5 Virginia Boating Terms to Know

Lock down the lingo before you step on deck.

You can always tell a landlubber, especially by how they talk. If you don’t know the lingo, you’re going to reveal your novice ways out on the water.

As part of our boating guide to the Rappahannock River region of Virginia in our April 2020 issue, Chris Olson helped prepare this primer for boating terms to help newbies blend in better. 

Water Lingo

Gunkholing: A boating term used to describe a leisurely cruise exploring the shallow waters of creeks, inlets, and coves. “It was a great day of gunkholing!”

Sloop: A boat with one mast and two sails. The most common type of sailboat seen on the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay.

Draft: The vertical distance between the water line and the boat’s hull or keel. An important number to know when navigating smaller channels.

Taylor blues: A type of fish rumored to be named after Taylor’s restaurant in Deltaville, which makes fish sandwiches with it. A great fish for spring and summer grilling.

Sea walnuts: A fun name for the translucent invertebrates with brightly colored iridescent bands that are commonly found in the Chesapeake Bay. Look for them in the wake of your boat if you’re on the water at night.

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This article originally appeared in our April 2020 issue.

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