Coastal Cruisers Vocabulary

By: Learn To Sail

As you consider expanding your sailing education, you might think about coastal cruising and taking ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising. With this course, you will be able to skipper a sloop-rigged auxiliary powered (inboard or outboard engine) keelboat of approximately 25 to 35 feet length by day in moderate winds (up to 20 knots) and sea conditions. 

Your knowledge of cruising sailboat terminology, basic boat systems, auxiliary engine operation, docking procedures, intermediate sail trim, navigation rules, basic coastal navigation, anchoring, weather interpretation, safety, and seamanship will be tested. With an ASA 103 certification, you will be well on your way to bareboat cruising and ASA 104.

Here is a taste of what your new vocabulary will be after earning your ASA 103 certification.

ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising

10 New Words That Will Be in Your Vocabulary After Earning Your Basic Coastal Cruising Certification

Turnbuckle – A screw used for tightening wire rigging.

Binnacle – The stand on which the boat’s main compass is mounted.

Stemhead Fitting – A fitting on the bow of a boat to which the forestay and jib tack are attached.

Clevis Pin – A pin with a formed head used to connect rigging.

Ground Tackle – Collective term for a boat’s anchors and their rodes.

Chainplate – Metal fabrication attached to the hull and to which a stay or shroud is connected.

Cardinal Point – Any of the four principal points of the compass, N,E,S or W.

Gunwale – The top edge of the deck where it joins the hull.

Companionway – The entrance from the cockpit or deck to the cabin.

Transom – The more or less flat surface that closes the hull at the stern.

Zephyr – A gentle breeze, perfect for a quiet evening sail.