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What is a small boat?


Main features of a small boat



Classed as Open boats, small boats have a maximum length of 6-7 meters and can accommodate up to 5 people. Often propelled by oars or paddles, they can also be engine-powered. Generally speaking, they do not have a deck or rig. If engine-powered, you will be able to steer it using the tiller. Small boats are ideal for sailing in shallow water, at sea or on rivers.



Small boats are the most basic type of boat available, suitable for simple uses such as fishing or short nautical trips. You will be able to go from cove to cove and discover the coastline. They can also be used as tenders to reach larger vessels anchored on a mooring buoy, or as a transport vessel to take people or goods from one location to another.



Various types of small boats



While small boats were originally built from wood or steel, causing them to be too heavy, today's small boats are built using 3 main materials:


  • rotomoulded polyethylene: robust, UV and water resistant, this material requires no special care;
  • polyester (or fibreglass): low maintenance, easy to look after;
  • aluminium: a light and durable material, unlimited lifespan.



Small boats can also be distinguished by the shape of their hulls. There are two different types:


  • v-shaped hull: less stable when stationary, this hull enables the boat to go faster without breaking the waves;
  • flat-bottomed hull: this hull often requires course correction, but results in a stable boat with a lot of room. These boats are perfect for fishing.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of small boats?


Basic par excellence, small boats offer several advantages:


  • cheap to buy;
  • made from durable materials;
  • easy to store and stow away;
  • shallow draught.



On the other hand, smalls boats also have some disadvantages:


  • offer little in the way of equipment;
  • not suitable for rough seas;
  • have limited uses.



Are you looking for a boat for short sea trips? Search our listings on Band of Boats to find a new or used small boat.