With the sails trimmed on the windward side, or backed. A boat is caught aback when the wind suddently shifts and the sails are trimmed to the windward side.
Behind, toward the stern. Abaft the beam is the area between abeam and astern. Compare with aft.
To leave a sinking, burning, or otherwise fatally distressed vessel. An abandon ship bag (ditch bag, grab bag) is a container of emergency and survival gear prepared by the crew to take with them if they must abandon ship.
abeam, on the beam
Directly alongside at right angles to the boat.
An able boat (able vessel) is especially seaworthy. A boats ability in a particular situation is an evaluation of her speed, comfort, and seaworthiness. Rough-water ability, for example, is how she handles waves. Related expressions include heavy-weather ability, windward (upwind) ability, light-air ability.
aboard, on board
In or on a boat. An object that is close aboard is very nearby. To go aboard a boat is to go on or in her.
Set at an angle. Describes the anchor as it lies on the rail or is hung over the bow, ready to be dropped.
Describes a boat drifting out of control, and loose, unsecured equipment.
See weather alert.
The study of air flow around objects. Compare with hydrodynamics.
At or toward the stern, or behind. An aft (after) cabin is a cabin at or near the stern, the afterbody the hull near the stern, the afterdeck the deck near the stern, the spinnaker afterguy a control on a spinnaker pole that leads aft (in contrast to the foreguy, which leads to the foredeck near the bow). Compare with abaft, ahead, fore.
The boats captain, navigator, and other officers. In sailing ships the officers historically worked aft near the steering wheel and slept in after cabins, which are more comfortable than cabins near the bow.
Stuck on the waters bottom. To run aground is to become stuck.
In front of or forward of the bow. A boat clear ahead is completely ahead.
aid to navigation, navigation aid
A buoy, daybeacon, lighthouse, range, or other charted object in or near the weather that identifies channels and helps a crew navigate safely.
An airtight, watertight compartment that provides buoyancy to keep the boat afloat in case she takes on water.
Away from the wind, to leeward. Hard alee, see hard.
The entire crew.
Above the deck, in the rig.
Near shore, coastal.
To change the direction in which the boat is steered.
American Boat and Yacht Council, ABYC
An organization that recommends standards and practices in boat and boat gear construction.
American Power Boat Association, APBA
A governing body of powerboat racing in the United States.
American Bureau of Shipping, ABS
An organization that supervises scantlings for marine construction.
American Outboard Federation, AOF
A governing body for racing by boats powered by outboard engines.
Americas Cup, the Auld Mug, the Cup
A trophy for sailboat racing donated by the New York Yacht Club in 1857 upon the condition that it shall be preserved as a perpetual challenge cup for friendly competition between foreign countries. The oldest international sporting trophy in continuous compeition, it is sailed approximately every four years in response to foreign challenges to the last winner. It has been held by yacht clubs in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
Toward the center of the boat. Midships section, see lines.
See Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System.
A metal device that is lowered from the boat on rope or chain (anchor rode) and that digs into or lies on the waters bottom and so holds the boat. To set the anchor is to help it dig in by pulling hard on the rode. When the anchor drags, it springs loose from the bottom, leaving the boat adrift. All anchors have flukes (points that dig into the bottom or grab rocks) and a shank (a vertical bar). Many also have a stock (a horizontal bar that prevents rolling over) and a crown (where the stock, flukes, and/or shank meet). Anchor types include those listed below.
Anchor, Hook (cont'd)
Burying-type anchors hold by digging their flukes into the bottom. Among them are the lightweight (fluke) anchor (including the Fortress and Danforth, both of which have stocks) and the heavier stockless plow anchor (CQR), Bruce anchor, and mushroom anchor.
Another type is the kedge (stock, nonburying) anchor. The best example is the large, heavy, cross-shaped fishermans anchor (yachtsmans anchor), which holds the boat with its weight and by snagging rocks.
A third type is the lunch hook anchor, a small, light anchor used temporarily; one kind is the grapnel anchor (grapnel hook).
A storm anchor is an unusually heavy anchor of either the burying or kedge family, reserved for use in strong winds.
The helix anchor is a steel shaft screwed into the bottom for use usually with moorings.
A sea anchor does not hook the boat to the bottom, but rather provides drag against drift. See sea anchor.
The anchor and rode have associated equipment: The anchor light (riding light) is illuminated when the boat is anchored at night outside a special anchorage; see anchorage. The anchors rode sometimes leads over an anchor (stem) roller. An anchor sentinel (weighted dolly, kellet) is a weight slid partway down the anchor rode in order to increase the anchors catenary, or sag, which improves the anchors holding power. The anchor well is a locker recessed in the deck for stowing the anchor.
An anchor alarm is a feature of a GPS or other electronic navigation device or a depthsounder that sounds an audible alarm when the anchor drags and the boat shifts position. To buoy the anchor is to attach a buoy to is so it and its rode can be found if they must be abandoned. The anchor watch is the crew awake and on deck as lookouts while the boat is anchored. See straight up an down and swinging room.
A place for anchoring. A good (safe) anchorage is protected by land and has relatively shallow water and good holding ground, without weed or rocks. A poor (unsafe) anchorage is otherwise. A special anchorage is an area set aside by the government for anchoring and mooring boats.
A device that measures the winds speed and displays it on an indicator.
angle of attack
The angle between a sail and the wind or between the keel or rudder and the boats course.
Paint applied to a boats underbody to prevent growth of barnacles and weed.
The strength and direction of the wind as felt in a moving boat. It is the true wind modified by the boats movement. An apparent wind indicator (AWI) shows the direction of the apparent wind. Compare with true wind.
A finthe centerboard, keel, rudder, or skegunder the boat that helps with steering and provides lateral resistance (and provides ballast, in the case of the keel). Most keels and skegs are fixed in place, while centerboards are retractable and rudders turn. Appendages usually have foil shapes to improve the flow of water around them and to provide lift.
arch, radar arch
A frame over a cockpit, bridge, or deck on which antennas, radars and radar reflectors, solar panels, lights, awnings, horns, and other items are mounted out of the way of the crew.
around the buoys
Racing for only a few hours on race courses with short legs defined by turning marks. Compare with ocean race.
To or on the shore, or land.
The numerical ratio between a sails, keels, or other objects height and its width. A relatively narrow sail has a high aspect ratio, a wide one a low aspect ratio.
Behind or abaft the stern. A boat clear astern is completely astern.
Having sides with different shapes or lengths. An asymmetrical spinnaker is longer on one leech than on the other. An asymmetrical leeboard in a scow or an asymmetrical hull in a catamaran (for example a Hobie Cat) is more rounded on one side than the other.
athwartships, thwartships, thwartships
Across the boat, either inboard (toward the centerline) or outboard (toward the rail).
Air or water flowing smoothly over a sail or appendage. Compare with stall.
See Americas Cup.
Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System, AMVER
A search-and-rescue (SAR) system run by the U.S. Coast Guard.
automatic pilot, autopilot
Automated Ship Identification transponder, ASI transponder
An option in a VHF radio that alerts the crew to nearby vessels.
1) An engine that provides motive power in a sailboat, or electrical power in any boat. 2) An auxiliary sailboat (auxiliary) is a sailboat with an engine.
When waves wash over an object.
See weigh anchor.
A widely used brand of polyurethane paint that serves as a glossy, tough coating for topsides.