Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk 
One of the most difficult subjects when learning how to sail is learning the language. It’s literally brand new with words like right and left being replaced by starboard and port. We all have a learning curve but sometimes the incorrect pronunciation or completely wrong word sticks with us! Here are some common errors in the language of sailing and the correct terms and pronunciation!
Keeling or keeling over- Correct word is Heeling
Heeling is the motion of the boat leaning to one side due to the forces of the wind on the sails. Keeling or Keeling over seems logical as the keel of the boat is providing this motion, but the correct term is heeling or heeling over.

Bumpers- Correct word is Fenders
Logically, once again, a bumper protects your car in an accident just like a fender protects the boat from the dock. However, if you were to walk into a marine store to purchase new bumpers, they would suggest going to an auto parts store instead.

Self-furling or Automatic Mainsail- Correct word is Furling Mainsail or Roller Furling Mainsail
Modern sailors love our furling mainsails, so much so that we have trained our brain to think they roll up by themselves or automatically. Unfortunately, they are not self-furling or automatic but rather simply called furling mainsails or more formally a roller furling mainsail.

Radio- Correct word is Stereo or VHF
We get this one a lot… “I can’t get the radio to work”. What radio? A boat has a stereo and a VHF. Usually we’re referring to the “music radio” in this scenario but using the word stereo instead of radio is an important distinction.

Rope- Correct word is Line
If you want to see a salty sailor steam from their ears, ask them what rope to pull! You buy rope at the marine store but as soon as it has a purpose on the boat, it becomes a line. What about spare cordage on a boat, is it spare rope or spare line?

Also, can you name the only “rope” you find on a sailboat?

Map- Correct word is Chart
Perhaps the word chart was created to further confuse new sailors, but maps are for hiking trails and roadways while charts are for navigating waterways. Charts provide greater detail of shorelines, depths, navigational aids, etc.

Gas- Correct word is Fuel
It’s time to gas up! We hope not, because most sailboats have diesel engines and putting gas in the tank would be a big problem. Obviously, everyone knows what you mean but using the word fuel is correct and gas stations on the water are known as fuel docks!

Crank- Correct word is Winch Handle
Put the crank in the winch and turn it to pull in the sail. This makes sense of course but winch handle is the word to use!

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