The following are good terms to know before you begin:

  • Boom: Attaches to the mast in a right angle; holds the bottom (or foot) of the sail
  • Bow: Front of the boat
  • Capsize: To overturn the boat; if it completely turns over, it is called “turtling”
  • Centerboard: Large piece that is attached to the bottom of the boat (or lowers into the water); keeps boat from drifting and help balance
  • Fall Off: turn away from the wind
  • Jibing: Turning away from the wind
  • Leeward: Downwind or away from the wind
  • Line: The “ropes” on the boat
  • Luffing: When the sail is not taught and flaps in the wind
  • Mast: Holds the main sail; is perpendicular to the boat haul
  • Port: The sailor’s term for left; the left side of the boat
  • Port Tack: When the boom is on the right side and the wind is entering the port side (left side)
  • Sheet: The lines that control the sails
  • Starboard: The sailor’s term for right; the right side of the boat
  • Starboard Tack: When the boom is on the left side and the wind is entering the starboard side (right)
  • Stern: Back of the boat
  • Tacking: Turning into the wind
  • Windward: Upwind or where the wind is blowing from