An enclosed area in a boat that can be shut off from the elements. A cabin cruiser (sedan cruiser) is a power cruiser with a comfortable cabin large enough to live, eat, and sleep in. A cuddy cabin (cuddy) is the smallest cabin, with barely enough space for people to sit.
1) A heavy rope or chain. 2) Two hundred yards, or 1/10 nautical mile.
To watch and report on a development, for example the trim of a sail or the location of a nearby boat.
No wind and no waves. A dead calm or flat calm is the most extreme calm.
A sail's draft or relative fullness.
can, can buoy
See buoy, buoyage.
Canadian Boating Federation
The organization governing powerboat racing in Canada.
Canadian Yachting Association, CYA
The organization governing sailboat racing in Canada.
See life raft.
canoe body, underbody
The area of the hull that lies below the water.
To swing from side to side. A canting keel or canting rudder swings so it is vertical as the boat heels.
Sails. Cruising canvas consists of relatively small sails generally used when cruising. Racing canvas consists of a boat's racing sails, which are larger than cruising sails.
A label showing a boat's maximum allowable load in pounds. It is required by law to be installed in small boats.
When any object turns over. When a sailboat capsizes all the way, turning upside down, she turns turtle. The capsize screening test is a mathematical formula that estimates a boat's likelihood of capsizing and remaining upside down.
The person legally in charge of a vessel.
Captiva Stainless Steel Windshield
Offers boatbuilders a cost-effective alternative to full stainless steel windshields.
An adjustable slide, fairlead, or block that runs on a track or traveler.
cardinal buoyage system
To intentionally heel a vessel far to one side in order to get her off a shallow spot or to work on her bottom.
Structural supports for the deck around a hatch or other opening.
carry way, carry her (the boat's) way
To keep moving on momentum after the sails are doused or luffed or the engine is taken out of gear.
To transport a boat on an automobile's roof.
To free a line, often in the text of changing tacks, leaving a dock or mooring, or some other maneuver. Compare with ease, let fly, loose, lose, let go, let out, pay out.
A boat with two distinct hulls. Compare with cathedral hull, tri-maran, tunnel hull.
A traditional, beamy centerboard sailboat with a cat rig.
A sag in a rope or line. See anchor.
A hull type in which two low tunnels extend from the wide bow aft several feet, but not as far as the stern. These tunnels form three hulls, the ouside of which are called sponsons. At the bow the tunnels and sponsons form arches. The spnsons are not as distinct as the hulls in a true catamaran or trimaran, and they do not extend all the way aft, as they do in a tunnel-hulled boat. Compare with catamaran, trimaran, tunnel hull.
cat rig, una rig, unirig
A sailboat rig with only a mainsail. See rig.
To fill seams.
A partial vacuum at a propeller caused by disturbed water. It makes the propeller less effective. An anticavitation plate on an outboard motor protects the propeller from cavitation.
The locus of forces. The center of buoyancy is the locus of a boat's buoyant upward forces, the center of gravity of her weighty downward forces. The center of lateral resistance is the balance point on her underbody, the center of effort of her sail plan.
A fin that drops and retracts through the boat's bottom. It provides resistance against side forces. Because the centerboard can be raised, the boat may venture into shallow water. Most centerboards pivot on centerboard pins. Others (daggerboards) retract vertically. Centerboards have only enough ballast to hold them down. Centerboards are inside centerboard trunks. A centerboarder is a boat with a centerboard. A keel-centerboarder has a keel and a centerboard. Compare with keel, leeboard.
An open powerboat whose steering station is at a console in the cockpit, leaving plenty of space for the crew to move around. Compare with walkaround.
The imaginary straight line that runs fore and aft along the exact center of a boat.
A license for operating a commercial vessel. One is the "six-pack" certificate for operating boats with six or fewer paying passengers, officially the Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel license. Compare with operator's license.
Metal links often found in the anchor rode. The chain locker is a storage area for the anchor rode. A chain hook is a metal claw that grabs and secures a chain anchor rode.
Sturdy metal straps connecting stays to the hull.
To set a smaller sail.
1) A radio frequency. 2) An area of navigable water, often marked by aids to navigation. A channel marker is a buoy or other aid to navigation indicating the safe channel. A shipping channel (shipping lane) is an especially deep channel specified for commercial vessels. It may have a traffic separation scheme.
chantey, sea chantey
Pronounced "shanty". A song sung by professional seamen to pace their work. The chanteyman traditionally led the songs.
Chapman's, Chapman Piloting
Piloting, Seamanship, and Small Boat Handling, and instructional boating book first written in 1922 by Charles F. Chapman.
See traditional boat.
Charley Noble, Charlie Noble
The chimney of a galley stove with a hood to keep out water. According to tradition, it is named for a certain Captain Charles Noble, who had an unusually passion for keeping his ship's chimneys polished.
A nautical map. Also, to note positions and other navigational information on a chart. A charting system is a computerized storage and display instrument for charts. The chart scale is the actual distance represented by a distance on the chart. Large-scale charts (for example, with a scale of 1 inch: 50,000 inches) cover small areas in great detail, while small-scale charts (1: 1,000,000 or greater) cover large areas in limited detail. The chart projection is the way the globe is represented on flat paper so objects are correctly displayed relative to each other. Since there always will be some distortion, different projections (including Mercator and gnomic) are used, depending on the geographical area and the chart's scale. The chart table is a table on which the navigator works on charts. A Chart Kit is a trademarked booklet of charts for a region.
To rent a boat, or a boat that is rented. On a bareboat charter there is no paid crew, while on a crewed charter there is one.
A spinnaker staysail.
The meeting point of a boat's bottom and side. A hard chine has a sharp angle. A spray chine near a powerboat's bow deflects spray. A double chine is a complex combination of different-shaped chines. When a powerboat does a chine walk, she rolls from side to side.
A guide for the anchor rode, docking lines, and other lines. A closed chock has a latch to keep the line from jumping out, an open chock may have small prongs (ears) that retain the line but allow it to be lifted out.
Low, blunt waves. A short chop (short seas) is steep. A cross chop (seaway, slop) has waves from different directions, producing a confused pattern.
An imaginary line drawn across a sail from luff to leech. The distance from the line to the sail (chord depth) indicates the sail's fullness (draft, camber).
A thick fish soup.
An extremely accurate timepiece.
Slang for spinnaker. Derived from "parachute".
Cigarette boat, Cigarette
Brand name of an especially low, narrow, fast express cruiser powerboat. Sometimes used as a generic term for such boats.
circle of position, COP
See distance off and position.
To go around something. A circumnavigation usually is a voyage around the world.
clap on sail
Set more sail.
A group of racing boats governed by the same rules. In one-design classes all dimensions are the same. In restricted classes many dimensions vary within set limits. In open classes most or all dimensions are unrestricted.
A term for objects that are old, of high quality, and much admired. Boats or designs that are called classic yachts usually are wooden boats with traditional lines, built before about 1960. Among them are boats built by the Herreshoff, Trumpy, Nevins, and Chris-Craft boatyards, and many boats designed by Alden, Sparkman & Stephens, and Rhodes. See traditional boat.
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Free of restrictions. Clear air is wind not affected by other boats or obstructions. When one boat is clear ahead (clear astern) of another, they are not overlapped.
To secure a line on one of several types of cleat. The line is wrapped several times around a horn cleat, wrapped once around a jam cleat, laid between the movable sharp jaws of a cam cleat, or dropped into the grooved channel of a clam cleat.
A metal rod that closes a shackle or the jaws of a turnbuckle or other fitting. Some clevis pins are held closed by cotter pins or rings, others by threading (screw pin), others by retractable balls (fast pin, quick-release pin).
The after lower corner of a jib, mainsail, or mizzen and one of the two lower corners of a spinnaker.
An instrument that shows the angle of heel.
A bow whole profile sweeps up and forward dramatically.
Near. To close the lighthouse is to approach it. To be close aboard or in close (tight) quarters is to be very near other objects. Close-quarters maneuvering is handling the boat in these situations.
close-hauled, beating, on the wind
The point of sail on which the boat sails as close to the wind as possible, with sails trimmed tight.
Able to sail especially close to the wind.
1) A boom. A club-footed jib is a jib with a boom. 2) A boat or yacht club. Club racing is racing only among the club's fleet, with no outsiders.
CMG, course made good
See made good.
Computer Numeric Controlled state-of-the-art equipment used at Taylor Made Systems Ohio glass plant for hole drilling and edge grinding.
A low wall around a cockpit or other deck opening.
coast, coastline, coastal
The shore of the land fronting water. Coastal (inshore) refers to the coast and the water adjacent to it; the opposite of offshore. Coastal waters include salt water near shore. Coastal (inshore) boating takes place for a short duration within sight of shore. Coastal navigation, see navigate. Coastal passagemaking, see passage.
Coast Guide, United States Coast Guard, USCG
A military branch, part of the Department of Transportation, that supervises federal boating areas and enforces boating regulations. Its volunteer arm, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGA), provides courtesy inspections of boats and teaches boating skills in its many flotillas.
A U.S. government publication providing detailed descriptions of boating areas and harbors.
Paint or varnish.
In navigation, the area in which three or more bearings cross.
A recessed area in the deck for the crew. See Fastback Enclosure.
COG, course over the ground
See made good.
To arrange a line in neat, regular loops; they make up a coil.
Wooden boat construction in which the wood is encapsulated in resin.
collision course, collision situation
When a boat is steered toward another boat with a likelihood of colliding, she is on a collision course. Both boats then are in a collion situation, and one or both must alter course to avoid collision.
1) The yacht ensign or national flag. To make colors is to hoist the ensign, to strike colors is to lower it. 2) The time of day when the ensign is raised or lowered.
See Navigation Rules.
come about, go about
See head up.
To prepare a boat for the season. A boat in commission is prepared, launched, and ready for use.
A boat used by officials supervising a race.
A yacht club's highest officer. The next highest is the vice commodore, followed by the rear commodore. Because each is assigned a distinctive flag they are called flag officers. The term comes from an historic navy rank just below admiral.
The passageway from the deck or cockpit through a hatch and down steps to the cabin. It may be sealed off by washboards.
A device indicating directions and bearings in compass degrees, of which there are 360, from north through east to south and through west back to north. Degrees are displayed on the compass card, as are the cardinal compass points (north, east, south, and west). Some compasses also display the intercardinal compass points (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest). To box the compass is to name the compass points. There are several types of compass:
A gyrocompass shows true degrees, which are oriented to the earth's true north.
The more common magnetic compass is oriented to the earth's magnetic field and shows magnetic directions, which usually lie to the side of the corresponding true directions. That difference is called variation. The remainder of this discussion concerns magnetic compasses.
A fluxgate compass is an unusually accurate electronic magnetic compass that can be connected to navigation instruments.
A steering compass is used for steering, a bearing compass for taking bearings. A hand-bearing compass is a handheld compass for taking bearings. A telltale compass is a compass located below, where other members of the crew can keep track of courses steered.
The compass course is the course steered by the compass (using the compass as a guide). It differs from the course made good (CMG)--the course relative to geography--takes all factors into account, and is displayed by GPS or Loran-C navigation instruments. A compass bearing is the direction to an object as read on the compass. To take (cut) a compass bearing is to take a bearing.
Compass error is an inaccuracy in a compass due to maladjustment or to compass deviation, the effect of metal objects on board. Error can be removed or compensated. A compass adjuster is a technician who corrects or compensates compass error. A compass magnet is a small magnet that may be placed near the compass to correct compass error.
Navigation devices that refer to compass courses and bearings mimic the compass. The compass rose on a chart usually shows both true and magnetic directions. A compass protractor is a navigational plotter with a compass rose that orients it to the chart. See lubber's line and made good.
Construction of a sail, hull, or other object using different materials, which usually are glued together.
A structure in a powerboat, supporting the steering wheel, instruments, and engine controls. A center console is in the middle of the cockpit. A split console is divided by a passageway.
Taylor Made® Systems tempered, shaped-glass center console windshield provides superior performance and value versus conventional Plexiglas® material.
A powerboat that has fishing gear and comfortable accommodations. She is easily converted from a fishing boat to a cruiser.
In boat construction, a light material (usually balsa wood or foam) sandwiched between two layers of fiberglass to stiffen the structure without adding too much weight.
See first, handicap, rating rule.
Taylor Made designed for express sport boats having brite annealed and buffed stainless frames for a marine grade finish.
cotter pin, cotter ring, cotter, cotter key
A short wire inserted in an object to secure it, for example in the barrel of a turnbuckle to keep it from rotating and in a clevis pin to hold it in place. A straight cotter pin (cotter key, split pin) is like a hairpin and has two legs that are spread to hold it in place. A cotter ring is circular.
The underside of the after overhang (the area of the hull that lies above the water, near the stern). In a counter stern the counter extends some distance before it is cut off by the transom.
1) The direction in which the boat is steered. To alter course is to change direction. To hold course is to steer the same direction. To steer off course is to not steer the desired course. To steer on course is to steer the desired course. The proper course is the course that keeps the boat out of danger and provides the most direct route to the destination. 2) The sequence of marks in a race.
course made good, CMG, course over the bottom (ground), COG
See made good.
The flag of the host nation, flown in the starboard rigging of a visiting vessel.
A small harbor.
1) A fabric placed over the hull or gear (boat cover, cockpit cover, brightwork cover, winch cover) or around a sail (sail cover) when it is not in use, to protect against water, dirt, and ultraviolet rays. 2) In sailboat racing, to sail between another boat and the wind to slow her down or keep her from passing. See blanket and slam dunk.
A decorative stripe running fore and aft on the topside just below the rail.
An air scoop in a ventilator.
CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation
The technique for manually sustaining breathing and heartbeat in medical emergencies.
Pronounced "secure". A plow anchor.
A support for a hull out of the water.
A generic term for boats as a group, for example power-craft. A final "s" is never added; there are no "crafts". The right usage is illustrated by this example: "All craft (not "the crafts") appearing in our Fourth of July nautical parade are advised to fly colorful flags." See small-craft advisory.
A strut high on a mast that supports a halyard block or stay.
To turn. To crank a winch is to turn the winch handle. A boat cranked down is heeled far over.
Difficult to steer, unstable.
Permanent stretch in sailcloth or other fabric.
The top of a wave.
Generally, each person in a boat as well as the group as a totality, but often refers to everybody except the skipper or captain. A person can be a crew or a crewmember.
crew overboard, COB, man overboard, MOB
A crewmember who has fallen into the water. Crew overboard gear is the emergency equipment used in a crew overboard rescue.
An eye in the edge of a sail, used to secure it to a line or shackle.
To go in front of another boat.
Describes a sail that has horizontal seams. Compare with radial cut.
The British word for spreader.
crowd on sail
To carry as much sail as possible.
1) Upward curvature in a deck. 2) See anchor.
A period of time longer than two days spent sailing between ports and living in a nonracing boat. Compare with weekend.
cruiser, cruising boat
A boat with living accommodations in which comfort, seaworthiness, and good stability are more important than speed. Among sailboats, a cruising boat or long-distance cruiser has moderate to heavy displacement and substantial, comfortable accommodations, and a cruiser-racer is comfortable enough for cruising and fast enough for racing. Among powerboats longer than 25 feet, a trawler is boxy and heavy, a sedan (convertible) cruiser is lighter and able to plane, and an express cruiser (sunbridge) is especially fast and racy looking, without a cabin projecting above the rail.
A detailed guide to anchorages, channels, shore facilities, and other items of interest to boaters.
The distance a boat can cover under power without refueling.
The speed under power at which the engine is most efficient.
A sail control line leading through a cringle, or hole, in the lower part of the sail's luff. Thought to have been invented by Briggs Cunningham.
See America's Cup.
The horizontal motion of water. A tidal current is caused by the tide, a wind-driven current by the wind. A seiche is a lake current. See tide.
Besides the familiar meaning, enclosures around a powerboat's steering area that protect the steerer from the weather.
custom boat, custom design, one-off
A boat or design produced uniquely for its owner. Compare with stock boat. A semicustom boat is a stock boat with extensive custom features.
Refers to the number of strokes that an engine makes. Two-cycle engines include many outboard engines. Inboard engines are four-cycle.
1) A hurricane or other very intense storm, usually in tropical regions. 2) A low-pressure system. An anticyclone is a high-pressure system. 3) Cyclonic winds rotate counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.