Starboard and Port tacks? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 75 Old 06-30-2007 Thread Starter
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Starboard and Port tacks?

I always forget on how to remember what side is what, I do know Port is the left side of the boat. How do all of you remember this, what about another boat that is headed toward you who has the right of way? I was told if the sails are on the left side (port side) then you are on a starboard tack? Is this true what are some tricks to remember this?
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post #2 of 75 Old 06-30-2007
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I remember by which side the 'WIND" is coming over. Hence your above example, sails on port, wind on starboard so you are on teh starboard tack, and have the right a way. In simple terms. Of course if you are arguing with a sail boat tanker, if there was such a creature, in shipping lanes, and you are a 30' boat............Move out of his way! Otherwise, you have the right a way.
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post #3 of 75 Old 06-30-2007
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When it comes to right of way MIGHT IS RIGHT
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post #4 of 75 Old 06-30-2007
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Just remember the larger freighters and commercial ships have right of weight.

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Boom on port side... wind on your right side.
A good way to remember port and starboard/ right and left... Port has four letters, as does left, a quick way to remember that port is to left.
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post #6 of 75 Old 06-30-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImASonOfaSailor
I always forget on how to remember what side is what, I do know Port is the left side of the boat.
As you're facing forward, yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImASonOfaSailor
How do all of you remember this,
This is going to sound weird, but here's what my mother told me when I was a child "The way you remember is that you always drink port with your left hand." I don't know where she got that from. Nobody else has ever heard of it, that I've ever known. But it did serve as a very effective mnemonic for me all these years. (And there've been quite a number of them since she told me that.)

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Originally Posted by ImASonOfaSailor
what about another boat that is headed toward you who has the right of way?
The author of Sailing Fundamentals discourages the use of the term "right of way." He feels it imparts an unsafe attitude. The correct terms are "stand-on" and "give way" vessels. (Btw: IIRC, that same author then goes on to use the term "right of way" later in the book.) But to answer your question: The boat on the port tack is the give way boat, unless the other boat is not under command (unlikely) or is a commercial vessel (also unlikely, in this day-and-age). (I think those are the only exceptions, but I'm a n00b to this, too, so caveat emptor!)

I have found it useful to memorize The Rules of the Road by which vessel is the give way vessel for each.

You might find useful the thread I started, Rules of the Road: Precedence?, over in the Learning to Sail sub-forum. You will also find other threads about TROTR in that sub-forum. (N.B.: That list is not comprehensive, in that it address' only sailboat vs. sailboat rules.)

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I was told if the sails are on the left side (port side) then you are on a starboard tack? Is this true what are some tricks to remember this?
Yes, yes and yes: The side over which the wind is coming is the tack you're on.

Jim
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post #7 of 75 Old 06-30-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre66
Boom on port side... wind on your right side.
A good way to remember port and starboard/ right and left... Port has four letters, as does left, a quick way to remember that port is to left.
I don't mean to confuse you but, what if you are facing aft; then your left is not to port anymore. That's why we call them port and starboard and not left and right.

Port comes from the side ships used to tie to...."port" or a pier and starboard I actually don't remember; maybe someone can help me remember......

Sonofasailor, don't worry you'll get the hang of it.
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post #8 of 75 Old 06-30-2007
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A couple of years ago or so a new boat came into our marina. It was a fine boat but what was odd about this boat was her name.

LIPRIS

I had to ask the owner what the name was all about, so over a beer or two he explained that he kept mixing up Port and Starboard, in this way he explained why he named his boat.....

Left Is Port Right Is Starboard

LIPRIS. A true story and an easy way to remember.

Rick in Florida
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The reason Starboard is called that is because on older sailing vessel, that predated having a tiller, they used a steering oar to steer the boat. The steering oar or steering board was kept on the right-hand side of the ship, which meant that the dock was most easily accessed if it was on the left side of the ship. The left side eventually became known as port—where the dock and port was, and the right was starboard, where the steering board or st'ar board was.

Another way to remember it is that you're on a boat, sailing across the water, you left port...

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post #10 of 75 Old 06-30-2007
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Starbord and port.

I believe those terms date back to the time the Portuguese started sailing south, from Europe, along the coast of Africa.

Port would be the side of the vessel facing land, starbord would be the side where the Stars were.
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