French Sailing Terms + French Practice Video ⛵️

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Learn the French sailing vocabulary and come on an adventure with me aboard “la Nébuleuse”, an old French sailing boat.

First, let’s study the French sailing vocabulary – scroll down for the video of my sailing boat encounter in Paimpol! Follow the link for more info about the sailing boat I boarded and sailing trips in Bréhat and Paimpol.

30 French Sailing Words

  1. Faire de la voile – to sail
  2. Faire du bateau – to navigate a boat, wether it’s a sailing boat or something else
  3. Un bateau – a boat (note the plural : des bateaux)
  4. Note that we say “un bateau à …” followed by the mode of propulsion, and “un bateau de…” followed by its function
  5. Un bateau à voile – a sailing boat
  6. Un bateau à moteur – a motor boat
  7. Un voilier – a sailing boat
  8. Un navire – another fancy way to say a boat, a ship
  9. Un gréement – an old fishing boat like the one you’ll see in the video below – un gréement is also a rig.
  10. Une goélette – schooner
  11. Un bateau de pêche – fishing boat
  12. Un bateau de croisière – cruise boat
  13. Un canot – dinghy
  14. Un canoë – canoe
  15. Une péniche – barge
  16. À bord – aboard
  17. À tribord – starboard side
  18. À bâbord – port side
  19. Lever l’ancre – to weigh anchor
  20. Prendre la mer, partir en bateau – to set sail
  21. Jeter l’ancre – to drop anchor
  22. mouiller – to moor
  23. être amarré – to be moored
  24. faire une excursion touristique – to take a sightseeing tour
  25. Un mât – mast
  26. Une voile – sail
  27. Une coque – hull
  28. Un pont – deck
  29. La barre – helm
  30. Le foc – hib
  31. La quille – keel
  32. Le noeud – knot
  33. Une cabine – a cabin

Are you looking for very specific French sailing terms – I suggest you visit this site which includes a very complete free French English bilingual sailing dictionary.

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My French Sailing Boat Adventure

The other day I was swimming in the bay of Paimpol and saw a beautiful sailing ship in the distance. The sea that day was particularly calm and I had my flippers on, so I decided to investigate…

I swam all the way to the sailing boat and the crew invited me onboard. I was on “La Nébuleuse”, one of the prettiest old sailing ship of France. Captain Cédric gave me a tour! It was a wonderful experience.

I shot a “live” French practice video for you. Enjoy! If you like it, please ❤️, share, leave a comment: seeing your reactions really encourage me to keep shooting these live videos.

On the bottom right where you see the gear and CC options you may turn the subtitles on/off and select French or English. I checked them myself. Enjoy!

You may also enjoy my article about Bréhat – with another vidéo.

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 23+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Most of my audiobooks are recorded at several speeds to help you conquer the modern French language. Good luck with your studies and remember, repetition is the key!

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