Expert sailors always know the right sailing terms and they have the right tools on board. These days, newbie sailing enthusiasts are luckier since they can just Google for the terms and get boat supplies online. These essential terms and toolkit items are crucial even though you and your buddies are just sailing for an hour.
For newbie sailing enthusiasts, sailboat terms and jargons can be intimidating. But as a newbie, you don’t really have to memorize them all just to survive your first sailing experience. Here are some of the terms you need to familiarise before your first sailing experience:
Bow – The front part of the ship. Remember this term as you learn about other common sailing terms.
Aft – Also known as Stern, it can be found at the sailboat’s rear part.
Port – The left part when you are facing the bow.
Starboard – Always known as the bow’s right part.
Leeward – May also be called as “Lee.” It’s known as the opposite direction of where the wind is currently blowing.
Windward – The direction where the wind is blowing. Obviously, it’s the opposite of leeward. You have to remember this term as sailboats usually move with the wind.
Tack – The opposite of jibing, this basic sailing maneuver refers to turning the bow of the boat through the wind so that the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other side. The boom of a boat will always shift from one side to the other when performing a tack or a jibe.
Jibe – A maneuver technique that describes the turning of the boat’ stern with the help of the wind so that it changes from the boat’s one side to the other side.
Boom – The horizontal pole that extends from the mast’s bottom. When you adjust the boom towards the windward, the sailboat is now able to get the wind power to move in any direction.
Rudder – It’s a flat piece of wood or metal that’s utilized to steer a sailboat. Bigger sailboats control the rudder through a wheel, while smaller ones have a direct steering mechanism.
Toolkit items correspond to the boat size. Some boat supplies online usually indicate the type of boat that a toolkit usually suits the best. For instance, a keelboat needs items such as lines, hooks, and fenders that can be found on specific boat supplies online. A keelboat is a yacht with a permanent keel instead of a centerboard; they are perfect for high-performance sports. A keel is a fin-like structural element that protrudes below the central line of a boat.