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Glossary of Terms

Tiger Docks® is devoted to helping you succeed in dealing with your marine environment. We have dedicated this section to defining terms we feel are necessary to know when thinking about and working on your waterfront project.



device usually of metal attached to a ship or boat by a cable and cast overboard to hold it in a particular place by means of fluke that digs into the bottom


the forward part of a ship / boat


structure carrying a pathway or roadway over a depression or obstacle


wall built parallel to the shoreline, usually near or at the high-water mark, to mitigate wave and current erosion of the uplands, and often used as a retaining wall to keep uplands from becoming submerged lands. "Bulkhead." Def. The Dock Manual.1999


floating object moored to the bottom to mark a channel or something (as a shoal) lying under the water


narrow walkway (as long as a bridge)


strait or narrow sea between two close landmasses


wooden or metal fitting usually with two projecting horns around which a rope may be made fasten.


tidal or non-tidal movement of lake or ocean water


also, called planking or deck boards, this is what forms the docks upper horizontal surface, usually made from wood, but it could also be plastic, a wood-and-plastic composite, steel, or concrete. "Decking." Def. The Dock Manual.1999


small boat carried on or towed behind a larger boat as a tender or a lifeboat


cushion (as foam rubber or a wood float) between a boat and a dock or between two boats that lessens shock and prevents chafing

Floating Dock 

dock that floats on the water and can be partly submerged to permit entry of a ship and raised to keep the ship high and dry.


the opening by which a ship is boarded


lever or wheel controlling the rudder of a ship for steering


the frame or body of a ship or boat


the chief structural member of a boat or ship that extends longitudinally along the center of its bottom and that often projects from the bottom


long pole or spar rising from the keel or deck of a ship and supporting the yards, booms, and rigging


device (as a line or chain) by which an object is secured in place.

Outboard Motor

small internal combustion engine with propeller integrally attached for mounting at the stern of a small boat


structure (as a breakwater) extending into navigable water for us as a landing place or promenade or to protect or form a harbor.


long slender column usually of timber, steel, or reinforced concrete driven into the ground to carry a vertical load.


Personal WaterCraft, small boats such as Jet Skis and Sea-Doos powered by impeller-driven jetted water. "PWC." Def. The Dock Manual.1999


an underwater blade that is positioned at the stern of a boat or ship and controlled by its helm and that when turned causes the vessel's head to turn in the same direction


the act of saving or rescuing a ship or its cargo

Site Evaluation 

status report on the existing waterfront, and an inventory and activity list of present uses (and / or a wish list of proposed uses). "Site Evaluation." Def. The Dock Manual.1999


water-based parking spot for a boat, typically enclosed on three sides. "Slip." Def. The Dock Manual.1999


the rear end of a ship / boat

Swim Platform 

free floating dock used primarily for swimming.


the alternate rising and falling of the surface of the ocean and of water bodies


device that usually consists of a link with screw threads at both ends, that is turned to rbing the ends closer together, and that is used for tightening a rod or stay


the track left by a moving body (as a ship / boat) in a fluid (as water)


any of various machines or instruments for hauling or pulling; especially: a power machine with one or more drums on which to coil a rope, cable, or chain for hauling or hoisting