Sailing uses jargon – these explanations may help!
Bear Away (verb) – to turn the boat away from the wind (see also Luff Up).
Boom – the pole that holds the sail out horizontally.
Centreboard – a board housed in a case built into the boat, usually on the centreline, which pivots on a bolt. It can be adjusted for how much of it protrudes down into the water and can also be raised up into the case when not in use – it reduces leeway (see also Leeboard and Daggerboard).
Cleat – device for fixing a rope temporarily, such as a sheet or halyard. Easy to release and has either spring-loaded cams or a tapered shape to trap the rope.
Clew – bottom rear corner of a sail (see also Tack and Head).
Daggerboard – a board housed in a case built into the boat, usually on the centreline, which slides up and down vertically. It can be adjusted for how much of it protrudes down into the water and can also be raised fully up into the case or removed altogether when not in use – provides leeway reduction (see also Leeboard and Centreboard).
Foot – the bottom edge of a sail (see also Leech and Luff). Can also be used for the bottom of the mast.
Freeboard – the distance from the surface of the water to the gunwale/deck edge of the boat.
Gybe – to turn the canoe away from the wind so the stern points into the wind during the turn. The sail and boom will move suddenly from one side of the canoe to the other, as the wind catches it. In stronger winds this can be quite violent and unstable unless anticipated.
Halyard – a rope that is used in some rigs to hoist the sail up the mast .
Head – top corner of a sail (see also Tack and Clew).
Hypothermia – lowering of the human body’s core temperature, which can happen very quickly in cold water due to the rapid conduction of body heat, unless wearing good protective clothing such a a drysuit.
Leeboard – a board (usually of wood) that attached to side of the canoe, usually on a pivot bolt. It reduces leeway, which is the tendency of any boat to be blown sideways by the wind. It also provides some stability – ie reducing how “tippy” the canoe feels.
Leech – the back edge of a sail (see also Luff and Foot)
Leeward – on the side away from the the wind (see also Windward).
Leeway – the tendency of a boat to be blown sideways by the wind.
Luff (noun) – the front edge of a sail (see also Leech and Foot).
Luff Up (verb) – to turn the canoe towards the wind. (see also Bear Away)
Mast – the pole that holds the sail up.
Mizzen – a mast and sail rig towards the back of a sailing boat, smaller than the main mast/sail. It provides balance to the boat’s handling as well as some more sail area, without adding too much extra “tippiness.”
Reach (verb) – to sail across the wind. Beam reaching is sailing at right angles to the direction of the wind. Close reaching is at 50-60 degrees from the wind. Broad reaching is 120-150 degrees off the wind.
Running [downwind] (verb) – to sail directly away from the wind.
Sheet – the rope that controls how far the sail is pulled in or let out.
Tack (verb) – to turn the canoe towards and through the wind, so that the front of the canoe points into the wind as it is turned, with the sail flapping during that part of the turn.
Tack (noun) – the bottom front corner of a sail (also see Clew and Head).
Tell-tales – small “streamers” attached to each side of the sail near the front edge (aka Luff) to show whether or not the flow of air over the sail is smooth or turbulent. The aim is to set the angle of the sail relative to the wind so that the air flow is smooth over both sides of the sail. This is the most effective way to get the best performance from the rig.
Turtle / to turn turtle – to capsize and go completely upside down.
Windward – on the side that the wind is coming from (see also Leeward).