Nautical Terminology

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Archipelago is the term used to describe an island group. During the ice age, melting ice liberated rock that emerged in the form of islands. Even today countries do not stand still and islands continue to form.

Azores High

The Azores High is a high pressure area which is part of the subtropical high pressure belt. The Azores High has a strong impact on European weather.

Balancing coasts

Balancing coasts are flat and mostly straight. The beach is continually moving due to the constant activity of water and wind.


The Beaufort scale describes the classification of winds by their speed.

  • 0 Beaufort (Bft.): completely calm and glass like waters
  • 1 Beaufort: minor ripples
  • 2 Beaufort: a light breeze associated with small, short waves
  • 3 Beaufort: a light breeze
  • 4 Beaufort: a light breeze with small waves that grow longer
  • 5 Beaufort: moderate winds
  • Up from 6 Beaufort: strong winds
  • Up from 7 Beaufort: trees sway and it can be difficult to walk against the wind
  • As of 8 Beaufort: can be very dangerous - stormy winds and high peaks
  • 9 Beaufort: a storm with high waves
  • 10 Beaufort: a severe storm with high waves
  • 11 Beaufort: a hurricane-like storm, where severe damage to buildings and cars can occur. Visibility is greatly reduced and the water is blown horizontally
  • 12 Beaufort: the highest possible wind speed during a hurricane
Blue water sailing

Blue water sailing is offshore sailing or extended inshore sailing. During blue water sailing one stays out on the ocean for long periods without anchoring. This requires a lot of preparation as the boat must be well equipped for the route, and the crew need to be self-sufficient for weeks or months at a time.

Bodden coast

Bodden coasts are broad, shallow bays at flat coasts. They were created by the flooding and undulating moraine landscape after the ice age.


The Bora is a dry, cold and gusty wind that blows from the northeast. It occurs between Trieste, the Kvarner Bay and Istria, Dalmatia and the Montenegrin Adriatic coast. The Bora can occur in short bursts that bring sea dust and choppy waves. It can also improve visibility dramatically as it is accompanied by sunny and clear weather.

Brackish water

A brackish water sea is a body of water (usually an estuary), that has a salt content of 0.1% to 1% and can thus be seen as a zone of low salt content.


The Buran wind blows across eastern Asia and causes visibility problems. During the summer it is a hot, dry wind that causes sand storms. During the winter it is incredibly cold and can bring snow storms.

Coastal cliff

Cliffs are formed on coastlines due to waves erroding the rockface.

Continental shelf

The continental shelf is a shallow coastal sea bed that reaches 200 meters below sea level.

Fjord coasts

Fjord coasts are dramatically indented coastlines with elongated bays.

Gulf Stream

The Gulf Stream is a warm ocean current that originates in Florida, USA and crosses the Atlantic Ocean. The Gulf Stream is responsible for the relatively mild winter in central Europe, as it transports large amounts of energy.


Haff-coasts are a special case of balancing coasts.


The humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air, and is an important indicator for health and comfort. Humidity is most comfortable between 40% and 60%.


Jugo is the Croatian word for the smooth, hot desert Scirocco wind. It usually blows in spring, early summer and autumn in a south to south-easterly direction from the Sahara towards the Mediterranean. The greater the temperature difference, the stronger the Jugo is. Because of its formation over the desert, it also takes great amounts of sand dust with it and can cause sand storms. The visibility can fall below one kilometer.


The Kapeffekt represents a specific type of change in the direction and strength of wind. It is triggered when the wind blows around mountainous areas or headlands. When the wind blows across the cape, it produces a zone of turbulence on the leeward side. In the direct vicinity of the cape it causes a substantial increase of wind and a considerable change in wind direction.


The Levante is a warm wind (3 to 5 Bft.), which often follows the Mistral and usually occurs in the summer months between June and August.


Lodos is the Turkish name for the Scirocco, which usually blows in autumn and winter from the south. At first it blows moderately, but then it increases dramatically. It can be dangerous for yachts.

Low pressure area

A low pressure area is an area that has lower air pressure than the average environment.

Maestral (or Mistral)

Is the Croatian name for the Mistral wind, which pushes the boundaries by a cold front from the northwest in the Mediterranean.


Marinas are smaller ports that are geared towards the needs of recreational boating.


The Meltemi is a fair-weather wind from the north, it occurs mainly in the summer months in the Aegean Sea and brings cool and pleasant air.


The Mistral is created by a cold front from the northwest in the Mediterranean. It is an advancing, often strong wind.

Nautical mile

The nautical mile (nm) is a unit used by sea and air navigators wordwide to measure distances at sea. 1 nautical mile is equal to 1852 meters (m). In terms of speed, the nautical mile per hour is also known as nodes.


Navigation is an art. The goal is to move a boat safely to the desired destination. Good navigation is achieved by detecting the current position (localization) and determining the best route to the destination.

Northeast trade winds

Moderately strong and very steady winds that occur in the northern hemisphere.


The Scirocco is a smooth, hot desert wind from the south/south-east. It usually blows in spring, early summer and autumn from the Sahara towards the Mediterranean. The larger the temperature difference, the stronger the Scirocco is. Because of its formation over the desert, it carries large quantities of sand and dust with it. Visibility can drop below one kilometer.


A shoal is a shallow area of water that causes a threat to shipping. Most of them are marked on nautical charts, so that the risk may already be detected.

Southeast trade winds

The moderately strong and very steady winds that occur in the southern hemisphere.


Thermals can be regarded as a kind of "air conditioning" of the earth. Thermals develop due to radiation warming the earth's surface and the air on the ground. During the day, it brings the air heated by the sun to high altitudes and guides cooler air from several hundred meters above the ground.


The fluctuating water levels of the ocean.

Trade winds

Moderately strong and very constant winds that occur in tropical sea areas up to about 23.5 ° latitude around the globe.
There are two main trade winds with different wind directions: the northeast trade winds and southeast trade winds.


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