Sunday, February 8, 2009
Port Is Left, Starboard Is Right
A novice traveler once said, “How come I have a starboard cabin and a port hole?” A possible derivation of these two words goes back to the early days of rowing ships. As most people are right handed, the rudder was on the right side of the vessel so this side became known as the “the steering boardside” which was eventually abbreviated to starboard side. When these vessels came into the harbor it was safer to berth with the left hand side of the ship against the pier, thus avoiding any possibility of damaging the steering board. Thus, the left side of the vessel became known as the port side.