Understanding the Parts of Your Boat


The following are a basic list of common terms that you may encounter if you're new to boating. Knowing these terms can help in the ordering of parts, and will make you look cooler with your family and friends.


This is the forward most part of the boat.


The rear of the boat.


Facing forward, port is on your left.


Starboard, or stbd for short, is on the right side of the boat if you're facing forward.


Anything near, or toward the front of the boat is considered to be forward.


The opposite of forward, anything near or toward the stern is considered aft.


The helm is wherever your boat is steered from. When driving, the captain is said to be "at the helm".


The transom is the rear end of the boat. If you have an outboard engine, it hangs on the transom. An I/O has a hole in the transom to accommodate the drive system.


This is usually shortened to gunnel. It is considered to be the sidewalls of your boat, as seen from inside the boat. Essentially, from the floor of the boat to the top of the rail is the gunnel.


This is considered to be the distance from the water to the top of the gunwale (side of the boat).