Lesson 1: Parts of the Boat
Lesson 2: Points of Sail 1
Lesson 3: Points of Sail 2
Lesson 4: Practicing
Lesson 5: Docking
Lesson 6: Rules of the Road
Lesson 7: Weather
Lesson 8: Racing
Lesson 9: Cruising
Lesson 10: Sailing Terms
Basic Knots
Home >  MUM Home >  Why Study Here? >  Web Topics >  Learn to Sail >  Lesson 10: Sailing Terms > 
Learn to Sail — Sailing Terms and Definitions    
 General Terms
 Aft Toward the stern, or back, of the boat 
 Apparent wind The result of wind direction modified by the boat's forward movement
 Crew The person (or people) who assists the helmsman by trimming the sails
 Ease Let out, as in "ease the sheets or sails"
 Forward Toward the front of the boat
 Helmsman The person who steers the boat
 Knot A measure of wind or boat speed: one nautical mile (6060.2 feet) per hour
 Leeward The side of the boat that the boom is on. Also, away from the wind or down-wind
 One-design Any boat built to conform to rules so that it is identical to all others in the same racing class
 Port side The left side of the boat when you're facing forward
 Port tack When the wind blows over the port side of the boat and the boom is on the starboard side
 To port To the left
 Starboard side The right side of the boat when you're facing forward
 Starboard tack When the wind blows over the starboard side of the boat and and the boom is on the port side
 To starboard To the right
 Trim Pull in, as in "trim the sails"
 True wind The wind strength or direction felt when the boat is stationary
 Windward The side of the boat opposite the side the boom is on; also, toward the wind or upwind (a "windward" boat is toward the wind from the "leeward" boat) 
 When You’re Sailing
 Beam reach The point of sail at which the boat is sailing at a 90-degree angle to the wind
 Bear off To alter the boat's course away from the wind
 Broad reach The point of sail at which the boat is sailing away from the wind but not straight downwind
 Close-hauled (or  beating) The point of sail at which the boat is sailing as close to the wind as possible
 Close reach The point of sail at which the boat is sailing toward the wind but not close-hauled
 Course The direction you are sailing according to compass or wind angle
 Draft The vertical distance, or depth, measured from the waterline to the lowest point of the boat
 Gybing Turning the stern of the boat through the wind with the sails changing the side they fill on
 Head-to-wind The point at which the boat is aimed straight into the wind with the sails luffing; when you pass through head-to-wind, you are tacking
 Head up To alter course toward the wind
 Heel The angle at which a boat leans over when sailing
 Helm  A boat's streering apparatus; also a measure of balance between hull and sails indicated by steering effort
 In "irons" Stuck head-to-wind with sails luffing and no steerage
 In the lee To leeward of a wind-blocking object, as "in the lee" of the island (for a protected anchorage)
 Leave it to port To pass an object on your left side
 Leave it to  starboard To pass an object on your right side
 Luffing Sails flogging in the wind
 Run The point of sail at which the wind is directly behind the boat
 Tacking Turning the bow of the boat through the wind with the sails changing the side they fill on
 Sails
 Genoa A large jib that overlaps the mainsail
 Jib The forward sail attached to the forestay
 Mainsail The primary sail attached to the mast and boom; the "main"
 Spinnaker A large, light sail used for sailing downwind
 Sail Controls
 Boomvang Connects the boom and mast and controls the main's leech tension by preventing or permitting the boom to rise
 Cunningham Attaches just above the tack of the main and helps control the main's luff tension
 Downhaul Attaches to the boom by the mast and tightens the luff by pulling the boom down
 Halyard A line or wire used to raise or lower sails by connecting to the head of the sail
 Leads Blocks or other fittings that control the angle of a trimmed sheet
 Outhaul Attaches to the clew of the main and adjusts the main's foot tension
 Sheet A line used to trim or ease sails
 
 
 
search login