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A New Glossary of Nautical Terms

On July 17, 2015, in Boatbuilding Humor, News From Gayle, by Gayle Brantuk

I can’t take credit for these–they are excerpted from “Australasian Amateur Boatbuilder & Kitboats” magazine (aka Australian Amateur Boatbuilder). Sometimes it’s nice to lighten things up a bit!

Common terms you may hear on the water:

Ahoy – The first in a series of four letter words commonly exchanged by skippers as their boats approach one another.

Amidships – Condition of being surrounded by boats.

Anchor – A device designed to bring up mud samples from the bottom at inopportune or unexpected times.

Boom – A laterally mounted spar to which a sail is fastened, used during jibing to shift crew members to a fixed, horizontal position.

Clew – An indication from the skipper as to what he might do next.

Displacement – When you dock your boat and can’t find it later.

Flashlight – Tubular metal container used on shipboard for storing dead batteries prior to their disposal.


Ancient – Aspect of seafaring associated with slavery.

Modern: Aspect of seafaring associated with slavery.

Gear – Generic term for any pieces of boating equipment that can be forgotten in the back-seat or trunk of a car, left behind on a pontoon, soaked in the bottom of a dinghy or lost over the side of the boat.

Landlubber – Anyone on board who wishes he were not.

Motor Sailer – A sailboat that alternates between sail/rigging problems and engine problems. Also, a hybrid boat that combines the simplicity and reliability of sail power with the calm and serenity of a throbbing engine.

Propeller – Underwater winch designed to wind up at high speeds any lines left hanging over the stern.

Tack – A maneuver the skipper uses when telling the crew what they did wrong without getting them mad.

A more serious Glossary of Boat Terms can be found on our website here.




Your Thoughts?

One Response to A New Glossary of Nautical Terms

  1. aero_dan says:

    I loved these Gayle, they make more sense than the actual ones.

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