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sailboat There are many reasons why people choose sailboats over motorboats.  Some like the idea of a boat that runs on wind and not gas and oil, while others like the technical aspect of sailing.  Still others just like to be physically involved with boating!  Whatever the reason for choosing a sailboat over a powerboat, sailing is a great hobby for families and individuals alike.

There are many different kinds of sailboats.  As a general rule, they are classified according to how many masts they have, as well as how those masts are positioned.  Size is not taken into consideration.

Sloops comprise the largest category of sailboats.  Sloops have one mast that is set into the deck slightly forward of amidships.  The mast is able to support two sails — the main, which is located on the back of the mast, and the jib, which is a smaller sail located on the front.  A sloop that has a mast with only one main is called a catboat, while a sloop that has a mast with one main and two jibs is called a cutter.

Sailboats with two masts are for experts only.  A sailboat with two masts is usually larger and requires more sail power than a one-mast boat.  A ketch-rigged sailboat has the larger mast in front and the smaller mast in back, while a schooner has a foremast that's shorter than the mainmast, which sits in the back of the boat.  A yawl, in which the rear mast is behind the wheel or tiller, is infrequently seen these days.

Most sailboats have one hull.  Catamarans are two-hulled sailboats, and trimarans have three hulls.  Sailboats with more than one hull are becoming increasingly more popular because of their excellent stability.  Why would you choose a choose a boat with one hull versus one with two or three?  Boats with one hull right themselves when capsized, but are more likely to sink if there is a hole in the hull.  Boats with more than one hull are very difficult to right once they capsize, but stay afloat when punctured.  So you have to decide whether you would rather have a boat that doesn't capsize, or a boat that doesn't sink!

Sailboat Manufacturers

  • Cabo Rico Custom Yachts
    2258 S.E. 17th Street
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
    Offers a selection of sailing yachts, cruising sailboats, sportfishers, and unique motorsailers.
  • Hinckley Company
    130 Shore Road
    Southwest Harbor, ME 04679
    Features durable, New England style powerboats and sail boats.
  • Hobie Sailing
    4925 Oceanside Blvd.
    Oceanside, CA 92056
    Manufacturer of catamarans, sailboats, fishing kayaks and float cats.
  • Marlow-Hunter
    Route 441
    P.O. Box 1030
    Alachua, FL 32616
    Builder of state-of-the-art recreational sailboats, including daysailers, motorsailers, and keelboats.
  • Jeanneau America
    105 Eastern Avenue
    Suite 202
    Annapolis, MD 21403
    Prestigious motor yachts and sailboats built by artistic craftsmen.
  • Laser Performance Sailboats
    300 Highpoint Avenue
    Portsmouth, RI 02871
    Manufacturer of small recreational and racing sailboats.
  • Pacific Seacraft
    1301 East Orangethorpe Avenue
    Fullerton, CA 92831
    A foremost designer and builder of sailing yachts and motoryachts.
  • WindRider
    214 Eagle Drive
    Sandstone, MN 55072
    Manufacturer of simple, affordable sailing trimarans.

For additional boating resources, please visit this boat builders directory.

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