There are many sailing terms exclusively used and that have to be learned by those who have not a nautical vocabulary as of yet. These technical jargons are part of the sailing world that simply defines the sport. You may learn nautical terms on the internet, in a sailing school or local sailing club. Or if you're like me, you'll learn nautical terms by reading the sailing beginner e Book. In any case, learning nautical terms will help you to become a better sailor with a sailboat crew and enhance your appreciation for the sport.
Let's discuss some of the terminology that you might use. The bow is the front of the sailboat and the back is known as the stern. The right side of the boat while you are looking at the bow from the inside of the sailboat is called the starboard side. The left side is called the port side. The keel is the fin under the hull or bottom of the sailboat that is weighted with lead or some other material, to offset the wind executed on the sails.
There are three basic types of sails that are used on a sailing vessel. There is the main sheet, which is the largest of the three and is rigged to the mast and boom. The jib is a smaller than the main and is rigged on the front of the mast ahead of the main sail. A spinnaker sail is used primarily for sailing with the wind that is positioned ahead of the jib and requires a boom of sections to rig it to the mast. The halyard is the rope that raises and lowers the sail.
Tacking is a term when you are sailing upwind or toward the wind, first you turn to the port side, then to the starboard side in a zigzag pattern, then each of these turns are known as tacking. Jibing is the opposite of tacking, because you are turning with the wind behind you. So when tacking there is a port tack and a starboard tack depending on which way you turn left or right correspondingly.
Sailing directly down wind is called a run. A reach is when you are sailing downwind at an angle to the wind. A broad reach is when the wind is coming from behind the sailing boat at an angle. The sails are turned out away from the boat, but not quite as much as on a run or dead run where the sail would be 90 degrees perpendicular to the hull.
Nautical terms may appear to be quite difficult in the beginning. However they will become easier after just a few outings. For more information on sailing, just sail on over to sailingbeginner.com you will be glad you did!