How To Speak The Lingo On A Yacht Charter

There are many similarities between life on land and life at sea, but there are also significant differences. One of the differences you'll notice on a yacht charter is that boaters use different terms for various parts of the boat. If you don't know sailor talk, here's a guide on how to speak the lingo like a natural during a yacht charter.

The Four Sides of a Yacht

The sides and ends of a yacht aren't referred to as front, back, left, and right. Instead, they're the bow (front), stern (back), port (left) and starboard (right).

Bow and stern are usually fairly easy to remember, but many people have trouble keeping port and starboard straight in their minds. If you have trouble with this, a pneumonic device can help. Port and left both have four letters, and they're the same side of the boat. Starboard doesn't match up with left or right in this way, and port doesn't match right in its number of letters.

Additionally, port and starboard are both assigned specific colors. Port is always green and starboard is always red. The reason for the two colors is so that captains can tell which boat has right of way in certain situations, but as a yacht renter, you don't need to know those details. As long as you know green is port and red is starboard, you'll fit in during conversations.

The Levels of a Yacht

Even though there are different levels on a yacht, the levels aren't referred to by number like they are in a multi-story building. Instead, everything on a yacht is oriented around the deck.

The deck is the main level of a yacht. It's above the surface of the water and is likely where you'll spend most of your time onboard. Part of the deck on a yacht will be enclosed in case there's inclement weather, but most of it will be open. On large yachts with multiple open levels, the deck is the first one above the surface of the water.

Referring to things in relation to the main deck is quite easy. Everything on the deck is either on deck or above deck, and everything down in the boat is below deck. For example, you might hear someone say they're going below deck for a rest or to retrieve something. Alternatively, a crew member might tell you a requested item is already on deck. Click here for more info about yacht charters.

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