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Marine Glossary Terms

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

Reaching : When the boat is traveling approximately perpendicular to the wind, this is called reaching. A 'close' reach is somewhat toward the wind, and 'broad' reach is a little bit away from the wind (a 'beam' reach is with the wind precisely at a right angle to the boat). For most modern sailboats, reaching is the fastest way to travel. Different boats have different performance characteristics: on some boats, the beam reach is the fastest point of sail; on others, a broad reach is faster.

Rudder : The device used to steer a vessel

Running downwind : Sailing with the wind coming directly at the stern of the boat or behind the boat. This is usually when a spinnaker is used.

Running Rigging : Lines which control and adjust the sails