Thinking about starting Sailing or Yachting and Sailing off into the Sunset? Then please read on! You are probably like many people, you would love to sail, but do not know the first thing about sailing and where to start.

I have included in this article an extensive list on sailing terminology to help you with learning how to sail, and in turn helping you through the first basic approaches and giving you the confidence to go forward.

The list is as follows;

Refers to the back of the boat or Stern
A strong wire or rod from the mast top to the stern of boat this stabilizers the mast. Back-stays have adjustable tensions to shape mast in changing wind conditions.
It is an angular position taken from a fix point back to the boat.
Beaufort Scale
This refers to table of wind speeds.
This refers to an area at the bottom of the boat to collect water.
Bilge Pump
This is a pump operated manually or electrically to empty the water from the bilge.
This pulley guides line to decrease force necessary to pull on a line.
A horizontal spar attached to mast at one end and to aft corner, the Clew of a sail at another end.
All Buoys float. You will come across three different types, Navigational, Mooring, and Fishing.
This describes front of your boat.
This is a spar that extends forward of the hull of a boat.
This is a retractable and flat device on the centerline of your boat extended below a boat to prevent it from moving sideways. This also stabilizes boat movement.
Used for boat navigation.
Chart Work
This refers to plotting of your course on the chart.
A piece of metal or wood shaped like an anvil to hold a mooring line or sheet. Although traditional cleats require a special knot to tie anvil, present-day anvils do not require any.
Aft corner of a sail that attaches to the boom
The entrance to the cabin of a boat
A device fixed to the boat that you use to sail the boat in a specific direction in 360 degrees. Hand held compasses are portable.
Compass Deviation
This refers to the magnetic deviation caused by the boat that you will need to add or subtract from your course.
All people engaged in working on a boat.
The horizontal outside surface of a boat, normally the ceiling of the sailboat while you are in the cabin
Dress Ship
It is decorations on the outside of your boat.
A flag flown from stern of boat to identify nationality of the vessel
Used for distress signaling.
It is the bottom edge of a sail.
This is a stay made of strong metal rod, wire, or line running from top of mast to bow of your boat. This stabilizes the mast and is used to attach the headsail. This is same as head stay.
Fractional Rig
It is a sailboat, whose forestay attaches to mast little below mast top. If forestay is at top of a mast, it is a 'masthead rig'.
This refers to taking down of sails. You can use a furling device to roll the sail away or reef part of the sail away and lower the sail.
This is the food preparation kitchen area below decks.
It is a large sail that is flown forward of a mast with the clew of sail being much further aft than the mast. This is same as 'jenny'.
This is a line used to haul things up and down a mast. The most common usage of a halyard is for raising and lowering sails.
It is an opening in the deck of your boat, normally used for letting sunlight into the cabin and providing necessary ventilation. This opening can be tightly sealed to prevent any water seeping into cabin.
This refers to top corner of the sail. Additionally, it also refers to bathroom on a sailboat.
Holding Tank
This refers to the tank that holds the sewerage waste.
It is the main structural outer skin of a boat. Modern sailboats have fiberglass GRP hulls.
This refers to electronic units on the boat that show wind direction and speed, depth of water under boat and course.
This refers to an engine fixed with the hull of a boat.
This refers to sail that goes forward of a mast. This is normally smaller than a Genoa.
Jib Sheet
This line controls the setting of jib and sail shape. It attaches to clew of jib with the other end being within cockpit of a boat. This helps in easy control.
The part of a boat's hull extending below waterline to counterbalance the wind action over the sailboat. This is normally shaped like a fin. It helps your sailboat cut through water and prevent any instance of tipping over.
This refers to a sailboat with two masts see diagram page 25.
This refers to 'nautical mile per hour'. This is the standard measuring unit for speed on a boat with one Knot being equal to 1.15 miles per hour.
This is aft edge of a sail. It runs from mast top to end of boom.
This refers to the angle between the boats heading and the direction she is moving through the water.
This indicates forward edge of a sail.
This refers to Magnetic North.
Main Sail
This is the sail located aft of mast on a sloop.
This line controls how far out the main sail goes.
This refers to vertical spars on boats. Mast provides essential support system for your sailboat.
Mast Step
This supports bottom of the mast.
The smaller sail supported by its own mast
A control line used to help control flatness of mainsail.
This is the bowline on a dinghy.
Parallel Rule
Used for charting your course.
Pilot Book
This refers to a publication to supplement chart work and passage planning with reference to local area knowledge.
Port Hole
This refers to a window in either cabin top or the hull.
This refers to mast, spreaders, and stays used to support sails.
Roller Furler
A device used to roll up a sail for reefing down the sail and storage.
This refers to reducing the sail area.
This refers to configuration of sails on a sailboat.
The side stays on each side of mast to prevent sideways motion of mast relative to the boat and prevent bowing of mast under load from sails.
A sailboat with only one mast
A rigid pole like for spinnaker poles, booms, and bowsprits for supporting sails on a sailboat.
A large sail flown from bow of a boat connected to boat at the sails' three corners wrapping around but clear of the fore-stay.
It is the horizontal structural, support for the mast.
It is the vertical handrail post, around the edge of a boat.
This refers to maneuvering a boat with a rudder using either a tiller or wheel.
Refers to, turning the boat, with the wind crossing the bow.
This is the angular difference between the true and magnetic meridians.
A hydraulic device that controls angle between mast and boom to help shape mainsail
Device fixed at the top of the mast showing wind direction.
The manner in which a sailboat is rigged.
If you are serious about learning this great sport, and lets not forget for some of you it might turn out to become a new career. then the correct route is important for you to follow.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) based in the UK has just published its 2009 sail cruising courses. The first in the list is "Start Yachting" no pre-course experience or knowledge is required, the course content is; Steering a yacht, sail handling, rope work, and safety on board, the course duration is 2 days.

The second on the list is "Competent Crew" again, no pre-course or knowledge or experience is required, the course content is; Basic seamanship and helmsman-ship and the course duration is 5 days.

All the course beyond that, do ask for previous experience and knowledge, so being to able to pick up the sailing terminology as part of the learning process would be a great start.

I hope this helps in getting involved with what is one of the Best Sports in the World.

Happy Sailing.

Author's Bio: 

Sailing is the peace on earth, knowing your strengths, learning a new skill, achieving a goal and traveling the world, what an experience.
Happy sailing