Boating Basics Online - Basic Boating Safety Course
Chapter 3 - The Boat

Types of Hulls

Flat bottom boat

Graphic of flat bottom boatThese boats are generally less expensive to build and have a shallow draft. They can get up on plane easily but unless the water surface is perfectly calm they tend to give a rough ride because of the flat bottom pounding on each wave. They also tend to be less stable and require careful balancing of cargo and crew.

Graphic of jon boat
Examples of flat bottom boats are Jon boats, small utility boats, and some high-speed runabouts.

Vee bottom boat

Graphic of V-bottom boat

The vee bottom has a sharper entry into the water that provides for a smoother ride in rough water. They do, however, require more power to achieve the same speed.
Graphic of Personal Watercraft

Many runabouts use the vee-bottom design.


Round bottom boat

Graphic of Round bottom boatThese move easily through the water, especially at slow speeds. They do, Graphic of canoehowever, tend to roll unless they are outfitted with a deep keel or stabilizers.

Many trawlers, canoes and sailboats have round bottoms.


Multi-hull boat

Graphic of a multi-hull boatCatamarans, trimarans, pontoon boats and some houseboats carry the multi-hull design. The wide stance provides greater stability.
Graphic of a Multi-hull boat

Each of the hulls may carry any of the bottom designs described above.


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