Yacht racing vocabulary is colorful and crisp. Single words are charged with emotion, packed with meaning, and teeming with direction. Experts use this technical jargon and slang to quickly convey complex information, but knowing what all the words mean can be challenging to neophytes.

Sailorspeak was created to enable each crew member to understand all of the necessary terms and slang so they can participate and contribute sooner and to a greater degree.

Everyone can concentrate on learning and improving their skills and avoid wasting valuable time decoding the words being used. In short, everyone can talk like a racing sailor—minus the cuss words—and be understood.

On this blog, we’ll cover a wide range of subjects, including procedures, tactics, and navigation, as well as parts, knots, sails, and sailcloth. Weather-related terms are included, as sailing depends so much on the weather. And we’ll discuss the racing rules at length, since proper application of the rules is also important.

Some entries are traditional technical terms. Others are non-traditional jargon, colloquialisms, or slang terms. Some are more applicable to buoy racing, while others apply more to offshore racing. Some terms or phrases are broadly used, some are used only on a regional level, and a few are so esoteric that only one club, class, or fleet uses them. For every item listed, we go beyond mere definition and include in-depth instructions on use, plus cross-references to related and contrasting terms and other variants.

Many terms and their resultant functions are ancient traditions still in use today, while others seem like they were first spoken this morning. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the more recently invented terms will still be used next season or even next week.

Please check back often for updates, or get new terms, jargon and slang delivered to your inbox every day by subscribing to an RSS feed, email delivery or tweets, and follow Sailorspeak on Facebook by using these links or the buttons above.