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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ABAFT

Toward the rear of the boat. Behind.

ABEAM

At right angles to the keel of the boat, but not on the boat.

ABOARD

On or within the boat.

ABOVE DECK

On the deck.

ABREAST

Side by side; by the side of.

ADRIFT

Loose, not on moorings or towline.

AFT

Toward the rear of the boat.

AGROUND

Touching or fast to the bottom.

AHEAD

In a forward direction.

AIDS TO NAVIGATION

Markers on land or sea which are located to enable navigators to avoid danger and fix their position.

ALEE

Away from the direction of the wind. Opposite of windward.

ALOFT

Above the deck of the boat.

AMIDSHIPS

In or toward the center of the boat.

ANCHOR LINE

A line used to hold a vessel fast to the anchor.

ANCHORAGE

A suitable place for anchoring in relation to the wind, seas and bottom.

ASTERN

Towards the back of the boat, opposite of ahead.

ATHWARTSHIPS

At right angles to the centerline of the boat.

AWEIGH

Off the bottom of an anchor.

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