Common maritime terms used to describe and operate a ship.
Tropical Weather Alerts
Atlantic - ALL CLEAR
Eastern Pacific - ALL CLEAR
Ship Classification Abbreviations
FV = Fishing Vessel
MS = Motor Ship
MV = Motor Vessel
RMS = Royal Mail Ship
RV = Research Vessel
SS = Steam Ship
SV = Sailing Vessel
home > advice > Nautical Terms
Back to Advice Overview
Towards the back.
The middle of the ship.
The very back of the ship.
Pumps carry water to the ballast tanks to help stabilize the ship.
The widest part of the ship.
A space needed to move a ship around; the dock or pier; your cabin.
The front of the ship.
The area at the front of the ship with the big glass windows where the crew go to command the ship.
A wall or walls dividing the ship into compartments and can be sealed to contain a fire or flood.
The interior stairways.
The direction in which the ship is headed.
Leave the ship.
How far down the ship sits in the water when it's loaded with people and supplies.
Get on the ship.
Used to measure water depth (6ft equal 1 fathom).
Move toward the front of the ship.
When the ship is balanced in the water.
Where the food is prepared.
The opening by which a ship is boarded.
A tilt to the side, also know as a list.
The Shell of the ship.
The bottom middle of the ship.
One (1 ) knot equals 1.15 land miles, or one (1) nautical mile.
Go with the wind.
Tilt to the side as in sudden list .
Poles that support the sails and the equipment to raise and lower them.
Middle of the ship. See Amidships
1.15 land miles.
The way the ship goes up and down over the waves in the water.
The left side of the ship facing forward.
The movement that makes you stumble side to side through the hallways on a rough day at sea.
when working properly, they help keep the ship from rocking in the water.
The right side of the ship facing forward.
The very front of the ship.
The back of the ship.
The small boats that take you back and forth to the dock when the ship is anchored in the water just outside the port.
The waves off to the side of the ship and the white foamy trail at the back of the ship
How high up the water reaches when the ship is in the water.
Against the wind.