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Glossary

Aa

Apparent wind :
Relative wind resulting from the boat's speed and the real wind.

Bb

Backstay :
Rear shroud holding up the mast and symmetrical to the forestay.

Ballast :
Compartment or tank used for balance by being filled with, or emptied of, water.

Beam :
Side, starboard or port of the boat.

Bear away :
To change course moving away from the direction of the wind.

Bearing :
The direction taken by a yacht in relation to north.

Becalmed :
A yacht is said to be becalmed when it finds itself without any wind.

Boom :
Perpendicular to the mast, the boom is a spar, which holds the lower edge of the mainsail.

Boom vang :
System enabling the mainsail boom to be pulled down to tighten the mainsail, thus making it more rigid.

Bow :
The front of the boat.

Bowsprit :
Spar at the front of the yacht allowing a sail to be put in place in front of the bow.

Breaker :
Huge wave, which breaks and rolls.

Broach :
To move suddenly in the direction of the wind.

Cc

Capsize :
A boat capsizes when it goes over on its side under the force of a violent wave or strong wind to an angle, which means that it remains on its side.

Chain plate :
The attachment point for the shroud or stays to the hull side.

Change of Tack :
A move from one tack to another turning the bow through the wind.

Cockpit :
Hollow space at the rear of the yacht, where the helmsman is and where sails can be trimmed.

Cockpit cleats :
All of the cleats (used to hold a rope in place), which are found in the cockpit allowing the various ropes on board to be adjusted.

Code Zero :
it's a big genoa

Coffee grinder :
Piece of deck hardware forming a pedestal winch. This geared system offers a lot of power enabling sails to be trimmed.

Come about :
To carry out a change of tack.

Dd

Daggerboard :
Vertical fins, which are slotted under the hull of a yacht to reduce drift.

Delamination :
The various skins and materials making up the composite materials come unstuck.

Dismast :
To lose your mast following damage.

Displacement :
The weight of the volume of water displaced by a boat.

Doldrums :
Area of equatorial calms found in the Atlantic on either side of the Equator. It is a very hot area, where calms alternate with violent squalls.

Draw ahead :
The wind changes to a less favourable direction for the yacht.

Drift :
The sideways movement by a yacht in relation to its course.

Ee

Ease of :
To ease the tension on a rope.

ETA :
Abbreviation of Estimated Time of Arrival.

Ff

Foot :
Bottom edge of the sail

Forestay :
Shroud that is furthest forward.

Gg

Gennaker :
Foresail reserved for downwind sailing.

Genoa :
Large jib sail.

GMT :
Greenwich Mean Time, also referred to as Universal Time.

Gooseneck :
Swivel connection attaching the boom to the mast, allowing it to turn.

GPS :
(Global Positioning System): Satellite positioning device.

Gybe :
To change tack with the wind going around the stern.

Hh

Halyard :
Running rigging used to hoist a sail or yard. Each sail has its own halyard. Harden sheets, to sheet in: to pull on the sheet of a sail.

Head upwind :
You are said to head upwind, when the wind is blowing in the opposite direction to the bow.

Headwind :
When a yacht is heading into the wind. Heave to, to lie to: To heave to means positioning the yacht to ensure her safety in bad weather.

Heel :
Angle at which the boat leans over.

Helm :
The whole of the steering system enabling the boat to change course.

Hook :
A hook system, which the allows the tops of the sails to be raised to the top of the mast.

Ii

IMOCA :
International Monohull Open Classes Association. Intermediate shrouds: Side shrouds coming down from the top of the mast.

ISAF :
International Sailing Federation.

Jj

Jib :
Each of the triangular sails attached to a stay at the front of the mast.

Kk

Knot :
Unit of measure for speeds at sea. One knot corresponds to one nautical mile covered in one hour.

Ll

Leech :
The back side of a sail.

Leeward :
Everything that does not receive the wind first is leeward. Lift, to veer aft: The wind comes around from the bow towards the stern. The wind lifts, when it becomes more favourable for the yacht to be on an ideal course.

LOA :
The total maximum length of the boat, including the bowsprit. Luff of the sail: The leading edge of a triangular sail.

Luff :
To manoeuvre to bring the boat closer to the direction of the wind.

Mm

Mainsail :
Chief sail located behind the mast.

Mainsheet traveller :
Track on which the mainsheet block moves.

Mainsheet traveller car :
Sliding mechanism on the traveller to which the mainsheet block is fixed.

Nn

Nautical mile :
Unit of distance at sea equal to 1852 metres (6080 feet or 1.15 statute miles).

Oo

Outrigger :
That's a deckspreader wich hold the mast up.

Pp

Points of sail :
Configuration and the angle a yacht sails in relation to the wind direction.

Pole :
Long spar placed more or less sideways outside of the boat used to spread the sheets on foresails (genoa and spinnaker).

Port :
The left-hand side of a boat, as you look towards the bow.

Port tack :
A yacht on the port tack receives the wind from the left.

Rr

Rating rule :
All of the rules, which define the specifications, which a racing yacht must satisfy.

Real wind :
The real direction of the wind.

Reef :
System used to reduce the surface of a sail.

Reef :
To take in one or more reefs in a sail means reducing the sail surface.

Rigging :
All that contributes to the wind propulsion of the yacht.

Roller furler :
Rotating mechanical system fixed to the stay, allowing all or part of a foresail to be furled.

Rudder :
Submerged part of the steering system that can be angled.

Rudder stoc :
Mobile part of the steering system that moves the rudder.

Runner :
Mobile shroud located at the rear of the mast.

Running downwind :
Point of sail where a yacht receives the wind from astern.

Running rigging :
Mobile elements of the rigging allowing sails to be hoisted and trimmed.

Ss

Sea-cock :
Tube with a valve passing through the hull used for connecting instrument detectors.

Send aloft :
Term used to talk of sails being hoisted.

Sheet :
Rope used to trim a sail.

Shifting gear :
Moving equipment and sails around the boat to stow them windward to reduce the heel.

Shiver :
A sail which flaps, when receiving the wind on both sides, is said to shiver.

Shroud :
Cable ensuring the mast is held in place.

Solent :
Sort of jib.

Spinnaker :
Foresail used in downwind conditions.

Splice :
Joining two pieces of rope or cable by weaving the strands of each into the other to form a loop or join.

Spreader :
Part of the rigging joined to the mast, which spreads the shrouds holding the mast in place.

Standing rigging :
Fixed rigging, in particular, required to keep the mast in place.

Starboard :
The right-hand side of a yacht if you are looking towards the bow.

Starboard tack :
A yacht on a starboard tack receives the wind from the right.

Staysail :
Foresail fitted to the babystay behind the jib.

Stern :
The rear of the yacht.

Tt

Tack :
(port tack or starboard tack): The tack is the side of the boat, which faces the wind.

Tack :
To sail often changing direction to head upwind or to optimise the yacht's speed by reaching (with the wind on the beam) rather than with the wind astern.

Tacking :
By tacking, a sailor can move upwind by changing tack.

Tiller :
Lever used to steer a boat.

To harden up :
To stiffen.

Uu

U-bolt :
Deck element attached to the hull of a yacht, on which a shroud is fixed.

U.T :
Abbreviation for Universal Time (equivalent to GMT).

Upwind :
Point of sail closest to the wind..

Vv

VMG :
Abbreviation of Velocity Made Good. It is the calculation of the speed on the ideal route towards the goal.

Ww

Waterline :
The waterline is a line drawn on the hull at the level of the water; it marks the separation between topsides and the bottom.

Winch :
Device used to pull on the ropes on board a yacht.

Windhole :
An area without wind.

Windward :
Everything that is the first to receive the wind is said to be windward.

On an ongoing basis

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