How often when have you been out on a yacht charter have you heard someone say something that you have no idea what it is! Well when doing any yacht charter you come across all sorts of terminology from the obvious to the more obscure! So we thought we’d do a quick A-Z of some of those yachting terms! Next time you’re out on a yacht charter you’ll never be confused again!
Abeam – To be at a right angle to the length of a sailboat
Bulkhead – Normally refers to the interior walls on a sailboat
Clew – The lower aft corner of a sail
Draft – The depth of a yacht, measured from the deepest point to the waterline
Ensign – The national flag of a sailboat’s home country
Forepeak – The cabin found in the bow of a boat, at the foremost point.
Goosewinging – Describes how when sailing downwind with the mainsail on one side and the foresail on the other.
Halyard – The line used to raise things on a boat, eg the main halyard to raise the mainsail.
Inlet – A recess, such as a cove or bay, along a coastline
Jackstay – A strong line, often made of wire, which runs fore and aft along the boat and used to attach safety harnesses to.
Ketch – A yacht with 2 masts
Leeway – When the yacht moves sideways due to the wind and currents
Multihull – A sailboat with more than one hull eg catamaran or trimaran.
Neap tide – When during the four week tidal cycle, the tide rises and drops the least.
Outhaul – The line used to tension the foot of the sail, to better control the curvature of the sail
Pulpit – A sturdy rail around the deck on the bow, normally surrounding the forestay
Quadrant – This is a device connected to the rudder that the steering cables attach to
Regatta – Sailboat racing
Shroud – The wires at the side that hold the mast up
Tender – A small boat or dinghy used to ferry crew between the boat and shore
Unfurl – To unroll a sail
Vane – A wind direction indicator
Winch – A mechanical device for pulling in a line
X – apart from on a treasure map no other sailing term!
Yawing – If a boat is on an uneven course it can move side to side.
Zephyr – A very light westerly wind