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15 More Sailing Terms You Need to Know


15 More Sailing Terms You Need to Know



The key to successful sailing is not only knowing the proper maneuvers and your way around a boat, but also being up to date on sailing terminology. A sailor is able to safely and confidently guide a crew during a voyage or even in the event of an emergency. This comes when they are comfortable with sailing terms.

Continuing with our list from our blog post on sailing terms from last September, here are 15 more sailing terms you need to know in order to be a successful sailor.

  1. Port: This term is used to say, “left” when you’re facing the bow onboard. (For those of you that may not remember from our previous blog post, bow means the front of the boat).

  2. Starboard: This term is used to say, “right” when you’re facing the bow onboard.

  3. Windward: This is an important term to know since sailboats move with the wind. Windward is the direction in which the wind is currently blowing.

  4. Leeward: The direction opposite to the way the wind is currently blowing. 

  5. Boom: This is the horizontal pole that is adjusted towards the direction of the wind in order to move forwards or backwards.

  6. Aft: Also known as the stern, this term refers to the back of the sailboat.

  7. Ease: To let out the sails.

  8. Trim: To pull the sails in.

  9. Starboard Tack: Starboard means right, so starboard tack describes wind coming from the right side of the boat.

  10. Port Tack: Wind is coming from the left (port) side of the boat.

  11. Head Up: To maneuver the boat's course toward the wind.

  12. Head Down: To maneuver the boat's course away from the wind.

  13. Bear Away / Fall Off: To head in the opposite direction from the wind.

  14. Cleat: A metal or plastic device used to secure a line.

  15. Deck: The top of the boat.

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