PARTS/ORIENTATION OF THE BOAT

Parts of the Boat

 

Shell

Another name for the boat and is used interchangeably.

Port 

Left side of the boat, while facing forward, in the direction of the movement.

Starboard 

Right side of the boat, while facing forward, in the direction of the movement.

Bow 

The forward section of the boat. This part of the boat crosses the finish line first. 

Stern 

The rear of the boat; the direction the rowers are facing.
Bow Ball 

A small rubber ball attached to the bow of each shell. Used as a safety device and for determining which crew crosses the finish line first during a close race.

Skeg/Fin and Rudder 

The fin attached to the keel of the shell that helps stabilize and maintain a straight course. The rudder attaches to the skeg and is controlled by either the coxswain to steer a sweep boat by attached cables or by the toe in a sculling boat.

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Deck 

The part of the shell on top or the bow and stern that is covered with fiberglass or thin plastic.

Gunwales 

The top rails of the shell. Pronounced 'gunnels.'

Hull 

The body of the shell.

Keel 

The center line of the hull.

Rigger 

The triangular shaped metal device that is bolted onto the side of the boat and holds the oars.

Rib 

The u-shaped structures in the boat that the hull and riggers attach to. 

Oarlock 

The u-shaped lock at the end of the rigger that attaches the oar to the shell. The oarlock allows the rower to rotate the oar between the squared and feathered positions.

Gate 

The bar across the oarlock that keeps the oar in place.
Toe 

Sculling boats may have a steering device. The bow or stroke seat can steer the rudder by changing the direction of their foot.

Foot Stretcher 

The adjustable footplate with built in shoes which allows the rower to adjust their position in the shell 

relative to the oarlock.

Seat 

Molded seat mounted on wheels that the rower sits on. The seat rolls on tracks which allow the rower to generate power with their legs.

Tracks/Slides 

Rails that the rowers rolling seat roll on. Also called slides.

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Parts of The Oar
 

Oar 

A device used to drive the boat forward. There are two types of oars:
1. Hatchet - The modern and current oar blade that is rectangular or hatchet shaped.
2. Tulip/Macon/Spoon - The traditional u-shaped blade. 

 

An oar consists of several parts, in order from rower to water: Handle, shaft, sleeve, collar, shaft, blade. The oar attaches to the boat at the oarlock.

 

Handle 

Part of the oar that rowers hold on to during each stroke.

Shaft 

The part of the oar between the sleeve and the blade. Comprises the majority of the length of the oar. Also called the loom.

Sleeve 

A thin piece of plastic around the oar that keeps the oarlock from wearing out the shaft of the oar.

Collar 

A wide collar on the sleeve of the oar that keeps the oar from slipping through the oarlock. Also called a button.

Blade 

The hatchet or spoon shaped end of the oar. 

Outboard 

The length of the oar measuring from the bottom to the tip of the blade. 

Inboard 

Length of the oar measuring from the button to the handle. 

Button 

A wide collar on the sleeve of the oar that keeps the oar from slipping through the oarlock. Also called a collar.

CLAM 

Acronym for Clip-on Load Adjusting Mechanism. A CLAM is a device that snaps on and off the sleeve of an oar to quickly adjust the inboard rig.

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