This frame will be used for the definition of terms. To view
a definition, click on the bold hyperlinks
[as oppose to this].
Two Length Zone: The
area around a mark or obstruction within two hull lengths of the boat nearest
The windward side of anything is the side from which the wind is coming
from. The leeward side is the side in shelter. Also used as
directions, e.g."another boat to windward".
Steerage: The ability to
control the direction of your boat. You need to have some forward
movement for the rudder
to have any effect on the direction of the boat. Therefore, adequate
steerage is really adequate speed for steering.
Hike-out: On reaches and
beats, the sideways force of the wind will tend to tip the boat over. Most
dinghies are designed to sail on the level so it is best to keep them there.
This is boat
balance. To counter the force of the wind, the crew
sometimes have to "sit out" of the boat, using only toestraps
to keep them from falling out. This is hiking out.
Double Hulled: I don't
mean catamarans, I mean they have one hull inside another. They're
supposed to be sealed together. I think they're main function is
to make the boat unsinkable but it's probably just easier to manufacture
one hull for the outside and another for the inside, as oppose to one to
for both, if you know what I mean.
Crew: The people controlling
the boat. In most larger dinghies there are two; a helmsman who steers
the point and looks after the mainsail and
the crew (the other person) who looks after the jib
Dinghy: A small sailing vessel
of nearly any size (up to about 15 feet?) which doesn't have a cabin? There's
bound to be a better definition. I'll get back to you on this
Points of Sail: The direction
of the boat with respect to the wind. The point of sail determines
the sail and centreboard positions. See a better
Tack: As in "starboard
tack" and "port tack". When you're sailing across
the wind, the wind will be coming over one side of the boat. If it
comes over the starboard side, it's a starboard tack. When running
(with the wind coming over the stern) your tack is the side that the sail
isn't on. Very important for right-of-way rules. See also a
note on the word "tack".
Spinnaker: A large parachute
type sail at the bow. Used only when on a run.
Genoa: A large foresail which
takes the place of the jib. Can be furled without taking it down. Only
Beat: A point
of sail. Also called "Close-Hauled". When
a boat is going as close to the wind as it can it is on a beat.
Run: A point
of sail. Heading downwind. Boats travel faster on a
run than on any other point of sail.
Sideways Drift: When a
boat is crossing the wind at any angle it will experience a force transverse
to the direction of travel. This force tends to push the boat sideways.
This is sideways drift.
Abeam: Across the boat.
A Note on the Word "Tack":
I think sailors have a serious vocabulary problem. I can think of five
meanings for the word "tack".
Tack: The side of the boat which the wind is coming over. A starboard
tack or a port tack.
Tack: A corner of a sail. The lower corner of the luff, the leading
Tack: To turn the boat into the wind so that you change from one tack
to another (e.g. change from starboard tack to port tack).
Tack: To get upwind you sail as close as you can to the wind (you're
on a beat) and then keep changing direction and sailing close to the wind
until you get to where you want to go. You make a zig zag course.
This is known as tacking - you tack upwind.
Tack: And then there's those little things we use to stick notices on
Last updated: 1200 Monday 17-08-98