Boat Terminology
Part II

Continuation of Boat Terminology Part I.


  • Deck log: A book in which all navigational data and events are recorded.
  • Deviation: Is the error between the reading on a compass and the correct magnetic bearing.
  • Displacement: The weight of the vessel, which is equal to the weight of the water displaced.
  • Distance made good: The distance covered over the seabed.
  • Drag: The condition when the anchor is not holding and is sliding over the seabed:
  • Drift: The distance a boat is carried by the tidal stream in a certain time.


  • Ease-out: To let out a rope or sheet by a small amount.
  • Ebb: The tidal stream that occurs when the tidal height of water is falling.
  • EBL: The Electronic Bearing Line on a radar display. Measured in degrees, from your position to the other object.
  • Echo sounder: An instrument that measures the depth of water by using sound waves.
  • EPIRB: Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon.


  • Fairlead: A fitting on the edge of the deck to reduce chafe when mooring lines are led over the deck edge.
  • Fairway: A passage of deeper water permitting entry to a port or river.
  • Fix: The position of a boat obtained from a compass reading or electronic means.
  • Flood: The tidal stream that occurs when the tidal height of water is rising.
  • Fog: A visibility of less than a 1000 metres.
  • Foot: The lower edge of a sail.
  • Foresail: A sail set on the forestay or inner forestay.
  • Fractional rig: A yacht in which the forestay is attached to the mast between the spreaders and the top of the mast.
  • Frap: To secure the halyards away from the mast in order to prevent them rattling against the mast in a wind.
  • Freeboard: The distance between water level and deck level.
  • Furl: To roll a sail, it normally applies to a headsail.


  • Genoa: A large headsail that overlaps the mainsail.
  • Geographical range: This is the theoretical distance of a light at which an observer at a height of 15 feet could see the light, provided that the nominal range is sufficient.
  • Go about: To tack, which means moving the bow through the wind and setting the sail on the other side.
  • Goose wing: To set the mainsail and headsail on opposite sides of the boat when running downwind.
  • Gooseneck: A fitting that secures the boom to the mast.
  • Great circle: It's a line on the surface of the earth with the same circumference as the Equator. This is the shortest route between 2 points on the Earths surface.
  • Ground: To touch the seabed, to run aground.
  • Gunwale: The bulwark along the upper side of the boat.
  • Gybe: To turn the boat so that the stern passes through the wind permitting the sails to be set on the other side.

Go back to Boat Terminology Part I

Go further to Boat Terminology Part III

Return from Boat Terminology to Boating Skills and Seamanship

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