Don’t know the basics about sailing? That’s okay we are here to help! You don’t have to know anything about sailing to go out with Sail San Diego. While on your sail our trained captains will show you the ropes. But if you want to prepare here are some basic boating terms that could be useful to know…
- Aft: the back of a ship. If something is located aft, it is towards the rear of the sailboat. The aft is also known as the stern.
- Bow: The front of the ship is called the bow. Knowing the location of the bow is important for defining two of the other most common sailing terms: port (left of the bow) starboard (right of the bow).
- Port: Port is always the left-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow. Because “right” and left can become confusing sailing terms when used in open water, port is used to define the left-hand side of the boat as it relates to the bow.
- Starboard: Starboard is always the right-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow.
- Leeward: Also known as lee, leeward is the direction opposite to the way the wind is currently blowing (windward).
- Windward: The direction in which the wind is currently blowing. Windward is the opposite of leeward. Sailboats tend to move with the wind.
- Boom: The Boom is the horizontal pole that extends from the bottom of the mast. Adjusting the boom towards the direction of the wind is how the sailboat harnesses wind power in order to move forward or backward.
- Rudder: Located beneath the boat, the rudder is a flat piece of wood, fiberglass or metal that is used to steer the ship. Larger sailboats control the rudder with a wheel, while smaller sailboats will have a steering mechanism directly aft.
- Tacking: This basic sailing maneuver, also known as “coming about,” refers to turning the bow of the boat through the wind so that the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other. The boom of a boat will always shift from one side to the other when performing a tack.
- Jibing: The opposite of tacking this basic sailing maneuver refers to turning the stern of the boat through the wind so that the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other side. Jibing is less common than tacking since it involves turning a boat directly into the wind.
From Locale Magazine SD June 2015