Port or Starboard – Nautical Terms You Need to Know

While boating, first-time boaters are introduced to what seems like a whole dictionary of terms that might be new to them. Port, starboard, windward, leeward – What does it all mean? It can become difficult to try to figure it all out while out on the water, so Motor Boatin’ is here to help break these nautical terms down so you’re prepared beforehand.

Here are some common nautical terms you need to know before boating:

  1. Port vs Starboard: You’ve probably heard the words port and starboard at least once. While they might seem complex at first glance, they really just mean left and right. If you are standing at the back of the boat looking forward, the left side will be the port side and the right side will be the starboard side. These terms make it easier for orientation purposes. Some people remember this by knowing that the words “Port” and “Left” both have four letters.
  2. Bow / Forward: The front end of every boat is called the bow. When an individual moves toward the bow, it would be said they are going forward.
  3. Stern / Aft: The back end of every boat is called the stern. When an individual moves toward the stern, it would be said they are going aft.
  4. Windward vs Leeward: As you may be able to guess from the name, windward is the direction from which the wind is blowing. Leeward is the opposite direction from which the wind is blowing. Sometimes these are used to describe where other boats are currently located.

Soon, you’ll be boating like a pro! Understanding basic nautical terms is always helpful in tense situations while out on the water, especially for first timers. Currently looking for a boat rental company in the local Triangle area? Choose Motor Boatin’ and reserve a spot today!

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