111 Facts About Sailboats For The Budding Sailor In You | Kidadl


111 Facts About Sailboats For The Budding Sailor In You

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A sailboat, as the name suggests, is a boat that is mainly operated with the help of sails and may or may not be motorized.

Depending on the purpose and the region where they are found, sailboats can be designed to meet various requirements. Having a rich historical background and popular association to perhaps one of the most well-known sports, sailboats have more to them than what meets the eye.

Developed in olden times, with a pretty basic design and purpose, to navigate the seas and oceans by manipulating the sails, sailboats today use modern technologies to be developed and operated. Whether it is to engage in competitive racing, to help with maritime trade, or just to take it out and enjoy cruises during the summer, to chill with friends and family with the sun shining bright and the wind flowing through your hair, a sailboat has various fun uses that can be enjoyed by all. We will go through some fun and educational sailboat facts and afterward, also check out our facts about why do boats float and the history of boats.

Fun Facts About Sailboats

There is a lot that can be learned about sailboats but we thought we'd start out with some fantastically fun facts:

  • The famous phrase 'feeling blue' originated on the ocean on a sailboat. The term originated when one sailboat lost its captain while on a voyage, leading other sailors to sail blue flags to note their mourning.
  • This practice to sail blue flags became popular during sea voyages, and later, the phrase feeling blue came to be used in the English language to describe feeling sad.
  • It is easier to sail eastward because the calculation of wind and currents is more predictable than when sailing westwards.
  • Another phrase invented while sailing was 'loose cannon'. Cannons aboard boats used to be extremely heavy, weighing over 3000 lb (1360.8 kg). If and when one was loose, it ran the risk of severely damaging the ship, perhaps by creating a hole and letting the water in, which would ultimately sink the tall ship. So, just as a loose cannon is dangerous for a ship, similarly, a person who is a loose cannon is also tricky, therefore bringing the phrase into the English language.
  • There is an ideal sailing speed. Yes, that is right, like with cars, even sailing boats have superior sailing speeds. In the case of sailboats, this varies based on a lot of factors such as the boat’s capacity, hull design and structure, and more, but as a general standard, 8-12 knots, which roughly equals 8-12 mph (12.9-19.3 kph), is suggested as the ideal sailing speed.
  • While most sailors stick to operating a 35 ft (10.7 m) boat alone, a world record has been awarded to Francois Gabart for using a 100 ft (30.5 m) sailboat all on his own. This is not an easy task and requires a lot of training and mental agility.
  • Solo sailing is also termed short-handed sailing. The reason behind this name is that when sailing solo, sailors need to rig all of the systems and sheets in their cockpit to easily manipulate other sections while they steer the ship how they want.
  • Jessica Watson of Australia was the youngest sailor ever to circumnavigate the Earth. She did this just before her 17th birthday.
  • Laura Dekker of the Netherlands broke Jessica’s record at 16 years and 123 days of age when circumnavigating the world solo.
  • Spending so much time on the ocean in a boat gave rise to many sailing superstitions and stories. One of the most commonly known superstitions was that whistling during a voyage was terrible luck. Except for the ship’s cook, no one else on the ship’s crew was allowed to whistle as it was believed to invite solid and destructive winds.
  • Another popular superstition was that bananas on board were terrible luck. This superstition was prevalent on fishing boats as fishers thought that they would not catch fish on a voyage if there were bananas on board.
  • Cats, on the other hand, were a sign of good luck. This belief was so popular that it was even seen in Viking history. Sailors would adopt cats, seeing them as a sign of good luck.

Historical Facts About Sailboats

Sailboats were invented around 4000 BC by the Egyptians and Phoenicians. A fundamental design of using a square cloth, tied to a wooden log, attached to a narrowboat was used ever since the creation of both the sail and the boat. They have, however, undergone massive changes in the originating regions and other parts of the world.

  • There were no large sailboats or sailing ships until the renaissance period. Before this, while there were a lot of sailboats, and they were growing trendy very quickly, the architects of the time were not able to properly design a correctly functioning large sailboat or sailing ship.
  • During the  14th century,  Jeanne de Clisson, a French woman belonging to a noble family, was known to use the sailing route through the English channel for 13 years, killing voyagers and causing damage to French ships, as revenge for the murder of her husband. She became the captain of a fleet consisting of black ships with red sailing flags and named it My Revenge.
  • Sailing has been an Olympics sport since the 1800s. One of the longest-running Olympic sports, sailing was first introduced to the Olympics in 1896 and has since been included in all Olympic and other major sporting events, including the current world Olympic sports. However, it was not included in the 1904 Summer Games.
  • The first person who sailed solo across the world was Joshua Slocomb. He hailed from Nova Scotia and circumnavigated across the world in 1898, making himself the first person to sail solo across the world. He authored a book describing his adventure, which was a bestseller.
  • The world’s smallest sailboat was constructed by a Polish sailor named Szymon Kuczynski, who created a sailboat that was barely 20 ft (6.1 m) long. He even took a journey around the world in this boat.
A sailing yacht is a bigger boat that has a keel as well as a cabin.

Facts About Sailboats Racing

As has already been mentioned, sailboat racing and the use of sailboats in sports is very popular so we thought we'd check out some interesting facts about sailboat racing:

  • Sailboats do not move very fast but are highly efficient for any type of sailor. With a maximum speed of four to six knots, equivalent to 4-7 mph (6.4-11.3 kph), they are pretty slow but can continue the journey throughout the day and night, making them very efficient.
  • However, this does not apply to all sailboats. Multihull sailboats can achieve higher speeds at sea.
  • Sailboat racing is an extreme sport. When done on a vast scale, there is even the risk of drowning, dying, or getting lost at sea. When done on a small scale, perhaps locally, such chances are almost zero.
  • Paul Larson of Australia set the fastest sailing speed world record of 65.45 knots or 75 mph (120.7 kph).
  • The women’s fastest world record sailing speed is 37.6 knots, achieved by Heidi Ulrich.
  • A trendy sailing sport, the Regatta is conducted following the Racing Rules of Sailing.

Facts About Uses Of Sailboats

Sailboats have multiple uses. Most commonly, they are used to travel to far-off places, particularly islands, which are quite a distance from the land and where there is no other way to reach. It provides an opportunity for tourists to visit new places which might not otherwise be accessible.

  • Historically, sailboats and ships have been used widely for their ease in conducting trade and commerce. Even today, ships carrying cargo are a primary source of promoting and aiding international trade and business.
  • When sailboats were used to carry women from one place to another, they often gave birth on board. In cases where no one aboard the ship claimed a newly born boy, his name would be registered in the ship's log as 'son of a gun'.
  • The History Supreme is probably the most expensive sailboat in the world.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 111 Facts about sailboats for the budding sailor in you then why not take a look at Viking longship facts, or Coral Princess ship facts?

Hemant Oswal
Written By
Hemant Oswal

<p>With global experience in marketing and business development, Hemant is a seasoned professional with a unique perspective. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi and a Master's degree in Marketing from The University of Adelaide in Australia. Hemant's work in China, Hong Kong, and Dubai has honed his skills and provided valuable experience. He broadens his understanding of the world through reading non-fiction books and watching documentaries.</p>

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