Interesting Facts about Boats

It is one of the culture-inspired things in America that people love boating. Most Americans have their own boats, which they take out for a ride during family holidays or solo trips. Other people who do not own boats simply rent them out. It is why boating culture has exponentially increased in the past decades.  

According to statistics, the US leisure boat market has been steadily booming since 2018, and it is expected to reach about 14.22 billion USD by the end of 2028. If you have ever been interested in boating, whether personal or rented, there is tons of information about types of boats, techniques, and rentals.

1. Americans Own More Than 11 Million Recreational Boats 

You might be one of them, as approximately 11.8 million Americans are boat owners. With the rise in this leisure activity, official statistics show a steady 3% increase in the number of boat owners every year. [1]

2. In 2004, an Unfortunate Yacht Incident Happened Near Hippie Hollow, Texas 

In 2004, a yacht fell over and sank near the Hippie Hollow, Texas. Passengers on board were going for a party who crowded one side of the yacht in hopes of catching a glimpse of nude sunbathers at the nudist beach.

3. A Boat is lighter than a Ship 

If you use the words boat and ship synonymously, you cannot be more wrong. A boat is any mode of water transport that weighs less than 500 tons. On the other hand, a mode of water transport weighing more than 500 tons is a ship. Also, a ship is square-rigged with more or less three masts, while the boat does not have masts. 

Given the weight and mechanical qualities compared to a boat, a ship is made to go deep into the ocean water. [2]

4. A Big Russian Cruise Ship Has Been Sailing in the Open Waters of the Atlantic Since 2013

A big Russian cruise ship, the MV Lyubov Orlova, broke free from the towing line while it was going to the scrapyard in 2013. According to the Maritime Authorities, that big cruise ship has been sailing unmanned in the open ocean waters. 

It was a high-class Yugoslav ice-strengthened Maria Yermolova class cruise ship used for big Atlantic tours. It was decommissioned in 2010 and was on its way to a scrapyard in the Dominican Republic. [3]

5. Whistling On the Boat Is Considered a Bad Omen 

Since medieval times, sailors who spent numerous days on ships in the ocean considered strong winds the greatest enemy. Since that time, sailors considered whistling a bad omen for the sailing boat or ship. 

It is imagined that whistling on the ship brings stormy weather, thus affecting an otherwise smooth sail due to the storm. By the same rule, singing is also considered a bad omen. 

6. Another Bad Omen for Ships and Boats Is to Carry Bananas Onboard 

It is called the banana superstition, which originated back in the 1700s. During that time, a series of unfortunate sea incidents happened to the boats or ships, most of which were carrying bananas. Since then, having bananas onboard while journeying via the sea is considered a sign of misfortune or danger. 

7. A Man Who Got a Second Chance at Life Died In the Unfortunate Titanic Incident 

A man had gotten a second chance at life in 1871 when he was luckily saved from a sinking ship. He was considered quite fortunate until he got his ticket for Titanic. He boarded the Titanic only to lose his life in the same manner after 41 years.

8. A Dutch Ship Evaded Japanese Bombers for a Long Time during WWII

During the Battle of the Java Sea in 1942, the last Dutch warship surviving till the last was the HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen. The warship had planned to escape to Australia but soon got stranded and left alone. The crew members aboard had the most fantastic ideas of all time to survive the bombings. 

They decided to give their ship a makeover to look like an island. They cut down the trees from the nearest island and chopped timber. The crew was successful in doing so, the camouflage was perfect, and the ship survived for quite a long time. [4]

9. A US Airways Flight 1549 Made a Water Landing in 2009

Manned by Sullenberger, the US Airways Flight 1549 made a water landing on 5th January 2009. Sullenberger made a deliberate and conscious landing on the water while ditching the airliners nearby so that the rescue teams could easily reach the passengers. [5]

By the time rescue teams arrived, people had gotten out of the plane safely and were resting on the plane’s wings which floated as mini boats on the Hudson River in New York. 

10. The World’s Longest Yacht Is About 179.7 Meters Long 

Interestingly, the world’s longest yacht is that it measures about 179.7 meters in length. This larger-than-life yacht is owned by the Royal Family of Abu Dhabi and was built in 2013. This super-luxury yacht is called Azzam and is adorned with exquisite French interior design. The net worth of Azzam is $600 million. [6]

11. Boats Can Last Up To 10 to 25 Years

The lifespan of a boat is in between 10 to 25 years. However, this figure can vary from 5 years to a couple more years, depending on the quality of materials used to construct the boat. Another factor impacting the lifespan of a boat or ship is its maintenance.

12. The Word Quarantine Was Used For the Boats during the Plague Outbreak 

We all are pretty familiar with the word quarantine nowadays. This word originated from the times when a plague outbreak forced the ships to wait at the dock for about forty days. So, previously, the number 40 and the word quarantine went hand in hand for sailors and boat crew members.

13. Boats Hold a Significant Value in Egyptian Culture and Their Belief in the Afterlife 

Egyptians believe that their souls are carried across the river during their afterlife. So, the image of a boat in their funeral denotes easy to travel to the afterlife. They also have concepts of Funeral Boats, which according to them, carry dead people to their destined places in the afterlife. 

14. Another Myth about Bringing Bad Luck to the Ship or Boat Is Having Redheads On Board 

Sailors in the previous times held a myth that having redheaded people on board brings bad luck. It was a powerful custom in the past, and often redheaded people were not allowed on the cruise. The sailors avoided redheads at any cost. However, if they had to talk to each other, the sailor was obligated to speak first to mitigate the danger. 

15. Boats are Never Renamed 

Once given a name and christened, changing the name of the boat or ship is also considered to bring bad luck to the journey. 

16. The Fastest Boat Ever Was Built in 1978

The first fastest boat ever was constructed in 1978 in Australia. It was named the Spirit of Australia as it could reach about 317 miles per hour. The ship had a flat bottom to reach such high speeds. [7]

17. The Knock Nevis is The Largest Ship in the World 

Also formerly known as Seawise Giant, The Knock Nevis, is the largest ship in the world. It is owned by Norway and is a supertanker measuring up to 458 meters in length and 69 meters in width. Its other names are Happy Giant and Jahre Viking. 

18. The Tiniest Boat in the World Is Only 0.03 Inches 

Measuring up to 0.03 inches, the world’s smallest boat is so tiny that it can pass through the inside of a human hair. [8]

19. The Most Used Sea Route Is Suez Canal 

Suez Canal is the most famous sea route taken by ships and boats globally. In 2020 only, approximately 19,000 ships took this sea route for transit purposes and reached their destination. 

20. Vasa Sank In 1628 and Recovered In 1961 in Perfect Condition 

Astonishingly, a ship that sank into the Baltic Sea in 1628 was recovered in 1961 without any damages at all. The ship’s state was immaculate as it sank in the sheltered harbor in the Baltic Sea, which saved it from the raging sea storms. [9]

Miracles Happen – Even at Seas 

Sea miracles are among the most astonishing and interesting ones as they blow people’s minds off with their absurdity and science. Although Americans love their boats so much, only a few know about them and are familiar with these interesting facts. 

References 

  1. https://themariner.com/blog/how-many-boats-registered-in-us/ 
  2. https://www.marineinsight.com/types-of-ships/7-differences-between-a-ship-and-a-boat/ 
  3. https://www.abandonedspaces.com/uncategorized/ghost-ship-abandoned-russian-cruise-ship-thats-roaming-international-waters.html?chrome=1
  4. https://www.businessinsider.com/a-stranded-dutch-warship-evaded-japanese-bombers-in-wwii-by-disgusing-itself-as-an-island-2015-7
  5. https://www.pagecentertraining.psu.edu/public-relations-ethics/ethics-in-crisis-management/lesson-2-access-to-information-during-a-crisis/case-study-tbd/
  6. https://www.atlasmarinesystems.com/most-expensive-yachts
  7. https://www.sea.museum/2017/11/20/ken-warby-and-spirit-of-australia-still-the-world-record-holder-39-years-later
  8. https://www.livescience.com/52323-tiniest-snail-discovered.html
  9. https://faculty.up.edu/lulay/failure/vasacasestudy.pdf