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10 Nautical and Sailing Terms to Know

Don’t have much experience on boats or has it been awhile since you’ve hit the water? Test yourself with our comprehensive list of nautical terms, so you’ll be ready for your next voyage at Scorpion Bay at Lake Pleasant in Peoria, Arizona.

Q: What is the back of a ship called?
A: Aft. If something is located aft, it is at the back of the sailboat. The aft is also known as the stern.
Q: Where is the bow?
A: The front of the ship is called the bow. Knowing the location of the bow is important for defining other common sailing terms.
Q: Is the left or right side known as the Port?
A: Port is always the left-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow. Because “right” and “left” can become confusing sailing terms when used out in the open waters, port is used to define the left-hand side of the boat as it relates to the bow, or front.
Q: Then the right side is called …?
A: Starboard. Starboard is the right-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow. Because “right” and “left” can become confusing when used out in the open waters, starboard is used to define the right-hand side of the boat as it relates to the bow, or front.
Q: When would you say the wind is Leeward?
A: Leeward. Also known as lee, leeward is the direction opposite to the way the wind is currently blowing (windward).
Q: So, what is the term if the wind is blowing the same direction?
A: Windward. The direction in which the wind is currently blowing. Windward is the opposite of leeward (the opposite direction of the wind). Sailboats move with the wind, making the windward direction an important sailing term to know.
Q: What is the boom?
A: The boom is the horizontal pole which extends from the bottom of the mast. Adjusting the boom towards the direction of the wind is how you harness wind power to move forward or backwards.
Q: Where and what is the rudder?
A: Located beneath the boat, the rudder is a flat piece of wood, fiberglass, or metal that is used to steer the ship. Larger sailboats control the rudder via a wheel, while smaller sailboats will have a steering mechanism directly aft.
Q: What is the term for maneuvering the bow of the boat?
A: Tacking. This basic sailing maneuver refers to turning the bow of the boat through the wind so that the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other side. The boom of a boat will always shift from one side to the other while performing this maneuver.
Q: Then what is the maneuver that turns the stern of the boat?
A: Jibing. The opposite of tacking, this basic sailing maneuver refers to turning the stern of the boat through the wind so that the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other side. Jibing is a less common technique than tacking, since it involves turning a boat directly into the wind.

Now you’re ready to test your skills on a boat or yacht at Scorpion Bay. We’ve got a variety of rentals whether it’s your first time, or you’re an experienced sailor.

Scorpion Bay is Arizona’s premier floating playground, offering everything from daily pontoon and ski boat rentals to slips for long-term live-aboard lifestyles. Come for the fishing or come for the frolicking—either way, incredible mountain views, fantastic dining and world-class marina services await less than an hour out of Phoenix https://www.scorpionbayaz.com/