About Nauta Vulgaris and my aims


Why Nauta Vulgaris?

If I'm honest, it just appealed. Nauta Vulgaris translates as "The Popular Sailor" or "The people's Sailor", and the idea was to relate to plants and animals in that "The Popular Sailor" is a distinct, well, species.

Here's what Chamber's Dictionary says:

vulgar adj

1 marked by a lack of politeness or social or cultural refinement; coarse.

2 belonging or relating to the form of a language commonly spoken, rather than formal or literary language; vernacular.


ETYMOLOGY: 15c: from Latin vulgaris, from vulgus the people.


Nauta A Sailor: a straight Latin noun.

Vulgaris "the people's", everyday, common or garden, popular, ordinary.

What the site is about

I find it very frustrating that there is a widespread perception in the UK, perhaps less so elsewhere, that sailing and yachting are somehow "elitist" and only for the very wealthy.

It simply isn't true, as you'll find if you visit typical local sailing clubs. Most are full of everyday people like you and me, who don't always have deep pockets.

Of course there are clubs and other organisations where there is an attitude, but most are not.

If you want a large boat and want to keep it in a marina, you will need some money, particularly on much of the south coast of England, but even there, it's surprising what you can manage. For a while we kept an 18ft open sailing boat in a little harbour at Hill Head on the Solent for membership and harbour dues that totalled something like £300 plus a stint on the bar once a month. A walk-on marina berth in one of the Solent marinas will cost you thousands a year.

A largish boat that has to stay afloat is much cheaper to keep on a swinging mooring. That means you need to get to and from it, but a tired old dinghy or canoe can be cheap and effective.

Thank small. Canoes/kayaks, duck punts, an old 'tender' (small dinghy usually towed behind a yacht or left on the mooring) may not look impressive, but they'll take you into the creeks and salt marshes, and up rivers, in lakes, reservoirs and canals. Places where often you just couldn't take a larger boat. Paddle gently and quietly around the overhanging plants in a narrow creek and you'll likely see many waterbirds and fish. Just sit there quietly and watch.

If that all sounds too quiet ... try surfing, wind-surfing or kite-surfing.

Learning The Ropes

The expression comes from the tall ships and meant exactly that ... learning the location and purpose of all of the dozens of ropes on a the ship.

It's unlikely I'll say much here about that as they vary a bit, but I'll give some guidance.

More to the point is that often people are worried about what they don't know. Most people are a bit worried about "looking stupid" when they don't know what's going on, or what to say, or how to do something. I've already addressed some of that here on the site, but I'll do more. To learn some of those things, look into the Tips and Info area.