When you first start boating, it is very useful to first familiarize yourself with some of the most common boating terminology. Having just a basic knowledge of the following boat terms will go a long way to boosting your confidence and improving communication on board.
Parts of a Boat:
Bilge: the lowest inner part, or bottom point, on a boat, designed to collect excess water.
Bow: The front or forward part of a boat.
(TIP: Remember that when a person bows, they bend forwards, not backwards…)
Cleat: A piece of metal fitting on a boat that that a line can be secured to.
Freeboard: The distance from the waterline to the deck.
Gunwale: The upper edge of the side of the boat (pronounced “gunnel”).
Helm: The steering apparatus.
Hull: The main body of the boat, up to the rub rail.
Keel: A beam, on the bottom of a boat, that runs down the middle from bow to stern.
Port: When facing forward, the left side of the boat.
(TIP:Remember that “left” and “port” have the same number of letters.)
Starboard: When facing forward, the right side of the boat.
Stern: The back or rear end of a boat.
Transom: The rearmost flat-facing part of the vessel, typically where the engine is mounted.