Getting to grips with yachting terms can be quite inundating if you’ve never had any contact with boats or yachts and are generally new to the yachting world.
There will be quite a few terms you will learn during your journey, but there are some basics you’re expected to know before setting foot on deck.
Parts of the Yacht
Aft deck: deck located at the rear of the boat
Stern/Aft: back of the boat
Bow: front of the boat
Port: left side of a yacht
Starboard: right side of a yacht
Sun deck: the usually upper deck of a ship that is exposed to the most sun
Bridge/Wheelhouse: the bridge of a ship is the room or platform from which the ship can be commanded
Lazarette: A storage space in a boat’s stern area
Passerelle: The passageway you walk on from the dock to the yacht. Often incorrectly called a gangplank.
Rooms On Board
Crew quarters: where the crew sleep
Saloon/Salon: living room
Staterooms/Cabins: guest bedrooms
Aloft: Above deck in the rigging or mast.
Berth: typically is what your bed is called, and sometimes cabins are also referred to as ‘berths”, hower
To Berth: is also when you’re referring to parking the boat. “To berth” means to moor or dock a ship. The parking spot itself also happens to be called a berth. Confused yet?
Bearing: Direction to an object from your current position.
Buoy: (normally pronounced “boowie”, but sometimes “boy”). An anchored floating object that serves as a navigation aid or hazard warning.
Dinghy: A small boat that a yacht carries or tows. Used for transfers to and from shore, and short day cruises and, if powerful enough, water sports. Also typically called a tender on larger yachts.
Fenders: inflatable bumper usually placed between yacht and dock to prevent damage
Helm: steering wheel
Heel: To temporarily tip or lean to one side. This most often happens when changing directions.
Knots per hour: a measure of speed equal to one nautical mile (6076 feet) per hour
Line: rope used aboard a vessel
LOA (Length Over All): the length of the yacht from bow to stern in feet or meters
M/Y: commonly used in yachting to indicate a Motor Yacht
S/Y: commonly used in yachting to indicate a Sailing Yacht
Under Way: when the yacht is in motion
Watch: A division of crew into shifts
Weigh: To raise the anchor
The amount of terms you have to get used to may seem overwhelming at first, but you’ll very soon get to grips with them!
If you have questions about yachting and, or yacht life aboard a luxury yacht, get in touch with us to book a private consulting session or consider buying our Ultimate Guide to Yacht Life that will give you a great intro and all the basics to start a career on a luxury yacht.