People in the boating industry use various names to refer to different parts of a boat. So, what’s the front of the boat called? This article has the answer.
There are thousands of people out there, who call the front of a boat, simply as the front. And you may be probably one of them. But, the front of a boat has an actual name. And we will explore more about that part in this article.
The front part of a boat is known as the hull. It’s designed to enable a boat’s hull to pass through the water efficiently. Boats come with different types of hulls. They include plumb bows, ax bows, clipper bows, raked bows, bulbous bows, inverted bows, and cylindrical bows, among others.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the front of the boat, what it’s called, as well as the different types that you may come across. So, by the time you finish going through this article, you will have all the information you may need regarding the front part of a boat.
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Boats and ships encounter a considerable amount of resistance in water more than in air. When compared to air, water tends to produce more drag and resistance. Therefore, ships and boats have to be designed in such a way that the resistance and drag will be kept at a minimum. And the front part of a boat plays a significant role in this.
What is the Front of the Boat Called?
The front part of a boat is known as the bow. The bow is the first part of a boat or ship to encounter water, once it starts sailing. A boat’s bow is designed in such a way that it will enable the boat to pass efficiently through the water.
Types of Bows
Boat bows come in different shapes, depending on the vessel’s speed, the waterways it will be navigating, as well as its function. But regardless of the type of vessel, a boat’s bow should be designed in a way that will reduce resistance. Also, it should be tall enough to minimize instances of water washing regularly over its top.
There are different designs and shapes of bows out there. The shape that you will choose for your vessel will depend on where you will be operating it, expected speeds and aesthetics. With that said, here are some of the most popular types of bows.
A plumb bow is a straight-edged vertical bow, perpendicularly aligned to the waters when a ship is moving. It’s the most preferred bow for seagoing water vessels. A plumb bow delivers the best stability. Also, it gives a boat or ship a smooth ride, even if you happen to encounter choppy waters. Besides giving the ship a smooth ride, a plumb bow also makes a ship or boat safer. Also, it enables a boat’s hull to cut through waters with minimal resistance, resulting in maximum savings in fuel costs.
A clipper bow features a straightforward and high sides. It’s designed to play two main roles. First, a clipper bow is designed to enable a ship to cut through waters fast with minimal resistance. Secondly, it helps to enhance a boat’s looks, thanks to its stylish and sleek design. Most modern boats come with a clipper bow.
Raked bows are popular bows that you will find on most wooden ships and boats. It features a long, sloping shape, designed to increase the sea-worthiness of wooden boats.
When viewed from the side, a ship with a raked bow will also appear longer than it is. As a result, it will make it more seaworthy than it is, thus making it more attractive to the buyer.
Raked bows have been around since the 1920s. During then, they were mainly used on passenger vessels and luxury liners. Today, you will find these types of bows on cruising or vacationing boats.
Axes are mainly designed for cutting and chopping trees. And the ax bow plays a similar role in ships, which is cutting through the water. Ax bows feature a narrow and long design, with a vertical stem line.
This design enables the boat to glide smoothly through the eaves. An ax bow also helps to minimize up and down movements of a boat. However, an ax bow also comes with its fair share of drawbacks. For instance, a boat that has this bow will need more power while maneuvering, and this may lead to higher fuel consumption.
In this type of bow, you will find a protruding bulb from the hull, just under the waterline. In this design, the water will be flowing around the bow, thus helping to reduce resistance while increasing fuel efficiency. And with the reduced resistance, a boat with a bulbous is also capable of traveling at higher speeds, compared to those that don’t have one. A bulbous bow will also help to enhance a boat’s stability. Bulbous bows are usually found in larger vessels like passenger ships, cargo ships, naval vessels and tankers, among others.
Also called a reverse bow, an inverted bow is one where the bottom part of the hull extends outwards the most instead of the top part. Inverted bows are designed to maximize the waterline. And this leads to better hydrodynamic drag and higher hull speed, compared to conventional bows. Inverted bows achieve this aspect by sacrificing buoyancy since they dive beneath the waves as opposed to riding above them.
Inverted bows also help to reduce up and down movements in a boat, resulting in a comfortable ride. Boats with an inverted bow are highly maneuverable and operable. Also, these types of bows are highly fuel-efficient. Besides, inverted bows can also serve as a deck, meaning they can accommodate extra crew.
Cylindrical bows are characterized by a flat bottom and a circular cross-section. These bows tend to be much stronger, compared to pointed bows. Also, the chances of the bow catching or tagging on a submerged object are minimal, as opposed to pointed bows. The main advantage of a cylindrical bow is that it will deliver more surface area for water around the boat to flow around, thus helping to reduce drag and resistance to the boat’s forward movement.
Wrapping It Up
If you have been asking yourself what the front of the boat is called, now you have the answer. It’s called the bow. And, there are various types and designs of bows, which you will come across out there.
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson