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Sailboat

A sailboat or sailing boat is a boat propelled partly or entirely by sails smaller than a sailing ship. Distinctions in what constitutes a sailing boat and ship vary by region and maritime culture.
Although sailboat terminology has varied across history, many terms have specific meanings in the context of modern yachting. A great number of sailboat-types may be distinguished by size, hull configuration, keel type, purpose, number and configuration of masts, and sail plan.
The cutter is similar to a sloop with a single mast and mainsail, but generally carries the mast further aft to allow for a jib and staysail to be attached to the head stay and inner forestay, respectively. Once a common racing configuration, today it gives versatility to cruising boats, especially in allowing a small staysail to be flown from the inner stay in high winds.
A dinghy is a type of small open sailboat commonly used for recreation, sail training, and tending a larger vessel. They are popular in youth sailing programs for their short LOA, simple operation and minimal maintenance. They have three (or fewer) sails: the mainsail, jib, and spinnaker.
A schooner has a mainmast taller than its foremast, distinguishing it from a ketch or a yawl. A schooner can have more than two masts, with the foremast always lower than the foremost main. Traditional topsail schooners have topmasts allowing triangular topsails sails to be flown above their gaff sails; many modern schooners are Bermuda rigged.
Traditional sailboats are monohulls, but multi-hull catamarans and trimarans are gaining popularity. Monohull boats generally rely on ballast for stability and usually are displacement hulls. This stabilizing ballast can, in boats designed for racing, be as much as 50% of the weight of the boat, but is generally around 30%. It creates two problems; one, it gives the monohull tremendous inertia, making it less maneuverable and reducing its acceleration. Secondly, unless it has been built with buoyant foam or air tanks, if a monohull fills with water, it will sink.
The lack of ballast makes it much easier to get a lightweight multihull on plane, reducing its wetted surface area and thus its drag. Reduced overall weight means a reduced draft, with a much reduced underwater profile. This, in turn, results directly in reduced wetted surface area and drag. Without a ballast keel, multihulls can go in shallow waters where monohulls can not.
Most monohulls larger than a dinghy require built-in ballast. Depending on the design of the boat, ballast may be 20 to 50 percent of the displacement. The ballast is often integrated into their keels as large masses of lead or cast iron. This secures the ballast and gets it as low as possible to improve its effectiveness. External keels are cast in the shape of the keel. A monohull's keel is made effective by a combination of weight, depth, and length.