Sea of Thieves

All the Terms You Need to Know to be True Sailor!

SOT E3 2016 Desktop 1 1920x1080 1024x576 - All the Terms You Need to Know to be True Sailor!

Many a time out on the seas I've encountered pirates that don't know a capstan from a keel, and use "right" and "left" instead of "starboard" and "port. It's embarrassing and just plain unseamanlike. As an experienced sailor myself I thought I'd set some of these landlubbers straight. If you want to be a true sailor, learn these terms and make them a part of your everyday vocabulary!

Parts all sailing ships have

Hull: This is the body of the ship, the planks and beams that float in the water and that everything else rests in or on

Masts: The big vertical poles that the sails are attached to

Sails: Hopefully everyone knows what these are

Bow: Front of the ship (pronounced bao not boe)

Stern: Back of the ship

Starboard: The right side of the ship facing forward (pronounced starberd)

Port: The left side of the ship facing forward

Deck: The top-most horizontal surface, the outside floor

Poop Deck: The raised part of the deck at the stern of the ship, containing the wheel on both SOT ships

Keel: The long beam of wood going along the center of the hull from bow to stern under the water

Bowsprit: The long piece of wood sticking out from the bow of the boat

Rudder: The board at the stern of the ship underwater that allows it to turn

Rigging: The ropes or wires that hold up the mast and control the sails

Halyard: The rope that raises and lowers the sail (pronounced Halyerd)

Sheet: The rope that changes the sail's direction

Capstan: The large winch that raises and lowers the anchor (pronounced Capst'n). Also known as a Windlass (pronounced windless)

Belowdecks: Self-explanatory, contains everything not above the top deck

Hold: Area where cargo or supplies is kept

Parts Unique to the Galleon

Main Mast: The middle mast

Read:  Patch Notes 1.1.8

Main Sail: The lower, bigger sail on the main mast

Main Topsail: The higher, smaller sail on the main mast

Mizzen Mast: The mast near the stern of the ship

Mizzen Sail: The lower sail on the mizzen mast

Mizzen Topsail: The upper sail on the mizzen mast

Foremast: The mast near the bow of the ship

Foresail: The lower sail on the foremast

Fore Topsail: The upper sail on the foremast

(foremast is pronounced fore-mast, but foresail is pronounced forsle for some reason)

Basic Sailing Terminology

Tacking: Turning so that the bow of the ship crosses the wind and the sails are changed from one side to the other

Jibing (or Gybing): Turning so that the stern of the ship passes through the wind and the sails are changed from one side to the other

Trimming: Adjusting sails for optimal speed

Aft: Towards the stern of the ship

Forward: Towards the bow of the ship, duh

Clubhauling: The infamous anchor turn (see Pirates of the Caribbean 1 for an example)

Running aground: Hitting the bottom of the ship on shallows or land

Advanced Terminology (For those who want to go above and beyond)

In Irons: Headed straight into the wind (much more of a problem in real life, where large ships can get stuck and be unable to turn or move)

Port Tack: Occurs when the wind is coming over the port (left) side of the boat, and the sails are on the right

Starboard Tack: Occurs when the wind is coming over the starboard (right) side of the boat and the sails are on the left

Windward: The direction the wind is coming from

Leeward: The direction the wind is going, downwind (pronounced lewward)

(These last two are relative terms, for example "The galleon is leeward of the sloop" or "We've anchored on the windward side of the island")

Read:  SoT FAQ and Tips

Starboard Quarter and Port Quarter: The area about 45 degrees from due aft, or directly behind, on either side

Heeling: The tilting or leaning of the ship that comes from the pressure of the sails Downwind and Upwind: Self-explanatory

Headwind: Wind coming from where the ship is pointing or trying to go (very irritating)

Sailing terms are some of the oldest in the English language, and therefore the pronunciation of some of them is strange. Be sure to confuse the living daylights out of your random crew mates with all of these! Let me know if I missed anything and I'll edit it in. Happy sailing!


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