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Yachting Lingo: The ABC’s of Chartered Yacht Vacations

May 31, 2017 Published by

The maritime industry has its own language and if you’re a newbie it can be difficult to understand what is being said between the captain and crew. While chartered yacht vacations don’t require you to know anything about boats it can be helpful to have a basic working knowledge of the vocabulary.

Chartered Yacht Vacations Terms

  • Admiralty law – Admiralty is also referred to as maritime and both terms refer to the body of laws governing the yachting and boating industry.
  • Bareboat charter – A bareboat charter is a type of charter where the renter is responsible for hiring of the crew and captain.
  • Catamaran – A catamaran is a type of boat with two hulls.
  • Land lubber – A land lubber is a person who is not familiar with (or doesn’t like) the ocean.
  • Coasties – The men and women of the United States Coast Guard are commonly referred to as “coasties.” (Helpful hint: It is not wise to call an officer anything but “officer” in his or her presence.)

Basic Boating Terms

  • Bow – The bow of the boat is the front of the boat. (Helpful hint to remember this vocabulary word: When you bow you lean forward.)
  • Stern – The stern of the boat is the back of the boat.
  • Port – If you’re standing at the back of the boat and looking forward, the “port” side of the ship refers to the left side of the ship. (Helpful hint to remember this vocabulary word: “Port” and “left” both have four letters in them.)
  • Starboard – If you’re standing at the back of the boat and looking forward, the “starboard” side of the ship refers to the right side of the ship.
  • Forward – You are going “forward” when you are walking toward the bow of the boat.
  • Aft – You are going “aft” when you are walking toward the bow of the boat.

Crew Definitions

  • Captain – The captain is the master on board, responsible for all of the ships activities.
  • Chief Mate – The captain’s right hand is the chief mate. He or she typically manages the deck crew and is responsible for safety measures.
  • Bosun – On larger ships this person is responsible for maintenance and cleanliness.
  • Deckhand – A deckhand performs the maintenance and cleaning on a ship.
  • Chief Stewardess – On larger ships, the chief stewardess is the manager of the crew.
  • Stewardess – A stewardess performs the housekeeping of the interior of the boat.

Phrases That will Make You Look Like a Pro

  • DavyJones’ Locker – “Davy Jones’ Locker” is an idiom referring to the bottom of the ocean.
  • Rulesof the Road – “Rules of the road” refers to the international boating laws and safety regulations.
  • BimboPad – A “bimbo pad” refers to the place on the boat where female passengers lay in the sun.
  • Blue Peter– A “blue peter” a blue and white flag that indicates a boat is about to sail.
  • BoatBite –Bruises and cuts that appear while onboard are referred to as “boat bites.”
  • CaptainMorgan – “Captain Morgan” is typically a nickname for an intoxicated (and annoying) guest.


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