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Marina Vocabulary, Please

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
OK, what in your region do you call the narrow, dead-end waterway on which your slip resides?

Slipway? Fairway? Lagoon?

Probably the answer is obvious to everybody but me. (A slipway is really a ramp. A fairway is a navigable channel, and seems to suggest a broader waterway. Lagoon sounds a bit tropical.)

slips text Capture.JPG
 
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toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
What Geoff said. I think that chart has it backwards - the entire enclosure of our marina, within the breakwater, is the "basin." Boats are lined up along the fairways.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Yes, must be local.

Marina del Rey, the harbor, has 23 separate marinas and more than 5,000 vessels, most 30 feet or more (small boat use dry storage).

According to the Dept of Beaches and Harbors, the answer to my question is "basin." That describes nothing to the eye. But slips are located by their "Basin," marked on the chart above as "A Basin" "B Basin" and so on. Cal Yacht Club, where I am, isn't really in a Basin per se..

The chart calls "Main Channel" the shared waterway to the breakwater and Santa Monica Bay. It;s actually almost half a mile wide, and is the locus of dinghy races, water taxis, paddleboarders and so on. It is much different in scale from the "basin" into which a returning yacht sails to its slip.

And I;m damned if I keep my boat in a basin. What, it contains bathwater? It's a flood control project? I will have to compromise on "fairway," as distinct from "channel." Even though MDR says I have a slip in "Basin E".

This comes up because over the weekend I told a nine-year-old who was steering "to turn, uh, here, uh, just head into the , uh, the --

"That thing?" she said, pointing.

"It's called a slipway, or a fairway, or something, uh, you know, where the boat slip is--"

"This thing?"

"It's not a thing, Natalia! Use the terms! The bow, not the front of the boat. The port side, not the left side!"

"So what am I supposed to head for again?"

"The thing where our slip is. Now reduce throttle a little, my dear."

"You don;t have to tell me everything," she said.

It was embarrassing not to come up with the proper term.

Ok, next time it's "the fairway."
 

paul culver

Member III
Here in Oceanside harbor they are called fairways.
And the slip at the dead end is designated by "INLW" rather than by a number. I can't remember what it means.
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
OK, I misunderstood the scale of the drawing. Took a peek on Google Earth. It's all an order of magnitude larger than what I'm familiar with. I'd agree that those waterways surrounded by solid ground could be "basins". The lines that I thought designated fingers are docks that delineate fairways too small to be obvious in the drawing. But what do you call the waterway running down the center of the basin? In the only comparable arrangements near me, that area is "the channel." But in those cases it actually is a side-channel of a river.

Untitled.jpg
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
waterway running down the center of the basin

Yes. This 20-second clip shows Channel, "Fairway" (briefly), and nameless "slipway" containing the slip.

 

Filkee

Member III
I learned to sail in H Basin. The water was so dirty that Basin never seemed inappropriate.
 

JPS27

Member III
We call them fairways. This term fits for me because our fairways are quite narrow. We refer to Dock A-E and turn into the respective fairway then turn into the slip and step onto the finger pier.
 

Gary Holford

Member II
OK, what in your region do you call the narrow, dead-end waterway on which your slip resides?

Slipway? Fairway? Lagoon?

Probably the answer is obvious to everybody but me. (A slipway is really a ramp. A fairway is a navigable channel, and seems to suggest a broader waterway. Lagoon sounds a bit tropical.)

How about a "Stick in" because it doesn't stick out?
 

Bolo

Member III
Is "Basin" a term used just on the west coast? Here in Annapolis we just call it a "harbor" and the stretch of water leading from the harbor to the slip "fairways". Never seen or heard the term "lagoon" used anywhere on the bay either. "Slipway"? Sounds dangerous. Perhaps Basin describes a man-made harbor? Someplace that wasn't formed naturally?
 

Afrakes

Sustaining Member
My boat is kept in a "Basin" protected by a "break water". Our slip is on C dock off of the fairway.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
"Basin" feels like an Army Corps of Engineers word, or a geographer's, rather than a sailor's word. But clearly it's widely used.

My OED (Shorter), after the usual definitions, says: 4. A land-locked harbour or bay 5. A dock with floodgates; a widened part of a canal or river. Example: H.D. Thoreau, "The harbour of Quebec...a basin two miles across."

Oh well. English has two words for everything except when I need just one.
 

Mark F

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
I can't wait to see the video of Christian bumbling through his boating instructions to 9 year old Natalia ;)
 

1911tex

Sustaining Member
We normally call it an alley way.....ex: "7th slip to the right from the end of the alley way"......we just have to be different! Never 7th slip to starboard from the entrance.....! Too complicated and not red neck enough.
 

Bolo

Member III
We normally call it an alley way.....ex: "7th slip to the right from the end of the alley way"......we just have to be different! Never 7th slip to starboard from the entrance.....! Too complicated and not red neck enough.

In the end it doesn't matter what you call it. Just as long as you don't hit anything coming in or going out while you're using it. :egrin:
 

1911tex

Sustaining Member
In the end it doesn't matter what you call it. Just as long as you don't hit anything coming in or going out while you're using it. :egrin:
The 100 or so sailboats in our marina have captains that are most cautious, experienced and confident in approach and departures (airplane talk); what we worry about are the multitude of sleek expensive sporty over powered motor boats who inevitably exceed posted approach speeds creating wakes down the alley, with barely clad ladies on the bow, kiddos yelling, towing tubes and "drivers" with refreshment in hand and who deploy their skills in a bizarre and careless manner!
 

Afrakes

Sustaining Member
The 100 or so sailboats in our marina have captains that are most cautious, experienced and confident in approach and departures (airplane talk); what we worry about are the multitude of sleek expensive sporty over powered motor boats who inevitably exceed posted approach speeds creating wakes down the alley, with barely clad ladies on the bow, kiddos yelling, towing tubes and "drivers" with refreshment in hand and who deploy their skills in a bizarre and careless manner!
Are there nautical terms for this behavior?
 
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