Boating Terms

When sales people talk of deep vees or planing strakes, most customers are more than a little lost. At Baymarine, we’re here to help you feel at ease with all things boating, no matter how basic. Beam
The width of the boat at its widest point.


The edge, where the sides of the boat meet the bottom. Another critical area of the boat design – the shape angle and size of the chine can have a radical bearing on the boat’s performance.


This is the word used to describe the amount of ‘vee’ in the shape of the hull at the transom (stern). Simply put, a flat bottom boat would obviously ‘slap’ or ‘pound’ as it moves across the water. A boat with a ‘veed’ bottom shape can more easily slice through the waves.

Flared Bow

The amount of overhang the boat has up near the bow. Over-rated in its real use to the consumer, as the water shouldn’t be up there in the first place. Of more use to an advertising agency than a boat builder.


Stand for ‘length overall’ – ie. from the tip of the bowsprit to the transom.

‘Planing’ Strakes

The long ‘thin’ strips or ribs that run under the boat from up near the bow. These are not decoration, they work hard to provide ‘lift’ for the boat, to help it get up on top of the water and as the boat zooms along, they turn the water back down on itself. One of the most poorly understood aspects of modern boat design, planing strakes are one reasons why some boats plane so easily, and perform so well with only moderate engines.

Power Ratings

As a rule of thumb, about half way between the minimum and maximum is fairly accurate – but it’s best to check this carefully with us. We can advise you on the best engine/boat combination for your area. It is surprising how much it varies from one region to another – and relates to things such as tidal patterns, sea conditions, bars, rivers, etc.

Self Draining Cockpit

Simply, where the cockpit floor (‘sole’) is higher than the outside water level – thus any water inside can drain overboard.


Roughly a quarter of the way along the hull from the bow. Usually where the boat achieves its widest point.


The stern or back part of the boat. Important here to make sure the boat has a full height, self draining outboard well.

Transom Height

The higher the outboard engine is out of the water, the longer it will last – it’s that simple