Guide to Motorboats

Motor boat

With so many different types of boats available, we bring you this beginner's guide to Motorboats. We hope it will help you make the right choice when buying a boat.

What is a motorboat?

A motorboat is a power driven vessel with an internal combustion engine driving a jet pump or propeller. Even a sailboat, while it has an engine running, is technically a power driven vessel. The term motor boating refers to motorised cruising vessels used for leisure.

A little bit of history!

Many names contributed to the invention of the motorboat. Charles Raymond Hunt was responsible for introducing the deep v-shaped hull in 1963, one of the motorboats most important advances. Renato Levi is given credit for the evolution of the motorboat, particularly developing unique concepts - improving the performance of racing boats. Rudolph Diesel also helped make advancements in motorboat industry. He is best known for inventing a 25-horsepower, four-stroke, single vertical compression engine.

Types of motorboats

A speedboat is a small motorboat designed to move quickly. It is often used in races and for water skiing. Even inflatable boats and dinghies with a motor attached are classed as types of motorboats.

The three popular variations of motorboats are: inboard, inboard / outboard and outboard. If the engine is fitted within the boat, it's called a powerplant. If it's a removable section attached to the boat, it's known as an outboard motor.

Motor cruisers offer a range of amenities, depending on the number of passengers and the type of the cruising. They range from small vessels equipped with basic essentials for a short cruise to much larger holiday crafts complete with shower, cooker and sleeping accommodation.

Where to begin

All first time motorboat cruisers should have some form of training. As a rule, the larger the motorboat and the longer the journey, the greater the level of training is required.

Beginners can rent small vessels for a short cruise, without needing much training. This will help you get to grips with the basic motorboat controls. Courses are available for beginners which cover the basic areas of handling the boat. The Royal Yachting Association offers three levels of courses, from a two day helmsman course offering basic boat handling, helmsmanship and engine maintenance to a five-day coastal skipper course.

A great way to start motorboating is to combine your motor boating course with a holiday, either in the UK or across the European mainland. A number of well known activity holiday companies are RYA training centres and offer courses with certificates.

Where to use your motorboat

Motorboating is the perfect way to explore Britain's many rivers –the Norfolk Broads, the Yorkshire dales, the historic city of York and the River Thames.

But there is no need to limit cruising to UK waters. Ireland, Germany, France and many other European countries offer a number of beautiful and interesting waterways.

From inland lakes to rivers and overseas, motor boating offers a relaxing and fun pastime. Unlike sailboats, there is no need to wait for the right wind conditions before setting sail.

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