A name to the line that pulls the boom down to flatten the sail. 

luxury yacht

Lee . The side furthest away from the wind.   Leeward . The side of an object that is sheltered from the wind. Often pronounced "loo ərd". Lee helm. In strong winds, the yacht can have a tendency to move to the lee without the rudder moving position.  LOA - Length Over All. The length of a charter yacht as measured from 'stem to stern”. This is important because yachts are usually charged a price by the foot for dockage at marinas. Luxury Yacht - a crewed charter yacht the strives to provide 5-star service to its charterers including cuisine, water sports, housekeeping, and navigation. See our  Luxury Yacht Charter Page. Lazy jack. A sail bag attached to the boom where the mainsail can fall into. Leech. The aft part of the sail.  Luff. The forward part of the sail.  Luffing up. Bringing the yacht into wind - moving the luff of the sail (the forward part of the sail called 'the luff' moves into the wind). 

mast terminology

Mainsail . The largest regular sail on a sailboat. Main salon . the primary indoor guest area on a yacht’s main deck. Make fast . To secure a line. Marina . A place where yachts dock and receive services such as provisioning, water and fuel.  Typically marinas offer protection from bad weather, and have hundreds of slips for yachts of various sizes.  Slips are rented long term or by the day. Mast . Vertical spar that supports sails. Master cabin . Typically the best/largest cabin onboard any charter yacht. Megayacht . A large, luxury motoryacht. No hard and fast definition, but normally crewed luxury yachts 100 feet or longer. Similar to Superyacht. Midships . Location near the center of a boat. Monohull . A yacht with one hull, as opposed to a multihull or catamaran that has pontoons.  While most motor yachts are monohulls, the term typically refers to sailing yachts. Motorsailor . A yacht built to sail and cruise under power with equal efficiencies, such as a Gulet.  They typically look like sailing yachts, but have strong engines and are often skippered like they are motor yachts. Motoryacht . A yacht whose primary form of propulsion is engines. Multihull . A yacht with more than one hull - typically a catamaran (two) or trimaran (three). They can be either powerboats or sailboats. MYBA - The Worldwide Yachting Association - originally the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (pronounced 'Mee ba”). An international yacht brokers' association based in the Mediterranean, one of the primary professional organizations for reputable charter brokers.   MYBA Contract . A contract used for luxury yachts, that has become the standard in the Mediterranean and many other parts of the world.  Offers protections for charterers in case of cancellation and clearly states the legal rights of all parties to the charter.

nautical flag for n

Nautical mile . A distance of 6,076.12 feet or 1,852 meters, which is about 15 percent longer than a statute mile. Equivalent to one minute of latitude on a navigation chart. See our Charter Distance and Cost Calculator here . Navigation. All activities that produce a path Nautical. Anything relating to the sea or yachts.  Narrows. A narrow part of a navigable waterway.  Nautical chart. 'Maps' designed specifically for sea navigation.  Nun. Navigational, cone-shaped buoy (in IALA A = port in IALA B = starboard)

o nautical flag

Outboard . An engine that is outside the boat (normally attached to the stern), as is commonly seen on tenders, dinghies, and smaller speed boats. Owner-operator . A person who owns and skippers a charter yacht, instead of hiring a captain to perform charters for guests.

nautical flag p

Painter. The rope used to tie the dinghy or tender up to the boat. Passarelle . The passageway you walk on from the dock to the yacht. Often incorrectly called a gangplank. Personal flotation device (PFD). A safety vest or jacket capable of keeping an individual afloat. Pitch . The theoretical distance a propeller would travel in one revolution. Also, the rising and falling motion of a boat's bow and stern. Planing hull . A boat hull designed to ride on top of the water rather than plowing through it. Port (direction). The left side of a boat when facing the bow. Signified by Red. The opposite side from Starboard.  Trick to remember - 'After a party, there’s no red port left'. Port (place). A marina harbor or commercial dock for boats. Port (drink). A strong, sweet, typically dark red fortified wine, originally from Portugal. (Well not exactly a nautical term, but lots of yachties like a good port after dinner!) Power catamaran . A multihulled powerboat with two identical side-by-side hulls. Characterized by excellent fuel mileage and less rolling in the water than a monohull powerboat. Power cruiser . A motor yacht with overnight accommodations, typically up to 40 feet long. Preference sheet . A questionnaire that guests fill out before a crewed charter. It alerts the crew to allergies and medical conditions, as well as to preferences for types of food, wine and service. As such, it is an invaluable document for the crew to plan the charter and assists greatly in customer satisfaction. Private yacht . A yacht that is not available for charter. Provisioning sheet . A questionnaire that guests fill out before a bareboat charter. It tells the management company what foods and other supplies you want to have to wait for you when you arrive for your vacation.  It’s not mandatory, as many bareboaters prefer to provision themselves when they arrive. Pullman berth . A twin-size bed that is atop another bed, in bunk-bed fashion, that adds additional sleeping accommodation to the yacht.  It often 'pulls” out of the wall when needed. Pump toilet . A marine toilet that requires the user to pump a handle to flush.

nautical flag r

Reach . To sail across the wind. Regatta . A boat race, often with classic yachts. See more on our regatta charter guide . RIB (acronym for Rigid Inflatable Boat). An inflatable boat fitted with a rigid bottom often used as a dinghy or tender. They are great for shallow water and landing on sandy beaches. Rope . A cord used to moor or control a yacht. Note: experienced sailors always refer to ropes as lines. Runabout . A kind of small, lightweight, freshwater pleasurecraft intended for day use.

nautical flag for s

Sailing yacht . A yacht whose primary method of propulsion is sailing. Nearly all sailing yachts have engines in addition to their sails. Sedan cruiser . A type of large boat equipped with a salon and a raised helm or bridge. Semi-displacement hull . A hull shape with soft chines or a rounded bottom that enables the boat to achieve minimal planing characteristics (see Planing hull).  This increases the top potential speed of the yacht. Schooner . A large sailboat with two or more masts where the foremast is shorter than aft mainmast. Skippered bareboat . A bareboat that has been chartered with a skipper, but no other crew. The skipper’s responsibility is navigating the boat and assuring the safety and wellbeing of the charterer.  The skipper may cook and provision, but this is not a requirement. Also known as a captain-only charter or skipper-only charter. Sky lounge . The indoor guest area on the bridge deck of a luxury motor yacht. Often less formal than the main saloon, and sometimes ideal for cocktail parties, happy hour or children’s activities, especially if the weather is not perfect. Starboard . The right side of a boat when facing the bow. Opposite of Port. Stabilizers . A feature that helps to prevent a Motoryacht from rolling too drastically, especially in bad weather, greatly improving the comfort of the guests. The most advanced form is a zero-speed stabilizer, which works both underway and at anchor. Stem . The most forward section of the hull. Stern . Aft (back) portion of a boat. Swim platform . The space at the back of the yacht from which you typically can go swimming or board a dinghy. Lately, these have become entire pool/beach areas on some of the larger luxury yachts.

nautical flag t

Tack (sail). The lower corner of a sail. Tack (sailing). Each leg of a zigzag course typically used to sail upwind. Tandem charter . A charter that includes more than one yacht. Tender . A boat that a yacht carries or tows used for transfers to and from shore, and short day cruises and watersports. Also sometimes called a dinghy. Transom . The rear section of the hull connecting the two sides. True wind . The direction and velocity of wind as measured on land, distinct from apparent wind which is how it appears on a moving yacht. Twin cabin . A yacht cabin that features two twin beds, often best suited for children or friends.

nautical flag for v

V-berth . A bed or berth located in the bow that has a V-shape. VAT . Value-added tax (TVA in France). A tax sometimes charged to charter guests who book boats in certain nations, most often in Europe. VAT can add 20 percent or more to your bill. Very happy . The state that most charterers are in the majority of the time they are aboard their yacht! VHF . Very high frequency; a bandwidth designation commonly used by marine radios. VICL . Virgin Islands Charter League, an organized group of charter yacht owners in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Membership in this group indicates a yacht owner’s willingness to be part of the larger charter community and to follow its standards. VIP cabin . Typically the second-best cabin onboard any charter yacht.

W in nautical flags

Waterline . The intersection of the hull and the surface of the water. Waypoint . The coordinates of a specific location. Weigh . To raise the anchor. Windlass . Rotating drum device used for hauling line or chain to raise and lower an anchor. Windward . The side of a boat or object that is facing or being hit by the wind - the windy side. Windward Islands .  The Windward Islands are the southern, generally larger islands of the Lesser Antilles, within the West Indies Wet head . A bathroom that serves as both the toilet/sink area and the shower compartment, meaning the sink and toilet get wet when you use the showerhead.

Yacht . A sailing or motor yacht designed for pleasure boating that typically ranges from 40 to 100+ feet long. Yachting . The experience of being on a yacht. Yaw . To veer off course.

Zero-speed stabilizers . The most sophisticated type of motor yacht stabilizers that keep the yacht from rolling both underway and at anchor, significantly improving their comfort.

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What does the noun yacht mean?

There is one meaning in OED's entry for the noun yacht . See ‘Meaning & use’ for definition, usage, and quotation evidence.

Entry status

OED is undergoing a continuous programme of revision to modernize and improve definitions. This entry has not yet been fully revised.

How common is the noun yacht ?

How is the noun yacht pronounced, british english, u.s. english, where does the noun yacht come from.

Earliest known use

The earliest known use of the noun yacht is in the late 1500s.

OED's earliest evidence for yacht is from before 1584, in the writing of S. Borough.

yacht is a borrowing from Dutch.

Etymons: Dutch jaght(e .

Nearby entries

  • yabber, v. 1841–
  • yabbering, n. 1839–
  • yabble, n. 1827–
  • yabble, v. 1808–
  • yabbler, n. 1901–
  • yabby, n. 1887–
  • yabby, v. 1941–
  • yabbying, n. 1934–
  • yabu, n. 1753–
  • yacca, n. 1843–
  • yacht, n. a1584–
  • yacht, v. 1836–
  • yacht basin, n. 1929–
  • yacht broker, n. 1882–
  • yachtdom, n. 1901–
  • yachter, n. 1828–
  • yachtery, n. 1861–
  • yachtian, n. 1842–
  • yachtie, n. 1874–
  • yachting, n. 1836–
  • yachting, adj. 1847–

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Meaning & use

Pronunciation, compounds & derived words, entry history for yacht, n..

yacht, n. was first published in 1921; not yet revised.

yacht, n. was last modified in July 2023.

Revision of the OED is a long-term project. Entries in oed.com which have not been revised may include:

  • corrections and revisions to definitions, pronunciation, etymology, headwords, variant spellings, quotations, and dates;
  • new senses, phrases, and quotations which have been added in subsequent print and online updates.

Revisions and additions of this kind were last incorporated into yacht, n. in July 2023.

Earlier versions of this entry were published in:

OED First Edition (1921)

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OED Second Edition (1989)

  • View yacht, n. in OED Second Edition

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Citation details

Factsheet for yacht, n., browse entry.

IMAGES

  1. The Yacht

    meaning of yachting in one word

  2. Yachting Meaning

    meaning of yachting in one word

  3. Yacht Meaning

    meaning of yachting in one word

  4. The Yacht

    meaning of yachting in one word

  5. Yachting

    meaning of yachting in one word

  6. What is the meaning of the word YACHT?

    meaning of yachting in one word

COMMENTS

  1. Yachting Definition & Meaning

    yachting: [noun] the action, fact, or pastime of racing or cruising in a yacht.

  2. YACHTING Definition & Meaning

    Yachting definition: the practice or sport of sailing or voyaging in a yacht. . See examples of YACHTING used in a sentence.

  3. YACHTING

    YACHTING definition: 1. the sport or activity of sailing yachts 2. the sport or activity of sailing yachts. Learn more.

  4. YACHTING

    yachting meaning: 1. the sport or activity of sailing yachts 2. the sport or activity of sailing yachts. Learn more.

  5. Yachting

    yachting: 1 n water travel for pleasure Synonyms: boating Types: bareboating boating by chartering a bareboat and providing your own crew and provisions Type of: seafaring , water travel travel by water

  6. YACHTING Synonyms: 10 Similar Words

    Synonyms for YACHTING: boating, kayaking, sailing, canoeing, shipping (out), cruising, ferrying, coasting, navigating, voyaging

  7. yachting

    yachting - Synonyms, related words and examples | Cambridge English Thesaurus

  8. Yachting Definition & Meaning

    Yachting definition, the practice or sport of sailing or voyaging in a yacht. See more.

  9. yachting noun

    Definition of yachting noun in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Meaning, pronunciation, picture, example sentences, grammar, usage notes, synonyms and more.

  10. Yacht Definition & Meaning

    yacht: [noun] any of various recreational watercraft: such as. a sailboat used for racing. a large usually motor-driven craft used for pleasure cruising.

  11. Yachting Definition & Meaning

    yachting (noun) yachting / ˈ jɑːtɪŋ/ noun. Britannica Dictionary definition of YACHTING. [noncount] : the activity or sport of sailing in a yacht. a yachting champion. We went yachting over the weekend. YACHTING meaning: the activity or sport of sailing in a yacht.

  12. yachting

    From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Related topics: Outdoor, Water yachting yacht‧ing / ˈjɒtɪŋ $ ˈjɑːtɪŋ / noun [uncountable] especially British English DLO TTW sailing, travelling, or racing in a yacht → sailing Examples from the Corpus yachting • Stuart Quarrie is a yachting consultant specialising in race training ...

  13. YACHTING definition in American English

    Definition of yachting from the Collins English Dictionary. Read about the team of authors behind Collins Dictionaries. New from Collins Quick word challenge. ... We're taking a closer look at the intriguing expressions and customs that have grown up around one of the most versatile plants out there - the stinging nettle. Read more. Learning ...

  14. YACHT

    YACHT meaning: 1. a boat with sails and sometimes an engine, used for either racing or travelling on for pleasure…. Learn more.

  15. 100 Basic Yachting & Sailing Terms You Need To Know

    Stern - The back of the boat. Tack - The direction of a boat when it is sailing upwind. Throttle - The control used to increase or decrease engine speed. Tiller - A handle or lever used to steer a boat. Transom - The flat, vertical surface at the back of the boat where the outboard motor is mounted.

  16. Essential Yachting Terminology 101

    Port: Left-hand side of the boat (when facing the bow). Starboard: Right-hand side of the boat (when facing the bow). Quarter: A yacht can be divided into quarters, and this can help a captain direct their crew where to go on deck. Port Bow and Starboard Bow cover the two areas from midships up to the bow. Port Quarter and Starboard Quarter ...

  17. Yachting and sailing: Words of the waves

    A yacht is more than a vessel; it's a symbol of luxury and sophistication. Derived from the Dutch word "jacht," meaning "hunt" or "chase," yachts were initially swift, maneuverable ships used for pursuit. Over time, yachts have evolved into opulent pleasure craft enjoyed by sailing enthusiasts and the elite.

  18. 21 Common Yachting Terms Explained

    A boat with a single hull. May be a sailing yacht, motor yacht, luxury super- or megayacht. See Catamaran above for comparison. Motor yacht (or M/Y) A yacht which is powered with engines. Nautical mile. A measure of distance on the water. One nautical mile is equal to 1852 metres or 1-minute of latitude on a navigational chart. Preference sheet

  19. Nautical Terms, Yachting Words, Boat Terms You Should Know

    Boatswain or bosun: A non-commissioned officer responsible for the sails, ropes, and boats on a ship who issues "piped" commands to seamen. Bobstay: Rope used on ships to steady the bowsprit. Bollard: From "bol" or "bole", the round trunk of a tree. A substantial vertical pillar to which lines may be made fast.

  20. YACHT

    YACHT definition: 1. a boat with sails and sometimes an engine, used for either racing or travelling on for pleasure…. Learn more.

  21. Yachting and Boating Glossary of Terms

    The direction and speed of the wind as felt in a moving boat - the way it 'appears". Astern. The direction toward or beyond the back of the boat (stern). Athwartships. Perpendicular to the yacht's centerline. An 'athwartships berth," means the bed is parallel to the yacht's sides instead of to its bow and stern.

  22. yacht, n. meanings, etymology and more

    What does the noun yacht mean? There is one meaning in OED's entry for the noun yacht. See 'Meaning & use' for definition, usage, and quotation evidence. Entry status. OED is undergoing a continuous programme of revision to modernize and improve definitions. This entry has not yet been fully revised. See meaning & use.