Top 10 Sailing Terms

Our Imaginative Traveller sailing trips are suitable whether you are a seasoned sailor or even if you are a complete novice.  However, if the latter is the case we do understand that it can feel a little overwhelming booking onto a holiday and not knowing anything. 

So we have complied a list of the top ten sailing terms so that you when you set foot on your vessel, you already have some helpful terminology under your belt. People will think you are a pro!

 

  1. Bow - The bow is the name given to the front of the boat. This is a really handy term to know as crew may well ask you to move to the bow.
  1. Stern - The stern is the name given to the back of the boat, this is also known as the aft.
  1. Port - Port is the left-hand side of the boat when you are in the boat facing the bow (the front).  The reason for the creation of this term is because it is easier than saying the left-hand side of the boat and then needing to determine if this is the left hand side from inside or facing the boat.
  1. Starboard - Starboard is the right-hand side of the boat when you are in the boat facing the bow (the front of the boat).  Coined for the same reason as ‘port’ to avoid any confusion in open water.
  1. Windward - The windward faces the wind, so to face the direction from which the wind is coming.  This is an import term in sailing as this is the source of power. 
  1. Leeward - the leeward is the opposite to windward, it is the sheltered side, this also referred to as the lee.
  1. Boom - The boom is the horizontal pole which extends from the bottom of the mast. This is the part of the boat that is comedically known for knocking sailors off the boat and into the water! By adjusting the position of the boom one is able to harness the power of the wind to one’s advantage.
  1. Rudder - This is a flat, vertical piece of wood, fibreglass or metal located beneath the boat. The rudder provides the steerage and is either connected to a wheel in larger vessels or a tiller (handle) in smaller boats.
  1. Tacking - This is the most common manoeuvre in sailing. To tack means to turn the bow (the front) of the boat through the wind so that the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other side.  The boom of a boat will shift from one side to the other when performing a tack.
  1. Jibing - To jibe means to turn the stern of the boat through the wind so that the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other side. The boom will shift from one side of the boat to the other when performing a jibe. Jibing is a less common technique than tacking, because it involves turning the boat directly into the wind.

 Sailing Holidays around the world

Now that you are armed with this terminology you are more than ready to step on board one of our sailing holidays

If you are not sure which is the most suitable one for you, call our team, +44 (0)1728 862230, who will be happy to talk through your options.  Happy sailing!

 

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