AskDefine | Define keelboat

Dictionary Definition

keelboat n : river boat with a shallow draught and a keel but no sails; used to carry freight; moved by rowing or punting or towing

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Any sailboat having a keel (as opposed to a centerboard or daggerboard).

Extensive Definition

Keelboat has two distinct meanings, related to two different types of boat.
One is a keeled boat built for the navigation of rivers, especially in America. It is similar to a riverboat, but is typically controlled with oars or poles. Keelboats have been used for exploration, such as the Lewis and Clark Expedition, but were primarily used to transport cargo in the early 19th century. The process of moving a keelboat upriver was extremely difficult. Most of these keelboats were from 50 to 80 feet long and 15 feet wide. They usually had a cabin in the middle, but were sometimes left open. Mike Fink is probably the most noted keelboater in history.
The term keelboat is also used to describe any sailboat which has a keel, as opposed to a centerboard or daggerboard. The term is most often used by sailors of the latter type of boat.
keelboat in German: Keelboat
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