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Freeboard (nautical)

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Title: Freeboard (nautical)  
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Language: English
Subject: Ship measurements, Italian battleship Roma (1940), Hull (watercraft), Ship, Central battery ship
Collection: Nautical Terms, Ship Measurements
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Freeboard (nautical)

graphical representation of the dimensions used to describe a ship. f is the freeboard.

In sailing and boating, freeboard[1] means the distance from the waterline to the upper deck level, measured at the lowest point of sheer where water can enter the boat or ship. In commercial vessels, the latter criteria measured relative to the Ship's load line, regardless of deck arrangements, is the mandated and regulated meaning.[2]

In yachts, a low freeboard is often found on IMO damage stability regulations due to increased reserved buoyancy.


  1. ^ "IMO". 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  2. ^ """ definitions of "Freeboard. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
    1. Nautical.
    a. the distance between the level of the water and the upper surface of the freeboard deck amidships at the side of a hull: regulated by the agencies of various countries according to the construction of the hull, the type of cargo carried, the area of the world in which it sails, the type of water, and the season of the year. Compare load line.
    b. (on a cargo vessel) the distance between the uppermost deck considered fully watertight and the official Ship's load line.
    c. the portion of the side of a hull that is above the water.
    2. Civil Engineering. the height of the watertight portion of a building or other construction above a given level of water in a river, lake, etc.


  • Hayler, William B.; Keever, John M. (2003). American Merchant Seaman's Manual. Cornell Maritime Pr.  
  • Turpin, Edward A.; McEwen, William A. (1980). Merchant Marine life. Officers' Handbook (4th ed.). Centreville, MD: Cornell Maritime Press.  
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