Boating Terminology

Whether you are the captain of a boat or merely a guest on board a boat, it is important to know boating terms. When everyone aboard knows boat terminology it can eliminate confusion and resulting optimal boat handling and boating safety. 

For instance, when people are positioned at different places within the boat and facing different directions, one person’s left may not be another person’s left. However, the port side is always port side – no matter which direction you are facing. So here are some boating terms that may help increase your boating enjoyment.

Since you are already familiar with the port side, the starboard side is your right, the bow is the front and the stern is the rear. Your keel runs longitudinally along the bottom center of the boat. The helm is where you will find the controls and the transom is the rear wall. The beam is the widest measurement across your boat.

The hull is the outer shell of the boat and the gunnels are the top portion of the hull. Cleats are positioned every so often along the gunnel for the purpose of securing lines (ropes) for docking. Fenders are bumpers which are also tied to boat cleats during the docking process to cushion the boat when you pull up along a dock or another boat. 

Trim is the term used for moving your engines up or down for optimal running performance as well as to protect the engines. A bilge pump disperses water collected, and an impeller is the pump that pushes water into the engine to cool it off.

Let's find the right boat for YOU