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Nautical phrases – yachtspeak – for charter guests

NAUTICAL TERMINOLOGY

Taking a vacation by automobile doesn’t require any particular vocabulary skills.  However, when you go on a private yacht charter, it is sometimes nice to know some of the terminology used when onboard.

SAMPLE NAUTICAL TERMS

  • BOW – The forward part of a boat
  • STERN – The back of the boat
  • BEAM – The greatest width of the boat
  • BUOY – An anchored float used for marking a position on the water or a hazard or a shoal and for mooring
  • CABIN (or “stateroom”) – A compartment (bedroom) for passengers or crew
  • CATAMARAN – A twin-hulled boat, sometimes referred to as a multihull, with hulls side-by-side.  Can be sail or power, but is usually sail
  • CHART – A map for use by navigators
  • HELM (or “Navigation Station”) – The area from where the Captain steers the boat
  • CLEAT – A fitting to which lines are tied.  They are usually in somewhat of a “figure 8 shape.” Cleats are located on the dock and on the boat. (They are often tripped over, if you don’t watch your step!)
  • COCKPIT – An opening in the deck from which the boat is handled. (Visualize a large sailboat – the “steering wheel” of the boat is located in the cockpit)
  • DINGHY (also known as a “tender”) – A small open boat
  • “T/T BOATNAME” – Means “Tender To…[boatname].”   NOTE: Most yachts only have 1 tender.  Those with more than 1 tender (aka, dinghy) often have “TTT’s….or tenders for/to their tenders”
  • FENDER (also known as a “bumper”) – A cushion, placed between boats, or between a boat and a pier, to prevent damage

nautical terms - photograph of fenders, protection, hanging on the side of yachts that protects the boats from hitting against each other

 

 

  • GALLEY – The kitchen of a boat
  • SAILBOAT – A boat powered by wind through sails (with ancillary engine)
  • POWERBOAT – A boat powered by engine and fuel
  • STINKPOTTER – A powerboat enthusiast
  • HEAD – A marine toilet/bathroom
  • DAY HEAD – The bathroom that is used by all guests, usually in main area of the boat and not located within a stateroom
  • INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – Also known as “The ICW.”  Bays, rivers, and canals along the coasts (such as the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts), connected so that vessels may travel without going into the sea.  Evening charters in Florida often cruise along the ICW to see the holiday lights of the condos lining the waterway, for example
  • KNOT (relating to speed) – A measure of speed equal to one nautical mile (6076 feet) per hour
  • LOG – A record of courses or operation, kept by the captain/crew. (Charter guests often fill out an entry in a “guestbook” or “logbook” after a charter, as well, to describe their trip)
  • PLANING (“on a plane”) – As a boat evens out above the water when it is moving/underway, as opposed to still being partially underneath the water, as in before it starts moving
  • PORT – The left side of a boat looking forward. (Also refers to a docking location)
  • STARBOARD – The right side of a boat, looking forward
  • SCREW – A boat’s propeller.  (A “twin screw” is a boat with 2 propellers.)
  • UNDERWAY – Vessel in motion (also known as “running”)
  • WAKE – Moving waves, track, or path that a boat leaves behind it, when moving across the water
  • YACHT – A boat used for pleasure

These are just a few of the many nautical phrases used by yachties.

PRACTICE NAUTICAL PHRASES WITH US

To book your private luxury yacht charter vacation (and practice your “yachtspeak”), contact 1-800-YACHTCHARTERS by phone via 1-800-YACHTCHARTERS or 305-253-7245, by email via info@1800yachtcharters.com, via twitter @yacht_charters (follow us!), or finally, contact us via our online form at https://www.1800yachtcharters.com/book-now-contact-us/

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