Speaking Nautically

Contrary to popular belief, the port side of a ship isn't the side of the ship that's tied up to the pier! If you've ever wondered what we're talking about when we say "Aft" or "Midship", or "Port" and "Starboard", here's a handy reference list .

("Posh" isn't included - you'll have to read Cold Play to find out the three definitions Jason and Katey came up with!)

Aft

Towards the rear, or stern, of the ship

Amidship

The middle section of the ship, lengthwise

Astern

Ship moving backwards

Beam

The ship's width at its widest point

Bow

Front end of the ship

Bridge

Section where navigation and handling of the ship are done

Bulkhead

Shipboard name for a wall or partition

Companionway

A flight of stairs

Deck

Nautical word for floor, inside or out

Deckhead

Shipboard name for ceiling

Draft

The depth of the ship below the waterline

Fathom

Nautical measurement of depth. One fathom equals six feet.

Helm

The ship's steering apparatus

Knot

Nautical speed, about 1.15 land miles per hour

Lee side

The side which is sheltered from the wind

Pitching

Motion of the ship in which the bow rises and falls

Port Side

Left side of the ship, as you face forward

Roll

Ship's motion from side to side

Starboard Side

Right side of the ship, as you face forward

Stern

The aft, or rear, end of the ship

Tonnage

Customary measure, in displacement or volume of the ship's size

Topside

Upstairs (usually meaning upper decks)

 

customizable counter