Useful French Vocabulary: Sailing and Boating


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Useful French Vocabulary: Sailing and Boating

Here is a list of some of the key words that you may come across during your boating holiday in France:

l’amarrage mooring

l’amarre mooring rope

amarrer to moor

en amont upstream

l’ancre the anchor

l’anneau ring (mooring ring)

l’arrière stern

en aval downstream

l’avant bow

le bâbord starboard side

la barre helm

le bolard bollard

le bief de partage summit of a canal

la cale hold

la cale-sèche dry-dock

le canal canal

les canaux canals

le capitaine captain

le chenal channel

le coque hull

la corde rope

le courante current

la crue highest level of a river

la dérive drift

la digue dyke, breakwater

l’eau water

l’eau douce freshwater

l’eau de mer sea water

l’écluse lock

l’éclusier lock keeper

l’estuaire estuary

la fleuve large river

le gouvernail rudder

l’hélice propellor

horsbord outboard motor

l’huile oil

le mal de mer sea sickness

la manivelle handle on locks to wind sluice gates

la marée the tide

marée bas low tide

marée haute high tide

le matelot deckhand

la mer the sea

le nœud knot, as in reef-knot, also used for the knot as in speed

la péniche barge

le plat-board gunwales

le pont the bridge, also used to describe the bridge on the boat

le pont supérieur upper deck

le poupe the poop

le poste de pilotage wheel house

la quille the keel

le remorqueur tug boat

la rivière small river

la salle de machine engine room

le timonerie wheel house

le timonier helmsman

le tribord port side

le voilier sailing yacht

la voilure sails

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Whether you’re a second-home owner or an expat living in France, learning French is an essential part of integrating into local life. FrenchEntrée is here to help with our handy verb and vocabulary lists, essential French phrases, and top tips and advice for learning French.

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