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.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

 

RADAR

Radio Detection and Ranging. An electronic instrument that uses radio waves to find the distance and bearing of other objects. Used to avoid collisions, particularly in times of poor visibility.

RADAR REFLECTOR

An object designed to increase the radio reflectivity of a boat so that it is more visible on radar. Many small boats are made with fiberglass and other materials that do not reflect radar very well on their own.

RADIO

An instrument that uses radio waves to communicate with other vessels.

RAIL

1. The edge where the deck joins the hull; top edge of bulwarks.
2. The railing around the deck.

RANGE

1. Sighting two objects in a line to indicate a course to be steered
2. The distance a boat can travel using the fuel stored aboard.

RECKONING

The record of courses steered and distances traveled since the time a ship's position was last fixed by shore or astronomical observations.

RHUMB LINE

A straight line compass course between two points. A line on the earth's surface which intersects all meridians at the same angle.

RIDING LIGHT

An all around white light displayed at night by a ship when she is anchored.

RIGGING

The wire rope, rods, lines, hardware, and other equipment that support and control the spars and sails; standing rigging is semi-permanent once set up; running rigging is continually adjusted as the sails are hoisted, doused, trimmed, or reefed.

RIGHT OF WAY

The right to maintain a course according to the Rules of Navigation. When two boats are on intersecting courses, one is the "stand:on" vessel (has "right of way" and must hold its course steady) so the other "give:way" vessel may steer clear.

RODE

The anchor line and/or chain.

ROPE

In general, cordage as it is purchased at the store. When it comes aboard a vessel and is put to use it becomes line.

RUB RAIL

Also rubbing strake or rub strake. An applied or thickened member at the rail, running the length of the boat; serves to protect the hull when alongside a pier or another boat.

RUDDER

A vertical plate or board for steering a boat.

RULES OF THE ROAD

The rules concerning which vessel has the right of way if there is a possibility of collision between two or more boats; written to prevent accidents and collisions; includes right of way, lights, pennants, and whistle signals.

RUN

To allow a line to feed freely.

RUNNING LIGHTS

Lights required to be shown on boats underway between sundown and sunup, and during periods of reduced visibility.


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

 

Advertisement