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A motor yacht is a power-driven boat that is used for recreation or racing. Recreational yachts are relatively large luxury watercraft, that are usually powered by gasoline or diesel engines. However, many recreational boaters prefer traditional sailing yachts. Smaller yachts are sometimes called cabin cruisers. The term yacht is derived from the Dutch word jacht, which means "chase."
The smallest power boats, including those powered by outboard motors, are called motorboats. A motorboat typically accommodates up to six passengers and is propelled by a gasoline or electric engine. Motorboats are used for recreational cruising and for recreational sports such as fishing, waterfowl hunting, swimming, diving and water skiing. They are sometimes used in power boat races and navigation contests as well.
A sailboat is a fairly small watercraft that typically accommodates a few passengers, is driven by the action of wind upon one or more sails, and is primarily used in modern times for recreation or racing purposes. Sailboats are more challenging to handle than powerboats, as a good knowledge of both wind patterns and currents is necessary for a successful, fun voyage. However, the economical value of a sailboat and the thrill of riding with the wind make sailing boats and yachts popular with boating enthusiasts.
A catamaran is a boat consisting of two parallel hulls joined with a frame. Catamarans can be powered by sail or motor, and they are used for recreational cruising and racing. Sailors who desire a smoother, faster ride often choose a catamaran, as the dual hulls provide increased stability over a single hull vessel. A stable sail captures the wind better, producing a greater driving power. However, catamarans are also more difficult to turn, so novice sailors are encouraged to start with a basic single hull boat. The word catamaran is derived from the Tamil word kattumaram, which is translated "logs bound together."
An inflatable boat is made of a flexible material that floats when inflated. These boats are prized for their easy storage and portability and may be powered by oar, engine, or sail. Inflatable boats come in many varieties, including paddle boats, kayaks, whitewater rafts, and sail boats; they are an economical choice for the occasional boater.
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