Healthy Lifestyle
by on August 14, 2019

One of the oldest known types of boat is the Chinese sampan. It is about 20 feet long, with low sides and a small cabin up forward, and is driven by a single oar from the rear. The oar is moved back and forth in the water with a motion like that of a fish's tail. Although it is slow, it is strongly built and is an excellent craft for rivers, harbors, and coastal waters. Another boat that is propelled by a single oar is the Venetian gondola. It has high, flat posts that sweep up from the front end, or prow, and the rear end, or stern. A gondola is flat-bottomed, about 30 feet long, and some 4 feet wide. It has a curtained cabin in the middle that can hold 4 to 8 persons. The man who drives the boat with an oar from the rear is called a gondolier.

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He stands on a small deck at the back of the boat. The gondola has been used for more than nine hundred years in the canals of the Italian city of venice, about which there is a separate article. All ocean steamships carry lifeboats, which can be loaded with passengers and crew and quickly lowered to the water in case the ship is wrecked and begins to sink. These boats are about 32 feet long and have broad bottoms. A lifeboat will hold about sixty people.


It has airtight metal compartments along the sides and at the bow (front) and stern (rear), so that they will not sink even when filled with water. The underside is weighted with cast iron, to make the boat self-righting if it should happen to turn over. According to law, all lifeboats must carry life preservers, oars, ropes, hatchets, matches, a compass, a lantern with a fuel supply, red night signals, fresh water, and preserved food. Lifeboats must be placed on the ship's deck in such a way that they can be lowered to the water in the shortest possible time. Special lifeboats are kept at shore stations of the United States Coast Guard for rescue work when ships are wrecked near American shores. These boats also are self-righting and unsinkable. They are about 36 feet long and hold as many as 100 persons.

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