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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 motoryachts, 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 monies 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 .


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 .

Crewed Motor Yachts!  

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.


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 take much of the work out of dropping the sails. French Riviera.  A stretch of coastline on 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 idel" In Irons. A sailing word to describe a yacht losing her forward momentum when heading into 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. Sailors 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 tempory fix to something which has broken on the yacht. 

K is for knot - boatbookings

Knot . Boat speed measured in nautical miles per hour. 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 that is 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 in order 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). An 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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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.

yacht team meaning

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.

yacht team meaning

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’.

yacht team meaning

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 :)

yacht team meaning

Contact information

Sharon Rose

The Essential Guide to Yacht Crew Team Building

  • by yachtman
  • September 22, 2023 August 26, 2023

yacht team meaning

No doubt, team building is key for a successful yacht crew. Together, they can tackle any challenge and make sailing an unforgettable experience.

To work together, crew members must combine their individual skills and communicate well. Team-building activities, such as water sports and treasure hunts , are great for trust-building, problem solving, and creating strong memories.

A dramatic example of the power of team building is seen in Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition of 1914 . Despite being trapped in ice, Shackleton and his crew kept morale high and survived due to their shared goals and support for one another.

Importance of Yacht Crew Team Building

Team building is key to the success of any yacht crew. A good team means smooth operations, efficient communication and excellent performance. Understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses helps crew members work together and provide great service to guests.

Team building encourages trust and camaraderie. It unites the crew and sets shared goals. Activities spark open communication, allowing crew members to express their ideas and concerns. This helps them tackle problems and build relationships.

Team building boosts morale and motivation. Activities show crew members their value and contributions. When they feel supported by their colleagues, they are more likely to perform better.

Yacht crew team building focuses on adaptability and resilience. Exercises help them develop skills like collaboration, flexibility and decision-making. These come in handy when facing unexpected challenges.

Studies show companies that invest in team building have higher employee satisfaction and productivity. Yacht owners who prioritize team building will create a better working environment and provide a better guest experience.

Benefits of Yacht Crew Team Building

To enhance your yacht crew team building, delve into the benefits of fostering better communication and collaboration, increasing trust and camaraderie, and improving problem-solving skills. These sub-sections offer solutions that can bolster the effectiveness and cohesiveness of your yacht crew, leading to a more successful and enjoyable sailing experience.

Enhanced Communication and Collaboration

Improved Coordination: Better communication encourages crew members to work together more effectively. This leads to smoother sailing and better operations.

Clear Instructions: Open communication channels help crew members convey instructions easily. This leads to better understanding and execution of tasks.

Stronger Relationships: Regular collaboration helps crew members have stronger relationships. This increases trust and camaraderie on board.

Innovative Problem Solving: When discussing ideas, crews can come up with innovative solutions for challenges.

Enhanced Safety: Clear communication is essential for everyone’s safety. Improved collaboration makes it easier to respond to emergencies and reduce risks.

Promotes Efficiency: Good communication and collaboration optimize workflow, leading to better yacht operations.

Also, enhanced communication and collaboration can improve customer satisfaction. Boat International found that teams with good communication are 20% more likely to reach their goals.

Increased Trust and Camaraderie

Yacht crew team-building activities are great for building trust and camaraderie. Here’s why:

  • Improved Communication : With team-building exercises, crew members can communicate better. That leads to better coordination during work, and more trust among the team.
  • Enhanced Problem-Solving : Doing team challenges improves individuals’ problem-solving skills. This builds trust as members rely on each other for support.
  • Strengthened Team Spirit : Exercises help build unity and belongingness. This creates an atmosphere where everyone feels valued – and enhances camaraderie.
  • Increased Adaptability : Crew members develop skills for the dynamic environment of yachting. Adaptability strengthens trust among teammates.

Plus, team-building activities provide opportunities for crew members to understand different perspectives without hierarchies or superiority.

Fun Fact : 95% of superyacht crews experienced improved teamwork after team-building activities!

Improved Problem-Solving Skills

Team building can boost problem-solving skills of yacht crew members. There are three key ways in which it helps:

  • Enhanced Communication – Team building activities help crew communicate effectively and convey ideas/concerns when solving problems.
  • Creative Thinking – Exercises promote creative thinking, leading to innovative solutions.
  • Collaboration & Cooperation – Promotes collaboration and cooperation between crew members, helping them work together for successful resolutions.

Plus, team building activities also build trust and camaraderie, creating a cohesive unit with improved problem-solving capabilities.

Harvard Business School conducted a study which revealed that teams engaging in team building activities had a 30% increase in their ability to solve complex problems efficiently.

Steps to Implement Yacht Crew Team Building

To implement effective yacht crew team building, assess the needs of the crew and choose appropriate activities. Plan and schedule team building events, and facilitate effective sessions to strengthen the team bond. With these steps, you can enhance teamwork and communication among crew members, resulting in a more cohesive and efficient yacht crew.

Assess the Needs of the Crew

Assessing the needs of the crew is vital for effective yacht team-building. Understand their needs and you can form a cohesive, motivated team. Let’s look deeper.

Needs include:

  • Technical Competence – Evaluate their knowledge and expertise for roles.
  • Communication Skills – Assess how they communicate with each other and guests.
  • Leadership Abilities – Identify individuals with potential to lead.
  • Teamwork Skills – Evaluate their collaboration and cooperation.
  • Cultural Awareness – See if crew are sensitive to cultural backgrounds and provide excellent service.
  • Problem-Solving Skills – Assess their ability to think critically and find solutions in challenging situations.

Considering all these is important. Also, gather feedback from the crew to know their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

Reassess the needs of the crew regularly so you can address any gaps in skills and areas for improvement, leading to a highly functioning team onboard your yacht.

Choose Appropriate Team Building Activities

Choosing the right team building activities is essential for making a strong and united yacht crew. These activities help to build trust, better communication, and boost team work amongst team members. Consider these points when deciding:

  • Do physical challenges such as sailing races or water sports to help with teamwork, communication, and problem-solving.
  • Have team-building exercises that focus on trust and working together, like trust falls or obstacle courses blindfolded .
  • Play interactive games and puzzles that need problem-solving and thinking skills to promote teamwork and creativity.
  • Plan social events or outings outside of work hours to connect and strengthen relationships amongst the crew.
  • Do group discussions or workshops to address conflict resolution strategies and better communication .
  • Have training sessions tailored to the needs of the crew, like leadership development or skill-specific workshops .

Also, it’s important to think about each crew member’s unique dynamics while picking activities. Some people may be better in competitive settings but others prefer more cooperative ones. By making activities fit the strengths and preferences of the crew, you can boost their participation and engagement.

Here are some ideas for suitable team building activities:

  • Do a “treasure hunt” where teams work together solving clues that lead to a hidden prize. This promotes problem-solving, communication, and teamwork.
  • Have a cooking competition where teams make a meal with limited resources. This encourages cooperation, creativity, and adaptability, as well as builds camaraderie among the crew.
  • Make a ropes course challenge where teams navigate through physical obstacles that need coordination, trust-building, and effective communication.

These suggestions work because they focus on elements of teamwork, communication, problem-solving, adaptation, and trust-building. They also provide a break from the usual routine and let the crew bond on a personal level, raising morale and productivity. By choosing the right team building activities, yacht crews can have an atmosphere of trust, collaboration, and excellent team work.

Plan and Schedule Team Building Events

Planning and scheduling team building activities is vital for a successful yacht crew. Here are some tips to help make this process successful:

  • Identify goals: Clearly understand the objectives of the events to match the crew’s development needs.
  • Choose activities: Select activities that promote collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and trust-building.
  • Set schedule: Create a timetable for the events. Make sure they don’t interfere with daily operations and allow enough time for participation and debriefing.
  • Evaluate and refine: Assess the effectiveness of each event to improve future planning. Ask for feedback from the crew to tailor future activities.

In addition, you must consider factors like location, resources required, and budget while planning. With well-planned and scheduled events, yacht crews can boost their teamwork skills.

Now, I’ll share a heartening story. A yacht crew operating in tough conditions organized a team building event that combined navigation and rescue simulations. This exercise not only improved their technical abilities but also fostered camaraderie and trust among the crew. Such well-planned events make a great contribution to successful sailing.

Remember, proper planning and scheduling of team building events are essential for developing a unified yacht crew that can handle any obstacle. So, get creative, organize engaging activities, and watch your team spirit soar!

Facilitate Effective Team Building Sessions

Team-building is key for a yacht crew. It helps build trust, enhance communication, and create a positive work environment.

Use activities and strategies to strengthen the bond and performance. Here are 6 strategies :

  • Inclusion: Involve everyone, regardless of rank or experience, and make sure everyone feels comfortable to share their ideas.
  • Goals: Clearly define the objectives of the session to ensure everyone is working towards the same outcome.
  • Exercises: Engage in activities that encourage teamwork, problem-solving, and communication.
  • Reflection and Feedback: After each activity or exercise, reflect on experiences and give feedback.
  • Bonding: Organize social events to help build personal connections.
  • Progress: Regularly evaluate the team building sessions with feedback from the crew members.

Tailor the approach to the unique dynamics of the yacht crew. A real-life example highlights the importance of team building – a yacht crew resolved conflicts and improved collaboration, resulting in a more efficient working environment.

Invest time and effort in facilitating effective team building sessions for yacht crews!

Examples of Successful Yacht Crew Team Building Activities

To strengthen your yacht crew’s unity and collaboration, explore successful team building activities. Engage your team through team building games and challenges, outdoor bonding activities, and training and development workshops. These activities foster strong teamwork, build trust, and enhance communication skills among crew members. Get ready to unleash your crew’s potential and sail towards success.

Team Building Games and Challenges

Team Building Games and Challenges can be beneficial for yacht crews. Let’s take a look at the table below.

Each game has its own benefits. The Escape Room Challenge improves problem-solving. The Teamwork Obstacle Course promotes collaboration and trust. The Navigation Challenge enhances communication and decision-making. Lastly, the Solve-The-Puzzle Race encourages critical thinking and quick problem-solving.

By incorporating these activities, yacht crews can learn the importance of teamwork, trust-building, communication, problem-solving, collaboration, and quick decision-making. These skills are vital for a successful crew. Therefore, implementing these suggestions can help team building endeavors.

Outdoor Bonding Activities

Split the crew into teams for a scavenger hunt! Give them a list of items to find on the yacht or nearby locations.

Organize sailing regattas for friendly competition between different yachts. This will help build teamwork.

Engage in beach cleanups to bring the crew closer and raise awareness about protecting the oceans.

Water sports challenges like paddleboarding and kayaking can help build trust and communication skills.

Organize cooking contests to showcase crew members’ culinary skills. This fosters collaboration and creates a fun atmosphere.

To make these outdoor activities even more special, go for themed scavenger hunts and introduce new water sports equipment. Tailor the activities to suit your yacht’s culture and ensure everyone’s participation.

Pro Tip: Before planning any outdoor bonding activity, take into account the physical abilities and preferences of each crew member. This is to make sure everyone is included and has a great time!

Training and Development Workshops

Workshops provide an opportunity to learn new skills and techniques related to yacht roles and responsibilities. It’s a platform to exchange ideas, share experiences, and learn from each other’s expertise.

Interactive sessions promote effective communication, fostering a cooperative work environment.

Exercises and simulations allow crew members to apply learning in real-life scenarios on a yacht.

Topics may cover safety procedures, emergency response protocols, guest service standards, and navigation techniques.

Participation boosts individual skills and strengthens overall teamwork.

Industry experts and guest speakers add to the learning process with valuable insights from their maritime experience.

Captain Jack Roberts is a remarkable example, organizing a workshop focused on crisis management. He shared personal experiences of unforeseen emergencies at sea.

Role-playing exercises simulated challenging scenarios, allowing crew to gain practical problem-solving skills and work together under pressure.

Evaluating the Impact of Yacht Crew Team Building

To evaluate the impact of yacht crew team building and maximize its effectiveness, gather feedback from crew members and assess the overall team performance. This will provide valuable insights into the success and areas of improvement for the team.

Gathering Feedback from Crew Members

Gathering feedback is vital for assessing the effect of yacht crew team building. Crew members’ insights provide significant data to measure the usefulness of team-building activities and make needed improvements.

  • Encourage talking: Create an environment where crew members feel at ease discussing their views and thoughts.
  • Offer anonymous feedback options: Offer channels or platforms where crew members can express their opinions anonymously, boosting truthfulness and clarity.
  • Carry out regular surveys: Use online survey tools to collect feedback on aspects such as team dynamics, communication, and overall satisfaction.
  • Have one-on-one meetings: Have private talks with crew members to get personalized feedback. This allows for deeper conversations and the chance to address particular issues.
  • Install suggestion boxes: Place suggestion boxes in common areas onboard, enabling crew members to submit written feedback whenever they want.
  • Facilitate group discussions: Organize regular team gatherings or workshops to promote open conversation among crew members. This cultivates brainstorming and encourages joining forces.

Think about setting up a rotating feedback system as well, where different crew members are in charge of gathering feedback from their teammates periodically. This makes sure everyone has a chance to share their ideas and avoids bias in the assessment procedure.

Pro Tip: Recognize and appreciate the efforts made by crew members who give valuable feedback. This builds a culture of continuous improvement and motivates active involvement in future evaluation processes.

Assessing the Overall Team Performance

Assessing team performance is a must for successful yacht crew team building. Evaluation of the team’s strengths and areas of improvement is key to boosting cohesion, communication, and productivity.

To assess team performance, several factors are key. One is the team’s ability to collaborate, support, and communicate during operations & leisure activities. Additionally, assessing individual contributions to the team dynamic is vital.

Task allocation & goal setting should also be evaluated. Are tasks assigned based on individual strengths & skills? Are goals clear & achievable? Aligned with the yacht’s mission?

Communication patterns must also be assessed. Are there breakdowns in communication channels? Effective communication is key for safety & efficiency.

Regular feedback sessions & ongoing training are recommended. They focus on topics such as effective communication, conflict resolution, & problem-solving skills. By investing in teamwork development, crew members can excel.

As we reach the end of this important guide, it is obvious that crew team building is essential for a cohesive and successful crew. Communication, trust, and collaboration are key to overcoming hurdles and accomplishing goals.

We have discussed the importance of communication amongst team members. It is necessary to have open dialogue to foster understanding and unity. Additionally, we have looked at the significance of trust within a crew. Trust is the cornerstone of effective teamwork and smooth operations.

We have investigated different ways to better team building aboard a yacht. Team bonding activities and interactive training sessions provide great opportunities for crew members to bond and develop relationships that will lead to successful collaborations.

Studies show that teams that partake in team building activities have higher job satisfaction and work more efficiently. Boat International Media published this in 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for The Essential Guide to Yacht Crew Team Building:

Q: What is yacht crew team building?

A: Yacht crew team building refers to activities, exercises, and initiatives designed to enhance the cohesion, cooperation, and performance of the crew members on a yacht. It aims to foster a sense of unity, improve communication, and develop trust among the team.

Q: Why is team building important for yacht crew?

A: Team building is important for yacht crew as it helps create a positive work environment, improves crew dynamics, and increases job satisfaction. It enhances collaboration, boosts morale, and ultimately leads to better performance and guest experiences on board.

Q: What are some popular team building activities for yacht crew?

A: Popular team building activities for yacht crew include sailing competitions, treasure hunts, survival challenges, problem-solving exercises, role-playing scenarios, and trust-building games. These activities promote teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills.

Q: How often should yacht crew engage in team building activities?

A: Yacht crew should engage in team building activities regularly to maintain good crew dynamics. It is recommended to plan team building sessions at least once every charter season, and additionally whenever there are new crew members joining the team.

Q: What are the benefits of yacht crew team building?

A: The benefits of yacht crew team building include increased trust and cooperation among crew members, improved communication and problem-solving skills, enhanced job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and ultimately a more efficient and successful yacht operation.

Q: How can yacht captains or managers facilitate team building?

A: Yacht captains or managers can facilitate team building by organizing and participating in team building activities, providing opportunities for open communication, promoting a positive work culture, recognizing and rewarding team achievements, and addressing any conflict or issues that may arise within the crew.

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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

Racing Terms: Glossary for Newer Sailors

Racing terms

If you didn’t grow up sailing, how long did it take you to figure out what sailors mean when they say “put the bow down?” After hearing from newer sailors that the language of racing is hard to decipher, we decided to create a glossary of racing terms and phrases.

We chose racing terms and phrases that are likely to be obscure to newer sailors. To keep the list manageable, we did not include basic sailing terms, words defined in the racing rules, or racing terms applicable to big boats.

Our list is generally organized alphabetically, with a few related terms clustered.

Racing Terms and Phrases for Newer Sailors

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Sailing race

Learn to Race: Sailing Racing Terms

By: Zeke Quezada, ASA Learn To Sail

Understanding sailing terms is vital to effective communication on a sailboat, and American Sailing has plenty of resources for the new sailor to expand their vocabulary. When you begin to crew or even skipper a race boat, it’s even more critical that everyone speaks the same language because naturally, in a race everything happens more quickly.

Ranging from phrases used in everyday language couched in nautical history, to specific terms important to learn for a beginner sailor, learning to speak the language can be a daunting task, but doing so will make for much smoother sailing when you start to learn to race.

Sailors who race have an even more specific language vital to understanding what is going on when attempting to become the local yacht club champion. As you get immersed in the sailing racing culture, you will understand the commonly used terms on board during a yacht race, but your skipper will appreciate a crew who has done their homework. 

If you want to expand on your sailing racing vocabulary and rules knowledge, take a look at the World Sailing Rules , and you’ll round out your sailing language skills. 

For a condensed primer, here are some of the standard sailing race terms you should be familiar with as you venture into the racing scene:

  • Beat – sailing upwind towards the windward mark
  • Reach – sailing perpendicular to the wind, at an angle between a beat and a run
  • Run – sailing downwind away from the windward mark
  • Start line – the line across which boats start a race
  • Starting gun – the signal that starts the race
  • OCS – “on course side,” meaning a boat crossed the start line too early and must restart
  • Layline – the imaginary line that a boat must sail to in order to round a mark without tacking or jibing
  • Mark – An object the sailing instructions require a boat to leave on a specified side, and a race committee vessel surrounded by navigable water from which the starting or finishing line extends. An anchor line or an object attached accidentally to a mark is not part of it.
  • Mark rounding – sailing around a buoy or other fixed object on the course
  • Finish line – the line across which boats finish the race
  • Protest – An allegation made under rule 61.2 by a boat, a race committee, a technical committee or a protest committee that a boat has broken a rule.
  • Penalty – a penalty imposed on a boat for breaking a racing rule, typically a time penalty or a penalty turn.
  • Zone – The area around a mark within a distance of three hull lengths of the boat nearer to it. A boat is in the zone when any part of her hull is in the zone.

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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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The etymology of the term yacht comes from the Dutch word ‘jacht’, which was used in the past to define the fast sailing vessels used to hunt down pirates along the coasts of northern Europe.

Today, the term ‘yacht’ is used to describe all recreational vessels, whether sailing or motor-powered, with at least one cabin that allows the crew to sleep on board.

There is no established definition for the length of this family of boats, but common usage tends to define a yacht as a vessel longer than 33 feet, or about 10 meters.

As mentioned above, a yacht may be equipped with sailing, motor or mixed propulsion. It can have more than one hull, and if it exceeds 25 meters it also deserves the definition of superyacht . When a yacht is over 50 meters it is called a megayacht and, more and more frequently, when it exceeds 100 meters it becomes a gigayacht.

A yacht normally flies a flag that corresponds to the country where the vessel is registered, not least because, if it does not, it may be captured and taken to the nearest port for ‘flag survey’. As far as international maritime law is concerned, the yacht is considered in all respects to be the territory of the country of the flag it flies, to whose sovereignty the crew is subject.

A yacht flying the flag of a country, unless there is well-founded suspicion of illegal activity, can only be stopped for inspection by the military vessels of that country. When a yacht enters the territorial waters of a country other than that of its flag, it is obliged to fly a courtesy flag.

This is tantamount to a declaration of submission to the navigational laws of the country in which it is sailing.

Sailing and motor-powered yachts

The first major distinction is between sailing yachts and motoryachts. The current worldwide spread of these two families has shifted decisively towards motor yachts, which make up about 75% of the total sailing fleet.

Progress and design have produced many different categories of motor yachts, so let’s discover them together.


Seen from the stern, a flybridge yacht is often equipped with a “beach club”, a platform that facilitates access to the sea and on which water toys are placed or simply used for diving. A staircase, or even two symmetrical staircases, leads from this platform to the main deck. Sometimes there is a “garage” between these two staircases to house the engine room, a tender and other on-board equipment.

The main deck is characterized by the presence of a helm station, inside of which a large open-space salon houses settees and a galley. The helm station often leads below deck, also known as the lower deck, where the sleeping quarters, or cabins, are normally located.


The foredeck often has a large sundeck bordered by a “bowplate” for hauling anchor. The bow is often “fenced in” by the handrails, which are vital grips for safety at sea.

Let’s get to why a yacht is called a flybridge. The flybridge is an upper deck, open 360 degrees and often covered by a hard-top, a roof usually made of fibreglass. The flybridge usually has an additional helm station to steer from a more panoramic position. An additional galley is often located on the flybridge, as well as additional lounge seating and sun decks.

Open Yachts

An open yacht has no flybridge and its main deck is commonly all open. The helm station can frequently be sheltered by a T-Top. Below deck, depending on the length of the yacht, there are living spaces for the crew which may include dinette, cabins and facilities. Open yachts can be walk-around, i.e. with the possibility for passengers of walking freely around the perimeter of the boat, or they can have an enclosed bow and thus have a raised deck.

yacht 1

A coupe yacht is a yacht without a flybridge, characterized by a sporty design, with the main deck open aft. Very often it has a sunroof and is always equipped with side-decks connecting the stern to the bow. It is a vessel that, depending on its size, is suitable for medium to long-distance cruising.

coupe yacht

This is an important type of yacht, which has its origins on the American East Coast where it was used to catch lobsters. It has a romantic, sometimes vintage aesthetic, and is endowed with sinuous lines that, for some, are evocative of the 1950s. Very suitable for cruising and conviviality, thanks also to a large sofa in the cockpit, the lobster is an iconic boat that offers plenty of comfort and space below deck for at least one cabin and one head.


The trawler is essentially a yacht for owners who want to spend a lot of time on board. This is why interior volumes are maximized and the upper deck is always present. Also part of the trawler family are the famous Menorcan boats, inspired by the llaüts of the Menorca island..

Increasingly popular among motor yachts, too, is the multihull, due to its inherent features of stability and capacity. In most cases it is a catamaran designed for long stays at sea.

Sailing yacht

Sailing yachts are vessels where propulsion should mainly rely on the power transmitted by the wind. In the past, sailing yacht engines were low-powered and mainly used for entering and leaving ports, but today, for obvious reasons of practicality and ease of use, they have enough power to make the sailing yacht cruise at a speed at least equal to its theoretical hull speed. This means that sailing yachts can be used efficiently even in the total absence of wind.

A sailing yacht can be rigged in many different ways, these being the most common in modern times:

Sloop : this is the most common rigging on modern boats, characterized by the presence of a single mast with a mainsail and a jib or genoa. Sloop rigging has become popular over the years because it is the easiest to handle with a small crew and also offers the best ease of use/sailing performance ratio.

Cutter : Widely used for long distance sailing, it is characterized by the presence of a mainsail and two jibs rigged on a single mast. Normally the two jibs are a genoa and foresail that are used individually, depending on the weather conditions.

Ketch : this is the most commonly used rig on two-masted sailing yachts, with a mainmast, rigged with a mainsail and genoa, and a mizzenmast, forward of the rudder shaft, rigged with a single mainsail. The splitting of the sails makes this type of yacht suitable for sailing in bad weather.

Yawl : exactly the same as a ketch but with the mizzen mast located aft of the rudder shaft.

Sailing yachts can be monohulls or multihulls, i.e. catamarans or trimarans, but in all cases they can be divided into these categories:

sailing yacht

Easy to handle and with plenty of space above and below deck, this type of yacht is normally characterized by an unbalanced length/width ratio favouring the latter, a small sail area and more powerful than average engines.

The interiors are fully equipped and sophisticated, with each cabin often having its own en-suite head.

The deck plan and sailing equipment are simplified, often electrified and minimal.


sail-powered yacht

This yacht, while still featuring a luxurious and complete interior, also has all the equipment needed for sail fine-tuning and a generous sail area.

This is a category where special attention is paid to both the overall weight of the boat and the hull shape.

The hull lines are in fact designed to enhance performance and, inevitably, this results in a slightly smaller interior than that of pure cruising yachts of the same length.



The owner who buys this type of yacht has already competed in club competitions and now wants to engage in higher level racing. The hulls are light and can sometimes be made of carbon, and all the sail adjustments are fine-tuned to achieve maximum performance.

The deck plan is definitely designed for crewed racing and the sail area/displacement ratio is unbalanced in favour of the former, making this yacht more difficult to handle with a smaller crew but, conversely, capable of performance similar to a pure racing yacht.

A pure racing yacht is a sailing yacht built exclusively for racing. Free from any commercial constraints, it is built according to the type of race to be competed in and, above all, the rating to be obtained. The interiors of this boat are minimal. This yacht is capable of planing and sailing upwind at very low wind angles, but is almost never used for recreational purposes.


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How to sail: A-Z of Yachting Terms

When learning how to sail have you ever wondered when you are on a yacht what some of those yachting terms mean, we have asked our RYA Training Centre pupils which ones confuse the most. Here are a selection, which includes the obvious to the more obscure!

How to sail: A-Z of Yachting Terms

A baft: A location on the boat but further to the rear of the boat. “The tiller is abaft the mast.”

A beam: The beam is the widest part of the boat. When another boat is abeam, it is at a right angle off the beam to either the starboard or port side of the boat you are on.

A ft: When on a boat you refer to the stern part of the boat as being aft or to the rear of the boat.

A head: A term used to describe the area in front of the boat you are on. “Look ahead.”

A ids to Navigation: This includes all external systems like channel markers, preferred route buoys, danger and safe water buoys, isolated danger and regulatory markers etc. that help determine a boats position or course, the presence of dangers or obstructions and the preferred route to navigate.

A midships: In the middle of the boat between the stern and the bow.

A pparent Wind: The apparent wind is a combination of the true wind and the wind caused by the boat travelling through the water. On an windex, the apparent wind will cause the windex to show wind direction just in front of the true wind.

A stern: A location off the boat and behind it.

B ulkhead – Refers to an often watertight, interior wall on the boat

Backing Wind: Refers to the wind shifting direction in a counter-clockwise direction. This usually means that bad weather is approaching.

Backstay: A wire running from the top of the mast to the stern of the boat. The backstay stops the mast from falling forward and also helps to control the degree of mast bend when tuning a boat.

Battens: Wood, fiberglass or plastic strips slid into pockets along the leech of the sail. Battens help to shape and strengthen the sail to increase overall performance.

Beam: The widest part of the boat.

Beam Reaching: One of the points of sail. You are ‘beam reaching’ when sailing directly sideways to the wind on either a port or starboard tack. Think of a clock face – if the wind is blowing from 12 o’clock, sailing at between 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock would be a beam reach.

Bearing Away: Turning away from the wind or turning downwind.

Beating: Sailing towards the wind by tacking back and forth across the wind.

Belayed: Secured, tied to, made fast to.

Bend On: To secure one thing to another. Tieing two lines together.

Bifurcation: A channel junction (two channels meeting) usually marked by a ‘bifurcation buoy’ indicating the perferred channel to follow.

Bight: A loop or bend in a line.

Bilge: The lowest inner part of a boats hull.

Bitter End: The utmost free end of a line. (The other end is referred to as the ‘Standing Line’).

Boat Wind: The wind created by the boat moving through the water. The true wind and the boat wind combine to create the apparent wind direction.

Boat Fall: Rigging used to raise or lower a ship’s boat.

Boat Painter: Rope tied to the front end of a boat used to either tow a boat or to secure it to a dock.

Bollard: Wooden or iron post on a pier to which the boat is secured.

Boom: The boom is the pole running aft from the mast to which (among other things) the foot of the mainsail is attached.

Bowline: A very strong and yet easy to untie knot that creates a loop in the end of a line.

Breastlines: Mooring lines that run from the bow and the stern at right angles to the dock to stop the boat from drifting out from the dock.

Broad Reach: One of the points of sail. Sailing downwind off to the port or starboard side. Think of a clock face – if the wind is blowing from 12 o’clock, sailing at between 4-5 o’clock or between 7-8 o’clock would be a broad reach.

By the Lee: Sailing downwind with the mainsail remaining on the same side of the boat that the wind is hitting. If you are sailing downwind on a port tack, typically the mainsail would be off the starboard side of the boat. When sailing ‘by the lee’, the mainsail in the same situation would remain on the port side of the boat out at a 90 degree angle to the boat.

C lew – The lower aft corner of a sail

Cabin: The below deck living quarters.

Cable: Measurement of distance equal to 0.1 nautical mile.

Cam cleat: A fitting through which a line is run through. The cam cleat consists of two cams that wedge against the line stopping it from being pulled out.

Cardinal Aids to Navigation: Buoys with indicate the location of hazards, safe water or deep water by reference to the four cardinal points of a compass (North, South, East, West).(See our section on buoys for a more complete explanation.)

Catboat: A boat with one mast flying no foresail (jib).

Cast Off: To release the lines allowing the boat to leave it’s mooring.

Chainplates: Very strong metal plates affixed to the hull to which the forestay, backstay and shrouds are attached.

Chart Datum: For navigational safety, depths on a chart are shown from a low-water surface or a low-water datum called chart datum. Chart datum is selected so that the water level will seldom fall below it and only rarely will there be less depth available than what is portrayed on the chart

Chock: a metal fitting, either oval or U-shaped, through which mooring lines are passed. Chocks help reduce abrasion saving the lines from excessive wear and tear.

Cleat: A small, metal deck fitting with horns used for securing lines (belaying).

Clew: The lower rear corner of a sail.

Close Reach: Point of sail – sailing against the wind at an angle somewhere between a Beam Reach and Close Hauled. Think of a clock face – if the wind is blowing from 12 o’clock, sailing at 2 o’clock or 10 o’clock would be a close reach.

Close Hauled: Point of sail – sailng as close to the wind (sharp angle to the wind) as possible without the sailings luffing (fluttering).

Cockpit: The open inset area from where the boat is steered.

Companionway: Stairs or ladder on a boat usually leading down to the cabin.

Cringles: Open metal rings inserted into the sail (also called grommets) used as reefing points for a sail but also found at the clew, head and tack of the sail to attach halyards, lines, outhauls etc.

Cunningham: A line used to adjust the forward edge of the mainsail. Usually runs from the tack of the sail to the front area of the boom.

Current: The horizontal flow of water. (Tide is the vertical flow of water.)

Cutter: A cutter has one mast but sails with two foresails.

D raft – This describes the depth of a boat measured from the deepest point to the waterline

Davit: A crane onboard that can be swung out over the side for hoisting or lowering boats.

Dead Reckoning: Navigational term – method used to plot the course already travelled by measuring speed and time to calculate distance.

Deep Six: A slang term meaning to discard something over the side of the boat.

Degree: A distance of measurement on a nautical chart. One degree equals 60 nautical miles. Each degree is broken down into 60 minute intervals. One minute of one degree equals 1 nautical mile.

Deviation: A ship’s magnetic compass reading can be affected by metal objects on the boat (electronic equipment etc). The difference between the correct magnetic reading and the ships compass magnetic reading is called deviation. Deviation will vary depending on the direction of the boat.

Dog: A metal fitting used to secure watertight doors, hatch covers and scuttles.

Downhaul: A line attached to the tack of the sail and used to pull down or tighten the mainsail to increase sale efficiency.

E ase: To let out or ‘ease off’ a line.

E nsign – The national flag of the boats home country

F Fairleads: A metal fitting through which lines are run to in order to change the direction of the lines while reducing friction on the lines.

Fairway: Sailing on inland waters, fairway means an open channel or being in midchannel.

Fast: To make fast. To secure (snugly tie) a line to something.

Fathoms: A unit of measurement. One fathon equals 6 feet.

Fenders: Cylindrical air filled plastic or rubber bumpers hung off the side of a boat or dock to prevent damage to both dock and boat.

Fetch: The distance over open water the wind has blown.

Faked: A line is faked by zig zagging it back and forth so that when it is used it will not tangle on itself.

Flaked:A sail is flaked when lowered. Flaking a sail is the process of folding the sail back and forth upon itself like the blades on a paper fan. Flaking a sail will help prolong the sail life.

Foot (Sail): The foot of a sail is the lower part of the sail. In the case of a mainsail, this is the part of the sail that runs along the boom.

F orepeak- The cabin most forward in the bow of the boat

Forestay: The forestay is a wire that runs from the top of the mast (or near the top of the mast) to the bow of the boat. The forestay supports the mast from falling backwards and is also used in shaping the bend in the mast for maximum efficiency. The luff (front) of the foresails (jib, genoa) are also generally attached to the forestay depending on the rigging system.

Forward: When on a boat, forward means towards the bow. “Move forward” – move towards the front of the boat.

Galley: The boat’s kitchen.

Genoa: The Genoa is a foresail that is larger than a jib. The clew (lower corner at the foot of the sail) extends aft of the mast unlike a jib.

Give-way Boat: Navigational rules – the boat not having the right-of-way. The Give-way boat must stay clear of the Stand-on boat. The Give-way boat must make it’s intentions known by making a decisive maneuver to alert the Stand-on boat.

Gooseneck: This is a metal fitting that attaches the boom to the mast.

G oosewinging – To sail downwind with the mainsail set on one side and the foresail on the other

Gybing: Sailing down wind and turning through the wind causing the sails to move from one side of the boat to the other.

Gybe ho: Term used by the helmsman to let his crew know that he has started to turn the boat into a gybe.

H alyard – A line which is used to raise things on a boat, so the main halyard line would be used to raise the mainsail

Halyards: Lines used to lower and raise sails.

Hanks: Clips found along the luff (front) of the foresail used to clip the sail onto the forestay (wire running from the bow to the top or near the top of the mast).

Hard over: Turning the wheel or pushing the tiller all the way over.

Head: Generally used to refer to the boat’s toilet. When talking about a sail, the Head is the top of the sail.

Head to Wind: The bow of the boat is pointed directly into the wind.

Heading up: Turning up more into the wind.

Heaving to: A way to, in effect, stall a sailboat by backing the jib, easing out the mainsail and turning the rudder hard into the wind. The forward wind pressure on the foresail wants to force the bow downwind. The rudder turned towards the wind wants to force the bow windward. These two counter effects balance each other causing the boat to hold it’s position with little movement. The mainsail is eased out all the way so that it does not catch any wind and therefore has no bearing on the boats postion.

Heeling: Leaning or heeling over caused by wind pressure on the sails.

Helm: The Helm is the steering mechanism of the boat (wheel or tiller). The person at the helm is called the helmsman.

Helms Alee: A term used by the helmsman to notify the crew that he has started to tack. Hypothermia: A dangerous condition where the body core temperature has been lowered causing extreme shivering, loss of co-ordination, in ability to make decisions and in extreme cases, loss of conciousness and even death.

I nlet – A recess, such as a cove or bay, along a coastline

In Irons: This occurs where the boat has been turned directly into the wind and has lost all forward momentum. Without forward momentum the boat loses it’s ability to steer.

J ackstay – A strong line, that can be made of wire, which runs fore and aft alongside the boat that can be used to attach your safety harness to.

Jacob’s ladder: A light ladder made of rope or chain with metal or wooden rungs used over the side or aloft.

Jib: The jib is a foresail (smaller than a genoa). The jib is about the same size as the triangular area between the forestay, mast and foredeck.

Jiffy reefing: This is a way to make the mainsail smaller by partially lowering it, tying or reefing the lower slack part of the sail onto the boom through gromets (holes in the sail) called reefing points. This is done in high wind conditions to power down the sail.

Jury rig: Makeshift – adapting parts and materials for a use not specifically designed for in order to get by until proper parts or repairs can be obtained.

K etch – A sailboat with 2 masts

Kedging: A method used to free a grounded boat by dropping it’s anchor in deeper water and then pulling on the anchor rode to attempt to free the boat.

Keel: The large heavily weighted fin like structure secured to the bottom of the boat. The keel helps to keep the boat upright and also reduces leeway (side slipping across the wind).

Ketch: A two masted boat. The second and smaller mast (mizzen) is positioned just forward of the rudder post.

Knot: Rate of speed. On land it is miles per hour, on the water it is knots (nautical miles) per hours. One knot equals 1.15 land miles – so one knot is just a bit faster than one mph.

L eeway – The sideways movement of a boat caused by wind and currents

Lateral Aids to Navigation: channel buoys (Red & Green), isolated danger buoys (Black & Red), safe water ahead (Red & White), regulatory buoys (Yellow), bifurcation buoys (Black & Yellow) plus channel identification markers and navigation markers are all considered Laterial Aids to Navigation.

Lazarette: A storage compartment, usually under the seats of the cockpit.

Lee Helm: Also called Weather Helm, this is the tendancy of the boat to turn into the wind once it has heeled over at a sharp angle.

Lee Shore: Feared by most sailors, this is the downwind shore from the boat.

Leech: The rear edge of the foresail or the mainsail running from the head (top) to the clew (rear corner) of the sail.

Leeward: Downwind.

Leeway: When a boat sails across the wind, the force of the wind causes the boat to slip sideways. This drifting or sideway motion is known as Leeway.

Lifelines: The lines running around the outside of the deck creating a railing. The lines are attached to stanchions (upright metal posts).

Luff: The forward edge of a sail running from head to tack (front corner of the sail).

Luffing: A sail is luffing when it starts to flutter in the wind. The term Luff is also used to describe the same situation. “The sail is starting to luff.”

Luff Up: To turn into the wind to cause the sails to start luffing.

M ultihull – Any boat that has more than one hull, such as a catamaran.

Made fast: Secured to.

Mast: The upright pole supported by the shrouds, forestay and backstay to which the sails are attached.

Masthead fly: A windvane attached to the top of the mast to show which direction was wind is coming from.

Monkey fist: A type of knot, heavy in nature and tied to the end of the rope. The weighted knot makes it easier to throw the rope a farther distance.

Mooring ball: An anchored ball to which you can secure your boat. Safer alternative to anchoring provided the mooring ball and lines are in good condition.

Mooring lines: Lines used to secure a boat to a dock or mooring ball.

MSD: Marine sanitation device (toilet).

N eap tide – When during the four week tidal cycle, the tide rises and drops the least.

Nautical mile (NM): International standard for measuring distance on water. One nautical mile equals one minute of latitude. (One nautical mile equals 1.15 land miles.)

O uthaul – This is a line used to tension the foot of the sail, to better control the curvature of the sail

P ulpit – A sturdy rail around the deck on the bow, normally surrounding the forestay

Pad eye: A metal eye (ring) through which lines can be passed in order to stop chaffing.

Painter: The bow line of a dinghy.

P-effect (Prop Walk): When a boat is in a standstill position and put into forward or reverse, the resistance of the boat to move and the motion of the propeller creates a paddlewheel effect pulling the stern of the boat to either port or starboard side depending on the spin of the propeller. This paddlewheel effect is known as P-effect or Prop Walk. P-effect is especially noticable in reverse where there is greater boat resistance to move backwards thus making it easier for the prop to pull the boat sideways.

PFD: Personal Floatation Device – life jacket.

Pintle and gudgeon: The pintle and the gudgeon together form a swinging hinge usually associated with the installation of the rudder on smaller tiller steered boats. The pintle has pins that fit into the holes on the gudgeon thus creating a hinge like fitting.

Points of sail: A reference for the direction the boat is travelling in relation to the wind. (in irons, close hauled, close reach, beam reach, broad reach, running)

Port: When on a boat and facing forward, the left hand side of the boat.

Port tack: Sailing across the wind so that the wind hits the port (left) side of the boat first.

Pulpit: Located at the bow of the boat, this area is enclosed by a metal railing.

Pushpit: Located at the stern of the boat and like the pulpit, this area is enclosed by a metal railing.

Q uadrant – This is a device connected to the rudder that the steering cables attach to

R egatta – Boat races

S hroud – The wires at the side that hold the mast up

Schooner: A sailboat that has two masts both the same height or on some schooners, the aft mast is higher than the fore mast.

Scope: Expressed in terms of a ratio, it is the length of the anchor rode let out compared to height above the sea bed. Height is measured not from the water line but from the top of the deck to the sea bed. A safe anchoring ratio is 1:7 which translates to 7 feet of anchor rode for every foot of height. Many sailors incorrectly assume that height means water depth and therefore find themselves dragging the anchor for lack of proper scope.

Seaworthy: A boat that is fit to be sailed at sea.

Self-bailing cockpit: A cockpit that allows water to drain automatically from the cockpit to the outside of the boat.

Shackles: Metal fittings (often U shaped) that open and close with a pin across the top of the ‘U’. Lines and halyards often use shackles. The mainsail halyard is secured to the head of the mainsail with the use of a shackle.

Sheave: A roller/wheel to guide a line or wire.

Sheets: Lines that are used to adjust sails by either pulling them in or by letting them out.

Shrouds: Also called sidestays, shrouds are the metal wires found on both sides of the mast running from the deck to the top or near top of the mast. The shrouds support the mast by providing lateral support.

Slack water: The period between the flood (tidal water moving in) and the ebb (tidal water moving out) where the water has in effect stalled – little or no movement.

Slides: The groove in the mast to which the luff (front side) of the mainsail is inserted. The slides hold the sail tight against the mast and allows the sail to be easily raised or lowered.

Sloop: a sailboat that has one mast and sails with the mainsail and one foresail.

Soundings: Water depths.

Spar: A spar can refer to any of the following: mast, boom or a pole.

Spinnaker: A large balloon-like foresail used for sailing downwind (running or broad reach).

Spinnaker pole: The spinnaker pole is boom-like in nature, but smaller and lighter, and attaches to fore part of the mast a few feet up from the deck. The other end of the spinnaker pole attaches to the leeward (down wind) base of the spinnaker.

Spreaders: Bars extending sideways from the mast (gives the mast a cross-like appearance). The spreaders hold out the shrouds so that they do not interfer with the rigging.

Springlines: Springlines are used to secure a boat to a dock and stop the boat from moving forward or backwards. The aft springline runs from a point on the boat near the bow to a point aft on the dock. The forward springline runs from a point on the boat near the stern to a point forward on the dock.

Squall: A sudden isolated storm associated with potentially high wind gusts.

Stanchions: Upright metal posts running around the outside of the deck supporting the lifelines.

Stand: This refers to the short period of time where the tide is neither rising or falling. (At a stand still.)

Standing rigging: Standing rigging includes the forestay, backstay and the shrouds. Unlike the ‘running rigging’, the standing rigging is generally only adjusted when the boat is not underway.

Stand-on boat: The boat that must retain her current course and rate of speed in order to avoid a potential collision with an approaching give-way boat.

Starboard: As you face towards the bow on a boat, starboard is the right hand side of the boat.

Starboard tack: Sailing across the wind with the wind hitting the starboard (right) side of the boat first.

Steerage: The ability of the boat to be steered. In order for a rudder to be effective in steering a boat, there must be boat movement. A boat not moving cannot be steered.

Stern: The most aft part of a boat (the very back of the boat).

Storm jib: Same as a jib but not as big. The smaller sail is used in high wind conditions.

T ender – A small boat or dinghy used to ferry crew between the boat and shore

Tack: The front lower corner of a sail. Also means to sail back and forth across the wind in either a port or starboard tack.

Tacking: Also called “Coming About”. Tacking is when the bow of the boat is turned through the wind onto the opposite tack.

Tail: The bitter end of a sheet tailing out from a winch.

Tang: A metal fitting used to affix the stays to the mast.

Telltails: (Also called Ticklers) These are small strings (wool, plastic) attached to both sides of the luff of the sail. When the telltails on both sides of the sail are blowing straight back, this indicates that the sail has been properly trimmed.

Through hulls: Through hulls are holes that go through the boat. Each through hull will have a shuttle cock (value) to stop the flow of water. An example of a through hull would be the head (bathroom). A through hull value is opened so that water from outside the boat can be pumped into the MSD (toilet). The value is closed and the toilet pumped empty into a holding tank.

Tide: The vertical rise and fall the oceans.

Tide rips: This is an area of rough water where the wind is blowing across the water in the opposite direction from which strong tidal current is flowing.

Tiller: In boats that are not steered by a wheel, a tiller (long handle) is attached to the top of the rudder in order to facilitate steering.

Toe rail: A small metal railing running around the outside of the deck used to support your feet.

Topping lift: A line running from the top of the mast to the end of the boom. The topping lift supports the boom when the sail has been lowered.

Topside: The portion of the hull above the water line.

Transom: The flat area across the stern of the boat.

Trim: To trim or adjust the sail to make it more effective against the wind.

True wind: The actual wind felt wind the boat is not moving.

Turnbuckles: Adjustable fittings usually attached at the end of shrouds and stays. Turning the turnbuckle one way or the other tightens or loosens the wire.

U nfurl – To unroll a sail

Upstream: Moving from seaward into harbor, moving with the flood of the tide, moving up river toward the headwaters.

V ane – A wind direction indicator

Veering: A wind shift in the clockwise direction usually indicating that good weather is approaching.

W inch – A mechanical device for pulling in a line

Wake: The waves created behind a boat as a result of the boat moving through the water.

Way: Movement of the boat.

Weather helm: The tendancy of the boat to turn up wind after heeling (leaning over).

Wheel: Controls the rudder. Taking control of the wheel is taking the helm.

Winch: Provides a mechanical advantage. Used to raise the sails, tighten the sheets and other lines.

Windward: Towards the wind.

Wing to wing: Running (sail directly downwind) with the mainsail out one side of the boat and the foresail out the other side of the boat.

X marks the spot on the treasure map!

Y awing – The side to side movement of a boat on an uneven course

Yawl: A sailboat that has two masts. The aft mast (mizzen) is shorter than the foremast. The mizzen mast is located aft the rudder post. (On a Ketch, the mizzen mast is located fore of the rudder post – this is the distinquishing factor between the two.)

Z ephyr – A very light westerly wind

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Understanding Yacht Club Etiquette

January 24, 2023

Yacht club etiquette is something boat lovers need to have to ensure a prosperous journey as a boat owner. Yacht clubs offer many opportunities to make new friends, interact with like-minded people, and generally become better integrated into the local yachting community. They are also great places to pick up knowledge and information and to become better yachters overall.

Like any community, yacht clubs have customs, traditions, and behavior modes that most members consider acceptable. Some don’t take too kindly to ‘outsiders’ that do not attempt to fit in, especially those perceived as being too brash and unruly.

If your client is looking to join a yacht club, they will do well to familiarize themselves with the established customs and traditions before becoming too comfortable. As insurance agents, yacht club membership isn’t exactly in your wheelhouse. Even so, you could share some knowledge and advice on fitting in, along with your recommendations for yacht club insurance . 

The Basics of Yacht Club Etiquette 

Yacht club membership provides valuable opportunities to pick up new skills and knowledge and forge a stronger connection to the local yachters’ community. But your client will need some grounding in  yacht club norms and behaviors  to ease their entry and be welcomed sooner. Here are some suggestions you could share: 

Know the Culture 

All yacht clubs are different and have unique characteristics. Becoming familiar with the established culture will make it easier for your client to fit in. 

Learn the Rules and Respect Them

Rules and regulations may vary from club to club as well. It is advisable to learn policies on clubhouse use, attire, and membership privileges as soon as possible and to adhere to them. 

Respect Traditions 

Following rules is one thing. But respecting traditions is quite another. These are the unwritten ‘rules’, practices, and modes of behavior that your client will have to learn to be more welcome in the community. 

There will be disputes and misunderstandings. But as a newcomer, your client should learn to deal with these politely and respectfully. Even when emotions run hot, the involved parties should follow proper decorum. 

Seniority Counts 

Seniority tends to count greatly in yacht clubs, so your client must respect that to fit in. Although new members have the right to disagree and even dispute longstanding members, it is essential to accept that tenure comes with certain privileges. 

Dress Appropriately 

Wearing the proper attire is always advisable in yacht clubs. Some have written dress codes for the clubhouse and common areas. But even if there aren’t, new members should remember to dress appropriately. 

Practice Considerate Cellphone Use 

No one wants to hear beeps, ringtones, and loud cellphone conversations. Additionally, it is best to keep mobile phone usage to a minimum and always with consideration for other members. 

Report Problems Immediately 

It is best to report any problems immediately, whether it involves rule violations or disputes. Like all members, your client is responsible for maintaining peace and order on the club premises.

A Final Word on Yacht Club Etiquette 

It can be challenging for newcomers to fit in with the close-knit community of many yacht clubs. Sometimes, it could take months or even years for some people to feel a sense of belongingness. But learning the established rules of etiquette will go a long way toward making your client feel more welcome. With time, patience, and a bit of effort, the other members of the community will soon accept them. 

About Merrimac Marine Insurance

At Merrimac Marine , we are dedicated to providing insurance for the marine industry to protect your clients’ business and assets. For more information about our products and programs, contact our specialists today at (800) 681-1998.

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What is Yacht Racing? (Here’s All You Need To Know)

yacht team meaning

Have you ever watched a yacht race, with its colorful sails gliding across the water in a graceful dance? Have you ever wondered what it takes to participate in yacht racing? This article will take you through all you need to know about yacht racing, from the different types of yachts and races, to sailing clubs and regattas, technical knowledge and skills, safety, and the benefits of yacht racing.

We’ll also explore some of the most popular events and races.

So whether you’re an avid sailor or just curious about this exciting sport, you’ll find all the information you need here.

Table of Contents

Short Answer

Yacht racing is a competitive sport and recreational activity involving sailing yachts .

It is most popular in areas with strong maritime cultures, such as the UK, US and Australia.

Races typically involve a course that boats must follow, which can vary in length depending on the type of race.

Competitors often use advanced sailboat designs, and use tactics and strategy to try to outmaneuver their opponents in order to be the first to cross the finish line.

Types of Yachts Used in Racing

Yacht racing can be done with a wide variety of boats, from dinghies and keelboats to multihulls and offshore racing boats.

Dinghies are small, lightweight boats with a single sail and are often used in competitive racing.

Keelboats, on the other hand, are larger and heavier boats with a fixed keel and two or more sails.

Multihulls, like the popular catamaran, are boats with two or more hulls and are designed with speed and agility in mind.

Finally, offshore racing boats are designed for long-distance racing and are typically larger and more powerful than other types of yachts.

No matter what type of yacht you choose to race, they will all have common features that make them suitable for racing.

All yachts must have a mast, sails, hull and rigging, and will usually feature a deck, compass, and navigation equipment.

Additionally, racing yachts are often fitted with safety features such as life jackets, flares, and emergency radios.

Each type of yacht has its own unique characteristics, and some are better suited for certain types of racing than others.

For example, dinghies are better suited for short-course racing, while offshore racing boats are better for long-distance racing.

Additionally, keelboats and multihulls are often used for more challenging types of racing, such as distance racing or match racing.

No matter what type of yacht you choose for racing, it is important to remember that safety should always be your first priority.

Be sure to check the weather conditions before heading out and make sure that you have the proper safety equipment on board.

Additionally, it is important to get professional instruction or join a sailing club to ensure you have the necessary skills to race safely and enjoyably.

Types of Races

yacht team meaning

Yacht racing events can take place in a wide variety of forms and formats, from long-distance ocean racing to short-course inshore racing in protected bays and estuaries.

Each type of race requires different skills and equipment, and the type of race you choose to participate in will depend on your sailing experience, budget and the type of boat you have.

Long-distance ocean racing is a popular form of yacht racing, with races often taking place over several days and often involving multiple stages.

These races often have several classes of boat competing, with each boat competing in its own class.

These races may involve sailing around a set course or route, or they may be point-to-point races, where the boats sail from one point to another.

Inshore racing is the most common form of yacht racing, with races typically taking place over a few hours or a single day.

This type of racing is often conducted in protected waters, such as bays and estuaries, and generally involves shorter course lengths than ocean racing.

Inshore races may involve multiple classes of boat, or they may be one-design classes, where all boats are the same model and size.

Multi-hull racing is another popular type of yacht racing and involves boats with two or more hulls.

These boats are generally faster and more agile than monohulls, and races are often held over a short course.

These races can be highly competitive, with teams of experienced sailors vying for position and race victory.

Offshore racing is similar to ocean racing, but often involves much longer distances and more challenging conditions.

Races may take place over several days and multiple stages, and require a high level of experience and skill.

Offshore racing boats are usually specially designed for speed and agility, and may have multiple crew members on board to help manage the boat in challenging conditions.

Sailing Clubs and Regattas

Yacht racing is a popular sport around the world, with sailing clubs and regattas held in many countries.

Sailing clubs are organizations where members can come together to race, learn, and enjoy their shared passion for the sport.

Membership in a sailing club usually includes access to the clubs facilities, equipment, and training classes.

Regattas are large-scale yacht racing events, often hosted by a sailing club.

The regatta can be organized for any type of boat, from dinghys to offshore racing boats, and the races can be held over a series of days.

The goal of the regatta is to crown the winner of the overall race, or the individual class honours.

Sailing clubs and regattas are a great way for sailors of all levels to come together and compete.

They give sailors an opportunity to hone their skills, network, and make friends with other passionate sailors.

Additionally, these events are often open to the public, so they give the general public a chance to see the amazing spectacle of yacht racing up close.

If youre looking for an exciting and fun way to get involved with sailing, look no further than your local sailing club or regatta.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

yacht team meaning

Yacht racing is a sport that requires a great deal of technical knowledge and skill.

Competitors must be familiar with the physics and dynamics of sailing, including how to read the wind and manipulate their vessel to maximize speed and maneuverability.

They must also be able to understand the principles of navigation, so they can accurately plot a course and adjust it to take advantage of the prevailing wind and current conditions.

Furthermore, competitors must be able to read the weather and use that information to their advantage in the race.

Finally, competitors need to have a good understanding of the rules of the race and how to adhere to them.

Yacht racing is a complex sport with a steep learning curve, and it requires a great deal of experience and practice to master.

Safety is a key element of yacht racing, as it involves operating large vessels in often unpredictable and hazardous conditions.

All racers must be properly equipped with the appropriate safety gear, such as life jackets, flares, and a first aid kit.

It is also essential that all racers are familiar with the rules of the race, and have a good understanding of the safety protocols that must be followed in order to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

All yacht racing events must be properly insured, and there are often medical personnel on standby in case of an emergency.

Before any race, all participants must sign a waiver declaring that they understand the risks involved and accept responsibility for their own safety.

Benefits of Yacht Racing

yacht team meaning

Yacht racing is a great way to challenge yourself and take part in a thrilling sport.

It offers numerous benefits to those that participate, from improved physical health and mental well-being to an opportunity to travel and explore new places.

Whether youre a beginner or an experienced sailor, yacht racing provides an exciting and rewarding experience.

One of the main benefits of yacht racing is its impact on physical health.

It requires a great deal of strength and endurance, as the sailors must use their arms and legs to control the boats sails and rudder.

Its also a great way to get your heart rate up and improve your cardiovascular health.

Additionally, sailing is a low-impact sport, meaning theres less risk of injury than other more strenuous activities like running or cycling.

Yacht racing also has many mental benefits.

Its a great way to relax and take in the beauty of the ocean, as well as the camaraderie and excitement of competing in a team.

Additionally, it gives sailors the opportunity to put their problem-solving skills to the test, as they must think quickly and strategize in order to succeed.

Yacht racing also requires quick decision-making, which can help to improve mental acuity and develop a more acute awareness of ones surroundings.

Finally, yacht racing is a great way to explore new places and meet new people.

Races often take place in different locations around the world, meaning sailors can get a glimpse into different cultures and explore new destinations.

Additionally, yacht racing provides an opportunity to socialize with other sailors, as well as make connections in the sailing community.

Overall, yacht racing is a great way to challenge yourself and reap the numerous physical, mental, and social benefits that come with it.

With its exciting races and stunning locations, its no wonder that yacht racing has become a popular sport around the world.

Popular Events and Races

Yacht racing is an exciting and popular sport with events and races held all over the world.

From the world-famous Americas Cup to local regattas, there are races and events of all sizes and skill levels.

The Americas Cup is the oldest and most prestigious yacht race in the world, with the first race held in 1851.

Held every 3-4 years in a different location, the Americas Cup pits the worlds best sailors against each other in a battle of boat speed, tactics and teamwork.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is another major race, held annually in Australia.

The race begins in Sydney Harbour and ends in the port of Hobart, Tasmania and is known for its unpredictable and challenging conditions.

The Whitbread Round the World Race (now known as The Volvo Ocean Race) is a grueling nine-month, round-the-world yacht race.

This race is one of the most challenging and dangerous races in the world.

In addition to these larger races, there are many smaller local and national regattas and races that offer an opportunity for sailors of all skill levels to compete.

From small dinghy races to larger keelboat and offshore racing events, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in yacht racing.

Yacht racing is a fun, competitive and rewarding sport and with so many events and races available, there is sure to be something for everyone.

Whether you are a competitive sailor or just looking to have some fun on the water, yacht racing is the perfect sport for you.

Final Thoughts

Yacht racing is an exciting and challenging sport that is enjoyed by many around the world.

With a variety of yacht types, races and events to choose from, there is something for everyone.

To get started, it is important to have a good understanding of the technical skills and knowledge needed, as well as the safety protocols associated with the sport.

With the right preparation and dedication, yacht racing can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

If you’re interested in taking up this exciting sport, make sure you check out your local sailing clubs and regattas to find out what’s on offer.

James Frami

At the age of 15, he and four other friends from his neighborhood constructed their first boat. He has been sailing for almost 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge that he wants to share with others.

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How to Host a Yacht Party.

How to Host a Yacht Party

yacht team meaning

A yacht party is a fantastic change of pace from dinner at a restaurant or a backyard cookout. Yachting isn’t a common thing for a lot of people, so there’s a natural excitement built into the event, even if the boat never leaves the dock. All you have to do as the host is play into that vibe, and you’ve got yourself a successful event.

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One of the best things you can do when inviting guests to a yacht party is to inform them in advance about general etiquette aboard a boat. Friends who are landlubbers will not know, for instance, that it’s customary to leave your shoes in a dock box before boarding a boat.

Tell them ahead of time that their feet will be on display so they can get a pedicure, buy a cool pair of socks or invest in a little toe jewelry to feel comfortable throughout the party. They’ll also appreciate the pro tip of wearing shoes that are easy to slide on and off without having to sit down and deal with laces or straps.

A group of friends on a yacht at sunset.

And, for yacht parties during the day, encourage your guests to dress for the sun. Have sunscreen on board to use, and offer helpful suggestions like bringing a hat, a light shirt to cover easy-burn spots like shoulders and the back of the neck, and perhaps linen pants or a sarong for legs that don’t see the sun too often. Polarized sunglasses also help stay comfortable throughout the day on board.

Think bigger-picture about how people should dress: if your yacht party is during the day, then your guests might bring a small bag of clothes for later; you’ll need a place on the yacht to put those bags. Your yacht party may extend into the night, which means there could be a big swing in the temperature, so encourage guests to bring clothing that can be layered on and off.

READ MORE: 5 Secrets Boat Clubs Don’t Want You to Know

If the party will include the boat leaving the dock, then advise your guests about the golden rule of remaining upright: one hand for you, one hand for the boat. Yes, you can carry a plate of hors d’oeuvres or a cocktail in one hand, but whenever the boat moves, you always want one hand free to grab a rail, a handhold, or anything else you might need to steady yourself. Helping new boaters stay safe underway should be priority one!

A group of friends on a yacht.

In terms of hosting, think about serving a steady array of finger foods instead of a big, sit-down meal. The little stuff is easier to store and cook quickly, and it’s a better option to offer people a variety of foods if the boat is moving since some people may be a bit more sensitive than others.

Skip the things that come on skewers (those little sticks never end up in the trash, and they can poke bare feet if they end up on deck ). Instead, think about crudites, bruschetta bites, and boneless wings that leave no refuse behind.

Also, have soft drinks such as ginger ale and lemon-lime soda on hand to help soothe any bouts of seasickness . Ginger is another well-regarded remedy and can be served as a chewable or in a cup of iced tea.

Sometimes, yacht parties are themed, with everything from steel-drum players to belly dancers aboard for entertainment. Swim parties are, of course, a go-to favorite, as are “Under the Sea” parties with a seafood spread. You can go with a color, or a lack thereof, such as an all-white party, or encourage people to wear Hawaiian shirts for a Polynesian night .

A group of friends swimming off a yacht.

Music is a must. So don’t forget to create a playlist to go with your theme. It’s hard to go wrong with boating standbys such as Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley, and the Beach Boys. More than a few great singalongs have started with “Rock the Boat” by the Hues Corporation or “Banana Boat (Day-O)” by Harry Belafonte.

Yes, that last suggestion is about as polar opposite as you can get from “Under the Sea,” but that’s the beauty of a yacht party. It can be anything you want it to be.

Best of all: you don’t need to own a yacht to throw a party on one. You can rent a yacht for a half-day or full-day and host your party on the rental instead! If you happen to be one of the lucky few who own a yacht, you can list it and rent it out to the large market made up of people daydreaming about their day out on a yacht or hosting their own yacht party.

Boatsetter is a unique boat-sharing platform that gives everyone— whether you own a boat or you’re just renting — the chance to experience life on the water. You can list a boat , book a boat , or make money as a captain .

List your yacht & start earning an extra income renting it out

Kim kavin

Kim Kavin has been on boats in more than 50 countries and islands, including in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South Pacific, Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. She grew up learning to steer a ski boat and Hobie Holder at her grandfather’s lake house in New Jersey, and went on to spend time aboard everything from America’s Cup racing sailboats to submarines. 

Kim is a PADI-certified scuba diver and animal lover who always enjoys a good, long look around a coral reef. Her award-winning writing and editing regularly appears in national marine magazines and on leading websites. In her early years, she was a Dow Jones editing intern and a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. When she’s not writing, Kim can usually be found hiking northwest New Jersey’s beautiful park trails with her adopted shelter mutt, Ginger.

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About the Engineering Department

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The engineering department aboard a yacht is essential to keeps things running. Working in this department requires a strong mechanical acumen, troubleshooting skills and the ability to maintain an immaculate engine room. Unlike in the commercial sector, engineers are often involved in docking procedures and guest water sport activities.

This department is responsible for the following aspects of the yacht operation:

  • all engineering system operations and maintenance
  • electronics & audio-visual
  • air conditioning
  • sanitation and environmental control
  • engine room safety management (ISM)
  • planned maintenance coordination (PMP)

The developmental track for a superyacht engineer is linear and involves specific certifications based on technical knowledge, in addition to experience at sea working on certain size engines. This career is suited for individuals with strong problem solving skills and that enjoy "tinkering". Junior engineers work closely with other engineers or captains to gain a basic understanding of the systems onboard. Although they may not have a license upon joining the vessel, the AEC license has minimal. Any person interested in working in the engine room in any capacity should consider investing in this basic certification.

As an engineer builds knowledge and time in the engine room, the numbers of systems they work on and gain understanding of will increase. To ensure constant progression, it is essential to accrue experience and time in the engine room, which will allow continuation of further licensing. The combination of hands-on learning from a senior engineer and technical education courses are compulsory to advance to a position as second engineer.

A second engineer is the chief engineer’s right hand and dependability is paramount. In this position, you have a good working knowledge of all yacht systems. At this level, you can complete basic maintenance and repair independently as well as effectively assist the chief on advanced projects. Your duties will also include working with outside vendors and contractors.

A chief engineer is fully accountable for the entirety of the engine room and safety aboard the yacht. The position requires leadership and strong management skills in addition to technical expertise. As the size of the yacht increases, so does the number of engineers on board, complexity of systems and scope of engineering projects that require detailed time and fiscal oversight.

Career Path

Chief engineer unlimited, chief y1 (<3000gt < 9000kw), chief y2 (<3000gt < 3000kw), chief y3 (<500gt < 3000kw), chief y4 (<200gt < 1500kw), 2nd unlimited, 2nd (<3000gt <6000kw), 2nd (<3000gt <3000kw), 2nd (<500gt <3000kw), oow engineer (meol), oow engineer (aec), electronics engineer (eto), junior engineer (unlicensed).

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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‘dirty debutantes’ article about lsu women’s basketball team deemed racist.

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Hailey Van Lith, a white LSU player, says her teammates experience racism. (Photo by Sarah ... [+] Stier/Getty Images)

On the eve of their Sweet 16 matchup in the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, Ben Bolch, a Los Angeles Times staff writer, called the UCLA Bruins “America’s sweethearts” and the LSU Tigers “basketball villains.” His article offended many readers. Hailey Van Lith, a white member of the LSU team, like many others, deemed Bolch’s article racist. “We do have a lot of Black women on this team, and unfortunately, that bias does exist still today, and a lot of the people that are making those comments are being racist towards my teammates,” Van Lith told reporters in an interview following the Tigers’ 78-69 win over UCLA.

The original version of Bolch’s article was so offensive that parts of it had to be retracted. One day after its publication, the newspaper posted this update online: “A previous version of this commentary did not meet Times editorial standards. It has been updated.” Bolch’s description of LSU’s players as “dirty debutantes” no longer appears in the updated version. A Google search of the phrase mostly returns results to pornographic video sites.

Bolch’s article is written in three parts. First, it focuses on LSU women’s basketball head coach Kim Mulkey’s response to a Washington Post article about her that she called a ‘hit piece’ prior to its publication. Mulkey has been criticized for her refusal to talk with Kent Babb, the WaPo journalist who wrote the article accusing her of homophobia, bullying, and silencing players. Bolch also wrote about UCLA’s coach Cori Close, portraying her and the team as classy. “Then there’s UCLA, which operates in the saintly shadows while being as wholesome as a miniature stuffed Bruin mascot.” It’s important to note that Mulkey and Close are both white women.

The third emphasis of Bolch’s article is the one that’s garnering the most attention. This is where in the original version he referred to the players as “dirty debutantes.” He also accused the Tigers of being divisive and America’s most polarizing team. He offered this juxtaposition of them and UCLA: “Do you prefer the team that wants to grow women’s basketball or the one seemingly hellbent on dividing it?” His was a good vs. evil comparison.

Bolch cited an example of Angel Reese, a star on the LSU squad, waving goodbye to a player on the opposing team who’d fouled out in an earlier round of the tournament. Trash talking isn’t uncommon in college sports. But when Reese, a Black woman who is affectionately known as ‘Bayou Barbie,’ behaves in the exact same ways as white student-athletes like University of Iowa’s top player Caitlin Clark, she’s deemed classless. I highlighted these specific differences in a Forbes article following last year’s national championship game in which the Tigers defeated the Hawkeyes 102-85.

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The center I direct at the University of Southern California published a research report yesterday on Black women and gender equity in the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. It includes data from all NCAA Division I institutions and all 68 teams that were selected for participation in this year’s March Madness, as well as multidimensional statistical portraits for universities that advanced to the Sweet 16. I also included headshots for every player and head coach across the 16 teams. While both are racially diverse, LSU has more Black women on its team than does UCLA. This is what makes Bolch’s comparison of the two squads especially problematic – the predominantly Black team is comprised of villains, the one with fewer Black women is made up of angelic sweethearts.

Who plays on these teams matters, but so too do the locations of the two universities. UCLA is nestled between Beverly Hills and Bel Air – specifically, it’s in Westwood, which is 90% white. LSU is in Baton Rouge, which is 37% white and 53% Black. Three percent of UCLA’s undergraduates are Black, compared to 17% at LSU. According to his online bio, Bolch has worked for the Times since 1999, mostly as the UCLA beat writer. Surely, he’s been on the Westwood campus lots of times over the past 25 years and knows UCLA well. He’s likely not spent much time in Baton Rouge, though. There’s a chance that he doesn’t know Reese or her teammates well, if at all. Maybe he’s never met any of them.

Bolch’s article upholds longstanding racist tropes about Black people being thuggish; people from predominantly Black contexts being prone to misbehavior; and Black women, in particular, being threats to innocent, defenseless white women. Oddly, despite caricaturing Bayou Barbie as a classless bully, Bolch includes quotes from UCLA players Charisma Osborne and Lauren Betts who played with Reese on Team USA last summer. “She’s an amazing teammate and I really enjoyed playing with her,” Betts said. Similarly, Osborne noted, “she’s really nice off the court as well and people don’t always see that.” Again, Bolch presumably doesn’t know Reese, but he interviewed two UCLA players who do. So, why then, write such awful words about her and extend that mischaracterization to her LSU teammates?

“I’m in a unique situation where I see with myself, I'll talk trash and I'll get a different reaction than if Angel talks trash,” Reese’s white LSU teammate Van Lith told reporters. “I know for a fact that people see us differently because we do have a lot of Black women on our team who have an attitude and like to talk trash and people feel a way about it.” To be sure, white women, other women of color, and men across racial groups talk trash on basketball courts. But Bolch and others don’t write or talk about them like they do Reese and her teammates.

This isn’t the first time a journalist has spewed inexcusably racist and sexist mischaracterizations of Black women student-athletes. One of the most highly-publicized examples was in 2007 when Don Imus, a CBS Radio broadcaster, referred to Black players on the Rutgers University women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.” Imus was fired just over a week later.

Northwestern University professor Moya Bailey coined a term that captures a distinctive form of despise for Black women: Misogynoir. It explains, at least in part, the choices Bolch made in his article, which Van Lith deemed racist and Mulkey called sexist in her postgame interview . It also explains why Bolch, Imus, and others have said things about Black women student-athletes that few (if any) people would say about their white teammates.

Shaun Harper

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Fantasy baseball: Jordan Hicks, Jack Flaherty could be exceptions to the spring training rule

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Jordan Hicks allowed just one earned run across his final three spring training starts, while striking out 22 batters.

Though spring training statistics seemingly have about as much meaning as getting stock tips from a monkey, sometimes there are performances that are too promising to ignore. 

For example: Logan Webb had a 0.55 ERA with a 22-2 strikeout-walk rate, 0.53 WHIP and .119 opponents average over 17 spring innings in 2021. He followed that by going 11-3 with 3.30 ERA and 9.6 strikeouts per nine.

The stats from the exhibition season will not add points to your fantasy roster, but Roto Rage believes these arms are worth monitoring to see if their spring success turns into a gain for your fantasy squad.

Jordan Hicks is mostly known as the oft-injured former Cardinals (and Blue Jays) reliever who had a fastball that averages 100 mph. Though he has made just eight career starts, the flame-thrower signed with the Giants and has been converted into a starter.

Over five spring appearances (17 innings), Hicks maintained a 2.65 ERA and 1.06 WHIP while striking out 14.8 per nine innings (41.2 percent of the batters he faced) and limited opponents to a .167 average. He also had an absurd swinging strike rate (28.1 percent). 

Jordan Hicks was converted into a start after signing with the Giants in the offseason.

Hicks allowed just one earned run over his last three exhibition starts (12 ²/₃ innings) while striking out 22 and walking six. In his last spring start, he pitched five no-hit innings and struck out 10. The craziest stat from that outing: 20 swinging strikes on 72 pitches (27.8 percent).

Obviously this is a small sample size, but you would have to be insane to ignore those numbers — even with his 11.8 percent walk rate and lower velocity.

Should you be concerned about Hicks, who is available in more than 85 percent of ESPN leagues, not reaching triple-digits with every pitch? Not at all. He has been relying more on his sinker and reportedly spent the spring working with Webb, who finished second in Cy Young voting in 2023. Fantasy owners can only hope the decreased velocity will help with his control and bring his walk rate down.

Topping out at 105 mph may have previously been Hicks’ calling card, but he and the Giants are changing that. These alterations may be for the better, and the 27-year-old should be on your radar.

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Jack Flaherty (9.9 percent rostered), another former Cardinal, finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting in 2019 and has been trying to rediscover that magic ever since. He’s gone a disappointing 23-15 with a 4.42 ERA and 1.398 WHIP since 2019.

Over six spring appearances with the Tigers, Flaherty had a 2.95 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and a 15.3 percent swinging strike rate over 17 ¹/₃ innings. He struck out 26, walked four and limited opponents to a .212 average. In his final start of the exhibition season, he struck out eight over 4 ²/₃ innings and had a 15 percent swinging strike rate. He didn’t issue a free pass over his last three starts (13 ²/₃ innings) and, even more importantly, his velocity was up.

Roto Rage believes if Flaherty can sustain his velocity and limit walks, something he did in 2019 (2.5 walks per nine), he could be a great find for the 2024 season.

Other hurlers to keep on your watch list after strong spring performances include Detroit’s Casey Mize (5.5 percent owned), Arizona’s Ryne Nelson (1 percent) and the Mets’ Luis Severino (15.9 percent), who finished the spring with a 1.29 ERA, 1.9 percent walk rate and .176 opponents’ average.

Jack Flaherty compiled a 2.95 ERA across six spring training appearances with the Tigers.

Jose Berrios SP, Blue Jays

Allowed two runs on six hits over six innings, and picked up his first win of the season while striking out six and issuing only one free pass.

Adley Rutschman C, Orioles

Was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored Thursday, and became the first to reach base safely in his first eight Opening Day plate appearances since Joe Lahoud (1968-72), according to MLB.

Corbin Burnes SP, Orioles

Allowed one run (a solo homer to Mike Trout) while striking out 11 and walking none in his Baltimore debut. He had a 12.2 swinging strike rate.

Pablo Lopez SP, Twins

Allowed six homers in 14 spring innings, but struck out seven and walked none while allowing one run over seven innings in Thursday’s opener.

Pablo López struck out seven batters and didn't walk anyone during his Opening Day start for the Twins.

Kyle Freeland SP, Rockies

Followed a solid spring with an Opening Day clunker, allowing 10 runs on 10 hits over 2 ¹/₃ innings. And the game wasn’t even in Colorado!

Luis Arraez 2B, Marlins

Led the majors with a .354 average last season (and won the AL batting crown in 2022 when he hit .316), but went 0-for-6 on Thursday.

Kyle Schwarber OF, Phillies

Hopefully his exhibition season wasn’t a sign of things to come as he struck out in 45.5 percent of his at-bats, hit .132 and didn’t homer in 44 plate appearances.

Framber Valdez SP, Astros

In 95 appearances from 2020-23, he walked 2.9 per nine innings. He issued six free passes (11.6 per nine) vs. the Yanks, tying a career high.

Framber Valdez tied a career-high with six walks against the Yankees.

Check swings

– Paul Goldschmidt had a terrible spring, hitting .128 with a .477 OPS and 20 strikeouts. He looked awful. In St. Louis’ opener, he went 3-for-4 with a homer. Let’s say it again, class: Spring training numbers don’t count!

– Tyler O’Neill has proven he should be a fixture in your fantasy lineup — at least on Opening Day. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Red Sox outfielder became the first player to hit a homer in five straight openers. Yogi Berra, Gary Carter and Todd Hundley had four straight.

– Just about any pitcher will look great against Oakland, but Shane Bieber allowed just four hits over six shutout innings and struck out 11 in the opener. It was his fifth straight Opening Day start and he has a 0.94 ERA in those outings.

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Jordan Hicks was converted into a start after signing with the Giants in the offseason.

🏀 Women's Tournament

🎟️ First 2 Final Four spots clinched

🐺 (3) NC St. over (1) Texas

🐔 (1) S. Carolina over (3) Oregon St.

👀 See bracket

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Daniel Wilco | NCAA.com | March 31, 2024

The lowest seeds to make the men's final four, elite eight and sweet 16.

yacht team meaning

Only seven teams with double-digit seeds have made the March Madness Final Four since the men's tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, including the 2023-24 season when No. 11 seed NC State completed a stunning coup on the South regional crown.

Here's the TL/DR version of some March Madness men's seed history:

  • 8 is the lowest seed to win a national championship (Villanova in 1985)
  • 11 is the lowest seed to make the Final Four (LSU 1986; George Mason 2006; VCU 2011; Loyola Chicago 2018; UCLA 2021; NC State 2024).
  • 15 is the lowest seed to make the men's Elite Eight (Saint Peter's 2022)
  • 15 is the lowest seed to make the men's Sweet 16 (Princeton 2023; Saint Peter's 2022; Oral Roberts 2021; Florida Golf Coast 2013)

Along with those six No. 11 seeds to make the Final Four, Syracuse in 2016 reached the Final Four as a No. 10 seed — so seven double-digit seeds have advanced to the national semifinals.

The highest seed to ever make the championship is a No. 8, which has happened four times. The first came in the first NCAA tournament under the modern format, when No. 8 Villanova beat powerhouse No. 1 Georgetown for the 1985 championship. It also happened in 2011 (Butler), 2014 (Kentucky) and 2022 (North Carolina). Villanova is the only one from that group to win the title.

That 2014 final also gave us the highest total seed value for a championship game as No. 7 UConn took down No. 8 Kentucky for the title.

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yacht team meaning

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Transfer success stories adds meaning to Purdue vs. Tennessee Elite Eight matchup

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Texas Rangers unveil 2023 World Series rings with unique reversible top, reference to perfect road record

The defending champs received some flashy jewelry on saturday.


In keeping with the ancient laws of combat, the squadron that wins the World Series is rewarded with not only an implied heavyweight-championship title belt but also an actual World Series ring. Speaking of which, on Saturday the Texas Rangers , victors of the 2023 World Series, received their shimmering finger-crowns. 

Right up front, here's a slickly produced look:

Rangers fans, you're not dreaming! The 2023 World Series ring is here. 💍 pic.twitter.com/nS5j6KOoMT — Texas Rangers (@Rangers) March 30, 2024

All Rangers players, coaches, and on-field support staff from last season receive one – roughly 60 folks in all. In advance of the ring ceremony, the club released the following details about the ring: 

Starting off, there are 103 blue sapphires on the top of the ring to signify the total number of wins in 2023 (Regular and Postseason), while the 23 red rubies on the ring represent the year the Rangers won the World Series. On the alternate top of the ring, the 49 points of rubies represent the number of players who held a spot on the active roster in 2023. Removing the top reveals 11-0, the team's 2023 postseason road record. There is also the slogan "ROAD Dominance" written using the logos of the four teams the Rangers beat away from home to become champions. The 11 stones on the face of the Rangers logo represent the number of postseason wins on the road. The 52 points of diamonds in "CHAMPIONS" honor the first World Championship in the Rangers 52- year history. There are 16 emerald cut diamonds to recognize the number of consecutive postseason games in which the Rangers hit a home run. 90 stones circling the side of the ring represent the number of regular season wins in 2023. There is one diamond in the World Series trophy to represent the first championship in franchise history. The 3mm stone inside the trophy is to call out the number of American League championships the Rangers have won. Three diamonds on the player side represent the three pillars of baseball of the organization—"Compete with passion, be a good teammate, and dominate the fundamentals." The 72 points of diamonds on the border of the bezel represent the year the Rangers moved from Washington, D.C. to Arlington, Texas (1972).  And 30 stones on the inner bezel represent the 30 home runs the team hit during the postseason. 2.33 carats on the side of the ring represent the 233 home runs the club had during the regular season. Each ring will also include a small covering of a baseball that was used in the 2023 World Series between the Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks . Inside the shank the player's signature is engraved as well as the postseason series records and the phrase "AS ONE." 

Obviously, that swappable top merits a closer look and expert demonstration in state-of-the-art technicolor: 

The reversible ring top in action. First of its kind pic.twitter.com/2gdCzQTrSk — Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) March 30, 2024

That 2023 championship marked the first ever in Rangers franchise history. With a strong returning roster and a future Hall of Famer in Bruce Bochy pulling the dugout levels, Texas has plausible designs on a repeat and, thus, a second big ol' ring. 

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