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Marine Glossary Terms

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

Spinnaker : A large balloon sail attached to the mast at the front of the boat. Used when sailing downwind.

Spinnaker control lines : Pole Lift, Down Haul, Spinnaker Guy, Twing

Spinnaker Guy : The spinnaker sheet on the pole or windward side of the boat

Spreaders : Horizontal spars which spread the shrouds from the mast

Standing Rigging : Supports the mast and includes the Backstay, Forestay, Shrouds

Starboard : The right side of the boat (when facing forward)

Starboard Tack : Wind is coming from the starboard (right) side of the boat

Stern : The rear of the boat

Tack : Front lower corner of the sail

Topmast : The mast next above a lower mast and topmost in a fore-and-aft rig

Traveler : A piece of hardware that generally runs on a track allowing for the adjustment of where the mainsheet comes back to the cockpit

Trim : To pull the sails in

Twing : Line used to pull the spinnaker guy down closer to the hull

Undock : To take a vessel out of a dock

Vang : A device that controls the angle between the mast and the boom. Vang's are usually made from pulleys and line or they are hydraulic. The ultimate goal is to help shape the mainsail.

Vessel : Any craft designed for transportation on water

Waypoint : A discrete geographical position used for navigation

Winch : A device used to tighten a line

Windless : A type of winch used to pull an anchor line up. The windless is always located on the bow of the boat.

Windward : Towards the wind

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