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Some terminology of sailing can be confusing when you first start the sport. Some of the most important terms to know are the following.

Port -

This is the left side of the boat facing from the back of the boat towards the front.

bow -

This is the front of the boat.

stern -

This is the back of the boat.

helm -

This is part of the boat that steering the boat and adjusting the sails are done from.

stern -

This the device used to steer the boat. It is important to note that larger sailboats tend to have steering wheels so your boat, if large enough, may have a wheel and not a tiller.

Rudder -

This the device under the water that actually steers the boat. regaurdless if you have a wheel or tiller, your boat will have a rudder.

Keel -

This is a wieghted componate under the boat to keep it upright while sailing. Without a keel, the boat would just get blown over by the wind when trying to sail.

Mainsail -

This Is the sail that provides the most forward force when sailing. This is responible for providing the force necessary to propel the boat forward.

jib -

This is the forward most sail. It helps give the boat a little more propulsion though the water. If the mainsail is the boats engine you can think of the jib as a turbo to add a little more speed.

Mast -

This is the superstructure that holds the mainsail in place. It is also used as the point the jib is raised from.

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