Karen Heather Mary Menpes
Several key components make up the main structure of most boats. The hull is
the main structural component of the boat which actually provides buoyancy for
the boat. Also there is the gunnel which is the sides of the boat. They offer
protection from the water and makes the boat harder to sink. The roughly
horizontal, but chambered structures spanning the hull of the boat are referred
to as the deck. In a ship there are often several decks, but a boat is unlikely
to have more than one, if any at all. Above the deck are the superstructures.
The underside of a deck is the deck head.
An enclosed space on a boat is referred to as a cabin. Several structures make up a cabin: the similar but usually lighter structure which spans a raised cabin is a coach-roof. The "floor" of a cabin is properly known as the sole, but is more likely to be called the floor (a floor is properly, a structural member which ties a frame to the keelson and keel). The vertical surfaces dividing the internal space are bulkheads.
The keel is a lengthwise structural member to which the frames are fixed (sometimes referred to as a backbone).
The front (or forward end) of a boat is called the bow. Boats of earlier times often featured a figurehead protruding from the front of the bows. The rear (or aft end) of the boat is called the stern. The right side (facing forward) is starboard and the left side is port.