Whether you are a new or seasoned boater, it’s important to stay educated on all things boating. Carefree Boat Club is proud to provide ongoing training to both our members and the public to ensure safe and well-informed boating for all. In this article, we will make sure you know your boat from top to bottom–or shall we say bow to stern!
Know Your Boat – The Many Parts of a Boat
A well-educated operator should know every part of a boat and its function.
Types of boat hulls:
There are 2 types of boat hulls (body of the boat). Boats with a displacement hull maneuver by pushing water aside. Such boats have a round bottom, create a large wake and are limited to slower speeds. An example of a displacement hull would be a barge or most sailboats.
Boats with a planing hull rise up and skim along the surface of the water. Such boats have more maneuverability and are typically flat or vee-bottomed. It is important to note that a boat with a planing hull will act as a displacement hull at low speeds, and the transition period is where an operator has least control of steering and maneuverability. Examples of a planing hull would be powerboats or personal watercrafts (jet skis).
Length of a vessel:
Vessel length is an important factor when determining a number of things on–and off–the water. The length of the hull of a boat is often referred to as the length overall (LOA). Length overall is measured from the tip of the bow (front of boat) to the stern (rear of the boat), and does not include other attachments.
There are also “classes” that group together similar vessel lengths. While the U.S. Coast Guard does not use this titling, some states still refer to LOA in this way:
Class A: Less than 16 ft.
Class 1: 16-26 ft.
Class 2: 26-40 ft.
Class 3: 40-65 ft.
Types of engines and drives:
Outboard engines are attached to the transom (vertical surface at the back of a hull) outside of the vessel. Outboard engines are either two or four-stroke, and steering is controlled by a tiller (steering wheel, level used to turn a rudder to steer vessel).
Inboard engines are four-stroke engines mounted inside the boat–either in the midsection of the hull or in front of the transom. Steering is controlled by a rudder (vertical blade at or near the stern), which is controlled by a drive shaft attached to the propeller.
Stern drives are also known as inboard/outboard (I/Os) engines. These engines have a combination of the above-mentioned features; the engine is mounted inside of the boat, and is attached through the transom to the outdrive (drive unit), which controls the steering similar to an outboard engine.
Jet drives use an engine that powers a strong water pump that forces a jet of water out of the back of the vessel, thus moving the vessel forward. Steering is controlled by directing the jet of water. It is important to note that unlike other engines, steering control is lost if a jet drive engine is turned off.
Knowing your boat and its parts is vital to safe boating, fishing or towing. Never forget that as a boat operator, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your passengers and others using the waterways.
Images sourced from https://www.boat-ed.com.
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