Boating - Terms and Terminology

Boat Length Classifications
A boat's length class dictates the equipment necessary to comply with federal and state laws.
Boats are divided into four length classes:
  • Less than 16 feet (Class A)
  • 16 feet to less than 26 feet (Class 1)
  • 26 feet to less than 40 feet (Class 2)
  • 40 feet to 65 feet (Class 3)
Bow
The forward (front) part of a boat
Hull Identification Number (HIN)
All boats manufactured for sale must have a manufacturer's serial number or Hull Identification Number (HIN). It is unique to your boat. HINs are typically engraved in the fiberglass or on a small metal plate attached to the transom. Record your HIN and put it in a place away from the boat. It can be useful if warranty problems arise or if your boat is lost or stolen.
Port
The left side of a boat looking forward.
Starboard
The right side of the boat when looking forward.
Stern
The back end of a boat.
Wake
Moving waves, track or path that a boat leaves behind it, when moving across the waters.
Water Craft (WC)
All water vessels including boats, sailboats, Personal Watercraft, Jet Ski ® (Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.), Ski-Doo ®(Bombardier Recreational Products) Waverunner ® (Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.), etc.