Nautical Terminology

xeniaxenia Posts: 483 Deckhand

In case some haven't seen this, let's brush up on proper nautical terminology.

ABOARD: 1) on or into a ship. 2) a piece of wood 3) what you feel like after 5 hours on a swordfishing trip without a bite. (pronounced aah, board).

ANCHOR LIGHT: small light used to discharge the battery before daylight.

BOAT: an ever-enlarging hole in the water where your money goes and is never seen again. See homelessness.

BOUY: an anchored navigational aid marking a channel, reef, or other hazard. There are several kinds of buoys:
-green can (seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon)
-red nun (seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon)
-red or green day beacon (seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon), and
-vertically striped black-and-white channel marker (seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon)

CAPTAIN: a decorative dummy found in a prominent location on sailboats and motorboats. See figurehead.

CHART: 1) large piece of paper that is useful in protecting cabin and cockpit surfaces from food and beverage stains. 2) type of nautical map which tells you exactly where you are aground or what you just hit.

CHOCK: 1) a metal fitting on the transom through which a rope is placed 2) an unpleasant surprise felt by Spanish sailors.

DINGHY: a small boat carried on a larger vessel, designed to carry the crew 100 yards in any direction before sinking.

DANGEROUS WATERS: when you tell your wife you are going to work, when in fact you are going fishing.

DEADRISE: 1) the angle of the bottom of the hull in cross-section. 2) getting up at 0300 to check the anchor.

DISTRESS SIGNALS: internationally recognized signals used to show that a boat is in danger, including the sudden appearance of lawyers, the pointing of fingers, and the repression of memories.

DISPLACEMENT: 1) amount of water displaced by the size and shape of a vessel 2) docking a boat and forgetting where you left it.

FIX: 1) Estimated position of a boat. 2) what you have to do to at least three things on the boat when you get back from every trip.

FLASHLIGHT: Sometimes waterproof tubular metal container used on ships for storing dead batteries prior to their disposal

FUEL TANKS: Giving thanks for having enough fuel to get back.

HATCH: opening on the deck of a boat where you fall into.

HEAVE HO: What you do when you’ve eaten too much Ho.

HEAVE TO: when a second person gets seasick.

MARINA: a location next to the water with modern facilities designed for the disposal of excess amounts of money that may have accumulated on board a boat causing a fire hazard.

OAR: seagoing woman of ill-repute.

PORT: 1) a harbor where ships load and unload, typically the place you most desire to leave when going out on a boat. 2)a harbor where ships load and unload, typically the place you most desire to get back to after being on a boat in rough seas for 2 hours. 3) the left side of a boat, usually the side where the wind is blowing and people are puking. 4) a thick wine that tastes like you are drinking melted candy, only sweeter.

PROPELLER: Underwater winch designed to wind up at high speed any lines or ropes left hanging over the stern.

RING BUOY: the little child that carries the rings at a wedding.

RUDDER: Large, heavy, vertically mounted, hydro-dynamically contoured steel plate with which, through the action of a tiller or wheel, it is possible, during brief intervals, to point a vessel in a direction which, due to a combination of effects caused by tide, current, the force and direction of the wind, the size and angle of the waves, and the shape of the hull, it does not wish to go.

SCUPPER: the meal that comes after lunch.

YACHT CLUB: troublesome seasonal accumulation in coastal areas of unpleasant marine organisms with stiff necks and clammy extremities. Often present in large numbers during summer months when they clog inlets, bays, and coves, making navigation almost impossible. They can be effectively dislodged with dynamite, but, alas, archaic federal laws rule out this option.

YAWL: a boat or crew from Texas.


  • FlfjackFlfjack Posts: 646 Officer

    I laughed at "Heave to"

    East Boynton
    IG jack.bbi
  • ResinheadResinhead Posts: 9,923 Admiral


    Chart rings a bell!

  • mburke001 aka TripleBmburke001 aka TripleB Posts: 1,307 Officer
    Buoy sounds about right

  • SaltySardineSaltySardine Posts: 159 Deckhand
    DANGEROUS WATERS: when you tell your wife you are going to work, when in fact you are going fishing.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 10,416 AG
    Propeller, flashlight, Fix all ring 100% true 
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • Jas2Jas2 Posts: 153 Deckhand
    Lmao !! :D
    Great stuff .....thanks for sharing !
  • MaineRidaMaineRida Posts: 177 Deckhand
    I always thought BOAT was Break Out Another Thousand, I'm wrong again (except for my wallet).
  • finbullyfinbully Posts: 608 Officer

    Lots of laughs here!

    YAWL = any crew from anywhere in The South!

  • SloughSlough S.w. Ga./ St. JamesPosts: 4,805 Captain
    edited March 2018 #10
    All good uns
    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 3,310 Captain
    Definition of “ Yahoo” on the water:

    every body else 
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • rumit4rumit4 USAPosts: 18 Greenhorn
    It would be ideal if you appreciate this nautical glossary of cruising terms. Some are ones that we use in regular dialect - now you can know the starting points.
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