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Glossary of Nautical and Boating Terms

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The surface on the top of a boat on which people can stand. depth sounder An instrument that uses sound waves to measure the distance to the bottom.

Dinghy, dink
1) A small boat used to travel from a boat to shore, carrying people or supplies. Also known as a tender. 2) The act of using a dinghy.

Distress signals
Any signal that is used to indicate that a vessel is in distress. Flares, smoke, audible alarms and electronic beacons are types of distress signals.

1) Any platform where vessels can make fast. The act of securing a boat in such a place. Docks are often subdivided into smaller areas for docking known as slips. 2) The act of entering a dock.

1) The depth of a boat, measured from the deepest point to the waterline. The water must be at least this depth, or the boat will run aground. 2) A term describing the amount of curvature designed into a sail.

Description of an anchor that is not securely fastened to the bottom and moves.

Dry dock
A dock where a boat can be worked on out of the water. The boat is usually sailed into a dry dock, and then the water is pumped out.

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