Talk:Port and starboard

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red and green[edit]

I don't know why anyone thinks this is a good idea, but it's distracting, looks unprofessional, and doesn't serve any explanatory purpose. Do you think names of colors should be in colored letters throughout the encyclopedia, or is this a special case for some reason?Prezbo (talk) 18:10, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Also the manual of style] says that "Prose text should never be manually colored."Prezbo (talk) 18:14, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Hm, alrighty then; I wasn't aware of that. Didn't help that it isn't referenced from WP:COLORS. --Cybercobra (talk) 01:10, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

This is a pretty poor article and this section in particular is badly written, confusing and downright wrong. The diagram shows exactly the action the give way vessel ought NOT to take; in this situation it ought to turn to starboard and pass astern of the other vessel. The statement 'the ship on the left must give way' means nothing. The left of what? The picture? The other ship? It might better be expressed as 'a vessel on a converging course with another vessel which is to port of that vessel should give way' would make more sense. Why do we need to rewrite the regulations at all though; why not simply quote IRPCS which are the clearest and most complete statement of this subject possible?Erwfaethlon (talk) 21:14, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree. The text is much too long, and stresses the least important parts. It should be something like "for vessels powered by sails only, the vessel to the port must give way by turning starboard, passing aftwards of the other vessel. This rule is especially used during sailing ship races". But my command of the English nautical language is not good enough that I would want to try to edit this article.Esben (talk) 09:58, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
The image should be changed to one showing the proper action. That probably means somebody has to do a new one.
I am not sure the COLREG language (which is the normative) is very clear. It is complete and non-ambiguous, but not very easy to understand. Erwfaethlon's sentence above is clearer.
Rules for sailing vessels are harder for non-sailors to understand and should perhaps be left out (the rule cited here may be wrongly quoted, it is not familiar to me).
--LPfi (talk) 17:08, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
There's no reason to have a section on the right of way of ships. It is at best a sidelight on one of many applications of the terms at hand; at worst, a confusing distraction wedged into the middle of the piece. A better place for such information is a page on sailing practices or whatnot. Jtcarpet (talk) 01:12, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Simple language[edit]

First paragraph: The first sentence is fine on its own. The only mildly piece of nautical jargon (bow) is explained. So why have the phrase "in lay terms" and introducinmg the use of the bridge, whic not all vessles have.

Second paragraph: tries to cover two separate concepts: the use of lights and the application of the terms port and starboard to aircraft. All that stuff about "including airships in naval use" and "particularly waterborne seaplanes—floatplane and especially flying boats of both civilian and military types" is completely unnecessary. Port and starboard apply to all waterborne vessels and all aircraft so why elaborate? I'm cutting through all this with the aim of improving the article. Mike Spathaky (talk) 06:44, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Facing the bow ?[edit]

I find the key sentence "When facing the bow, port is always on the left" particularly misleading! To me, facing the bow of a ship suggests being outside of the vessel, but I'm not a native speaker. In any case, I suggest to clarify this. A previous version was: "When standing on the bridge of a ship (or any watercraft) looking toward the bow (front of the ship), starboard refers to the right side of the ship, port refers to the left side". Much better, no ? The linked NOAA website uses "When looking forward, toward the bow of a ship, port and starboard refer to the left and right sides, respectively." To make it simple, I would write "When standing on a ship looking toward the bow (front), starboard refers to the right side of the ship, and port refers to the left side". M. Tewes (talk) 12:37, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

I agree. Just to refine your final sentence further, MT, (and removed the word bow which some may not understand I would write, "When standing on a vessel facing forward, port refers to the left side and starboard refers to the right side of the vessel."

(It is conventional, as in the article title, to say port and starboard not starboard and port, jsut as most people say left and right, not right and left. That helps fix in our minds which is which.) So go and do it! Mike Spathaky (talk) 13:20, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Agree on all of this. Just took a shot at a rewrite. M. Tewes suggestion is good and I made it more minimalist, to avoid having to explain what a bridge is. Also it bugs me to say when standing on the ship looking forwards etc because they doesn't reinforce what we say afterwards, which is that the direction is independent of the viewer's perspective. Also, yes put left before right, but I think the etymology of starboard should be explained first since port is effectively the side that is not starboard --Cornellier (talk) 15:40, 28 July 2015 (UTC)