Engineers have always wanted to make sea travel faster and more efficient. They wondered how they can get hold of a power source good enough to take them to faraway lands. In ancient Egypt, they began making plans for a boat that could harness the power of the wind and made the first sailboat. This led to the physics of how a sailboat works being studied. Then designers began thinking up more hydrodynamic and fast models. Nowadays, modern sailboats come equipped with GPS, sonar, solar panels, a hydrodynamic body to reduce drag, and even a propeller just in case the wind stops.
A long time ago, boats were used to travel to faraway lands, and you would have to row on them manually in order to go where you needed or to employ a lot of men to do so. Until someone in ancient Egypt got the idea of using something to catch the wind force and be pushed along by it. This was the birth of the sailboat.
A sailboat has a sail which can be rotated to catch the wind and use its force to move. The sail is a multi-purpose device as it’s used to start, stop, slow down, go faster and steer the boat. There are also seven different types of sailboats that are defined by their shape and sail, and those have variations in speed, acceleration and steering.
The first sailboats made in Egypt used suspended cloth to pull small boats along rivers. These boats could move with the wind but be extremely hard to steer.
Around 2000 BC, sailboats became larger and more useful as people learned how to manoeuvre properly under wind power. Designs also became stronger and faster. Ocean trade networks were established all around the Mediterranean. Inland sailing was still common, and sailboats still did use ores sometimes for a bit of extra force or to help steer. The Romans made some of the best warships out of the sailboat, many held archers and boarding parties armed with swords.
Vikings were also famous for making sailboats as well, and they sailed a lot, settling in many places.
The British, Spanish and Chinese were known to use sailboats for resource trade and travelling. They would continue to increase in speed and size as the years went by.
The 19-20th century is when the modern sailboat arrived. Masters of marine architecture and boatbuilders would perfect them to make them as efficient as possible.
After World War Two, a lightweight and strong material known as fibreglass was used in the making of sailboats. Sailboats were even coming equipped with a living space that could be easily afforded by an average American. Many companies were making their own designs and were competing to dominate the sailboat market.
These days there is a lot in terms of technology. All that could be implemented in sailboats as well. From sonar to radar and GPS tracking, the number of technological and physical upgrades we can give to sailboats is almost limitless. This could entirely change the future of sailboats.
One concept I’ve seen in a sailboat made using a catamaran ( it is a boat hull with two halves and waves can go underneath for a smooth ride ) combined with foils that make it into a sort of hydrofoil (a boat that once it reaches a certain speed is practically able to sail just over the water level allowing for a higher top speed ) and this is an interesting advancement. There are still concepts we can use to improve marine transport and many more concepts to be made.
Humam Hussain Shiyam is a 15 year old interested in science, robotics, photography, technology, engineering, travel, video games, and reading. He is attempting to find a career that reflects his interests even though he is unsure of what he wants to do when he grows up. He might pursue a career in engineering. He has visited many countries in recent years and observed many different cultures. He believes that travelling is exciting because you get to experience different cultures and people's ways of living. From the genres of science fiction to mysteries, he enjoys reading a lot too. He hopes the Leaders of Tomorrow by theCircle of Ugail Foundation will help him choose a profession.
Cite this article as:
Humam Husain Shiyam, The Creation of the Sailboat, theCircle Composition, Volume 2, (2022). thecirclecomposition.org/the-creation-of-the-sailboat/