Humans have been sailing the seas for a very long time. In the beginning, boats ventured at sea for fishing, but they were also the only means of transportation and connection between islands. As ships increased in dimension, they also started to be used for warfare. Ships became a means for transporting goods at sea or on rivers and eventually also for moving passengers. Over time, the reasons for shipbuilding have changed, and so have the design, materials, and construction techniques of vessels. Commercial objectives drove shipbuilders’ choices. Onboard comforts and aesthetics were not a priority.
It is also worth remembering that until around the 1700’s, there were no schools of shipbuilding, designs, or rules, and all knowledge was passed down orally by skilled shipbuilders. The construction of a ship is an ancient craft that did not evolve much for centuries.
The advent or recreational sailing drastically changed things. Sailing for pleasure is a recent practice. It is only in the course of the last two centuries that navigation for pleasure or sports did start. Read on.