Shipbuilding terms

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Common Shipbuilding Terms

These are some common terms used when discussing marine vessels. They may not be applicable to all vessels (i.e., an oil rig may be rather square, with no distinct bow, stern, etc.). See, also: Category:Definitions.

  • Bow: The forward most point on the vessel when underway
  • Stern: The back most point on the vessel when underway
  • Port(side): The left side of the vessel for an observer facing the direction of travel
  • Starboard: The right side of the vessel for an observer facing the direction of travel
  • Fore: Towards the bow of the vessel
  • Aft: Towards the stern of the vessel
  • Midships: The middle of the ship
  • Forward Perpendicular: Where the stem meets the waterline at design draught
  • Aft Perpendicular: A point often struck through the rudderstock, the opposing point on the load waterline to the forward perpendicular
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