About Yachting

Parts of the Hull
Bow – pointy bit at the front the boat

Stern – blunt bit at the back

Cabin – lump in the middle you sleep in

Keel – big heavy fin-thing on the bottom of the boat that keeps it from flipping over

Rudder – a movable fin at the back that steers the

boat, connected to a wheel or tiller for steering

Sails, Stays and Spars

Mast – tall vertical stick the sails hang off

Boom – horizontal stick hanging off the mast

Forestay – front wire keeping the mast up

Backstay – back wire keeping the mast up

Sidestay – work it out genius...

Mainsail or Main – the big sail behind the mast

Foresail or Jib – the ‘little’ sail in front of the mast

(sometimes known as a genoa, ‘jennie’ etc)

Sheets and Halyards

Main sheet – rope for controlling the mainsail

Jib sheets – ropes for controlling the jib, usually one on either side of the mast

Halyard – a rope for raising or lowering a sail


Tiller – a stick for steering, more fancy than a wheel


Fore – towards the bow

Aft – towards the stern

Port – to the left as you face the bow

Starboard – to the right as you face the bow