Now that we know about the bow, stern, port, and starboard, let us look at some other boating terms:
Abeam: A direction at right angles to the pleasure craft.
Aft: the area at the back of the boat (or towards the stern of the boat)
Beam: the boat’s width at its widest point
Bilge: the lowest part of the boat’s hull
Cleats: the elevated, two-pronged fittings that secure a line to the boat
Deck: the surface the crew and passengers walk on above the bilge
Draft: the distance between a boat’s bottom and waterline, which determines how deep it can safely navigate in
Forward: the direction toward the bow of the boat
Freeboard: the distance from the waterline to the deck’s lowest point
Gunwale: the upper edge of the boat’s side (also called sheer)
Hull: the hollow, lowermost portion of a boat that floats both above and below water and supports it
Keel: the bottom planking intersection along the boat’s centerline or the inside part that backs it up. It helps prevent the vessel from going sideways off course when the wind blows
Pleasure Craft: a watercraft used exclusively for pleasure, not for profit or service
Sidelights: nighttime navigational lights on boats
Transom: the part of the boat that makes up the stern
Wake: the visible track of “V-shaped” turbulence that’s expelled behind a boat
Waterline: the line on the hull that indicates how high the water can be without causing damage
Here are two important terms to know according to USCG Navigation Rules:
Stand-on: a vessel directed by the Navigation Rules to maintain course and speed; however, appropriate action may be taken to avoid collision.
Give-way: a vessel directed by the Navigation Rules to keep out of the way of another shall, so far as possible, take early and substantial action to keep well clear.