Scott’s Blog, Boating Terms

The Cobalt Dictionary of Boating

Whether you’re a long time boater or perhaps this is your first boating season, ownership of a Cobalt boat entitles you to use an array of nautical terms. So we’ve created a “Cobalt Dictionary”, if you will. A source of phrases, definitions and lingo that will lead you to the front of the pack. Let’s treat this as your homework for the day.

  • Anchor’s aweigh: Your cry to all aboard once the anchor has just cleared the bottom, signaling that you’re underway on a morning of absolute fun
  • Amidships: midway between the bow and stern of your Cobalt (typically a great location for the fender clips)
  • Astern: at the rear of your boat where the swim step provides a perfect waterborne relaxation spot
  • Ballast: a sophisticated set of tanks and their controls used to control buoyancy and stability on the Cobalt 232/242/262 WSS models
  • Beam: the width of your Cobalt at its widest point – and the interior beam on a Cobalt provides more usable space, and it’s luxury usable space to boot
  • Belay: to secure a rope by winding on a pin or cleat
  • Bilge: the lower part of the inner hull, the deep-V hull that contributes so mightily to your Cobalt’s smooth, oh so smooth ride
  • Binnacle: the case in which a compass is kept
  • Brightwork: exposed polished stainless steel on your Cobalt, pretty much everywhere on your Cobalt
  • Buoy: a floating object of defined shape and color, anchored at a given position to serve as an aid to navigation, a floating object frequently struck by other boaters staring at your beautiful new Cobalt
  • Chine: an angle on the hull, reversed on Cobalt hulls to enhance stability and  strength
  • Escutcheon: that area on the stern where you have lovingly displayed your Cobalt’s given name
  • Freeboard: distance between the waterline and the gunwale on your Cobalt, a safe, eminently workable distance
  • Gunwale: upper edge of your Cobalt’s side
  • Handsomely: in a slow, even motion as in the retrieval of a line, as in “My, my, my. That Cobalt surely does leave the dock handsomely.”
  • Keelhauling: maritime punishment in which the condemned sailor is dragged under the keel of a wooden ship, the barnacles doing their worst on the poor sole; in fact, keelhauling simply will no longer work as a punishment for or deterrent to on-the-water misbehavior, such is the smooth perfection of the Cobalt hull
  • Knot: a unit of speed – one nautical mile (1.1508 landlocked mile) per hour
  • Land lubber: a person unfamiliar with being on the sea; also; a person unlucky enough to have never boarded a Cobalt
  • Lanyard: a rope or line for fastening aboard your boat
  • Larboard: the left side of a Cobalt, less common of course than portside, the counterpart of starboard, the right side of the boat
  • Marina: a docking facility for boats and yachts, the scene of obvious and uncontrollable envy on the part of otherwise quite decent, quite lovable owners of boats manufactured somewhere other than Neodesha, Kansas
  • Planing: when a fast-moving Cobalt skims over the water instead of pushing through it; the adverb/adjective pair most frequently attached to a Cobalt’s planning – “essentially instant”
  • Scuttlebutt: a barrel with a hole from which sailors would drink; hence, a shipboard drinking fountain and therefore, in modern naval slang, “gossip”; a term now used almost exclusively at boat shows in the context of the Cobalt innovations about to be introduced for the new model year
  • Skipper: the captain of the boat, as in “Skipper, are you truly this talented, or are you relying on the joystick engine controls available on all Cobalt twin-engine powertrains to dock your 336?”
  • Transom: the transverse members of the boat’s construction at the stern, an aft wall of sorts to which the drive portion of the sterndrive is attached and in Cobalt’s case this area is a composite – not the old fashioned wood style
  • Windlass: a winch used to raise your boat’s stainless steel Cobalt anchor

Anchor’s aweigh fer sure, me hearties!  And the scuttlebutt is that the skipper is just about to stand abeam and order an extra ration of grog for the entire ship’s company.