Sailboat Hull | Components of Hull | Hull’s Bottom and Keel | Different Types of Sailboats

Sailboat Hull

Sailboat Hull

A sailboat is a boat that pushes or moves the boat with the help of sails, and it is smaller than a sailing ship. A sailboat’s Hull is a floating body of the boat that creates or makes the vessel’s shape. Hull offers buoyancy which prevents the vessel from sinking. These sailboats are made of wood, fiberglass, and metals like steel and aluminum.

The sailboat’s Hull encapsulates all the essential components of the boat. The ship’s Hull dominates the shape and boat’s seagoing capabilities and controls its draft. In many types of standard shapes and configurations, the hulls of a sailboat come. All types of sailing boats have keels, the backbone of the Hull. Even multihulls also have keels.

Keels also have another meaning on the boat: the word keel is used to name the area which is added to the Hull to improve the lateral plane of the boat. The keel generates the lift by using forward motion. Compared to non-sailing hulls, sailboats have large keels.

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Components of Hull

The vessel’s hull is nothing but the shell or the framework. It can also be constructed of diverse materials, for example, steel, iron, wood, rubber, aluminum, concrete, polyester, glass fiber, and many more.

If we move and stand by facing towards the front of the vessel, the blow would be on the ship’s front side and rear stern. On the vessel’s right side, there would be a starboard and port from the left side.

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Quarters and Bow

The bow of the Hull is the area that curves into the front, vessels side to the front is known as the starboard bow and port bow. The same thing is applied to quarters in the Hull’s curved part, which is located between the beam and the ship’s steam. There are two types of quarters, one is a port quarter, and the second one is a starboard quarter.

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Hull’s Bottom and Keel

The Hull’s bottom is permanently submerged in the water and bears maximum weight. Paint red is applied on the keel to the waterline with the help of antifouling biocide, preventing the marine life from attaching. The ship’s volume above the water plane can be made watertight for buoyancy purposes.

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#1. Waterline

The hull is divided into two parts, one at the bottom and another at the top. It is also known as the international load line or plimsoll line, which indicates the ship’s draft.

#2. Bilge

This bilge is located under the engine room; it is nothing but the part of the Hull which would rest on the ground in case the vessel is unsupported by the water.

The pumps of the bilge are installed to remove the dirty water, which is collected after the completion of the filtering process.

The substance, which is liquid and oily water, gets drained into the bilge because of the rough sea, in case of rain, leaks in stuffing boxes or the Hull, or another type of interior spillage from the room of the engine.

#3. Deck

The ship’s deck is permanently covered over a compartment or the Hull. More than one of the vessels has a horizontally dividing area which creates the deck or floor.

The deck has specific names and purposes depending on the structure, form, function, or vessel type. Seating of the crew, binnacle, winches, or helm is located on the deck’s habitable areas and different parts of the function.

#4. Keel

The keel is nothing but the structure of the bottommost member around which the ship’s Hull is built. The ship’s keel runs along with the ship’s centerline from the bow to the stern. The keel is the part where all the vessel’s components, which make its frame, are attached.

#5. Hull

It is nothing but the watertight body of the vessel, the Hull enveloping its structure and creating the frame. Because of the hull, the vessel stays stable and afloat.

#6. Hull shapes

There are many types of possible shapes for hull ships which depend on the purpose for which it is being built. The common hull shapes are of 4 types: bottom, which is flat (for more stability and favors planning), V-shaped, rounded, and multihull, for example, trimarans and catamarans.

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Different Types of Sailboats

Different Types of Sailboats

Sailboats depend on the wind for propulsion. For this, they use cloth or synthetic sails, which are very large. Racing sailboats are one of the most common sailboats which are used in sailing competitions all over the world.

Classification of the sailboat, which is based on the Hull

  • These sailboats are classified into three types.
  • The three types are Monohulls, Catamarans, and Multihulls.

#1. Monohulls

As we see it, traditionally, this type is the most common design for sailboats as they start to provide storage and achieve a certain level of stability.

This is nothing but a single-hull structure like a conventional vessel which has a large beam hull that offers stability while sailing.

#2. Catamarans

Catamarans refer to the structure of the twin-hulled; to provide its strength, the specialized members attach it.

The twin hull offers stability. In addition, if a design is properly vessel, it will have a much higher speed than traditional crafts owing to the lower surface-wetted resistance force.

On the other side, extreme care must be taken while designing the vessel; the resistive force could exceed the value found in the monohulls.

#3. Multihull Craft

The multihull craft includes vessels between five to three hulls, and the three-hull variations are the most common.

It is complex to manufacture five to four vessels, and that’s why it is rarely used commercially. The SWATH version is the advanced design of catamaran design.


It is an acronym for the waterplane area twin hull, which is small in size. An unprecedented level of speed is achieved by it to a considerably small area.

To reduce the area, the Hull needs to reduce the beam, which is above the water surface, while the structure of the underwater buoyant ensures that the vessel has the balance of the necessary weight.

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Common Designs of Monohull

It is easy to manufacture monohulls as compared to structures of mono hulls. Monohull craft’s common classes are cutters, sailing dinghies, catboats, sloops, schooners, and ketch.

#1. Dinghy

It is a common sailboat owing to its short overall length and ease of maneuvering. These dinghies are used in competitions and the port industry. These dinghies are used to transport a small amount of cargo and people to and from large vessels such as cruise ships.

Such huge vessels cannot enter the port because of their size and tonnage regulations. That’s why dinghies serve as the best mode of transportation, which is important for goods between the ports and the vessel.

These dinghies have sails, and the three-sailed variant consists of a mainsail, spinnakers, and jib. At the same time, dinghies, which are motor-powered, are used commonly, especially as lifeboats onboard ships.

#2. Cutters

These cutters are another medium-sized class of sailboats with three sails. The sails are mounted on the mainmast, located near the stern of the ship, allowing the larger sail to be used.

It is commonly used in competitions as its design favors speed and agility. The sail’s different combination allows cutters to use it for cruises and other types of recreational sailboats.

#3. Sloops

Sloops are similar to cutters, and they are the most commonly found in sailboats. In the sail configuration of the generic sloop, there is also a fractionally-rigged sloop in that one of the sails lies below the top of the mast.

The design helps the crews, which are of smaller sloops, to handle the craft while improving the performance. Catboats are nothing but sailboats that are equipped with only a single sail.

Their aim is towards the capacity, not the speed, and it has a mainsail mounted on a single mast. To increase speed, the sail is added to the rigging, which wind force is better optimized by the vessel.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Is a Sailboat Hull?

A sailboat hull is the floating body of the boat and creates the shape of the vessel. Sailboat hulls are constructed from fiberglass, wood, or metal, such as steel or aluminum.

Types of Sailboat Hulls

There are two main categories of sailboat hulls: monohulls and multihulls. Common monohull types include flat-bottom vessels, fin-keel racers, bulb and bilge keel cruisers, heavy semi-displacement sailboats, and dense full-keel displacement cruisers.

Multi-Hull Sailboats

A multihull is a boat, typically a catamaran or a trimaran, that has more than one hull. These ships are classified by the hull arrangement, the number of hulls, and also the shape and size of the vessel.

Different Types of Sailboats

  • Monohulls
  • Catamarans
  • Multihull Craft

Common Designs of Monohull

Common monohull types include flat-bottom vessels, fin-keel racers, bulb and bilge keel cruisers, heavy semi-displacement sailboats, and dense full-keel displacement cruisers. Multihull designs include catamarans and trimarans.

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