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Part of understanding sailing fundamentals is learning sailing definitions and sailing terms. The following are some terms you should know before you begin a basic sailing course:
Stern: The back part of the boat, also called the 'after'. The transom is the flat end of the stern. The stern quarters are the back corners of the boat.
Bow: The front end of the boat. The Bow Line is a mooring rope that runs from the bow to a point ashore. The Bow Line is sometimes called the head rope.
Starboard: The right side of the boat when facing forward.
Port: The left side of the boat when facing forward.
Jib: Also called the 'foresail' because it is in the front of the boat. Some sailboats have several types of jibs that are used for different purposes.
Mainsail: The most important sail on all boats. This sail sits behind the mast. Most are triangular but other shapes do exist.
Boom: At the bottom of the mainsail, the part that controls the sail.
Gooseneck: The fitting that allows the boom to pivot both side to side and up and down.
Hull: The rounded part of the boat; comes in a variety of materials.
Keel: The fin under the hull, which is used for stability and lateral resistance. A Keel Boat is any boat with a Keel.