Sailing: Parts of a Sailboat

Block
The nautical term for a pulley

 

Boom
A horizontal pole that attaches to the mast and is used to extend the foot of the mainsail

 

Bow
The forward part of a boat

 

Centerboard
A pivoting plate used to balance a boat and lessen leeway

 

Cleat
A fastening around or in which lines can be secured

 

Hull
The primary structural body of a vessel, not including superstructure, masts or rigging

 

Keel
A boat's fixed underwater part used to prevent sideways drift and provide stability

 

Line
Any piece of boat on a rope

 

Mast
A pole placed vertically on a boat used to support sails

 

Painter
A line attached to a small boat's bow used to tie it to a dock or another boat

 

Rudder
A boat's movable underwater steering board

 

Shackle
A metal fitting commonly used to connect sails and halyards

 

Shrouds and stays
Wires that hold the mast upright (the front one is the forestay)

 

Spreader
Struts attached to the mast to increase the holding power of the shrouds

 

Stern
A boat's afterpart

 

Tiller
A wooden or metal "stick" used to turn the rudder

 

Transom
A boat's afterpart that is square to its centerline

 

Wheel
A steering apparatus

 

Winch
A metal drum-shaped object around which lines are wrapped to make trimming them easier

 

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Used with permission from SAIL Magazine. Text and illustrations by Brad Dellenbaugh; edited by Amy Ullrich. Brad is an offshore sailing coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, as well as a freelance artist and writer. An active one-design racer on the national and world level, Brad also teaches clinics and seminars to sailors of all ages. © 2002 PRIMEDIA, Inc.