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It can frustrating reading a boats description and wondering what on earth that is, something to hold my drink? Something to save my life? A lounging area? Can I cook BBQ on that? So here it is, our B to T of sailing terms, or ‘boat jargon’, useful for casual passengers of luxury vessels, no trimming the sail and getting the sheet on the winch this time round… colloquial and textbook, we’ll have you speaking fluent sailor in no time ????


Bimini top or Bimini cover: A canvas cover top for the cockpit of a boat. Ideal if there’s a chance of rain, or a lot of sun and you want some shade. Seasoned passenger slang includes ‘bimi’ or ‘bikini top’

Bow / Stern: Bow is the front of the boat, Stern or ‘Aft’ refers to the back. Think about bowing to your audience at the front and having stern words with the naughty kids at the back.

Champagne Sailing: A fancier term for ‘smooth sailing’, turbulence not expected, no drink spillages on the horizon.

Flybridge: The open area at the very top of a ship where you can feel like a captain with uninterrupted 360 degree views of your surroundings. Another good place to put a bimi!

Keel: This is the thing that stops you capsizing. The long heavy fin on the bottom of the boat. When chartering a boat, if you get one with a shallow or retracting keel, this means you will be able to get closer to shallow shores, great if you want to explore a little secluded beach.

Landlubber: This might be you. An unseasoned sailor, unfamiliar with the sea. Shake that label off by the end of your exclusive charter hire!

Lily pad: Some yachts come with a good selection of toys including the aqua ‘Lily pad’ – a floating water mat for a bunch of people to lounge on in the water away from the boat. The ideal casual floating vessel, just be careful you don’t drift away!

Port / Starboard: Port = Left. Easy to remember by that question regularly thrown around on a boat by thirsty sailors, ‘Any Port Left?!’ Starboard is the other one, the right side.

Saloon: This area is particularly important for Autumn/Winter charters. The indoor lounging or dining cabin. The social space. Ideally has a decent table for poker games.

Spa: A hot tub, jacuzzi or similar. Yes you can bath and sail at the same time!

Tender: A small boat, sometimes a dinghy, attached to the main vessel. Good for transporting passengers and supplies to and fro shore.

Trampoline: The bouncy looking bit at the front, great for lying down and sunbaking on, not so great for standing up on. If you’re in the trampoline area and the motor about to be turned on, best to sit down.

White horses: On a ‘choppy’ day these are the little white wash waves you will see all over the ocean, moving along like white horses. You’re in for an invigorating ride with these around.


There you have it! If there’s anything else on the boat descriptions that you don’t understand, call us up and we’ll be happy to translate for you!