Read an Excerpt
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Boating. Whether sail or power, yacht or small boat, cruising, fishing, or just "getting out on the water," whatever your style of recreational boating, it can be safer and more enjoyable if done with knowledge. The foundation of knowledge relating to any activity generally starts with an understanding of the special words and phrases of that subject and so we begin this book.
The language of boats and boating is different from that of the land and landsmen. It has been developed over centuries of use by those who sail the seas, yet flavored by terms invented in our generation. When you speak of the "stern" of a boat you are using a word that goes back centuries through several languages; yet when you say that you have a "stern-drive" engine, you are using a term that has been in existence only a relatively few years.
A boatman needn't be excessively "salty" in his speech, but there are strong reasons for knowing and using the right terms for objects and activities around boats. In times of emergency, many seconds of valuable time may be saved when correct, precise terms are used for needed tools or actions. In correspondence and other written material, use of the right word often shortens long explanations and eliminates doubt or confusion.
Learning and using proper nautical terms will mark you as one who is truly interested in boating. Above all, forming the habit of thinking directly in nautical terms, not in "shore" terms with mental translation, will help you use the proper words consistently. Soon you will find them coming naturally.
Copyright © by The Hearst Corporation