Sailing Vocabulary and Expressions in Spanish


Nautical/Sailing vocabulary and most used expressions related to sailing in Spanish

Embarking on the linguistic journey of sailing expressions in Spanish is like setting sail into a sea of rich nautical vocabulary. Whether you’re a language learner, a sailing enthusiast, or simply curious, understanding these terms adds a maritime flair to your Spanish proficiency. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the most commonly used nautical and sailing expressions and vocabulary, enriching your language skills with the charm of the high seas.

Image by Milada Vigerova from Pixabay

1. ¡Buen viento! – Good Wind: Wishing someone good wind is a common expression, invoking favorable conditions for their maritime endeavors.

2. A toda vela – At Full Sail: This phrase describes a boat sailing at its maximum speed, capturing the exhilarating feeling of wind-filled sails.

3. Echar el ancla – To Drop Anchor: When a boat stops and secures in one place, this expression is used, symbolizing a pause in the journey.

4. Aguas Tranquilas – Smooth Waters: Used to describe calm or tranquil seas, this expression is a reassurance of peaceful sailing conditions.

5. Costa a la Vista – Land in Sight: Announcing the sight of land on the horizon, this expression signals the end of a sea journey.

6. Navegar a Ojo – To Navigate by Sight: Sailing without the aid of navigation instruments, relying on visual cues, is described by this expression.

7. Navegar contra Corriente – To Sail Against the Current: Metaphorically, this expression is used to describe facing challenges or going against the prevailing trend.

8. Hacerse a la Mar – To Set Sail: Initiating a journey or leaving port is captured by this phrase, marking the beginning of an adventure.

9. Marea Alta / Marea Baja – High Tide / Low Tide: These expressions describe the state of the tide, essential information for navigation.

10. A Bordo – On Board: Used to indicate being on the boat, this phrase is fundamental in maritime communication.

11. Capitán de Mar y Guerra – Sea Captain: A formal term for a ship’s captain, evoking images of leadership and authority.

12. Naufragio – Shipwreck: Referring to the sinking or destruction of a ship, this expression carries a sense of tragedy.

13. Tomar el Timón – To Take the Helm: Metaphorically, this expression means assuming control or responsibility.

14. Estar a la Deriva – To Be Adrift: Floating without control or direction is captured by this phrase, describing a state of uncertainty.

15. Mar en Calma, No Hace Buen Marinero – A Calm Sea Does Not Make a Skilled Sailor: Expressing that challenges are necessary for growth and skill development.

16. Varar – To Run Aground: When a vessel is stranded or stuck on the ground, this expression is used.

17. Cabo Suelto – Loose End: Refers to a loose piece of rope or an unresolved issue.

18. Dar una Vuelta de Campana – To Capsize: Describing the overturning of a boat, this expression is linked to a dramatic event on the water.

19. Bajel Pirata que Llaman – Pirate Ship They Call: A line from the Spanish national anthem, often used in a playful manner.

20. A Flote – Afloat: Describing a vessel that is floating on the water, this phrase denotes seaworthiness.

Types of Boats in Spanish

Image by usameredith from Pixabay
catamaranel catamarán
cutterel cúter
cruiserel yate crucero
dinghyel chinchorro
fishing boatel pesquero
ketchel queche
lifeboatel bote calvarias
monohullel monocasco
multihullel multicasco
schoonerla goleta
sloopla balandra

Parts of the Boat and sailing vocabulary in Spanish

backstayel estay de popa
battenel sable
beamla manga
blockla polea
boomla botavara
bowla proa
cabinel camarote
cleatla cornamusa
clewel puño de escota
cockpitla banera
coilel cabo adujado
deckla cubierta
draftel calado
fenderslas defensas
footel pujamen
forestayel estay de proa
halyardla driza
hatchla escotilla
head of the sailel puño de driza
hullel casco
jamming cleatla mordaza
jibel foque
keella quilla
leachel balumen
luffel grátil
mainsailla vela mayor
mastel mástil
points (of a sail)las aristas
portel babor
pulpitel púlpito de proa
reefel rizo
reef pointlos tomadores de rizo
reef pointlos tomadores de rizo
ropeel cabo
rudderel timón
shackleel grillete
sheetla escota
shroudel obenque
spinnakerel espinaquer
starboardel estribor
sternla popa
tackel puño de amura
tackleel aparejo
telltaleslas lanitas
tillerla caña del timón
topping liftel amantillo