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69 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
The top of the hull, where the inner liner joins the outer hull. (It’s also
spelled “gunwale,” but still pronounced “gunnel.”)
A horizontal door, usually on a storage compartment.
The vertically mounted pole used to support the sails and rigging.
The top corner of a sail. (Not to be confused with the marine toilet, which
goes by the same name.)
Stiffeners that insert into pockets in a sail’s leech to improve the shape and
the lifting ability, and to allow the mainsail to be larger than the triangle defined by the mast and boom.
Broad reach
To sail downwind at an angle greater than 90 degrees from the wind
Reach upwind locations by "beating into the wind."
This is sailing a series of legs or tacks back and forth across the wind.
Cam cleats
These are cleats that depend on eccentric or off-center wheels to lock
lines in place—they are faster to use than conventional cleats, so they are favored for sheets that may need frequent adjustment, and sometimes need to be released quickly for safety.
Away from the wind.
Roller furling
A system of storing sails by rolling them up around the forestay or
The space between the headsail and the mainsail, where much of the lift or
propelling force is generated.
Toward the wind.
The inner side of the gunnel.
The part of the boat you stand on, the floor.
The horizontal pole along the foot of a sail.
The bottom edge of a sail.
Keel or Centerboard
The fin on the bottom of the sailboat that keeps the boat from slipping sideways. Keels are usually ballasted or weighted to help prevent a
capsize. The centerboard is a moveable keel, unballasted, that’s used on smaller boats. The swing-up keel makes it easier to beach or trailer the boat.
Beam reach
To sail across the wind at 90 degrees.
Sailing back and forth on a series of legs to work toward an upwind objective. Can also be called "beating to windward."
Starboard tack
The boat is steered to the left of the wind direction so that the wind comes from the starboard or right side.
Coming about
To change direction or change tacks so that the wind comes from
the other side of the boat and the sails fill from the other side.
Running rigging
Refers to all the adjustable lines and gear used to raise and tension
the sails. It is adjusted frequently as winds and course change.
A lightweight, three-cornered sail with a parachute-like shape used for
adding speed on downwind runs.
Sailboats are generally classified according to:
The number and position of the
The middle part of the boat, between aft and forward.
The part where the two halves of the bottom meet. Structurally, the main
center frame member of the hull. In sailing, the fin projecting from the bottom to reduce leeway.
Main sheet
The line used to control the angle of the mainsail via the boom.
The bottom rear corner of a sail, on a jib this is where the sheet attaches.
Boom vang
The line used to control how much the boom can pivot upward. It sits
closer to the mast than the main sheet, which is also attached to the boom.
Close reach
To sail upwind at an angle less than 90 degrees but not into the wind
as much as when sailing on a beat.
A large jib sail that overlaps the mast.
Life lines
A safety rail usually made of steel cable that circles the deck of larger
boats to keep the crew from falling overboard.
Support wires that run from the mast to the sides of the boat, part of the
standing rigging.
Standing rigging
The stays and shrouds that hold the mast upright. It is more or
less fixed rigging.
Your first courses should be:
Beam reaches, basically sailing
across the wind
The distance from the waterline to the lowest point of the hull—the shallowest
depth in which a boat will float without any part touching bottom.
Jib sheet
The lines used to control the angle of the jib. Most boats have two jib
sheets, used one at a time depending on which side of the boat the wind is coming from.
The bottom front corner of a sail. (To “tack,” however, is also a term meaning to work back and forth into the wind. And “tack” can also refer to one leg of the zig-zag course steered when “tacking” upwind.)
Boom vang
The line used to control how much the boom can pivot upward. It sits
closer to the mast than the main sheet, which is also attached to the boom.
Close-hauled or Beating
To sail as nearly into the wind as the boat will allow for the purpose of making progress upwind. Most boats sail at about 45 degrees from
the wind direction when they are sailing close-hauled.
Leaning to one side from the force of the wind on the sails.
A line used to tension the foot of a sail along a boom.
Small bits of yarn or other lightweight materials that are attached to the sail or other readily visible spot to indicate wind direction and flow.
Telltales stream:
Away from the wind
The width of the boat, usually measured at its widest point.
Toward the front part of the boat.
Length overall (LOA)
The distance from the tip of the bow to the end of the stern.
The large sail on the back side of the main mast.
Lines used to hoist sails up the mast or stay.
A tensioned support cable that runs from the top of the mast to the stern
of the boat.
This is a downwind leg, usually sailed with the main and the jib on opposite
sides of the mast (also called sailing wing-on-wing).
In general, the most efficient points of sail.
Reaches -- you go fastest with
a given amount of wind.
Apparent wind
The wind as it affects a sailboat in motion. Apparent wind on a downwind run is minimal because you’re moving along at close to the speed of the
wind, while on a close reach the felt wind is near maximum, combining wind speed with the forward motion of the boat.
To reduce the sail area by partially lowering the sail and rolling or tying it to the boom.
Toward the back part of the boat.
Pointy front end of a boat.
Stern or Transom
The squared-off back end of the boat.
The distance from the waterline to the gunnels. (A taller freeboard
makes a boat more seaworthy.)
Where the surface of the water meets the hull.
The front edge of a sail. (When a sail is “luffing,” it is flapping and loose, not creating lift.)
A tensioned support cable that runs from a point near the top of the mast
to the bow of the boat. If this stay goes all the way to the top of the mast, or masthead, it can also be called a head stay.
To sail across the wind at an angle that allows main and jib to work efficiently on the same side.
Sailboats can't do what?
Sail directly into the wind.
Port tack
Bearing to the right of the wind direction, has the wind coming in over the port side.
In irons
A boat is said to be in irons when it is stuck pointing directly upwind and
the sails cannot be filled to begin sailing again.
When the sail is trimmed at its most efficient angle for a given heading:
The yarn on both sides of
the sail streams directly aft.
Where the bottom of a boat meets the sides.
The sail set on the front side of the main mast and supported by the head stay or forestay.
The back edge of a sail.