Terms Realting to Kayaks but not necessarily specific to Kayaks

AFT - The rear end of the kayak or behind the cockpit.

BEAM - Generally the widest point on the hull.

BOW - The front end of the kayak.

BULKHEAD - A vertical watertight partition that separates the cockpit from the rest of the kayak.

COCKPIT - The opening in the deck where the paddler sits.

COMBING - A ring of wood or other material enclosing the top of the cockpit which stiffens it, prevents water from entering and is used to secure the spray skirt. (Also spelled coming.)

DECK - In a kayak, the covering of the hull above the sheerlinr where the cockpit and hatches are located.

DECK LINES - Rope or shock cord attached to the deck used to hold cargo in place or as a safety line.

EYE PAD - A small looped fitting used to attach deck lines to the surface of the kayak.

FLARE - Where the hull angels out from the base of the hull to the sheerline. This helps determine initial and secondary stability. Kayaks that have low flare have high initial stability but low secondary stability. Conversely, kayaks with high flare will have higher secondary stability but will have lower initial stability.

FOOTBRACES - An adjustable brace inside the cockpit to place your feet against not only for comfort but they provide leverage against the kayak while paddling.

FREEBOARD - The area of the hull between the waterline and the sheerline. If there is flare in the freeboard it will increase the kayak's secondary stability. If there is tumblehome in the freeboard it reduces the secondary stability.

GRAB LOOPS - Found on the bow and stern of the kayak and are used for carrying or something to hold unto if you should capsize.

HATCH - An waterproof opening in the deck giving access to a storage area.

KEEL - The bottom center line in a kayak. A pronounced keel will increase a kayak's tracking.

PORT - The left side of a boat.

PDF - Personal Flotation Device: a piece of safety equipment that provides supplementaty floatation to a person in the water.

ROCKER - Fore and aft curvature in the keel from amidship towards the kayak ends.

RUDDER - A steering device.

SEAT - The bottom of the cockpit where you sit. It normally incorporates a backrest and can be make from a variety of materials.

SHEER - The long sweeping line where the deck and the hull meet.

SPRAY SKIRT - Material worn around the waist and secured over the lip of the combing to keep water out of the cockpit.

STARBOARD - The right side of a boat.

STEM - The area of the stern or the bow coming up from the keel to the end of the kayak. Often reinforced in a kayak.

STERN - The back end of the kayak.

TUMBLEHOME - Where the hull angles in from the base of the hull to the sheerline. This reduces stability.

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