Posted on

Know the Parts of Your Boat

Boats come in many styles and shapes, but the names of the different parts remain consistent. Every boat operator should know the following terms and definitions.

  • Beam: Maximum width of a vessel
  • Gunwale: Upper edge of a vessel’s side
  • Hull: Body of a vessel
  • Keel: Main centerline of a vessel, or the extension of the hull that increases stability
  • Propeller: Rotates and powers vessel forward or backward
  • Draft: Depth of water needed to float a vessel
  • Freeboard: Distance from water to lowest point of boat where water could come aboard
  • Starboard: Right side of a vessel
  • All-Round White Light: Indicates rear of a vessel
  • Stern: Rear of a vessel
  • Cleat: Metal fitting on which a rope can be fastened
  • Port: Left side of a vessel
  • Red and Green Sidelights: Directional indicators on front of a vessel
  • Bow: Front of a vessel

Content courtesy of