The bow (pronounced [baʊ]—rhymes with how) is a nautical term that refers to the forward part of the hull of a ship or boat, the point that is most forward when the vessel is underway. Both of the adjectives fore and forward mean towards the bow. The other end of the boat is called the stern.
A "wet bow" results from seawater washing over the top of the hull. A raked stem can help to reduce the wetness of the bow. Aside from making the deck slippery, water can corrode the metal of the ship. If the temperature is low enough this water can also freeze on the deck, rails, turrets, and other exposed surfaces, increasing the topside weight.
Several types of bows exist. These include :
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