Charter Lexicon

Charter Lexicon
Category: News

Charter etiquette

Following several simple charter etiquette rules can make your boating experience better and will ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible. Most important is that you try to treat the boat as you would your own home, and the skipper will appreciate your care. It is also of big importance to respect the skipper and other crew members, if present on board. They have an extremly busy and responsible job. If you hired a skipper and/or hostess, you also have obligation to provide food for them.

Storage on board charter boat is always an issue, so instead of hard-sided luggage bring soft bags that can be collapsed for stowing. During navigation it is recommended to wear soft-soled boat shoes in order to protect feet form injuries, while walking barefoot on deck is advised only when boat is stopped, that means anchored or moored. Smoking on board is not recommended inside the cabin, so let the skipper determine areas on deck set aside for smokers, most probably stern of the boat.

One of the pleasures of a boat is the ability to enjoy the beautiful and quiet evenings in the cockpit, and even to make a private party. In that case be sure not to disturb neighboring yachts and their crew, and especially to turn down the loud music at a reasonable time.

Safety is the prime responsibility for the skipper, and he should take it very seriously. He should also hold short safety briefing, explain you in general what to do and how to react in unforseen situations and, most importantly, show you where lifejackets and liferafts are stored.

The correct way to deal with any problems that may occur on board is aslo via the skipper, and he or she is the only one with the authority to put it right. The tolerance level aboard boats and yachts for any illegal or illicit activities should be absolutely zero. The penalty for any such behaviour is the yacht itself being seized and, in most countries, jail for offenders.

Speak the yacht language

Here is the list of basic terms used in yacht language and short explanation of each

  • Anchor - metal device attached to a boat by a rope or chain and that is thrown into the water to hold the boat in place
  • Beaufort scale - a system of estimating the force of the wind by reading the surface of the water and seeing the wind's effects in making waves
  • Belowdecks - a boat's cabin areas
  • Berth - term for a bed on boat; place for boat at the dock or waterfront
    Bitter end - the end of a line that is not attached to anything
  • Block (pulley) - a piece of equipment used for providing mechanical advantage, consisting of a set of cheeks, a sheave, and bearings
  • Boom - a long spar used to extend the foot of a sail
  • Bow - forward part of the boat
  • Buoy - floating object moored to the sea bottom to mark something
  • Catamaran - a two-hulled boat
  • Chart - navigational map
  • Cleat - a horned deck or dock fitting for securing a line
  • Cockpit - large seating area in the stern where the skipper sits to steer the boat
  • Course - the direction that a boat is travelling through the water
  • Downhaul - a line used for bringing down a sail
  • Downwind - in the direction that the wind is blowing
  • Fender - bumper used to keep boats from banging into docks or each other
  • Flare - a signalling device that can be projected into the sky in emergency situations
  • Galley - a boat's kitchen
  • Gennaker - a spinnaker sail having an asymmetrical shape
  • Gybe - to turn the boat so that the stern passes through the direction of the wind
  • Halyard - a line used to haul up a sail
  • Head - the uppermost corner of a sail; marine toilet
  • Heading - the direction a boat's bow is pointing
  • Helm - a boat's steering wheel
  • Jib - a triangular sail set on a boat's bow
  • Keel - a fixed protrusion beneath the hull of a sailboat, used for counteracting the effects of leeway
  • Knot - an interlacement of one or more ropes; unit for boat speed (one nautical mile per hour)
  • Leeway - a side-slipping force
  • Leeward - the side of a boat or other object that is protected from the wind
  • Mainsail - tha largest of a boat's sails, set on a boat's stern
  • Mast - a long pole or spar rising from the keel or deck of a boat and supporting the yards, booms and rigging
  • Port side - the left side of the boat when facing forward
  • Reef points - small lines that serve to tie up the base of a sail when reefing
  • Rig - nautical term for boat's masts and sails
  • Rudder - a part of a boat's steering system that protrudes into water at the stern, turned by a tiller or helm
  • Rules of the Road - the international set of rules meant to assist in the safe navigation of boats
  • Running rigging - the lines that are used to handle sails
  • Saloon - a large, comfortable room on a boat where crew can talk, relax
  • Seacock - a valve used in a hull for securing hoses for sink, engine cooling system, toilete, etc.
  • Sheet - a line used for adjusting the trim of a sail
  • Spinnaker - a large baloon-like symetrical sail used when the wind is blowing from astern
  • Stanchion - the vertical support for a lifeline
  • Standing end - the end of a line that is attached to something
  • Standing rigging - wire rigging that supports the mast
  • Starboard side - the right side of the boat when facing forward
  • Stern - back part of the boat
  • Stopper – device used to stop or block the rope in a certain position
  • Tack - the forward corner of the foot of a sail; to turn the boat so that the bow passes through the wind
  • Tender - small, usually inflatable boat whose purpose is to service yacht, also called dinghy
  • Tide - the vertical rise and fall of the water as a result of the effects of gravity imposed by the moon and the sun
  • Tidel current - horizontal movement of water as a result of the tide
  • Tiller - a lever used for turning the rudder
  • Topping lift - a line used to adjust the height of a boom
  • Under way - when a boat is not secured to a fixed position
  • Upwind - in the direction from which the wind is blowing
  • Vang - a system of lines and blocks that connects from the boom to the base of the mast used for controlling the angle of the boom
  • Winch - a device on a sailing boat for pulling the rope
  • Windlass - mechanical, electric or hydraulic device for recovering the anchor
  • Windward - the side of an object that is facing the direction of the wind
We use cookies to provide high quality service experience to our clients and full functionality of our website. By continuing to use our website without changing your cookie settings, you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy