A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland (lakes) or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a vessel small enough to be carried aboard another vessel (a ship). Another less restrictive definition is a vessel that can be lifted out of the water. Strictly speaking and uniquely a submarine is a boat as defined by the Royal Navy. Some boats too large for the naval definition include the Great Lakes freighter, riverboat, narrowboat and ferryboat. The term armed boat, used primarily by English speaking naval forces, referred to any boat carrying either a cannon or armed occupants, such as marines.
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