The bottom of the boat, or the part that comes into contact with the water, is called a hull. The hull consists of two parts: the bow and the stern. The term "bow" refers to the front of the hull, while "stern" refers to the rear of the hull.
Hulls vary greatly when it comes to design. Some common types of hulls include pontoon, tunnel bottom, cathedral, vee, catamaran, tunnel and flat bottom. Hulls with curved edges are said to have soft chines, while hulls with sharp edges have hard chines. The term "chine" refers to the juncture where the bottom of the boat and the sides meet.