Fishing Tackle Marketplace
CALL TOLL FREE 1.877.347.4718
Available Mon-Fri 9AM - 5PM EST
You Are Here:  Home ❱ Glossary  ❱  Nautical & Boating Terms Glossary

Glossary of Nautical and Boating Terms

 A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z 

Main Glossary Page


Painted waterline
A painted line on the side of a boat at the waterline. The color usually changes above and below the waterline, and the boat is painted with special anti-fouling paint below the waterline.

A line attached to the bow of a dinghy, used to tie it securely or to tow it.

Pan pan An urgent message used on a radio regarding the safety of people or property. A mayday call is used when there is an immediate threat to life or property. A pan pan situation may develop into a mayday situation. Pan pan and mayday messages have priority on radio channels and should not be interrupted. In the case of a less urgent safety message, the securite signal is used.

Latitude line.

A journey from one place to another.

Personal floatation device, PFD
A device used to keep a person afloat. Also called a life jacket, life preserver or life vest.

A place extending out into the water where vessels may dock. Usually made out of wood or cement.

Pile, piling
A pole embedded in the sea bottom and used to support docks, piers and other structures.

An individual with specific knowledge of a harbor, canal, river or other waterway, qualified to guide vessels through the region. Some areas require that boats and ships be piloted by a licensed pilot.

The act of guiding a vessel through a waterway.

Steering a sailboat too close to the eye of the wind, causing the sails to flap.

1) A fore and aft rocking motion of a boat.
2) How much a propeller is curved.
3) A material used to seal cracks in wooden planks.

To find a ship's actual or intended course or mark a fix on a chart.

Plow anchor
Also called a CQR or coastal quick release anchor. An anchor that is designed to bury itself into the ground by use of its plow shape.

1) To sail as close as possible to the wind. Some boats may be able to point better than others, sailing closer to the wind. 2) The named directions on a compass such as north, northeast, etc.

Point of sail
The position of a sailboat in relation to the wind. A boat with its head into the wind is known as "head to wind" or "in irons." The point of sail with the bow of the boat as close as possible to the wind is called close-hauled. As the bow moves further from the wind, the points of sail are called: close reach, beam reach, broad reach and running. The general direction a boat is sailing is known as its tack.

Poop deck
A boat's aft deck.

A wave that breaks over the stern of the boat.

1) The left side of the boat from the perspective of a person at the stern of the boat, looking toward the bow. The opposite of starboard.
2) A place where ships go to dock.
3) A porthole. A window in the side of a boat, usually round or with rounded corners. Sometimes portholes can be opened; sometimes they are fixed shut.

Port tack
A sailboat sailing on a tack with the wind coming over the port side and the boom on the starboard side of the boat. If two boats under sail are approaching, the one on port tack must give way to the boat on starboard tack.

A window in the side of a boat, usually round or with rounded corners. Sometimes portholes can be opened; sometimes they are fixed shut.

The action of a boat's bow repeatedly slamming into oncoming waves.

A type of dinghy with a flat bow.

Prevailing winds
The typical winds for a particular region and time of year.

A line run forward from the boom to a secure fitting to prevent the boom from swinging violently when running.

Prime meridian
The longitude line at 0°, which runs through Greenwich, England.

Slang for propeller.

An object with two or more twisted blades, designed to propel a vessel through the water when spun rapidly by the boat's engine.

Propeller shaft
The spinning shaft from the engine to which the propeller is attached.

The part of the bow forward of where it leaves the waterline.

 A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z 
Return to Top   |  Main Glossary Page