Tennessee Boating Safety Course


CHAPTER 1: The Boat


Boats come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes—and so do their hulls. Despite the variety, all hulls are designed to do one of only two things: either displace water, or ride on top of it, which is called planing.

Sailing boats, slow-moving boats, and large boats like cruise ships have displacement hulls. The combination of their weight and power means they move lower in the water, pushing or displacing water, rather than riding on top of it.

Smaller, faster boats, like powerboats or personal watercraft, typically have planing hulls. Planing hulls are designed to rise up and ride on top of the water at higher speeds.

Now let’s look at some specific hull types.