Boating & Watercraft Glossary

BOAT TERMS

It is important to be familiar with the many terms used on the waterways, as well as with the different parts and features of your boat or watercraft. Study the illustrations below for some of key terms and take a Safe Boating Course.

Front, back, left, right on the road are bow, stern, port and starboard on the water.

picBoatTerms1
picBoatTerms2

SKIER'S HAND SIGNALS

Skiing and wakeboarding are immensely popular boating activities. Even if you don't ski, you may eventually take up this fun and challenging water sport so you should learn the “skier's hand signals” now.

Speed-up
Stop
Turn-right
Speed-down
SpeedOK
Turn-left
SkierOK
Back-toDock
Skier-Down-Watch

BOATING SIGNS

Alpha Flag, International Diver Down

Alpha Flag, International Diver Down

The blue Alpha Flag is required by federal law to be displayed by vessels engaged in diving operations. Watercraft operators and boaters must exercise caution.

Diver Down

Diver Down

The red Divers Flag is not an official flag but is used widely by recreational divers. Watercraft operators and boaters must exercise caution.

Boats Keep Out

Boats Keep Out

Nature of danger may be placed outside crossed diamond (e.g. waterfalls, swim areas, rapids).

Caution

Caution

Controlled Area as indicated in circle (e.g. speed limit, no fishing, no anchoring, ski only, slow, no wake, no ski, no prop boats).

Lateral-system-Channel-Marker-Left

Channel Marker Left

Lateral System. Keep buoy on left facing upstream.

Lateral-system-Channel-Marker-Right

Channel Marker Right

Lateral System. Keep buoy on right facing upstream.

Nature-of-Danger-diamond-shape-Danger

Danger

Nature of danger may be indicated inside the diamond shape (e.g. rocks, reefs, dams, construction, snags).

Cardinal-Buoyage-Destruction

Destruction

Cardinal Buoyage Marking System. Do not pass between shore and buoy.

Tells-Direction-and-Distance-Information

Information

Tells direction and distance to locations, food, repairs, supplies and other non-regulatory messages.

White-with-reflectorized-blue-Mooring-Buoy

Mooring Buoy

White with reflectorized blue band. May have white light or reflector.

Visual-Distress

Visual Distress Daytime Signal