Chapter 1: The Basics of Your Boat

Boat Hulls

Now to discover more about the specific parts of the vessel, starting with the hull. There are a variety of hulls, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, but all fit within one of two overarching categories determined by design.

Hulls can either be Planing or Displacing. "Planing" hulls ride atop the water, whereas "Displacing" hulls push and move water around them. Smaller boats typically feature planing hulls, while larger vessels utilize displacing hulls, to navigate water.

In addition to these overarching categories, hulls can also be classified by shape. Hulls usually come in one of four shapes, each with assets and flaws. Based on the shape, one can tell whether it is a planing hull or a displacing hull.

V-Shaped Hull shape

V-Shaped Hull: These are planing hulls; this shape allows the vessel to float on top of the water. These hulls navigate rougher, choppier water by rising on top of it.

Flat-Bottomed Hull shape

Flat-Bottomed Hull: The flat bottoms of these hulls provide stability, which is ideal for calm waters.

Round-Bottomed Hull shape

Round-Bottomed Hull: This shape is less stable than other hull types, so caution must be exercised when entering and exiting them. However, these displacement hulls move through the water smoothly.

Multi-Hulled shape

Multi-Hulled: These vessels feature two or more separate hulls, which are typically connected above the waterline. These hulls can be effective at planing or displacing water and are usually very stable, but require more room to turn and maneuver.