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What is a sailing boat ?

The characteristics of a sailing boat

As its name suggests, a sailboat is a boat with sails who primarily rely on the wind for their propulsion. Some sailing boats also have a booster motor to help during certain maneuvers.

At the beginning of their history, sailing ships were used to transport goods, mail and people. It was the ideal form of transport for medium and long distances. Fishing, the military and even naval warfare all benefited from the sailboat's versatility. Today, their function is rather different: the sailboat is mainly used for sport and pleasure boating

Monohulls, multihulls or lightweight dinghies: how are different types of sailboat distinguished?

Technically speaking, sailing boats are generally divided into three categories: monohulls, multihulls and lightweights , including racing sailboats and lightweight dinghies. While multihull sailboats are divided, to name the most well known, between catamarans (two hulls) and trimarans (three hulls), monohull sailboats can be differentiated according to their rig: schooner, sloop, skiff, cutter, ketch or yawl ...

In addition, monohull sailboats also differ when it comes to their use:

  • yachts for fast cruising, such as Chantier RM with their RM 880,
  • regatta sailboats, including the Jeanneau Sun Fast range with a lift keel,
  • and pleasure cruising, gracefully represented by the Oceanis 43 from the manufacturer Beneteau.

What are the different categories of sailboats ?

As for the construction of sailboats, this can range from small sailing boats to huge yachts : their size varies from 2 m (the Optimist which is the smallest) to more than one a hundred meters for the larger ships. These are often specifically used for cruising.

Alongside the sail and rigging, the hull is one of the distinctive features of a sailboat. It can be made from various different materials:

  • polyester: ease of maintenance, lightness and strength, three advantages which compensate for its average durability (beware of osmosis!);
  • wood: a strong material requiring little maintenance yet has average durability;
  • steel: the most common, most durable and the strongest. In return, it requires a lot of maintenance;
  • and aluminum: light and strong, the shell will not rust. However, this material costs a bit more than a polyester shell. The aluminum sailboat is popular among those looking for a used sailboat. For example, the Alubat shipyard specialises in these models of which the Ovni 455 is the flagship.

You may be wondering what the best sailboats are? The opinions of sailing enthusiasts are varied, but there are some very popular brands, ranges and models. Among them are the sailing boats from the manufacturer Beneteau with the Oceanis and First ranges. Jeanneau's sailing yachts with the famous Sun Odyssey. The luxury yachts from Dufour or Hanse Yachts, the robust monohulls from Amel, the beautiful sailing boats from the German shipyard Bavaria Yachts.

Sailing a sailboat is a dream come true. Learning how to handle it expertly requires dedication and time, yet this commitment will be quickly forgotten as soon as you experience the pleasure of being at the helm and enjoying a cruise solo or with others.

Band of Boats offers you a wide selection of new and used sailboats. Browse our boat for sale listings and you'll surely find the sailboat to capsize your heart.