So your friend buys a boat and asks you out for a day on the water. Sounds great, but you want to fit in and above all, not sound like the dreaded landlubber. Perhaps you’re aware that boaters speak their own special lingo.

Want to impress your friend – learn to talk like a real boater!

Don’t be this guy!

While is may take decades to figure out how to work “abaft abeam” into a coherent sentence, I have a few tips to keep you out of trouble.

And if you’re interested in becoming a Master Boat Talker, check out the link below from Dockwa.

A Few Words Real Boaters Never Say…

Although boaters have their own language, you don’t really need to know everything. But there are a few words that should never leave your lips once your Sperry Topsiders touch the deck!

  1. It’s not a rope, it’s a line. That is unless you’re on a sailboat and the line is used to raise the sail, then it’s a halyard. If it’s used to tighten the sail, it’s a sheet. Oh yeah, if it’s used to drop the anchor, it’s a rode.
  2. It’s not a bathroom, it’s the head (click here to find out why, it’s not pretty).
  3. In the same vein, that place where you go to sleep is not called a bedroom. This one gets tricky depending on the size of the boat and other factors. If it has a door, the best bet is to call it a cabin. If the door locks, I’d call it a stateroom. If it has neither, it’s just a berth.
  4. A boater never says right or left, it’s starboard and port. This does make sense to me since right and left are relative to where one’s looking. If you’re looking forward on a boat, your right side is the right side of the boat. But if you turn around and face backward, your right side is now the port side of the boat.
  5. The last one you need to know is bow and stern. The bow is the front of the boat and stern is the back-end.

Study these 5 terms until you can use them naturally in a sentence like this fellow…

“Would you hold this line? I need the visit the head in the port cabin near the bow…”

Talk Like A Masterboater!

Truth be told, I didn’t completely come up with the idea for this post on my own. A few months I saw a similar – but far deeper, post on the Dockwa Blog…

The Dockwa Post lists dozens of nautical terms and while I know most of them, I would be hard pressed to create such a list off the top of my head.

Wanna be a master – learn this list and you too can become the idol of landlubbers everywhere!