Are you planning to hit the water of Lake coeur d’Alene this summer? If so, you’re not alone. Thousands of people visit downtown Coeur d’Alene, the Coeur d’Alene Resort, and the lake every summer.

With all of those visitors comes an increase in boating traffic. So before you head out on the water this summer, you might want to brush up on your boating terms. Your friends and family will think you’re totally awesome and you’ll be prepared for whenever you find others speaking any boating lingo.

Boating terms

There are hundreds of boating and sailing terms in the world. You don’t have to know all of them, but it is important that you know the basics. The most important boating terms are below:


When the boat is floating freely, or with the current of the water. Not using the engine to move in any way, just drifting.


The front of the boat, often also referred to as “aft.”


A unit of speed, or one nautical mile per hour.

Navigation Lights

The red, green, and white lights required to be used after sunset and before sunrise for visibility reasons.


Port, or port-side, is the left side of the vessel.


A sudden storm that blows through, often characterized with high winds and rain.


Starboard is the right side of the boat.


The Stern is the back of the boat. Here, you will find the rudder or the engine, depending on what type of boat you are operating.


The motion the boat makes in a forward and backward direction.


The motion a boat makes in a side to side direction.


This refers to when the boat is in motion, under its own volition. In other words, someone is driving it. When a boat is not anchored or docked, it is considered underway.

More Boating Terminology

Do you want to learn more boating terminology? If so, then check out this glossary of terms.
You’ll be an expert in no time!

Set Sail!

And there you have it – some of the most popular boating terms everyone should be aware of before going boating.

Do you have some questions, or perhaps you’re looking for things to do in Coeur d’Alene? No problem!

Resort Boat Rentals is located right outside the Coeur d’Alene resort on the boardwalk. We offer pontoon boat rentals, sport boat rentals, jet ski and paddleboard rentals, and more. Call us or stop by today, we would be happy to help you and your family!