A sailboat is mainly used for pleasure, also referred to as a sailing boat. This type of boat can be propelled by either the sails or an engine, however, they are usually propelled by their sails, and have an engine as a backup. This type will be smaller than a sailing ship. It varies by regions and the maritime culture as to what the difference is between a sailing boat and a sailing ship.


The different kinds of sailboats are distinguished according to their size, type of keel, hull configuration, their purpose, how many masks it has and their configuration, as well as their sail plans. The following is a list of most of the different sailboats, with a little information about them.


Different types of sailboats


Below are some of the types of sailboats you will find.



A cutter has a single mask, which is the main sail.



The more modern designed catboats have only a single mask that is mounted forward, with no jib. However, the more modern designs, though they have just one sail, which is the main sail, can carry multiple sails at the gaff rig.



This type of boat is an open sailboat, it is small and usually used as recreational, carrying things back and forth to a larger vessel, or sail training. They are easy to operate, with very little maintenance. This type of boat has three or less sails, which are the mainsail, jib, and the spinnaker.



This is a modern sailboat and is considered the most common, featuring two sails and one mast.



This boat is very much like the sloop boat, but a ketch may also have a Cutter that is rigged with two head-sails.



This type of sailboat has a mainmast that is taller than the foremast on it, and it is what makes it different than the ketch or a yawl. It can have more than just two masts, however, its foremast will always be lower than its foremost main. Traditional schooners are referred to as topsails, and they have topmasts that let them use triangular topsail sails, which are flown over the gaff sails. There are a lot of modern schooners that are Bermuda rigged.



Closely relate to a ketch boat, but it has a shorter mizzen mast that is carrying a rudder-post, which is more for balancing its helm, than it is for propulsion.



Boats have been using sails since Ancient Egypt times. The Egyptians would put sails on their reed boats and sail the River Nile’s current going upstream. The international trade routes were developed using sailboats. However, in today’s world, sailboats are mainly used for recreational use, such as cruising and racing.


All around the world there are people who are racing sailboats as a sport. Sailboat racing consists of a variety of different boats, ranging from dinghies, such as the Optimist, to the racer/cruisers. There are professional sail-boat racing teams that work together, taking turns, while racing around the world, sometimes without stopping.