Glossary of Common Nautical Terms
Leave the vessel immediately as there is imminent danger.
Afloat but not controlled, unattached to the shore or seabed.
Towards the stern (of the vessel).
Exclamation, a call used to greet someone or draw attention to something from a distance.
In the middle of the boat; as in: Example: You will find the galley amidships.
So low in the water that the water is constantly washing across the surface.
Anchor being lifted off the bottom.
Heavy material that is placed in the hold of a vessel to provide stability.
Prepare for heavy weather, i.e. batten down the hatches.
Pole with blunt tip and a hook on the end, used to assist in docking and undocking a boat.
Floating aid to navigation.
A vessel with two hulls.
Metal object around which a line can be fastened.
A type of small boat, often carried or towed as a ship's boat by a larger vessel.
An Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) is a geographic information system used for nautical navigation as an alternative to paper nautical charts.
An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or EPIRB is used to alert search and rescue services in the event of an emergency.
Towards the bow (of the vessel).
Roll or fold up a sail and secure neatly.
A place on the coast where vessels may find shelter.
The bathroom on a boat.
The main body of a vessel/ the shell and framework of the basic flotation-oriented part of a ship.
A man-made wall in open water/ a landing stage or small pier at which boats can dock or be moored.
The longitudinal structure along the centerline at the bottom of a vessel's hull, on which the rest of the hull is built.
One nautical mile per hour.
Angular distance in degrees north or south of the earth's equator; example: the North Pole is at 90° north latitude.
Also known as lee, leeward is the direction opposite to the way the wind is currently blowing.
The angular distance in degrees east or west of the prime meridian. (a geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface).
A docking facility for small ships and yachts.
To secure a ship or boat in a particular place, as by cables and anchors or by lines.
Maps designed specifically for navigation at sea.
One minute of latitude or about 1.15 statute miles. (A nautical mile is easy to measure by referring to the latitude on a nautical chart).
Port is always the left-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow.
Acronym for RAdio Detection And Ranging. A device for determining the presence and location of an object by measuring the time for the echo of a radio wave to return from it and the direction from which it returns.
Starboard is always the right-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow.
A large, traditionally-rigged sailing vessel.
The direction in which the wind is currently blowing.