A boat is any watercraft with a hull, engines, and propeller that is designed to carry people and cargo. However, it is usually smaller than a ship, it is determined by its larger size, shape, cargo capacity, passenger capacity, or capacity for transporting boats.
Small boats usually occupy protected coastal areas, rivers, and lakes. A whaleboat, for example, was designed for use in offshore environments. An aircraft carrier or a ship carries boats that are small enough to be carried onboard. Among the Great Lakes, 3,000-foot-long lake freighters are sometimes called “boats.”
- A boat’s size and design will vary depending on its intended use, its materials, or the local traditions. Canoes have served throughout history for transportation, fishing, and sport.
- Fishing boats vary widely in design in response to local conditions.
- Boats used in recreational boating include ski boats, pontoon boats, and sailboats. Vacationers and long-term residents may own houseboats.
- Ships unable to get close to shore use lighters to transport cargo to and from them. Lifeboats serve as rescue and safety vessels.
- Boat types include rowboats, paddleboats, sailboats, and motorboats (including gasoline, diesel, and electric).
- They can also be human-powered. One-way rafts are unpowered. A human-powered boat includes canoes, kayaks, gondolas and boats propelled by poles, such as a punt.
- Sailboats rely primarily on sails for propulsion.
- Hulls are usually one of, and sometimes the only, structural components of a boat. The hull provides both buoyancy and capacity. The keel is the boat’s “backbone”, a lengthwise structural member to which the perpendicular frames are attached. Decks typically cover the hull, to some extent or in whole.
- Boats are watercraft that are used to navigate inland waterways like rivers and lakes or nearshore areas.
- A boat is smaller and has a lower carrying capacity than a ship.
- In contrast, boats come in different shapes, sizes, and capacities based on their purpose. If you want to learn more about the differences between boats and ships, you might want to read this.