A boat is a watercraft of a large range of sizes designed to float, plane, work or travel on water.

Boating is the leisurely activity of travelling by boat, or the recreational use of a boat whether powerboats, sailboats, or man-powered vessels, focused on the travel itself, as well as sports activities, such as fishing or waterskiing.

Planing is the mode of operation for a waterborne craft in which its weight is predominantly supported by hydrodynamic lift, rather than hydrostatic lift.

Watercraft are water-borne vehicles including ships, boats, hovercraft and submarines.


Small boats are typically found on inland waterways or in protected coastal areas.


However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed for operation from a ship in an offshore environment.

A whaleboat or whaler is a type of open boat that is relatively narrow and pointed at both ends, enabling it to move either forwards or backwards equally well.


In naval terms, a boat is a vessel small enough to be carried aboard another vessel. Another less restrictive definition is a vessel that can be lifted out of the water.

A navy or maritime force is a fleet of waterborne military vessels and its associated naval aviation, both sea-based and land-based.


Some definitions do not make a distinction in size, as bulk freighters 1,000 feet long on the Great Lakes are called oreboats.

Lake freighters, or lakers, are bulk carrier vessels that ply the Great Lakes of North America.


For reasons of naval tradition, submarines are usually referred to as 'boats' rather than 'ships', regardless of their size and shape.

A naval tradition is a tradition that is, or has been, observed in one or more navies.


Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on their larger size, shape and cargo or passenger capacity.


Boats have a wide variety of shapes, sizes and construction methods due to their intended purpose, available materials or local traditions.


Canoe-type boats have been used since prehistoric times and various versions are used throughout the world for transportation, fishing or sport.

A canoe is a lightweight narrow boat, typically pointed at both ends and open on top, propelled by one or more seated or kneeling paddlers facing the direction of travel using a single-bladed paddle.


Fishing boats vary widely in style partly to match local conditions.

A fishing vessel is a boat or ship used to catch fish in the sea, or on a lake or river.


Pleasure boats include ski boats, pontoon boats, and sailboats.

A sailboat or sailing boat is a boat propelled partly or entirely by sails smaller than a sailing ship.

A pontoon is a flotation device with buoyancy sufficient to float itself as well as a heavy load.

A pleasure craft is a boat used for personal, family, and sometimes sportsmanlike recreation.


House boats may be used for vacationing or long-term housing.


Small boats can provide transport or convey cargo to and from large ships.


Lifeboats have rescue and safety functions.

A lifeboat is a small, rigid or inflatable boat carried for emergency evacuation in the event of a disaster aboard a ship.


Boats can be powered by human power, wind power and motor power.

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