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Course Outline

Boat parts—side view

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 boat
  • Stern: Rear of a boat
  • Starboard: Right side of a boat
  • Port: Left side of a boat
  • Hull: Body of a boat
  • Gunwale: Upper edge of boat’s side (generally pronounced gunnel)
  • Cleat: Metal fitting on which a rope can be fastened
  • Propeller: Rotates and powers a boat forward or backward
  • Navigation lights include all-round white light and red and green sidelights
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