Aft- near or at the stern of the boat.
Beam- the width of a boat, also the direction at right angles to the centerline of a vessel.
Bilge- the lowest point of a boat’s interior hull.
Bow- the forward part (toward the front) of a boat.
Draft- the vertical distance from the waterline to the lowest point of the keel; it is the minimum depth of water in which a vessel will float.
Forward- aboard a boat, the direction to the front, to the bow.
Freeboard- the vertical distance from the waterline to the gunwale.
Gunwale- the upper edge of the side of a boat.
Hull- the structural body of the boat; does not include superstructure, masts or rigging.
Keel- the main structural member of a boat; its backbone; the lateral area beneath the hull that helps to provide stability and reduce the sideways drift of a boat.
PFD- personal flotation device (also known as a life jacket, vest or preserver).
Port- looking toward the bow, the left side of the boat.
Starboard- looking toward the bow, the right side of the boat.
Stern- the after (back or rear) portion of the boat.
Transom- the transverse part of the stern (where an outboard motor is attached).
Waterline- the intersection of a boat’s hull and the water’s surface.
USCG- United States Coast Guard
USPS- United States Power Squadrons