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Boating Terms

To make sure you feel at home when enjoying a Norfolk Broads boat hire,  here are a few boating terms and their meanings:

Aft– towards the back of the boat

Aft cockpit– this usual means the boat has an outside driving or seating area

Air Draft– this is the height of the boat from the top of the water to the top of highest part of the boat

Bank– the land at the edge of the river

Beam – the width at the widest part of the boat.

Berth – a bed on the boat.

Berthage – the maximum number of people the boat will sleep.

Broads – man-made lakes joined by rivers

Bow Thruster – a small propeller or water-jet at the font of the boat, helping with mooring and turning the boat around.

Bow – this is the front end of the boat.

Centre Cockpit – this usually means that the steering position will be in the centre of the boat and very often centre cockpit boats have a sliding canopy.

Class – a group of boats that are very similar.

Cockpit – the driving area in the boat

Crew – this is the rest of your party or family (you will also need to decide who’s the captain!)

Cruiser – this is your holiday boat

Deck – this is the area of the boat you walk around

Dual Steering – offering two steering positions usually one inside and one outside

Draft – the depth of the boat below the water.

Electric Winch – this could be for an electric anchor or to raise and lower the boats canopy


Forward Drive – you sit at the front of the boat to drive it. These boats tend to have a single level deck.

Galley – your kitchen

Heads – this is the bathroom area.

Helmsman – this is the person driving the boat, remember no experience is required, with full tuition on offer before your depart the boat yard

Lifejackets & Buoyancy Aids – provided that you are wearing one, these will help keep you afloat should you fall into the water. We also have a range of dog lifejackets available for hire.

Moor – meaning to stop and secure your boat to the bank via the mooring ropes

Mud anchor / mud weight – located at the front of the boat on the deck, allowing you to moor the boat whilst having lunch in the centre of one of the larger Broads.

Pirates – you will see a few of these during your holiday

Port – the left hand side of the boat.

Sedan Cruiser – the seating / living area has a fixed raised roof with a sliding sunroof and patio doors and the driving position is raised for excellent all round visibility. The boat has outside seating in a welled area at the back.

Single Level – once on-board these type of boats have no steps often a good choice for visitors with restricted mobility or if you decide to bring your dog

Shore Power – you will be able to plug your boat into the electric point located around the Broads to assist with charging your boats batteries whilst on holiday

Split Sliding Canopy – over the saloon and driving position offering both protection from the changeable weather or open air driving

Starboard – right hand side of the boat.

Stern – the back of the boat.


Warm Air Heating – the heating in the boat is generated from the engine and tends to last about 4 hours after the engine has been switched off!

Well – these can sometimes be at both the front and back of the boat and offer a good place to sit and fish or simply relax

12v – this means you can only charge your mobile phone through an in car charger

240v – there are some 3 pin normal plug sockets on the boat – however, not all home electrical appliances can be plugged in especially high powered ones like hair straighteners and hairdryers.