Sailing - Terms


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Sailing is a water sport that requires techniques and practice over physical power. So it is important to learn the various techniques to have a great start but before learning the playing techniques, we should be aware of some important parts and terminology of boats and rigs that we are going to face most frequently.

Parts of a Boat

Following are some of the important parts of a sailing boat −

  • Deck − It is the flat surface area that is present on top of the boat.

  • Bow − The front of the boat having a narrow shape is often termed as bow.

  • Cabin Trunk − On the boat, there is a cabin house. The side and roof of this is known as Cabin Trunk.

  • Port − The part of the boat on the left hand side that faces forward is known as port.

  • Starboard − The part of the boat on the right hand side facing forward is termed as starboard.

  • Cockpit − Cockpit is situated at lower side at which tiller is located and also at that position crew positions itself.

  • Stem − The back-side of the boat is known as the stem.

  • Hull − The part of the boat that floats on the water is termed as the hull.

Parts of Boats

Parts of a Rig

Let us now try to figure out some important parts of the rig −

  • Jib − An attachment to the forestay that gives forward sail is termed as jib.

  • Mast − It is a vertical spar to which all sails are attached.

  • Boom − From the mast, a horizontal bar is extended to which foot of the main sail is attached which is known as Boom.

  • Mainsail − Between the boom and the backside of the mast, a horizontal sail is attached which is called mainsail.

  • Batten − Inside the pocket of the sail, a fiber glass or wood type structure is given to hold its shape. That piece of structure is known as batten.

  • Telltales − It is a piece of cloth that is used to show the direction of the wind.

  • Backstay − To protect the mast from falling, a rigging is connected from the top of the mast to the stem. This is known as backstay.



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