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The most important equipment for anyone taking part in a sailing race or regatta is, without doubt, the boat that he or she sails on. Here are a few of the most commonly used types.
This is a small sailing boat that is normally used by a maximum of two people, and can range from two to six metres from bow to stern. As the dinghy is the lightest of all boats used in sailing, people on board have to learn how to spread their weight out in order to help the boat keep its balance and prevent it from capsizing. The dinghy is normally a starter or beginner boat, but some experienced sailors might still choose to sail on a dinghy.
The keelboat is slightly larger than the dinghy, and has the added feature of an extra weight attached to the bottom. The weight prevents the boat from capsizing, as it normally carries a crew of more than two people. Keelboats usually measure up to nine metres in length.
The multihull is larger than both the keelboat and dinghy. As its name suggests, the multihull comprises of more than one main body. There are two different types of multihull boats: the catamaran (also known as the ‘cat’ for short) and the trimaran. The catamaran consists of two hulls, whereas the trimaran has three hulls. Catamarans normally have an average length of six metres, while trimarans normally reach lengths of 10 meters.
Multihulls provide a greater sense of stability than dinghies, but are also more liable to capsize under certain circumstances. This boat also sails at a greater speed than dinghies do, but are prone to slower turns in the water.
Trailer boats (trailer sailers)
Similar to the keelboat, the trailer sailer is manned by a crew of three to four people. Additionally, both boats share the common feature of having a weighted keel attached to the bottom of the hull to provide greater stability. However, the keel of a trailer sailer is retractable and can be stored away, unlike that of a keelboat.Trailer boats are also known as trailables, and resemble a small yacht or huge dinghy.
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