The way I remember port and starboard (because heaven knows how many hours a day I spend on our nations waterways) is thusly:

  • the word "port" is four letters long just like the word "left".
  • the word "starboard" has more than four letters — similar in that respect to the word "right"

As far as the colors of the port and starboard lights go...

  • "port" is a type of red wine — so the port side light is red.
  • by default, the "starboard" side gets the other light which is the green one
    (I guess you could say that "green" is five letters long like "right", but I always connect starboard and green because I know that the port side already has dibs on the red light).

Okay, I'll admit it, there is a snippet from the summer camp song "Barges" that goes

"...Starboard shines green and the port is glowing red, I can see them flickering far ahead..."
but I don't recall it enough to count on it. Besides, while singing on the bowsprit of a ship about to ram another may make you the stuff of legend to your fellow sailors, it's probably not the best way to remind yourself of quickly needed info.


Notes: 2003.10.9@15:54 Pignut says "re:port and starboard. If you have a red nose, stay well away from port"