If you are a beginning boater, you will discover quite a few nautical terms that don't make any sense to you. This liveaboard glossary may help.
AFT. The direction toward the back end (stern) of the boat.
BEAM. The width of a boat.
BERTH. A bunk or other place to sleep on a boat.
BIMINI. A canvas sun shelter stretched over a frame that provides shade over the cockpit.
BOW. The front of the boat.
DINGHY. A little boat used to get you from your big boat to the shore and back. Rhymes with thingy.
GALLEY. The kitchen of a boat. The person who does most of the cooking is known as a galley slave.
HANGING LOCKER. A closet where you can hang clothes.
HEAD. It generally means the bathroom of a boat, and specifically means the toilet.
HOLDING TANK. This is an onboard tank where waste from the marine head and shower is stored for future pump out.
KNOT. A measurement of speed. One knot is equal to 1.15 miles per hour.
LIVEABOARD. Either a boat that is a full time home, or the person that lives on the boat. A cruiser may or may not be a liveaboard. A liveaboard may or may not be a cruiser.
MAIN CABIN. The living room of a boat, also known as a salon and in ancient times as a saloon.
MOORING. A more or less permanent place to secure your boat while afloat on the mooring owner's anchor, as in a mooring field.
ON THE HARD. When the boat is hauled and sitting up on blocks or a cradle for bottom work or storage.
ON THE HOOK. To be anchored to your own anchor on your boat. As in "living on the hook".
PEDESTAL. A column in the cockpit of a boat with the steering wheel and engine controls attached. Also a post in a marina on the dock with power, cable, water and other connections.
PORT. The left side of the boat when you are facing the front (bow) of the boat.
PORTLIGHT. A window. Some open, some don't.
RAW WATER. This comes into the boat intentionally from water the boat is floating in. For engine cooling, toilet flushing, etc.
RUNNING RIGGING. The ropes that control the raising of sails and adjusting of sails on a sailboat.
SLIP. A space in a marina where you can store your boat.
STANDING RIGGING. The cables or ropes, usually made of wire, that support the mast or masts of a sailboat.
STARBOARD. The right side of the boat when you are facing the front (bow) of the boat.
STERN. The back of the boat.
WET LOCKER. A closet where you can hang wet clothes like foul weather gear.
By Mike Miller, Copyright 2012-2023 Living-Aboard.com