Boats may be built out of boards or planks in two different styles. If the boards are laid edge to edge, the boat is carvel-built. If the boards overlap, the boat is clinker-built. Among the larger kinds of carvel-built boats are launches, pinnaces and cutters. Many of these are as much as 36 feet long and 8 to 10 feet wide. Launches are open, or undecked, boats. They are used by ships to carry supplies and sailors to and from the shore, and large launches are sometimes used as pleasure boats on lakes and rivers.
A pinnace is a light sailboat. It was used in the past as a tender, or supply boat, for larger ships. A cutter is a broad boat with a square stern or rear end. It is driven by oars, motor, or sails. Cutters used to be carried by ships, to move supplies and persons in harbors. Today a cutter is either a large, heavy rowboat carried on big steamships and driven by ten oars, or one of the large, fast, steel boats used by the United States Coast Guard.
A Coast Guard cutter is a light warship of some 2,000 tons, powered by diesel engines and equipped with a small cannon. Among the best known clinker-built small boats are the popular dinghy, gig, and whaleboat. A dinghy is a small rowboat about 6 to 10 feet long, propelled by oars, and used either as a pleasure craft or as a service boat for larger sail boars and motorboats. Big motorboats may tow their dinghies behind them or have them fastened down on the deck. A dinghy is used to ferry people between the larger boat and the dock