Sailors Choice
Nautical Terms

 The rest of the alphabet may be accessed at the bottom of each page
  

AAA   ALPHA   AAA

ABACK  Condition of sail when the wind pressure is on the leeward or forward side, with sails backed or trimmed to windward 
ABAFT Behind or further towards the stern, behind the boat
ABAFT THE BEAM Any direction between the beam and the stern, more behind a vessel than in front of it. Bearing more than 90 degrees on either side from dead ahead
ABEAM  The direction between the beam and the stern, at right angles to the length of the boat
ABOARD  On or in or into a boat
ABOUT SHIP The order to tack ship 
ABREAST Opposite or right angles to
ADRIFT  Not being fast to a stationary mooring
ADMEASURE regulation measurement of a vessel for documentation
ADMIRALTY LAW The Law of the Seas, often debated by Sea Lawyers
AFT  Towards the stern-back of the boat from amidship
AGROUND A vessel that is resting on the bottom or the rocks is said to be "aground"
AID TO NAVIGATION used to establish position, a fixed mark such as a buoy, landmark, radio beacon, lighthouse, gps satellite, etc.
ALEE  Away from the direction of the wind, referring to the helm or the tiller
ALOFT  Above the deck, overhead in the rigging
AMA outboard hull of a trimaran
ANCHOR 1) the act of anchoring
2)  a weighted object designed to hold a boat in position that is lowered into the water, usually "catching" on the
bottom
ANCHORAGE   A suitable place for anchoring
ANCHOR A chain attached to the anchor. The chain acts partially as a weight to keep the anchor lying next to the ground so that it can dig in better and better absorb changes in the boat's position due to waves.  Chain holds up better than line when lying on rocks.
ANCHOR BEND A knot used to fasten the anchor to the anchor line 
ANCHOR LIGHT A white light, usually on the masthead, visible from all directions, used when anchored
ANCHOR LOCKER A storage area, usually in the bow, to store the anchor, rode and line
ANCHOR ROLLER Also called bow roller. A fitting with a small wheel that allows the
anchor and chain to roll over when dropping or raising the anchor.
Some anchor rollers also have a provision to store the anchor
ANCHOR WINDLASS A windlass used to assist when raising the anchor, can be manual or electric
ANEMOMETER An instrument used to measure wind velocity
ASTERN  Backwards, somewhere behind, towards the stern
ATHWART OR ATHWARTSHIPS  At right angles to the centerline
AUTOPILOT A device used to steer a boat automatically, usually electrical, hydraulic or mechanical in nature. A similar mechanism called a self-steering gear may also be used on a sailing vessel
AUXILIARY  A yacht propelled by both sail and power or a support group, i.e., Coast Guard Auxiliary
AVAST A nautical command to stop or cease.  Date: 1681, perhaps from Dutch "houd vast" hold fast
AWEIGH To raise the anchor
 
  
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These are informative only and are not the last word!
 
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