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TLDR: Boats are smaller than ships and are used for transportation on water. They come in different types and sizes, and can be powered by manpower, wind, or engines. They have been used since prehistoric times and have played important roles in trade and exploration. Boats can be made of various materials, such as wood, steel, or fiberglass. They are used for a variety of purposes, including fishing, recreation, and transportation.

Boats are vessels that are used for transportation on water. They are generally smaller than ships, which are larger and can carry more cargo or passengers. Boats come in a wide range of types and sizes, depending on their intended purpose. Some boats are designed for use on inland waterways like rivers and lakes, while others are used in protected coastal areas. There are also boats that are specifically designed for use in offshore environments.

Boats can be made of different materials, depending on the available resources and local traditions. For example, canoes have been used since prehistoric times and are still used today for transportation, fishing, and sport. Fishing boats vary in style to match local conditions, and pleasure craft used for recreational boating include ski boats, pontoon boats, and sailboats. There are also house boats that can be used for vacationing or long-term residence. In addition, there are specialized boats like lighters, which are used to move cargo to and from large ships that can't get close to shore, and lifeboats, which have rescue and safety functions.

Boats can be propelled in different ways. Some boats are powered by manpower, such as rowboats and paddle boats. Others are powered by wind, like sailboats. And there are boats that are powered by engines, such as inboard or outboard motors. These engines can run on different types of fuel, including gasoline, diesel, or electricity.

Boats have a long history and have been used since prehistoric times. Evidence suggests that early humans, like Homo erectus, used watercraft to cross straits between landmasses over a million years ago. Boats have been found in archaeological excavations dating back thousands of years, such as the Pesse canoe, which is the oldest recovered boat in the world and dates back to around 8200-7600 BC. Boats have played important roles in trade and exploration, connecting civilizations and enabling the movement of goods and people across bodies of water.

Boats can be categorized based on their means of propulsion. Some boats are unpowered and rely on drifting with the tide or a river current. Others are powered by the crew members on board, using oars, paddles, or a punting pole. There are also boats that are powered by sails, which harness the wind for propulsion. Some boats can be towed by another vessel or by humans or animals from a river or canal bank. And there are boats that are powered by machinery, such as internal combustion engines, steam engines, or electric motors.

Boats are an important part of our history and culture, and they continue to be used for a variety of purposes today. Whether it's for fishing, recreation, or transportation, boats provide a means for us to navigate and explore the waterways of the world.

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