Yachts are incredibly popular and typically come in two forms: sailing or power yachts and within the market, there are a variety of choices that range from basic to luxury yachts. In recent years, yachts have increased in luxury and when people refer to yachts, they usually mean racing or cruising yachts, as opposed to the sailing types.
Starting in length at 32 feet, their height can reach hundreds of feet high. A super yacht refers to one or 200 feet, or 70 meters. However for a boat, this height is small in comparison to cruise liners and other large boats.
Yachts were originally Dutch sailing vessels in pursuit of pirates. It was when Charles II chose a yacht as his transport for his return to England from the Netherlands. It then became more widely used in transporting important people in this period. Progressing from this, it was used to describe various vessels for people or cargo, powered by sails or engines and use for a variety of purposes.
Until the last half of the 21st century, most yachts were made of wood or steel, but this has changed and now contraction of a yacht involves a wide range of materials are used. Most often it is fiberglass, then steel or aluminum amongst others. More modern products such as plywood are also often utilized in yacht construction.
It is useful to distinguish between some of the different types of yachts that exist;
Firstly, sailing yachts come in different forms including:
Day sailing yachts tend not to have a cabin, as they are designed for hourly or daily use and not for overnight journeys
The next size up is weekender yachts which are able to operate in shallow waters and clever use of space allows for a cabin, bedroom for up to three people and kitchen area.
Cruising yachts are very common and popular for private use and can be very complex in design. These are often family vessels with many cabins below deck and can be quite spacious. These yachts are capable of taking a relatively few people long distances, many thousands of miles in fact.
Luxury sailing boats are normally 82 feet or longer. These combine basic accommodation with amenities and luxury; particularly on the larger boats. The largest of these types are often heavily automated and involve little work for the captain; for instance, computer-controlled electric winches controlling the sails, amongst other facilities.
Racing yachts work by trying to reduce the wetted surface area, which then creates drag. In In these boats the hull is kept light balanced with a heavy keel. They tend to have a wide beam and a flat bottom, to provide buoyancy. In extreme conditions these can go at a speed of up to 35 knots.