Boats

By: Thomas Morva

A boat in common parlance is a watercraft, generally smaller in size to most ships. A boat consists of structures called hulls and some system of propulsion, such as paddles, oars, a setting pole, a sail, paddlewheels and so forth.

The somewhat horizontal but arched structure that spans the boat's hull is known as the "deck." Unlike a ship, where there are numerous decks, a boat conventionally has just has one. The cabin's floor is called the 'sole.' The base of the deck is known as the "deck head." The vertical "bulkheads" divide the internal area. Some bulkheads are significant in the overall structure of the boat. The boat's front side is known as the bow (or prow); the back of the boat is the stern. The starboard and the port are the right and the left sides of the boat, respectively.

Today, the command area of a big boat is called – perhaps inappropriately – the "bridge." The bridge, depending upon the design, can be the wheelhouse or the cockpit.

The toilet compartments are called the "heads," and a trip to relieve oneself is called the "head call." During olden days, the cord used to maneuver a sailboat was made of linen; today it is made of cotton. That cord is known as the "line." Though they have their own names, "halyards" is the name given to the cord used for raising flags or sails; "sheets" control the sails' positioning.

The cords and the wire are collectively termed "rigging." The cords and the wires that are set up before the boat sets for sail is referred to as standing rigging; the cords that are used while the boat is in motion is known as running rigging. For example, the halyard or the sheet is part if the running rigging, and the forestay is a part of the standing rigging.

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