Yacht Channel

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Chartering Terms

Bareboat or crewed? Port or Starboard? Along with yachting comes a boat-load of yachting terms. We've put together a glossary to help when choosing a yacht to charter, or to just help you sound like you're in-the-know while on-board.

Choosing a yacht to charter can be a difficult decision, but knowing some key chartering terms can help you make the right choice.

Bareboat - A sailboat or powerboat for hire without a crew. On a bareboat charter costs are individually itemized, meaning you can choose whether you'd like a cook or crew onboard.

Captain Only Charter - No crew is provided other than a captain.

Cook Only Charter - No captain or crew are provided except the cook.

Crewed - A crewed charter provides a full-time captain and cook, as well, often times, as a stewardess or deck hand. Crewed charters are package deals; the costs are not itemized.

Option or Hold - A yacht charter broker may offer this tentative booking pending receipt of your contract, and deposit. An "option" or "hold" will usually last anywhere from 5 to 10 days, so be sure to find out from your broker what length of time they allow.

Sleep Aboard (SAB) - This is an option often provided by charter brokers in order to accommodate clients who arrive at the departure location the day before the charter is set to begin according to the charter contract. The charter will begin at the same time, and often the crew will need to board prior to the set departure time in order to finish up last minute preparations; however, hiring your yacht for the night at a reduced rate is often more convenient than getting a hotel. Be sure to make arrangements for this option in advance with your charter broker.

Yacht Broker - Yacht Brokers sell yachts.

Yacht Charter Broker - Yacht Charter Brokers charter yachts.

Yachting & Sailing Terms

Once you've chosen a yacht to charter it's important to know some basic yachting and sailing terms. While this list could be quite extensive, here are some necessities to get you started.

Abeam - Out to the sides of the boat on either side.

Ahead - Over the bow or directly in front of the boat.

Astern - Directly behind the boat over the stern.

Beam - The widest part of the boat.

Bow - The front of the boat.

Bridge - On a powerboat, the location from which the boat is steered and speed is controlled.

Bulkhead - The walls.

Cabin - The enclosed living area of the boat.

Catamaran - A boat with two twin hulls running parallel to one another and connected by a central section that is often designed with a living area, dining area, and galley.

Centerline - An imaginary line down the center of the boat from the bow to the middle of the stern.

Cockpit - On a sailboat it is where the helm is situated. On a powerboat it is an enclosure aft part of the boat and used for lounging, dining or fishing.

Davits - A pair of small cranes that are used to lift the dinghy and suspend it over the water when the boat is underway in order to create less drag and get better performance out of the boat.

Dinghy - A small boat carried behind a bigger boat.

Draught - The amount of boat from the waterline to the lowest part of the boat (aka how much water the boat needs).

Fender - A cushion placed between boats or between a boat and a pier to prevent damage.

Freeboard - The height of the boat from the waterline to the top of the side of the boat.

Galley - The kitchen.

Ground tackle - A general term used to describe all the gear used when anchoring, including ropes, chain, cable and anchor.

Halyards - The ropes used to raise and lower the sails and flags.

Hatch - An opening in the deck to allow access to the accommodation area.

Head - The forward part of the boat, or the direction the boat is traveling.

Heads - The toilet.

Headway - Movement through the water in a forward direction.

Helm - The machinery by which the boat is steered.

Hull - The outside, underside of the boat.

Keel - Along the underside of the hull down the centerline.

Leeward - The direction away from the wind.

Monohull - A conventional sailboat with just one hull.

Mooring lines - Rope used to secure a boat at dock, jetty or marina berth.

Multihull - A catamaran or trimaran.

Nautical mile - A measurement that equals 6,080 feet (a mile is 5,280 feet).

Port 1/4 - 45 degrees forward of dead astern on the port side.

Port beam - Out to the side off the port side of the boat.

Port bow - 45 degrees from the bow, around the port side.

Port side - The left hand side of the boat when you are in the boat facing the bow.

RIB - Rigid Inflatable Boat, or dinghy with inflatable pontoon mounted on the sides of a rigid hull.

Sheets - The ropes used to adjust the sails in and out in order to best catch the breeze.

Starboard 1/4 - 45 degrees forward of dead astern on the starboard side.

Starboard beam - Out to the side off the starboard side of the boat.

Starboard bow - 45 degrees from the bow, around the starboard side.

Starboard side - The right hand side of the boat when you are in the boat facing the stern.

Stern - The back of the boat.

Trimaran - A boat with three hulls that run parallel to one another with the middle often being shorter than the two outer hulls.

Underway - A vessel in motion.

Weigh Anchor - To lift the anchor off the sea bed when getting underway.

Windward - The direction toward the wind.