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Use of the wind is one of the oldest forms of powering a boat. Sailboats range in size and complexity, but all have basically the same four components.

  • The hull carries the passengers and supports the rigging.
  • The rigging includes many parts of the sailboat, such as the lines (sheets and halyards), mainsail, headsail (jib), boom, and mast.
  • The keel or centerboard is attached to the bottom of the hull and keeps the boat from sliding sideways through the water.
  • The rudder is used to steer the sailboat, turned by a tiller or steering wheel.
Parts of a sailboat