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Photo of a ship.

List of nautical terms

Anything to do with sailing on the sea.

Photo of a red buoy
Port can either mean the left side of a boat, or is another word for a harbour. Port, the direction, is designated the color red. The opposite of port is starboard. You might also be interested in port, the drink.
Photo of a porthole.

Pis forPorthole

A porthole is a small, round window typically seen on ships. Any small, round window on a building or anything else is also given the name porthole. Portholes on ships may not always be able to be opened. When they can, they must have a watertight seal.
Photo of the prow of a ship.

Pis forProw

Prow is another name for the bow or front part of a ship, particularly the part above the waterline. Older ships used to have the highest point of the prow decorated with a carved wooden figurehead, such as the one in the picture.

Ris forRaft

A raft is the most simple form of boat. Rafts can be made from anything that will float. The raft in the picture is a purpose-made inflatable raft.

Ris forRigging

Rigging is the name given to all the ropes and chains that support the mast and sails on a ship.
Photo of a rudder.

Ris forRudder

A rudder is a device that is used to steer a boat, hovercraft or aircraft. It works by changing the direction the air or water rushes past the vessel. Rudders are typically seen on the back of ships, behind the propeller. Rudders on airplanes are mostly to add stability rather than for steering.
Photo of sails on a ship

Sis forSail

A sail is a large piece of fabric on a sailboat that catches the wind and moves the boat forwards. The tall pole that holds the sails up is called a mast, and the ropes that hold the sails in place are called rigging.
Photo of a ship

Sis forShip

A ship is a large vehicle that travels on the sea. Ships can be powered by sails, like the ship in the picture, or powered by engines. Modern freight ships can carry an enormous amount of cargo.
Photo of a skipper

Sis forSkipper

Skipper is an informal word meaning the captain of a ship, or simply the person who is in control of the ship.
Photo of a green buoy
Starboard means the right hand side of a ship. Starboard is colored green. The opposite of starboard is port.