America's cup and sailing terminology

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Packard, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    Context:

    The latest America's Cup racing competition allowed catamaran hulls and air foil "sails" (which would be more accurately called "wings"). The tall main sail had a fabric covered structure that did not capture the wind but rather behaved like a aircraft's wing. It allowed the boats to travel faster than the wind that was driving them.

    See: http://www.americascup.com/en/news/...-vs-spithill-for-winner-take-all-race-at-1315


    Question:

    Should these be called "wing" boats?
     
  2. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    I suppose they could be, but nobody calls them that. The term "sailboat" for a vessel smaller than a ship and powered by wind is well established. It exists, today, independently of the two words from which it was originally derived.
     

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