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Marine Glossary Terms

Learn marine and sailing terms quickly by searching through the information available below.

Backstay : A line or cable which supports the mast from the stern of the boat

Beam reach : This is a course steered at right angles to the wind on either port or starboard tack. This is a precise point of sail. Sails are put out at roughly 45 degrees.

Bear Away / Fall Off : To head away or off from the wind

Block : A device used to change a line's direction

Boom : The horizontal spar which extends aft (backwards) from the mast to which the foot of the mainsail abuts

Boom Topping Lift : A line which extends from the boom to the mast. Supports boom when mainsail is taken down

Boom Vang : Line which places downward tension on the boom

Bow : The front end of a boat

Bowsprit : The bowsprit is a spar that extends forward of the hull of a boat. It can be used for a variety of things, including a more forward point to attach a forestay and/or a sail such as a spinnaker or jib.

Broad reach : The wind is coming from behind the boat at an angle. This represents a range of wind angles between Beam Reach and Running Downwind. The sails are eased out away from the boat, but not as much as on a run or dead run (downwind run).