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Port

The left side of the boat (looking forward) is called the side

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Bow

  The front of the boat is called the 

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Kid’s Korner

Kid’s Korner Alex Does It Again! During the Club N�utico de San Juan, Puerto Rico Tournament held last November 4th and 5th, Alejandro Manuel Rosas-Salgado (Alex) won two first place trophies for kids and came in second among adult anglers, for a total of 3 trophies. This annual tournament is held for San Juan Club…

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How Do Hydrodynamics Affect Boating?

There is a lot of science at play in the world of boating. In particular, the effect of hydrodynamics is something most boaters don’t know about. The forces at work as it relates to water flow, wave resistance and friction are all at play. The hull shape of your boat, the weight, and the amount…

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Required Equipment for Boats

U. S. COAST GUARD MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR RECREATIONAL VESSELS EQUIPMENT Less than 16ft/4.9m 16 to less than 26 ft/7.9m 26 to less than 40 ft/12.2m 40 to not more than 65 ft/19.8m Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) One approved Type I, II, III or V(must be worn) PFD for each person on board or being towed…

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What to Do If Someone Falls Overboard

Boat safety is the most important priority any boat owner has. When someone goes overboard and ends up in the water, you need to act fast. The best bet is always to prevent a man overboard situation. But if that’s not an option, then knowing how to react quickly and calmly is key. When a…

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Parents get help at BoatSafeKids

Parents get help at BoatSafeKids Frank writes: My son is reading 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and asked me what distance a league is. Also, he wanted to know what the water pressure per square inch per foot of depth under water is. Your help would be greatly appreciated. A league is a measurement of…

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Joshua asks: Where does the term figure head come from?

The figure head is the carved ornamental and painted figure erected on the bow of ships. The origin of the figure head in the early days of seagoing was twofold; a mixture of religious symbolism and the treatment of the ship as a living thing. Early sailors thought the figure head would please the sea…

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A Visit to the Niña

A Visit to the Niña You probably know the story of Christopher Columbus and the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. If you get the chance to see this reproduction of the Ni�a, now a “sailing museum”, you’ll be very surprised at how small these vessels were. It’s hard to imagine that anyone would…

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Classes of Boats

Whenever you leave the dock or put your boat in the water, you are required by law to have safety equipment onboard. The equipment you need depends upon the size of your boat and what makes it go. Boats are catagorized by class, based upon their length overall: less than 16 feet 16 feet to…

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Nathan asks: Please explain the term waterline length. Does this length of a boat affect how fast a boat can go?

That is a very good question. Waterline length is the length of the boat from bow to stern where it sits in the water. In other words, as it floats in the water if you were to mark the point on the bow where the water touched and marked the point on the stern where…

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Rodger from the United Kingdom asks: How was the nautical mile arrived at and why is the speed at sea called knots? Was there a means of determining the knot in bygone sailing days?

A nautical mile is a distance on the earth’s surface of 6,080 feet, which is equal to one minute of latitude at the earth’s equator. Since there are 360 degrees around the earth, and each degree equals 60 minutes, the distance around the earth, at the equator or any other great circle, is 21,600 nautical…

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Just the Basics Required Stuff to Have on Your Boat

You need to have a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) for every person onboard the boat. PFDs must be approved by the United States Coast Guard. To see the kinds of PFDs available, look here . In addition, if your boat is 16 feet or over, you need to have a throwable PFD onboard, and immediately…

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Pets OnBoard

Ellie from Wisconsin wondered about taking her cat along for a day of boating. Good for you, Ellie, for wanting to make sure your cat would be safe!  Yes, you probably can take your cat boating if you plan ahead. The best way to introduce your pet to boating is to spend some time together…

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Do I Have to Wear a PFD?

Christa from Illinois asks, “Do I always have to wear my PFD?” The easy answer to that question is that Illinois has a law that says anyone 13 or younger must wear a PFD when underway on a boat. Also, a Federal law requires that children 12 and under must wear a PFD when onboard…

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Boat Parts and Terms

Boat Parts and Terms The front of the boat is called the The left side of the boat is called the side The right side of the boat is called the side The back of the boat is called the Other Boating Words to Know: Hull : The body of the boat not including the…

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Vicki asks “How Many People Can Fit in a Boat?”

That’s a very good question, Vicki, because overloading a small boat is a very dangerous thing to do. Luckily, there are some federal regulations helping to protect you. Boat builders must comply with Federal law by putting a Capacity Plate in sight of the helm (steering area) on motorized boats less than 20 feet in…

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Why Does a Boat Plane?

To answer this question, let’s first look at what kinds of boats you may see. Displacement Boat Planing Boat Hovercraft Hydrofoil Hovercraft and hydrofoil boats are not as common so we won’t cover them here. (A later article!) Most recreational boats are either planing or displacement. To get a better understanding, you should first read…

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Bryce, age 10, asks “Why do cigarette boats have a closed bow?” An excellent question! It does seem like a waste of space, doesn’t it?

Cigarette boats are designed for a single purpose and that is to “go fast.” That is why you may hear them referred to as “go fast boats.” They are V-hull, planing, boats which means that they actually ride on top of the water, and they are equipped with high horsepower engines that are able to…

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What Does Buoyancy Mean for Boaters?

When you’re looking for life jackets and other PFDs you may run across pounds buoyancy. Floatation devices all have a buoyancy rating. Understanding what that means will allow you to choose the right PFD for you. Everyone on a boat should have access to a personal flotation device. One that fits and they know how…

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How Do Sailboats Work?

To a casual observer, a sailboat makes perfect sense. Wind pushes the boat forward on the water. The boat goes in the direction of the wind. The true physics of sailing a boat are definitely more complicated. How do you sail away from the wind? Why does the sailboat move forward if wind hits the…

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Brunton TruArc 3

The Best Compass of 2021 (Review and Buying Guide)

So you want to buy a compass? Here’s all you need to know! Having a dependable analog navigation tool on board your boat is a smart idea. Electronics can fail, and changing conditions make navigation by the sun and stars a very tricky business. But before we get into the best compasses to buy, let’s…

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Boat Hull Shape Types

Understanding The Different Types Of Boat Hulls

Just as there are many different types of boats, there are just as many different types of boat hulls. They come in different sizes, different shapes, and every single one of them is a feat of design and engineering. Despite having so many different types of boat hulls to choose from, they’re only designed to…

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Storm Cloud Formation

Identifying The Different Types Of Storm Clouds

A boat on the water is a great place to watch clouds. It’s also a pleasant way to pass the time when you are bored. It can also save you and your family from being caught in a sudden thunderstorm. A skipper knows to always check the weather forecast before leaving the dock, but sometimes…

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Bramp asks: Why do some sail boats have more than one sail and how can some boats go faster than the wind?

Good question Bramp! Most small sail boats have only one sail because the square footage of sail area is big enough to collect enough wind to push a light boat. As the size of the boat gets larger and heavier, you need to have more sail surface for the wind to interact with – the…

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How Does the Moon Affect Tides?

There is a lot to understand about how weather and the sun and moon will affect the sea. In terms of tides, the moon does govern them. The moon’s gravitational pull is the main force affecting high and low tide. Understanding how the moon’s gravitational pull affects ocean tides is important. Knowing when to expect…

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How are flat charts and maps made of our round planet?

Sailors need accurate charts to find their way around the seas. The trouble is, nobody can make a perfect chart because the earth is a large ball and charts are drawn on paper, which is flat. You need to know a few things before you can understand how this problem has been tackled, so here…

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A Heavy Ship Moored

How Does A Heavy Boat Float?

A boat, or any other object designed to float, is based on a theory by a very old guy, even older than Capt. Matt. Though he is old and, by the way, dead, he was really a cool guy and his name was Archimedes (Ark-i’-meed-eez). His principle, cleverly named the Archimedes’ Principle, explains how things…

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The History of Navigation

Navigation is the art of getting from one place to another, safely and efficiently. Whenever you find a store in a mall or walk home from school, you are using the tools of the early navigators. But what if you found yourself in a place you didnÂ’t recognize such as out in the middle of…

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Help Prevent Drowning with These Tips

  Drowning prevention is hands-down the most important thing to learn when you do anything around water. It doesn’t matter if you’re swimming, fishing, or boating. Drowning prevention is something everyone needs to be aware of. Water safety has to be our first priority at all times. Taking a first aid course is probably the…

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