As a new yachtie, it can be overwhelming with the flood of new information. Although there are quite a few words to learn, here are some basic terms you’ll need to know for the yacht life:

Parts of the Yacht

  • Bow: front of the boat
  • Stern/Aft: back of the boat
  • Port: left side of a yacht
  • Starboard: right side of a yacht
  • Aft deck: deck located at the rear of the boat
  • Sun deck: the usually upper deck of a ship that is exposed to the most sun
  • Bridge/Wheelhouse: the bridge of a ship is the room or platform from which the ship can be commanded
  • Lazarette: A storage space in a boat’s stern area

Rooms On Board

  • Galley: kitchen
  • Saloon/Salon: living room
  • Staterooms/Cabins: guest bedrooms
  • Crew quarters: where the crew sleep
  • Head: bathroom

Additional Terms

  • Knots per hour: a measure of speed equal to one nautical mile (6076 feet) per hour
  • Line: rope used aboard a vessel
  • Helm: steering wheel
  • Fenders: inflatable bumper usually placed between yacht and dock to prevent damage
  • LOA (Lenght Over All): the length of the yacht from bow to stern in feet or meters
  • M/Y: commonly used in yachting to indicate a Motor Yacht
  • S/Y: commonly used in yachting to indicate a Sailing Yacht
  • Under Way: when the yacht is in motion
  • Watch: A division of crew into shifts


Which terms were tough for you when you first started? Tell us below!

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