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Wake
Waves generated in the water by a moving vessel.
  
Watch
(1) A division of crew into shifts. (2) The time each watch has duty.
  
Waterline
The line where the water comes to on the hull of a boat. Design waterline is where the waterline was designed to be, load waterline is the waterline when the boat is loaded, and the painted waterline is where the waterline was painted. Actual waterline is where the waterline really is at any given time.
  
Waterline Length
The length of the boat at the waterline.
  
Waterlogged
Completely filled with water.
  
Waterway
A river, canal or other body of water that boats can travel on.
  
Way
The progress of a boat. If a boat is moving it is considered to be "making way."
  
Weather Helm
The tendency of a boat to head up toward the eye of the wind. The opposite of lee helm.
  
Weigh
To raise, as in to weigh anchor.
  
West
One of the 4 cardinal compass points. West is at 270 on a compass card.
  
West Wind, Westerly Wind.
Wind coming from west.
  
Wet Locker
A locker equiped with a drain so that wet clothes can be stored in it without damaging other objects in the boat.
  
Wetted Surface
The amount of area of the hull, keel, rudder, and other objects that is under water.
  
Wharf
Also a quay. A section parallel to the shore for docking and unloading vessels.
  
Wheel
One of two methods used to steer a boat. A wheel is turned in the direction that the helmsman wants the boat to go. On smaller boats a tiller is usually used, which steers in the opposite manner.
  
Whip
To bind the strands of a line with a small cord.
  
Whisker Pole
A spar used to help hold the jib out when sailing off the wind.
  
Whistle Buoy
A navigational buoy with a whistle.
  
Wide Berth
To avoid something by a large distance.
  
Winch
A device used to give a mechanical advantage when hauling on the lines.
  
Wind Scoop
A funnel used to force wind in a hatch and ventilate the below decks area.
  
Windage
The amount of a boat, sail or other object that the wind can push on.
  
Windlass
A mechanical device used to pull in cable or chain, such as an anchor rode.
  
Windward
In the direction of the wind. Opposite of leeward.
  
Wing and Wing
A method of running before the wind with two sails set. Usually the mainsail on one side and a headsail on the other, or one headsail on each side.
  
Working Sails
The sails used on a particular sailboat in normal weather conditions.
  
Working Sheet
The sheet that is currently taught and in use to control a sail. The opposite of the lazy sheet.
  
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