Why Port and Starboard?

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┬áto find out how vessel handling brought about these common terms.

 

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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.

Rollie Herman

Rollie Herman

Working in the marine industry since 1971, president of Westpac Marine since 1984.
Past president of the United States Marine Safety Association and retired sailor
Rollie Herman

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Rollie Herman

Working in the marine industry since 1971, president of Westpac Marine since 1984. Past president of the United States Marine Safety Association and retired sailor

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