A sailboat could be of any dimension. It could be larger than a sail board, and smaller than a sailing ship. However, the distinctions in size are not strictly spelled out, and what constitutes a sailing ship or a sailboat basically varies by region. Sailboats can also be distinguished by hull configuration. There are three basic types: catamaran, monohull, and trimaran. Another distinguishing factor is the keel type, which could be full, fin, centerboard, etc. A sailboat could be used for sport or cruising, and accordingly the configuration of masts and sail plan differ. Interestingly, its terminology has varied greatly across history.
Sailboat charter vacations are holidays taken aboard a sailboat. There are dedicated charter rentals easily accessible today, and the vessels have distinct features that need to be identified and understood. The most common type of sailboat is the sloop, with one mast and two sails. The two sails comprise a main sail and a foresail. This simple design is very efficient for sailing 'towards' the wind. Depending on the foresail size and design, it is referred to as genoa, jib, or spimmaker. On a fractional rig sloop design, the forestay connects to some point below the mast. This enables the top of the mast to be raked aft, and this gives a performance advantage under certain conditions due to the flattened sails. While the big mainsail provides most of the drive, the headsail is just right for a small crew to manage.
A catboat can also be considered. This design has a single mast and does not sport a head sail. While most modern designs have one mainsail, the traditional catboats could flaunt multiple sails. Ketches have a second shorter mast to the stern of the mainmast. This feature is called the mizzen mast. A ketch can also be cutter-rigged. A yawl is similar, but with a mizzen mast shorter than the main mast. Generally, the mizzen on a yawl is used more for balance than propulsion. A schooner can have two or more masts. Traditional sailboats are gaining a lot of popularity today. The monohull relies on ballast for stability; however, this gives the monohull great inertia, which also makes it less maneuverable.
There are a number of dedicated resources that make detailed information on the different types of sailboats and individual features available 24×7. These resources can be tapped online, or at the various brick-and-mortar travel agents. It is important to choose the right vessel, in accordance to the region and weather conditions. The price tag on quality charter vacations are reasonable, considering the once-in-a-lifetime experience the vacation offers the family. Sailboat charter rentals can be pre-budgeted, and also come with attractive features such as a detailed map, guide, manning facilities, and detailed information on the functionality of the geometry of the chosen vessel.
Most of the sailing vessels on display today are known for their stability. They are designed to be as lightweight as possible, and at the same time offer the cruising family on board structural integrity. Many of the latest designs come with foam-filled flotation chambers that are certified 'unsinkable'. The hull itself has the needed buoyancy to remain afloat. Most of the sailboats available at charters or rentals for sailing vacations flaunt the absence of ballast for top speed.
Sailboat charters or rentals offer real value for the investment, and a lifetime of fond memories.