Boating vs. Sailing

sailboatsIs there a difference? Both are vessels, although a “boat” is defined as “any vessel that moves over, in. or under the water”, many contend that sailing is only done in a sailboat.

But is a sailboat that is using an auxiliary engine to move itself across the water, say during a calm, no longer a “sailboat” but is now just a “boat” or a “motorboat”?

“Moving across the surface of the water” is the basic definition of “sailing”, even if there are no sails. Submariners refer to submarines as “boats”, since they can “sail” under or on the surface of the water. Obviously the terms are interchangeable; after all, we don’t consider fish to be “submarines” and ducks to be “boats”.

One dictionary defines “sailing” as “a vessel that moves across the water”. (We won’t get into “wind sailing”, which is “sailing” on dry land using sails; otherwise you’re just “driving”)

One definition of “sailboat” is defined as “a wind powered vessel that uses sails for its mobility”, but we have “powerboats” as well as “sailboats”. And they’re all boats.

A “boat” is defined by that know-it-all Noah Webster as:

  • A relatively small, usually open craft of a size that can be carried aboard a ship.
  • An inland vessel of any size.
  • A ship or submarine.

So perhaps “boating” means navigating through water by any sort of power: a “rowboat” is a boat with oars; a “sail boat” is a boat with sails and “boats” in general are vessels the move in, on or under the water.

Regardless, any boat needs to be to be maintained and protected. CMC Canvas LLC specializes in protecting boats, big and small, sail or motored with quality covering, enclosures and upholstery.