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Celebrities Accused Of 'Yachting' In Hollywood — And What Being A 'Yacht Girl' Really Means

Rumors suggest some women are paid to play..

  • Micki Spollen

Written on Jan 11, 2022

woman on a man's shoulders partying

It’s easy to be envious when seeing the Instagram photos of young, carefree celebrity women seemingly having the time of their lives on yachts floating in exotic waters and in the VIP sections of the most exclusive clubs.

However, rumor has it there is much more than meets the eye when it comes to these ‘yacht girls’ and their extravagant lifestyles.

What is a yacht girl?

According to Urban Dictionary , a yacht girl is “an attractive young woman who finds ways to get access to luxurious surroundings by being available to wealthy men.”

For example, you may follow a woman or two on Instagram who always seems to be partying or vacationing somewhere expensive (notably without ever showing who she’s actually with). This is a person you could potentially describe as being a yacht girl.

And it’s not just those Instagram models and wannabe stars that are considered yacht girls. As you work up the wealth chain, you may be surprised to recognize some celebrity names synonymous with yachting.

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What is 'yachting' in Hollywood?

In Hollywood, the term yacht girl essentially means a woman who works as an escort for high-end clientele , not just on yachts but for any social event.

While the practice has only somewhat recently gained mainstream notoriety, if you think back on the many tabloid photos of models and actresses on yachts from years past, it appears to be something that's gone on in Hollywood “for 60 years,” according to Elie Nahas, who ran a Beirut-based modeling agency before being arrested on charges of running a prostitution ring in 2007.

In 2013, "The Hollywood Reporter" ran a feature describing this so-called yachting during the Cannes Film Festival.

“Every year during the festival there are 30 or 40 luxury yachts in the bay at Cannes, and every boat belongs to a very rich person. Every boat has about 10 girls on it; they are usually models, and they are usually nude or half nude,” Nahas told THR.

At the end of the night, each woman would receive a “gift,” a generous amount of money that the client would put in an envelope for her.

And while many of these women were self-proclaimed local prostitutes and escorts, the Cannes Film Festival is, of course, known for its celebrity attendees — and it’s rumored that celebrity women trying to fast-track a name for themselves in Hollywood become yacht girls, too.

“Women installed on yachts in Cannes during the film festival are called ‘yacht girls,’ and the line between professional prostitutes and B- or C-list Hollywood actresses and models who accept payment for sex with rich older men is sometimes very blurred, explains one film industry veteran,” Dana Kennedy wrote for THR.

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Some women in Hollywood have accused their celebrity peers of being yacht girls.

A 2017 blind item (celebrity gossip that doesn’t outwardly name the celebrity) allegedly written by a struggling actress describes being lured by another actress into the world of yachting :

“The actress I was talking to made it sound super easy and that she only had [sex] a few times with guys while yachting and that it was mostly partying and being arm candy,” she writes, explaining that eventually she agreed to try it for $25,000 upfront, but admitting that the experience was less than glamorous.

Blind item readers guessed that Canadian actress Vanessa Lengies wrote the blind item and further surmised that it may be one of the Glee actresses Naya Rivera or Heather Morris that introduced her to yachting. None of these claims have ever been substantiated.

If you believe the rumors, it would seem that yachting is a rite of passage for women hoping to “make it” in Hollywood, and even some celebrities we now consider A-List are thought to be former yacht girls.

In an excerpt from her 2021 memoir , “My Body,” Emily Ratajkowski details being paid $25,000 at the start of her career to go to the Superbowl with now-disgraced Malaysian financier Jho Low, who "‘just liked to have famous men and women around,’” she explains her manager told her at the time.

She writes about attending the star-studded Coachella on someone else’s dime, having drinks paid for at clubs, and attending afterparties with Oscar-winning actors before actually becoming a celebrity herself.

One could infer from this recollection that, in order to be able to tell these stories, Ratajkowski was herself a yacht girl. “My Body” suggests as much, and in it, she subtly gives away the identity of another celebrity woman who yachted alongside her.

Ratajkowski describes watching as Low gave shots to a Victoria’s Secret model. While she doesn’t name drop, Ratajkowski gives just enough information for readers to figure who that model likely was.

“Now she kept her eyes locked on him as he took his shot, throwing her head back dramatically as he did, only to quickly toss the alcohol over her shoulder,” Ratajkowski writes. “When he faced her again, her eyes sparkled and the famous dimples appeared on her cheeks.”

Low has since become a fugitive wanted for allegedly running an international money laundering scheme, and in 2017, Reuters reported that model Miranda Kerr — known for her dimples — was being ordered to return “diamond pendants, earrings and other jewelry worth about $8 million” that Low allegedly gifted her to government agents.

In 2017, Ratajkowski also posted a video on Instagram potentially outing Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber as yacht girls as they danced aboard a yacht during that year’s Cannes Film Festival.

          View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata)

Many people have also accused Meghan Markle of yachting (but then again, what haven't people accused Markle of at this point).

People have pointed to an old photo of Markle on a yacht as proof that she’s a former yacht girl.

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Another old blind item also suggested the former actress was available to “rent.”

"If you see B actress post scantily clad photos of themselves on Social Media, this is often a Comm to [them] that this person is available to ‘rent’ for a weekend of ‘yachting,’” the tweet says, including a photo of Markle in a swimsuit.

"If you see B actress post scantily clad photos of themselves on Social Media, this is often a Comm to [them] that this person is available to “rent” for a weekend of “yachting”. Typically worth $30K for the “party” - Meghan Markle @3Days3Nights https://t.co/E3WfMjnVL9 pic.twitter.com/QFv476GL0b — yacht girl (@yachtgirlmm) November 27, 2019

Markle’s close friendship pre-Harry with actress Priyanka Chopra has naturally led some to guess that Chopra once yachted as well.

Another actress that faces endless rumors of yachting is Russian actress Irina Shayk , which according to THR, is par for the course as the outlet writes that yachting your way to stardom happens with “disturbing frequency,” particularly when it comes to foreign-born actresses.

According to THR, who claims to know “of at least one now-prominent actress who made her first connections on a Cannes yacht and quickly landed her debut role in a U.S.-shot movie,” such as with Shayk’s 2014 film “Hercules,” it’s “a red flag any time you see a foreign-born actress with no credits suddenly make her way into a U.S.-shot movie.”

Of course, when it comes to yachting in Hollywood, all of these claims appear to be unfounded.

These rumors make for good gossip, whether you’re talking about low-level social media influencers or high-profile celebrity actresses.

However, nothing is proven, leaving us to wonder any time we see a photo of women on a yacht.

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Micki Spollen is an editor, writer, and traveler focused on relationships, news, and pop culture. Follow her on Instagram .

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Nautical + Sailing Terms You Should Know [578 Phrases]

Nautical + Sailing Terms You Should Know [578 Phrases]

June 5, 2019 2:05 pm

A seaman’s jargon is among the most challenging to memorize. With over 500 terms used to communicate with a captain, crew, and sailors regarding navigation and more, there’s a word for nearly everything. No need to jump ship, this comprehensive list will have you speaking the lingo in no time.

Abaft the beam: A relative bearing of greater than 90 degrees from the bow. e.g. “two points abaft the port beam.”

Abaft: Toward the stern, relative to some object (“abaft the fore hatch”).

Abandon Ship: An imperative to leave the vessel immediately, usually in the face of some imminent danger.

Abeam: “On the beam”, a relative bearing at right angles to the centerline of the ship’s keel.

Aboard: On or in a vessel. Close aboard means near a ship.

Above board: On or above the deck, in plain view, not hiding anything.

Accommodation ladder: A portable flight of steps down a ship’s side.

Admiral: Senior naval officer of Flag rank. In ascending order of seniority, Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, Admiral and Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy). Derivation reputedly Arabic, from “Emir al Bath” (“Ruler of the waters”).

Admiralty law: Body of law that deals with maritime cases. In the UK administered by the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice.

Adrift: Afloat and unattached in any way to the shore or seabed. It may also imply that a vessel is not anchored and not under control, therefore goes where the wind and current take her, (loose from moorings, or out of place). Also refers to any gear not fastened down or put away properly. It can also be used to mean “absent without leave”.

Affreightment: Hiring of a vessel

Aft: Towards the stern (of the vessel).

Afterdeck: Deck behind a ship’s bridge

Afterguard: Men who work the aft sails on the quarterdeck and poop deck

Aground: Resting on or touching the ground or bottom.

Ahead: Forward of the bow.

Ahoy: A cry to draw attention. A term used to hail a boat or a ship, as “Boat ahoy!”.

Ahull: With sails furled and helm lashed to the lee-side.

Aid to Navigation: ( ATON) Any device external to a vessel or aircraft specifically intended to assist navigators in determining their position or safe course, or to warn them of dangers or obstructions to navigation.

All hands: Entire ship’s company, both officers and enlisted personnel.

All-Round White Light: On power-driven vessels less than 39.4 feet in length, this light may be used to combine a masthead light and sternlight into a single white light that can be seen by other vessels from any direction. This light serves as an anchor light when sidelights are extinguished.

Aloft: Above the ship’s uppermost solid structure; overhead or high above.

Alongside: By the side of a ship or pier.

Amidships (or midships): In the middle portion of the ship, along the line of the keel.

Anchor ball: Black shape hoisted in the forepart of a ship to show that ship is anchored in a fairway.

Anchor buoy: A small buoy secured by a light line to anchor to indicate the position of the anchor on the bottom.

Anchor chain or cable: Chain connecting the ship to the anchor.

Anchor detail: Group of men who handle ground tackle when the ship is anchoring or getting underway.

Anchor light: White light displayed by a ship at anchor. Two such lights are displayed by a ship over 150 feet (46 m) in length.

Anchor watch: Making sure that the anchor is holding and the vessel is not drifting. Important during rough weather and at night. Most marine GPS units have an Anchor Watch alarm capability.

Anchor: An object designed to prevent or slow the drift of a ship, attached to the ship by a line or chain; typically a metal, hook-like object, designed to grip the bottom under the body of water.

Anchorage: A suitable place for a ship to anchor. Area of a port or harbor.

Anchor’s aweigh: Said of an anchor when just clear of the bottom.

As the crow flies: A direct line between two points (which might cross land) which is the way crows travel rather than ships which must go around land.

Ashore: On the beach, shore or land.

Astern: Toward the stern; an object or vessel that is abaft another vessel or object.

ASW: Anti-submarine warfare.

Asylum Harbor: A harbor used to provide shelter from a storm.

Athwart, athwartships: At right angles to the fore and aft or centerline of a ship.

Avast: Stop! Cease or desist from whatever is being done.

Awash: So low in the water that the water is constantly washing across the surface.

Aweigh: Position of an anchor just clear of the bottom.

Aye, aye: Reply to an order or command to indicate that it, firstly, is heard; and, secondly, is understood and will be carried out. (“Aye, aye, sir” to officers).

Azimuth circle: Instrument used to take bearings of celestial objects.

Azimuth compass: An instrument employed for ascertaining the position of the sun with respect to magnetic north. The azimuth of an object is its bearing from the observer measured as an angle clockwise from true north.

Back and fill: To use the advantage of the tide being with you when the wind is not.

Backstays: Long lines or cables, reaching from the rear of the vessel to the mast heads, used to support the mast.

Baggywrinkle: A soft covering for cables (or any other obstructions) that prevents sail chafing from occurring.

Bale Cube (or Bale Capacity): The space available for cargo measured in cubic feet to the inside of the cargo battens, on the frames, and to the underside of the beams.

Ballaster: One who supplies ships with ballast.

Bank (sea floor): A large area of elevated sea floor.

Banyan: Traditional Royal Navy term for a day or shorter period of rest and relaxation.

Bar pilot: A bar pilot guides ships over the dangerous sandbars at the mouth of rivers and bays.

Bar: Large mass of sand or earth, formed by the surge of the sea. They are mostly found at the entrances of great rivers or havens, and often render navigation extremely dangerous, but confer tranquility once inside. See also: Touch and go, grounding. Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘Crossing the bar’ an allegory for death.

Bargemaster: Owner of a barge.

Barrelman: A sailor that was stationed in the crow’s nest.

Beacon: A lighted or unlighted fixed aid to navigation attached directly to the earth’s surface. (Lights and daybeacons both constitute beacons).

Beam ends: The sides of a ship. “On her beam ends” may mean the vessel is literally on her side and possibly about to capsize; more often, the phrase means the vessel is listing 45 degrees or more.

Beam: The beam of a ship is its width at the widest point or a point alongside the ship at the mid-point of its length.

Bear away: Turn away from the wind, often with reference to a transit.

Bear down: Turn away from the wind, often with reference to a transit.

Bearing: The horizontal direction of a line of sight between two objects on the surface of the earth.

Bee: Hardwood on either side of bowsprit through which forestays are reeved

Before the mast: Literally, the area of a ship before the foremast (the forecastle). Most often used to describe men whose living quarters are located here, officers being housed behind (abaft) the mast and enlisted men before the mast. This was because the midships area where the officers were berthed is more stable, being closer to the center of gravity, and thus more comfortable. It is less subject to the up and down movement resulting from the ship’s pitching.

Belay: To secure a rope by winding on a pin or cleat

Belaying pins: Bars of iron or hardwood to which running rigging may be secured, or belayed.

Berth: A bed on a boat, or a space in a port or harbor where a vessel can be tied up.

Best bower (anchor): The larger of two anchors carried in the bow; so named as it was the last, best hope.

Bilge: The bilge is the compartment at the bottom of the hull of a ship or boat where water collects so that it may be pumped out of the vessel at a later time.

Bilged on her anchor: A ship that has run upon her own anchor.

Bimini: Weather-resistant fabric stretched over a stainless steel frame, fastened above the cockpit of a sailboat or flybridge of a power yacht which serves as a rain or sun shade.

Bimmy: A punitive instrument.

Binnacle list: A ship’s sick list. The list of men unable to report for duty was given to the officer or mate of the watch by the ship’s surgeon. The list was kept at the binnacle.

Binnacle: The stand on which the ship’s compass is mounted.

Bitter end: The anchor cable is tied to the bitts when the cable is fully paid out, the bitter end has been reached. The last part of a rope or cable.

Bitts: Posts mounted on a ship for fastening ropes

Bloody: An intensive derived from the substantive ‘blood’, a name applied to the Bucks, Scrowers, and Mohocks of the seventeenth centuries.

Blue Peter: A blue and white flag hoisted at the foretrucks of ships about to sail.

Boat: A craft or vessel designed to float on, and provide transport over, water.

Boatswain or bosun: A non-commissioned officer responsible for the sails, ropes, and boats on a ship who issues “piped” commands to seamen.

Bobstay: Rope used on ships to steady the bowsprit

Bollard: From “bol” or “bole”, the round trunk of a tree. A substantial vertical pillar to which lines may be made fast. Generally on the quayside rather than the ship.

Boltrope: Strong rope stitched to edges of a sail

Booby hatch: A sliding hatch or cover.

Booby: A type of bird that has little fear and therefore is particularly easy to catch, hence booby prize.

Boom vang: A sail control that lets one apply downward tension on the boom, countering the upward tension provided by the mainsail. The boom vang adds an element of control to mainsail shape when the mainsheet is let out enough that it no longer pulls the boom down. Boom vang tension helps control leech twist, a primary component of sail power.

Boom: A spar used to extend the foot of a fore-and-aft sail.

Booms: Masts or yards, lying on board in reserve.

Bosun: Boatswain

Bottomry: Pledging a ship as security in a financial transaction.

Bow: The front of a ship.

Bower: Anchor carried at bow of a ship

Bowline: A type of knot, producing a strong loop of a fixed size, topologically similar to a sheet bend. Also, a rope attached to the side of a sail to pull it towards the bow (for keeping the windward edge of the sail steady).

Bowse: To pull or hoist.

Bowsprit: A spar projecting from the bow used as an anchor for the forestay and other rigging.

Brail: To furl or truss a sail by pulling it in towards the mast, or the ropes used to do so.

Bream: To clean a ship’s bottom by burning off seaweed.

Bridge: A structure above the weather deck, extending the full width of the vessel, which houses a command center, itself called by association, the bridge.

Bring to: Cause a ship to be stationary by arranging the sails.

Broaching-to: A sudden movement in navigation, when the ship, while scudding before the wind, accidentally turns her leeward side to windward, also use to describe the point when water starts to come over the gunwale due to this turn.

Buffer: The chief bosun’s mate, responsible for discipline.

Bulkhead: An upright wall within the hull of a ship. Particularly a load bearing wall.

Bulwark: The extension of the ship’s side above the level of the weather deck.

Bumboat: A private boat selling goods.

Bumpkin: An iron bar (projecting outboard from a ship’s side) to which the lower and topsail brace blocks are sometimes hooked. Chains supporting/stabilizing the bowsprit.

Bunt: Middle of sail, fish-net or cloth when slack.

Buntline: One of the lines tied to the bottom of a square sail and used to haul it up to the yard when furling.

Buoy: A floating object of defined shape and color, which is anchored at a given position and serves as an aid to navigation.

Buoyed Up: Lifted by a buoy, especially a cable that has been lifted to prevent it from trailing on the bottom.

Burgee: Small ship’s flag used for identification or signaling.

By and Large: By means into the wind, while large means with the wind. By and large, is used to indicate all possible situations “the ship handles well both by and large”.

By the board: Anything that has gone overboard.

Cabin boy: attendant on passengers and crew.

Cabin: an enclosed room on a deck or flat.

Cable: A large rope; also a measure of length or distance. Equivalent to (UK) 1/10 nautical mile, approx. 600 feet; (USA) 120 fathoms, 720 feet (219 m); other countries use different values.

Cabotage: Shipping and sailing between points in the same country.

Camber: Slight arch or convexity to a beam or deck of a ship.

Canister: A type of anti-personnel cannon load in which lead balls or other loose metallic items were enclosed in a tin or iron shell. On firing the shell would disintegrate releasing the smaller metal objects.

Cape Horn fever: The name of the fake illness a malingerer is pretending to suffer from.

Capsize: When a ship or boat lists too far and rolls over, exposing the keel. On large vessels, this often results in the sinking of the ship.

Capstan: A huge rotating hub (wheel) mounted vertically and provided with horizontal holes to take up the capstan bars (when manually rotated), used to wind in anchors or other heavy objects; and sometimes to administer flogging over.

Captain’s daughter: The cat o’ nine tails, which in principle is only used on board on the captain’s (or a court martial’s) personal orders.

Careening: Cause the ship to tilt on its side, usually to clean or repair the hull below the water line.

Cargo Deadweight Tons: The weight remaining after deducting fuel, water, stores, dunnage and such other items necessary for use on a voyage from the deadweight of the vessel.

Carlin: Similar to a beam, except running in a fore and aft direction.

Cat Head: A beam extending out from the hull used to support an anchor when raised in order to secure or “fish” it.

Cat: To prepare an anchor, after raising it by lifting it with a tackle to the Cat Head, prior to securing (fishing) it alongside for sea. (An anchor raised to the Cat Head is said to be catted).

Catamaran: A vessel with two hulls.

Catboat: A cat-rigged vessel with only one sail, usually on a gaff.

Centreboard: A removable keel used to resist leeway.

Chafing Gear: Material applied to a line or spar to prevent or reduce chafing. See Baggywrinkle.

Chafing: Wear on the line or sail caused by constant rubbing against another surface.

Chain-wale or channel: A broad, thick plank that projects horizontally from each of a ship’s sides abreast a mast, distinguished as the fore, main, or mizzen channel accordingly, serving to extend the base for the shrouds, which supports the mast.

Chine: A relatively sharp angle in the hull, as compared to the rounded bottoms of most traditional boat hulls.

Chock: Metal casting with curved arms for passing ropes for mooring ship.

Chock-a-block: Rigging blocks that are so tight against one another that they cannot be further tightened.

Clean bill of health: A certificate issued by a port indicating that the ship carries no infectious diseases.

Clean slate: At the helm, the watch keeper would record details of speed, distances, headings, etc. on a slate. At the beginning of a new watch the slate would be wiped clean.

Cleat: A stationary device used to secure a rope aboard a vessel.

Clew: Corner of sail with a hole to attach ropes.

Clew-lines: Used to truss up the clews, the lower corners of square sails.

Club: hauling the ship drops one of its anchors at high speed to turn abruptly. This was sometimes used as a means to get a good firing angle on a pursuing vessel.

Coaming: The raised edge of a hatchway used to help keep out water.

Cocket: Official shipping seal; customs clearance form.

Cofferdam: Narrow vacant space between two bulkheads of a ship.

Cog: Single-masted, square-sailed ship with a raised stern.

Companionway: A raised and windowed hatchway in the ship’s deck, with a ladder leading below and the hooded entrance-hatch to the main cabins.

Compass:   Navigational instrument that revolutionized travel.

Complement: The full number of people required to operate a ship. Includes officers and crewmembers; does not include passengers.

Cordage: Ropes in the rigging of a ship.

Corrector: a device to correct the ship’s compass.

Courses: The mainsail, foresail, and mizzen.

Coxswain or cockswain: The helmsman or crew member in command of a boat.

Cringle: Loop at the corner of a sail to which a line is attached.

Crosstrees: Horizontal crosspieces at a masthead used to support ship’s mast.

Crow’s nest: Specifically a masthead constructed with sides and sometimes a roof to shelter the lookouts from the weather, generally by whaling vessels, this term has become a generic term for what is properly called masthead. See masthead.

Cube: The cargo carrying capacity of a ship, measured in cubic feet.

Cuddy: A small cabin in a boat.

Cunningham: A line invented by Briggs Cunningham, used to control the shape of a sail.

Cut and run: When wanting to make a quick escape, a ship might cut lashings to sails or cables for anchors, causing damage to the rigging, or losing an anchor, but shortening the time needed to make ready by bypassing the proper procedures.

Cut of his jib: The “cut” of a sail refers to its shape. Since this would vary between ships, it could be used both to identify a familiar vessel at a distance and to judge the possible sailing qualities of an unknown one.

Cut splice: A join between two lines, similar to an eye-splice, where each rope end is joined to the other a short distance along, making an opening which closes under tension.

Cutline: The “valley” between the strands of a rope or cable. Before serving a section of laid rope e.g. to protect it from chafing, it may be “wormed” by laying yarns in the cuntlines, giving that section an even cylindrical shape.

Daggerboard: A type of centerboard that is removed vertically.

Davit: Device for hoisting and lowering a boat.

Davy Jones (Locker): An idiom for the bottom of the sea.

Daybeacon: An unlighted fixed structure which is equipped with a dayboard for daytime identification.

Dayboard: The daytime identifier of an aid to navigation presenting one of several standard shapes (square, triangle, rectangle) and colors (red, green, white, orange, yellow, or black).

Deadeye: A round wooden plank which serves a similar purpose to a block in the standing rigging of large sailing vessels.

Deadrise: The design angle between the keel (q.v.) and horizontal.

Deadweight Tons (DWT): The difference between displacement, light and displacement, and loaded. A measure of the ship’s total carrying capacity.

Deadwood: Timbers built into ends of a ship when too narrow to permit framing.

Deckhand: A person whose job involves aiding the deck supervisor in (un)mooring, anchoring, maintenance, and general evolutions on deck.

Deck supervisor: The person in charge of all evolutions and maintenance on deck; sometimes split into two groups: forward deck supervisor, aft deck supervisor.

Deckhead: The under-side of the deck above. Sometimes paneled over to hide the pipework. This paneling, like that lining the bottom and sides of the holds, is the ceiling.

Decks: the structures forming the approximately horizontal surfaces in the ship’s general structure. Unlike flats, they are a structural part of the ship.

Demurrage: Delay of the vessel’s departure or loading with cargo.

Derrick: A lifting device composed of one mast or pole and a boom or jib which is hinged freely at the bottom.

Directional light: A light illuminating a sector or very narrow-angle and intended to mark a direction to be followed.

Displacement, Light: The weight of the ship excluding cargo, fuel, ballast, stores, passengers, and crew, but with water in the boilers to steaming level.

Displacement, Loaded: The weight of the ship including cargo, passengers, fuel, water, stores, dunnage and such other items necessary for use on a voyage, which brings the vessel down to her load draft.

Displacement: A measurement of the weight of the vessel, usually used for warships. Displacement is expressed either in long tons of 2,240 pounds or metric tons of 1,000 kg.

Disrate: To reduce in rank or rating; demote.

Dodger: Shield against rain or spray on a ship’s bridge.

Dog watch: A short watch period, generally half the usual time (e.g. a two-hour watch between two four hour ones). Such a watch might be included in order to slowly rotate the system over several days for fairness  or to allow both watches to eat their meals at approximately normal times.

Dolphin: A structure consisting of a number of piles driven into the seabed or riverbed in a circular pattern and drawn together with wire rope.

Downhaul: A line used to control either a mobile spar or the shape of a sail.

Draft, Air: Air Draft is the distance from the water line to the highest point on a ship (including antennas) while it is loaded.

Draft: The distance between the waterline and the keel of a boat; the minimum depth of water in which a boat will float.

Dressing down: Treating old sails with oil or wax to renew them, or a verbal reprimand.

Driver: The large sail flown from the mizzen gaff.

Driver-mast: The fifth mast of a six-masted barquentine or gaff schooner. It is preceded by the jigger mast and followed by the spanker mast. The sixth mast of the only seven-masted vessel, the gaff schooner Thomas W. Lawson, was normally called the pusher-mast.

Dromond: Large single-sailed ship powered by rowers.

Dunnage: Loose packing material used to protect a ship’s cargo from damage during transport. Personal baggage.

Dyogram: Ship’s chart indicating compass deflection due to ship’s iron.

Earrings: Small lines, by which the uppermost corners of the largest sails are secured to the yardarms.

Embayed: The condition where a sailing vessel is confined between two capes or headlands, typically where the wind is blowing directly onshore.

Ensign: Large naval flag.

Escutcheon: Part of ship’s stern where name is displayed.

Extremis (also known as “in extremis”): The point under International Rules of the Road (Navigation Rules) at which the privileged (or stand-on) vessel on a collision course with a burdened (or give-way) vessel determines it must maneuver to avoid a collision. Prior to extremes, the privileged vessel must maintain course and speed and the burdened vessel must maneuver to avoid a collision.

Fairlead: Ring through which rope is led to change its direction without friction.

Fardage: Wood placed in the bottom of the ship to keep cargo dry.

Fathom: A unit of length equal to 6 feet (1.8 m), roughly measured as the distance between a man’s outstretched hands.

Fender: An air or foam filled bumper used in boating to keep boats from banging into docks or each other.

Fiddley: Iron framework around hatchway opening.

Figurehead: Symbolic image at the head of a traditional sailing ship or early steamer.

Fireship: A ship loaded with flammable materials and explosives and sailed into an enemy port or fleet either already burning or ready to be set alight by its crew (who would then abandon it) in order to collide with and set fire to enemy ships.

First Lieutenant: In the Royal Navy, the senior lieutenant on board; responsible to the Commander for the domestic affairs of the ship’s company. Also known as ‘Jimmy the One’ or ‘Number One’. Removes his cap when visiting the mess decks as a token of respect for the privacy of the crew in those quarters. Officer i/c cables on the forecastle. In the U.S. Navy the senior person in charge of all Deckhands.

First Mate: The Second in command of a ship.

Fish: To repair a mast or spar with a fillet of wood. To secure an anchor on the side of the ship for sea,otherwise known as “catting”.

Flag hoist: A number of signal flags strung together to convey a message, e.g. “England expects…”.

Flagstaff: Flag pole at the stern of a ship.

Flank: The maximum speed of a ship. Faster than “full speed”.

Flatback: A Great Lakes slang term for a vessel without any self-unloading equipment.

Flemish Coil: A line coiled around itself to neaten the decks or dock.

Flog: To beat, to punish.

Fluke: The wedge-shaped part of an anchor’s arms that digs into the bottom.

Fly by night: A large sail used only for sailing downwind, requiring little attention.

Following sea: Wave or tidal movement going in the same direction as a ship.

Foot: The bottom of a sail.

Footloose: If the foot of a sail is not secured properly, it is footloose, blowing around in the wind.

Footrope: Each yard on a square-rigged sailing ship is equipped with a footrope for sailors to stand on while setting or stowing the sails.

Fore: Towards the bow (of the vessel).

Forebitt: Post for fastening cables at a ship’s foremast.

Forecabin: Cabin in the fore part of a ship.

Forecastle: A partial deck, above the upper deck and at the head of the vessel; traditionally the sailors living quarters. Pronounced “foc-sle”. The name is derived from the castle fitted to bear archers in time of war.

Forefoot: The lower part of the stem of a ship.

Foremast: Mast nearest the bow of a ship

Foresail: The lowest sail set on the foremast of a square-rigged ship.

Forestays: Long lines or cables, reaching from the front of the vessel to the mast heads, used to support the mast.

Forward: The area towards the bow.

Founder: To fill with water and sink → Wiktionary.

Frap: To draw a sail tight with ropes or cables.

Freeboard: The height of a ship’s hull (excluding superstructure) above the waterline. The vertical distance from the current waterline to the lowest point on the highest continuous watertight deck. This usually varies from one part to another.

Full and by: Sailing into the wind (by), but not as close-hauled as might be possible, so as to make sure the sails are kept full. This provides a margin for error to avoid being taken aback (a serious risk for square-rigged vessels) in a tricky sea. Figuratively it implies getting on with the job but in a steady, relaxed way, without undue urgency or strain.

Furl: To roll or wrap a sail around the mast or spar to which it is attached.

Futtock: Rib of a ship.

Gaff: The spar that holds the upper edge of a fore-and-aft or gaff sail. Also, a long hook with a sharp point to haul fish in.

Gaff-topsail: Triangular topsail with its foot extended upon the gaff.

Galley: The kitchen of the ship.

Gangplank: A movable bridge used in boarding or leaving a ship at a pier; also known as a “brow”.

Gangway: Either of the sides of the upper deck of a ship

Garbled: Garbling was the (illegal) practice of mixing cargo with garbage.

Garboard: The strake closest to the keel (from Dutch gaarboard).

Genoa: Large jib that overlaps the mainsail

Global Positioning System (GPS): A satellite-based radio navigation system providing continuous worldwide coverage. It provides navigation, position, and timing information to air, marine, and land users.

Grain Cube (or Grain Capacity): The maximum space available for cargo measured in cubic feet, the measurement being taken to the inside of the shell plating of the ship or to the outside of the frames and to the top of the beam or underside of the deck plating.

Grapnel: Small anchor used for dragging or grappling.

Gross Tons: The entire internal cubic capacity of the ship expressed in tons of 100 cubic feet to the ton, except certain spaces which are exempted such as: peak and other tanks for water ballast, open forecastle bridge and poop, access of hatchways, certain light and air spaces, domes of skylights, condenser, anchor gear, steering gear, wheelhouse, galley and cabin for passengers.

Groundage: A charge on a ship in port.

Gudgeon: Metal socket into which the pintle of a boat’s rudder fits.

Gunnage: Number of guns carried on a warship.

Gunwhale: Upper edge of the hull.

Gybe: To swing a sail from one side to another.

Halyard or Halliard: Originally, ropes used for hoisting a spar with a sail attached; today, a line used to raise the head of any sail.

Hammock: Canvas sheets, slung from the deckhead in mess decks, in which seamen slept. “Lash up and stow” a piped command to tie up hammocks and stow them (typically) in racks inboard of the ship’s side to protect the crew from splinters from shot and provide a ready means of preventing flooding caused by damage.

Hand Bomber: A ship using coal-fired boilers shoveled in by hand.

Handsomely: With a slow even motion, as when hauling on a line “handsomely.”

Hank: A fastener attached to the luff of the headsail that attaches the headsail to the forestay. Typical designs include a bronze or plastic hook with a spring-operated gate or a strip of cloth webbing with a snap fastener.

Harbor: A harbor or haven is a place where ships may shelter from the weather or are stored. Harbors can be man-made or natural.

Haul wind: To point the ship so as to be heading in the same direction as the wind, generally not the fastest point of travel on a sailing vessel.

Hawse: Distance between ship’s bow and its anchor.

Hawse-hole: A hole in a ship’s bow for a cable or chain, such as for an anchor, to pass through.

Hawsepiper: An informal maritime industry term used to refer to a merchant ship’s officer who began his or her career as an unlicensed merchant seaman and did not attend a traditional maritime college/academy to earn the officer license.

Hawser: Large rope for mooring or towing a ship.

Head of navigation: A term used to describe the farthest point above the mouth of a river that can be navigated by ships.

Head: The toilet or latrine of a vessel, which for sailing ships projected from the bows.

Headsail: Any sail flown in front of the most forward mast.

Heave down: Turn a ship on its side (for cleaning).

Heave: A vessel’s transient up-and-down motion.

Heaving to: To stop a sailing vessel by lashing the helm in opposition to the sails. The vessel will gradually drift to leeward, the speed of the drift depending on the vessel’s design.

Heeling: The lean caused by the wind’s force on the sails of a sailing vessel.

Helm: Ship’s steering wheel.

Helmsman: A person who steers a ship.

Hogging or hog: The distortion of the hull where the ends of the keel are lower than the center.

Hold: In earlier use, below the orlop deck, the lower part of the interior of a ship’s hull, especially when considered as storage space, as for cargo. In later merchant vessels, it extended up through the decks to the underside of the weather deck.

Holiday: A gap in the coverage of newly applied paint, slush, tar, or other preservatives.

Holystone: Sandstone material used to scrape ships’ decks

Horn: A sound signal which uses electricity or compressed air to vibrate a disc diaphragm.

Horse: Attachment of sheets to the deck of the vessel (Main-sheet horse).

Hounds: Attachments of stays to masts.

Hull: The shell and framework of the basic flotation-oriented part of a ship.

Hydrofoil: A boat with wing-like foils mounted on struts below the hull.

Icing: A serious hazard where cold temperatures (below about -10°C) combined with high wind speed (typically force 8 or above on the Beaufort scale) result in spray blown off the sea freezing immediately on contact with the ship.

Idlers: Members of a ship’s company not required to serve watches. These were in general specialist tradesmen such as the carpenter and the sailmaker.

In Irons: When the bow of a sailboat is headed into the wind and the boat has stalled and is unable to maneuver.

In the offing: In the water visible from on board a ship, now used to mean something imminent.

Inboard: Inside the line of a ship’s bulwarks or hull.

Inboard-Outboard drive system: A larger Power Boating alternative drive system to transom mounted outboard motors.

Jack: Ship’s flag flown from jack-staff at the bow of a vessel.

Jack-block: Pulley system for raising topgallant masts.

Jack-cross-tree: Single iron cross-tree at the head of a topgallant mast.

Jacklines or Jack Stays: Lines, often steel wire with a plastic jacket, from the bow to the stern on both port and starboard. The Jack Lines are used to clip on the safety harness to secure the crew to the vessel while giving them the freedom to walk on the deck.

Jackstaff: Short staff at ship’s bow from which the jack is hoisted.

Jackyard: Spar used to spread the foot of a gaff-topsail

Jib: A triangular staysail at the front of a ship.

Jibboom: Spar forming an extension of the bowsprit.

Jibe: To change a ship’s course to make the boom shift sides.

Jigger-mast: The fourth mast, although ships with four or more masts were uncommon, or the aft-most mast where it is smallest on vessels of less than four masts.

Junk: Old cordage past its useful service life as lines aboard ship. The strands of old junk were teased apart in the process called picking oakum.

Jurymast: Mast erected on a ship in place of one lost.

Kedge: Small anchor to keep a ship steady.

Keel: A boat’s backbone; the lowest point of the boat’s hull, the keel provides strength, stability and prevents sideways drift of the boat in the water.

Keel: The central structural basis of the hull.

Keelson: Lengthwise wooden or steel beam in ship for bearing stress.

Kentledge: Pig-iron used as ballast in ship’s hold.

Killick: A small anchor. A fouled killick is the substantive badge of non-commissioned officers in the RN. Seamen promoted to the first step in the promotion ladder are called “Killick”. The badge signifies that here is an Able Seaman skilled to cope with the awkward job of dealing with a fouled anchor.

Ladder: On board a ship, all “stairs” are called ladders, except for literal staircases aboard passenger ships. Most “stairs” on a ship are narrow and nearly vertical, hence the name. Believed to be from the Anglo-Saxon word “hiaeder”, meaning ladder.

Lagan: Cargo jettisoned from the ship but marked by buoys for recovery.

Laker: Great Lakes slang for a vessel who spends all its time on the 5 Great Lakes.

Landlubber: A person unfamiliar with being on the sea.

Lanyard: Rope or line for fastening something in a ship.

Larboard: The left side of the ship.Derived from the old ‘lay-board’ providing access between a ship and a quay.

Lastage: Room for stowing goods in a ship.

Lateen: Triangular sail rigged on ship’s spar.

Lateral System: A system of aids to navigation in which characteristics of buoys and beacons indicate the sides of the channel or route relative to a conventional direction of buoyage (usually upstream).

Laveer: To sail against the wind.

Lay down: To lay a ship down is to begin construction in a shipyard.

Lay: To come and go, used in giving orders to the crew, such as “lay forward” or “lay aloft”. To direct the course of the vessel. Also, to twist the strands of a rope together.

Lazaret: Space in ship between decks used for storage.

League: A unit of length, normally equal to three nautical miles.

Lee shore: A shore downwind of a ship. A ship which cannot sail well to windward risks being blown onto a lee shore and grounded.

Lee side: The side of a ship sheltered from the wind (opposite the weather side or windward side).

Leeboard: Wood or metal planes attached to the hull to prevent leeway.

Leech: The aft or trailing edge of a fore-and-aft sail; the leeward edge of a spinnaker; a vertical edge of a square sail. The leech is susceptible to twist, which is controlled by the boom vang and mainsheet.

Lee helm: If the helm was centered, the boat would turn away from the wind (to the lee). Consequently, the tiller must be pushed to the lee side of the boat in order to make the boat sail in a straight line.

Leeward: In the direction that the wind is blowing towards.

Leeway: The angle that a ship is blown leeward by the wind. See also “weatherly”.

Length at Waterline (LWL): The ship’s length measured at the waterline.

Length Overall (LOA): The maximum length of the ship.

Length: The distance between the forwardmost and aftermost parts of the ship.

Let go and haul: An order indicating that the ship is in line with the wind.

Lifeboat: A small steel or wood boat located near the stern of a vessel. Used to get the crew to safety if something happens to the mothership.

Line: The correct nautical term for the majority of the cordage or “ropes” used on a vessel. A line will always have a more specific name, such as mizzen topsail halyard, which describes its use.

Liner: Ship of The Line: a major warship capable of taking its place in the main (battle) line of fighting ships. Hence the modern term for most prestigious passenger vessel: Liner.

List: The vessel’s angle of lean or tilt to one side, in the direction called the roll.

Loggerhead: An iron ball attached to a long handle, used for driving caulking into seams and (occasionally) in a fight. Hence: “at loggerheads”.

Loxodograph: Device used to record the ship’s travels.

Lubber’s line: A vertical line inside a compass case indicating the direction of the ship’s head.

Luff: The forward edge of a sail. To head a sailing vessel more towards the direction of the wind.

Luffing: When a sailing vessel is steered far enough to windward that the sail is no longer completely filled with wind. The flapping of the sail(s) which results from having no wind in the sail at all.

Lugsail: Four-sided sail bent to an obliquely hanging yard.

Lutchet: Fitting on ship’s deck to allow the mast to pivot to pass under bridges.

Lying ahull: Waiting out a storm by dousing all sails and simply letting the boat drift.

Mainbrace: The brace attached to the mainmast.

Mainmast (or Main): The tallest mast on a ship.

Mainsail: Principal sail on a ship’s mainmast.

Mainsheet: Sail control line that allows the most obvious effect on mainsail trim. Primarily used to control the angle of the boom, and thereby the mainsail, this control can also increase or decrease downward tension on the boom while sailing upwind, significantly affecting sail shape. For more control over downward tension on the boom, use a boom vang.

Mainstay: Stay that extends from the main-top to the foot of the foremast.

Man overboard: A cry let out when a seaman has gone overboard.

Manrope: Rope used as a handrail on a ship.

Marina: A docking facility for small ships and yachts.

Martingale: Lower stay of rope used to sustain the strain of the forestays.

Mast: A vertical pole on a ship which supports sails or rigging.

Master: Either the commander of a commercial vessel, or a senior officer of a naval sailing ship in charge of routine seamanship and navigation but not in command during combat.

Masthead Light: This white light shines forward and to both sides and is required on all power-driven vessels.

Masthead: A small platform partway up the mast, just above the height of the mast’s main yard. A lookout is stationed here, and men who are working on the main yard will embark from here. See also Crow’s Nest.

Matelot: A traditional Royal Navy term for an ordinary sailor.

Mess: An eating place aboard ship. A group of the crew who live and feed together.

Midshipman: A non-commissioned officer below the rank of Lieutenant. Usually regarded as being “in training” to some degree.

Mizzen staysail: Sail on a ketch or yawl, usually lightweight, set from, and forward of, the mizzen mast while reaching in light to moderate air.

Mizzen: Three-masted vessel; aft sail of such a vessel.

Monkey fist: A ball woven out of line used to provide heft to heave the line to another location. The monkey fist and other heaving-line knots were sometimes weighted with lead (easily available in the form of foil used to seal e.g. tea chests from dampness) although Clifford W. Ashley notes that there was a “definite sporting limit” to the weight thus added.

Moonraker: Topmost sail of a ship, above the skyscraper.

Moor: To attach a boat to a mooring buoy or post. Also, to a dock a ship.

Navigation rules: Rules of the road that provide guidance on how to avoid collision and also used to assign blame when a collision does occur.

Net Tons: Obtained from the gross tonnage by deducting crew and navigating spaces and allowances for propulsion machinery.

Nipper: Short rope used to bind a cable to the “messenger” (a moving line propelled by the capstan) so that the cable is dragged along too (Used because the cable is too large to be wrapped around the capstan itself). During the raising of an anchor, the nippers were attached and detached from the (endless) messenger by the ship’s boys. Hence the term for small boys: “nippers”.

Oakum: Old ropes untwisted for caulking the seams of ships.

Oreboat: Great Lakes Term for a vessel primarily used in the transport of iron ore.

Orlop deck: The lowest deck of a ship of the line. The deck covering in the hold.

Outhaul: A line used to control the shape of a sail.

Outrigger: Spar extended from the side of the ship to help secure mast.

Outward bound: To leave the safety of the port, heading for the open ocean.

Overbear: To sail downwind directly at another ship, stealing the wind from its sails.

Overfall: Dangerously steep and breaking seas due to opposing currents and wind in a shallow area.

Overhaul: Hauling the buntline ropes over the sails to prevent them from chaffing.

Overhead: The “ceiling,” or, essentially, the bottom of the deck above you.

Overreach: When tacking, to hold a course too long.

Overwhelmed: Capsized or foundered.

Owner: Traditional Royal Navy term for the Captain, a survival from the days when privately-owned ships were often hired for naval service.

Ox-Eye: A cloud or other weather phenomenon that may be indicative of an upcoming storm.

Painter: Rope attached to the bow of a boat to attach it to a ship or a post.

Pallograph: Instrument measuring ship’s vibration.

Parrel: A movable loop, used to fasten the yard to its respective mast.

Patroon: Captain of a ship; coxswain of a longboat.

Pay: Fill a seam (with caulking or pitch), or to lubricate the running rigging; pay with slush (q.v.), or protect from the weather by covering with slush. See also: The Devil to pay. (French from paix, pitch).

Paymaster: The officer responsible for all money matters in RN ships including the paying and provisioning of the crew, all stores, tools, and spare parts. See also: purser.

Pilot: Navigator. A specially knowledgeable person qualified to navigate a vessel through difficult waters, e.g. harbor pilot, etc.

Pipe (Bos’n’s), or a Bos’n’s Call: A whistle used by Boatswains (bosuns or bos’ns) to issue commands. Consisting of a metal tube which directs the breath over an aperture on the top of a hollow ball to produce high pitched notes. The pitch of the notes can be changed by partly covering the aperture with the finger of the hand in which the pipe is held. The shape of the instrument is similar to that of a smoking pipe.

Pipe down: A signal on the bosun’s pipe to signal the end of the day, requiring lights (and smoking pipes) to be extinguished and silence from the crew.

Piping the side: A salute on the bos’n’s pipe(s) performed in the company of the deck watch on the starboard side of the quarterdeck or at the head of the gangway, to welcome or bid farewell to the ship’s Captain, senior officers and honored visitors.

Pitch: A vessel’s motion, rotating about the beam axis, so the bow pitches up and down.

Pitchpole: To capsize a boat end over end, rather than by rolling over.

Pontoon: A flat-bottomed vessel used as a ferry or a barge or float moored alongside a jetty or a ship to facilitate boarding.

Poop deck: A high deck on the aft superstructure of a ship.

Port: Towards the left-hand side of the ship facing forward (formerly Larboard). Denoted with a red light at night.

Preventer (Gybe preventer, Jibe preventer): A sail control line originating at some point on the boom leading to a fixed point on the boat’s deck or rail (usually a cleat or pad eye) used to prevent or moderate the effects of an accidental jibe.

Primage: Fee paid to loaders for loading ship.

Privateer: A privately-owned ship authorized by a national power (by means of a Letter of Marque) to conduct hostilities against an enemy. Also called a private man of war.

Propeller walk or prop walk: Tendency for a propeller to push the stern sideways. In theory, a right-hand propeller in reverse will walk the stern to port.

Prow: A poetical alternative term for bows.

Purser: Ship’s officer in charge of finances and passengers.

Quarterdeck: The aftermost deck of a warship. In the age of sail, the quarterdeck was the preserve of the ship’s officers.

Quartering: Sailing nearly before the wind.

Quayside: Refers to the dock or platform used to fasten a vessel to.

Radar reflector: A special fixture fitted to a vessel or incorporated into the design of certain aids to navigation to enhance their ability to reflect radar energy. In general, these fixtures will materially improve the visibility for use by vessels with radar.

Radar: Acronym for Radio Detection And Ranging. An electronic system designed to transmit radio signals and receive reflected images of those signals from a “target” in order to determine the bearing and distance to the “target”.

Rake: The inclination of a mast or another part of a ship.

Range lights: Two lights associated to form a range (a line formed by the extension of a line connecting two charted points) which often, but not necessarily, indicates the channel centerline. The front range light is the lower of the two, and nearer to the mariner using the range. The rear light is higher and further from the mariner.

Ratlines: Rope ladders permanently rigged from bulwarks and tops to the mast to enable access to topmasts and yards. Also, serve to provide lateral stability to the masts.

Reach: A point of sail from about 60° to about 160° off the wind. Reaching consists of “close reaching” (about 60° to 80°), “beam reaching” (about 90°) and “broad reaching” (about 120° to 160°).

Reef points: Small lengths of cord attached to a sail, used to secure the excess fabric after reefing.

Reef: To temporarily reduce the area of a sail exposed to the wind, usually to guard against adverse effects of strong wind or to slow the vessel.

Reef-bands: Long pieces of rough canvas sewed across the sails to give them additional strength.

Reef-tackles: Ropes employed in the operation of reefing.

Reeve: To pass a rope through a ring.

Rigging: the system of ropes, cables, or chains employed to support a ship’s masts and to control or set the yards and sails.

Righting couple: The force which tends to restore a ship to equilibrium once a heel has altered the relationship between her center of buoyancy and her center of gravity.

Rigol: The rim or ‘eyebrow’ above a port-hole or scuttle.

Roach: Curved cut in the edge of sail for preventing chafing.

Roband: Piece of yarn used to fasten a sail to a spar.

Roll: A vessel’s motion rotating from side to side, about the fore-aft axis. List (qv) is a lasting tilt in the roll direction.

Rolling-tackle: A number of pulleys, engaged to confine the yard to the weather side of the mast; this tackle is much used in a rough sea.

Rostrum: Spike on the prow of warship for ramming.

Rowlock: Contrivance serving as a fulcrum for an oar.

Royal: Small sail on the royal mast just above topgallant sail.

Running rigging: Rigging used to manipulate sails, spars, etc. in order to control the movement of the ship. Cf. standing rigging.

Sailing Certification : An acknowledgment of a sailing competence from an established sailing educational body (like NauticEd).

Sail-plan: A set of drawings showing various sail combinations recommended for use in various situations.

Saltie: Great Lakes term for a vessel that sails the oceans.

Sampson post: A strong vertical post used to support a ship’s windlass and the heel of a ship’s bowsprit.

Scandalize: To reduce the area of a sail by expedient means (slacking the peak and tricing up the tack) without properly reefing it.

Scud: To sail swiftly before a gale.

Scudding: A term applied to a vessel when carried furiously along by a tempest.

Scuppers: An opening on the side rail that allows water to run off the deck.

Scuttle: A small opening, or lid thereof, in a ship’s deck or hull. To cut a hole in, or sink something.

Scuttlebutt: Cask of drinking water aboard a ship; rumour, idle gossip.

Scuttles: Portholes on a ship.

Sea anchor: A stabilizer deployed in the water for heaving to in heavy weather. It acts as a brake and keeps the hull in line with the wind and perpendicular to waves.

Sea chest: A valve on the hull of the ship to allow water in for ballast purposes.

Seaman: Generic term for a sailor.

Seaworthy: Certified for, and capable of, safely sailing at sea.

Self-Unloader: Great Lakes slang term for a vessel with a conveyor or some other method of unloading the cargo without shoreside equipment.

Shaft Horsepower (SHP): The amount of mechanical power delivered by the engine to a propeller shaft. One horsepower is equivalent to 746 watts in the SI system of units.

Shakes: Pieces of barrels or casks broken down to save space. They are worth very little, leading to the phrase “no great shakes”.

Sheer: The upward curve of a vessel’s longitudinal lines as viewed from the side.

Sheet: A rope used to control the setting of a sail in relation to the direction of the wind.

Ship: Strictly, a three-masted vessel square-rigged on all three masts, though generally used to describe most medium or large vessels. Derived from the Anglo-Saxon word “scip”.

Ship’s bell: Striking the ship’s bell is the traditional method of marking time and regulating the crew’s watches.

Ship’s company: The crew of a ship.

Shoal: Shallow water that is a hazard to navigation.

Shrouds: Standing rigging running from a mast to the sides of ships.

Sickbay: The compartment reserved for medical purposes.

Sidelights: These red and green lights are called sidelights (also called combination lights) because they are visible to another vessel approaching from the side or head-on. The red light indicates a vessel’s port (left) side; the green indicates a vessel’s starboard (right) side.

Siren: A sound signal which uses electricity or compressed air to actuate either a disc or a cup-shaped rotor.

Skeg: Part of ship connecting the keel with the bottom of the rudderpost.

Skipper: The captain of a ship.

Skysail: A sail set very high, above the royals. Only carried by a few ships.

Skyscraper: A small, triangular sail, above the skysail. Used in light winds on a few ships.

Slipway: Ramp sloping into the water for supporting a ship.

Slop chest: A ship’s store of merchandise, such as clothing, tobacco, etc., maintained aboard merchant ships for sale to the crew.

Small bower (anchor): The smaller of two anchors carried in the bow.

Snotty: Naval midshipman.

Sonar: A sound-based device used to detect and range underwater targets and obstacles. Formerly known as ASDIC.

Spanker: Sail on the mast nearest the stern of a square-rigged ship.

Spanker-mast: The aft-most mast of a fore-and-aft or gaff-rigged vessel such as schooners, barquentines, and barques. A full-rigged ship has a spanker sail but not a spanker-mast (see Jigger-mast).

Spar: A wooden, in later years also iron or steel pole used to support various pieces of rigging and sails. The big five-masted full-rigged tall ship Preussen (German spelling: Preußen) had crossed 30 steel yards, but only one wooden spar—the little gaffe of its spanker sail.

Spindrift: Finely-divided water swept from the crest of waves by strong winds.

Spinnaker pole: A spar used to help control a spinnaker or other headsail.

Spinnaker: A large sail flown in front of the vessel while heading downwind.

Spirketing: Inside planking between ports and waterways of a ship.

Splice: To join lines (ropes, cables, etc.) by unraveling their ends and intertwining them to form a continuous line. To form an eye or a knot by splicing.

Sponson: Platform jutting from ship’s deck for gun or wheel.

Sprit: Spar crossing a fore-and-aft sail diagonally.

Spritsail: Sail extended by a sprit.

Squared away: Yards held rigidly perpendicular to their masts and parallel to the deck. This was rarely the best trim of the yards for efficiency but made a pretty sight for inspections and in the harbor. The term is applied to situations and to people figuratively to mean that all difficulties have been resolved or that the person is performing well and is mentally and physically prepared.

Squat effect: Is the phenomenon by which a vessel moving quickly through shallow water creates an area of lowered pressure under its keel that reduces the ship’s buoyancy, particularly at the bow. The reduced buoyancy causes the ship to “squat” lower in the water than would ordinarily be expected.

Standing rigging: Rigging which is used to support masts and spars, and is not normally manipulated during normal operations. Cf. running rigging.

Starboard: Towards the right-hand side of a vessel facing forward. Denoted with a green light at night. Derived from the old steering oar or ‘steerboard’ which preceded the invention of the rudder.

Starbolins: Sailors of the starboard watch.

Starter: A rope used as a punitive device.

Stay: Rigging running fore (forestay) and aft (backstay) from a mast to the hull.

Staysail: A sail whose luff is attached to a forestay.

Steering oar or steering board: A long, flat board or oar that went from the stern to well underwater, used to control the vessel in the absence of a rudder.

Steeve: To set a ship’s bowsprit at an upward inclination.

Stem: The extension of the keel at the forward of a ship.

Stemson: Supporting timber of a ship.

Stern tube: The tube under the hull to bear the tail shaft for propulsion (usually at the stern).

Stern: The rear part of a ship, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter to the taffrail.

Sternlight: This white light is seen only from behind or nearly behind the vessel.

Sternpost: Main member at the stern of a ship extending from keel to deck.

Sternway: Movement of a ship backward.

Stevedore: Dock worker who loads and unloads ships.

Stokehold: Ship’s furnace chamber.

Strake: One of the overlapping boards in a clinker-built hull.

Studding-sails (pronounced “stunsail”): Long and narrow sails, used only in fine weather, on the outside of the large square sails.

Stunsail: Light auxiliary sail to the side of principal sails.

Supercargo: Ship’s official in charge of business affairs.

Surge: A vessel’s transient motion in a fore and aft direction.

Sway: A vessel’s motion from side to side. Also used as a verb meaning to hoist. “Sway up my dunnage.”

Swigging: To take up the last bit of slack on a line such as a halyard, anchor line or dock line by taking a single turn round a cleat and alternately heaving on the rope above and below the cleat while keeping the tension on the tail.

Swinging the compass: Measuring the accuracy in a ship’s magnetic compass so its readings can be adjusted – often by turning the ship and taking bearings on reference points.

Swinging the lamp: Telling sea stories. Referring to lamps slung from the deckhead which swing while at sea. Often used to indicate that the storyteller is exaggerating.

Swinging the lead: Measuring the depth of water beneath a ship using a lead-weighted sounding line.

Taffrail: Rail around the stern of a ship.

Tail shaft: A kind of metallic shafting (a rod of metal) to hold the propeller and connected to the power-engine. When the tail shaft is moved, the propeller may also be moved for propulsion.

Taken aback: An inattentive helmsmen might allow the dangerous situation to arise where the wind is blowing into the sails “backward”, causing a sudden (and possibly dangerous) shift in the position of the sails.

Tally: The operation of hauling aft the sheets, or drawing them in the direction of the ship’s stern.

The Ropes: Refers to the lines in the rigging.

Thole: Pin in the side of a boat to keep an oar in place.

Three sheets to the wind: On a three-masted ship, having the sheets of the three lower courses loose will result in the ship meandering aimlessly downwind.

Tiller: Handle or lever for turning a ship’s rudder.

Timberhead: Top end of ship’s timber used above the gunwale.

Timenoguy: Rope stretched from place to place in a ship.

Timoneer: From the French, “timonnier”, is a name given on particular occasions to the steersman of a ship.

Ton: The unit of measure often used in specifying the size of a ship. There are three completely unrelated definitions for the word. One of them refers to weight, while others refer to volume.

Tonnage: A measurement of the cargo-carrying capacity of merchant’s vessels. It depends not on weight, but on the volume available for carrying cargo. The basic units of measure are the Register Ton, equivalent to 100 cubic feet, and the Measurement Ton, equivalent to 40 cubic feet. The calculation of tonnage is complicated by many technical factors.

Topgallant: Mast or sail above the topmast and below the royal mast.

Topmast: The second section of the mast above the deck; formerly the upper mast, later surmounted by the topgallant mast; carrying the topsails.

Topsail: The second sail (counting from the bottom) up to a mast. These may be either square sails or fore-and-aft ones, in which case they often “fill in” between the mast and the gaff of the sail below.

Topsides: The part of the hull between the waterline and the deck. Also, Above-water hull.

Touch and go: The bottom of the ship touching the bottom, but not grounding.

Towing: The operation of drawing a vessel forward by means of long lines.

Traffic Separation Scheme: Shipping corridors marked by buoys which separate incoming from outgoing vessels. Improperly called Sea Lanes.

Tranship: To transfer from one ship to another.

Transire: Ship’s customs warrant for clearing goods.

Transom: A more or less flat surface across the stern of a vessel.

Travellers: Small fittings that slide on a rod or line. The most common use is for the inboard end of the mainsheet; a more esoteric form of traveler consists of “slight iron rings, encircling the backstays, which are used for hoisting the top-gallant yards, and confining them to the backstays”.

Treenail: Long wooden pin used to fix planks of the ship to the timbers.

Trice: To haul in and lash secure a sail with a small rope.

Trick: A period of time spent at the wheel (“my trick’s over”).

Trim: Relationship of ship’s hull to the waterline.

Trunnel: Wooden shipbuilding peg used for fastening timbers.

Trysail: Ship’s sail bent to a gaff and hoisted on a lower mast.

Tuck: Part of the ship where ends of lower planks meet under the stern.

Turtleback: Structure over ship’s bows or stern.

Turtling: When a sailboat (in particular a dinghy) capsizes to a point where the mast is pointed straight down and the hull is on the surface resembling a turtle shell.

Under the weather: Serving a watch on the weather side of the ship, exposed to wind and spray.

Underway: A vessel that is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground.

Underwater hull or underwater ship: The underwater section of a vessel beneath the waterline, normally not visible except when in drydock.

Unreeve: To withdraw a rope from an opening.

Vanishing angle: The maximum degree of heel after which a vessel becomes unable to return to an upright position.

Wake: Turbulence behind a ship.

Wales: A number of strong and thick planks running length-wise along the ship, covering the lower part of the ship’s side.

Walty: Inclined to tip over or lean.

Wardroom: Quarters for ship’s officers.

Washboard: Broad thin plank along ship’s gunwale to keep out sea water.

Watch: A period of time during which a part of the crew is on duty. Changes of watch are marked by strokes on the ship’s bell.

Watching: Fully afloat.

Watercraft: Water transport vessels. Ships, boats, personal watercraft.

Waterline: The intersection of a boat’s hull and the water’s surface, or where the boat sits in the water.

Waveson: Goods floating on the sea after a shipwreck.

Wear: To turn a ship’s stern to windward to alter its course

Weather deck: Whichever deck is exposed to the weather—usually either the main deck or, in larger vessels, the upper deck.

Weather gage: Favorable position over another sailing vessel to with respect to the wind.

Weather side: The weather side of a ship is the side exposed to the wind.

Weatherboard: Weather side of a ship.

: If the helm was centered, the boat would turn towards the wind (weather). Consequently, the tiller must be pulled to the windward side of the boat in order to make the boat sail in a straight line. See lee helm.

Weatherly: A ship that is easily sailed and maneuvered; makes little leeway when sailing to windward.

Weatherly: Able to sail close to the wind with little leeway.

Weigh anchor: To heave up (an anchor) preparatory to sailing.

Wells: Places in the ship’s hold for the pumps.

Wheelhouse: Location on a ship where the steering wheel is located, often interchanged with pilothouse and bridge.

Whipstaff: Vertical lever controlling ship’s rudder.

White Horses: Waves in wind strong enough to produce foam or spray on the wave tops.

Wide berth: To leave room between two ships moored (berthed) to allow space for a maneuver.

Windage: Wind resistance of the boat.

Windbound: A condition wherein the ship is detained in one particular station by contrary winds.

Windlass: A winch mechanism, usually with a horizontal axis. Used where mechanical advantage greater than that obtainable by block and tackle was needed (such as raising the anchor on small ships). Modern sailboats use an electric “Windlass” to raise the anchor.

Windward: In the direction that the wind is coming from.

Xebec: Small three-masted pirate ship.

Yard: Tapering spar attached to ship’s mast to spread the head of a square sail.

Yardarm: The very end of a yard. Often mistaken for a “yard”, which refers to the entire spar. As in to hang “from the yardarm” and the sun being “over the yardarm” (late enough to have a drink).

Yarr: Acknowledgement of an order, or agreement.

Yaw: A vessel’s motion rotating about the vertical axis, so the bow yaws from side to side.

Yawl: Ship’s small boat; sailboat carrying mainsail and one or more jibs.

Zabra: Small Spanish sailing vessel.

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A Guide to Yacht Water Systems

  • by yachtman
  • September 10, 2023 August 26, 2023

yachting water definition

Welcome to the yacht water systems world! Love the open sea? Then understanding and maintaining your yacht’s water systems is key. This guide will provide useful info for smooth sailing. Let’s explore the parts that make up these intricate systems.

The freshwater tank is vital. It holds drinking, cooking, and shower water. Regularly check and sanitize these tanks to avoid contamination.

Watermakers are also needed. They convert seawater into clean, drinkable water. Having an efficient one guarantees fresh water during long trips.

Yachts have plumbing systems too. Pipes, valves, pumps, and filters all play a role in maintaining proper water flow. Regular maintenance and inspection are necessary to detect any leaks or blockages.

Stay informed to make the most of your yachting experience. We will provide expert advice and tips. Don’t miss out on these insights that will guarantee a seamless, enjoyable voyage.

Understanding Yacht Water Systems

To deepen your knowledge about yacht water systems and their functioning, equip yourself with an understanding of the subject. Gain insights into the types of yacht water systems and the significance of proper maintenance.

Types of Yacht Water Systems

Yacht water systems are essential for onboard comfort and convenience. Different types exist, each with its own features and benefits. To explore these, here is a table:

Additionally, hybrid systems incorporate different technologies or alternative energy sources for improved efficiency and sustainability.

The history of yacht water systems dates back centuries, when manual labor was needed to get and transport freshwater on sailing vessels. As technology advanced, innovations made accessing water more convenient and reliable for yacht owners and crew.

Importance of Proper Water System Maintenance

Maintaining a yacht’s water system is essential. Not doing so can cause contamination and breakdowns. Cleaning, scanning for leaks, and switching out filters are crucial to guarantee a reliable supply of water. Also, monitoring water quality and treating it is vital for safety. Search for professional yacht maintenance services for any difficult issues or setup needs.

Apart from regular upkeep tasks, there are other aspects to think about when it comes to yacht water systems. Guaranteeing sufficient storage capacity is vital, as being overly reliant on shore supplies might not be doable in isolated places. Plus, having redundant systems in place can provide a back-up plan in case of emergency or system failure.

Pro Tip: When doing maintenance on a yacht’s water system, always thoroughly read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them exactly. This will help avoid any unintended damage or problems that could be costly to fix later.

Components of a Yacht Water System

To understand the components of a yacht water system, delve into the details of water tanks, pumps and filters, and plumbing and distribution system. Each of these sub-sections plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and reliable water supply on a yacht. Let’s explore the intricacies of each component to gain a comprehensive understanding of yacht water systems.

Water Tanks

Water tanks are essential on a yacht. They store water securely and provide a steady supply. They come in many materials like stainless steel, plastic, and fiberglass . Tanks can be put in below deck, aft compartments, or forward sections . They often have level indicators and filters to monitor water levels and guarantee quality. Invest in quality water tanks for peace of mind and comfort. Get them now!

Pumps and Filters

A yacht water system uses various pumps and filters. Here’s an overview:

  • Fresh Water Pump: Provides water pressure throughout the system. Example: Shurflo Aqua King II .
  • Saltwater Pump: Supplies seawater for purposes. Example: Jabsco ParMax Plus .
  • Bilge Pump: Removes excess water from the bilge area. Example: RuleMate Automatic .

Filters also help remove impurities and contaminants. Types include:

  • Sediment Filters: Trap sediment, debris, or solid particles.
  • Carbon Filters: Eliminate chlorine, odors, and tastes.
  • Reverse Osmosis Filters: Remove dissolved impurities with advanced membrane technology.
  • UV Filters: Ultra-violet light disinfects water, killing bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms.

Pro Tip: Regularly maintain pumps and filters. Check manufacturer guidelines for cleaning or replacing filter cartridges, and inspecting pump seals for wear or leakage.

Plumbing and Distribution System

The plumbing and distribution system is key for a yacht’s water system. It lets water move smoothly throughout the vessel. This includes pipes, valves, pumps, and fittings distributing freshwater and removing wastewater.

Let’s look at a table of components:

Modern systems may also have filtration systems and sensors. These filter out impurities and monitor parameters like pressure and temperature.

Plumbing and distribution systems are vital for having clean freshwater on your yacht. Neglecting this system can cause issues like leaks, reduced efficiency, or complete failure. So, yacht owners should inspect, maintain, and upgrade their plumbing system. This ensures convenience, safety, and comfort. Don’t forget to take care of this essential component! Protect your yacht’s water system by paying attention to its plumbing and distribution system.

Maintaining and Troubleshooting Yacht Water Systems

To maintain and troubleshoot your yacht water systems effectively, follow this guide. Clean and sanitize your system regularly to prevent any issues. Learn how to deal with common problems that may arise. And when needed, consider hiring a professional to assist you.

Regular Cleaning and Sanitization

  • Make it a habit to clean the water tanks regularly. This helps keep water onboard safe.
  • Sanitize the whole water system from time to time to get rid of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. This is a must for hygiene.
  • Don’t forget to clean filters and screens. These stop debris from getting stuck in pipes.
  • Inspect and scrub faucets, showerheads, and other water outlets to avoid mineral build-up.
  • And when you come back from a trip or if the yacht has been still for a while, flush out the water lines. Stagnant water can cause bacteria.

Remember, cleaning and sanitization is not only good for health, but also for preserving your yacht’s water systems.

Dealing with Common Issues

Boating owners know the annoyance of common water system issues on yachts. It’s vital to take swift action to prevent sailing difficulties. Here are some common problems and how to manage them:

  • Leaks: Inspect and fix any pipe or fitting leaks ASAP.
  • Clogged Filters: Clean or replace filters for efficient system performance.
  • Pump Malfunction: Check the pump regularly to maintain water pressure.
  • Foul Odors: Clean and disinfect tanks and pipes to reduce bad smells.

It’s also smart to have spare parts and a dependable technician handy. Taking care of water systems is key to avoiding headaches.

Furthermore, preventive maintenance is essential. Flush tanks, check valves, and scan hoses regularly to diagnose potential issues early.

A cautionary tale shows the importance of dealing with common issues. A group of sailors set off on a voyage and found their freshwater supply was severely reduced due to leaks. With no easy way to fix the issue, they had to ration water severely. This story serves as a reminder of the need to address common issues to avoid troubles at sea.

Hiring Professional Help

  • Go for a reliable firm or expert with a good track record in taking care of yacht water systems.
  • Check out their qualifications like licenses and certificates to make sure they are fit for the job.
  • Get references from previous customers to judge their dependability and quality.
  • Chat about your personal needs to be certain they know what to do.
  • Find out the total cost, including any extra payments.
  • Stay in touch throughout the process to rapidly address any dilemmas.
  • Also, enquire if they provide warranties or guarantees for their services. And make absolutely sure you understand their maintenance plan to avert any unexpected surprises later.

Tip: Inspect your yacht’s water systems often and do minor upkeep yourself to prevent bigger difficulties.

Tips for Efficient Water Usage on a Yacht

Efficient water use is paramount in a yacht environment. Limited resources and an isolated lifestyle mean making the most of your supply is vital. Here are tips to help you stay efficient and minimize wastage on your voyage:

  • Try installing water-saving fixtures like low-flow faucets and showerheads. These can reduce water use without diminishing comfort.
  • Be aware of your daily habits. Simple things like turning off the faucet while brushing teeth or using a dishwasher with a full load can make a real difference.
  • Consider implementing a greywater recycling system. This allows you to reuse water from sinks, showers, and laundry for non-drinkable activities like flushing toilets or cleaning decks.

It’s also important to take good care of your yacht’s water systems. Check for leaks, repair any issues straight away, and clean filters often for the best results.

For an unforgettable yachting experience and a greener future, follow these tips for efficient water usage on your voyage. Every single drop counts!

Wrap up of yacht water system guide? Check! Reliability and efficiency is a must for a blissful sailing experience. Maintenance and monitoring are key.

We’ve looked into different systems available, their components, and factors to consider when choosing. Water quality and methods to make sure it’s top-notch also discussed.

Water scarcity not yet covered . Climate change and sustainability are becoming more pressing. Yacht owners must be conscious of usage and adopt conservation practices.

Take advantage of reliable water systems. Invest in regular maintenance and check out new technologies. Now is the time to make sure you can sail worry-free and protect our water resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1: What is a yacht water system?

A: A yacht water system refers to the plumbing and supply system that provides fresh water on a yacht. It includes tanks, pumps, filters, pipes, faucets, and showers.

FAQ 2: How do I fill the water tanks on my yacht?

A: To fill the water tanks, you can connect a shore hose to the dockside water supply or use an onboard watermaker or desalination system to convert seawater into fresh water.

FAQ 3: How often should I sanitize the water tanks?

A: It is recommended to sanitize the water tanks at least once a year. You can do this by using a water tank cleaning solution and following the manufacturer’s instructions.

FAQ 4: How do I prevent water contamination in my yacht’s water system?

A: To prevent water contamination, always ensure the water tanks are clean and properly sealed. Use potable water hoses for filling, regularly replace filters, and avoid using the water system for anything other than drinking and cooking.

FAQ 5: What should I do if there is no water flow from the faucets?

A: If there is no water flow from the faucets, check if the water pump is turned on and if there is a sufficient water supply. Also, inspect the filters and valves to ensure they are not clogged or closed.

FAQ 6: How do I winterize the yacht water system?

A: To winterize the yacht water system, drain all water from the tanks, pumps, and pipes. Use antifreeze to protect the system from freezing, following the manufacturer’s instructions. It is best to seek professional assistance for winterization.

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100 Basic Yachting & Sailing Terms You Need To Know

100 Basic Yachting & Sailing Terms You Need To Know

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Yachting is an increasingly popular activity that involves exploring and enjoying bodies of water aboard sailboats or motorboats. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned sailor or brand-new to the sport; knowing the language used in yachting is crucial for efficient communication and secure navigation. We’ll look at some of the most often used terminology and expressions in the world of yachting in this list of 100 fundamental yachting terms, from boat parts to navigation and safety gear, and more. This list is an excellent place to start whether you’re seeking to brush up on your yachting terminology or are just beginning into the sport.

Aft – Toward the back of the boat

Anchor – A heavy object used to keep a boat in place

Ballast – Weight added to the bottom of a boat to improve stability

Beam – The width of a boat at its widest point

Bilge – The lowest point inside the boat where water collects

Bimini – A type of sunshade or canopy used on boats

yachting water definition

Bow – The front of a boat

Buoy – A floating marker used to mark channels, hazards or anchorages

Cabin – An enclosed space on a boat used for sleeping and living quarters

Capsize – To tip over or turn upside down

Cleat – A metal or plastic fitting used to secure ropes or lines to the boat

Cockpit – The open area in the back of the boat where the steering and controls are located

Compass – A navigational tool used to determine the direction

Crew – The people who work on a boat, assisting with sailing or other duties

Deck – The top surface of a boat where people can stand or walk

Dock – A platform or structure where boats can be tied up or moored

Draft – The depth of a boat below the waterline

Fender – A cushion or bumper used to protect the boat from damage when docking

Flag – A piece of fabric used to signal or communicate on a boat

Galley – The kitchen area on a boat

Genoa – A type of sail that is used for cruising and racing

GPS – Global Positioning System, a navigational system that uses satellites to determine the location

Halyard – A rope or line used to hoist or lower a sail

Hatch – An opening in the deck or cabin of a boat

Head – The bathroom on a boat

Hull – The main body of the boat, typically made of fiberglass or wood

Jib – A small triangular sail located forward of the mast

Keel – A fin-shaped object located under the boat that provides stability and helps prevent drifting

Knot – A measure of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour

Lanyard – A short cord or rope used to secure equipment or gear on a boat

Latitude – A measure of distance north or south of the equator

Leeward – The side of the boat sheltered from the wind

Lifeline – A line or rope used to provide safety and support on the deck of a boat

Log – A device used to measure speed and distance traveled

Mast – A vertical pole or spar that supports the sails

Mooring – The process of securing a boat to a dock or anchor

Nautical – Relating to or involving ships, sailors, or navigation on water

Navigation – The process of planning and controlling the course of a boat

Oar – A long pole with a flat blade used for rowing a boat

Outboard – A motor located on the outside of the boat

Port – The left side of a boat when facing forward

Propeller – A device that uses rotating blades to provide forward motion to a boat

Pulpit – A railing or fence located on the bow of the boat

Rudder – A flat object located at the back of the boat used to steer

Sail – A piece of fabric used to catch the wind and propel the boat

Sailing is the practice of using the wind to power a vessel through the water

Sheet – A line or rope used to control the angle of the sails

Skipper – The person in charge of operating a boat

Stern – The back of the boat

Tack – The direction of a boat when it is sailing upwind

Throttle – The control used to increase or decrease engine speed

Tiller – A handle or lever used to steer a boat

Transom – The flat, vertical surface at the back of the boat where the outboard motor is mounted

Trim – The adjustment of the sails and other equipment to optimize performance

Wake – The waves created by a boat as it moves through the water

Windward – The side of the boat facing into the wind

Winch – A device used to pull or hoist heavy objects on a boat

Yacht – A larger, more luxurious type of boat typically used for pleasure cruising

Bilge pump – A device used to pump water out of the bilge

Boom – The horizontal pole or spar that extends from the mast to support the bottom of the sail

Bowline – A knot used to secure a line to a fixed object

Cam cleat – A device used to secure a line under tension

Catamaran – A type of boat with two parallel hulls

Centerboard – A movable fin located underneath the boat that helps improve stability and maneuverability

Chafe – The wearing away or damage to a rope or line caused by friction against another surface

Clew – The lower corner of a sail

Current – The flow of water in a particular direction

Dinghy – A small boat used to transport people or supplies to and from shore

Fairlead – A device used to guide a line or rope in a particular direction

Flotation device – A piece of equipment used to keep a person afloat in the water

Forestay – The wire or rope that supports the mast at the front of the boat

Gaff – A spar used to support the upper edge of a sail

Headway – The forward motion of a boat

Inboard – A motor located inside the boat

Jibsheet – The line or rope used to control the jib sail

Keelboat – A type of sailboat with a fixed keel for stability and maneuverability

Luff – The forward edge of a sail

Masthead – The top of the mast where the highest sails are attached

Navigation lights – Lights used to signal other boats of the position and direction of a boat at night

Outhaul – The line or rope used to control the tension of the bottom of the sail

Planing – The state of a boat when it is moving quickly across the water and partially out of the water

Powerboat – A type of boat that is powered by an engine rather than sails

Ratchet block – A device used to reduce the effort required to pull a line under tension

Reefing – The process of reducing the size of the sails in high wind conditions

Rigging – The system of ropes and wires used to support and control the sails and mast

Rudderpost – The vertical post or shaft that the rudder is attached to

Scow – A type of sailboat with a flat bottom and squared-off ends

Shackle – A metal fitting used to connect two pieces of rope or chain

Spinnaker – A large, lightweight sail used to catch the wind when sailing down

wind 90. Spreaders – The horizontal struts on a mast that help to support and spread the shrouds

Standing rigging – The fixed parts of a boat’s rigging system, such as the mast and shrouds

Stern light – A white light on the back of a boat used to signal other boats at night

Stowaway – A person who hides on a boat in order to travel without permission

Tiller extension – A device used to extend the length of the tiller to make steering easier

Topside – The upper part of a boat, above the waterline

Transom door – A door in the back of a boat that provides access to the water

Traveler – A device used to move the mainsail along the boom

Waterline – The level at which a boat floats in the water

Winch handle – A handle used to turn winches to control the sails and lines

Yawl – A type of sailboat with two masts, the smaller of which is located aft of the rudder post.

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21 Common Yachting Terms Explained

Does it ever feel like yacht enthusiasts speak a whole other language? We get it. Everyone was new to yachting once and we all had to learn what different terms mean. Luckily, you have Ahoy Club to show you the ropes. Brush up on your sea vocabulary with some common definitions in our glossary below.


Essentially, parking your yacht so that you can hop over to shore and explore. It also refers to the literal anchor which holds your yacht in place.

APA (Advanced Provisioning Allowance)

A deposit paid by charterers to cover expenses during their trip. Expenses may include taxes, harbour fees, food and alcohol.

Base charter rate

The rate that you pay for the hire of your yacht and its crew. This does not include on board expenses and taxes which are covered by your APA (see above).

The total width of the yacht at its widest point.

The bedrooms on your yacht.

A type of yacht with two hulls. It was designed this way for increased stability on the water.

Explorer yacht

A yacht that is built to go to the farthest corners of the globe and into rough terrains. See examples in our past blog .

The territory under which a yacht is registered. The yacht’s flag state will govern the laws and regulations which it must follow.

A traditional motorised sailing yacht typically found in Turkey.

The main body of the yacht floating in the water; covers the front, sides, back and underside.

A boat or yacht’s speed measured in nautical miles per hour (see below).

A large luxury yacht typically measuring over 70m.

A boat with a single hull. May be a sailing yacht, motor yacht, luxury super- or megayacht. See Catamaran above for comparison.

Motor yacht (or M/Y)

A yacht which is powered with engines. 

Nautical mile

A measure of distance on the water. One nautical mile is equal to 1852 metres or 1-minute of latitude on a navigational chart.

Preference sheet

The questionnaire that guests fill out before beginning their charter. It is meant to provide as much information as possible to the captain, crew and chef so that they may meet your preferences for an excellent trip.

Sailing yacht (or S/Y)

A yacht which is primarily powered with wind sails. Most also have motors as a backup.

The main living or lounge area on your yacht. Pronounced ‘sal-on’ not ‘sal-oon’.

A luxury yacht measuring between 24-69m.

A smaller boat housed on your yacht which can be used for transfers to shore, with your watertoys or on short day trips.

VAT (Value Added Tax)

A compulsory consumption tax set out by the countries you are visiting. See our blogs on the recent changes in Italy and France to learn more.

Yachting from A to Z with Ahoy Club

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How to sail: A-Z of Yachting Terms

When learning how to sail have you ever wondered when you are on a yacht what some of those yachting terms mean, we have asked our RYA Training Centre pupils which ones confuse the most. Here are a selection, which includes the obvious to the more obscure!

How to sail: A-Z of Yachting Terms

A baft: A location on the boat but further to the rear of the boat. “The tiller is abaft the mast.”

A beam: The beam is the widest part of the boat. When another boat is abeam, it is at a right angle off the beam to either the starboard or port side of the boat you are on.

A ft: When on a boat you refer to the stern part of the boat as being aft or to the rear of the boat.

A head: A term used to describe the area in front of the boat you are on. “Look ahead.”

A ids to Navigation: This includes all external systems like channel markers, preferred route buoys, danger and safe water buoys, isolated danger and regulatory markers etc. that help determine a boats position or course, the presence of dangers or obstructions and the preferred route to navigate.

A midships: In the middle of the boat between the stern and the bow.

A pparent Wind: The apparent wind is a combination of the true wind and the wind caused by the boat travelling through the water. On an windex, the apparent wind will cause the windex to show wind direction just in front of the true wind.

A stern: A location off the boat and behind it.

B ulkhead – Refers to an often watertight, interior wall on the boat

Backing Wind: Refers to the wind shifting direction in a counter-clockwise direction. This usually means that bad weather is approaching.

Backstay: A wire running from the top of the mast to the stern of the boat. The backstay stops the mast from falling forward and also helps to control the degree of mast bend when tuning a boat.

Battens: Wood, fiberglass or plastic strips slid into pockets along the leech of the sail. Battens help to shape and strengthen the sail to increase overall performance.

Beam: The widest part of the boat.

Beam Reaching: One of the points of sail. You are ‘beam reaching’ when sailing directly sideways to the wind on either a port or starboard tack. Think of a clock face – if the wind is blowing from 12 o’clock, sailing at between 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock would be a beam reach.

Bearing Away: Turning away from the wind or turning downwind.

Beating: Sailing towards the wind by tacking back and forth across the wind.

Belayed: Secured, tied to, made fast to.

Bend On: To secure one thing to another. Tieing two lines together.

Bifurcation: A channel junction (two channels meeting) usually marked by a ‘bifurcation buoy’ indicating the perferred channel to follow.

Bight: A loop or bend in a line.

Bilge: The lowest inner part of a boats hull.

Bitter End: The utmost free end of a line. (The other end is referred to as the ‘Standing Line’).

Boat Wind: The wind created by the boat moving through the water. The true wind and the boat wind combine to create the apparent wind direction.

Boat Fall: Rigging used to raise or lower a ship’s boat.

Boat Painter: Rope tied to the front end of a boat used to either tow a boat or to secure it to a dock.

Bollard: Wooden or iron post on a pier to which the boat is secured.

Boom: The boom is the pole running aft from the mast to which (among other things) the foot of the mainsail is attached.

Bowline: A very strong and yet easy to untie knot that creates a loop in the end of a line.

Breastlines: Mooring lines that run from the bow and the stern at right angles to the dock to stop the boat from drifting out from the dock.

Broad Reach: One of the points of sail. Sailing downwind off to the port or starboard side. Think of a clock face – if the wind is blowing from 12 o’clock, sailing at between 4-5 o’clock or between 7-8 o’clock would be a broad reach.

By the Lee: Sailing downwind with the mainsail remaining on the same side of the boat that the wind is hitting. If you are sailing downwind on a port tack, typically the mainsail would be off the starboard side of the boat. When sailing ‘by the lee’, the mainsail in the same situation would remain on the port side of the boat out at a 90 degree angle to the boat.

C lew – The lower aft corner of a sail

Cabin: The below deck living quarters.

Cable: Measurement of distance equal to 0.1 nautical mile.

Cam cleat: A fitting through which a line is run through. The cam cleat consists of two cams that wedge against the line stopping it from being pulled out.

Cardinal Aids to Navigation: Buoys with indicate the location of hazards, safe water or deep water by reference to the four cardinal points of a compass (North, South, East, West).(See our section on buoys for a more complete explanation.)

Catboat: A boat with one mast flying no foresail (jib).

Cast Off: To release the lines allowing the boat to leave it’s mooring.

Chainplates: Very strong metal plates affixed to the hull to which the forestay, backstay and shrouds are attached.

Chart Datum: For navigational safety, depths on a chart are shown from a low-water surface or a low-water datum called chart datum. Chart datum is selected so that the water level will seldom fall below it and only rarely will there be less depth available than what is portrayed on the chart

Chock: a metal fitting, either oval or U-shaped, through which mooring lines are passed. Chocks help reduce abrasion saving the lines from excessive wear and tear.

Cleat: A small, metal deck fitting with horns used for securing lines (belaying).

Clew: The lower rear corner of a sail.

Close Reach: Point of sail – sailing against the wind at an angle somewhere between a Beam Reach and Close Hauled. Think of a clock face – if the wind is blowing from 12 o’clock, sailing at 2 o’clock or 10 o’clock would be a close reach.

Close Hauled: Point of sail – sailng as close to the wind (sharp angle to the wind) as possible without the sailings luffing (fluttering).

Cockpit: The open inset area from where the boat is steered.

Companionway: Stairs or ladder on a boat usually leading down to the cabin.

Cringles: Open metal rings inserted into the sail (also called grommets) used as reefing points for a sail but also found at the clew, head and tack of the sail to attach halyards, lines, outhauls etc.

Cunningham: A line used to adjust the forward edge of the mainsail. Usually runs from the tack of the sail to the front area of the boom.

Current: The horizontal flow of water. (Tide is the vertical flow of water.)

Cutter: A cutter has one mast but sails with two foresails.

D raft – This describes the depth of a boat measured from the deepest point to the waterline

Davit: A crane onboard that can be swung out over the side for hoisting or lowering boats.

Dead Reckoning: Navigational term – method used to plot the course already travelled by measuring speed and time to calculate distance.

Deep Six: A slang term meaning to discard something over the side of the boat.

Degree: A distance of measurement on a nautical chart. One degree equals 60 nautical miles. Each degree is broken down into 60 minute intervals. One minute of one degree equals 1 nautical mile.

Deviation: A ship’s magnetic compass reading can be affected by metal objects on the boat (electronic equipment etc). The difference between the correct magnetic reading and the ships compass magnetic reading is called deviation. Deviation will vary depending on the direction of the boat.

Dog: A metal fitting used to secure watertight doors, hatch covers and scuttles.

Downhaul: A line attached to the tack of the sail and used to pull down or tighten the mainsail to increase sale efficiency.

E ase: To let out or ‘ease off’ a line.

E nsign – The national flag of the boats home country

F Fairleads: A metal fitting through which lines are run to in order to change the direction of the lines while reducing friction on the lines.

Fairway: Sailing on inland waters, fairway means an open channel or being in midchannel.

Fast: To make fast. To secure (snugly tie) a line to something.

Fathoms: A unit of measurement. One fathon equals 6 feet.

Fenders: Cylindrical air filled plastic or rubber bumpers hung off the side of a boat or dock to prevent damage to both dock and boat.

Fetch: The distance over open water the wind has blown.

Faked: A line is faked by zig zagging it back and forth so that when it is used it will not tangle on itself.

Flaked:A sail is flaked when lowered. Flaking a sail is the process of folding the sail back and forth upon itself like the blades on a paper fan. Flaking a sail will help prolong the sail life.

Foot (Sail): The foot of a sail is the lower part of the sail. In the case of a mainsail, this is the part of the sail that runs along the boom.

F orepeak- The cabin most forward in the bow of the boat

Forestay: The forestay is a wire that runs from the top of the mast (or near the top of the mast) to the bow of the boat. The forestay supports the mast from falling backwards and is also used in shaping the bend in the mast for maximum efficiency. The luff (front) of the foresails (jib, genoa) are also generally attached to the forestay depending on the rigging system.

Forward: When on a boat, forward means towards the bow. “Move forward” – move towards the front of the boat.

Galley: The boat’s kitchen.

Genoa: The Genoa is a foresail that is larger than a jib. The clew (lower corner at the foot of the sail) extends aft of the mast unlike a jib.

Give-way Boat: Navigational rules – the boat not having the right-of-way. The Give-way boat must stay clear of the Stand-on boat. The Give-way boat must make it’s intentions known by making a decisive maneuver to alert the Stand-on boat.

Gooseneck: This is a metal fitting that attaches the boom to the mast.

G oosewinging – To sail downwind with the mainsail set on one side and the foresail on the other

Gybing: Sailing down wind and turning through the wind causing the sails to move from one side of the boat to the other.

Gybe ho: Term used by the helmsman to let his crew know that he has started to turn the boat into a gybe.

H alyard – A line which is used to raise things on a boat, so the main halyard line would be used to raise the mainsail

Halyards: Lines used to lower and raise sails.

Hanks: Clips found along the luff (front) of the foresail used to clip the sail onto the forestay (wire running from the bow to the top or near the top of the mast).

Hard over: Turning the wheel or pushing the tiller all the way over.

Head: Generally used to refer to the boat’s toilet. When talking about a sail, the Head is the top of the sail.

Head to Wind: The bow of the boat is pointed directly into the wind.

Heading up: Turning up more into the wind.

Heaving to: A way to, in effect, stall a sailboat by backing the jib, easing out the mainsail and turning the rudder hard into the wind. The forward wind pressure on the foresail wants to force the bow downwind. The rudder turned towards the wind wants to force the bow windward. These two counter effects balance each other causing the boat to hold it’s position with little movement. The mainsail is eased out all the way so that it does not catch any wind and therefore has no bearing on the boats postion.

Heeling: Leaning or heeling over caused by wind pressure on the sails.

Helm: The Helm is the steering mechanism of the boat (wheel or tiller). The person at the helm is called the helmsman.

Helms Alee: A term used by the helmsman to notify the crew that he has started to tack. Hypothermia: A dangerous condition where the body core temperature has been lowered causing extreme shivering, loss of co-ordination, in ability to make decisions and in extreme cases, loss of conciousness and even death.

I nlet – A recess, such as a cove or bay, along a coastline

In Irons: This occurs where the boat has been turned directly into the wind and has lost all forward momentum. Without forward momentum the boat loses it’s ability to steer.

J ackstay – A strong line, that can be made of wire, which runs fore and aft alongside the boat that can be used to attach your safety harness to.

Jacob’s ladder: A light ladder made of rope or chain with metal or wooden rungs used over the side or aloft.

Jib: The jib is a foresail (smaller than a genoa). The jib is about the same size as the triangular area between the forestay, mast and foredeck.

Jiffy reefing: This is a way to make the mainsail smaller by partially lowering it, tying or reefing the lower slack part of the sail onto the boom through gromets (holes in the sail) called reefing points. This is done in high wind conditions to power down the sail.

Jury rig: Makeshift – adapting parts and materials for a use not specifically designed for in order to get by until proper parts or repairs can be obtained.

K etch – A sailboat with 2 masts

Kedging: A method used to free a grounded boat by dropping it’s anchor in deeper water and then pulling on the anchor rode to attempt to free the boat.

Keel: The large heavily weighted fin like structure secured to the bottom of the boat. The keel helps to keep the boat upright and also reduces leeway (side slipping across the wind).

Ketch: A two masted boat. The second and smaller mast (mizzen) is positioned just forward of the rudder post.

Knot: Rate of speed. On land it is miles per hour, on the water it is knots (nautical miles) per hours. One knot equals 1.15 land miles – so one knot is just a bit faster than one mph.

L eeway – The sideways movement of a boat caused by wind and currents

Lateral Aids to Navigation: channel buoys (Red & Green), isolated danger buoys (Black & Red), safe water ahead (Red & White), regulatory buoys (Yellow), bifurcation buoys (Black & Yellow) plus channel identification markers and navigation markers are all considered Laterial Aids to Navigation.

Lazarette: A storage compartment, usually under the seats of the cockpit.

Lee Helm: Also called Weather Helm, this is the tendancy of the boat to turn into the wind once it has heeled over at a sharp angle.

Lee Shore: Feared by most sailors, this is the downwind shore from the boat.

Leech: The rear edge of the foresail or the mainsail running from the head (top) to the clew (rear corner) of the sail.

Leeward: Downwind.

Leeway: When a boat sails across the wind, the force of the wind causes the boat to slip sideways. This drifting or sideway motion is known as Leeway.

Lifelines: The lines running around the outside of the deck creating a railing. The lines are attached to stanchions (upright metal posts).

Luff: The forward edge of a sail running from head to tack (front corner of the sail).

Luffing: A sail is luffing when it starts to flutter in the wind. The term Luff is also used to describe the same situation. “The sail is starting to luff.”

Luff Up: To turn into the wind to cause the sails to start luffing.

M ultihull – Any boat that has more than one hull, such as a catamaran.

Made fast: Secured to.

Mast: The upright pole supported by the shrouds, forestay and backstay to which the sails are attached.

Masthead fly: A windvane attached to the top of the mast to show which direction was wind is coming from.

Monkey fist: A type of knot, heavy in nature and tied to the end of the rope. The weighted knot makes it easier to throw the rope a farther distance.

Mooring ball: An anchored ball to which you can secure your boat. Safer alternative to anchoring provided the mooring ball and lines are in good condition.

Mooring lines: Lines used to secure a boat to a dock or mooring ball.

MSD: Marine sanitation device (toilet).

N eap tide – When during the four week tidal cycle, the tide rises and drops the least.

Nautical mile (NM): International standard for measuring distance on water. One nautical mile equals one minute of latitude. (One nautical mile equals 1.15 land miles.)

O uthaul – This is a line used to tension the foot of the sail, to better control the curvature of the sail

P ulpit – A sturdy rail around the deck on the bow, normally surrounding the forestay

Pad eye: A metal eye (ring) through which lines can be passed in order to stop chaffing.

Painter: The bow line of a dinghy.

P-effect (Prop Walk): When a boat is in a standstill position and put into forward or reverse, the resistance of the boat to move and the motion of the propeller creates a paddlewheel effect pulling the stern of the boat to either port or starboard side depending on the spin of the propeller. This paddlewheel effect is known as P-effect or Prop Walk. P-effect is especially noticable in reverse where there is greater boat resistance to move backwards thus making it easier for the prop to pull the boat sideways.

PFD: Personal Floatation Device – life jacket.

Pintle and gudgeon: The pintle and the gudgeon together form a swinging hinge usually associated with the installation of the rudder on smaller tiller steered boats. The pintle has pins that fit into the holes on the gudgeon thus creating a hinge like fitting.

Points of sail: A reference for the direction the boat is travelling in relation to the wind. (in irons, close hauled, close reach, beam reach, broad reach, running)

Port: When on a boat and facing forward, the left hand side of the boat.

Port tack: Sailing across the wind so that the wind hits the port (left) side of the boat first.

Pulpit: Located at the bow of the boat, this area is enclosed by a metal railing.

Pushpit: Located at the stern of the boat and like the pulpit, this area is enclosed by a metal railing.

Q uadrant – This is a device connected to the rudder that the steering cables attach to

R egatta – Boat races

S hroud – The wires at the side that hold the mast up

Schooner: A sailboat that has two masts both the same height or on some schooners, the aft mast is higher than the fore mast.

Scope: Expressed in terms of a ratio, it is the length of the anchor rode let out compared to height above the sea bed. Height is measured not from the water line but from the top of the deck to the sea bed. A safe anchoring ratio is 1:7 which translates to 7 feet of anchor rode for every foot of height. Many sailors incorrectly assume that height means water depth and therefore find themselves dragging the anchor for lack of proper scope.

Seaworthy: A boat that is fit to be sailed at sea.

Self-bailing cockpit: A cockpit that allows water to drain automatically from the cockpit to the outside of the boat.

Shackles: Metal fittings (often U shaped) that open and close with a pin across the top of the ‘U’. Lines and halyards often use shackles. The mainsail halyard is secured to the head of the mainsail with the use of a shackle.

Sheave: A roller/wheel to guide a line or wire.

Sheets: Lines that are used to adjust sails by either pulling them in or by letting them out.

Shrouds: Also called sidestays, shrouds are the metal wires found on both sides of the mast running from the deck to the top or near top of the mast. The shrouds support the mast by providing lateral support.

Slack water: The period between the flood (tidal water moving in) and the ebb (tidal water moving out) where the water has in effect stalled – little or no movement.

Slides: The groove in the mast to which the luff (front side) of the mainsail is inserted. The slides hold the sail tight against the mast and allows the sail to be easily raised or lowered.

Sloop: a sailboat that has one mast and sails with the mainsail and one foresail.

Soundings: Water depths.

Spar: A spar can refer to any of the following: mast, boom or a pole.

Spinnaker: A large balloon-like foresail used for sailing downwind (running or broad reach).

Spinnaker pole: The spinnaker pole is boom-like in nature, but smaller and lighter, and attaches to fore part of the mast a few feet up from the deck. The other end of the spinnaker pole attaches to the leeward (down wind) base of the spinnaker.

Spreaders: Bars extending sideways from the mast (gives the mast a cross-like appearance). The spreaders hold out the shrouds so that they do not interfer with the rigging.

Springlines: Springlines are used to secure a boat to a dock and stop the boat from moving forward or backwards. The aft springline runs from a point on the boat near the bow to a point aft on the dock. The forward springline runs from a point on the boat near the stern to a point forward on the dock.

Squall: A sudden isolated storm associated with potentially high wind gusts.

Stanchions: Upright metal posts running around the outside of the deck supporting the lifelines.

Stand: This refers to the short period of time where the tide is neither rising or falling. (At a stand still.)

Standing rigging: Standing rigging includes the forestay, backstay and the shrouds. Unlike the ‘running rigging’, the standing rigging is generally only adjusted when the boat is not underway.

Stand-on boat: The boat that must retain her current course and rate of speed in order to avoid a potential collision with an approaching give-way boat.

Starboard: As you face towards the bow on a boat, starboard is the right hand side of the boat.

Starboard tack: Sailing across the wind with the wind hitting the starboard (right) side of the boat first.

Steerage: The ability of the boat to be steered. In order for a rudder to be effective in steering a boat, there must be boat movement. A boat not moving cannot be steered.

Stern: The most aft part of a boat (the very back of the boat).

Storm jib: Same as a jib but not as big. The smaller sail is used in high wind conditions.

T ender – A small boat or dinghy used to ferry crew between the boat and shore

Tack: The front lower corner of a sail. Also means to sail back and forth across the wind in either a port or starboard tack.

Tacking: Also called “Coming About”. Tacking is when the bow of the boat is turned through the wind onto the opposite tack.

Tail: The bitter end of a sheet tailing out from a winch.

Tang: A metal fitting used to affix the stays to the mast.

Telltails: (Also called Ticklers) These are small strings (wool, plastic) attached to both sides of the luff of the sail. When the telltails on both sides of the sail are blowing straight back, this indicates that the sail has been properly trimmed.

Through hulls: Through hulls are holes that go through the boat. Each through hull will have a shuttle cock (value) to stop the flow of water. An example of a through hull would be the head (bathroom). A through hull value is opened so that water from outside the boat can be pumped into the MSD (toilet). The value is closed and the toilet pumped empty into a holding tank.

Tide: The vertical rise and fall the oceans.

Tide rips: This is an area of rough water where the wind is blowing across the water in the opposite direction from which strong tidal current is flowing.

Tiller: In boats that are not steered by a wheel, a tiller (long handle) is attached to the top of the rudder in order to facilitate steering.

Toe rail: A small metal railing running around the outside of the deck used to support your feet.

Topping lift: A line running from the top of the mast to the end of the boom. The topping lift supports the boom when the sail has been lowered.

Topside: The portion of the hull above the water line.

Transom: The flat area across the stern of the boat.

Trim: To trim or adjust the sail to make it more effective against the wind.

True wind: The actual wind felt wind the boat is not moving.

Turnbuckles: Adjustable fittings usually attached at the end of shrouds and stays. Turning the turnbuckle one way or the other tightens or loosens the wire.

U nfurl – To unroll a sail

Upstream: Moving from seaward into harbor, moving with the flood of the tide, moving up river toward the headwaters.

V ane – A wind direction indicator

Veering: A wind shift in the clockwise direction usually indicating that good weather is approaching.

W inch – A mechanical device for pulling in a line

Wake: The waves created behind a boat as a result of the boat moving through the water.

Way: Movement of the boat.

Weather helm: The tendancy of the boat to turn up wind after heeling (leaning over).

Wheel: Controls the rudder. Taking control of the wheel is taking the helm.

Winch: Provides a mechanical advantage. Used to raise the sails, tighten the sheets and other lines.

Windward: Towards the wind.

Wing to wing: Running (sail directly downwind) with the mainsail out one side of the boat and the foresail out the other side of the boat.

X marks the spot on the treasure map!

Y awing – The side to side movement of a boat on an uneven course

Yawl: A sailboat that has two masts. The aft mast (mizzen) is shorter than the foremast. The mizzen mast is located aft the rudder post. (On a Ketch, the mizzen mast is located fore of the rudder post – this is the distinquishing factor between the two.)

Z ephyr – A very light westerly wind

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Understanding the yachting world: Definitions and origins

  • Understanding the yachting world: Definitions and origins

The world of yachting and sailing is a realm of elegance, adventure, and rich history. However, the terminology surrounding these nautical activities can sometimes be confusing. From the definition of a yacht to the spelling of various sailing-related terms, this article sets out to demystify the language of the seas, offering insight into the origins and meanings of these captivating words.

Decoding the yacht: Definition and origin

A yacht is more than a vessel; it's a symbol of luxury and sophistication. Derived from the Dutch word "jacht," meaning "hunt" or "chase," yachts were initially swift, maneuverable ships used for pursuit. Over time, yachts have evolved into opulent pleasure craft enjoyed by sailing enthusiasts and the elite.

Exploring the nautical term "sailing"

Sailing goes beyond moving through water using wind power; it encapsulates a spirit of exploration and freedom. It's the art of harnessing wind energy to navigate the vast oceans, representing a harmonious relationship between humans and nature.

Read our top notch articles on topics such as sailing, sailing tips and destinations in our Magazine .

Unveiling the word "yacht" and its meaning

The term "yacht" conjures images of sleek vessels gliding gracefully across the water. Its meaning, however, extends beyond aesthetics. A yacht signifies an elegant and luxurious ship, often associated with pleasure and leisure rather than utilitarian purposes.

Yachting in focus: Definition and significance

Yachting is the activity of sailing on a yacht, encompassing both recreational and competitive aspects. It's a way to experience the allure of the open waters while indulging in the comforts and amenities offered by these sophisticated vessels.

The intricacies of yacht pronunciation

The pronunciation of "yacht" varies across regions, with some emphasizing the "ch" sound, while others opt for a softer "y" sound. This linguistic diversity adds an interesting layer to the yachting world, reflecting the global appeal of sailing.

Luxury yacht

Luxury yacht

Name or yacht? Understanding the terminology

In the yachting community, the term "name yacht" refers to a yacht that is well-known and often carries a reputation. These yachts are associated with luxury, innovation, and the personalities of their owners.

Diving into the origins of yachts

The origin of yachts traces back to the 17th century Netherlands, where they were initially used for naval purposes and later transformed into vessels for recreational sailing. Their evolution mirrors the changing perceptions of sailing from utility to leisure.

Yacht vs. yatch: Spelling matters

The correct spelling is "yacht," and "yatch" is a common misspelling. Spelling accuracy is vital, especially in maritime communication, where precision ensures clear understanding and effective conveyance of information.

Sailing terminology: What is a dinghy?

A dinghy is a small, open boat often used for short trips, transportation between a larger vessel and the shore, or for recreational sailing. Dinghies come in various sizes and are an essential part of sailing activities.

Deciphering "catamaran" and its spelling

A catamaran is a type of boat characterized by two parallel hulls connected by a deck. The spelling is "catamaran," and understanding this term is crucial for discussing and identifying different types of vessels.

Sailing's essence: The word and its meaning

Sailing embodies more than the physical act; it's a metaphor for life's journey. Just as sailors navigate challenges on the water, individuals navigate the currents of their lives, guided by the winds of opportunity and the compass of determination.

The language of yachting and sailing is rich with history and significance. From the definition of a yacht to the meaning of sailing-related terms, understanding these words enhances our appreciation of the maritime world and the timeless allure of the seas.

So what are you waiting for? Take a look at our range of charter boats and head to some of our favourite sailing destinations .

FAQs about definitions and origins

Yachting refers to the use of recreational boats for leisure purposes. It involves sailing, cruising, racing, or simply spending time on a yacht. Yachts are typically luxurious and well-equipped vessels that can be privately owned or chartered. Yachting can be enjoyed in various bodies of water, including oceans, lakes, and rivers. It is a popular activity among the wealthy and is often associated with prestige and exclusivity. Yachting can also involve participating in regattas or other competitive events. Safety is a crucial aspect of yachting, and proper training and equipment are necessary to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

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Do You Need a Watermaker for Your Sailboat?

  • By Jen Brett
  • Updated: October 2, 2019

spectra newport watermaker

I remember, in the not too distant past, when having a watermaker aboard a cruising boat seemed to be the ultimate luxury. Plenty of sailors considered them too expensive and complicated. Fortunately times have changed. With improved technology and a range of price points on the market, now even average cruising boats of modest means carry a reverse-osmosis system. And really, is there anything that feels better after a day spent sailing and swimming than a hot shower? The freedom and security that come with full water tanks are also a nice bonus, particularly if you’re cruising in an area where fresh water is difficult to come by and pricey when you do.

Choosing a Watermaker

As with any major system, there are many factors to consider when you choose a watermaker. You’ll need to figure out your freshwater needs, the space you have available for the system and how you’re going to power it . Generally speaking, in a reverse-osmosis desalination system the raw water is run through a series of pre-filters, and then a high-pressure pump moves the water through one or more membrane housings. The wastewater, or brine, is released overboard and the product water goes into your water tanks.

Since all of the watermakers that are currently available for cruising sailboats use this process for desalination, the major differences between the systems are how you power the high-pressure pump and the user interface. Powering options include 120/220-volt AC, 12- or 24-volt DC and engine/belt driven. All have their pros and cons.

“The first question I ask a potential customer is ‘Will your boat have a ship’s generator?’” said Rich Boren of Cruise RO Water. “If they plan to have a generator, then the decision to go with a 120-volt high-output watermaker seems natural. While running the generator for battery charging and other loads two to three times per week, they can keep their water tanks full without having to make generator runs just to make water.”

A 12-volt system, such as the Spectra Catalina 300 Mk II or the Horizon Reverse Osmosis Seafari Quest, makes a lot of sense for smaller cruising boats since they don’t need a generator to run and have fairly miserly power consumption. On a breezy, sunny day, a solar panel and/or a wind generator will likely keep up with the demand. “The only difference between 12-volt DC low-output and 120-volt AC high-output watermakers is how the high-pressure pump brings seawater up to the 800 psi needed to drive fresh water through the reverse-osmosis membrane,” Boren said. “The membrane and support equipment, like pre-filtering and plumbing, are the same.”

seafari mini

These systems typically produce anywhere from about 6 to 16 gallons per hour, and some units can do so for about a 1-amp-per-gallon power draw.

“Many smaller sailboats, under 45 feet or so, often utilize solar panels,” said Berkeley Andrews of Parker Hannifin, which produces Sea Recovery, Horizon Reverse Osmosis and Village Marine watermaker systems. “Their entire electrical backbone consists of 12-volt or 24-volt. So they must have a watermaker that can operate on low voltage. These customers have limited amp hours on their batteries, so all of their equipment must be suited to handling this.”

In choosing a watermaker, Bill Edinger, owner of Spectra Watermakers, said to be realistic about water needs. “When helping customers decide which system is right for them, first we like to determine their approximate water usage with questions like ‘How many people are aboard normally? Are you going to be living on the boat full time? Do you have a washing machine? Any children? Are you going to be cruising full time or leaving the boat for extended periods?”

A common error people make is choosing a watermaker that is too small for their needs. “The most common mistake I see cruisers making in their watermaker purchase decision is underestimating how much water it will take them to cruise comfortably,” Boren says. “I’m not talking about the minimal amount of water it takes for the crew to stay alive, because there is a big difference between staying alive and comfort. Selecting a watermaker that will only meet their minimal drinking-water needs but not keep up with the comfort needs of the crew can lead to crew tensions and feeling like camping rather than cruising.”

Remember that “watermakers are rated in gallons of production in a 24-hour period,” Edinger said. “So a 300-gallon-per-day watermaker system sounds like a lot of water. The important thing is that it produces about 12 gallons per hour. Normally a system like this will be run three to four hours per day if power is not a critical issue, in this case producing 36 to 48 gallons of water. It’s better for a system to run for a few hours every few days than an hour every day.”

cruise ro system

Watermakers for Small Boats

If space is at a premium, consider purchasing a modular system instead of an enclosed one. In a modular system, the components, such as the membranes and filters, can be mounted separately. Another power source for the high-pressure pump is the boat’s diesel engine. In these engine-driven setups , the pump and an additional pulley are mounted on a custom bracket next to the engine. The watermaker can then be run while motoring or using the engine to charge the batteries.

While engine-driven watermakers can produce a large amount of water, 20 or more gallons an hour on average, the downside is that the installation can be more complex than for other systems. “Unlike the 12-volt DC or 120-volt AC watermakers, where you simply bolt the high-pressure pump down and then run the wires and plumbing hoses, the hardest installation aspect of an engine-driven watermaker is finding space. Some boats simply have no room in the engine compartment to mount the 5-pound pump with a 7-inch pulley on the engine while still leaving access to other engine parts that need to remain serviceable,” Boren says.

rainman portable watermaker

A relative newcomer to the marine market, the portable watermaker is a good solution for cruisers who want the convenience of a watermaker but don’t want to permanently install one. The Rainman is one such system that is available as a self-contained unit driven by a gasoline-powered Honda motor, or as a 115-volt AC-powered unit. “The bulk of our gasoline-powered system customers are sailing yachts between 30 and 50 feet,” said Ron Schroeder of Rainman Desalination. “Our customers seem to prefer to have a simple and somewhat manual system over one that relies on control panels, software and solenoid valves. We are also attractive to those customers who have had bad experiences with the installation process of an installed system.”

The Spectra Passport is another portable system. Edinger said it has already proved popular with offshore race crews and cruisers who need a watermaker for only a limited time.


Maintenance for Watermakers

Watermakers have long had a reputation for being difficult to maintain, but the equipment has improved over the years and overall, routine maintenance isn’t more challenging than with other onboard systems. “The best rule of thumb is to operate the watermaker in water that looks good,” Andrews said. “There are a few factors in the feed-water condition that come into play. Operating a watermaker in dirty harbors will most certainly result in repeated pre-filter changes and a clogged sea strainer. If you have extra filters on board, you can get by, but it’s not recommended. The environment in the open ocean and remote anchorages is much better. Also consider how shallow the water is where you’re anchored. Sometimes there can be a lot of tidal movement, which can kick up fine particulate and sediment. This too can also contribute to more frequent filter changes and even damage other components. A nice option is an automatic freshwater flush, which will rinse the watermaker’s membrane element after use. It helps keep the membrane vessel housing free of any biological growth that could foul the membrane and reduce your ability to produce fresh water.”

Whatever system you choose, with proper use and maintenance you can expect years of service from your watermaker. And plenty of hot showers.

Jen Brett is a CW associate editor. This article first appeared in the February 2015 issue of Cruising World.

Aqua Marine: www.aquamarineinc.net

Blue Water Desalination: www.bluewa​terdesalination.com

Cruise RO: www.cruiserowaterandpower.com

Dometic Marine Sea Xchange: www.do​metic.com

ECHOTec: www.echotecwatermakers.com

FCI Watermakers: www.filtrationconcepts.com

Horizon Reverse Osmosis (HRO): www.hrosystems.com

Katadyn: www.katadyn.com

Rainman: www.rainmandesal.com

Sea Recovery: www.searecovery.com

Schenker Watermakers: www.schenkerwa​termakers.com

SK Watermakers: www.skwatermakers.net

Spectra Watermakers: www.spectrawater​makers.com

Village Marine Tec: www.villagemarine.com

Watermakers Inc.: www.watermakers.com

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Countdown to adventure: 5 skippers explain how to prepare for bluewater sailing

  • Elaine Bunting
  • June 8, 2020

Are you counting down to a big adventure? Five skippers tell Elaine Bunting about their plans and preparations to go bluewater sailing


Make life more fun for all the family onboard

For most sailors, preparing for an Atlantic or round the world voyage typically takes between a year and three years. According to the surveys we carry out annually with ARC rally skippers , that is the average time it takes to choose and buy a suitable boat, equip it, train up and get all the moving parts of work and domestic life aligned.

Right now, almost everyone’s plans are on ice, but this uncertain period of enforced stasis may actually be a good opportunity to take stock of your life goals and what you need to reach them. If you’ve always dreamed of sailing away or of a long voyage and a break from normal, striving life ashore, this could be the time to create more serious plans.

To find out how other sailors are planning their journey along the typical three-year ‘runway’ and what their challenges have been, we spoke to a five sailors at different stages. What follows is a snapshot of their choices and approach.


Photo: Tor Johnson

Flexible plans

Tom and Clair Crean are from the UK but living in Switzerland, where Tom works as an IT consultant. Tom is from a sailing family – his father used to work for Westerly when they built cruisers and cruiser-racers in the UK.

They have been thinking and planning to leave for the last two years and when they came to look for a yacht for a budget of £50-60,000 it was Westerlys and Moodys from the Eighties and Nineties that Tom thought of, boats with a “centre cockpit for a decent aft cabin and solidly built.”

As with everyone we spoke to for this article, finding a good and well-maintained example of a particular type of used yacht was not easy and soon the Creans concluded that they “would never get 100%”.

Article continues below…


How to pick your ideal bluewater yacht: ARC director explains all

I often chat with prospective bluewater cruisers at boat shows and seminars and am frequently asked: “What is the ideal…


Sailing across the Atlantic: Bluewater veterans share top tips for your first crossing

On the afternoon before we left the Canary Islands for the Caribbean for a transatlantic with the ARC, I struck…

The yacht they eventually bought three years ago is Moody Blue , a Moody 376, which they keep in the UK. “We were very lucky: the previous owner had bought the boat 30 years ago and had really looked after it, but not upgraded much so it was almost like it was out of the factory,” says Tom. However, the electronics and many other items were out of date and needed to be replaced, so the Creans began working through a long list.

“The engine had been replaced in 2012 and the sails were in good condition. The rigging had been replaced in 2014 and was all checked. We bought a new cruising chute. We had all the seacocks replaced with Tru Design fittings. They had been OK in the survey but when I was opening one, the handle snapped off in my hand.”

The Creans want their boat to be as inexpensive as possible to run, so they decided not to fit a watermaker or air conditioning. But new electronics, power generation and safety gear was a priority. They have a new Raymarine Axiom Pro MFD, a new radar, AIS and two new lithium batteries. To help with extra, sustainable power, they have a flexible solar panel and a Rutland 1200 wind generator. To reduce consumption, they’ve chosen Hydrovane self-steering gear.


Tom and Clair Crean’s bluewater sailing boat of choice is a Moody 376

Safety gear is among the more expensive categories but can’t be skimped on. Tom and Clair have a new four-person liferaft , and they bought an EPIRB, lifejackets equipped with McMurdo AIS PLBs and a YB Tracker. They are getting a quote for a Jordan Series Drogue and have bought a battery-powered angle grinder and bolt cutters. Tom adds that they have “lots of tools – the forepeak and saloon are full of boxes – and first aid kits.”

In parallel, the Creans are building up their own sailing experience. “This is our first proper boat,” says Tom. “I’ve sailed with my uncle, we bought a 8m cabin cruiser in Weymouth and we have chartered every year for the past 15 years; two weeks per year in BVIs and Croatia, sailing courses in Gibraltar and sailing in the UK. I first did an RYA Competent Crew course in the RAF in the Eighties, then the Day Skipper, then Yachtmaster. Clair has done the Day Skipper course.

“We’ve spent the last three years based in Portsmouth, learning to sail in a complicated area with tides etc. and sailing to the Channel Islands. That has given us more confidence. The longest passage we’ve made so far would be Alderney to Portsmouth, leaving in the early morning and arriving late at night. We have made two night passages before but our big test will when we leave and sail from Falmouth to La Coruña – we are going to do the offshore route as a test.”


“I know it is a lifestyle I will enjoy,” says Tom. “When I’m on the boat is when I’m at my happiest – and with family. It is never boring. So I know for sure we will be very happy. But we are also realistic.

“It may get too much, I don’t know. Let’s get to La Coruña and then keep taking each stage. “From what we have read, the advice is to tell everyone you’re leaving – there are so many reasons not to go – but be flexible. We will just go, and anything we do will be great.”

Decluttering your life

Fergus and Chloe Bonner are unusual among sailing couples in that it is Angus who is the relative beginner and Chloe the more experienced sailor who has nurtured the dream of cruising. She already has around 50,000 miles of long-distance sailing behind her on a previous adventurous voyage from New Zealand to the UK via Alaska and the North West Passage .

“Chloe had this sailing background and when we got together ten years ago we often said it would be great to go sailing with children . Then our twins came along and it was full-on. We bought a house and we did the house up and even just going to work was quite hard.

“One summer we went dinghy sailing in Annecy and it re-fired that thought. But there was no way we could afford it. Then we started to look into it and read blogs. We started to look at how much rent we could get for our house and we curbed all our nonessential spending. Then I got a promotion – Chloe is a nurse and I work for a media company.”


Fergus and Chloe Bonner chose an Island Packet 40 for their long-term cruising plans

They began searching for a boat with a strict budget of £100,000 in mind, and began reducing their outgoings and shrinking down their lives and belongings to reset in a more modest way. “We basically went through everything we had and started selling stuff,” says Angus.

“We’d done a lot of cycling and triathlons. I sold two bikes, Chloe sold a bike, we sold the turbo trainer. We sold snowboarding gear and even little things like bike components, children’s things. Anything. We started off with high-value stuff and went through the house to find things we didn’t need.

“When you start doing this you realise you don’t need them and I wondered ‘Why did I buy these things?’ We made about £10,000 and it felt like therapy getting rid of it. And it prepares you for life on a boat where you don’t have the money or the space.”

Besides decluttering physical items, they cut down on subscriptions that accumulate: “Strava, Amazon Prime, Ancestry, British Triathlon membership, gym membership… We just stopped going out, having meals out; typically, lunch was £60 for four of us. Now we don’t buy things we don’t need, even clothes. I take things up to my mum’s and ask her to repair them. It feels really good to be getting into that mentality, and to teach the boys skills to fix things.”

They began looking at brokerage yachts, starting their search on yachtworld.com and looking at what was in that budget. “There were hundreds of production boats and we started thinking: ‘Great there are loads and they have got a new chartplotter and so on’ and we probably looked at the wrong things.

After looking at Moodys and at the Ovni 435 – “amazing but realistically we couldn’t afford it” – they settled on an Island Packet 40 last November which they bought for £108,000. Their budget for preparing the boat was “in hindsight, quite naive,” he admits. They need a liferaft, EPIRB, satphone, auxiliary power such as solar power and arch and davits for a dinghy. There have been unanticipated expenses, such as replacing sanitation hoses.


Educating on board can include navigation and maths…

“We thought we’d spend another £15,000. People bandy around numbers and some say you need an extra 15-20%. That’s nonsense. We thought the boat didn’t need a lot of work but we have had to redo the rigging, we have put in a new battery charger, we’ve rebedded all the chainplates, replaced all lights with LEDs, replaced some bilge pump piping, unstepped mast and redid all electrics – we have a spreadsheet of 100 items. We haven’t even started on things we need to go sailing long-term, such as the liferaft, solar panels and EPIRB.”

In fact, Fergus and Chloe haven’t even sailed their boat yet other than on sea trials. But Fergus did a RYA Day Skipper course last year and once they do get sailing, they’re thinking of getting an instructor to do one-to-one coaching and also help them master close quarters manoeuvring.

But he reveals: “The whole thing has been made much harder because we have two children in school and we don’t have relatives nearby. When we go on courses, it means they have to be aboard or we have to find somewhere to put them for a week. We have to, and do, involve them.”


At anchor in the Caribbean – that’s the dream

Ultimately, their plan is to live on board for three or four years and home school their 6-year-old twins. “We will focus on the important stuff like reading, writing and maths and then learn as we go. How formal it will be I don’t know at this point. I would have to say that is low down the list. The focus is on getting the boat ready.”

When they do leave, hopefully next summer, they plan to sail to Gibraltar, the Canary Islands and across to the Caribbean before going through the Panama Canal and perhaps round the world. “But,” says Fergus, “it’s loose. A firm plan is going to change.

“We might get somewhere and get some work or come back. At the moment we’re learning, and that learning curve is huge – I feel like I’m doing a doctorate. But it is amazing how much you can learn when you are really focussed on something.”


A crew on an Oyster take it easy on a transatlantic crossing. Photo: Tim Bishop

Learning new skills

Antony Smyth and his wife, Morgan Chambers, live in Canada and are planning to live on board. Antony, a former management consultant, quit work three years ago, but Morgan is still working. Their goal has been to have a boat as a “mobile hotel” for themselves, family and friends, and sail across the Atlantic and slowly make their way through the Panama Canal and Pacific to reach Smyth’s native New Zealand.

“It has taken decades to get away,” he says, “We have been working up to this for 30 years, but it’s easy because we both have had good jobs.”

The couple previously owned a Westerly Oceanlord, and co-owned a 41-footer they kept in the Greek islands, and the choice of yacht and route for this long plan was a conundrum. “These are hard decisions,” he says, “what kind of boat, multihull or monohull? Where do we go? Are the kids interested? Would friends come if they were invited? You could spend years thinking about it.”


In the end, they decided to buy a second-hand Westerly 49, one of only 12 ever built. They chose it because the design has dual owners’ cabins with a walk around. They paid £110,000.

“The boat we bought had been a cottage for five years, so everything needed doing. We’ve fitted a bow thruster, repainted it, reconditioned the steering, replaced all the wiring, got new rigging, new sails and new running rigging, replaced lots of internal fittings… knives, forks, the lot. I’m not what you call handy, but the learning has been great, the 12V DC electrics, fibreglass – and it has been hugely enjoyable to do it.”

They may rent their house if they are away for a long time, and the plan is to start in La Rochelle and sail perhaps up the west coast of Britain to the Baltic first, before going further.


An ever-expanding budget

Nick Deacon and Michele Cruwys have sailed all their adult lives. The time, they feel, is right now to go – Michele recently retired from her job as a consultant paediatrician and Nick, who runs the product development side of a small software company, will retire in the next year or two. Their children are grown up and finishing university.

They previously owned a Grand Soleil 43, which they sold last year. Like others we spoke to, finding the right used yacht was difficult and took a couple of years of searching among brokers and travelling to inspect boats.

“Finding the boat was really tough; locating a boat that was within budget and in reasonable condition. We were quite fussy. We wanted a higher-end, well-made boat and had excluded more mass produced production boats so it was the Oyster, Najad, Hallberg-Rassy end of the market. It is hard to find boats in good condition – some are being set with unrealistic prices and the ones we saw in Europe were pretty beaten up.”

Finally they bought a Najad 511 lying in Sweden. “It was a tiny bit bigger than planned but we went for it and we bought it in October. It was brought back from Sweden by a delivery crew and I joined the captain for the first part,” says Nick.

Their current plan is to leave the UK next May and sail across the Atlantic with the ARC 2021. “Then we will potter around the Caribbean and South America for a year or so and, if all is going well, go through the Panama Canal into the Pacific and continue round the world.”


Their boat was built in 2004 boat so has needed “a fair bit” of upgrading and maintenance. The couple have replaced the standing rigging, bought all new sails, a full set of Raymarine instruments, MFD and Autohelm, AIS, installed SSB radio, refurbished the watermaker and overhauled all the hydraulics.

“It’s an ever-expanding budget,” admits Nick. “For example, we knew we would need to have the rigging replaced to comply with the insurance terms, but we have uncovered a few surprises. The refurbishment we’ve done since we bought the boat would, I guess, be somewhere around £60,000.”

Life is not so simple

Richard Glen is planning and preparing for his big escape, but he doesn’t know for sure when it will be. He already has the yacht to sail away on, a 1979 Ron Holland-designed Swan 441, and plenty of experience from years of RORC racing and cruising. But getting to the point in life when he could go is not something within his control.


Richard Glen’s Swan 441 at anchor in Turkey

“The boat side is quite straightforward as we have taken advice from World Cruising Club and the ARC to get the boat ready so we’re OK on that. It’s the home life that is far more difficult,” he confesses.

“In 2017, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I have become her full-time carer. That is quite a challenge. So although we had this plan it is all rather based on the state of my mother. So I can’t say we are definitely going, though the boat is definitely ready to do the ARC+ next year and then World ARC. My mother is 91 and apart from Alzheimer’s the rest of her life is pretty bulletproof. It’s a conundrum to balance your life along with caring for someone else’s.

“I’m a one-man band, a landscape architect. I used to work for British Waterways designing marinas. I did put various things in place: for example, I bought property to provide rental income in case my business income dropped off, which is what I have been living off while I’m a full-time carer.”


Richard Glen’s Swan 441 on passage in the Mediterranean

Richard plans to go sailing with his wife and daughter, who will be 12 this month. He says they have made the decision that “she will learn more by having these adventures than being in school and it would be far more fulfilling for her”.

“We’ve discussed the situation where she could be doing her O-levels but is it better to have these opportunities when they come along,” he explains. “We’ve always been delaying it and you could always do that and never get round to it. It’s not simple, and that’s the big challenge in going off long distance sailing.”

Richard’s boat is based in Marmaris in Turkey and over the last year he has been getting it ready and renewing equipment. He has replaced all the navigation electronics, getting a Raymarine MFD fitted and AIS. He is debating whether to buy a Watt&Sea hydrogenerator.


Photo: Tim Bishop

He will have the rigging replaced and is going to get a new No 1 headsail. “We already have normal heavy 1oz and asymmetric spinnakers and we have a staysail, yankee and No 3 but it would be good to have the larger genoa,” he says. Living on board could, he believes, be done “quite frugally but we would have to go through that transition period of thinking we are on holiday. So it would theoretically be OK provided we acted sensibly.

“We don’t need cars and other paraphernalia but we would have mooring, docking and maintenance so money would be going in other directions. But I haven’t done a huge amount of calculations on that. It might actually be cheaper than living at home, with care and carers and so on.”

From a personal perspective, he says: “Over the years I have done a lot of thinking about it and my training is up to date, with Ocean Yachtmaster and navigation, sea survival, first aid courses, etc. I have also done a lot over the years around yacht maintenance with Hamble School of Yachting.

“We’ll go through everything underwater such as seacocks and cutless bearing and we can at least be listing these things this year and it gives us a year to prepare for November next year.”

First published in the May 2020 edition of Yachting World.

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Meaning of yachting in English

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  • age of sail
  • ocean-going
  • under sail idiom

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[ yot -ing ]

  • the practice or sport of sailing or voyaging in a yacht .
  • the sport or practice of navigating a yacht

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Word history and origins.

Origin of yachting 1

Example Sentences

I’m not just a boss, but also a friend who has experience in yachting and also in life as an older person.

My parents were yachting and I was down at the water’s edge, but he, with some friends, clambered onto the roof of the clubhouse.

All the Instagram influencers are in Split, Croatia, doing the yachting thing.

Today, Fort Lauderdale is a major yachting town and one of the nation’s largest tourist destinations.

I heard the question right: Cannes is famous for its film festival, but also has a yachting festival in September.

The Little Barrier Island, though possessing no harbour, has several yachting anchorages.

Steam yachts having abnormally high speed are occasionally seen in a large yachting fleet.

A yachting tribunal was instituted in Paris to make rules and arrange the details of racing.

Yachting in Canada dates back as a pastime almost to the first days of its colonisation.

Fashion always runs to extremes; now that fashion has attacked yachting, the belle of one season is extinguished in the next.

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Definition of yachting

Examples of yachting in a sentence.

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'yachting.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

1836, in the meaning defined above

Dictionary Entries Near yachting

Cite this entry.

“Yachting.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yachting. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of yachting, more from merriam-webster on yachting.

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yachting

Nglish: Translation of yachting for Spanish Speakers

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Definition of yachting noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  • They go yachting at weekends.
  • a yachting holiday

Want to learn more?

Find out which words work together and produce more natural-sounding English with the Oxford Collocations Dictionary app. Try it for free as part of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary app.

yachting water definition


  1. Celebrities Accused Of 'Yachting' In Hollywood

    According to the Internet, yachting in Hollywood is somewhat of an open secret. Find out what a yacht girl is — and the celebrities accused of being one. Rumors suggest some women are paid to play.

  2. Nautical Terms, Yachting Words, Boat Terms You Should Know

    Bloody: An intensive derived from the substantive 'blood', a name applied to the Bucks, Scrowers, and Mohocks of the seventeenth centuries. Blue Peter: A blue and white flag hoisted at the foretrucks of ships about to sail. Boat: A craft or vessel designed to float on, and provide transport over, water.

  3. A Guide to Yacht Water Systems

    Yachts have plumbing systems too. Pipes, valves, pumps, and filters all play a role in maintaining proper water flow. Regular maintenance and inspection are necessary to detect any leaks or blockages. Stay informed to make the most of your yachting experience. We will provide expert advice and tips.

  4. 100 Basic Yachting & Sailing Terms You Need To Know

    Sailing is the practice of using the wind to power a vessel through the water. Sheet - A line or rope used to control the angle of the sails. Skipper - The person in charge of operating a boat. Stern - The back of the boat. Tack - The direction of a boat when it is sailing upwind.

  5. 21 Common Yachting Terms Explained

    The main body of the yacht floating in the water; covers the front, sides, back and underside. Knot. A boat or yacht's speed measured in nautical miles per hour (see below). Megayacht. A large luxury yacht typically measuring over 70m. Monohull. A boat with a single hull. May be a sailing yacht, motor yacht, luxury super- or megayacht.

  6. Learning How to sail: A-Z of Yachting Terms

    Flaking a sail is the process of folding the sail back and forth upon itself like the blades on a paper fan. Flaking a sail will help prolong the sail life. Foot (Sail): The foot of a sail is the lower part of the sail. In the case of a mainsail, this is the part of the sail that runs along the boom.

  7. Glossary of nautical terms (A-L)

    This glossary of nautical terms is an alphabetical listing of terms and expressions connected with ships, shipping, seamanship and navigation on water (mostly though not necessarily on the sea). Some remain current, while many date from the 17th to 19th centuries. The word nautical derives from the Latin nauticus, from Greek nautikos, from nautēs: "sailor", from naus: "ship".

  8. Yachting

    Most yachting is conducted in salt water, but smaller craft can be raced on lakes and even large rivers. Ocean. Larger yachts are also raced on harbours, but the most prestigious yacht races are point-to-point long-distance races on the open ocean. Bad weather makes even finishing such races a considerable test of equipment and willpower, and ...

  9. Yachting and sailing: Words of the waves

    Unveiling the word "yacht" and its meaning. The term "yacht" conjures images of sleek vessels gliding gracefully across the water. Its meaning, however, extends beyond aesthetics. A yacht signifies an elegant and luxurious ship, often associated with pleasure and leisure rather than utilitarian purposes. Yachting in focus: Definition and ...

  10. Bluewater Cruising And Sailing Guide

    Blue water in sailing means deep water, and bluewater cruising is a type of ocean cruising and yachting. Sailors who embark on long-range, oceangoing travel are often referred to as bluewater cruisers, and their vessels as bluewater sailing vessels, or bluewater cruisers. "Heading over the horizon" is a common phrase in the sailing world ...

  11. What Is a Yacht? How Is It Different from Other Boats?

    A yacht is a water vessel used for recreation, racing, or cruising, powered by sail or motor. A yacht can be a medium-sized water vessel or a small ship used for private and official purposes. However, there is really no standard definition because you can use this term for any watercraft with cabins, accommodations, and amenities for overnight ...

  12. What is Yachting? The definition of 'Yachting'

    Yachting refers to the use of recreational boats for leisure purposes. It involves sailing, cruising, racing, or simply spending time on a yacht. Yachts are typically luxurious and well-equipped vessels that can be privately owned or chartered. Yachting can be enjoyed in various bodies of water, including oceans, lakes, and rivers. It is a popular activity among the wealthy and is often ...

  13. Watermaker for Sailboat, Desalination for Sailboat

    Since all of the watermakers that are currently available for cruising sailboats use this process for desalination, the major differences between the systems are how you power the high-pressure pump and the user interface. Powering options include 120/220-volt AC, 12- or 24-volt DC and engine/belt driven. All have their pros and cons.

  14. Five skippers explain how to prepare for a bluewater ...

    The yacht they eventually bought three years ago is Moody Blue, a Moody 376, which they keep in the UK. "We were very lucky: the previous owner had bought the boat 30 years ago and had really ...

  15. Yachting

    yachting: 1 n water travel for pleasure Synonyms: boating Types: bareboating boating by chartering a bareboat and providing your own crew and provisions Type of: seafaring , water travel travel by water

  16. yachting

    yachting in Water topic From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English yachting yacht‧ing / ˈjɒtɪŋ $ ˈjɑːtɪŋ / noun [ uncountable ] especially British English DLO TTW sailing , travelling , or racing in a yacht → sailing Examples from the Corpus yachting • Stuart Quarrie is a yachting consultant specialising in race training and ...


    YACHTING definition: 1. the sport or activity of sailing yachts 2. the sport or activity of sailing yachts. Learn more.

  18. Yacht

    A yacht ( / jɒt /) is a sailing or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising, or racing. [2] [3] [4] There is no standard definition, though the term generally applies to vessels with a cabin intended for overnight use. To be termed a yacht, as opposed to a boat, such a pleasure vessel is likely to be at least 33 feet (10 m) in length and may ...

  19. Yachts Vs. Boats: What's The Difference?

    Thus, by definition, yachts are considered capable of extended cruises over more demanding water conditions in the open sea. To facilitate this, yachts tend to have a greater, more advanced cadre of instruments and deepwater equipment onboard than smaller recreational boats.

  20. YACHTING Definition & Meaning

    Yachting definition: the practice or sport of sailing or voyaging in a yacht. . See examples of YACHTING used in a sentence.

  21. Yachting Definition & Meaning

    yachting: [noun] the action, fact, or pastime of racing or cruising in a yacht.

  22. yachting noun

    Definition of yachting noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. ... Topics Sports: water sports c1. Take your English to the next level. The Oxford Learner's Thesaurus explains the difference between groups of similar words. Try it for free as part of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary app.

  23. Nautical tourism

    Nautical tourism. Cruisers can see traditional life in remote areas of the world; here, a Kuna local paddles a dugout canoe in the San Blas Islands. Nautical tourism, also called water tourism, is tourism that combines sailing and boating with vacation and holiday activities. It can be travelling from port to port in a cruise ship, or joining ...