Are they sailing/driving this boat.

  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    At some point in the size of the boat I think it changes to "piloting". "Captain" is also a verb, and it means driving. "Skipper" is both a noun and a verb.

    But I would agree with Uncle Jack, a motor boat does not get "sailed", sailboats do.
     

    rituparnahoymoy

    Senior Member
    Assamese -India
    At some point in the size of the boat I think it changes to "piloting". "Captain" is also a verb, and it means driving. "Skipper" is both a noun and a verb.

    But I would agree with Uncle Jack, a motor boat does not get "sailed", sailboats do.
    So if the boat gets bigger in size it should be appropriate to use piloting and captaining as the verbs. Like in this picture.

     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    So if the boat gets bigger in size it should be appropriate to use piloting and captaining as the verbs.
    I'm not so sure. There must come a point at which you can no longer use "drive": you don't drive an oil tanker, a cross-channel ferry or a luxury yacht. To me, "piloting" suggests manoeuvering the vessel in a confined space, while "captaining" implies being in charge of it. You could "steer" a vessel too close to the rocks so that it ran aground, but I'd have thought "sail" was the most usual all-purpose verb.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I, too, have no problem with "sail" being used as a verb for people navigating, steering and otherwise controlling a motorised boat, but when it comes to a small motorboat, punt, rowing boat, scull, kayak or canoe, where you can clearly make out what the people are doing and there is a specific term available to describe it, then I would always use the more specific term: Drive, punt, row, scull or paddle, as the case may be, or "sail", for people controlling a boat driven by the wind. In ordinary English there is overlap between "row" and "scull" and "row" and "paddle", but few people would look at a boat being propelled by oars or a punt and use the verb "sail" to describe what the people in the boat were doing (though they might describe the boat itself as sailing).
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I would semi-arbitrarily say that a boat requires a pilothouse before there would be a pilot. Most yachts have a pilot house and many cruisers have both outdoors and indoors piloting arrangements.

    This 53 foot Hatteras has both an indoors (pilothouse) and a outdoor wheel with engine controls, and the boat can be piloted from either. The pilot can be seen in the outdoors station in the photo.

    I agree that a captain sounds like someone barking orders, more that steering a ship. ("Right full rudder. Full speed ahead!")



    Here is the interior pilothouse:


    I had assumed that "pilot house" was two words. It is not. (I learned something new today!)
     

    rituparnahoymoy

    Senior Member
    Assamese -India
    I, too, have no problem with "sail" being used as a verb for people navigating, steering and otherwise controlling a motorised boat, but when it comes to a small motorboat, punt, rowing boat, scull, kayak or canoe, where you can clearly make out what the people are doing and there is a specific term available to describe it, then I would always use the more specific term: Drive, punt, row, scull or paddle, as the case may be, or "sail", for people controlling a boat driven by the wind. In ordinary English there is overlap between "row" and "scull" and "row" and "paddle", but few people would look at a boat being propelled by oars or a punt and use the verb "sail" to describe what the people in the boat were doing (though they might describe the boat itself as sailing).




    I will use "rowing" for this type of a boat.






    I will use "paddling" for this type of boat.





    I will use " sculling" for this type of boat. Here the both the oars I think are fixed to a point. And the rider is propelling the boat using both the oars at the same time rather than pulling the oars alternately.


    In the picture in the original post. I will use "driving" as suggested by you.


    For ships I will use " captaining". And for boats which move forward using wind I will use "sailing".


    Am I right?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English




    I will use "rowing" for this type of a boat.






    I will use "paddling" for this type of boat.





    I will use " sculling" for this type of boat. Here the both the oars I think are fixed to a point. And the rider is propelling the boat using both the oars at the same time rather than pulling the oars alternately.


    In the picture in the original post. I will use "driving" as suggested by you.


    For ships I will use " captaining". And for boats which move forward using wind I will use "sailing".


    Am I right?
    These vessels (boats?) are also propelled by paddles:


    (Though we spell it "canoe" and "kayak" in American English.)
     

    rituparnahoymoy

    Senior Member
    Assamese -India
    You are quite correct, but don't be surprised to find other people calling it "rowing". Also, there is a different type of sculling, using just one oar:
    Very confusing for a non-native speaker. The sport hasn't grown here so much in my country. Probably there are specific words in my own langauge too, but which I am unware of.

    I will just use "paddling", or "rowing" for this unless someone who is an expert corrects me. Because there are other words too like "canoeing", "Kayaking", but this getting into the specifics.

    And Driving for very small machine boats two or four seaters.

    And either "piloting'' or "captaining" for bigger yachts and ships.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In terms of the original picture, which showed a small motorboat, I would probably say that they are operating the boat. None of the other options is completely appropriate.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    There is also "poling" a boat (notably in Venice)


    And the propulsion-method-of-last-resort:

     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    In terms of the original picture, which showed a small motorboat, I would probably say that they are operating the boat. None of the other options is completely appropriate.
    It is probably the best choice for this image. But "maneuvering", "docking" and other specific tasks might call for those specific words.
     

    rituparnahoymoy

    Senior Member
    Assamese -India
    It is probably the best choice for this image. But "maneuvering", "docking" and other specific tasks might call for those specific words.
    I want to know the other words, for people who is on the boat.

    Should I call them "boat riders" or "boaters", here in the picture.


     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I want to know the other words, for people who is on the boat.

    Should I call them "boat riders" or "boaters", here in the picture.


    That is probably a second question and best to start a new thread. "Passengers" covers a lot of ground however.
     
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