Port and starboard
Port and starboard are nautical and aeronautical terms for left and
right, respectively. Port is the left-hand side of a vessel or
aircraft, facing forward. Starboard is the right-hand side, facing
forward. Since port and starboard never change, they are unambiguous
references that are not relative to the observer.
The term starboard derives from the Old English steorbord, meaning the
side on which the ship is steered. Before ships had rudders on their
centrelines, they were steered with a steering oar at the stern of the
ship and, because more people are right-handed, on the right-hand side
of it. Since the steering oar was on the right side of the boat, it
would tie up at the wharf on the other side. Hence the left side was
Formerly, larboard was used instead of port. This is from
Middle-English ladebord and the term lade is related to the modern
load. Larboard sounds similar to starboard and in 1844 the Royal
Navy ordered that port be used instead.[non-primary source needed]
The United States Navy followed suit in 1846. Larboard continued to
be used well into the 1850s by whalers.
The navigational treaty convention, the International Regulations for
Preventing Collisions at Sea—for instance, as appears in the
Merchant Shipping (Distress Signals and Prevention of Collisions)
Regulations of 1996 (and comparable US documents from the US Coast
Guard),—sets forth requirements for maritime vessels to avoid
collisions, whether by sail or powered, and whether a vessel is
overtaking, approaching head-on, or crossing.:11-12 To set forth
these navigational rules, the terms starboard and port are absolutely
essential, and to aid in in situ decision-making, the two sides of
each vessel are marked, dusk to dawn, by navigation lights, the
vessel's starboard side by green and its port side by red.:15
Aircraft are lit in the same way.
^ Grape, Wolfgang (1994). The Bayeux Tapestry: Monument to a Norman
Triumph. Art and Design Series. Munich, DEU: Prestel. p. 95.
ISBN 3791313657. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
^ a b NOS Staff (December 8, 2014). "Why Do Ships use "Port" and
"Starboard" Instead of "Left" and "Right?"". NOAA National Ocean
Service (NOS) Ocean Facts. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of
Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Retrieved February 2, 2017 – via OceanService.NOAA.gov.
^ a b RMG Staff (February 2, 2017). "Port and Starboard: Why do
Sailors say 'Port' and 'Starboard', for "Left" and "Right?"".
Discover: Explore by Theme. Greenwich, ENG: Royal Museums Greenwich.
Retrieved February 2, 2017 – via RMG.co.uk.
^ Administration, US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and
Atmospheric. "Unlike left and right, port and starboard refer to fixed
locations on a vessel". oceanservice.noaa.gov. Retrieved
^ Norie, John William; Hobbs, J. S. (1847) . Sailing directions
for the Bay of Biscay, including the coasts of France and Spain, from
Ushant to Cape Finisterre ("A new ed., rev. and considerably improved"
ed.). C. Wilson. p. 1. OCLC 41208722. Retrieved 7 February
2010. An order, recently issued by the Lords Commissioners of the
Admiralty, states, that in order to prevent mistakes, which frequently
occur from the similarity of the words starboard and larboard, in
future, the word port is to be substituted for larboard, in all Her
Majesty's ships or vessels.
^ George Bancroft (February 18, 1846). "Port and Starboard: General
Order, 18 February 1846". General Orders. Washington, DC: US Navy,
Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC). Retrieved February 2, 2017
– via History.Navy.mil.
^ a b c MCA Staff (2004) . The Merchant Shipping (Distress
Signals and Prevention of Collisions) Regulations 1996 (PDF).
Southampton, ENG: Crown Department of Transport, Maritime and
Coastguard Agency (MCA). Retrieved 2 February 2017.
The dictionary definition of bæcbord at Wiktionary
The dictionary definition of larboard at Wiktionary
The dictionary definition of starboard at Wiktionary
The dictionary definition of port at Wiktionary
Parts of a sailing ship
Apparent wind indicator