Boating Glossary

When you're new to boating some nautical words might not be easy to understand, so we have provided a basic introduction to some of the most common terminology.

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DANGER ZONE

The area encompassed from dead ahead of your boat to just abaft your starboard beam. You must stand clear of any boat in the "danger zone".

DAY BEACON

A fixed navigation structure used in shallow water upon which is placed one or more daymarks.

DEAD AHEAD

Directly ahead.

DEAD ASTERN

Directly aft.

DEAD RECKONING

The navigational art of determining your position based on course steered and speed rather than through obtaining a position from other means. ( Using a chart or electronic device)

DECK

A permanent covering over a compartment, hull or any part thereof.

DINGHY

A small open boat. A dinghy is often used as a tender for a larger craft.

DISPLACEMENT

The weight of water displaced by a floating vessel, thus, a boat's weight.

DISPLACEMENT HULL

A type of hull that plows through the water, displacing a weight of water equal to its own weight, even when more power is added.

DOCK

A protected water area in which vessels are secured. The term is often used incorrectly to denote a pier or a wharf. The dock is the water adjacent to a pier or wharf.

DOLPHIN

A group of piles driven close together and bound with wire cables into a single structure.

DOWNWIND

A direction leeward, with the wind.

DRAFT

The minimum depth of water in which a vessel will float.

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