The depth of a vessel's keel below the water line, especially when loaded; the minimum water depth necessary to float a ship.

draft (also draught)

  1. The amount taken in by a single act of drinking.
  2. The drawing of a liquid, as from a cask or keg.


A unit of length equal to six feet, used principally in the measurement and specification of marine depths.


A measurement on the side of a ship between the deck the waterline.


  1. To lean to one side, especially a ship.
  2. The measurement of a ships tilt to one side.

"The ship heeled to starboard."


A unit of distance equal to three miles.


The direction away from the wind, or downwind. The side of the ship away from the wind is the "lee" side.


  1. A record of a ship's speed, its progress, and any shipboard events of navigational importance, or the book in which the record is kept.
  2. A knotted length of line with a piece of wood at the end which is thrown into the water to determine how many "knots" run out in a set period of time.


The direction into the wind, or upwind.