Boat Types

When we discuss boat types, we’re talking about the most fundamental features of a boat: Is it a motorboat or a sailboat, for example? The term “type” may also be used interchangeably with words such as composition and structure.

What are the topics covered by boat types?

When we speak of boat types, we’re talking about the fundamental features of a boat: Is it a motorboat, for example, or a sailing boat?

Here are some examples:

  • Sailboat
  • Motorboat
  • Fiberglass boat
  • Trailer boat
  • Dinghy
  • Inflatable boat
  • Submarine
  • Cruiser
  • Racer
  • Multihull boat
  • Catamaran (which is a type of multihull boat)
  • Trimaran
  • Keelboat

Be careful where you use the term “boat type”

On Facebook and in your new sailing club, use ‘boat type’ only sparingly. Because the term boat type can be a trashcan category that includes almost anything. If you want to avoid being sabotaged by other sailors or individuals on social media, try to avoid using the word boat type and use this instead:

Boat model

The term “boat type” is used most frequently to refer to a particular boat model. A boat model is a name given to the model by the manufacturer.

The most comprehensive list of sailboat models is available, as far as I know, on the website is an excellent source for original sketches and information on vessels that aren’t available anywhere else. Unfortunately, I am unfamiliar with a similar resource for motorboats.

If a boat model doesn’t have a name – for example, because it is home-built or only one has been produced of it – it’s usually known as a “one-off.”

The name of the designer

If asked about the boat’s type, some will respond with the name of the constructor.

NOTE: Many boats are not designed by a named person, but by a company.

The boatbuilder

The confusion probably never stops, because sometimes you will also hear a factory name mentioned when asked about boat type.

Today, many boats are named after the manufacturer or the designer. The boat business has grown to be a significant industry, with some giants capable of performing it all on their own, and subsequently, the vessels are given a model name that includes the company name, the size of the boat, and possibly a model name.

Boat classes

The term boat class adds to the misunderstanding. Even experienced sailors might speak of particularly ancient types of boats, such as cutters, etc.

Boat classes are used in racing to ensure that boats compete on an equal basis. A boat class, as the name suggests, is a group of ships that all satisfy the same criteria.

A class boat is one that has been measured by a meter and has been given a class certificate.

What are the four classifications boats?

Class A Vessels: These classes of vessels have less than 16 feet in length.
Class I Vessels:  Vessels ranging from 16 feet to no more than 26 feet in length.
Class II Vessels:  Vessels ranging from 26 feet to no more than 40 feet in length.
Class III Vessels: Vessels ranging from 40 feet to no more than 65 feet in length.

What are the different classes of yachts?

Open Yachts / Sports Cruisers.
Semi-Displacement Yachts.
Fishing Yachts / Sportsfishers.
Hybrid Yachts.
Classic Yachts.
Sailing Yachts.
Motor Yachts.
Displacement Yachts.

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