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Nautical Dictionary
Choose a letter
Selection from the Nautical Dictionary
Auxiliary power
An engine permanently installed on the boat. Unfortunately it has to be used sometimes to power the boat. The engine is also usually used to recharge the batteries.
Foresail
A foresail is the sail (such as a jib) located immediately in front of the main mast. It is attached to the forestay.
Genoa
Large jib sail with considerable overlap on the mainsail.
Sheet
A line used to trim sails.
Centreboard
A pivoting board that prevents the boat from sliding sideways.
Back a sail
To hold a sail in such a way, that the wind will fill it from the opposite to usual side. This manoeuvre is used to slow down the boat (as if applying brakes), or to force a boat to tack when in irons.
Close Hauled
Sailing as close as possible to the wind.
True Wind
The strength and direction of the actual wind blowing. While sailing, the true wind is never felt – it’s always a combination of the true wind, and the boat's speed (called the apparent wind), and it’s always a little forward to the true wind.
Vang
Steadying rope (see kicking strap).
Buoy
Any object floating as a marker and anchored to the bottom. It may be used as a navigational aid, a means of mooring or as an indicator of a racing course.
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