Sailing Terms Quiz

Sailing Terms Quiz (II)

Quiz 1 Results
Quiz 1 Results

Okay, here’s another quick little quiz of sailing terms born from our Sailing Made Easy book.

In our first Sailing Terms Quiz only 50% of you got all the questions right! Let’s see if you can all do a little better this time!

Test your sailing knowledge with these 5 questions – if you get them all right, the quiz will give you compliments. If you make a mistake, the quiz may act like a wise guy. Either way, it’s fun. Ready?

  • What is a fairlead?
    1. The path in which a sheet runs aft from a sail to a winch Back to the books for you!
    2. A fitting used to lead a line at the correct angle towards something else Good answer!
    3. A device that opens by way of a pin and a spring Nope, that’s a snap-shackle
    4. Any line in the running rigging that controls tension You been fooled!
  • “Lee helm” is…
    1. The tendency of a sailboat, when sailing, to turn away from the wind Feels good to be right doesn’t it?
    2. The tendency of a sailboat, when sailing, to turn towards the wind Nope, it’s actually the opposite.
    3. The tendency of a sailboat, when sailing, to achieve perfect balance It’s an optimistic choice but it’s not right.
    4. The tendency of a sailboat, when sailing, to vacillate in its ability to find balance maybe you don’t know what “lee helm” is, but you will!
  • What is “freeboard”
    1. The amount of space in the bilge area of a boat Try again!
    2. The width of the walking-area between the lifelines and cabin You’re guessing!
    3. A large wooden plank that plays the role of a keel on smaller boats through the use of a block and tackle system Sounds like it could be right, but it’s not.
    4. The height of the hull above the waterline Smart is what you are!
  • What’s a “bolt rope”?
    1. A metal fitting designed to secure ropes to decks No, that’s not it.
    2. A rope that has hard fiber threading similar to a metal bolt No, but you should invent that!
    3. A rope sewn into the edge of a sail Right! You’re intelligence is undeniable!
    4. A rope used to permanently affix something Bad news… that’s not right.
  • What is a “hank”?
    1. An attachment fitting found in the rudder system Nope, if you find a hank in the rudder system, you should probably get it out of there.
    2. A metal clip or fabric tab used to attach a sail’s luff to a stay Yes! Bask in your brilliance!
    3. The metal tab used to raise and lower zippers There is probably a name for that thing but it isn’t hank.
    4. A knot used to tie two different types of rope together So… do you know how to tie one of these “hank knots”? No, this is not correct.
Click on an answer above to start!
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Wayne Perry

Very good, please keep up the good work!!!!!

Simon cothill

easy peasy

Steven Potter

from the quiz you can tell I’m an Old School Boatswains Mate

rob evans

Send more,

Fred Weinhart

It’s been a while, but I guess some things just stay with you, if you like the subject!


Always fun to do these. Working with new sailors that just bought a 473 Beneteau and have directed them to the site.
Keep them coming.

Adnan Medic

Is bolt rope not the same as Leach Cord? That one got me confused.


No. Bolt rope is in the luff- forward edge of a sail. Leach cord is in the leach – trailing edge of the sail.

Ken K

No, the bolt rope is fixed. Typically sewn into the the luff of a main, and is therefore fixed – ie, not used to adjust (tighten/loosen) the leech.

John Hatch

Fun! Sometimes quizzes go a long way in not only testing but developing knowledge.

Captain david sweitzer
Captain david sweitzer

Your quizzes are fun, make the questions harder. Where did the term POSH originate?


port out, stab home


P O S H came from an excursion boat trip where the best view was ——
P ort O utbound, S tarboard H ome

Malcolm Raymond

It was typed or stamped on the ticket of first class return tickets meaning port side out starboard home. On transatlantic crossings so always looking at the sunny side of the ship. In other words better than first class POSH they were! Don’t you know! Pass the port won’t you!

Ed O'Connor

Port out, starboard home to denote preferred accommodations on a vessel

Cornelius Jansen

Port Out, Starboard Home
The preferred cabin side when travelling from England to India to avoid excess sun exposure


Port outbound (England to NY, so – sunny side of BOAT)

SH – OPPOSIT – NY to England


Port outbound starboard home from European cruises

Louis Cohen

No one knows for sure but it is known NOT to be port out starboard home. Google Worldwide Words for details.

Ron Hilmes

If nobody knows then it could be Port Out Starboard Home! 🙂

Frank brown


Stan Jones

It was fun to do and didn’t take a lot of time.
Of course if I hadn’t gotten them all correct it would have been embarrassing.
But in the end it reminds me that education is not a goal but a journey as is sailing itself so I am glad I own a copy of the ASA book for a lifetime of reference and sharing with others with whom I share the journey. ASA Member and have taken 101, 103, 104, 105.


Yes, fun. Cudos to Kathy and all the other ASA crew in LA.