ADDITIONAL TERMINOLOGY

Here are some additional terms that boaters should be familiar with before operating a boat:

AFT – near or at the stern of the boat.
BEAM – the width of a boat, also the direction at right angles to the centerline of a vessel.
BILGE – the lowest point of a boat’s interior hull.
DRAFT – the vertical distance from the waterline to the lowest point of the keel; the minimum depth of water in which a vessel will float.
FORWARD – aboard a boat, the direction to the front, to the bow.
FREEBOARD – the vertical distance from the waterline to the gunwale.
KEEL – the main structural member of a boat; its backbone; the lateral area beneath the hull that helps to provide stability and reduce the sideways drift of a boat.
WATERLINE – the intersection of a boat’s hull and the water’s surface.