Boating is the activity where an individual travels by boat, which can be a normal boat, sailboat, powerboat, or even man-powered vessels.

An organization called the National Marine Manufacturers Association establishes the standards used in the marine industry of United States, defines around 32 boat types and demonstrates the diversity and specialization of different boats. The categories are as follows:

  • Paddlesports – This includes ears or lakes, swiftwater or rivers and ocean going type of boats which are usually kayaks with covered cockpits.
  • Canoes – This type of boat is popular on rivers and lakes because they have great carrying capacity as well as efficient on water.
  • Kayaks – This boat drives on whitewater rivers, inland waters and also along the coasts of oceans. Rowing crafts are also another popular type used for fishing and also in competitive sports.
  • Rowing shells are boats that are long and narrow in shape and are dependent on the muscular power of the rower for speed.
  • Row boats, also known as dinghies, are powered by oar and are restrictedly driven on protected waters.
  • Sailing is competitive or held as a collegiate race of the dinghy, or as a recreational activity of sailing with friends or family on a lake.
  • Small sailboats – These are made of fibreglass and also have aluminium, carbon-fibre or wooden parts.
  • Daysailers – This type of boat is wider at the beam and is known to have greater space of accommodation at the cost of speed.
  • Cruising sailboats – This boat is wider and longer with a Length Over All beginning at 25 feet or six meters, and thus of higher performance, rebalancing the dynamic ratio of the length of waterline or aiding speed and the beam’s width.
  • Freshwater fishing boats – This type of boat accounts for at least one third of all the registered boats seen in the U.S. Other types of boats available are also ultimately used as fishing boats. Watersport boats, also called skiboats, are Go-Fast vehicles which are highly powered and better known as specialized towboats. They are designed for activities where the rider is being towed from behind of the boat, like, parasailing and waterskiing.

Waterski activity has variations like water skiing, kneelboarding, wakeboards, inflatable towables and also wake surfing.

  • fishing uses boats that are long in length and specialized for different fish species. For example, the flat boats are used on shallow protected waters as they have a shallow draft. Sportfishing boats are of 25’-80’ or above. They can be powered by outboard engines as well as inboard diesels.
  • Cruising boats refer to power boats and sail boats and are used in local weekend trips as well as long voyages.
  • Racing and Regatta are common activities for boaters who own larger boats and Yachts (25’ or above). This activity is usually arranged by marina organizations or Yacht clubs.

Boating as a sport

Sailboat racing is conventionally a family activity done on sailboats where they race according to handicap formulas, like the PHRF – Performance Handicap Rating Formula, and can also be done on specialize boats which have no provision for accommodation and also needs to compromise on comfort. There are several races across the oceans, like the Newport-Bermuda from Newport in Rhode Island up to Bermuda, or the Transpac Race from Los Angeles up to Honollu, or circumnavigate races like the Volvo Ocean Race, the Vendee Globe Race, etc.