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Boat Terminology, Sailing Slang, Maritime Terms & Nautical Phrases in Ka’anapali Beach, HI
Sailing is one of the popular adventures to be involved in when visiting the Islands of Hawaii. Gemini Sailing Tours offer several boat tours such as whale watching and snorkeling tours for example. When diving into these endeavor, it helps to know some of the common terms heard in the industry for a better understanding while you participate your next adventure. For those who have never been sailing or on a sail boat in particular, there are terms used to give better direction and understanding of the sea. However, only a few terms are ever used properly. Gemini Sailing Tours would like to share some of the basic nautical and sailing terms for those who want to have a better understanding about sailing before their voyage!
Glossary of Boat Terminology, Sailing Slang, Maritime Terms & Nautical Phrases
Aft – The aft is the back portion of the ship. Stern is also sometimes used to describe the back portion of a ship in some cases.
Boom – The boom on the ship is the horizontal pole that that is at the bottom of the mass (the center vertical pole). The boom rotates and helps the sail capture the wind.
Bow – The bow is the front portion of a ship. Most get the bow confused with aft. Bow is important when using additional terms such as “port bow” or “starboard bow” which is front left or front right side of the ship.
Heeling: When a sailboat leans over in the water because it is being pushed by the wind.
Helm: The helm is the steering on a boat; larger boats are often equipped with a big wheel and smaller boats have a tiller, which is a long wooden stick. Both of these steering methods control the rudder.
Jib: A common sail on a boat often found towards the front of the boat and is not equipped with a boom.
Jibe: A way of changing direction by bringing the stern of the boat through the wind.
Keel: A long and heavy fin equipped on the bottom of the boat that sticks downward into the water. It is designed to provide stability to the boat, making it nearly impossible to capsize.
Leeward – Sometimes just called lee is the opposite direction the wind is blowing.
Lines: A reference used instead of ropes.
Mainsail: Towards the back of the boat is a large triangular sail; this is the mainsail and as the name suggests, an essential sail.
Point of Sail: The direction of the boat in relation to the wind.
Port – Port side is often used to say the left side of the ship. When on the ocean, it can become confusing as to which direction you’re facing.
Rudder – The rudder is in the water, underneath the ship. It is usually made of wood, metal, or fiberglass, which is a fin-like shape. The rudder is what is used to control the direction of the ship.
Starboard – Starboard is the right side of the boat or ship. Both port and starboard are determined from the front or bow of the ship, pointing forward.
Tack: Two distinct meaning; as a verb to tack is to change direction by turning the bow of the boat through the wind. When used as noun the tack is the course you are on relative to the wind.
Tacking & Jibing – Both are terms used when changing the boom direction from one side to the other. Because the winds often change direction, the boom will need to follow its course. The technique to change direction is called tacking or jibing. Tack is to turn the ship toward the bow and Jibing is to turn the ship to the stern of the ship.
Topside – For ships or vessels that have an under-cabin of topside means just as it sounds. Topside is the exterior surface of the ship.
Underway – Underway is the term used when the ship is ready to begin its voyage. The ship is no longer anchored or tied down and the cruise can begin.
Wake – When the term wake is used, it is describing turbulence that is happening directly behind the vessel.
Wash – Wash is used when waves are being created by the vessel which can cause turbulence. However wash is when the turbulence is self-created. Wake is when the sea creates the turbulence.
Windward – If leeward is the opposite direction of the wind then windward is the direction of the wind. Sailboats use the wind to move the craft. Knowing the direction of the wind is important information when sailing.
Sailing Tours & Charters in Honolua Bay, Lahaina, Ka’anapali Beach, Turtle Town in Olowalu, Molokai, Lanai, & West Maui, Hawaii
These are some of the basic and common sailing and nautical terms used during sailing. When you book a tour onboard the Gemini Sailing Tours for snorkeling, whale watching and sunset sailing tours around the amazing island of Maui, you will have a better understanding of sailing terms and have a better grasp of the experience. When you’re visiting the Island of Maui, don’t miss your chase to experience Gemini Sailing Tours. Contact us today!