By Matt Claiborne
The bow is the forward end. The prow, on the other hand, is a specific part on the bow of a ship. It’s the pointed part of the bow that meets the water. On deck, you might describe the prow as the very tippy top of the bow.
The stem is the most forward part of the bow where the keel curves upward toward the prow and the side meet at a point.
Often, old-school sailing ships would have a figurehead mounted on the prow. The prows of modern ships are shaped differently than traditional vessels.