Anatomy of a Sailboat Part I: Knowing Your Sailing Vessel From Stem to Stern

Anatomy of a Sailboat, Anatomy of a Sailboat Part I: Knowing Your Sailing Vessel From Stem to Stern
Anatomy of a Sailboat, Anatomy of a Sailboat Part I: Knowing Your Sailing Vessel From Stem to Stern

Let’s Get On Board!

When I’m teaching sailing, I like to get right to the boat. I’m not a big fan of classroom instruction, though I’ve seen instructors do a great job at going over points of sail, right-of-way, navigational markers, however, I still prefer to get right down to the boat and point out the actual items.

Also, I like to get people situated on the boat; have them start getting acclimated to the amount the boat “tips” when you step aboard, and this also gives everyone a chance to remember what they forgot in their car – sunscreen, sunglasses pencil…

My preference is to start a class from bow to stern on deck, then bow to stern aloft, then bow to stern below. For this series, Part 1 is On Deck, Part 2 is Aloft, and Part 3 is Below.

Anatomy of a Sailboat, Anatomy of a Sailboat Part I: Knowing Your Sailing Vessel From Stem to Stern

The Basics On Deck

Bow – imagine how Japanese people put their hands together, making a point, and bow – that’s how you remember bow.

Stern – the captain stands in the stern, arms crossed, looking very… stern!

Beam – widest part of the boat, perpendicular to the bow/stern line.

Port side – left side facing forward – pretend the driver in a car (in the US) is always taking you to your home port. That’s the port side of your car. Driver’s side; the driver’s job is to get you back to port. Port wine is red – the running light on the port side is red. Port and left have four letters each.

Starboard side – right side facing forward. Green running light. Right and starboard have more letters each, so pair them.

Anatomy of a Sailboat, Anatomy of a Sailboat Part I: Knowing Your Sailing Vessel From Stem to Stern

Outlying Areas

Transom – the flat part of the boat in the stern, to which you might affix an outboard.

Centerboard – the board that hangs down in the center of the boat. Gives stability.

Keel – part that hangs below the waterline, full of lead for stability.

Rudder – like the tail on a cheetah – steers the boat. However, it cannot steer the boat if it is 90° from the bow, presenting a flat “door” to the oncoming water.

Tiller – controls the rudder. Don’t think too much about it; it will come naturally soon.

Hull – the “bowl” of the boat.

Anatomy of a Sailboat, Anatomy of a Sailboat Part I: Knowing Your Sailing Vessel From Stem to Stern

Basic Terms

Deck – the topsides where you walk.

Pulpit – Bow or Stern – metal railings.

Stanchions – the metal “sticks” through which the lifelines are threaded.

Cockpit – the part near the stern where you sit, steer, control the sails.

Lifelines – the lines threaded through the stanchions that assist in keeping you on board.

Ahead, Abeam, Astern – in that direction.

Anatomy of a Sailboat, Anatomy of a Sailboat Part I: Knowing Your Sailing Vessel From Stem to Stern

Basics First, Then Add to Your Knowledge

I like to start bow to stern on deck, then bow to stern aloft, then bow to stern below.

For this series, Part 1 is On Deck, Part 2 is Aloft, and Part 3 is Below.

Anatomy of a Sailboat, Anatomy of a Sailboat Part I: Knowing Your Sailing Vessel From Stem to Stern

Don’t Get Discouraged

Boats are one of the oldest forms of transportation. Don’t beat yourself up about not learning all the terms immediately.

Many of the terms are used for more than one item, and some items have more than one name!

Please join me for the next of this series: Aloft!

Anatomy of a Sailboat, Anatomy of a Sailboat Part I: Knowing Your Sailing Vessel From Stem to Stern

I Don’t Go Anywhere Without:

  • North American Rescue CAT tourniquets.
  • PierShare to rent your dock out or rent a dock.
  • BoatUS for your boat towing insurance! Code: “HEWAF88”
  • Thank you Bill for being the Best Sailing Partner EVER!
Anatomy of a Sailboat, Anatomy of a Sailboat Part I: Knowing Your Sailing Vessel From Stem to Stern

I Don’t Go Anywhere Without:

  • North American Rescue CAT tourniquets.
  • PierShare to rent your dock out or rent a dock.
  • BoatUS for your boat towing insurance! Code: “HEWAF88”
  • Thank you Bill for being the Best Sailing Partner EVER!
About

Leave a Comment

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com
Application-Confirmation 1.0 Verify-File 013e980104dec2d39acba78865f09e1e316adccd