In this section, you can get acquainted with the basic nautical terminology

Here we have collected some nautical terminology that everyone who works in this field should know. Any science, profession, specialty gradually grows in own terminology inherent only to them. This terminology, with a sufficient supply of specialized words, generates a peculiar coloring of speeches of specialists. The number of terms of the sea language has exceeded ten thousands. The language, as any other living language, develops and to some extent changes as naturally as through the past years. A lot of it has come into life in recent years, including not marine words, especially from the field of electronic technology. However, this is a colloquial language. Literary, language suffers and practically does not have its own spelling. The vessels are ones without distinction of their size, transport (including passenger transport vessels), fishing, special, and sports vessels. Ships are the warships, regardless of size. All these nuances are abandoned by the wide public.

The importance of this case cannot be overestimated, especially since it should be remembered that this terminology dives into non-existence day by day.


white ship on blue sea during daytime

Mizzen – rear mast, sailing vessels having three masts and more.

Boatswain – from the Dutch – shipman. The person of the junior command staff on the ship. His duties include keeping the vessel clean, supervising general ship operations and training the crew for the marine business. Senior among all the junior commanders of the ship.

Brig is a 2-masted sailing ship with direct arms, but with a gaffle on the grotto.

A buoy – a floating barrel or a ball anchored and usually serving to protect from dangers in open sea areas (shelf, flooded ships…). A small buoy protects the permitted areas for navigation

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Watch – the one on duty on the ship. Usually, the day on the ship is divided into 6 watches for 4 hours.

The pendant is a long narrow flag with a pair of oblique or triangular shapes. In the navy, being raised on the ship, it means that the ship is ready to perform its task.

The harbor is a part of the land, more or less protected from the wind with sufficient depth for mooring ships.

The mainmast is the second mast, counting from the nose. On large ships with more than three masts, the first is a foremast, the last is a mizzenmast; all the masts that stand between them are the “numbered” mainmast.

The watch log is a book in which all events occurring on a ship are recorded regularly. There are also logs on civilian vessels – that is how non-war ships are called.

Drift – the phenomenon of the deviation of the vessel from the line of its course under the influence of the wind.

The wardroom is a place on the ship for collective rest, classes, meetings, and meals for the commanding staff.

Cockpit – 1. Residential area for the team. 2. The second platform. 3. The name of one of the decks of a warship.

The front side of the sail is the one in which the wind blows (at the straight) at the oblique sail on the right and left sides.

The mast is a vertical pillar on the ship, which rises above the deck. Is the basis for things on the mast and serves to carry sails.

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Maritime practice is the knowledge accumulated on the basis of many centuries of navigation, necessary for the skillful management of a ship in any conditions and for the proper performance of all shipboard operations.

Monsoon – steady winds, which change direction twice a year. This is because the sea and land are heated differently in winter and summer. Monsoons often carry wet air rains.

Tradewinds are winds that continuously blow in the oceans with a fairly even strength of 3-4 points. Their direction is not always constant.

The berth is a place along the pier where the ship can moor for loading and unloading operations. Sometimes there are not enough berths, then new piers are built in the port – long structures made of piles, embankments or iron fittings that run from the shore at right angles.

Rig – round wooden or steel tubular parts of the armament of ships, designed for sailing. The masts include sailyard, gaffs, geese, bowsprit, etc.

Raid – a fairly wide water area, located near the coast and intended for anchorage of ships. A part of this space, which is outside the enclosure, is called an external raid. The one that is protected from the wind and waves is internal. On the outer roads, vessels usually wait their turn to enter the internal roadstead, where it is safer to anchor or berth.

Ladder – any ladder on the ship. Often, by the sea tradition, ladders are called ladders on coastal stations, signal towers.

The flagpole is usually installed at the stern.

Fockmast – the front mast on the ship, counting from the bow to the stern.

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Frigate – in the sailing military fleet, three-mast ship, the second largest after the linear (mast is the same, but somewhat lighter and higher)

Sailyard – the wooden construction suspended from the middle of the mast or the top, serves to tie sails to it.

The schooner is a sailing vessel with two or more masts.

Crew – all sailors on the ship, who serve and manage it.

A squadron is a mix of military or training ships, usually performing one task.

Jung is a teenager who studies sea affairs and is preparing to become a sailor. There were created special schools for young men all over the world.

The anchor (floating) – it is used if the usual anchor does not reach the bottom, usually a square piece of canvas on a wooden cross with a small load.

BY the way, anchor has the fantastically good energy. Their images are beyond doubt positive. Not without a reason, though, as the anchor has long been considered a symbol of hope. In people, the image of the anchor has always awakened a passion for long voyages in the souls and longing to the unknown islands, in adventurers of all times.