The Ultimate Guide to Nautical and Sailing Vocabulary in Spanish
If you’re passionate about sailing and Spanish, you’ll love this post filled with useful sailing vocabulary in Spanish.
Sailing is a beautiful lifestyle that can take you all around the world, so learning its most common terms in another language is a great idea.
Keep reading to learn what sailing is and why you should try it, what nautical means, and useful sailing vocabulary in Spanish about types of boats, parts of the boat, the sails, and helpful sailing verbs in Spanish.
What Is Sailing?
Sailing is a sport and a hobby that uses the wind to propel a boat. However, sailing is much more than that, it has become a lifestyle, as sailors around the world enjoy the pleasure of having a day out at the sea or travel the oceans powered by the wind filling their sails.
Although sailing is a whole universe in itself, learning to sail isn’t as hard as it may seem for the external observer. There are plenty of sailing schools and associations that offer basic sailing courses, which will open new and fulfilling ways to travel the world for you.
What Does Nautical Mean?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, nautical is an adjective that means “of, relating to, or associated with seamen, navigation, or ships.”
In other words, nautical refers to everything related to navigating the sea, it may be nautical skills, or nautical flags, or, as in this case, nautical terms. Nautical doesn’t necessarily refer to sailing, as there are other ways to navigate the sea that don’t rely on the wind, but nautical terms do apply to sailing, as we’ll see in a moment.
How Do You Say ‘Sailing’ in Spanish?
In Spanish, sailing can be translated as a noun la navegación a vela, although it’s also simply known as navegación, or just vela.
However, you can also understand sailing as a verb, in which case it means navegar a vela or just navegar.
In Spanish, sails are velas, and in the world of sailing velas are of the utmost importance, as they differentiate it from all the other ways of navigating the sea and represent a symbol of independence and authenticity.
Sailing Vocabulary in Spanish
It’s time to learn some of the most important sailing words in Spanish. I’ve divided them into six different categories to simplify your learning process.
Types of Boats
If you plan to go sailing in Spanish, you need to be sure you know the different types of boats that exist in the world of sailing. These are a some of the most common ones:
|cruiser||el yate crucero|
|fishing boat||el pesquero|
|lifeboat||el bote calvarias|
Parts of the Boat
Once you’ve learnt the different types of boats that exist in the world of sailing, it’s a good time to learn sailing vocabulary about the parts of these boats. While some of these words are well-known and of common use, you may find others to be very technical terms about sailing in Spanish.
|backstay||el estay de popa|
|clew||el puño de escota|
|forestay||el estay de proa|
|head of the sail||el puño de driza|
Look at the image below and locate the different parts of the boat included in both tables. If you’re a sailing enthusiast as I am, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the exercise to discover the Spanish terms.
|mainsail||la vela mayor|
|pulpit||el púlpito de proa|
|tack||el puño de amura|
|tiller||la caña del timón|
|topping lift||el amantillo|
Finally, a few more important parts of a sailing boat that are not included in the two previous tables. If you’ve sailed before, you know that the sailing vocabulary is huge, and trying to learn all of it in Spanish on a single post would be just too much. So, I’m focusing only on the most important sailing terms in Spanish.
|reef point||los tomadores de rizo|
As mentioned before, the sails are the main element of sailing. Sailors take pride in their boats being propelled only by the wind, and not by a mechanical motor. So, you can imagine that there is a specific sailing vocabulary exclusively dedicated to the sails.
|coil||el cabo adujado|
|jamming cleat||la mordaza|
|reef point||los tomadores de rizo|
|points (of a sail)||las aristas|
Sailing Verbs in Spanish
Last but not least, it’s important to learn a few Spanish sailing verbs as you’ll need them if you do go water sailing in Spanish.
|to alter course||cambiar el rumbo|
|to ease the sheet||amollar escota|
|to give some slack||largar|
|to give way||apartarse|
|to let go||soltar|
|to luff up||orzar|
|to sail||navegar a vela|
Go Sailing and Practice Your Spanish
Sailing is a beautiful sport, and an attractive lifestyle that becomes a passion for those who practice it. Expand your horizons by sailing to Spanish-speaking countries and practice your newly acquired Spanish sailing vocabulary there.
By learning Spanish, your traveling becomes easier as you’ll be able to communicate with the locals in a better way and make the most of your trips.
Practice your sailing vocabulary by signing up for a free class with one of our certified, native Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala. They teach over 24,000 actively enrolled students every month, offer flexible scheduling, and tailored Spanish packages.
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