Boating Jargon Guide | Rayglass Boats

A guide to the basics of boating jargon

If you’re new to boating, you might miss a word or two when you’re out on the water. But considering the amount of jargon around boating, that’s to be expected.

Directions out at sea

Stern: the rear end of a boat.

Bow: the front of a boat.

Port: the left side of the boat when facing the bow.

Starboard: the right side of the boat when facing the bow.

Aft: towards the back of the boat.

Bearing: the direction to a point from your current position.

Sections of your boat

Chine: where the sides of the hull and the bottom intersect.

Deck: any exposed flat area on a boat where people stand.

Bilge: the lowest section of the boat where water can gather.

Berth: a cabin or place to sleep on a boat or a space at the dock where your vessel can be moored.

Galley: the kitchen or cooking area.

Gunwale: the top of the boat’s sides.

Hull: structural body of the boat.

Helm: whatever is used to steer the boat.

Transom: the rear section of the hull.

All the other stuff

Harbour master: the person in charge of taking care of boat traffic in and out of a harbour.

Knot: a measure of nautical speed. 1 knot = 1.85 kph.

RIB or rigid inflatable boat: a boat with a rigid bottom and inflatable sides, often used as a dinghy.

Sedan cruiser: a large vessel intended for long range cruising.

Did we miss any important terms or any of your favourite boating slang? Let us know in the comments or drop in to our Mt Wellington showroom soon to talk boating.

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