Are you OK with sailing jargon, or does it leave you adrift in a sea of confusion? Perhaps you're a rugged old seadog who is fluent in seafaring-speak.
But if not this glossary should de-mystify most of it...
Port ~ The left hand side of a vessel when facing the bow. Also a safe haven as in 'any port in a storm'.
Port Tack ~ A boat is on the port tack when the wind strikes the port side first and the boom is over to the starboard side.
Port Side to ~ Placing the port side of the vessel against a quay or pontoon.
Position Line ~ A line drawn on a chart as a result of having taken a bearing, along which a boat's position must lie. Two postion lines fix the boat's location at the point at which they intersect.
Pounding ~ The action of the seas 'pounding' on the underside of the hull or bridgedeck. Also known as 'slamming'.
Pre-bend ~ A bend in the mast
set by tensioning the standing rigging for the purpose of flattening the
mainsail. Read more about masts...
Preventer ~ A line rigged forward to secure the boom in position, thereby preventing a highly dangerous accidental gybe.
With the jib poled out and the mainsail set on the otherside as shown in the sketch - 'goose-winging' - a jibe preventer should always be used.
Privileged Vessel ~ The boat that has right of way, the other boat being the burdened vessel.
Prodder ~ Another piece of sailing jargon, an alternative word for bowsprit.
Pulpit ~ The tubular steel structure at the bow.
Pushpit ~ A pulpit at the stern.
Quarter ~ The section of a boat, either port or starboard, that is between midships and the stern.
Rake ~ The angle by which the mast is off-vertical in the fore-and-aft plane.
Range ~ (1) Distance from a fixed point. (2) The rise of tide. (3) The distance at which a light may be seen.
Rating ~ A category resulting from the measurement of a sailboat which enables it to take part in handicap races.
Reach ~ See 'close reach', 'beam reach' and 'broad reach'.
Ready About ~ Sailing jargon given as the order to ready the boat for tacking.
Reef ~ To reduce sail area. There are several approaches to this, including:~
See 'roller reefing' below...
Reeve ~ To pass a line through a block.
~ A straight line drawn on a chart between two points. This is only the
shortest distance if it runs along the equator or a meridian.
RIB (or RHIB) ~ A Rigid Inflatable Boat - or Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat. Usually a small powerboat.
Riding Light ~ Another name for the anchor light, which is an all-round white light normally shown at the masthead on a sailboat to indicate that is less than 50 feet over all and is at anchor.
Riding Sail ~ A small sail hoisted to enable a boat to maintain steerage way in heavy weather. Read more about storm sails...
Rig ~ The boat’s arragement of sails and spars.
Righting Moment ~ The force opposing a boat's tendency to heel due to the pressure of the wind on the sails. Read more about sailboat stability and righting moment...
Rigging ~ The wire and rope stays that supports the rig. Read more about sailbaot rigging...
Roach ~ The sail area on a main
or mizzen sail that extends behind the straight line between the head and clew.
Requires sail battens to support it. Read more about sails...
Rode ~ The rope or chain (or a combination of both) that connects a vessel to its anchor.
Roller Reefing ~ A mechanism to reduce sail by winding it up around a small diameter spar – usually of aluminium.
Rudder post ~ The rudder shaft or stock.
Rules of the Road ~ International rules and regulations regarding conduct and priorities of boats in close proximity to each other.
Runabout ~ A small, open motorboat.
Running ~ Sailing downwind – i.e. with the wind coming from astern.
Running Lights ~ Fixed lights on boats to be shown during the hours of darkness.
Running Backstay ~ A backstay that can be slackened or tautened, as required, and can be done with tackles, winches or with a Highfield lever.
Running Rigging ~ Lines usually lead to winches to hoist, control and trim the sails. Read more about running and standing rigging...