Marine Glossary

Meaning of “Abeam”

The term “abeam” is another nautical expression that describes a position or direction relative to a ship or boat. It refers to a point or object located at right angles to the ship’s longitudinal axis, or perpendicular to the ship’s centerline.

In practical terms, if you were standing in the middle of the ship and looking directly to the side, any point or object that is at a 90-degree angle to the ship’s centerline is said to be abeam. It is a term commonly used to indicate a position or direction that is to the side of the vessel.

For example, if a ship is traveling north and there is an object directly to the east of the ship, it would be described as being abeam to the ship.

The term “abeam” is often used in communication between sailors and in maritime navigation to describe the relative position of objects or other vessels in relation to their own ships.

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