Parts of a Cutter

Principal Parts of a Standard Cutter


A piece of wood fitted to the after side of the stem and extending throughout its length, to which are secured the forward ends of the planks.


The seats fitted round the sides and after end of the stern sheets. (See "Stern Sheets.")


The space between the bottom of the boat and the floorboards.

Bilge Rails:

Lengths of wood fitted along the outside of the turn at the bilge.

Bottom Boards:

Slats of wood which form the flooring of the boat. They can be removed if required. (See also "Floorboards.")

Breast Hook:

A piece of wood of the thickness of the gunwale and grown to shape, which is fitted to the curve of the gunwale in the eyes of the boat where they join the apron and so serves to strengthen the bows of the boat.


A strip of timber which is fitted to the top of the gunwale or washstrake to strengthen and protect it. At intervals it is pierced to take the sockets for the crutches.

Centre-Plate or Drop keel:

A metal plate which can be lowered through a slot in the keel so that it projects below the boat and thus checks the leeway when under sail. It is housed in a wooden casing known as the "keel box" or "centre case"


The overhanging part of a square-sterned boat.


The piece of timber which joins the apron to the hog thus strengthening the joint between the stem and the keel or the sternpost and the keel.


The foremost part of the boat just abaft the stem.


These consist of removable gratings or planks which form a platform over the bottom of the boat extending from the head sheets to the stern sheets. Some Standard boats are fitted with floorboards in the head and stern sheets only and have bottom boards between them.

Garboard Strakes:

The line or strake of planks which runs next to and on either side of the keel.

Gudgeons and Pintles:

The fittings by which the rudder is hung and pivoted to the transom. The pintle is the vertical pin, and the gudgeons the horizontal eyebolts into which the pintle fits.

Head Sheets or Bow Sheets:

The space in the bows of the boat between the stem and the bow thwart.


The length of wood fitted to the upper part of the keel. With the keel and deadwood it provides the anchorage for the inner edges of the garboard strakes and the lower ends of the timbers. It also serves to strengthen the keel.


Wooden fittings which secure the thwarts to the side of the boat.

Mast Step:

A piece of wood shaped to take the heel of the mast and fitted to the keel.


All standard boats are registered with N.H.Q. The number is carved in the transom on the starboard side or otherwise permanently affixed. It is also carried on the mainsail in numerals 30 cm high and of black material 0.65 cm in width.


A wooden bung, cork, or screwed metal plug which fits into a hole bored into one of the garboard strakes for draining the boat.


(see "Stringers").

Rubbers or Rubbing Strakes:

Strips of wood extending from the stem to transom outside the washstrake. They protect and strengthen the top strakes.


Round holes in the capping and gunwale lined with metal to take the crutches.


The foremost vertical member of the hull, the lower end of which is scarfed to the keel.

Stern Sheets:

The space extending from the stroke thwart to the transom, and round the sides and after end of which are built the stern benches.


Lengths of planking which in clinker built boats extend parallel with each other from stem to stern.


Adjustable wooden bars fitted athwart the bottom boards to provide footrests for the oarsmen.

Stringers: Lengths of wood extending fore and aft over the timbers to which they are fastened. The stringers which support the thwarts are called "risings"; these are the only stringers fitted in a Standard boat.


Benches fitted athwart the boat on which the oarsmen sit.


Curved pieces of wood which extend upward from the keel at short intervals throughout its length. Frequently called "ribs".

Top Strake:

The uppermost strake of a boat's planking.


A board which is fitted to the after side of the stern post and extends to each side of the boat. The after ends of the planking are fastened to it.

Transom Knee:

A piece of wood grown to shape which fits between the hog and transom of a square-sterned boat. It is extended almost the full height of the transom in a Standard boat and also serves as a sternpost.

Fittings on a Standard Cutter

Boat's Cable or Anchor Cable:

A 20metre length of up to 30 mm rope attached to 5 metres of chain and a 2kg anchor which the boat rides when at anchor. The cable is roved through the stem ringbolt and secured to the foremost thwart.


1.5 cu. m of buoyancy is fitted at the bow and stern of the standard boat. It is usually made of polystyrene or polyurethane foam blocks or could be made of copper tanks. The buoyancy is fitted to give the boat a greater safety margin in the event of swamping or capsize. Most but not all Fibre Glass boats have the buoyancy built into the hull and thwarts.


15 cm metal eye plates fitted to the stemhead and the outside of the top strake to take the forestay, shrouds and runners.


Shaped pieces of wood or metal on which the halyards and runners are belayed.


U-shaped fittings which fit into meal sockets in the gunwale and are always secured in the boat by a lanyard.


A curved bar of brass, fitted along the top of the transom to which the block of the mainsheet is shackled; the block travels from side to side of the horse when the boat is put about.


A length of wood fitted to the upper part of the hog. The inboard edges of the floorboards are secured to it. Some standards do not have a separate keelson but incorporate it with the bottom boards.

Mast Clamp or Bracket:

A metal clamp or bracket fitted to the mast thwart for clamping the mast in position.


A length of stout cordage (generally 30 mm) secured to the fore ringbolt and by which the boat is secure when alongside or at a boom. Minimum length is 6 metres.

Ring Bolts:

Eyed bolts with a ring through the eye clenched through the stem and the sternpost.


A rope similar to the painter, secured to the after ringbolt for marking fast the stern of the boat.

Source: Scouts NZ Boat Book