So, you’re thinking about buying a boat, but you don’t know anything about boat parts. Don’t let a lack of knowledge stop you from getting that new toy! Boats might seem complicated, but most of them work on a very simple premise. If you understand the main parts and terminology of a boat then you’ll seem like an aficionado to any onlooker. It also makes it easier when you need to repair parts.
Areas of the Boat
Boats have their own language and if you plan on owning one you should know how to speak it. The front of the boat is called the bow. On a motor boat this might be just the front tip, but on a sailboat the area is often large enough for you to stand on. The back of a boat, where the motor or rutter is, is called the stern. On a boat, directions have different names as well. Right is called starboard and left is called port. These can be incredibly useful to know when directing people on your boat or exchanging directions with other boat captains.
Measurements and Parts
The most obvious part of any boat is the motor, which drives the propeller. The propeller is the blades that sits under the water, or sometimes under the boat, and propels the boat forward. You might hear people talking about the draft on a boat. Pay attention to this; the draft is the depth of water that a boat needs to float. This can determine what types of bodies of water you can go into with your boat. Another term you might hear is “freeboard,” which refers to the distance from the waterline on your boat to the bottom of your boat’s deck.
If you’re thinking about getting a boat, take the time to get the know parts before you start asking questions about different models.