Yacht Terms Glossary
Here you will find the most commonly used terms in the nautical world.
Adrift - A yacht that is not attached to a mooring and is not anchored.
Aft - Towards the rear of the ship (stern).
Aft Deck - Back deck of a yacht.
AIS - Automatic Identification System used on yachts and ships to determine the location of other ships so as to prevent collision.
Anchor - A large metal object attached to a ship that is released to the ocean floor to prevent being adrift.
Anti Fouling - The process of applying a coating to the hull to prevent damage to the hull.
Ballast - Weight placed low in the yacht, in order to create stability.
Berth - Boat slip.
Bosun - Main deckhand.
Bow - Front of the yacht.
Bridge - The control station of the yacht.
Bulkhead - Partition placed in hull below deck to prevent flooding of entire ship.
Bulwarks - Guard rail around ship to prevent crew from falling off. At least one meter in height.
Bunker - Marine Fuel
Bunkering - Refueling.
Buoy - A floating device used for navigation or hazard purposes.
Cabin - Crew living quarters, usually below deck.
Captain - Person in charge of a yacht and in charge of the safety and security of all crew members and passengers.
Catamaran - A yacht with two hulls. Can travel at faster speeds than monohull yacht.
Charter - Yacht rental for a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Course - The direction in which a yacht is being navigated.
Day Head - Bathroom used by all guests. Usually does not include a shower.
Davit - Crane mounted on a yacht. Used for moving tender on and off the yacht.
Deckhand - Crew member responsible for the maintenance and cleaning of the deck, hull, and structure of the yacht.
Desalinization Machine - Machine that converts seawater in to drinkable water through the process of reverse osmosis.
Dinghy - Small boat carried aboard a yacht. Also known as a tender.
Draft - The distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull.
Ensign - The national flag of the nation in which a yacht is registered in.
Fire Door - Fire Proof door used as an obstruction to prevent the spreading of fire from one room to another.
Galley - Kitchen of the yacht.
Gangway - Portion of ship used for embarking and dis-embarking.
Harbormaster - Person in charge of a harbor or port.
Head - Bathroom on a yacht.
Heave - Up and down motion (rising and falling) of entire ship.
Heeling - Leaning of the yacht, from port to starboard.
Helm - Steering mechanism that controls the rudder.
Inboard - Engine located inside of a yacht hull. Yachts usually have multiple engines.
Keel - Fin on the bottom of the yacht that provides stability.
Knot - Rate of Speed measurement in water. One Knot is equivalent to 1.15078 Miles Per Hour on ground surfaces.
LOA - Length Over All. Length of a yacht from its stern to tip of the bow.
Log - Ship's record of operation, usually maintained by the Captain.
Mast - Vertical boat spar.
Monohull - A yacht that has one hull.
Mooring - A place where a yacht can be attached.
Multihull - A yacht that has multiple hulls, such as a catamaran or trimaran.
Nautical Chart - Map used for navigation purposes.
Nautical Mile - Length of 1.1508 Miles or 6076 Feet (1.852 Kilometers).
Naval Architect - Also known as a Yacht Designer. A naval architect is responsible for the design and construction of sea vessels or ships.
Pilot - Certified naval navigator, also referred to as Captain.
Pitch - Up and down seesaw motion of ship, with bow and stern rising and falling.
Port - The left side of the yacht.
Port of Call - A port that a yacht stops at in order to re-fuel, to re-supply, or to get repairs.
Roll - Tilting motion of the ship, from port to starboard.
Rudder - Submerged vane controlled by ship's helm, allowing helmsman to control the direction of the ship
Ship - Sea Vessel.
Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) - Emergency transmission system on yacht used to alert authorities that yacht is at risk.
Stand on Vessel - Also known as a privileged vessel. A ship that has the right of way and must maintain its course and speed, except to avoid collision.
Starboard - The right side of the yacht.
Stateroom - The bedroom on a yacht. A yacht usually has multiple staterooms.
Stern - The rear of the yacht.
Superyacht - Ship that is longer than 72 feet (24 Meters).
Sway - Sideways sliding motion of ship.
Tender - Small boat, usually 10 meters in length, used to ferry supplies between Superyachts and shore.
Trimaran - A yacht that has three hulls.
Vessel - Ship.
Waterline - Intersection where yacht hull meets the surface of the water.
Windlass - Anchor chain winch.
Yacht - Ship that is longer than 39 feet (13 Meters).
Yaw - Spinning motion of ship.