diagram of a 420 sailboat

Lesser-Known Terms

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, here are some lesser-known sailing terms defined for you.

Jib: a triangular sail set on a stay (a strong wire used to support a mast) that is typically found at the front, or bow, of the boat.

Downhaul: a rope or line that holds down a sail.

Mainsheet: a line that secures the mainsail and so that sailors can trim it in or keep it taut.

Batten: a thin piece of wood that is bound into the sail and helps create some pressure when the wind blows against the sail.

Centerboard: a keel in the middle of the sailboat that has the ability to retract and helps the boat keep its course against any current.