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Glossary of Nautical and Boating Terms

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FCC rules
Federal Communications Commission rules governing radio equipment and operation in the United States and its coastal waters.

A cushion hung from the sides of a boat to protect it from rubbing against a dock or another boat.

The distance wind and waves can travel toward land without being blocked. In areas without obstructions, the wind and seas can build to great strength, but in sheltered areas, such as coves and harbors, the wind and seas can be quite calm. Fetch also is used to describe the act of sailing to a location accurately without having to tack.

A construction method using layers of woven glass mats that are bonded together with glue.

Fin keel
A keel that is narrower and deeper than a full keel.

A device that burns to produce a bright light, sometimes colored, usually used to indicate an emergency.

Debris floating on the water surface.

1) The broad flat parts of an anchor that are designed to grab and hold in the bottom.
2) A fin on a whale.

A winglike surface below the hull that, when moved through water, lifts the hull out of the water, allowing greater speeds.

Fore, forward
Toward the bow of the boat.

From the bow to the stern.

The mast nearest the bow.

The most forward storage area on a vessel.

A line running from the bow of the boat to the upper part of the mast, designed to pull the mast forward. A forestay that attaches slightly below the top of the mast can be used to help control the bend of the mast. The most forward stay on the boat is also called the headstay.

A sail placed forward of the mast, such as a jib.

A sail attached to the forestay, as opposed to a jib, which is attached to the headstay.

A mast above the foremast.

Used to describe a boat that is having difficulty remaining afloat.

When a line ends up somewhere it does not belong and becomes jammed. Lines can foul on blocks, winches and other objects on a boat.

Full keel
A keel that runs the length of the boat. Full keels have a shallower draft than fin keels.

To lower a sail. Sails are sometimes partially furled to reduce the amount of sail area in use without completely lowering the sail. This is usually known as reefing.

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