How to Find your Way around a Boat


August, 2017


navigating a boat

How to be a Good Sailor

Being a good sailor means three things, you’ve got strong legs, you tie good knots, and you know how to communicate effectively. While we can’t teach the first two very well, we can help you with your communication problems.

To know where to go on a ship, you need to know how to speak to other members of the ship. With this in mind, you will need to learn directional terms and location terms in ‘sailor speak.’

The Directional Terms

Bow – The front of the ship. This is the most important part of the ship since the lateral movements of the ship rely on knowing this. Think about when you bow; your head is facing forward. So the bow is the forward of the ship.

Stern – The stern is the rear of the ship. I don’t have any good psychological tips for remembering this. Just remember it’s not the bow.

Port – When facing the bow, this will be the left side of the ship.

Starboard – When facing the bow, this will be the right side of the ship. I think this is because when the sun is setting it would be on your right side if you were facing true north.

boat terminology

Sea legs keeps you up and running


boating terms

Within the Ship

Belowdecks – Below decks is when you are below the decks and in the body of the ship.

Abovedecks – Above decks is similar to on-deck, except it can also mean that you are on the masts or above where the bridge is.

On Deck – On deck is when you are on the deck of the ship, often used when you are reporting that you are present on the ship.

Onboard – Onboard the ship means that you are on the ship in general. This is usually when no one knows where you are but they know you didn’t leave.

H2O Yacht Co.

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