Glossary of nautical terms

The “Dico des flots”

Class40, spinnaker, bowsprit, IRC, knot, jib, monohull, windlass… The language of sailing includes many terms whose meaning may escape the uninitiated. This is why Groupe Berkem has prepared the Dico Des Flots (glossary of nautical terms!)

Discover regular additions to the glossary of nautical terms to help you follow the Groupe Berkem Sailing venture.


Large water tank used to manage the boat’s stability and trim. A Class40 boat has two, one on the port side, the other on the starboard side, with a maximum capacity of 750 litres each.

Schéma explicatif de ce qu'est le ballast


The force exerted by the water on the boat’s hull and acting in the opposite direction of the gravity force. It depends on the shape and material of construction of the hull.

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Flottaison : coque du bateau Groupe Berkem


Monohull sailboat dedicated to short-handed ocean racing, with a length of 40 feet (12.19 metres). A Class40 boat must meet strict specifications and rules, so as not to create disparities in the category.

Image du bateau sponsorisé par Groupe Berkem


All the fittings to equip a boat. The rigging is used to adjust the tension of the mast and to manoeuvre the sails.

Image d'un accastillage


An operation that consists of flapping the sail away from the boat’s central axis by releasing the rope (the sheet). It’s a manoeuvre to “give slack” to the sail.

Image d'une opération de choquage


The spinnaker is a large, light triangular sail hoisted at the front of a boat when the wind is behind it. The spinnaker is optimized to make the most of the wind’s strength and thus gain speed.

Image de spinnaker