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Sail or Power?


What type and size boat fits the recreational activities you desire?

If you already enjoy boating, you probably already know if you are a “stinkpot” lover or a sailor at heart. But you may not yet know just which type and size boat will meet your recreational goals—or fit your budget. The sites below can help you consider all the options.

A tip if you’re not a boater yet, or can’t decide whether you want to sail or motor.

Becoming part of a local boating club before you buy is a smart thing to do. Become involved with the right group, and you’ll learn about all types of boats, learn how to become a good crewmember, and generally gain your “sea legs.” The links below under “Find a boat club” can help you find one in your area.

What type of boat is right for you?

Boat Types, a page from, provides a short description and sketch of 37 types of power boats and sailboats.

Boating Activities. From fishing to skiing to cruising or day sailing, lists boats suitable for a variety of activities.

“Finding the boat you want.” This article raises questions to consider in choosing the right boat. It’s from Boat U.S., the Boat Owners Association of the United States (

Information about sailboats

discoversailing This site from bills itself as a “convenient way to get connected to the world of sailing.” It offers the Sailboat Wizard, a questionnaire that may help you determine what type sailboat fits your interests and budget.

US Sailing, the national governing body of sailing in the United States, provides “Getting Started,” a site that provides a discussion of different types of sailboats and other resources.

“The Sailing Life and You: Choosing the Right Boat” by Tom Linskey, published by Sail Magazine and available online on Discover Boating, profiles three popular types of boats—off-the-beach boats, daysailors, and coastal cruisers.

Information about power boats Sponsored by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, this site offers introductory information and numerous articles about power boating, links to other power boating sites, an international calendar of boat shows, and other information on safety, maintenance, and boat owners education.

Find a boat club

The Council of Sailing Associations provides lists by state of sailing clubs, yacht clubs and other member organizations.

United States Power Squadrons is a non-profit organization of boating enthusiasts who emphasize boating education and service to the community. Members belong to many local power and sail squadrons. They provide a search program to help you locate local squadrons. lists yacht, sail, fish, and power boat clubs.

In addition there are hundreds of boating clubs with a Web presence. A good way to locate other clubs near you is to enter “boating clubs” plus the name of your city and state on the search line of your favorite search engine.

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