A dinghy
A 17th-century sailing raft in Paita harbour (Peru).[1]: 198 

A watercraft or waterborne vessel is a conveyance for travel across or under water, such as a boat, ship, yacht, hovercraft or submarine.


Watercraft include ships, boats, canoes, kayaks, surfboards, and sailboards, many of which have a variety of subcategories and uses.[2]


Main article: Naval architecture

The design of watercraft requires a tradeoff among internal capacity (tonnage), speed and seaworthiness. Tonnage is important for transport of goods, speed is important for warships and racing vessels, and the degree of seaworthiness varies according to the bodies of water on which a watercraft is used. Regulations apply to larger watercraft, to avoid foundering at sea and other problems. Design technologies include the use of computer modeling and ship model basin testing before construction.[3]


Watercraft may be propelled by poles, paddles, or oars, sails or engines.[2]

A Severn-class lifeboat in Poole Harbour, Dorset, England.

See also


  1. ^ McGrail, Sean (2014). Early ships and seafaring : water transport beyond Europe. Barnsley. ISBN 9781473825598.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  2. ^ a b Thomas, Isabel (2014-01-01). First Book of Ships and Boats. A&C Black. ISBN 978-1-4729-0105-7.
  3. ^ Tupper, Eric (1996). Introduction to Naval Architecture. Oxford, England: Butterworth-Heinemann.