Boating is one of the best parts of life in South Florida, and with the area’s nearly 2,300 miles of tidal shoreline, there’s a lot to see.
Although life on the water is fun it does have its own rules, regulations and, of course, lingo that you need to understand, and one of the first steps in that direction is to understand the basics of boat design.
Here’s our guide to hull design for South Florida Boaters.
Types of Hulls
There are seven basic kinds of boat hull designs. The shape of your boat’s hull greatly affects the way it moves through the water. As a boat operator, you should be able to identify different hull styles and recognize the unique handling characteristics of each type.
Planning Hulls are designed to glide on the surface of the water as the boat gains speed (most powerboats have this type of hull). Planing Hulls are known to give a smoother ride than a flat bottom hull in rough water. Takes more power to move at the same speed as flat bottom hulls.
Pontoon Hulls have two or more pontoons to create lift and flotation. Pontoon boats are relatively inexpensive and they can’t be taken out into rough waters. On the plus side, they are inexpensive and make for a great party and sandbar boats.
Displacement Hulls are designed to power through the water and is most often found on larger boats. Boats with displacement hulls are limited to slower speeds.
Round-Bottom Hulls act like Displacement Hulls in that they move easily through the water even at slow speeds. They do, however, have a tendency to roll unless it has a deep keel or stabilizers.
Boats with Flat-Bottom Hulls are designed for slow speeds and calm water. Flat-bottom boats tend to be less stable than other hull types in rough water. Flat-Bottom Hulls are a type of Planing Hull, meaning they have a shallow draft, which is good for fishing in small lakes and rivers. You won’t see many of these on in the Palm Beaches.
Deep V Bottom Hull
Deep V Bottom Hulls are the most common type of powerboat hull. This hull type allows boats to move through rough water at higher speeds and they provide a smoother ride than other hull types. Deep V-Bottom Hulls take more power to move at the same speed as flat bottom hulls.
Boats that feature a Multi-Chine Hulls, such as catamarans, are very stable on the water but can be more difficult to maneuver, keep in mind that they need a large area for turning.
There you have it, the seven kinds of hulls that all South Florida boaters need to know about: Planing Hulls, Pontoon Hulls, Displacement Hulls, Round-Bottom Hull, Flat-Bottom Hulls, Deep V-Bottom Hulls, and Multi-Chine Hulls.