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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A hull with the bottom section in the shape of a "V".


Forward berth of the boat, located in the bow


A line drawn to indicate both the direction and magnitude of a force, such as leeway or a current.


Air introduced into a spinning propeller from the water's surface.


A device for furnishing fresh air to compartments below deck or exhausting foul air. Construction designed to lead air below decks. May have a cowl, which can be angled into or away from the wind; and may be constructed with baffles, so that water is not allowed below, as in a Dorade ventilator.


The distance between the water level at chart datum and an overhead obstacle such as a bridge or power line.


An electronic communications or direction finding system which uses Very High Frequency radio waves. VHF radios are the most common communications radio carried on boats, but their range is usually limited to line of sight between the transmitting and receiving stations.


The shape of a boat or ship in which the contours of the hull come in a straight line to the keel.


A fix taken by visually observing the location of known landmarks.

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