Boating Terms

The nautical world is full of terms and phrases which are unique to those in the boating world. This glossary of terms will help in navigating your way through the language.

Capstan

Often referred to as a drum, rope drum, or warping drum. The capstan is primarily used for hauling rope.

Chain Stopper

Also Chain Compressor. Located between the winch and bow roller. Secures chain and anchor and takes the load off the winch/windlass. Highly recommended for systems utilising all chain and for semi-automatic rope and chain systems.

Gypsy

Also Chainwheel or Wildcat. A special wheel with pockets, to accommodate a specified chain size, for hauling up the chain and anchor. With automatic rope/chain systems the gypsy is designed to haul both rope and chain.

Rode

The line that secures the boat to the anchor. This may consist of all chain, all rope, or a combination of rope and chain.

Windlass

A machine for raising a weight by winding a rope and/or chain around a drum or chainwheel, driven by a crank or motor.