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At what length does a boat become a yacht?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by SINKorSWIM, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. MaxPower

    MaxPower Senior Member

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    if it floats and/or sinks, it's a boat.

    if it burns a hole in your pocket at the same time, it's a yacht.

    the burn rate decides whether it's a yacht or superyacht.

    :D :D :D
  2. CapLady

    CapLady Senior Member

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    Here is something more that may further explain or confuse the question;

    Yacht
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Luxury sailing yacht, A yacht is a recreational boat. The term originated from the Dutch Jacht meaning "hunt". It was originally defined as a light, fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries. After its selection by Charles II of England as the vessel of choice to return to Britain from Holland for his restoration, it came to be used to convey important persons.

    In modern use the term designates two rather different classes of watercraft, sailing and power boats. Yachts are different from working ships mainly by their leisure purpose, and it was not until the rise of the steamboat and other types of powerboat that sailing vessels in general came to be perceived as luxury, or recreational vessels. Later the term came to encompass motor boats for primarily private pleasure purposes as well.

    Yacht lengths generally range from 20 feet (6.1 m) up to hundreds of feet. A luxury craft smaller than 40 feet (12.19 m) is more commonly called a cabin cruiser or simply "cruisers." A mega yacht generally refers to any yacht (sail or power) above 100 ft (30.5 m) and a super yacht generally refers to any yacht over 200 ft (61 m). This size is small in relation to typical cruise liners and oil tankers.

    Contents [hide]
    1 History
    2 Construction materials and techniques
    3 Sailing yachts
    3.1 Classifications
    3.2 Propulsion
    3.3 Hull types
    4 Motor yachts
    4.1 Classification
    4.2 Propulsion
    4.3 Hull types
    5 See also
    6 References
    7 External links

    [edit] History

    An offshore sailing yachtYacht (pronounced /ˈjɒt/, from Dutch/Low German jacht meaning hunting or hunt, compare Standard German/High German Jagd) was originally defined as a light, fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries. They were also used for non-military governmental roles such as customs duties and delivering pilots to waiting ships.[1] The latter use attracted the attention of wealthy Dutch merchants who began to build private yachts so they could be taken out to greet their returning ships. Soon wealthy individuals began to use their 'jachts' for pleasure trips. By the start of the 17th century 'jachts' came in two broad catergories- speel-jachts for sport and oorlog-jachts for naval duties.[1] By the middle of the century large 'jacht' fleets were found around the Dutch coast and the Dutch states organised large 'reviews' of private and war yachts for special occasions, thus putting in place the groundwork for the modern sport of yachting. Jachts of this period varied greatly in size, from around 40 ft (12 m) in length to being equal to the lower classes of the ship of the line.[2] All had a form of fore/aft gaff rig with a flat bottom and lee boards to allow operations in shallow waters. The gaff rig remained the principal rig found on small European yachts for centuries until giving way to the 'Bermudan sloop' rig in the 1960s.

    Charles II of England spent part of his time in exile during the period of the Commonwealth of England in the Netherlands and became keen on sailing. He returned to England in 1660 aboard a Dutch yacht. During his reign Charles commissioned 24 Royal Yachts on top of the two presented to him by Dutch states on his restoration.[2] As the fashion for yachting spread throughout the English aristocracy yacht races began to become common. Other rich individuals in Europe built yachts as the sport spread. Yachting therefore became a purely recreational form of sailing with no commercial or military function (see, for example, the Cox & King yachts at the beginning of the 20th Century), which still serves a broad definition of both the sport and of the vessel.

    [edit] Construction materials and techniques
    Until the 1950s, almost all yachts were made of wood or steel, but a much wider range of materials is used today. Although wood hulls are still in production, the most common construction material is fibreglass, followed by aluminium, steel, carbon fiber, and ferrocement (rarer because of insurance difficulties). The use of wood has changed and is no longer limited to traditional board-based methods, but also include modern products such as plywood, veneers and epoxy resins. Wood is mostly used by hobbyists or wooden boat purists when building an individual boat.

    [edit] Sailing yachts

    A small sailing yachtSailing yachts can range in overall length (Length Over All—LOA) from about 20 ft (6 m) to well over 100 ft (30 m), where the distinction between a yacht and a ship becomes blurred. Most privately owned yachts fall in the range of about 25–45 ft (7–14 m); the cost of building and keeping a yacht rises quickly as length increases. In the U.S., sailors tend to refer to smaller yachts as sailboats, while referring to the general sport of sailing as yachting. Within the limited context of sailboat racing, a yacht is any sailing vessel taking part in a race, regardless of size.

    Modern yachts have efficient sail-plans, most notably the Bermuda rig, that allow them to sail towards the wind. This capability is the result of a sail-plan and hull design.

    [edit] Classifications
    Day sailing yachts

    Day sailing yachts are usually small, at under 20 ft (6 m) in length. Sometimes called dinghies, they often have a retractable keel, centerboard, or daggerboard. Most day sailing yachts do not have a cabin, as they are designed for hourly or daily use and not for overnight journeys. At best they may have a 'cubby', where the front part of the hull has a raised solid roof to provide a place to store equipment or to offer basic shelter from wind or spray.

    Weekender yachts

    Weekender yachts are slightly larger, at under 30 ft (9.5 m) in length. They often have twin keels or lifting keels such as in trailer sailers. This allows them to operate in shallow waters, and if needed "dry out"—become beached as the tide falls. The hull shape (or twin-keel layout) allows the boat to sit upright when there is no water. Such boats are designed to undertake short journeys, rarely lasting more than 2 or 3 days (hence their name). In coastal areas, long trips may be undertaken in a series of short hops. Weekenders usually have only a simple cabin, often consisting of a single "saloon" with bedspace for two to three people. Clever use of ergonomics allows space in the saloon for a galley (kitchen), seating, and navigation equipment. There is limited space for stores of water and food. Most are single-masted "Bermuda sloops" (not to be confused with the type of traditional Bermudian ship known as a Bermuda sloop), with a single foresail of the jib or genoa type and a single mainsail (one variation of the aforementioned Bermuda rig). Some are gaff rigged. The smallest of this type, generally called pocket yachts or pocket cruisers, and trailer sailers can be transported on special trailers.

    Cruising yachts Cruising yachts are by the far the most common yacht in private use, making up most of the 25 to 45 ft (7 to 14 m) range. These vessels can be quite complex in design, as they need a balance between docile handling qualities, interior space, good light-wind performance and on-board comfort. The huge range of such craft, from dozens of builders worldwide, makes it hard to give a single illustrative description. However, most favour a teardrop-planform hull, with a wide, flat bottom and deep single-fin keel to give good stability. Most are single-masted Bermuda rigged sloops, with a single fore-sail of the jib or Genoa type and a single mainsail. Spinnaker sails, in various sizes, are often supplied for down-wind use. These types are often chosen as family vessels, especially those in the 26 to 40-foot (8 to 12 m) range. Such a vessel will usually have many cabins below deck. Typically there will be three double-berth cabins; a single large saloon with galley, seating and navigation equipment; and a "head" consisting of a toilet and shower-room.

    Most large yachts, 50 ft (15 m) (15 m) and up, are also cruisers, but their design varies greatly as they are often "one off" designs tailored to the specific needs of the buyer.The interior is often finished in wood panelling, with plenty of storage space. Cruisers are quite capable of taking on long-range passages of many thousands of miles. Such boats have a cruising speed upwards of 6 knots. This basic design is typical of the standard types produced by the major yacht-builders.

    Luxury sailing yachts

    These yachts are generally 82 ft (25 m) or longer. In recent years, these yachts have evolved from fairly simple vessels with basic accommodation into sophisticated and luxurious boats. This is largely due to reduced hull-building costs brought about by the introduction of fibreglass hulls, and increased automation and "production line" techniques for yacht building, especially in Europe.

    On the biggest, 130-foot-plus (40 m) luxury yachts, every modern convenience, from air conditioning to television, is found. Sailing yachts of this size are often highly automated with, for example, computer-controlled electric winches controlling the sails. Such complexity requires dedicated power-generation systems. In recent years the amount of electric equipment used on yachts has increased greatly. Even 20 years ago, it was not common for a 25-foot (7 m) yacht to have electric lighting. Now all but the smallest, most basic yachts have electric lighting, radio, and navigation aids such as Global Positioning Systems. Yachts around 33 ft (10 m) bring in comforts such as hot water, pressurised water systems, and refrigerators. Aids such as radar, echo-sounding and autopilot are common. This means that the auxiliary engine now also performs the vital function of powering an alternator to provide electrical power and to recharge the yacht's batteries. For yachts engaged on long-range cruising, wind-, water- and solar-powered generators can perform the same function.

    Racing yachts

    Main article: Yacht racing

    Inshore yacht racing in Sydney Harbour, AustraliaRacing yachts try to reduce the wetted surface area, which creates drag, by keeping the hull light whilst having a deep and heavy bulb keel, allowing them to support a tall mast with a great sail area. Modern designs tend to have a very wide beam and a flat bottom, to provide buoyancy preventing an excessive heel angle. Speeds of up to 35 knots can be attained in extreme conditions. Dedicated offshore racing yachts sacrifice crew comfort for speed, having basic accommodation to reduce weight. Depending on the type of race, such a yacht may have a crew of 15 or more. Very large inshore racing yachts may have a crew of 30. At the other extreme are "single handed" races, where one person alone must control the yacht.

    Yacht races may be over a simple course of only a few miles, as in the harbour racing of the International One Design; long-distance, open-ocean races, like the Bermuda Race; or epic trans-global contests such as the Global Challenge, Volvo Ocean Race, and Clipper Round the World Race.

    [edit] Propulsion
    The motive force being the wind, sailing is more economical and environmentally friendly than any other means of propulsion. A hybrid type of vessel is a motor sailing yacht that can use either sail or propulsion (or both) as conditions dictate.

    Many "pure" sailing yachts are also equipped with a low-power internal-combustion engine for use in conditions of calm and when entering or leaving difficult anchorages. Vessels less than 25 ft (8 m) (7 m) in length generally carry a petrol outboard-motor of between 5 and 40 horsepower (3.5 and 30 kW). Larger vessels have in-board diesel engines of between 20 and 100 horsepower (15 and 75 kW) depending on size. In the common 25 to 45-foot (7 to 14 m) class, engines of 20 to 40 horsepower are the most common.

    [edit] Hull types
    Monohull yachts are typically fitted with a fixed keel or a centerboard (adjustable keel) below the waterline to counterbalance the overturning force of wind on the vessel's sails. Multihull yachts use two hulls (catamarans) or three (trimarans) widely separated from each other to provide a stable base that resists overturning and allows for sailing in shallower waters than most keeled monohulls.

    [edit] Motor yachts

    Motor yachts[edit] Classification
    Motor yachts generally fit into the following categories:

    Day cruiser yacht (no cabin, sparse amenities such as refrigerator and plumbing)
    Weekender yacht (one or two basic cabins, basic galley appliances and plumbing)
    Cruising yacht (sufficient amenities to allow for living aboard for extended periods)
    Sport fishing yacht (yacht with living amenities and sporting fishing equipment)
    Luxury yacht (similar to the last three types of yachts, with more luxurious finishings/amenities)
    [edit] Propulsion

    Yachts moored at Rowe's Wharf in Boston HarborMotor yachts typically have one or two internal combustion engines that burn diesel fuel. Depending on engine size, fuel costs may make motor yachts more expensive to operate than sailing yachts.[citation needed] Biodiesel for marine propulsion is in the experimental stage (e.g. Earthrace).[citation needed]

    [edit] Hull types
    The shape of a motor yacht's hull may be based on displacement, planing, or in between. Although monohulls have long been the standard in motor yachts, multihulls are gaining in popularity.

    [edit] See also
    List of large sailing yachts
    List of motor yachts by length
    List of sailboat designers and manufacturers
    Yachting
    Yacht broker
    Yacht charter
    Yacht Transport
    Model yachting
    Luxury yachts
    [edit] References
    Origin of the yacht
    Fraser, Antonia,"Royal Charles". A number of editions exist.
    Gardiner, R & Lavery, B, "The Line of Battle : The Sailing Warship 1650-1840", 1992 (2004 edition), Conway, ISBN 0-85177-954-9
    Partridge, Eric, "Origins, A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English", Greenwich House, 1983, ISBN 0-517-41425-2
    International Sailing Federation Racing Rules of Sailing
    1.^ a b Gardiner & Lavery, 1992, p. 68
    2.^ a b Gardiner & Lavery, 1992, p. 70
  3. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    This Wiki explanation must have been written by the Nutty Professor..;)
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I too was thinking it came up a little short.:D That would make a 21' center console (with no head, galley or sleeping area) a yacht.:confused: :) Then again, I've seen an 8' dink named "My Yacht". So I guess it's in the eye of the beholder. I think it's more of a respect (or thinking too much of oneself) thing as in: His yacht; my boat.
  5. MyGrande

    MyGrande New Member

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    Less than 1 million dollars is a boat
    Longer than 1 million dollars is a yacht
    Longer than 10 million dollars is a megayacht
    Longer than 20 million dollars is a superyacht
    Longer than 50 million dollars is a "WTF?! I'm so not washing that!"
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Is that purchase price (used) or original retail price? A 6 year old million dollar yacht is about $500K. Welcome to YF.:)
  7. jurisich

    jurisich New Member

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    boat or yacht?

    This came up a while back. If it has a grand piano it's a yacht.
  8. 54' Bertram

    54' Bertram Member

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    this ha. s been an interesting thread. I remember we had a 42' Trojan flush deck back in the early 70's. It was considered a yacht. today, it would be considered a cruiser in my mind. I have a 54' convertable. I consider it a boat. if someone asked me today how I define a boat vs. a yacht (and nobody has) I would say if you are the owner AND captain, its a boat. if you have to have a crew to run it, its a yacht. also in my mind, this applies only to cruising boats/yachts. lots of guys that fish have full time captains, not so much because the owner cannot run the boat, but because he is engaged in the cockpit.

    mega and giga yachts is a whole different animal. as is the point of when does a cruiser become a yacht.In my mind you can have a 82 foot convertible fishing BOAT that is not a yacht, yet have a 60 foot cruiser that is a yacht.

    I think everyone BUT the owner decides if it is a baot or a yacht. we may stand at the dock and call a guys boat a boat while he thinks it is a yacht or vice versa. If it can be it's own country, it should be a yacht! just my 2 cents!
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I was the full time Captain and had a fulltime mate on a 45' Cabo once upon a time. I'd hardly call that a yacht, but the owner wanted a Captain and mate, and a pristine boat, even though he could proficiently run the boat if he wanted to. LOL
  10. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    If he can afford it he sounds smart. I have a couple of guys who can and do run their own boats, but they like the security having someone backing them up who knows what's what and can take over when he wants to relax. They'd also like to pass on engine room checks, line handling, etc. and concentrate on the fun side.
    Back when the L.I. Lolita thing was going on the news showed Joey's "yacht". it looked like about a 32 or 35' maybe Carver.:rolleyes:'It's all in the eye of the beholder'
  11. W. Arthur

    W. Arthur New Member

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    Terms and their meaning for floating devices that can carry/transport product or person, i.e. BOATS!

    1. Raft – Floating platform made of buoyant material.
    2. Dinghy – Small boat designed as a tender or lifeboat, especially a small ship's boat, rowed, sailed, or driven by a motor.
    3. Runabout – Small pleasure motorboat.
    4. Cabin cruiser – Power-driven pleasure boat having a cabin for sleeping, cooking, etc.
    5. BOAT – Vessel for transport by water, constructed to provide buoyancy by excluding water and shaped to give stability and permit propulsion – THAT pretty much covers every floating device - LOL.
    6. Yacht – Vessel used for private cruising, racing, or other noncommercial purposes. Sometimes called a BIG boat!
    7. Luxury / Mega / Ultra / Biggest / Baddest - - > Yacht (or any other descriptive word you can think of for a private BOAT – LOL) – A vessel primarily used to impress oneself and as many others as possible!!
    8. Ship – Vessel, especially a large oceangoing one employed by corporations or governments and propelled by sails or engines or “rowing-slaves” – LOL.

    By any other word... a Boat is just that - A BOAT! In due respect; a Ship is just that - A SHIP!
  12. dominomarie

    dominomarie Guest

    Yacht

    I had read long ago that if you live on your boat, it's a YACHT. Size doesn't matter :D
  13. W. Arthur

    W. Arthur New Member

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    AGREED! :eek: :cool: :D
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I've seen people living on 20' Sailboats.........I wouldn't exactly call that a yacht.
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    It is to the guy with only an 8' pram, especially if it's got a galley & head.
  16. Savasa

    Savasa Senior Member

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  17. Hattsoff

    Hattsoff New Member

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    I have not read all the replys so maybe this has been mentioned already.

    Despite what Wiki and Merriam say, I always thought the term Yacht has nothing to do with size but with self containment. Meaning if you can live on the boat in the middle of nowhere and be fully self contained i.e. Fresh water, generator, galley, head, sleeping quarters etc it's considered a yacht.

    So, if you have a 70 foot twin diesel, but you don't have a generator on it (I know this is very unlikely) you technically do not have a yacht. This also works the other way, someone could have a 25 ft boat with a generator and water supply and even though it's small it is able to be self contained and considered a yacht. I'll be the first to say that calling a 25ft boat a yacht seems ridiculous but if it meets these requirements who am I to argue.

    Many sailboats do not have generators. It's not unusual to find a beautiful 40 foot sailboat with two staterooms and two heads with a galley but no generator. The absence of the generator would take away the "yacht" designation.

    Again, this is just what I've been lead to understand over the years. Seems many have a different opinion on it.
  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    The term yacht was describing vessels before there were generators. It was also used long before there were many large private boats floating around. Guess today the term means pretty much any boat you attach it to for whatever reason you want to attach it for, be it an 8' pram or the superyacht A .
  19. Cap'n Ray

    Cap'n Ray New Member

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    A rose by any other name...

    It's been said before to one degree or another, but I think ultimately it is up to the observer. My vessel is a yacht to some of my friends who have no vessel or a small 'bass boat', but is 'just a boat' to those who have physically larger vessels. Ask a hundred mariners and you'll likely get a hundred answers. I DO like the "over $50million" comment back a page or so tho... very creative!

    Enjoy your vessel to it's fullest!
  20. saltysenior

    saltysenior Senior Member

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    I was the full time Captain and had a fulltime mate on a 45' Cabo once upon a time. I'd hardly call that a yacht, but the owner wante