A narrow body of water.
National Weather Service, NWS
The federal government agency that predicts and reports weather. A division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which broadcasts forecasts over its radio system, publishes charts, and provides other services to mariners.
Pertaining to ships, boats, navigation, and sailors. A nautical mile is 1.15 statute miles. See knot.
An annual publication that includes data necessary or helpful for navigation.
A designer of ships and boats.
Describes areas of water where boats can be taken without running aground.
To conduct a boat from one port to another, but more specifically to find the boat's position and determine courses. In celestial navigation, the boat's location is found by taking visual sights on the planets with a sextant and then calculating the results using data found in the Nautical Almanac, sight reduction tables, and other publications, or in computer software. Electronic navigation uses electronic position-finding devices such as GPS. Coastal navigation (coastal piloting, coastal pilotage) is navigation near shore using dead reckoning and bearings on buoys and landmarks. Dead reckoning (D.R.) is navigating mainly by tracking the boat's speed and course. (Tradition has it that dead here is a mistaken spelling of "ded", or "deduced", but more likely the spelling is correct and the phrase means "exact reckoning".) Barking dog navigation is navigating by sound in poor visibility, for example the echo of a dog that is on board or ashore.
See aid to navigation.
Navigating Lights, Running Lights
Lights required by the Navigation Rules to be shown at night and in periods of poor visibility to identify a vessel and her course and to warn off other vessels. Each light has a unique purpose. The most important ones are:
Running lights, used only when the boat is under way, include a white stern light shining aft, red and green side lights shining to port and starboard, and a white bow light (steaming light) shining forward to indicate that the boat is under power; smaller boats may show only a 360-degree white all-around light. A tricolor light (masthead tricolor) at the top of a sailboat's mast combines the stern light and side lights.
A riding light is a white all-around light indicating that a boat is anchored at night.
There also are specified lights and light combinations for tugboats, fishing boats, and other vessels, as well as for many situations. These lights are located on masts, the bow, the stern, and elsewhere.
Navigational Telex, Navtex
An electronic system providing weather, navigation, and safety information in a printout.
Navigation Rules, rules of the road
The rules prescribing how boats should maneuver near each other, the sound signals they must make, and the lights they must show in order to avoid collision. There are two sets of official rules with a few differences. The Inland Navigational Rules govern on U.S. lakes, rivers, and coastal waters. The International Regulations for Preventing Collions at Sea (COLREGS, international rules of the road) govern outer coastal waters and the oceans. See "gross tonnage rule", sound signal and navigation lights, running lights.
The crewmember assigned to keep track of the boat's position, determine courses, and monitor other aspects of navigation. A navigator's (nav) light is the light used to view charts. The navigator's station (nav station) is the chart table and surrounding area where the navigator does her or his work.
needle and palm
See palm and needle.
To squeeze a metal sleeve (nicopress sleeve) onto a wire in order to make a loop. Compare with swage.
The wind's eye and several degrees to either side of it. If a sailboat is steered here, her sails luff and she makes no headway.
nonskid, nonslip, anti-skid
Describes a surface treated so it provides good traction.
NOOD, National Offshore One-Design regatta
A regatta held for racing sailboats.
A storm in which the wind blows hard from the northeast. Most nor'easters are wet, meaning that there is rain, but there are some dry nor'easters.
Notice to Mariners
A periodic government publication that describes hazards, changes in buoys, and other news of interest to mariners.
Registration numbers required by state laws to be displayed on the bow.
Stretchy, strong fiber used usually in spinnakers and anchor rodes.