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14 April 2018

M Is for "Mástil" {Mast} | A To Z Challenge


In my ongoing efforts to learn Spanish, I'm highlighting a Spanish word each day during April as part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I'm also sharing the random thoughts that pop into my head when I try to pronounce them.

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Today's Spanish word is >>mástil<< (mast). And here are some random thoughts:

1 - The mast on our boat is 40.66 feet / 12.4 meters tall, as measured from the deck to the top. One of my fears is being demasted and watching our mast and rigging crash into the water.

2 - When it comes to going under bridges, the number you really want to know is 46.35 feet / 14.1 meters, which is the height of the mast from the top down to the waterline. But this doesn't account for the various things we have attached at the top of our mast (wind indicator, antennas etc.). So we usually think of around 48 feet / 14.63 meters as our threshold. If a bridge is shorter than that, we don't go through.

3 - Our mast is deck-stepped, which means that it's attached to the deck. It's supported by a compression post which is attached to the keel. Some people would argue that keel-stepped masts (masts that go through the deck down to the keel) are better.

4 - This is a picture of our compression post. It's wrapped with cord to make it look pretty. The downside is that it gets all grimy and gross when people put their hands on it to keep their balance.


Do you know anyone who has ever been demasted? What's your favorite word that starts with "M"?

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8 comments:

  1. Losing the mast must be an awful misfortune, one i hope you never, ever go through.

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    1. I pray we never have that happen to us. It would be a horrible experience.

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  2. I don't have a boat, but I can imagine how disheartening it would be to be demasted. My autocorrect thought I wanted to say "demisted" which I think would considerably less disheartening.

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    1. Too funny - I would much prefer to be demisted :-)

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  3. Spanish has the best cognates. Mast is so dull compared to Mástil. And then some sailors like to dull it up even more by calling it a stick. "Hey baby, gonna to pull my stick today."

    So I had to look up the Spanish word for dismast. You might think it would be desmástil, but it isn't. It's desarbolar. Arbolar means to hoist. So to dismast in Spanish doesn't exactly mean the same thing - it seems more like lowering the mast. Perhaps the Spanish just don't get dismasted, unlike Americans who see a closing bascule bridge and think it's time to throttle up. "Oh no, baby, you broke your stick!"

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    Replies
    1. I know - mastil is just fun to say! Does "arbolar" work for hoisting the sails too?

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  4. I remember in my youth - last century - risking a demasting on the yachts I was crewing when we shot a bridge on the Norfolk Broads. The trick was the speed and trajectory of our wind assisted approach, then lowering the sails and the mast quick enough while the momentum took the boat under the stonework arch. The yachts were Perfect and Leading Lady boats with that mast feature - I don't know the term.

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