Definition of on the port (or starboard) tack in US English:

on the port (or starboard) tack


  • With the wind coming from the port (or starboard) side of the boat.

    • ‘The boat will turn almost 180° and you will find yourself back on the port tack you were on before the beginning of the maneuver.’
    • ‘It is also easy to just put yourself on a broad reach on the starboard tack any time you wish to use the spinnaker to go downwind.’
    • ‘We push on but our mainsail trim needs that runner on the port tack and we drop away a little from the class leaders.’
    • ‘When the boat was sailed on the starboard tack, seawater was siphoning into the boat.’
    • ‘If the tidal stream sets towards the right of the apparent wind, boats on the starboard tack will be freed and boats on the port tack will be headed.’