Sailboats - Types
There is a large variety of Sailboats, each having its own characteristics and styles. They can be differentiated based on the purpose and number of Hulls or Sails.
Knowing the different Sailboat Types is important when learning to sail. In this section, know what the basic Sailboat Types are and learn the features of each:
A Keelboat has a weighted vertical Keel or flap underneath it to counteract the force of the Wind in the Sail and prevents the vessel from sliding sideways. Keelboats can be 20 to 30 feet long. Those that are more than 30 feet are usually called Cruising Keelboats. They usually have wheel steering mechanisms and are used in multi - day tours.
A Catamaran is a boat with two Hulls. It is usually lighter, much faster than a Sailboat with a single hull, and more stable because of the wider distance from one side of the boat to another. This leads to more sail area carried for every meter of length as compared to a single-hulled Sailboat.
Catamarans are usually used in open areas such as coastal waters which allow boats to keep its maximum speed.
A Trimaran is a multi-hulled Sailboat. It has a main hull with two smaller Hulls located on each side, giving the Trimaran greater stability. Compared to a single-hulled Sailboat, a Trimaran has a wider Beam and can keep its stability even in stronger Winds. However, it is a bit harder to maneuver because of its structure.
Another Sailboat Type is the Cat Boat. This is a one-sail boat where it is fitted with a gaff-rigged sail on a Mast which is set well forward. A Cruising Cat Boat can be 16 - 26 feet in length.
A Yawl has two Masts. The shorter Mast, called the Mizzen, is situated behind the steering machinery of the Yawl.
These are some of the basic Sailboat Types. There are many other styles out there, but whatever type you want to use, just make sure that you are knowledgeable on the features of that particular Sailboat so you can handle it properly.