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Date Created: 01/12/2010 Hits:


Knotical Weather Guide

Rope Moving --- Windy

Rope Still --- Calm

Rope Invisible --- Foggy

Rope Wet --- Rainy

Rope Dry --- Sunny

Rope Gone --- Hurricane

Boating Basics Glossary of Terms


ABAFT - Toward the rear (stern) of the boat. Behind.

ABEAM - At right angles to the keel of the boat, but not on the boat.

ABOARD - On or within the boat.

ABOVE DECK - On the deck (not over it - see ALOFT)

ABREAST - Side by side; by the side of.

ADRIFT - Loose, not on moorings or towline.

AFT - Toward the stern of the boat.

AGROUND - Touching or fast to the bottom.

AHEAD - In a forward direction.

AIDS TO NAVIGATION - Artificial objects to supplement natural landmarks indicating safe and unsafe waters.

ALEE - Away from the direction of the wind. Opposite of windward.

ALOFT - Above the deck of the boat.

AMIDSHIPS - In or toward the center of the boat.

ANCHORAGE - A place suitable for anchoring in relation to the wind, seas and bottom.

ASTERN - In back of the boat, opposite of ahead.

ATHWARTSHIPS - At right angles to the centerline of the boat; rowboat seats are generally athwart ships.

AWEIGH - The position of anchor as it is raised clear of the bottom.


BATTEN DOWN - Secure hatches and loose objects both within the hull and on deck.

BEAM - The greatest width of the boat.

BEARING - The direction of an object expressed either as a true bearing as shown on the chart, or as a bearing relative to the heading of the boat.

BELOW - Beneath the deck.

BIGHT - The part of the rope or line, between the end and the standing part, on which a knot is formed. BILGE - The interior of the hull below the floor boards.

BITTER END - The last part of a rope or chain.The inboard end of the anchor rode.

BOAT - A fairly indefinite term. A waterborne vehicle smaller than a ship. One definition is a small craft carried aboard a ship.

BOAT HOOK - A short shaft with a fitting at one end shaped to facilitate use in putting a line over a piling, recovering an object dropped overboard, or in pushing or fending off.

BOOT TOP - A painted line that indicates the designed waterline.

BOW - The forward part of a boat.

BOW LINE - A docking line leading from the bow.

BOWLINE - A knot used to form a temporary loop in the end of a line.

BRIDGE - The location from which a vessel is steered and its speed controlled. "Control Station" is really a more appropriate term for small craft.

BRIDLE - A line or wire secured at both ends in order to distribute a strain between two points.

BRIGHTWORK - Varnished woodwork and/or polished metal.

BULKHEAD - A vertical partition separating compartments.

BUOY - An anchored float used for marking a position on the water or a hazard or a shoal and for mooring.

BURDENED VESSEL - That vessel which, according to the applicable Navigation Rules, must give way to the privileged vessel. The term has been superseded by the term "give- way".


CABIN - A compartment for passengers or crew.

CAPSIZE - To turn over.

CAST OFF - To let go.

CATAMARAN - A twin-hulled boat, with hulls side by side.

CHAFING GEAR - Tubing or cloth wrapping used to protect a line from chafing on a rough surface.

CHART - A map for use by navigators.

CHINE - The intersection of the bottom and sides of a flat or v-bottomed boat.

CHOCK - A fitting through which anchor or mooring lines are led. Usually U-shaped to reduce chafe.

CLEAT - A fitting to which lines are made fast. The classic cleat to which lines are belayed is approximately anvil-shaped.

CLOVE HITCH - A knot for temporarily fastening a line to a spar or piling.

COAMING - A vertical piece around the edge of a cockpit, hatch, etc. to prevent water on deck from running below.

COCKPIT - An opening in the deck from which the boat is handled.

COIL - To lay a line down in circular turns.

COURSE - The direction in which a boat is steered.

CUDDY - A small shelter cabin in a boat.

CURRENT - The horizontal movement of water.


DEAD AHEAD - Directly ahead.

DEAD ASTERN - Directly aft.

DECK - A permanent covering over a compartment, hull or any part thereof.

DINGHY - A small open boat. A dinghy is often used as a tender for a larger craft.

DISPLACEMENT - The weight of water displaced by a floating vessel, thus, a boat's weight.

DISPLACEMENT HULL - A type of hull that plows through the water, displacing a weight of water equal to its own weight, even when more power is added.

DOCK - A protected water area in which vessels are moored.The term is often used to denote a pier or a wharf.

DOLPHIN - A group of piles driven close together and bound with wire cables into a single structure.

DRAFT - The depth of water a boat draws.


EBB - A receding current.


FATHOM - Six feet.

FENDER - A cushion, placed between boats, or between a boat and a pier, to prevent damage.

FIGURE EIGHT KNOT - A knot in the form of a figure eight, placed in the end of a line to prevent the line from passing through a grommet or a block.

FLARE - The outward curve of a vessel's sides near the bow. A distress signal.

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