I have known where the term “starboard” came from but for some reason never figured out “port”. Last night I was reading a piece on NOAA’s web site that answered the question. Read it yourself to find out how vessel handling brought about these common terms.
While on the subject of steering oars, I was also reading a novel which was based in Venice. Through that I learned that gondolas are asymmetric to counteract the push of the single oar. The keel in a gondola curves to the right since the oar on the starboard side will push the boat to port. It seems that this curvature is customized for the individual gondolier.
Past president of the United States Marine Safety Association and retired sailor
Latest posts by Rollie Herman (see all)
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