Tag Archives: BAE Guayas (BE-21)

Velas Latinoamerica 2022!

Starting back in 2010, the Velas Latinoamerica (Sails Latin America) event is a tall ship race and regatta organized by the navies of Latin America who operate sail-powered frigates, brigantines, and schooners as school ships. This has included Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela in the past, with the occasional participation of out-of-area tall ships such as the USCGC Eagle and Portugal’s NRP Sagres.

Held every four years, this year’s event is hosted by Brazil, a country celebrating its bicentennial, and has tall ships from five countries attending.

The vessels

Attending this year is a regular participant, the sail frigate ARA Libertad (Q-2) of the Argentine Navy.

Built in the 1950s, she Libertad carries an old 47mm Hotchkiss battery for saluting purposes and can carry 150 embarked cadets.

Also from Argentina is the Coast Guard research schooner, Dr. Bernardo Houssay.

Built in Denmark in 1929, the 142-foot vessel has ties to Jacques Cousteau and only joined the Argentine fleet for oceanographic research tasks in 2008 after a three-year rebuild.

Brazil’s NVe Cisne Branco, a 249-foot three-masted clipper built by Damen in 1999.

Her name means White Swan in English.

From Ecuador is the school ship BAE Guayas (BE-21), which we have talked about before.

Built in Spain in the 1970s, the 257-foot barque has sisterships in the navies of Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela.

The Peruvian Navy’s BAP Unión (BEV-161), a huge 378-foot four-masted barque built in Spain, is almost brand new when it comes to tall ships, being commissioned in 2016.

She is the largest sail vessel in Latin America and is thoroughly modern, with a Caterpillar/Rolls Royce engineering suite under the hood.

The Uruguayan Navy has sent their school ship, Capitan Miranda.

The 205-foot schooner has a crew of 51. Built in 1930 in Spain, she has completed dozens of worldwide cruises in her career.

Starting in Rio this week, the ships will continue through the Straits of Magellan, proceed up the Pacific Coast of South America, cross through the Panama Canal into the Caribbean, and end at Vera Cruz at the end of June, making 12 official port calls.


The Brazilian Navy has a great Flickr album of the vessels, here.

Tall Ship Getting it Done

The buque escuela BAE Guayas (BE-21) is a 1,300-ton Class A Tall Ship operated by the Ecuadorian Navy. Built in Spain in the 1970s to a design similar to the circa 1930s Blohm & Voss segelschulschiffs (like Gorch Fock, USCGC Eagle, and the NRP Sagres) she is a direct sistership to the training ships Gloria (Colombia), Simón Bolívar (Venezuela), and Cuauhtémoc (Mexico).

A steel-hulled three-masted barque capable of hoisting 15,200 sq. ft. of canvas with a 700hp Detroit diesel “steel topsail” for when the wind is calm, she is beautiful, akin to a flying cloud on the water.

With a crew of some 155, she can carry 80 naval cadets and is frequently used in trips overseas to show the country’s flag and has visited over 60 countries in the past 40 years, cruising in excess of 500,000 miles on 30 training cruises from Vladivostok to Boston.

However, she is still a naval vessel, with a small arms locker, and capable of conducting real-world missions in required. Case in point, she just popped a narco sub roaming in the Eastern Pacific.

The tall ship’s crew boarded the vessel, impounded a cargo of moody blow, and arrested four including three Ecuadorians and a Colombian.

All in a day’s work.

Bravo Zulu, Guayas.