How to Remember Port and Starboard?

Those who traveled on boats come up with a common question. The question is why the boat captains call the left “port” and right “starboard” instead of conventional left and right. Passengers and sometimes even crew members forget which one is port and starboard. So, we think we should help our boat-loving readers with a few tricks of remembering the port and starboard. You can always memorize a joke on the sides of the boat. There are other tricks to remember this little fact. Let’s know about them in detail.

What are the top five tips for remembering water vessels?

Origin of these two terms

Sometimes, knowing the origin of terms helps in remembering the exact use of terms. Earlier, people used to use steering oars for moving the boat ahead. Most of the boat crew members were right-handed, and they used to grab the steering oar in their right hand. According to the old English language, steor means steering. So, the name starboard always represents the right side of the boat, and the port is naturally the left side.

Letters in words

The word “left” consists of four letters. Similarly, the word “port” also consists of four letters. Both of these words represent the left side of the boat. If you can count the letters of the word, it will be a lot easier for you to remember that the port is left and the starboard is right.

Port wine

Port is associated with the color red and the starboard with green. Now, whenever you think of port, the popular name of port wine will come to your mind. This port wine is of red color. You can keep in mind a very common phrase you might ask while having a nice dinner with your family and friends -“Is there is any port wine left in the bottle?” If you can remember this phrase, it will be a piece of cake for you to remember that port is always left.

Number of Rs

The word starboard contains two Rs, and the word Right starts with R. So, you can think that the word starboard is emphasizing Rs, so it will represent the right side.

Port and starboard socks

These days, you can find the port and starboard socks in boating shops along with other objects like a swimming suit, goggles, surfboard, etc. The port sock is worn on the left leg, and the starboard one is on the right leg.

What does port and starboard light represent?

For navigation purposes, the port side uses red light, and the starboard side uses green light. On the back of the boat for 135 degrees, one gets to see the stern light. If you see the white and red light of a particular boat at a time, you should leave space at your starboard side. For seeing white and green light together, you will have to give way for portside.

If you are about to buy a boat, you should start learning about the terminologies related to navigation. Also, familiarize yourself with the marine navigation rules and various navigation lights to avoid collision and to maintain your safety.