WHAT IS A YACHT?
Yacht definition ? This question may seem strange, but it is actually very judicious. What makes a yacht a yacht? And when does a ship become a ship? Here’s what you need to know.
The origins of the yacht – A Dutch “jaght”
A yacht is a boat used for fun and sport. Its name comes from the Dutch word jaght, which translates as “hunter”, a fast and light sailboat once used by the national navy to hunt pirates and others ne’er do wells. When the English King Charles II was brought back from the Netherlands by “jacht” in 1660, the word quickly referred to a ship in which important people were transported, and not just any old ship.
What defines a yacht – Cruises, superyachts and mega yachts
Nowadays, there are two types of yachts, sailboats and motor yachts. In terms of size, yachts tend to measure between 10 m long and hundreds of feet.
If you own a luxury boat less than 12 meters long, it is usually called a cabin cruiser, sometimes just a cruiser.
A superyacht is usually more than 24 metres long.
What is a mega yacht? This is usually anything over 50 meters long and there is no upper limit! The world’s largest yacht is 728 feet long, or 222 meters long.
Why are yachts associated with luxury?
The fact that it is luxurious does not make it a yacht… but that makes it a luxury yacht. When King Charles II returned to England aboard his Dutch jaght, his brother James, the Duke of York, fell in love with this impressive ship, and the two brothers each had a jaght built of their own. They then clashed on the Thames, the sport of pleasure sailing was born, and it didn’t take long for the English nobility to want a yacht (jaght) to it.
Cleopatra’s houseboat – Inspiring the future of luxury yachts
When the Dutch and English crossed the Atlantic to America, they continued to sail their ships in the “new world”. In 1816, Cleopatra’s houseboat was built, the pinnacle of opulence and a boat that sealed for good the happy fate of these magnificent boats.
It was 23 feet wide and weighed 192 tons, with some elegant masts. It was equipped with a luxurious interior worth fifty thousand dollars and its construction cost fifty thousand dollars more, a feast of rare inlaid mahogany panelling, red velvet, gold lace and real solid silver kitchen utensils. And the exterior was just as glorious, a masterpiece of colorful painted stripes to starboard and a herring-shaped pattern to port. Incredibly rare at the time, the boat even had indoor plumbing.
So luxurious that it quickly became the royal yacht of King Kamehameha II, it was renamed Pride of Hawaii in his honour before sinking off the coast of Hawaii in 1824. One investor considered creating a replica in 2008, at an estimated cost of more than US$7 million, but the project never started.
The invention of steam and combustion engines
The internal combustion engine followed the steam engine, and the motor yachts were finally born. The Great Depression of the 1930s took advantage of the nascent luxury yacht scene and ushered in a trend for smaller, cleaner and cheaper yachts. Beginning in the 1980s, new developments in materials science and computer modeling further expanded the possibilities.
Is it a yacht, a ship or a boat?
How do I know if it’s a yacht, a ship or a boat? At first glance, it’s complicated. A yacht tends to be more beautiful than a boat or a ship. As we mentioned, the word “yacht” itself today has a connotation of luxury, a smart personal boat designed for leisure, relaxation and comfort, not for work.
A ship is larger than a yacht, and the term is generally used to describe a work boat rather than a pleasure boat. A ship needs a full crew, when a yacht does not always need it, and a ship rarely needs it. A boat can be anything from a simple rowing boat, and many captains affectionately call their ship “boat” regardless of its size. In fact, many people call “boat” any floating object more complex than a raft, which means that it is often more of a general term for a floating object than a specific definition for a type or style of boat.
In summary, here is a definition of the yacht, the boat and the ship:
Boats are used for both trade and recreation.
Yachts are usually built for fun.
Boats are smaller than ships.
Yachts can be of any size.
The boats are large, take to the sea and are generally commercial.
Boats and yachts can be equipped with motors or sails.
The next time someone asks you what a yacht is, you can give them a satisfactory answer. If you are looking for an exceptional yacht, we offer you the best of luxury yachts. And our excellent global reputation means that our yachts are the best in the world, the best in the Uk. If you want to explore its potential, we’ll be happy to help.