Our website is moving to theNOAA Fisheriessite. Most new content is posted there. Thank you for your patience as we make this transition. Pleaseemail uswith questions.

NEFSC Ecosystems Surveys Branch

Guide to Nautical and Fishing Terms

Abeam - At right angles to the keel of the boat, but not on the boat.

Aft - Toward the stern of the boat.

Ahead - In a forward direction.

Amidships - In or toward the center of the boat.

Astern - In back of the boat, opposite of ahead.

Beam - The greatest width of the boat.

Below - Beneath the deck.

Boat hook- A short shaft with a fitting at one end shaped to facilitate use in putting a line over a piling, recovering an object dropped overboard, or in pushing or fending off.

Bongo – a plankton net deployed in the water column from the vessel.

Bow - The forward part of a boat.

Bridge - The location from which a vessel is steered and its speed controlled.

Bulkhead - A vertical partition separating compartments.

Chart - A map for use by navigators.

Codend – the closed end of a trawl net.

CTD – an instrument deployed from the vessel into the water column to profile salinity, temperature and depth, the acronym stands for Conductivity, Temperature & Depth.

Dead ahead- Directly ahead.

Dead astern- Directly aft.

Doors – a pair of large wood or metal boards that horizontally spread the trawl net.

Draft- The depth of water a boat draws.

Dragger – a commercial fishing vessel that uses a net or dredge to fish.

Dredge (drag) – is a large metal frame that is towed and scrapes the seafloor. Used to catch scallops or clams.

Fathom - Six feet.

Fixed gear – stationary fishing equipment such as lobster pots, long lines or fish traps.

Following sea- An overtaking sea that comes from astern.

Fore-Toward the bow of the boat.

Forward - Toward the bow of the boat, as in forward hatch.

Fouled - Any piece of equipment that is jammed or entangled, or dirtied.

Galley - The kitchen area of a boat.

Gangway - The area of a ship's side where people board and disembark.

Hang – when the net or dredge gets caught on an obstruction on the seafloor.

Hatch - An opening in a boat's deck fitted with a watertight cover.

Hauling the net/dredge – retrieving the net/dredge to the vessel after a tow, haulback is the time when the net/dredge is being retrieved.

Head - A marine toilet. Also the upper corner of a triangular sail.

Helm - The wheel or tiller controlling the rudder.

Hold - A compartment below deck in a large vessel, used solely for carrying cargo.

Hull - The main body of a vessel.

Inboard - More toward the center of a vessel; inside; a motor fitted inside a boat.

Jacobs ladder- A rope ladder, lowered from the deck, as when pilots or passengers come aboard.

Keel - The centerline of a boat running fore and aft; the backbone of a vessel.

Knot - A measure of speed equal to one nautical mile (6076 feet) per hour.

Latitude - The distance north or south of the equator measured and expressed in degrees.

Lee - The side sheltered from the wind.

Leeward - The direction away from the wind. Opposite of windward.

Line - Rope and cordage used aboard a vessel.

Log - A record of courses or operation. Also, a device to measure speed.

Longitude - The distance in degrees east or west of the meridian at Greenwich, England.

Marlinspike - A tool for opening the strands of a rope while splicing.

Midship - Approximately in the location equally distant from the bow and stern.

Nautical mile- One minute of latitude; approximately 6076 feet - about 1/8 longer than the statute mile of 5280 feet.

Outboard - Toward or beyond the boat's sides.

Port - The left side of a boat looking forward. A harbor.

Quarter - The sides of a boat aft of amidships.

Rudder - A vertical plate or board for steering a boat.

Scouting – searching for an area to tow, with good bottom, consistent depth and free of fixed gear.

Screw - A boat's propeller.

Scuppers - Drain holes on deck, in the toe rail, or in bulwarks or (with drain pipes) in the deck itself.

Setting the net/dredge – deploying the net/dredge from the vessel for a tow.

Sounding - A measurement of the depth of water.

Stateroom - a cabin or private room aboard a ship.

Squall - A sudden, violent wind often accompanied by rain.

Starboard - The right side of a boat when looking forward.

Stern - The after part of the boat.

Stratum – a defined geographic area. It is based on depth and region for NEFSC surveys.

Streaming the net – towing the net at the surface while the vessel positions to set the net.

Topsides - The sides of a vessel between the waterline and the deck; sometimes referring to onto or above the deck.

Way - Movement of a vessel through the water such as headway, sternway or leeway.

Winch – a machine used for hauling the net/dredge, which has a drum around which is wound the trawl wire attached to the net/dredge.

Windward - Toward the direction from which the wind is coming.

Link disclaimer | Email webmaster | Privacy policy |     File Modified Jan 30, 2018