Starboard

From Academic Kids

de:Steuerbord eo:tribordoes:Estribor fr:tribord nl:stuurboord pl:burta (statek wodny)

Starboard is the nautical term (used on boats and ships) that refers to the right side of a vessel, as perceived by a person facing forward (i.e., towards the bow).

The starboard side of a vessel is indicated with a green light.

The origin of term comes from old boating practices. Before boats had rudders on their centerline, boats were steered by use of a specialized oar. This oar was held by a sailor located towards the stern (back) of the boat. However, like most of the rest of society, there were many more right-handed sailors than left-handed sailors. This meant that the right-handed sailors holding the steering oar (which had been broadened to provide better control) used to stand on the right side of the boat. The word starboard is a corruption of steering board.

Similarly, the term for the left side of the boat, port, is derived from the practice of sailors mooring on the left side (i.e., the Portboard side) as to prevent the steering boards from being crushed. Because the words portboard and starboard sounded too similar to be distingued under windy sailing conditions, portboard was shortened to port.

Right of way

Missing image
Right_of_Way_at_Sea_R&G.jpg
Image:Right of Way at Sea R&G.jpg

Consider two ship on courses that intersect. The rule is that the ship on the left must give way. The ship with right of way sees the green light on the starboard (right) side of the ship on the left. The ship that must yield right of way sees the red light on the port side on the ship on the right.

This is likely the beginning of the convention for traffic lights that use red to mean stop and green to mean go.

It would also be true, that if the oarsman with the stearing oar is on the right side of the ship, the oarsman on the port tack can see the red light of the ship on the starboard tack better than visa versa.

See Also

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