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What is Port and Starboard/meaning/concept

The right side of a ship is called starboard and the left side of a ship. Along with the bow and stern (front and rear of a vessel respectively) are the best known nautical terms. Port and Starboard

The reason for this appellation

In order to understand the origin of this name, it is important to know that in ancient times many vessels moved by means of oars moved by men. The rudder of a ship is on the right side of the bow and this part is called the steorborde (in English), which is equivalent to the side or part of the direction.

Over time, this word evolved and consolidated the starboard form, translated into Portuguese as starboard. On the port side, for centuries, English ships used the word lardboard to refer to the left side of the vessel, but from the 19th century onwards the term port was introduced, meaning port in Portuguese. Port and Starboard

This name change had a logical reason, as the words starboard and portboard were sometimes confused. It is believed that the word “port” comes from port-side, which refers to the side of the vessel that anchors at the wharf.

Traditionally, the starboard part was used to load cargo from ships. The port side was free and the vessel’s rudder was located on it.

The main parts of a vessel

If we look at a ship’s hull from above, to the right of the stern is the starboard wing and to the left the port wing. To the front (the bow) and to the right is the starboard wall and to the left the port wall. The length from outside to outside is the name given to know the dimension of a ship (from pro to stern). Port and Starboard

On the other hand, it should not be forgotten that the wind direction and the position of a vessel are also related to starboard and port, which is why we speak of the starboard or port wind. Obviously, if the ship moves to the right this maneuver is known as yaw to starboard and if this happens to the left it is called yaw to port.

There are several nautical and terrestrial references

In nautical terminology there is no forward and backward, left and right, but bow to stern and port to starboard. On the other hand, both nautical and land miles do not express the same distance (nautical is 1852 meters and land is 1609 meters). Port and Starboard

The same applies to speed, because on land they talk about kilometers per hour and on the sea they talk about us. When it comes to locating oneself in a certain place, a map is used on land, while nautical charts are used at sea. As you can see, terrestrial and maritime language are incompatible.

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