All the Different Types of Yachts

Different-Types-of-Yachts-Explained-12Technically, a yacht is a recreational ship or boat built for fun and not for work. A yacht does not necessarily have sails. Some yachts have diesel engines, and nowadays some use solar power. Those with sails usually have a small auxiliary diesel motor for entering and leaving moorings. The name ‘yacht’ comes from the Dutch word ‘jacht’ meaning a fast hunting vessel for chasing pirates.

What’s in the Name: What is a Yacht?

After King Charles II borrowed one to return to England for his restoration to the throne, a ‘yacht’ came to mean a posh boat for transporting important people. The association with the wealthy, rich, and famous has endured. Although nowadays not everybody with a yacht is a VIP!

The Common Types of Yachts Used Today

It can be quite confusing to draw the line between day sailing and weekender yachts, because the lines do blur. Here are the popular definitions although they may not universally apply:

  • Day sailing yachts, or sailing dinghies, are up to 20 feet long. They have keels, centreboards, or ‘daggerboards’ that lift up allow them to navigate shallow water.
  • Weekender yachts with keels are up to 36 feet long. They have a single cabin, rudimentary galley, and navigation equipment. Most have single masts while some have two.
  • Cruising yachts up to 46 feet in length can travel for many thousands of miles. These two masted craft have several bedrooms, a full kitchen, a toilet and a shower.

Methods of Propulsion Popular on Yachts

While luxury and racing yachts fall outside our scope, all yachts have similarities when it comes to motive power. Yacht builders have a choice of designing their craft for sails, or diesel motors. Those with sails often have auxiliary battery or diesel motors for tight manoeuvring.

However, they have the advantage of smaller carbon footprints. Those who own them insist there is nothing better than ‘sailing before the wind’ on a brisk day without adding to their carbon footprint.