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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.