Today, traveling via water is the cheapest mode of transport and is enjoyed by so many people all across the world. We all love to travel on ships, even if the destination is located far away. There is a different feeling in ships. However, we do not know too much about ships, for example, the Port and Starboard.
A ship can be called a watercraft. This huge watercraft carries several passengers to places all over the world. When we talk about ships, they carry not only several passengers but also some essential goods.
Ships are the easiest mode of transport for shifting goods from one place to another. Its huge size enables it to take the load of heavy goods. Thus, ships are widely used for the transportation of goods today.
When we compare ships to airplanes, people might argue that even airplanes carry passengers and goods. However, airplanes can rarely carry such heavy goods and are more often used merely for the purpose of traveling. Hence, ships are used more than airplanes, especially for exporting heavy goods.
Some of the goods that can be transported via ships are cargo vessels, chemicals [which might or might not be harmful], packaged items, containers, foods, furniture, and several other things. Moreover, ships are so huge that they can also carry huge motor vehicles in addition to all the other items.
There are some technical features in a ship’s cargo vessels that enable the ship to carry cargo safely. This is the reason why most of the world’s cargo is transported via seas. These technical features make it possible to safely transport substances like crude oil, condensed gas, and some petroleum products.
Nonetheless, when we talk about today’s ships, we tend to forget these aspects and focus on one major aspect – luxury. Many ships that are passenger-oriented offer some of the best and luxurious services for their passengers. From rooms to swimming pools, some luxurious ships have it all in order to impress their passengers.
The good facilities and the luxuries like the tasty breakfast and the first classrooms encourage more passengers to travel from one place to another via water transport or ships. No-one can deny that ships have evolved and become one of the most famous means of transport.
Most of us have traveled in ships and boats, but very few of us know about the post and starboard system that is followed in ships and why ships use it. This article will clear all of your doubts related to the port and starboard.
Why is it important to understand port and starboard?
Port and Starboard are terms that unambiguously refer to left and right. They are concerned with the vessels of the ship.
Even though we know that ships are an amazing and adventurous way to travel the world, we can’t deny that there are many accidents that can occur due to travel via ships.
It is always important to know about some of the basic terms used in ships all around the world for our own safety. This article focuses on port and starboards being two essential terms used in ships.
These two nautical terms [port and starboard] deal with the structure of vessels. They are referred to as the left and right side of the ship. Many people will have questions like- why do we not use such confusing terms instead of left and right?
Port and starboard are used instead of left and right for several reasons. They are significant terms—these two nautical terms completely independent of the mariner’s orientation.
There are some other references that are independent. These are used in a ship many times. Some of them include amidships, backstay, sides of the stern, port side, loading side, steer and bord, and steering oar.
3 Incredible Facts About Port And Starboard
People all over the world visiting new places. Many of us would love to visit these places via ships. Let us dive deep into the ocean world that talks a lot about ships and the port and starboard. Let us understand two of the most prominent words used while you are on a ship.
1. Importance Of Port And Starboard
Mariners use these two nautical terms [port and starboard] to avoid confusion on ships. These words are important because mariners use the left and starboard port while calling the right side.
Why are these terms so important?
Whenever we go to a new place, we understand that there are certain rules that have to be followed. Even when we go to a school or any other workplace, there is a uniform and certain terms that are used.
These terms are fundamental in that particular place. This is because the authorities want to avoid any type of confusion. Similarly, in the case of ships, the main aim of the sailors is to avoid confusion.
These official terms might seem to be confusing, but they help the officials to be more professional at their work. These also, at times, tend to motivate the officials to give their best.
A particular environment with a structured plan helps people feel different.
May it be the beginning of city life or the lives we lead today – the environment and the structure are two important parts. A structure and a social organization are the two most important things for the activities today.
In fact, everything in this world needs someone to manage the activities. The markets, malls, and even our families are structured. This helps in reducing our stress.
Thus, the main reason for using confusing terms like port and starboard, steering oar, and the port side is the structure that avoids confusion. This structure enables people to do their work in a better way.
However, people get easily confused with starboard and other important and official terms used on a ship.
2. History Of Port And Starboard
Did the usage of these terms exist since the beginning? If not, why did mariners start using such confusing words? In what ways did these terms less confusing and more convenient for them? How?
When we look forward to the bow of the ship, these two terms are the left of the ship and the right side. Initially, ships had rudders. These rudders were located on their centerlines.
The term officially used for bow is fore. A bow is located in front of the ship.
During those times, ships were controlled by a steering oar. One of the most important things marked that most of the sailors were right-handed—these right-handed sailors controlled using a steering wheel.
The steering oar was placed over the right side of the stern. At times, it was placed through the right side of the stern. Everything was right-side oriented because most of the mariners were right-handed.
Another official term used for the stern of the ship is aft.
As time passed, the sailors became better and better at their job. They had started calling the right side by an important term – the steering side. Calling it by the term – “steering side” was more convenient and official for them.
After a while, the mariners started calling the right or the steering side as starboard. The word starboard was made by the confluence of two English words – stéor meaning steer and bord, meaning the side of a boat.
The size of the ships grew with the growing demand for water travel. This increase in the ship’s size enabled growth in the size of the steering oar.
The increasing sizes of the ships and the steering oar made it easier to tie a boat up to a dock on the side opposite the oar. Consequently, this side of the ships came to be known by a much official term- the loading side.
The loading side of the ship was also referred to as the larboard. After a certain span of time, larboard was easily confused with starboard. After a few days, the sailors started using another term for the larboard – the port.
The new term that was used for the larboard was port. A more formal term was used for this side- the port side.
Port and starboard have a long history. There are many other stories that are also associated with port and starboard.
3. Lighting And Port And Starboard
Lighting is another important part of navigation and safety. The lighting and navigation of a ship are concerned with the port and starboard to a large extent.
The main function of the navigation tool on a ship is to help avoid accidents. Every boat – Big or small requires navigation lights for the safety of the passengers.
This amazing system of light navigation was introduced in the United States in the year 1838. Later, in the year 1849, it was adopted by the United Kingdom.
An international Maritime conference was held in the year 1889. This was organized in the United States of America.
This conference was aimed at preventing dangerous accidents.
The members of the conference made new rules. Many countries later adopted these rules.
The United Kingdom decided the color of the lights used in a ship. This was done by introducing a set of rules.
When the rules were being made, 3 main colors were chosen – red, green, and white. Even in the present times, these 3 colors are used.
How is the navigation system related to port and starboard? Let us understand.
Navigation lights are related to port and starboard because it is related to the sides of the boat. The sides of the boat are directly concerned with port and starboard.
On the other hand, the red navigation light is located on the left side. The left side is also known as the port side.
When we try to sum it up, the green light is located on the starboard, and the red light is located on the port.
There is another navigation light – white in color. This white color navigation light is located at the back of the boat. The backside of the boat or ship is also known as the stern side.
There is another part in a boat – the mast of the boat.
The mast of the boat has the night lights [important for night travel]. The night lights used while traveling at night are generally white in color. These can be spotted easily in the dark.
The visibility range of navigation lights is generally noted to be between 3 miles to 6 miles. The lights used for larger boats like ships have larger visibility.
People all around the world find ships as one of the most adventurous ways to travel. In fact, cruise ships are considered one of the most luxurious ways of traveling today and have a high demand.
Even when we look at the history of our world, water transportation was used by great sailors in order to find places.
There are several travelers in the world who want to find their way with the help of sea travels and go to unknown and undiscovered land in order to discover new things.
Even though people worldwide travel via ships, very few know about the sailors’ official terms for the 5 basic parts of the ship. The 5 basic parts of a ship include anchor, bow, accommodation, deck, and freeboard.
Some of the other important terms are the keel of the ship, the hull, and the bow thrusters. These terms sound very complicated but were specially made to avoid confusion on the ship.
Port and starboard are two basic terms used on a ship. There are several other terms other than port and starboard, which are even more complicated.
Many kids have grown up watching the courageous stories of Sinbad, the sailor, and Popeye. These sailors never gave up and went ahead because they wanted adventure. We all wanted to be brave like these fictional characters and travel on ships.
It is so funny that the same people who want to go and travel in these luxuries do not know about some of the basic terms like port and starboard. I believe that when we are truly interested in something, we must research and know all the essentials, be completely ready and then go for it!