[free-bawrd, -bohrd]
Freeboard or FREEBOARD may refer to:

  • Sporting Goods. The six-wheeled skateboard which acts like a snowboard (on pavement).
  • Nautical. The distance from the waterline to the upper deck level, measured at the lowest point where water can enter the boat or ship.
  • Civil Engineering The meaning for commercial vessels. The amount of watertight surface between a given level of lake, sea or river water and the lowest possible entry point during flooding or large waves.
  • Water channel Design. The distance from the water level to the top of the channel's sides.
  • Freeboard is also used to describe the height of an ice floe above the water surface. Freeboard does not include the potential snow coverage on the ice floe.

Sporting Goods

A Freeboard is kind of specialist skateboard designed to closely simulate the behavior of a snowboard. They have 6 wheels - two spring locked castor wheels on the central axis, and four slightly raised conventional wheels. The central wheels are able to turn freely in all directions, which allows the freeboard to slide laterally as long as no other wheel touches the ground. By exerting some pressure on the edge wheels, the freeboarder is able to control the board. The central wheels thus mimic the deck of the snowboard, while the outer wheels mimic the two steel edges.
Skyhook bindings are used to provide more control over the board and allow the rider to exert more pressure on its edges.
Just like on a snowboard, the rider is able to perform both carve and slide turns.


In sailing and boating, freeboard 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 later criteria measured relative to the Ship's load line, regardless of deck arrangements is the mandated and regulated meaning.

In yachts, a low freeboard is often found on racing boats, for weight reduction and therefore increased speed. A higher freeboard will give more room in the cabin, but will increase weight and may compromise speed. A higher freeboard also helps weather waves and reduce the likelihood of green seas on the weather deck. A low freeboard boat is susceptible to swamping in rough seas. Freighter ships and warships use high-freeboard designs to increase internal volume and also allowing them to satisfy IMO damage stability regulations due to increased reserved buoyancy.



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

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