Equipment Terms

Auxiliary – A sailboat’s engine, or a sailboat with an engine
Ballast – The weight in a sailboat’s keel, sometimes in a centerboard, that

helps keep the boat from heeling too much
Beam – The width of the boat at its widest point
Bitter end – The free end of a line
Block – A pulley-like device used on a boat, with a sheave around which a line runs
Bow – The front section of the boat
Centerboard – A thin keel-like structure that can be raised (usually rotated on a hinge up into a centerboard trunk in the hull); present on many sailboats without a fixed keel to prevent the boat from being blown sideways; see photo here of the top of a small boat centerboard
Chock – A type of fairlead fitting through which an anchor rode or dock line passes, to reduce chafing
Cleat – A fitting around which a line is secured
Companionway – The entrance area and steps from the cockpit into a sailboat’s cabin
Daggerboard – Like a centerboard, but raised and lowered vertically instead of rotating on a hinge
Displacement – The weight of a boat, equal to the weight of water the boat displaces
Dodger – A spray shield at the front of the cockpit, this will usually be out of fabric, foldable or removable
Draft – The distance from a boat’s waterline to the lowest part of its keel
Fender – A bumper hung alongside to prevent the hull from rubbing against a dock or other structure
Forward – Toward the bow
Freeboard – The height of the deck above the water (the topsides section of the hull)
Gate – An opening in the lifelines for boarding the boat; also called gangway
Ground tackle – Collective term for a boat’s anchor and anchor rode
Gunwale – the outer edge of the boat’s deck and cockpit; also called the rail or gunnel
Head – The bathroom of a boat; also the top corner of a sail
Helm – The means by which the sailboat is steered: the tiller or wheel
Jackline – A line, strap, or wire secured over the deck as an attachment point for the tether of a safety harness
Keel – The lower section of a sailboat’s hull that counteracts sideways movement and typically contains ballast which is permanent more often then not
Lanyard – A short cord or line, often used to secure a piece of gear (such as knife, whistle, etc.) that might be dropped
Lifeline – A line or wire, often vinyl coated, all around the boat, held up with stanchions to prevent falling overboard
Line – Any piece of rope used on a boat
Padeye – Usually a metal fitting with a loop or hoop to which other gear is attached
Pendant (sometimes pennant) – A short line attaching the bow of a boat to a mooring, or a short wire attached to a sail or halyard as an extension
PFD – Personal flotation device, such as a life jacket or inflatable
Port – The left side of the boat (when facing forward); opposite of starboard
Pulpit – Usually a stainless steel, rail around the bow or stern typically at the height of the lifelines
Rail – the outer edge of the boat’s deck and cockpit; also called the gunwale
Rode – The line or chain between an anchor and the boat
Roller furler – A device by which a sail is rolled up, such as the jib rolling around a rotating forestay fitting
Rudder – An appendage below or on the boat’s stern that is rotated (by moving the tiller or wheel) to steer the boat
Safety harness – Personal gear (a separate harness or may be built into a PFD) that attaches to a tether to keep the person on board
Seacock – A valve fitting for closing an opening through the boat’s hull (drains, water pipes, etc.)
Shackle – A (usually metal) fitting that secures two things together, such as a halyard shackle connecting to a sail
Sole – The floor of the cockpit or cabin
Stanchions – Short metal poles around the boat’s perimeter that support the lifelines
Starboard – The right side of the boat (when facing forward); opposite of port
Tether – A short line or strap that runs between a safety harness and a point of attachment on the boat, to prevent going overboard; see photo here
Tiller – A long handle connected to the rudder or rudder post on many sailboats for steering; see photo here of one type of tiller
Topsides – The area of outer hull above the waterline
Winch – A drum-like device used to pull in lines under strain (halyards, sheets)
Windless – A heavy winch used with the anchor rode

1809 Rochester Industrial Dr, Rochester Hills, MI 48309, USA


1809 Rochester Industrial Drive, Rochester Hills, MI 48309

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Corona Virus Update

Corona Virus Update

Due to Corona Virus/Covid-19 and State Government Mandate, Waterproof Charts has to temporarily close for the following 3 weeks starting March 24th until at least April 13th. Orders placed between now and then will be shipped when we come back after April 13th. 

If anything changes we will update our message. 

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