"...let us tell you the story of a sailing boat..."
Main Parts of a Sailboat
Stern, Helm, Bow and Sides of a Sailboat
When approaching a sailing yacht, you will notice its basic shapes and curves, front and back of a boat, a big pole in the middle, etc. So, let’s start with those basic parts of a sailboat. In Mediterranean countries, yachts will mostly be docked with their back part to the shore or peer. That back of a boat is called a stern. Yachts have a little bridge on the stern which helps you enter from the peer, and that bridge is called passarella in sailor slang.
On a sailing yacht, you will find one of its basic parts - the steering wheel on the stern of the yacht, and the correct sailing term for the wheel is the helm. Grab the helm and face forward toward the front of the sailing yacht. The front part of the sailing yacht is a bow, the right side is starboard side, and the left side is port side. The cockpit, located in the front, around and behind the helm, serves as a space for relaxation, dining, and recreational activities with the skipper, and is an important part of understanding parts of a sailboat and the front and back of a boat.
Cockpit and Mast of a Sailboat
While sailing, a cockpit area is the part of a sailboat that is turned into a workspace for sailors. The big pole that rises over the sailing yacht is a mast and the other pole that is connected under 90 degrees to the mast is a boom. It is called the boom since it can hit you in the head in some conditions, and at that point you will just hear a “boom”, so you need to always be careful while sailing as well as familiarize yourself with sailboat diagrams. While you are still at the helm, you can learn some more about boats. Right in front of you or on your sides you will find round devices around which ropes are wrapped. These devices are called winches and are used to lift sails and all kinds of heavy objects.
The Saloon Area of a Sailboat
Once you enter the interior part of a sailboat, you will find yourself in the saloon area. This is a common gathering space for the crew. Within the saloon, you will find the galley or kitchen, which is equipped with all the necessary appliances for cooking. There is also a captain's desk that is equipped with navigation charts, electrical switches, tools, and safety equipment. These are all basic parts of a boat interior, used for sailing and navigation.
Further toward the bow, you have sofas for relaxation which can be used as a dining area. One thing about boats is that those sofas can be combined with a table and be converted into additional berths/beds for your guests.
Cabins in the Bow and Stern of a Sailboat
In the bow area of a sailboat, you will find one, two, or even three cabins, depending on the size of the yacht. These cabins are designed to provide a comfortable sleeping space for the crew. The cabins can have a double bed or bunk beds, so in each case, two people can fit comfortably per cabin. In the stern of the yacht, there are also one or two cabins, depending on the size and design of the sailboat. These cabins are also an important part of the sailboat, providing accommodation for crew members while sailing.
Halyards, Types of Sails, and Sheets of a Sailboat
Now when you know the basic parts of a sailboat, we can leave the port and sail out into freedom, which one can experience only while sailing the open seas. To lift the sails up, we will be using halyards, ropes which are connected to the sails on one side and to the winches on the other side, enabling us to lift the sails easily. There are two main types of sails on sailboats, a main sail (triangle shape) and a genoa sail (front sail). In addition to these two main types of sails, you can encounter a spinnaker sail for downwind sailing and a gennaker sail for downwind sailing.
The gennaker is used in conditions when the wind is shifting and starting to blow into the port or starboard side of the yacht. While sailing, the main sail is controlled with a main sheet, which is a rope connected to the main sail and with which we control the tension of the main sail. The front sail genoa is controlled with a jib sheet. When we exit the sail boat marina, we can sail into the wind - windward, or down the wind - downwind. One thing about sailboats is that they cannot sail directly into the wind by the laws of physics. Most commercial sailing yachts can sail the closest of 45 degrees towards the origin of the wind direction.