The Different Types of Boats

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Boats have been used in historic times before the colonial period for transportation purposes. Boats are also used for fishing in offshore areas. Today, boats have evolved for other purposes, such as recreational. Dual Console Boats is an example of a boat that has evolved. Boats are major groups into three types;


A motorboat, also referred to as a powerboat, is a boat that uses an engine or internal combustion to power it. Motorboats vary in size from small to large vessels which are used in the sea. The main purpose of motorboats is recreation. Moreover, motorboats are used for sports activities such as skin diving, water skiing, duck hunting, and fishing. Also, they are used for racing, navigating contests, and piloting. Motorboats are further classified according to how the engine is installed. There is the outboard motorboat and the inboard motorboat.


By using the force of the wind, sailboats are powered by sails. Sailboats vary in size and are referred to as dinghies. Sailboats are further differentiated by distinctive characteristics:

  • Sails and mass configuration (cat, cutter, yawl, schooner, ketch, sloop, fractional rig sloop)
  • Keel type (centerboard, daggerboard, bilge keel, wing keel, fin keel)
  • Hull type (trimaran, catamaran or monohull)

Similar to motorboats, sailboats are mostly used for recreational purposes in specific racing and cruising. Sailboats in the past were used in Egypt to develop transportation routes against the current of the River Nile.

Man-powered or unpowered boats

Man-powered boats, also known as human-powered boats, are propelled by poles. They include gondolas, kayaks, and canoes. Human-powered boats are also paddled or rowed, requiring physical strength. Unpowered boats move in only one direction, which is downstream. They include floats and rafts. 

While purchasing a boat, it is vital; you understand the use, capacity, strength, and safety needed to avoid accidents in the water. Today, boats come in different types, with some being used for more than one purpose.