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A boat is a watercraft, usually smaller than most ships. Some boats are commonly carried by a ship or on land using trailers.
- From the earliest times man has turned to the waters to carry goods and passengers. Through the centuries he has harnessed many different forms of energy to move his cargoes on rivers, bays, and seas. He has built rafts to move upon the currents, galleys rowed by men, sailing ships of great variety to tap the strength of the winds, and steam and motor ships driven by the energy of coal and oil. Now man is ready to use the primordial source of power, the conversion of matter into energy, to send his merchant vessels on their voyages.
- Warren H. Donnelly, “Nuclear Power and Merchant Shipping”, “U.S. Atomic Energy Commission”, (1965), p.1
- Man has profited whenever he found new sources of energy to speed the movement of passengers and goods upon the seas. His efforts reached one culmination in the nineteenth century when swift and wonderfully graceful American clipper ships sailed the long reaches of the oceans. Yet the heyday of these ships lasted less than the lifespan of a man. Long before the superb Flying Cloud made her record 374 miles in 24 hours under sail on her famous passage from New York to San Francisco in 1851, a noisy, dirty, dangerous machine — the steam engine—was taking to the seas and soon was to relieve mariners from their age-old dependence on the favor of the winds.
Early in 1819 a small sailing ship, the Savannah, made the first crossing of the Atlantic with the assistance of a steam engine. Hers was a daring pioneering accomplishment sponsored by American merchants. But the shipping industries of the world were not ready for her, and the SS “Savannah” (the letters SS stand for "steamship") was a commercial failure, ending her days as a simple sailing ship. Change came slowly, and not until 20 years later did the first vessel, the British ship “Sirius”, cross the ocean propelled entirely by steam. This venture pointed the way for the development of the great British steam merchant ship fleet.
- Warren H. Donnelly, “Nuclear Power and Merchant Shipping”, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, (1965), p.2
- Stop for a moment and ask yourself what would happen if the merchant fleets of the world were suddenly to vanish. How would raw materials, fuel, food, medicines, publications, and manufactured products move from one continent to another? No nation is completely self-sufficient; all find advantage in foreign trade. For example, 15 of the materials used in making a telephone in the United States must be imported. The industrialization now beginning in developing nations of Africa, Asia, and South America foretells increasing foreign trade, to be carried by the merchant marine.
- Warren H. Donnelly, “Nuclear Power and Merchant Shipping”, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, (1965), p.20
- Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.
- William Shakespeare; Cymbeline, Act 4, Scene 3