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Nautical Terms

Click on each clue for its answer.

  1. Marlinspike

    A tool for opening the strands of a rope while splicing.

  2. Jacobs Ladder

    A rope ladder, lowered from the deck, as when pilots or passengers come aboard.

  3. Stern

    The after part of the boat.

  4. Scope

    Technically, the ratio of length of anchor rode in use to the vertical distance from the bow of the vessel to the bottom of the water. Usually six to seven to one for calm weather and more scope in storm conditions.

  5. Hull

    The main body of a vessel.

  6. Dead Ahead

    Directly ahead.

  7. Keel

    The centerline of a boat running fore and aft; the backbone of a vessel.

  8. Astern

    In back of the boat, opposite of ahead.

  9. Lazarette

    A storage space in a boat's stern area.

  10. Aft

    Toward the stern of the boat.

  11. Port

    The left side of a boat looking forward. A harbor.

  12. Mooring

    An arrangement for securing a boat to a mooring buoy or a pier.

  13. Ground Tackle

    A collective term for the anchor and its associated gear.

  14. Squall

    A sudden, violent wind often accompanied by rain.

  15. Head

    A marine toilet. Also the upper corner of a triangular sail.

  16. Bow

    The forward part of a boat.

  17. Hatch

    An opening in a boat's deck fitted with a watertight cover.

  18. Displacement

    The weight of water displaced by a floating vessel, thus, a boat's weight.

  19. Screw

    A boat's propeller.

  20. Gunwale

    The upper edge of a boat's sides.

  21. Quarter

    The sides of a boat aft of amidships.

  22. Beam

    The greatest width of the boat.

  23. Heading

    The direction in which a vessel's bow points at any given time.

  24. Stow

    To put an item in its proper place.

  25. Starboard

    The right side of a boat when looking forward.

  26. Aweigh

    The position of anchor as it is raised clear of the bottom.

  27. Gangway

    The area of a ship's side where people board and disembark.

  28. Helm

    The wheel or tiller controlling the rudder.

  29. Yaw

    To swing or steer off course, as when running with a quartering sea.

  30. Tiller

    A bar or handle for turning a boat's rudder or an outboard motor.

  31. Capsize

    To turn over.

  32. Hold

    A compartment below deck in a large vessel, used solely for carrying cargo.

  33. Fender

    A cushion, placed between boats, or between a boat and a pier, to prevent damage.

  34. Rudder

    A vertical plate or board for steering a boat.

  35. Jetty

    A structure, usually masonry, projecting out from the shore; a jetty may protect a harbor entrance.

  36. Deck

    A permanent covering over a compartment, hull or any part thereof.

  37. Bilge

    The interior of the hull below the floor boards.

  38. Draft

    The depth of water a boat draws.

  39. Fluke

    The palm of an anchor.

  40. Fathom

    Six feet.

  41. Sole

    Cabin or saloon floor. Timber extensions on the bottom of the rudder. Also the molded fiberglass deck of a cockpit.

  42. Lubber's Line

    A mark or permanent line on a compass indicating the direction forward parallel to the keel when properly installed.

  43. Galley

    The kitchen area of a boat.