If you wanted to design a boat to have the softest possible ride, the best shape would be a ball. Of course, standing up in it would be tricky, you wouldn't be able to go too fast, and steering would be difficult, to say the least. Which is why after more than a hundred years or so of history with planing hulls, we've reached the best compromise: the deep-V hull. Since the late 1950s it has stood as the softest-riding, most practical boat design. Ask owners, builders, designers, racers, anglers, or anyone with powerboat experience in rough water-the consensus will be that for a soft ride, deep-Vs rule.