Different Types of Yachts

Mention a yacht to the uninitiated, and they will picture a view in their minds of a beautiful vessel with a large sail, cruising majestically out at sea. While that idea may be quaint, yachts come in a whole variety of types and sizes.

There are vessels as small as 15 ft and they can be as long as 200 ft. They can be powered by sail or by motor – electric or diesel. Some are powered by a combination of both motor and sail.

Yachts were traditionally constructed out of wood. But over the last 60 years other materials have been adapted and now fiberglass, or lightweight metals such as titanium and aluminum are also used.

Sailing vessels also come under different types. The sloop is the most common nowdays with a main sail and jib. A spinnaker may also be added to aid sailing downwind. There are also multi-hulled varieties of boats such as the catamaran or trimaran, which provide much more stability than single-hulled vessels when in the water.

Yachts are divided into various classifications according to size. Day sailing yachts are under 20ft and do not have a cabin. The weekender is larger and has twin keels, enabling sailing in shallow waters. They can cope with journeys thinking two to three days. At a size of 45 ft and above, cruising yachts are the most common type for private use. They are often used by families, and have several cabins below deck. These cruisers are can be tailor-made to the owners' requirements.

Yachts are often seen as the preserve of multi-millionaires. While this is not strictly true it certainly applies to the more high end and luxury vessels that are also known as superyachts. These are large complex vessels, 82ft and above, often requiring their own dedicated power systems. Solar-powered generators are often included for long voyages.

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