List of ship directions

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"Aloft" redirects here. For hotel brand, see Aloft Hotels. For the 2014 film, see Aloft (film).
"Ashore" redirects here. For the June Tabor album, see Ashore (album).

This list of ship directions explains dozens of related terms such as fore, aft, astern, aboard, or topside. For background, see below: Origins.

abaft (preposition)
at or toward the stern of a ship, or further back from a location, e.g. the mizzenmast is abaft the mainmast.[1]
aboard
onto or within a ship, or in a group.[2]
above
a higher deck of the ship.[1]
aft (adjective)
toward the stern of a ship.[1]
adrift
floating in the water without propulsion.
aground
resting on the shore or wedged against the sea floor.[3]
ahull
with sails furled and helm lashed alee.[4]
alee
on or toward the lee (the downwind side).[5]
aloft
the stacks, masts, rigging, or other area above the highest solid structure.[1]
amidships
near the middle part of a ship.[1]
aport
toward the port side of a ship (opposite of "astarboard").[6]
ashore
on or towards the shore or land.[7]
astarboard
toward the starboard side of a ship (opposite of "aport").[8]
astern (adjective)
toward the rear of a ship (opposite of "forward").[9]
athwartships
toward the sides of a ship.[1]
aweather
toward the weather or windward side of a ship.[10]
aweigh
just clear of the sea floor, as with an anchor.[11]
below
a lower deck of the ship.[1]
belowdecks
inside or into a ship, or down to a lower deck.[12]
bilge
the underwater part of a ship between the flat of the bottom and the vertical topsides[13]
bottom
the lowest part of the ship's hull.
bow or stem
front of a ship (opposite of "stern")[1]
centerline
an imaginary, central line drawn from the bow to the stern.[1]
fore or forward
at or toward the front of a ship or further ahead of a location (opposite of "aft")[1]
inboard
attached inside the ship.[14]
keel
the bottom structure of a ship's hull.[15]
leeward
side or direction away from the wind (opposite of "windward").[16]
on deck
to an outside or muster deck (as "all hands on deck").[17]
on board
somewhere on or in the ship.[18]
outboard
attached outside the ship.[19]
port
the left side of the ship, facing forward (opposite of "starboard").[1]
starboard
the right side of the ship, when facing forward (opposite of "port").[1]
stern
the rear of a ship (opposite of "bow").[1]
topside
on the ship's main weather deck.[1]
underdeck
a lower deck of a ship.[20]
yardarm
an end of a yard spar below a sail.
waterline
where the water surface meets the ship's hull.
weather
side or direction from which wind blows (same as "windward").[16]
windward
side or direction from which wind blows (opposite of "leeward").[16]

Origins[edit]

  • First use of "aboard": 14th century[2]
  • First use of "aft": 1580[21]
  • First use of "outboard": 1694[22]
  • First use of "inboard": 1830[19]
  • First use of "belowdecks": 1897.[12]

The word "ahoy" is not a direction, but rather an interjection used to hail a person or ship, or to attract attention.[23] See the linked sources, below, for more details.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Ship Directions - TKDTutor" (glossary), TKDtutor.com, 2012, web: SD.
  2. ^ a b "Aboard - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-ab
  3. ^ "Aground - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-agr
  4. ^ "Ahull - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-ahull
  5. ^ "Alee - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-alee
  6. ^ "Aport - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-aport
  7. ^ "Ashore - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-ash
  8. ^ "Astarboard - Definition and More from Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-astar
  9. ^ "Astern - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-astern
  10. ^ "Aweather - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-aweat
  11. ^ "Aweigh - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-aweigh
  12. ^ a b "Belowdecks - Definition and More from Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-belowd
  13. ^ "Bilge - Definition and More from Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-bilge
  14. ^ "Inboard - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-inb
  15. ^ "Bilge keel - Definition and More from Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-bilgek
  16. ^ a b c "Windward - Definition and More from Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-windw
  17. ^ "Deck - Definition and More from Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-deck
  18. ^ "Onboard - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-onb
  19. ^ a b "Outboard - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-outb
  20. ^ "Underdeck - Definition and More from Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-underd
  21. ^ "aft". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  22. ^ "outboard". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  23. ^ "Ahoy - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, May 2012, web: MW-ahoy