Home Life on the Water Learn your Nautical Slang Words

Learn your Nautical Slang Words

by boat-admin

To be a boater you need to know how to talk like a boater. Here are some terms and phrases, and definitions, that are common to veteran boaters:

Splash: Putting a boat in the water.

On the hook or swinging on the hook: A boat at anchor.

In the Soup: Fog.

Deadheads, sinker logs or snags:  A submerged log that presents a serious hazard.

Wally: A boater who had done something stupid, such as running aground, driving with fenders out, etc.

On the hard (two definitions): Novice boaters who struggle to properly dock a boat or someone who is having their boat worked on.

Coasties: The United States Coast Guard or any water law enforcement.

Blowboater or snailboater: This is a derisive slang term used by power boaters in reference to sail boaters.

Dead in the water: A sailing ship that is stationary from lack of wind.

Stinkpot: This is a derisive term used by sail boaters referring power boaters and the offensive smell of a running engine.

Oil burner: A diesel-powered boat.

High-tide riders: Boaters who live on water that is only navigable when the water table is up.

As the crow flies: The most direct route from one point to another.  Before modern navigational systems existed, British vessels customarily carried a cage of crows. These birds, when released, typically flew straight to the nearest land, thus indicating the shortest direction.

Go Fast or Go Fast/Go Loud: Power boats built for speed.

Boating Dollars: Money exclusively stashed away for boating-related expenses.

Smiles per gallons: Costs be damned, we are having fun.

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