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  • Boat

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    A recreational motorboat with an outboard motor A boat is a watercraft of a large range of type and size. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on their larger size, shape, and cargo or passenger capacity. Small boats are typically found on inland waterways such as rivers and lakes, or in protected coastal areas. However, some boats, such as the whaleboat, were intended for use in an offshore environment. In modern naval terms, a boat is a vessel small enough to be carried aboard a ship. Anomalous definitions exist, as bulk freighters long on the Great Lakes being known as oreboats. Boats vary in proportion and construction methods due to their intended purpose, available materials, or local traditions. Canoes have been used since prehistoric times and remain in use throughout the world for transportation, fishing, and sport. Fishing boats vary widely in style partly to match local conditions. Pleasure craft used in recreational boating include ski boats, pontoon boats, and sailboats. House boats may be used for vacationing or long-term residence. Lighters are used to convey cargo to and from large ships unable to get close to shore. Lifeboats have rescue and safety functions. Boats can be propelled by manpower (e.g. rowboats and paddle boats), wind (e.g. sailboats), and motor (including gasoline,diesel, and electric).

  • Rigid-hulled inflatable boat

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    RNLI inshore rescue boat during Falmouth Lifeboat Day, August 2006 A rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) or rigid-inflatable boat (RIB) is a lightweight but high-performance and high-capacity boat constructed with a solid, shaped hull and flexible tubes at the gunwale. The design is stable and seaworthy. The inflatable collar allows the vessel to maintain buoyancy if a large quantity of water is shipped aboard due to bad sea conditions. The RIB is a development of the inflatable boat. Uses include work boats (supporting shore facilities or larger ships) in trades that operate on the water, military craft, where they are used in patrol roles and to transport troops between vessels or ashore, and lifeboats.

  • Pontoon (boat)

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    A pleasure boat with two lengthwise pontoons. A pontoon boat is a flattish boat that relies on pontoons to float. These pontoons (also called tubes) contain a lot of reserve buoyancy and allow designers to create massive deck plans fitted with all sorts of accommodations, such as expansive lounge areas, stand-up bars, and sun pads. Better tube design has also allowed builders to put ever-increasing amounts of horsepower on the stern. Pontoon boat drafts may be as shallow as eight inches, which reduces risk of running aground and underwater damage. The pontoon effect is when a large force applied to the side capsizes a pontoon boat without much warning, particularly a top-heavy boat. Common boat designs are a catamaran with two hulls, or a trimaran with three hulls. Boats with three hulls are sometimes called tri-toons. Small inflatable pontoon boats are one or two person, catamaran type boats, designed for leisure and fishing. Their pontoons are made out of abrasion resistant PVC and nylon with aluminum, steel and/or plastic frames for support. In today’s setting, more and more people prefer to use frameless pontoon boats. They are powered with paddles, oars and often with electric trolling motors using deep cycle lead batteries. Commonly they are equipped with motor mount, battery storage area, fishing rod holders, canopy, fishfinder mount, small anchor and other required fishing gear. Such boats are suitable for ponds, lakes, rivers and seas during calm weather. However, due to light weight, they are susceptible to waves and windy conditions. Nonetheless, such boats are often used even for big game fishing. Pontoon boats for pleasure boating and fishing can be low cost for their capacity, and cheaper to insure than other boats, even when equipped with substantial engines. Pontoon boats are used as small vehicle ferries to cross rivers and lakes in many parts of the world, especially in Africa. Pontoon ferries may be motorised, such as the Kazungula Ferry across the Zambezi River, or powered by another boat, or pulled by cables. A type of ferry known as the cable ferry ("punts" was what they were called in the medieval times and in modern Australia and New Zealand) pull themselves across a river using a motor or human power applied to the cable, which also guides the pontoon. Pontoons may support a platform, creating a raft. A raft supporting a house-like structure is a houseboat. The flotation tubes of rigid-hulled inflatable boats are often referred to as pontoons.

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