When sailing or cruising there is certain lingo that we all use in order to run a tight ship. Here are some that we have “decoded” for those young and old headed out to the big blue.
When sailing, “about” means: on the opposite tack. When cruising, the term is used like so: “How ‘about’ another beer?
We understand that these terms can be confusing at first, so we have decoded a few others to get your crew ready for the high seas.
|Term||Nautical Usage||Cruiser Usage|
|Aft||At or near the stern.||“Do I ‘aft’ to do the dishes?”|
|Jib||A triangular headsail set on a stay forward of the foremast.||“What’s my ‘jib’ today, capt’n’?”|
|Winch||A mechanical device, consisting usually of a metal drum turned by a handle, around which a line is wound to give the crew more “help” when tightening a line.||“What does that ole’ ‘winch’ want with my wallet?!”|
|Headway||Moving forward.||-“What’s a ‘headway’?”-“Oh about 8 lbs.”|
|In Irons||To head into the wind and refuse to fall off.||“I got too much salt water ‘in-me-irons!'”|
|Tack||The lower forward corner of the sail, where the luff and the foot meet; also the diagonal made with the wind by a sailboat when||“We’ve got everything we need, I thinking we’re right on ‘tack’ to set sail.”|
|Beat||Sailing against the wind by tacking (sailing a zigzag course towards the wind).||“Who do I have to ‘beat’ around here for a drink?!”|
|Ashore||On land, opposite of on boat.||“Make ‘ashore’ all the haches are close!”|
|Hank||Fitting used to attach the luff of a sail to a stay.||“‘Hank’ you for helping me tie up to the dock!”|
|Dinghy||A small boat used to ferry people to a yacht; also used for sailing or rowing; also called a tender.||“Don’t be such a ‘dingy’, Cruising Outpost is the best sailing magazine around!” (Wink wink)|
|Falling off||Turn away from the direction of the wind.||“Make sure to tighten that bikini to keep if from ‘falling off’!”|
|Guy||Adjustable steadying rope of a boat’s rig.||“Well, would you look at that ‘guy’ and his fancy powerboat?”|
|Course||The direction in which a vessel is steered, usually given in degrees.||“Of ‘course’ we should stay here another night!”|
|Beating to Windward||To sail to windward close-hauled, tacking as you go, to reach an objective to windward.||“‘Windward’ there, will you let me know?!”|
|Cutter||Single-masted fore-and-aft boat having an inner staysail and outer jib.||“Make sure we dont ‘cutter’ loose too soon!”|
|Moor||To hold the ship in place with lines at a berth.||“What ‘moor’ can you ask for, then sunshine and wind in your face?!”|
|Port||The left-hand side of a boat, looking forward towards the bow (opposite of starboard).||-“Let’s make ‘port’ here, when we’re done, I’ll have a glass of our best ‘port’!”-“Capt’n’, we only have Boone’s Farm..”-“That’ll do.”|
|Tell-tales||Small lengths of wood sewn through a sail near the luff and leech to allow the air flow over the sail to be checked.||“You know they ‘tell-tales’ in these parts of Davey Jones and his locker… “|
|Step||A recess into which the fell of the mast is placed.||“Watch your ‘step’, the winds have picked up!”|
Know others? Comment below and we will add them in!- Know a better one than the one we came up with- you got it, comment below or email me at Tabitha@cruisingoutpost.com