Nautical Terms: A Creole Queen Glossary

September 24 2014 | Blog

If you overhear the captains of the Creole Queen talking to each other, you might have no idea what they’re saying unless you’re a member of the Coast Guard, depending on the topic of conversation. If that conversation has anything to do with the vessel itself, you’re likely to hear at least one of the terms below. To get in on the lingo, we asked our own Captain Brian Clesi to give us a rundown of the nautical terms relevant to the Creole Queen. Here’s some insight into what it’s like to talk like a riverboat captain!  

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Nautical Speak, Explained

Bow – Forward section of the vessel

Aft/Stern – Rear section of the vessel

Port – Left side facing forward

Starboard – Right side facing forward

Overhead – Ceiling of the vessel

Deck – Floors of the vessel

Ladder – Stairways

Aye, aye – A reply to indicate that a message is understood and will be addressed

Beam – Width of the vessel at the widest point

Bearing – direction of a point in reference to the vessel

Berth – Vessels docked location

Bollard – A metal or wooden post used to fasten lines of the vessel to a berth

Bridge/Pilothouse/Wheelhouse – Command center of the vessel for maneuvering and operations

Buoy – An anchored, floating object with a defined shape and color to help determine a vessels position on the water

Compass – A navigation tool used to determine direction using Earth's geographic or magnetic poles

Bulkhead – Walls of the vessel

Fid – A tapered wooden tool used to separate strands of line for splicing

Galley – The kitchen of a vessel

Hull – The shell and framework of a vessel

Keel – The central structural basis of the hull

Knot – A unit of speed (1 Knot=1.15 Nautical Mile)

Line – Rope used on a vessel

Monkey's Fist – A ball tied out of line placed at the end of a heaving line to provide weight

Heaving line – A small rope used to pull larger, heavier lines to the dock from a vessel

Heading – The direction a vessel is traveling according to a compass from 0 to 360 degrees

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