The Parts of a Sailboat: Free Online Sailing Lessons

for Beginners by

Terms to Know

Following are a list of the basic terms you might be expected to know when operating a sailboat.


the part of the boat to secure by a line or anchor.


a rope attacthed to one or more ends of the sail allowing it to be pulled in or out depending on the wind.


Ropes used for various purposes on or around a sail boat, it is the general sailing term instead of rope.

No Go Zone -

The angle with respect to the wind that a boat can’t produce power to move is known as the no go zone.

Trimming in -

this is when the sheet is pulled in.

Close Hauled-

This is the point of sail when the boat is headed as close to the wind as it can while still maintaining power in the sails. This is typically 45 degrees off the wind.

Beam Reach-

The point of sail where a boat is headed 90 degrees off the wind

Broad Reach-

When a boat is headed so that the wind is hitting the boat on one of its back corners.


To turn a boat to take the wind on the other side, with the stern going through the wind.


To turn a boat into the wind


the lee side of the boat (side of the boat away from the wind).


the side of the boat closest to the wind.


a boat turned over on its side or upside down.


a wooden, plastic or metal device used to hold or secure lines, (v.) to cleat- to secure a line in a cleat.


Distance between the boat rail and the water


Side of the boat

Heat exhaustion-

increase in body temperature caused by prolonged exposure to the sun, heat and humidity, also known as hyperpyrexia can lead to more serious conditions i.e. heat stroke


reduction in body temperature caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures or cold water


to stall or flap the sail at its forward edge or over entire sail.


Personal Flotation Device

Spray Suit-

A lightweight pants and jacket set made of wind/waterproof material