So you’ve been invited on a boat, or someone near and dear just bought one. The cooler is ready for its first adventure. Right? One of the most exciting things about boating is the culture behind it. Even as technology evolves, the boating lifestyle maintains a traditional flare to it, and let’s face it–we all want to join in.

Take a look at some of the words you might hear on any one of your upcoming boating adventures. Even if it’s your boat and you’re new at this, start getting comfortable with these words. Flaunt a few words here and there.

  • ABREAST: Side by side; by the side of.
  • BUOY: An anchored float used for marking a position on the water or a hazard or a shoal and for mooring.
  • DINGHY: A small open boat. A dinghy is often used as a tender for a larger craft.
  • FLUKE: The palm of an anchor.
  • HULL: The main body of a vessel.
  • KNOT: A measure of speed equal to one nautical mile (6076 feet) per hour.
  • NAUTICAL MILE: One minute of latitude; approximately 6076 feet – about 1/8 longer than the statute mile of 5280 feet.
  • OVERBOARD: Over the side or out of the boat.
  • SET: Direction toward which the current is flowing.
  • YACHT: A pleasure vessel, a pleasure boat; in American usage the idea of size and luxury is conveyed, either sail or power.
  • STARBOARD QUARTER: Refers to the rear right of a boat.

Aside from making things fun, it’s great to know these terms in case of a last minute emergency. Communicating with an avid boater, staff, or the Coast Guard will be much easier for you and your party. Get your feet wet. The boating culture welcomes you!


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