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You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Boat Pennsylvania Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Pennsylvania Boater Education Certificate.

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Parts of a Boat From the Side

Boats come in many styles and shapes, but the names of the different parts remain consistent. Every boat operator should know the following terms and definitions.

  • Bow: Front of a vessel
  • Stern: Rear of a vessel
  • Propeller: Rotates and powers a boat forward or backward
  • Starboard: Right side of a vessel
  • Port: Left side of a vessel
  • Hull: Body of a vessel
  • Gunwale: Upper edge of vessel's side (generally pronounced gunnel)
  • Cleat: Metal fitting on which a rope can be fastened
  • Navigation lights include all-round white light and red and green sidelights
Parts of a vessel
Parts of a Boat From the Front
  • Beam: Maximum width of a vessel
  • Freeboard: Distance from water to lowest point of the boat where water could come on board
  • Draft: Depth of water needed to float a vessel
  • Keel: Main centerline (backbone) of a vessel or the extension of hull that increases stability in the water
Parts of vessel from the front