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Sailing boats are those that take advantage of the action of the wind on their sails to propel themselves. Depending on their dimensions they are known as dinghies, cruising sailboats or yachts. Today, with the help of V de Bravado, the Premià de Mar dry dock, we are going to learn about the different existing types, taking into account their different characteristics.

Different types of sailing boats

In V de Bravado, the Premià de Mar dry dock, they explain that we can differentiate sailing vessels according to the type of hull, the class of submerged appendages and the configuration of their rigging:

  • By the type of hull:
    • Monohull
    • Catamaran
    • Trimaran
  • According to the type of submerged appendages:
    • Keel
    • Daggerboard
  • By rig configuration:
    • Sloop
    • Fractional sloop
    • Cutter
    • Ketch
    • Yawl
    • Schooner

Let’s now look at the different divisions.

v de bravado, varadero premià de mar

By the type of hull

As explained in V de Bravado, the Premià de Mar boathouse, the hull is the main part of a sailing boat and the one that is in permanent contact with the water. If we differentiate sailing boats by their hull, we can classify them into two large groups: monohulls and multihulls. Multihulls include catamarans and trimarans.

Monohulls, as their name suggests, are boats with a single hull and are distinguished from each other not only by their size but also by the material used for their construction and by their rigging or number of poles on deck.

Multihull sailboats can be divided into two groups: catamarans and trimarans. Catamarans are boats with two identical hulls joined together by a rigid platform and are usually rigged in sloop. Trimarans have three hulls, a central hull and two smaller hulls, one on each side of the central hull, joined together by rigid structures in the form of tubular “arms”. Normally the central hull is habitable while the lateral hulls serve only to give lateral stability.

According to the class of submerged appendages

In V de Bravado, Premia de Mar’s dry dock, they tell us that all sailing vessels have one or more lateral resistance surfaces below their waterline, known as keels and daggerboards.

The keels are part of the hull and usually contain the ballast that helps maintain the lateral stability of the sailboat, the more ballast the more stable the boat will be but it will also be heavier. The daggerboards, on the other hand, are retractable and serve mainly as an anti-drift surface (to prevent the boat from moving laterally due to the effect of the wind on the sails).

Taking into account the configuration of these structures, we can differentiate the following types of sailing vessels:

Keel run

The most common in traditional sailboats, the straight keel is continuous from bow to stern, with a longer, shallower and wider shape that blends in with the general shape of the hull. The rudder is usually attached to the end of the stern. Although this type of keel has its fans in ocean sailing, straight keel sailboats are often difficult to maneuver backwards and have a large turning radius, which can be a problem for harbor maneuvers.

Fin keel

The fin keel is separated from the rudder and is usually deep and narrow but short in relation to the total length of the hull.

Winged keel or bulb keel

It is a variation of the fin keel with the weight concentrated on a bulb or pair of wings at the bottom of the blade. This increases the stability of the boat as the weight is concentrated lower, or allows a reduced draft which is useful in shallow water navigation. However, the bulb or fins increase resistance.

Bilge keel

Two shallow keels, located to port and starboard of the center line of the hull. Sailboats with bilge keels can be beached on a sandy beach or in the mud at low tide. They also reduce the balance of the sailboat, acting as stabilization fins. They are usually mounted on small sailboats but are not as effective as conventional fin fins in reducing drift.


They are mobile appendages that resist sagging or drift (course deviation caused by the wind) but can be retracted into the hull to improve downwind speed, reduce draft in shallow water, or to facilitate boat transport in a trailer. They tend not to have ballast especially on small competition sailboats and on many day cruises. The saber darts can be fully raised by sliding vertically through a slot in the hull. The pivoting daggerboards swing on a bolt that allows the lower part to be raised or lowered.

Lifting keel and pivoting keel

It is the same type of appendage as the saber and pivoting daggerboards, respectively, but with the addition of ballast to increase stability.

Sailing boats according to rig configuration

The configuration of the mast and the sails, arches and rigging, is another way of differentiating sailing vessels as explained to us in V de Bravado, the Premià de Mar boathouse:

v de bravado, varadero premià de mar

Stick butt sloop

The most common type of sailboat is the sloop rigged, known in Spanish as balandro. The sloop rig has one mast and two sails: a mainsail and a headsail. Depending on the size and shape of the headsail, it can be designated by jib, genoa or spinnaker. The headsail is hung on the forestay, a cable that connects the top of the mast to the bow of the boat.

Fractional sloop

The Fractional Sloop is very similar to the masthead sloop rig. In this case the forestay does not reach the top of the mast. This type of rig, which offers easier trimming and maneuvering, was popular in the 60s and 70s, and is back in fashion, particularly on high-performance racing sailboats.


Like sloops, the cutter also has a single mast and a mainsail, but the mast is positioned further aft to allow space for two headsails and two stays. The main stay spans the jib and the forestay spans the forestay. This type of rig is often preferred for cruising sailboats as it offers a variety of easy-to-handle sail combinations for different wind conditions.


The ketch-type boats have two masts, one more forward (mainmast) and a smaller one that is located further aft behind the main mast, but ahead of the rudder axis. The mast most aft is called the mizzen mast.


In schooners the stern mast (major or master) is longer than the fore mast (ratchet, or if they are more, ratchets). Gulets can have up to six masts and even seven, but most have two.


A Yawl is similar to a ketch and also has a mizzen pole shorter than the mainmast. The difference is that the yola’s demesan mast is located outside the waterline length, so the mizzen sail is smaller.

We hope that with the help of V de Bravado, our favorite Premià de Mar boathouse, you have understood the different types of sailing boats.

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