11 Different Types of Yachts

Posted on Published: April 13, 2022  - Last updated: June 13, 2022

Aerial view of yachts at a yacht club.

The Dutch navy first used the yacht in order to catch pirates . Until the 1950s, the primary materials used for building a yacht was wood. Today, yachts of all types and sizes are constructed of various materials including steel, aluminum, plywood , and veneers.

When Charles II used it for his own personal use, the yacht became a luxury boat often owned by important people all over the world. As a result, yachts are often associated with luxury . According to UBS and Wealth-X’s annual World Ultra Wealth Report for 2014, the world’s super-rich spends the most on their yachts at $22 billion a year.

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Sailing Yacht

Sailing yacht sailing across the blue ocean.

The sailing yacht is one of the most traditional types of yachts that people purchase. When people want to be able to go out on the water and have a classic sailing adventure, owning a sailing yacht is going to be able to make that happen. These types of yachts are sailed with traditional sails, which can be quite challenging if you don’t know what you are doing. Sailing a ship using only the wind and your sails is a very interesting experience.

The fact that it is challenging and that it replicates the old way of doing things is precisely what is so appealing about sailing yachts. People who are very into sailing will absolutely adore owning one of these yachts. There are a few different types of sailing yachts that you will be able to choose from, as well. The traditional ones will only have sails to hoist and will not feature a motor.

You will also be able to purchase hybrid yachts that are primarily meant for sailing, but they also feature a motor. This can be very handy to have in case of an emergency. Being able to use the motor when you need to can be very convenient. If you run into issues with your sails or bad weather, it can be beneficial to be able to get back to port as quickly as possible.

There are also yachts that have sails, but they also have modern instruments to make navigation and sailing easier. You will be able to find a sailing yacht that will suit your tastes. Just think about what type of experience you want to have. Once you have looked over all of your options, you should come across the perfect sailing yacht for your journey.

Expedition Yacht

An expedition yacht cruising near a snow-capped mountain.

An expedition yacht isn’t the type of vessel that most people will purchase for random pleasure weekends. They would work just fine for those purposes, of course, but they are really meant for longer journeys. These yachts are capable of sailing for really long periods of time while remaining self-sufficient. This is crucial for people who are planning long sea voyages around the globe.

Expedition yachts are incredibly powerful, and if you ever get the chance to sail on one, you will be very impressed with it. These ships are capable of sailing very efficiently, as well. They make good use of the resources available in order to complete long journeys without any hassle. Vessels like this make it simple for people to stay out at sea for long periods of time without being inconvenienced.

One of the advantages of taking an expedition yacht on such a long journey is that you won’t have to sacrifice your comforts in any way. These yachts can be loaded up with everything that you need to stay entertained and happy on a long voyage. These luxury ships are able to combine efficiency and practicality with all of the luxuries that you enjoy. Some of the expedition yachts are so lavish that it isn’t unlike staying in a luxury hotel.

People use these expedition yachts to go all over the world. When someone wants to go on a journey to a faraway place in style, taking an expedition yacht is going to be one of the best options. These yachts are very pricey, and most people will not be able to afford them. A lavish expedition yacht is going to be even more expensive than most of the other yachts on this list.

Motor Yacht

Motor yacht leaving white foam trails across the sea.

A motor yacht is a modern version of the sailing yachts that everyone knows and loves. These types of yachts are among the most common. They are very nice to use for parties and even just casual getaways. People often charter these motor yachts for special occasions in order to have a really good time.

When most people think of a yacht, they think about some type of party ship. Many companies that charter out vessels such as these use them for upscale parties. These ships are just the right size to be able to host a fairly sizeable group. You will be able to have a fantastic time if you have a special event out on the water in one of these motor yachts.

Yachts like these usually include all sorts of fun things for people to enjoy. It isn’t uncommon for these yachts to have hot tubs, dance floors, bars, and even swimming pools. If you want to make your next birthday party truly special, then chartering a motor yacht may be your best bet. It can certainly help you to create some fantastic memories.

These motor yachts can be good for helping you to take a vacation, as well. Those who own these types of yachts will use them to sail to different destinations. They may not be well-suited to travel to certain places in the world depending on the type of hull that it has. Simply take all of the important factors into account before planning a voyage with your new motor yacht, and you will always have a great time.

Classic Yacht

Two classic yachts sailing across the ocean.

Classic yachts are generally considered to be yachts that were built in the past. Some people have different definition and standards for what makes a yacht a classic. The older the yacht is, the more likely it is to be considered a classic yacht. There are yachts that were built in the 1920’s that are still being used as recreational vessels in the modern era.

People who own certain yachts from the 1970’s also consider their ships to be classics. The basics that you need to understand are actually fairly simple . A classic yacht has a certain feeling to it that you don’t get when you sail on a modern ship. These vessels are sometimes made mostly out of wood, and other classic yachts are made out of steel.

Many of these classic yachts were completely handcrafted. There is speculation that the handcrafted nature of these yachts is what ultimately gives them their charm. Whatever your feelings on the issue are, it is undeniable that the older style of yachts can be very appealing. These ships have a very interesting aura and seem to exude a classic sense of luxury.

Sometimes the interiors of these classic yachts will be kept the same as they were in the year that it was made. This can lead to some interesting design choices that may not mesh well with modern sensibilities. Regardless, if you want to get the full experience of the classic yacht, keeping things as they once did have some merit. If you want to get a feeling for what yachting was like in the past, then chartering a classic yacht can be a very intriguing experience.

Fishing Yacht

A fishing yacht navigating the ocean.

If you want to go on a fishing trip for your vacation, then you may want to consider doing so on a fishing yacht. There are yachts that are specifically designed for the purpose of fishing. Fishing is one of the oldest traditions that humanity has. So many people enjoy fishing for recreational purposes and being able to do so on a luxurious yacht is really something else.

There are yachts that are used for more casual fishing trips. You will also find that people use sports fishing yachts to go on fantastic fishing adventures. Sometimes people will use yachts to go to interesting places in the world where the fishing is said to be particularly noteworthy. Wherever you decide to take a fishing yacht will be interesting due to how fun these ships are to use.

You’ll have the normal luxuries that you will want to make use of in any yacht. These yachts can still be a great deal of fun for anyone who wants to have a party. The added benefit is that the deck of the ship is designed in a way that is conducive to fishing. You’ll be able to access the waters properly and will potentially be able to haul in some truly impressive catches.

The yacht will have plenty of room for all of your fishing gear, as well. When people charter a fishing yacht, it will sometimes come with all of the gear that you will need. You should check with the owners ahead of time so that you will know what you need to bring with you. If you’re a true fisherman, then you will definitely want to purchase one of these for yourself if possible.

Gulet Yacht

Gulet yacht on water at sunset.

The Gulet yacht is something that originally comes from Turkey. This yacht is interesting because it can feature two or more masts. In the past, these vessels were used to transport goods. They are very worthy vessels that were originally designed to keep cargo safe from harm during transport.

Modern Gulet yachts are used more for pleasure. They are sought-after because of their beautiful wooden hulls. These hulls can be very ornate while still being practical and safe. People who appreciate the beauty of a finely- crafted ship will love owning one of these Gulet yachts.

This is an incredibly stable ship to sail in too. If you want to sail on a ship that is going to feel as natural as possible, then a Gulet yacht is a good choice to make. It is very sturdy and will be completely capable of getting you to your destination safely using only the wind in its sails. Modern Gulet yachts will also be equipped with motors, in most cases.

Gulet yachts are becoming more and more popular. People are starting to charter these yachts more frequently, and many yacht enthusiasts are pining to add a Gulet yacht to their fleet. The beauty of the ship combined with its fantastic capabilities makes it easy to see why it is so sought-after. These yachts are truly exceptional, and you will want to experience one first-hand when you get the chance.

A catamaran yacht on tropical water.

If you don’t know a whole lot about ships, then you might see a catamaran yacht and wonder exactly what it is. A catamaran yacht is a vessel that has more than one hull. A design featuring two hulls can be ideal for certain situations. These yachts are very interesting from a visual perspective, and many of the design choices are quite fun.

Many catamaran yachts will have more room than a traditional yacht. This means that people will have more space to spread out, and it can be even more fun for parties. The overall layout of these catamaran yachts lends itself well to being a party vessel. This makes catamaran yachts among the most popular chartered ships each year.

Of course, there are different styles of catamaran yachts that you will be able to choose from. You will find that there are catamaran yachts with traditional sails and ones that feature a motor. Both of these types are actually fairly common, and sometimes a catamaran will feature both. The type of catamaran that you will want to charter will largely depend on your intentions for your excursion.

The interior of the yacht will typically be very stylish to accommodate the needs of its guests. This is definitely a luxury vessel through and through. No matter what style of catamaran you decide to go with, you will have an excellent time. It’s a good vessel to choose for those who get seasick, as well, since the increased hull space makes things feel less cramped.

A cruiser moving across the ocean.

Cruisers are yachts that are typically used for taking a small group out to have some fun. Unlike some of the incredibly large yachts listed earlier, cruisers can be a bit smaller inside. There are also large yachts that are classified as cruisers, but generally, you will be using cruisers for small recreational trips. If you want to go out on the water to have some fun with your closest friends, then owning a cruiser is going to be perfect for your needs.

These types of yachts are great when you want to be able to have some versatility. You will easily be able to access the water when you’re sailing a cruiser. This makes them perfect for those that want to go out fishing or even swimming in the ocean. You will be able to get where you need to go and will have a good time once you get there.

Yachts like these are typically a bit shorter than most of the other yachts featured here. Some of the fishing yachts will be around the same length. A cruiser may be between 30-feet and 60-feet long, although there are plenty of variances. Regardless of the size, it is still a great ship to own, and the fact that it is not overly long can be an advantage in some ways.

These are fun yachts that will be the perfect purchase for a first-time yacht owner. You can make a lot of fantastic memories when you have a vessel like this to use. The ship is generally very easy to handle, too, so it’s great for a newcomer to own for that reason. The cost of a nice cruiser is going to be agreeable as well, as it isn’t quite as costly as many of the other yachts that have been featured so far.

There are those who think of cruisers are more similar to speedboats. It is true that there are similarities between cruiser yachts and speedboats, but this is definitely distinct enough to be considered to be its own thing. You’ll be able to enjoy this cruiser yacht to its full potential without much worry. Whether you want to enjoy a romantic getaway or you are looking forward to a little party with your closest friends, you’ll love owning a cruiser yacht.

Luxury yacht flybridge with white modern design and amenities.

The flybridge design is very interesting because it will allow you to go fishing very easily. This is one of the most popular styles for fishing yachts. It makes accessing the water easier than it would otherwise be. You’ll be able to have a great view out onto the water and will have an easy time fishing.

There are some occasions where a motor yacht will also have a flybridge. Even so, this style is most closely associated with fishing yachts. It just works so well for that purpose that it makes sense overall. You’ll be able to have a really good fishing trip if you choose a yacht in this style.

The large cockpit is one of the standout features of a flybridge style yacht. It makes it simple to haul in the fish in comparison to other styles. You’ll also have enough visual range to be able to spot your lines and other important things. If you want to have a nice fishing vacation with your friends, then chartering this type of yacht is highly recommended.

You’ll be able to enjoy the overall power of these types of ships, as well. They are designed to be able to handle rough weather well and will be able to get you back home fast when you need to leave. You’ll have nothing to worry about when you charter a nice yacht like this. It’ll be a good experience so long as the fish are biting.

A pair of three-decker luxury yachts.

Tri-deck yachts can really be quite impressive to see up close. Multi-level yachts aren’t too uncommon, but when you have a three-leveled deck , it can be a sight to behold. These yachts are really interesting to sail on, and you will often see tri-deck designs on luxury cruisers. They will give passengers a lot of space to enjoy themselves.

Tri-deck style yachts are really common on vessels that are meant for upscale vacations or parties. Giving guests enough room to have a lot of fun is important. These yachts will often have plenty of interesting recreational facilities. You might even find a tri-deck yacht with multiple lavish swimming pools or something like a tennis court.

Owning a large yacht like this will require quite a large investment. When you want to be able to have the best, you’re going to need to be able to pay for it. Even so, these yachts are well worth the high asking price. They’re excellent for recreational purposes and will always be able to help you have a good time.

The sheer amount of enclosed living space available on a yacht of this type is impressive. You’ll be able to host many people on a yacht of this size. This makes hosting corporate parties on yachts such as these very popular. It can be a great vessel to own when you want to seal the deal on an important business deal.

A luxury yacht's sky lounge interior.

Having a sky lounge on your yacht can potentially be a lot of fun. A sky lounge will generally be located at the top of the yacht. This design features windows that can open in order to feel the cool air. This is a completely livable space, though, making it a fun room to stay in when you’re spending time on the yacht.

The view from the sky lounge is usually quite gorgeous . Most of the yachts that feature a sky lounge design will ensure that this room has all of the amenities that you would expect. It will be climate controlled and will be perfect to stay the night in. People often enjoy spending time in the sky lounge with their significant other due to the romantic qualities that it has.

Some of these sky lounges may even have sunroofs. This can be really nice when you want to be able to look up at the stars at night. It’s a really neat feature to have on your yacht, so you will want to keep it in mind. It isn’t the most common yacht feature but you should be able to find a fantastic vessel that has a sky lounge for you to enjoy without too much of a hassle.

If you find a nice yacht to charter that has a sky lounge, then it will definitely be worth your while to enjoy it. Yachts with this convenient feature will always be sought-after. It can help to make an already romantic situation even more so. You’ll love the atmosphere that the sky lounge can provide you.

17 Sailboat Types Explained: How To Recognize Them

Ever wondered what type of sailboat you're looking at? Identifying sailboats isn't hard, you just have to know what to look for. In this article, I'll help you.

Every time I'm around a large number of sailboats, I look around in awe (especially with the bigger ones). I recognize some, but with most of them, I'll have to ask the owner. When they answer, I try to hide my ignorance. The words don't make any sense!

So here's a complete list with pictures of the most common sailboat types today. For each of them, I'll explain exactly where the name comes from, and how you can recognize it easily.

Gaff rigged white schooner

So here's my list of popular sailboat types, explained:

Bermuda sloop, sailing hydrofoil, dutch barge, chinese junk, square-rigged tall ship, in conclusion, how to recognize any sailboat.

Before we get started, I wanted to quickly explain what you should look for when you try to identify a sailboat.

The type of sailboat is always determined by one of these four things:

  • The type of hull
  • The type of keel
  • The number of masts
  • And the type of sails and rig

The hull is the boat's body. There are basically three hull types: monohull, catamaran, and trimaran. Simply said: do I see one hull, two hulls (catamaran) or three hulls (trimaran)? Most sailboats are monohulls.

Next, there is the keel type. The keel is the underwater part of the hull. Mostly, you won't be able to see that, because it's underwater. So we'll leave that for now.

The sail plan

The last factor is the number of masts and the sail plan. The sail plan, simply put, is the number of sails, the type of sails, and how the sails are mounted to the masts (also called rigging ).

Sailboat are mostly named after the sail plan, but occasionally, a sail type is thrown in there as well.

So now we know what to pay attention to, let's go and check out some sailboats!

Row of sailing dinghies in golden hour at the dock

Dinghies are the smallest and most simple sailboats around.

They are your typical training sailboats. Small boats with an open hull, with just one mast and one sail. Perfect for learning the ways of the wind.

On average, they are between 6 and 20 ft long. Mostly sailed single-handed (solo). There's no special rigging, just the mainsail. The mainsail is commonly a Bermuda (triangular) mainsail. Dinghies have a simple rudder stick and no special equipment or rigging.

Dinghies are great for learning how to sail. The smaller the boat, the better you feel the impact of your trim and actions.

How to recognize a sailing dinghy:

  • short (8ft)
  • one Bermuda sail
  • open hull design
  • rudder stick

Common places to spot them: lakes, near docks

Three Bermuda Sloops in bright blue water

If you'd ask a kid to draw a sailboat, she'll most probably draw this one. The Bermuda Sloop is the most popular and most common sailboat type today. You'll definitely recognize this one.

How to recognize a Bermuda Sloop:

  • triangular mainsail (called a Bermuda sail)
  • a foresail (also called the jib)
  • fore-and-aft rigged
  • medium-sized (12 - 50 ft)

Fore-and-aft rigged just means "from front to back". This type of rigging helps to sail upwind.

Any sailboat with one mast and two sails could still be a sloop. Even if the sails are another shape or rigged in another way. For example, here's a gaff-rigged sloop (more on the gaff rig later):

Gaff Rigged Sloop in white in front of coastline with flat

If you want to learn all about sail rigs, check out my full Guide to Understanding Sail Rig Types here. It has good infographics and explains it in more detail

The Bermuda sloop has a lot of advantages over other sailboat types (which is why it's so popular):

  • the Bermuda rig is very maneuverable and pretty fast in almost all conditions
  • it's really versatile
  • you can sail it by yourself without any problems
  • it's a simple setup

Common places to spot a sloop: everywhere. Smaller sloops are more common for inland waters, rivers, and lakes. Medium-sized and large sloops are very popular cruising boats.

Cutter motorsailor against sun in black and white

Cutters have one mast but three or more sails. Most cutters are Bermuda rigged, which means they look a lot like sloops.

How to recognize a cutter:

  • looks like a sloop
  • two or more headsails instead of one
  • commonly one mast
  • sometimes an extra mast with mainsail

Cutters have more sail area, which makes them faster, but also harder to sail single-handed. There's also more strain on the mast and rigging.

Common places to spot a cutter: everywhere. Cutters are very popular for cruising.

They mostly have a Bermuda rig, which means triangular sails. But there are also gaff cutters and naval cutters, and some have two masts.

Here's an example of a two-masted naval cutter with an extra gaff mainsail and top gaff:

Dutch naval cutter with top gaff sail

The Hydrofoil is a pretty new sailboat design. It's a racing sailboat with thin wing foils under the hull. These lift up the hull, out of the water, reducing the displacement to nearly zero. The foils create downforce and keep it from lifting off entirely.

This makes the hydrofoil extremely fast and also impressive.

The hydrofoil refers to the keel type. There are both monohull and multihull hydrofoils.

How to recognize a hydrofoil:

  • it flies above the waterline and has small fins

Common places to spot a hydrofoil: at racing events

Cruising catamaran at dock in blue waters

Famous catamaran: La Vagabonde from Sailing La Vagabonde

A catamaran is a type of cruising and racing multihull sailboat with two hulls. The hulls are always the same size.

Most catamarans have a standard Bermuda rig. The catamaran refers to the hull, so it can have any number of masts, sails, sail types and rig type.

How to recognize a catamaran:

  • any boat with two hulls is called a catamaran

Common places to spot catamarans: coastal waters, The Caribbean, shallow reefs

The advantages of a catamaran: Catamarans heel less than monohulls and are more buoyant. Because of the double hull, they don't need as deep a keel to be stable. They have a smaller displacement, making them faster. They also have a very shallow draft. That's why catamarans are so popular in the Caribbean, where there's lots of shallow water.

Catamarans are nearly impossible to capsize:

"Compared with a monohull, a cruising catamaran sailboat has a high initial resistance to heeling and capsize—a fifty-footer requires four times the force to initiate a capsize than an equivalent monohull." Source: Wikipedia

Trimaran in green-blue waves

How to recognize a trimaran:

  • any boat with three hulls is called a trimaran

Trimarans have three hulls, so it's a multi-hull design. It's mostly a regular monohull with two smaller hulls or floaters on the sides. Some trimarans can be trailered by winching in the auxiliary hulls, like this:

Extended trimaran hull

This makes them very suitable for long-term cruising, but also for regular docking. This is great for crowded areas and small berths, like in the Mediterranean. It sure is more cost-effective than the catamaran (but you also don't have the extra storage and living space!).

Common places to spot Trimarans: mostly popular for long-term cruising, you'll find the trimaran in coastal areas.

Gaff rigged white schooner

Gaffer refers to gaff-rigged, which is the way the sails are rigged. A gaff rig is a rectangular sail with a top pole, or 'spar', which attaches it to the mast. This pole is called the 'gaff'. To hoist the mainsail, you hoist this top spar with a separate halyard. Most gaffers carry additional gaff topsails as well.

Gaff rigs are a bit less versatile than sloops. Because of the gaff, they can have a larger sail area. So they will perform better with downwind points of sail. Upwind, however, they handle less well.

How to recognize a gaffer:

  • sail is rectangular
  • mainsail has a top pole (or spar)

Since a gaffer refers to the rig type, and not the mast configuration or keel type, all sailboats with this kind of rigging can be called 'gaffers'.

Common places to spot a gaffer: Gaffers are popular inland sailboats. It's a more traditional rig, being used recreationally.

White schooner with two headsails

Schooners used to be extremely popular before sloops took over. Schooners are easy to sail but slower than sloops. They handle better than sloops in all comfortable (cruising) points of sail, except for upwind.

How to recognize a schooner:

  • mostly two masts
  • smaller mast in front
  • taller mast in the back
  • fore-and-aft rigged sails
  • gaff-rigged mainsails (spar on top of the sail)

Common places to spot a schooner: coastal marinas, bays

Ketch with maroon sails

How to recognize a ketch:

  • medium-sized (30 ft and up)
  • smaller mast in back
  • taller mast in front
  • both masts have a mainsail

The ketch refers to the sail plan (mast configuration and type of rig). Ketches actually handle really well. The back mast (mizzenmast) powers the hull, giving the skipper more control. Because of the extra mainsail, the ketch has shorter masts. This means less stress on masts and rigging, and less heel.

Common places to spot a ketch: larger marinas, coastal regions

White yawl with two masts and blue spinnaker

How to recognize a yawl:

  • main mast in front
  • much smaller mast in the back
  • back mast doesn't carry a mainsail

The aft mast is called a mizzenmast. Most ketches are gaff-rigged, so they have a spar at the top of the sail. They sometimes carry gaff topsails. They are harder to sail than sloops.

The yawl refers to the sail plan (mast configuration and type of rig).

Common places to spot a yawl: they are not as popular as sloops, and most yawls are vintage sailboat models. You'll find most being used as daysailers on lakes and in bays.

Clipper with leeboards

Dutch Barges are very traditional cargo ships for inland waters. My hometown is literally littered with a very well-known type of barge, the Skutsje. This is a Frisian design with leeboards.

Skutsjes don't have a keel but use leeboards for stability instead, which are the 'swords' or boards on the side of the hull.

How to recognize a Dutch Barge:

  • most barges have one or two masts
  • large, wooden masts
  • leeboards (wooden wings on the side of the hull)
  • mostly gaff-rigged sails (pole on top of the sail, attached to mast)
  • a ducktail transom

different yacht types

The clipper is one of the latest sailboat designs before steam-powered vessels took over. The cutter has a large cargo area for transporting cargo. But they also needed to be fast to compete with steam vessels. It's a large, yet surprisingly fast sailboat model, and is known for its good handling.

This made them good for trade, especially transporting valuable goods like tea or spices.

How to recognize a Clipper:

  • mostly three masts
  • square-rigged sails
  • narrow but long, steel hull

Common places to spot a clipper: inland waters, used as houseboats, but coastal waters as well. There are a lot of clippers on the Frisian Lakes and Waddenzee in The Netherlands (where I live).

Chinese Junk sailboat with red sails

This particular junk is Satu, from the Chesapeake Bay Area.

The Chinese Junk is an ancient type of sailboat. Junks were used to sail to Indonesia and India from the start of the Middle Ages onward (500 AD). The word junk supposedly comes from the Chinese word 'jung', meaning 'floating house'.

How to recognize a Chinese junk:

  • medium-sized (30 - 50 ft)
  • large, flat sails with full-length battens
  • stern (back of the hull) opens up in a high deck
  • mostly two masts (sometimes one)
  • with two mainsails, sails are traditionally maroon
  • lug-rigged sails

The junk has a large sail area. The full-length battens make sure the sails stay flat. It's one of the flattest sails around, which makes it good for downwind courses. This also comes at a cost: the junk doesn't sail as well upwind.

White cat boat with single gaff-rigged sail

The cat rig is a sail plan with most commonly just one mast and one sail, the mainsail.

Most sailing dinghies are cats, but there are also larger boats with this type of sail plan. The picture above is a great example.

How to recognize a cat rig:

  • smaller boats
  • mostly one mast
  • one sail per mast
  • no standing rigging

Cat-rigged refers to the rigging, not the mast configuration or sail type. So you can have cats with a Bermuda sail (called a Bermuda Cat) or gaff-rigged sail (called a Gaff Cat), and so on. There are also Cat Ketches and Cat Schooners, for example. These have two masts.

The important thing to know is: cats have one sail per mast and no standing rigging .

Most typical place to spot Cats: lakes and inland waters

Brig under sail with woodlands

Famous brig: HMS Beagle (Charles Darwin's ship)

A brig was a very popular type of small warship of the U.S. navy during the 19th century. They were used in the American Revolution and other wars with the United Kingdom. They carry 10-18 guns and are relatively fast and maneuverable. They required less crew than a square-rigged ship.

How to recognize a brig:

  • square-rigged foremast
  • mainmast square-rigged or square-rigged and gaff-rigged

different yacht types

How to recognize a tall ship:

  • three or four masts
  • square sails with a pole across the top
  • multiple square sails on each mast
  • a lot of lines and rigging

Square-rigged ships, or tall ships, are what we think of when we think of pirate ships. Now, most pirate ships weren't actually tall ships, but they come from around the same period. They used to be built from wood, but more modern tall ships are nearly always steel.

Tall ships have three or four masts and square sails which are square-rigged. That means they are attached to the masts with yards.

We have the tall ship races every four years, where dozens of tall ships meet and race just offshore.

Most common place to spot Tall Ships: Museums, special events, open ocean

Trabaccolo with large yellow sails

This is a bonus type since it is not very common anymore. As far as I know, there's only one left.

The Trabaccolo is a small cargo ship used in the Adriatic Sea. It has lug sails. A lug rig is a rectangular sail, but on a long pole or yard that runs fore-and-aft. It was a popular Venetian sailboat used for trade.

The name comes from the Italian word trabacca , which means tent, referring to the sails.

How to recognize a Trabaccolo:

  • wide and short hull
  • sails look like a tent

Most common place to spot Trabaccolo's: the Marine Museum of Cesenatico has a fully restored Trabaccolo.

So, there you have it. Now you know what to look for, and how to recognize the most common sailboat types easily. Next time you encounter a magnificent sailboat, you'll know what it's called - or where to find out quickly.

Pinterest image for 17 Sailboat Types Explained: How To Recognize Them

I loved this article. I had no idea there were so many kinds of sailboats.

i have a large sailing boat about 28ft. that im having a difficult time identifying. it was my fathers & unfortunately hes passed away now. any helpful information would be appreciated.

Jorge Eusali Castro Archbold

I find a saleboat boat but i can find the módem…os registré out off bru’x, and the saleboat name is TADCOZ, can you tell me who to go about this matter in getting info.thank con voz your time…

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different yacht types

Yachts, symbols of luxury and leisure, provide a stunning escape. From motor yachts to sailing yachts, the world of yachting is both diverse and captivating. Journey with us as we explore the different types and sizes of yachts, uncovering their secrets.

Climb onboard a superyacht , the queen of the seas. These floating palaces boast remarkable dimensions, with amenities such as swimming pools, helipads, and even submarines. Ideal for those seeking indulgence, superyachts are the epitome of yachting excellence.

For a more intimate experience, try a luxury motor yacht . With powerful engines, they let you visit multiple destinations quickly. Enjoy the lap of luxury as you cruise across the sea, appreciating every moment on board these vessels.

Sailing lovers will appreciate classic sailing yachts . Watch their silhouettes gracefully cut through the waves, powered by wind. Feel the passion for sailing, and the freedom, on an adventure akin to ancient seafarers. Uncover your inner explorer while savoring unparalleled serenity.

Catamarans are ideal for sailing with precision and finesse. With twin hulls offering stability and space, catamarans offer great comfort. Enjoy vibrant sunsets to tranquil anchorages, and bliss on water, with these versatile vessels.

For those keen on exploration, expedition yachts are perfect. Built tough and with advanced tech, they are designed for explorations to remote areas. Discover untouched landscapes, encounter wildlife, and make memories in the far-flung corners of the world.

Types of Yachts

Sailboats to mega-yachts – there’s a large choice of yachts. Let’s delve into the types and sizes that meet different needs.

Take a gander at the table below for an overview of yachts:

Type Size Range
Sailing Yacht 20-100+ feet
Motor Yacht 35-200+ feet
Catamaran 30-80+ feet
Trawler Yacht 40-100+ feet
Expedition Yacht 70-400+ feet
Flybridge Yacht 50-150+ feet
Sports Fisher Yacht 30-70+ feet

A guide to yacht anchor types and sizes is vital for understanding the different types and sizes available in the yacht industry. For more information, check out a guide to yacht tenders .

Sailing yachts are graceful and use wind power. Motor yachts are speedy and powered by engines.

Catamarans stand out with their steadiness and roominess – great for a leisurely cruise. Trawler yachts are great for long-distance trips because they’re fuel-efficient and have comfy living areas.

Adventurous souls should check out expedition yachts . Flybridge yachts have an extra deck level for entertainment and relaxation.

Sports fisher yachts are designed for fishing, with special gear and amenities.

Don’t miss out on your dream yacht – find the perfect one and go on amazing sea experiences. Start your journey now!

Sizes of Yachts

Yachts come in plenty of sizes, each with its own unique features and capabilities. To discover the perfect yacht for your needs, let us explore the sizes of yachts via a table showcasing their specifications.

Here’s what the table looks like:

Size Length Capacity Features
Tenders Up to 30 ft Up to 10 guests Short trips and transportation to shore
Day Boats 30-60 ft Up to 12 guests Day trips, water sports, and entertaining
Cruisers 60-130 ft Accommodates 8 Guests Long journeys and luxury living
Superyachts Over 130 ft Large groups of guests Swimming pools, helipads, and decks

Moreover, take into account that certain yachts have stability systems, others prioritize speed, and some are customized. I once met a yacht owner who wanted a retractable roof! With the help of creative builders, his dream was fulfilled and he got to enjoy a unique experience on the open seas.

Factors to Consider in Choosing the Right Yacht

Making the right yacht choice involves many key points to think about. These include size, type, budget, use and preferences, like amenities . To decide wisely, assess each factor and see how important they are. Here’s a table of the main considerations when choosing a yacht:

Factors Description
Size Think about how many guests you’ll have and if you want a larger or smaller yacht.
Type Pick between motor, sail, catamaran or mega yachts based on your cruise plans and activities.
Budget Establish a realistic budget that covers purchase costs, upkeep, crew wages, insurance fees and mooring.
Intended Use Decide if you’ll mostly cruise or if you have special activities in mind like fishing or water sports.
Amenities and Features Figure out what features and amenities are essential for your comfort onboard, such as cabins, entertainment systems, water toys or a jacuzzi.

In addition, there are unique details you should consider, like if you plan to charter your yacht when not in use, go for a popular model. If privacy is important, choose a yacht with separate crew quarters. So, here are some tips for making the right choice:

  • Get expert advice from experienced yacht brokers or naval architects.
  • Choose respected brands that hold their value in case you resell.
  • Visit boat shows and yacht exhibitions to explore different models and talk to professionals.

By taking all factors into account and following these suggestions, you can find the perfect yacht that fits your needs. Whether for leisure or adventure, the right yacht will give you amazing memories on the sea.

So many options! In this guide, we explore yacht types and sizes, helping you find the perfect vessel. From sailing yachts to motor yachts , each one offers a unique experience. Plus, you can customize your yacht for a truly special journey.

Let me tell you about James . He dreamed of a yacht that matched his adventurous spirit. So, he found a builder who specialized in customization. The result was amazing – a sleek motor yacht with state-of-the-art diving gear, space for fishing equipment, and luxurious comforts. On his customized vessel, James cruised beautiful coastlines and made memories that will last forever.

When you search for your yacht, remember that customization is key. You can have a tranquil sailing experience or a thrilling adventure. Dive into the ocean of possibilities – your imagination is the only limit.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1: What are the different types of yachts?

There are various types of yachts, including motor yachts, sailing yachts, catamarans, trimarans, superyachts, and expedition yachts. Each type offers unique features and advantages.

FAQ 2: What is the difference between a motor yacht and a sailing yacht?

A motor yacht, as the name suggests, is powered by an engine and offers more speed and convenience. On the other hand, a sailing yacht relies on wind power and provides a traditional sailing experience with a slower pace.

FAQ 3: What is a superyacht?

A superyacht is a luxury yacht with high-end amenities and extravagant features. These yachts often offer spacious cabins, multiple decks, swimming pools, helipads, and other luxurious facilities.

FAQ 4: What is the average size of a yacht?

Yachts can vary greatly in size. The average size of a yacht ranges from 30 to 60 feet. However, larger yachts, known as superyachts, can measure over 100 feet in length.

FAQ 5: What is the advantage of a catamaran or trimaran?

Catamarans and trimarans provide more stability due to their dual or triple hull design. They offer spacious interiors, increased deck space, and enhanced fuel efficiency compared to traditional monohull yachts.

FAQ 6: What is an expedition yacht?

An expedition yacht is designed for long-range cruising and exploring remote destinations. These yachts feature robust construction, advanced navigation systems, and ample storage for supplies and equipment.

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Yacht Types and Sizes

Which yacht types and sizes exist in the world.

Are you curious which yacht types and sizes exist in the world? Spoiler: there are plenty!

In this article, we explore different types of yachts, such as motor yachts, sailing yachts, catamarans and trimarans.

We talk about their unique features, advantages and disadvantages.

We also cover the difference between serial, semi-custom and custom yachts and see which one is right for you. 

Finally, we learn about how yacht size is measured and how it affects overall yacht volume and operations.

Let’s get started! 


If you consider buying a yacht, you need to decide on its type.

Which yacht type do you prefer: motor yachts, sailing yachts or catamarans?

These three categories are the most popular types of yachts, although there are also other ones.

Let’s look at each of them separately.

Yacht Types: Motor Yachts

Motor yacht is the most common type of a superyacht. Around 80% of world’s yachts are motor yachts.

These luxury boats are powered by strong engines, do not have sails and over time have become symbol of a classy and laid-back lifestyle.  

Yacht Types Motor Yacht

Pros of Motor Yachts: 

  • Powerful and fast 
  • Greater technological advances 
  • Greater deck space, more living volume 
  • Easier to find suitable crew members 
  • Easier to operate than a sailing yacht 
  • Easier to host guests of all personalities 

Contras of Motor Yachts:

  • Less sustainable, higher fuel consumption 
  • Less adventurous feel (if you are looking for it) 
  • Shorter range (can only be powered by motor) 
  • Engine noise 

Motor yacht is probably the first thing which comes to your mind when you think superyachts.

Classy and sleek design, plenty of deck space, comfortable staterooms and lots of entertainment options – all this you can find aboard a motor yacht.

Motor yachts come in different types and sizes and with different purposes. The latest trend is explorer motor yachts, which are explicitly equipped for cruising in cold polar regions.  

Yacht Types: Sailing Yachts

Sailing yachts are the second most popular yacht type. If you love the wind and want that classy sporty feel while aboard, then a sailing yacht is the right yacht type for you.

Another advantage is that when not powered by motor, sailing yachts are very quiet. It is only the sound of waves and wind (and an occasional seagull) around you.   

Yacht Types Sailing Yacht

Pros of Sailing Yachts: 

  • Unique feel of adventure 
  • Can combine peaceful cruise with racing  
  • Very quiet when powered by sail  
  • Lower fuel consumption 
  • Lower maintenance cost 
  • Can sail in shallower waters  

Contras of Sailing Yachts: 

  • Tend to be slower that motor yachts (in case you like speed) 
  • Less stabilization  
  • Smaller cabin space 
  • Might have less lifestyle equipment available (Jacuzzi, gym, cinema) … 

There are only two types of people out there: sailing yacht fans and motor yacht fans. Rivalry between fans of the two yacht types has become legendary.

Probably, you already know which group you belong to. Nevertheless, we still recommend you charter both sailing and motor yachts to be sure you are making the right choice. If you are still unsure, read about the third yacht type below. 

Yacht Types: Catamarans  

Catamaran is defined as a vessel with two parallel hulls which are joined together. Due to its form, catamaran is the most stable of all yacht types.

If you are looking for stability and comfort, or have family members who easily get seasick, buying a catamaran is a valid option to consider. 

yacht types catamaran

Pros of Catamarans: 

  • More fuel efficient & sustainable 
  • More stability  
  • Can be used in shallow waters 

Contras of Catamarans: 

  • Less volume for staterooms 
  • Higher dockage rates than for a monohull 
  • Different sailing feeling compared to a sailing boat 

Catamarans offer a great opportunity for taking family vacations, which will leave every family member happy. Since they are more difficult to sink, they are also considered the safest boats.

If you are looking for extra stability, comfort and space, but also do not want to compromise on adventures and possibility to explore shallow waters, catamaran is right yacht type for you. 

Yacht Types: Trimarans 

Big brother of a catamaran, a trimaran, has even three hulls – one main hull in the center, and two smaller hulls on each side.

You will not see them as often, but there are certainly also big fans of trimarans out there. Trimarans are designed for racing or leisure but are also widely used for military and shipping purposes. 


Now that we’ve covered yacht types, let’s investigate which production options are out there. Unlike the automotive industry where most of the car models come from production lines, the yachting world offers future owners more possibilities.  


This is the most common and less expensive way to get to your new dream boat. Serial or production yachts are yacht models which are produced by shipyards in various quantities based on model and size.

Serial does not mean that you cannot tune it to your taste though. Manufacturers offer different sets of modifications with certain yacht models. You will likely get to choose between several layout models and different equipment options.

Obviously, if you order a newly build yacht, you are likely to get more space for your improvements, than if you decide to refit an already existing yacht. 


A good way for owners who wish more character and comfort to their boats but at the same time do not want to order a fully customized vessel, is to order a semi-custom yacht.

Semi-custom yachts stand between serial and fully customized boats. You save a lot of time and effort by picking an existing engineered platform from which to start planning.

Then, together with experienced naval architects and designers, you enhance it up to your expectations by customizing layout (possibly including superstructure) and interiors.

Ordering a semi-custom yacht gives you more freedom to decide how your yacht will look like. Construction time is also much shorter in comparison with a fully customized yacht, since many parts are already designed, engineered and possibly even pre-built.

By ordering a semi-custom yacht, you can shorten construction time from two – three years up to several months!

Shipyards are also less likely to fall behind the delivery schedule, since they have produced similar yachts before and know which time is needed for delivery.

Most semi-custom yachts are designed to suite majority of potential future owners, which means that layout, size, engineering etc will be well thought-through in advance.

Due to extensive previous testing & refining of semi-custom hulls by the shipyard, it is possible that your new yacht will turn out more reliable and problem-free than a fully customized yacht. 


If you wish to be unlike anybody else and want to take your dream a step further, a fully custom-built yacht is exactly what you need.

Almost anything is possible and achievable in today’s superyacht building industry. The only considerations are your budget and international safety and security standards, more on which you can read in our article on Safety and Security Onboard Superyachts. 

With a custom-made yacht, you can be sure you will get exactly the boat you want, tailored just for your preferences, no other yacht in the world being similar.

Consider longer delivery time and substantially higher cost, since R&D expenses are not shared between yachts of the same series.

Many owners buy a smaller replacement yacht, while they are waiting for their customized dream boat to leave the docks. 

A fully customized superyacht is surely the most exclusive type of a yacht one can own.

Yacht Sizes

Now let’s look at different yacht sizes. But first, let’s find out what yacht size actually is.

How is yacht size measured?

Length Overall (LOA) is the most widely used metrics of yacht length. It is measured from the aftmost tip of the hull to the furthermost point of the stem, measured parallel to the waterline. It is probably the only yacht length definition you need to know as an owner.  

*For yachting geeks out there, here are other yacht size definitions used in the industry:

Length of Deck (LOD) : deck length excluding bow sprits and other projections. Makes particular sense for sailing boats, since their Length Overall can considerably vary from their Length of Deck.

Length of Hull (LH or LOH): Length of hull including fixed fendering but excluding any bow sprits. It can be shorter than LOA.

Length of Waterline (LWL): length of a boat at the level where the boat sits in the water.

Interesting fact: Did you know that with each additional 1 meter of length, the internal volume of a yacht increases by 6-7 cubic meters? A 40-meter yacht is not just twice longer than its 20-meter companion. According to Cube Law, it is also 6-7 times larger in volume!  

Motor yacht sizes by group

Let’s look at different sizes of motor yachts. To make things easier, we divided them into 4 groups.  

Please note that the following crew and guest numbers per yacht size are only approximate.  

Factual crew numbers will depend on specific yacht length, cruising style, owner preferences and whether the yacht charters or not.

Factual guest numbers will depend on yacht registration type, especially with larger yachts.

22 – 40 meter motor yachts

Motor yachts in of this size are most likely serial production yachts. This means that you can buy a specific yacht model which has been designed before, and choose your own details, such as finishings and furniture.

Yachts of this size will need 4-6 crew members: yacht captain, one or two deckhands, one or two stewardesses, a yacht chef, and presumably an engineer.

22-40 meter long motor yachts normally can host up to 8 guests.

40-60 meter motor yachts

Motor boats of 40 meters length and larger are considered superyachts also within circles of superyacht industry professionals.  

This is where operations and crew requirements become considerably more sophisticated. There are also more semi-custom and custom boats in this size segment.

A 40-50 meter motor boat will require a crew of approximately 9-13 crew members, depending on specific owner requirements and cruising / charter preferences.  

A possible crew setup would be: yacht captain, first officer, bosun, two engineers, three or two stewardesses, two deckhands, one or two chefs (often a guest and a crew chef).

Crew of a 60 meter motor yacht will count around 20 members.

40-60 meter long motor yachts normally can host up to 12 guests.

60 – 80 meter motor yachts

Here the yachts grow much larger, and so do the costs of maintenance.

A yacht of 60 meters length will have a crew of 20-23 members. A yacht of 80 meters length can have a crew of up to 80 members.

The maximum number of guests will depend on yacht registration type. Many owners choose to keep maximum of 12 guests, since it allows for a simpler regulation regime.

80 – 180 meter motor yachts

A 100 meter motor yacht will require 80-100 members crew. Its tonnage will exceed 500 GT, which means that the yacht will fall under more regulations: STCW, SOLAS, ISSC, ISM and others.

A 170 meter motor yacht can have up to 100 crew members.

The largest yacht worldwide at the time of writing is Azzam, at 180 meters built by Lürssen. Azzam can host 36 guests and a least 80 crew.

Maximum guest number on a yacht of this size can still be only 12 guests. But if the yacht is registered as a passage vessel, it can be significantly more.

Superyachts moored in croatia

How does yacht size affect my yachting experience?

Size does matter after all.

Let’s look at factors that change with the growing size of a yacht.

While thinking of upgrading to a bigger vessel, do not forget that as the yacht size grows, following factors also increase: 

  • Yacht price 
  • Availability and price of marina dockage 
  • Fuel consumption 
  • Number of full-time crew members 
  • Time you can spend away from ports 
  • Quantity of water and other supplies the yacht can carry 
  • Functionality and entertainment options 
  • Complexity of repairs  
  • Applicability of laws & regulations 
  • Time needed to sell the yacht  

Budget is the main factor which determines how big your boat can be. To learn more about the cost of yacht ownership, read this article.

During the past decade, superyachts increased in size dramatically, and this trend continues. According  to an article  by Boat International, there has been around 10.000 yachts over 24-meter LOA in the world. Around 80% of them were motor yachts.

Most of the owners start small and upgrade their boats over years. Once you owned a smaller yacht for some time, you will understand exactly what you love about it.

Also, you will know what you want to improve. So why not initiate a new-build of a new more exciting and possibly larger boat? You can still have the older yacht at your disposal, while waiting for the new delivery.  


In this article, we classified all yachts into 3 main types: motor yachts, sailing yachts & catamarans. We also discussed their pros & contras.

We explained the difference between serial production, semi-custom and custom yachts.

Finally, we learned how yacht size is measured and how it affects various aspects of yacht operations. We looked at crew and guest numbers for each yacht size.

Another important factor to consider is whether you want to commission a new-built yacht or buy a second hand one . More on this in our next article .   

Drop us an email if you need help with choosing a yacht or booking a yacht charter. We will define your needs and find the best solution together.

Are you a motor yacht, sailing yacht, or catamaran fan?  

Comment below! 

Article by Olympiada Wohlin-Elkovsky from

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Yacht Sizes, Types, Styles & Categories

With so many different types of yachts to choose from, it can be hard to know your Flybridges from your Tri-Decks if you’re just starting your search. Although there is a growing number of terms used to describe the different types of yachts out there, many of the terms overlap or are used interchangeably.

If you’re on the market for a yacht, the team here at Turkyacht has compiled a review of the different terms you’ll likely come across when cruising through yachts for sale.

What exactly makes a yacht a yacht , and not just a big boat? There is no nailed-down definition of what makes a yacht a yacht, but most boaters consider a yacht to be any type of sea vessel that is used strictly for recreational or pleasure purposes like cruising, entertaining, water sports, fishing, or year-round accommodations.

Yachts are usually large enough to have some form of sleeping quarters (cabin) onboard for overnight trips as well as a kitchen (galley) and a bathroom (head). They are also large enough that they require more than human inputs (i.e rowing) to propel forward.

Yachts are classed by many things, including their mode of propulsion, size, style, amenities, and function.


  • Boat types: A comprehensive guide to different kinds of boats

If you're fascinated by the vast world of boating, you've probably come across various types of boats. Boats come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and functionalities, each designed for specific activities and environments. In this article, we'll explore different boat types, their characteristics, and their ideal uses. Whether you're a seasoned sailor or a curious newcomer, this guide will provide you with valuable insights into the world of boats.

Sailboats, also known as sailing yachts, rely on wind power to propel them through the water. They offer a serene and eco-friendly boating experience. Here are some common sailboat types:

Dinghies are small, lightweight sailboats typically used for leisurely sailing and training purposes. They are perfect for beginners due to their simplicity and ease of use.

Daysailers are slightly larger than dinghies and are designed for day trips and short excursions. They provide comfortable seating and often feature a small cabin for storage or overnight stays.

Cruisers are spacious sailboats equipped with cabins, berths, and amenities for extended stays on the water. They are ideal for sailing enthusiasts looking for comfort and accommodations during longer voyages.

Racing sailboats

Racing sailboats are built for speed and competition. They feature sleek designs, lightweight construction, and advanced sailing techniques to maximize performance in races and regattas.

Read our top notch articles on topics such as sailing, sailing tips and destinations in our  Magazine.  

Powerboats, as the name suggests, rely on engines for propulsion. They offer speed, versatility, and power, making them popular among recreational boaters. Let's explore various powerboat types:

Runabouts are small powerboats designed for short trips, watersports, and leisure cruising. They are usually equipped with seating, a small cabin, and basic amenities.

Bowriders are versatile boats that feature an open bow area with seating. They are perfect for family outings and activities such as waterskiing, fishing, or simply enjoying a day on the water.

Center consoles

Center console boats are characterized by their centrally located helm and open deck space. They are commonly used for fishing and provide easy access to all sides of the boat.

Cuddy cabins

Cuddy cabin boats combine the features of a powerboat with a small cabin for storage and occasional overnight stays. They offer comfort and versatility for day trips or short overnight adventures.

Pontoon boats

Pontoon boats are known for their stability and spaciousness. They feature a flat deck mounted on two or three pontoons and are perfect for leisurely cruises, parties, and entertaining guests.

Ski and wakeboard boats

Ski and wakeboard boats are designed specifically for watersports activities. They have powerful engines, specialized hulls, and equipment such as wakeboard towers or ski pylons to enhance the experience.

Fishing boats

Fishing boats come in various sizes and designs, tailored to different fishing styles and environments. From small, nimble bass boats to sturdy offshore fishing vessels, there's a boat for every angler.

Trawlers are long-range, fuel-efficient boats designed for extended cruising and living aboard. They offer comfortable accommodations and are perfect for those seeking adventure on the open seas.

Boats at sea.

Boats at sea.

Personal watercraft

Personal watercraft, commonly known as jet skis, are small, motorized vessels designed for individual riders. They provide thrilling experiences and are often used for recreational purposes and watersports.

Inflatable boats

Inflatable boats are lightweight, portable, and versatile. They can be deflated and packed into a compact size, making them ideal for boaters who value convenience and easy storage.

Kayaks and canoes

Kayaks and canoes are small, manually propelled boats used for recreational paddling and exploring calm waters. They offer a peaceful and intimate connection with nature.

So what are you waiting for? Take a look at our range of charter boats and head to some of our favourite sailing destinations .

FAQs about choosing a boat

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Types of Yachts: An Overview

17th feb 2023 by carrie reed.

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From small yachts to superyachts, many luxurious vessels are available for purchase on the market today. Each type of yacht has unique features that set it apart from the other types, so a certain yacht style might suit you better than another. To make sure that you are looking at the right one for you, you will need to know how to distinguish the different types of yachts from each other.

While there is no set definition that specifically sets yachts apart from other vessels, they are generally understood to be larger than average (at least 40 feet long or bigger) with a galley, a head, and cabins with sleeping quarters. Yachts usually have powerful diesel motors that can handle cruising, runs to distant fishing grounds, and watersports. Yachts can also be classified by numerous factors, including size, amenities, and method of propulsion.

Types of Yachts

There are four main categories of yachts: motor yachts, sailing yachts, motor sailers, and cruisers. Let's take a look at each one.

Motor yachts

A motor yacht is propelled with the use of a motor or, more commonly, multiple motors. As the most common type of yacht available today, motor yachts are built for entertainment with spacious social interaction areas and luxurious accommodations. Buyers often choose motor yachts because of their suitability for extended cruising ventures, entertaining large groups of guests, and charter trips.

Sailing yachts

A sailing yacht uses sails as its primary means of propulsion. While these yachts also have motors on board, they’re usually used only when there is not enough wind to propel the craft, when docking, or when operating in heavily trafficked harbors or channels. Sailing yachts are appealing because of the quiet and environmentally friendly way they operate, as well as their essentially unlimited range. Sailing yachts generally have a lower profile and due the the shape of the hull, less onboard space than other types of yachts.

Motor sailers

Motor Sailers are a hybrid between a motor yacht and a sailing yacht. They generally use a motor as the primary form of propulsion, but also have sails that can be used when the weather conditions are right. Though less popular than the other types of yachts there are subcategories of motor sailers such as the gulet (for information see What is a Gulet? What is it like to charter one? ), and there are also some catamaran motor sailers.

Cruiser yachts

Yacht styles that do not quite fit into the previous categories are often called cruiser yachts or express cruisers. These yachts are generally modern looking, with sleek, streamlined hulls and open cockpit areas. They are on the smaller side for yachts, typically no more than 60 or 70 feet long, and are usually powered by twin diesel engines.

Types of Luxury Yachts

A luxury yacht is generally understood to be a yacht that is built with the latest in modern technology and features high-end finishes and materials. The word "luxury" can be used with any type of yacht that is exceptionally well-appointed, but some types of yachts are considered to be more luxurious than others. Let's take a look at what they are.

Luxury yacht Scheherazade in Croatia

Classic luxury yachts

Today's classic luxury yachts are designed to emulate the grace and style of the classic yachts of yesteryear while incorporating the latest technology in a non-intrusive way. These yachts tend to have large private cabins with full baths and Jacuzzis, spacious social areas that can accommodate many guests, and lavish accommodations featuring air conditioning, high-speed internet access, and expansive entertainment systems.

Mega luxury yachts

Mega luxury yachts are private yachts that can be hundreds of feet long and are crafted specifically to carry large numbers of family and friends in lush accommodations. They feature vast open areas for sunning and socializing, multi-level entertainment and relaxation options, and VIP staterooms with private en suite heads. Many have additional special features, such as saunas, gymnasiums, and spas.

Types of Small Yachts

Small yachts, also called sport yachts, are vessels that are less than 60 feet long and are designed to accommodate no more than a dozen people at a time. These yachts often have sleek designs and may be used for fishing trips, offshore excursions, and water sports. Like the term "luxury," the word "sport" can be applied to just about any style of yacht, but some types seem to fit the category better than others. More information: Small Luxury Boats with a Difference .

small yacht

Yacht Sizes

You can find yachts in three size categories: yachts, superyachts , and mega yachts. While you can find some variation in how these terms are used, yachts are generally classified as being up to 100 feet long. Superyachts are between 100 feet and 200 feet long. Mega yacht is the term used for any yacht that is more than 200 feet long.

Yacht Categories

Yachts are often categorized by their notable features, with the terms "sport" or "luxury" added to describe their level of opulence. Here are some of the most popular yacht categories.

Yachts moored in Porto Cervo, Italy

Catamaran yachts

This type of yacht is often made of fiberglass and has two hulls with an open space in the middle for greater stability and a smoother ride. They are available in both sailing and power varieties.

Flybridge yachts

Flybridge yachts are built with a spacious deck and living space atop the main cabin, called the flying bridge or flybridge. The layout of the flybridge may be open or fully enclosed with climate control. They also typically have a hardtop and a sizable seating and/or lounge area.

Sportfish yachts

Also known as sport fishing yachts , these yachts are built for speed and durability, making them great for fishing trips and sport fishing tournaments. They typically have a large cockpit and ample storage space to accommodate anglers on the water for long periods of time. Sportfish yachts may come equipped with outriggers, fishboxes, fighting chairs, and other fishing features.

Expedition yachts

Expedition yachts are designed for adventure, with a deep displacement hull to enhance stability and comfort during long trips. They are designed for passengers to remain safe and comfortable through long oceanic voyages, and tend to have extended range and plenty of accommodations.

Written By: Carrie Reed

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Introduction To Different Types Of Yachts

We have discussed the differences between cruise ships and their older counterparts, ocean liners in one of our previous articles. We have also learned about the various types of cruise ships.

In this article, we shall discuss the types of yachts.

To begin with, what are yachts? Yachts are those small to average-sized vessels used for pleasure, vacation, or sports activities like racing. The most distinct feature that distinguishes yachts from any other boat or vessel is their aesthetics.

Yachts are attractive and sleek in appearance, have narrow and streamlined beams, and are often pleasing to the eye. However, size is also another important parameter taken into consideration.

As per classification rules, a vessel dedicated for the aforesaid purposes is deemed to be a yacht only when it is over a certain length of at least 10 meters or 33 feet.

Though sizes of yachts can be as large as more than 70-80 meters, they are rarely 100 meters or more. Larger vessels of such extents come under the purview of cruisers or passenger ferries as discussed before. A handful of exceptions exist.

The private megayacht Azzam, having a length of 180 meters, is the longest existing motor vessel in the world to be classified as a yacht.


Types of Yachts 

Based on length and size, yachts can be classified into the following categories:

Megayachts: These are the largest of their kind. Most yachts under this category have lengths of over 50 meters. They are used for leisure or recreational purposes and are suitable for large families or groups. Most of such yachts are owned and operated by organizations similar to cruise lines but private ownership also exists. These vessels have dedicated crew to cater for the services of passengers. In terms of facilities and amenities, they are very much close to luxury cruisers and are often replete with everything from swimming pools to pubs, cafeterias to movie halls, gyms to restaurants, suite rooms to conference banquets. Of course, provisions of all these depend on the size of the vessel.

Superyachts: These are lesser in size than the former. Their average length ranges from 30-50 meters. They also have appealing features like Jacuzzis, sky lounges, dining rooms, and bars. Superyachts can be both motor-driven or have sails (shall discuss more on this later). They also are often served by professional crew members. Both superyachts and megayachts are also called offshore yachts for their ability to tread deeper waters.

Medium-sized luxury yachts: With lengths ranging from 20-30 meters, they are suitable for large families or tourist groups. They may have a small number of dedicated crew members. Though not having many amenities like their larger counterparts, they offer a significant degree of comfort and luxury. They operate near the shore or in rivers.

Smaller Yachts: These vessels range between 10 meters to 18 or 20 meters. Most of such vessels are privately owned and are used for purposes such as leisure or water sports. They can be both motor or sail-driven or a combination of both. They have the main deck and living quarters comprising of at most 2 or 3 rooms below it. These yachts may have a small promenade deck or a flybridge. These yachts are compact, streamlined, and aesthetically attractive. Such yachts have limitations for venturing beyond a certain limit of the sea or river.

By propulsion

Sailboats: Like most other ships, yachts have evolved from having prominent sails for plying in the waters by the virtue of wind forces to having motorized propulsions. Unlike cruisers and ferries which became popular at a much later date during the 17th or 18th centuries, yachts or the concept of pleasure boats saw their advent as early as the Pharaonic Egyptian era.

For several centuries, these pleasure boats were characterized by different forms and sizes of sails. The areas of the sails depended on the size of the vessel, of course, and were primarily composed of natural materials such as flax or cotton fibers.

However, with the introduction of synthetics, sails made of polyester or nylon became increasingly popular and have continued to be used to date. Sail yachts are of numerous types, most of their designs derived from traditional variants of monohull sailboats like sloop, catboats, cutter, ketch, or schooner.

These vessels can be single sail-single mast (like catboats), double sail-single mast (sloop), or other versions of multiple sails-multiple masts (like ketches or schooners). Though almost all modern yachts employ mechanized propulsion, many still feature sails simply for aesthetics (see gullet yachts below).


Motor Yachts: After the Industrial revolution, yachts, in tandem with other vessels, incorporated engines for their propulsion. Coal-fired steam engines used both fire-tube and water-tube boilers. Over the years, steam engines became superseded by modern fuel-powered combustion engines. Yachts feature both four-stroke gasoline engines, especially for smaller and high-speed designs, as well as two-stroke diesel engines, for larger designs. Yachts may use single or twin-screw propellers of 3-blade, 4-blade, 5-blade, or even 6-blade propellers based on the requirements.

Gulet Yachts: They are a hybrid of the above types and employ both sails and engines for propulsion. As mentioned above, often the sails, even when no longer required, are kept for aesthetic appearance.

Based on Hull Design

Monohull: Commonly, yachts are of monohull configuration. Such hulls can be either of displacement or planing type. For displacement-type hulls, the buoyancy is created by the displacement and such vessels have average speeds not exceeding a certain limit.

Planing hulls, as we know, are meant for high-speed crafts where a substantial portion of the hull weights at high speeds are supported by the component of hydrodynamic lift as opposed to the hydrostatic lift from buoyancy. These vessels have very low wetted surface area during high speeds (and thus less frictional resistance) and the forward portion of the hull mainly stays above the waterline.

During rest or low speeds, once again, they are supported by buoyant forces. Yachts with planing-type hulls are quite small in size and are primarily meant for pleasure or water sports activities. Some designs combine both the elements of planing and displacement characteristics forming semi-displacement hulls.

Multihull: Yachts can also be multi-hull configurations, i.e., catamaran (two hulls) or trimaran (three hulls) types. Catamaran designs are chiefly characterized by two slender hull structures joined by the extension of the bridge deck or a large crossbeam. These vessels are highly stable and seaworthy.

Trimarans have a central hull and are further connected to a pair of hulls on either side by beams, superstructures, or decks. Multihull yachts mainly rely on their inherent stability and are not very fast like planning crafts. As expected, they are very expensive in construction. They are mainly composed of fibreglass and other composites.


Based on Purpose

Cruiser Yachts: They are conventional yachts of varying sizes meant for passenger pleasure and vacationing. These vessels are permitted for long-distance travel up to moderate depths of the ocean. They are mainly of displacement type. Luxury yachts often come under this category.

Fishing Yachts: These yachts are chiefly built for fishing purposes as a recreational activity. These yachts have space for ample fishing equipment and gear and are characterized by open decks favourable for fishing as well as hauling up the catch. These vessels are permitted to venture into areas having the best chances of fishing but are barred from deeper depths of the seas.

Trawler Yachts: Their purpose is similar to a conventional fishing vessel designated for mass-scale commercial fishing. However, unlike the bland design of trawlers, these vessels imbibe some degree of aesthetics familiar to a yacht.

Sports Cruisers: These cruisers are meant for recreational or sports activities and short fast trips. Such vessels are mostly characterized by either planning or semi-displacement hulls. They are relatively smaller in size and thus accommodation spaces are limited. Such vessels have a stylish and sleek-appearing flybridge and an open deck for a better experience. Such vessels reach speeds from 30 knots to 50 knots. Sports yachts are also often deployed for racing purposes. They are sometimes also known as open yachts. For those willing to indulge in a bout of adrenaline rush like in sports cars, these yachts are the apt choice!

Sport Fishers: These vessels combine both the purposes of luxury as well as fishing. Like fishing yachts, they are equipped with fishing gear as well as have features for ample passenger comfort and amenities. They often have semi-displacement or planing configurations. During fishing activities, they are idle or operate at low speeds and during pleasure, they may be operated at high speeds. Though generally not very big in size, larger vessels with sizes around 30 meters exist.

Expedition Yachts: For those having an appetite for some real adventure or exploration, these yachts are just the right ones. They are designed for longer voyages and often receive permits for long-distance trips, often to uncharted and remote locations. Since adventure or exploration groups involve quite a number of people and unpredictable sea states, these vessels are significantly large in size. They are strict of displacement hulls, often strengthened to suit various types of conditions likely to be encountered. For those vessels venturing into icy waters, the hulls are designed and constructed based on Ice-Class regulations. From coral reefs to the wilds of the Pacific, such vessels are capable of literally traversing anywhere! Modern competent designs incorporate all elements of passenger comfort, luxury, amenities, power, endurance, strength.

Classic Yachts: Some still have a taste for vintage times. Classic yachts are the older restored and retrofitted vessels or newly built ones designed in a way similar to yachts built in the yesteryears. The hull is as per the older variants and often has sails. They are strictly for shallow water and near-shore leisure for those seeking a touch of royalty and the glorious past. These are mainly owned by vintage collectors or connoisseurs.

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About Author

Subhodeep is a Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering graduate. Interested in the intricacies of marine structures and goal-based design aspects, he is dedicated to sharing and propagation of common technical knowledge within this sector, which, at this very moment, requires a turnabout to flourish back to its old glory.

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A Beginner’s Guide To Understanding Yacht Types And Sizes

Feb 13, 2023

Travel Guides

When it comes to buying a yacht, there are many different factors to consider.

One of the most important is understanding the various types and sizes of yachts available on the market. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming for a first-time yacht buyer.

This beginner’s guide will help you understand the different types of yachts and their sizes, so you can make an informed decision when buying your first yacht .

Before we dive into the different types and sizes of yachts, it’s important to have a good understanding of what is available on the market. To get started, check out a list of yachts for sale in various locations . This will give you an idea of the types of yachts that are available and their prices.

Yacht Types

Yacht Types

1. Motor Yachts

Motor yachts are powered by engines, and they are designed for luxury cruising. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, ranging from smaller, more intimate vessels to larger, more spacious yachts that can accommodate several guests.

2. Sail Yachts

Sail yachts are powered by the wind and are perfect for those who want a more adventurous boating experience. They are typically larger than motor yachts and offer more space for guests to relax and enjoy the scenery.

3. Catamarans

Catamarans are two-hulled vessels that are known for their stability and comfort. They offer spacious cabins, large outdoor areas, and plenty of room for guests to relax and enjoy the surroundings.

4. Power Catamarans

Power catamarans are similar to catamarans, but they are powered by engines. They are perfect for those who want the stability of a catamaran, but with the speed and convenience of a motor yacht.

5. Trawlers

Trawlers are designed for long-distance cruising and are known for their spacious interiors, comfortable cabins, and excellent fuel efficiency. They are perfect for those who want to explore distant destinations and enjoy extended periods at sea.

Yacht Sizes

Yacht Sizes

A. Small Yachts

Small yachts are typically less than 40 feet in length and are perfect for short trips and intimate gatherings. They are ideal for those who want a simple, low-maintenance vessel that is easy to handle.

B. Mid-Size Yachts

Mid-size yachts are typically between 40 and 80 feet in length. They offer more space and amenities than small yachts, and they are perfect for those who want a comfortable and spacious vessel for extended trips.

C. Large Yachts

Large yachts are typically over 80 feet in length and offer an unparalleled level of luxury and comfort. They are perfect for those who want the ultimate boating experience, with spacious cabins, large outdoor areas, and top-of-the-line amenities.

Perks Of Buying A Yacht

Buying A Yacht

1. Freedom and independence

With a yacht, you have the freedom to travel to any location you choose and set your itinerary. You have the independence to spend time on the water and explore new and exotic destinations.

2. Privacy and exclusivity

Yachts offer a level of privacy and exclusivity that is difficult to find on land. You can escape the crowds and enjoy your own space, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

3. Luxury and comfort

Yachts are designed for luxury and comfort, with high-end amenities and spacious living quarters. You can relax in comfort and style, and enjoy all the amenities you would expect from a five-star hotel.

4. Adventure and excitement

Owning a yacht opens up a world of adventure and excitement. You can go fishing, diving, and exploring, and experience new and exciting destinations.

5. Increased social status

Owning a yacht is often seen as a symbol of success and social status, and can be a great way to network and make new connections.

6. Investment Opportunity

Yachts can also be a wise investment, as they often hold their value over time and can generate rental income if you choose to charter your yacht.

7. Quality family time

Spending time on a yacht can provide quality family time and create unforgettable memories. It’s a great way to bond and connect with loved ones while experiencing new and exciting destinations.

There are many beautiful places you can visit on a yacht, depending on your preferences and interests.

Listed Below Are Some Of The Destinations That Are In High Demand:

Destinations That Are In High Demand

A. Mediterranean

The Mediterranean is one of the most popular yacht destinations in the world, offering stunning scenery, warm weather, and a rich cultural heritage. You can visit countries like France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey, and experience their unique history, architecture, food, and wine.

B. Caribbean

The Caribbean is a popular destination for yacht enthusiasts, offering crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and a warm and relaxed atmosphere. You can visit islands like the Bahamas, Barbados, Saint Lucia, and the Virgin Islands, and enjoy activities like snorkeling, diving, and island-hopping.

C. Maldives

The Maldives is a breathtaking destination for yacht enthusiasts , offering a remote and unspoiled environment, with pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and abundant marine life. You can explore the atolls, relax in the sun, and enjoy the tropical paradise that is the Maldives.

D. South Pacific

The South Pacific is a popular destination for yacht enthusiasts, offering a remote and exotic environment, with lush tropical landscapes, turquoise waters, and abundant marine life. You can visit countries like Fiji, Tahiti, and the Cook Islands, and experience their unique culture, history, and natural beauty.

E. Thailand

Thailand is a popular destination for yacht enthusiasts, offering stunning beaches, tropical landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage. You can visit the famous islands of Phuket, Koh Samui, and Koh Phi Phi, and experience their stunning scenery, vibrant nightlife, and tropical paradise.

When it comes to buying a yacht, understanding the different types and sizes of yachts is essential. From small and intimate vessels to large and luxurious yachts, there is a type and size of yacht that is perfect for everyone. With this guide, you will be well on your way to making an informed decision when it comes to buying your first yacht.

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Types of Yachts: Your Quick Guide to Luxury Sailing

Types of Yachts: Your Quick Guide to Luxury Sailing

Drew Redding

Yachting is a popular luxury and pastime activity for many people, who enjoy the thrill and relaxation of sailing on open waters. A yacht is defined as a sailing or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising, or racing, with most featuring a cabin designed for overnight use.

There are several types of yachts available, each offering unique features and experiences for their users. Some are crafted for speed and performance, while others prioritize comfort and space to accommodate larger groups of people. From sleek and streamlined vessels to lavish floating homes, the diverse yacht options cater to the varied preferences and needs of sailing enthusiasts.

In this article, we will explore more about these different types of yachts, their designs, and functionalities, as well as the ideal situations for each type. So whether you’re new to yachting or an experienced sailor, you’re sure to discover some fascinating insights about these exceptional watercraft.

Yacht Sizes

Global Yacht Market by Yacht Length

Small Yachts

Small yachts typically range from 20 to 40 feet (6 to 12 meters) in length. They are perfect for day trips and weekend getaways with a smaller group of people. The interiors usually have limited amenities but still provide a cozy and enjoyable experience while cruising through the water.

Medium Yachts

At 40 to 70 feet (12 to 21 meters) in length, medium yachts offer more space and additional features compared to small yachts. They often include:

  • Multiple sleeping cabins
  • Full-service galley
  • Outdoor lounging and dining areas

These yachts allow for extended cruises and accommodate larger groups, making them perfect for entertaining friends and family.

Large Yachts

Large yachts range from 70 to 120 feet (21 to 36 meters) in length and provide a luxurious experience. Key features include:

  • Spacious saloons
  • Multiple decks
  • State-of-the-art technology

These yachts are ideal for those who prioritize comfort, offering extended living spaces and stunning interior designs for a truly memorable adventure at sea.


Measuring over 120 feet (36 meters) in length, superyachts are the pinnacle of luxury. Some impressive amenities commonly found in superyachts are:

  • Swimming pools

With their incredible size and versatility, superyachts are perfect for lavish events or long, indulgent trips around the world. You can learn more about these remarkable vessels in this list of motor yachts by length .

Yacht Categories

Sailing yachts.

different yacht types

Sailing yachts are powered by the wind, using sails to catch it. They offer a more traditional experience and are popular among enthusiasts. Some of these yachts have on-board motors as well for additional maneuverability, like the ones in this list of sailing boat types .

Motor Yachts

different yacht types

Motor yachts rely on engines for propulsion, offering a faster and more stable experience. They often come with luxurious amenities and are perfect for leisure cruises or entertaining guests. Some motor yachts also have sails to supplement their engines, providing additional flexibility.

different yacht types

Multihull yachts include catamarans and trimarans, characterized by their two or three hulls. They are known for their stability, speed, and spacious interiors. Multihulls are suitable for different purposes, such as racing or cruising, as demonstrated by this catamaran rescue story .

Yacht Material and Construction

Fiberglass is a popular material for yacht construction due to its lightweight and strong properties. It is made by combining glass fibers with resin, creating a low-maintenance and durable material . Many modern yachts are made from fiberglass because it is easy to mold into different shapes and has excellent resistance to water damage.

Aluminum is another common material used in yacht construction. It is lightweight, strong, and resistant to corrosion, making it ideal for building hulls . Despite its higher cost compared to fiberglass, aluminum offers advantages such as a longer lifespan and easier repairs.

Steel is known for its strength and durability, making it an excellent choice for yacht construction, especially for larger vessels. It comes in various grades, with high-tensile and special-treatment types being the most widely used for hull structures. However, steel requires more maintenance than other materials, such as regular painting and rust prevention.

Traditional wooden yachts have a timeless charm and appeal. Wood is a natural and renewable resource, making it an eco-friendly option for yacht building. However, wooden boats require more maintenance compared to their counterparts made from modern materials like fiberglass. This includes regular inspections, varnishing, and repairs to keep the wood in top condition.

Yacht Functions

Racing yachts.

Racing yachts are designed for speed and performance, featuring lightweight construction and advanced sail plans. They often participate in exciting regattas and competitions around the world. These boats are typically maneuvered by skilled crews who work together to optimize their yacht’s speed and agility.

Cruising Yachts

Cruising yachts, the choice of many sailing enthusiasts, prioritize comfort and ease of handling. They are intended for extended voyages, with spacious cabins, well-equipped galleys, and ample storage for provisions. Upgrades like autopilots and integrated navigation systems help make long-distance sailing more accessible to a wider range of sailors.

Charter Yachts

Available for rental, charter yachts offer a luxurious experience for guests seeking a vacation on the water. Ranging from small skippered boats to large crewed vessels, these yachts provide all the amenities needed for a blissful and memorable getaway. Many charters include experienced crews, taking care of navigation, catering, and guest services.

Expedition Yachts

Expedition yachts cater to adventurous souls looking to explore remote destinations. Built with robust materials and designed for long-range cruising, these vessels can withstand harsh conditions and navigate challenging environments. They often feature advanced communication systems, strong engines, and enhanced safety features to support the journeys of their intrepid owners.

Yacht Interior and Layout

When it comes to yacht interiors and layouts, the options can be vast and tailored to the yacht owner’s preferences. This section will dive into the crucial aspects of yacht interior designs like cabin arrangements, deck layouts, and amenities.

Cabin Arrangements

Yacht cabins come in a variety of styles and sizes to accommodate different needs. A typical layout may include a master suite, guest cabins, and crew quarters. In some luxury yachts , you can find VIP guest suites, children’s rooms, and even offices. Customization options are almost limitless, so owners can choose the perfect combination of materials, fabrics, and color schemes for their floating home.

Deck Layout

The deck layout on a yacht is crucial for both aesthetic and functional reasons. The arrangement often includes various entertainment areas like dining spaces, sunbathing spots , and lounges. Some yachts also feature a beach club, where guests can enjoy direct access to the water for swimming or water sports. Navigating the seas demands superior functionality, so ease of movement and safety considerations are essential in designing deck layouts.

When it comes to amenities, the sky is the limit for what can be included on a luxury yacht. Ranging from onboard cinemas and wine cellars to gyms and spas, these floating palaces cater to the most discerning tastes. Cutting-edge technology adds to the yacht’s comfort, allowing seamless integration of entertainment systems, lighting, and climate control. The choice of amenities will depend on the owner’s preferences, ensuring that their yacht is a perfect reflection of their lifestyle.

Yacht Maintenance and Ownership

When owning a yacht, it’s crucial to have marine insurance . This will protect you against damage to your yacht, and potential liabilities with other boats or property. Research options and choose a policy that fits your needs.

Crew Requirements

Depending on your yacht’s size, you might need professional crew members. This could include a captain, crew, and possible staff for cooking, cleaning, and maintenance. Balance your budget with expected service level when hiring.

Moorage and Storage

Yachts require a place to be moored, and the fees for this vary depending on location. Look for marinas that can accommodate your yacht’s size and offer needed amenities. Additionally, consider the possibility of dry storage when not in use for extended periods.


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A Guide to the Different Types of Yacht

Posted by: GJW Direct   |   Feb 9, 2022

Types of yacht

Whether you’re considering purchasing a yacht or simply want to know more about this broad term, we’ve taken a look at the definitions and different types of yacht there are out there.

What is a yacht?

Like many boat classifications, yachts don’t have strict guidelines. However, there is general acceptance that for a vessel to be considered a yacht, it should be over 10 feet in length and have a cabin with sleeping facilities on board. Find out more about buying a yacht.  

Within this classification, some of the various types of yacht include:

Sailing yachts

The traditional definition of a yacht, a sailing yacht is normally defined as a large, sail-powered vessel used for pleasure or cruising. Sail-powered vessels may also be used for sporting purposes and are explored below. Sailing yachts, like other yachts should have a cabin that can be used for overnight stays and are generally considered more aesthetically attractive than other, smaller sail-powered vehicles such as dinghies.

Motor yacht

A motor yacht, unlike a sailing yacht is a mid-size to large vessel primarily powered by motors. Also known as motor cruisers , these yachts are primarily used for cruising purposes. Larger than other motor-powered boats such as speedboats or RIBs and with fully rigid hulls and onboard amenities, they’re a common sight in coastal waters around the UK and Europe.

Hybrid yacht

A hybrid of both the motor and sailing yacht, it can vary in size, the same as both types. Offering the convenience and reliability of a motor yacht with the traditional appeal of a sailing yacht, these hybrid vessels are more and more popular for sailing enthusiasts looking for a reliable, modern yacht.

Expedition or Explorer yachts

These large, primarily motor-driven yachts are built to enable passengers to travel long distances and to remote areas. Either purpose-built or adapted, they should have big gas tanks to enable long travel without filling up and be extremely sturdy and seaworthy. As many of these vessels will travel in unpredictable polar waters, they should also have the capacity to deal with ice and withstand any potential flooding. These luxury vessels may be used as part of group expeditions, by very wealthy private owners or as part of scientific or geographical expeditions.

Open yachts

A form of motor yacht, characterized by their open roofed backs, open yachts are smaller vessels built for speed. Not quite built for racing, they’re the ideal yacht for wavemakers looking to get their adrenaline fix as they cruise the waters.

Sporting yachts

Sporting yachts may be used to refer to quick, motor-powered yachts (such as open yachts) or to small, sail-powered vessels used for racing purposes. Sail-powered racing yachts are generally very light, built from materials such as fibreglass and must be extremely manoeuvrable. While they may have small cabins, their primary purpose is speed so will likely not include extensive amenities on board.

Classic yachts

There is no firm definition of a classic yacht, but these cherished vessels hold a dear place in many hearts. By some definitions, to be considered a classic, the boat should have been built before 1975 and consist of a wooden hull – although this is contested by many organizations. What does seem to be in consensus is that a classic yacht is all about its history and aesthetic – it should make you think and make you feel.

These distinctive yachts are famously the vessels of celebrities cruising turquoise waters around the world. Made up of two equally sized separate hulls, its design means it requires less wind power to propel itself. The connection between the two hulls varies by design and may be more solid, or primarily a strong netting – ideal for sunbathing and relaxing.

Do you currently own a yacht? Whether you’re looking for yacht insurance to cover contents on board, or motor cruiser insurance in case of machinery failure, GJW Direct cover a range of different vessels subject to exclusions and limitations. Sources:

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The Most Common Yacht Types and Styles Explained

So you want to buy a yacht. Great! You’re reading this article because you’re a smart consumer who always does research before they buy.

Not only do you want the best you can get, but you want to make sure you weigh all your options before you make a large purchase.

You’re in the right place. Not only do we have a wide range of yachts for you to choose from, but we have the expertise you’re looking for as well.

If you’re looking to learn about buying a yacht in the Tampa Bay area, get educated below.

Three Main Yacht Types

Most people in the Bay area are looking to buy a motor yacht, but some like to have a  Catalina sailing  option. Luckily, there’s something for everyone.

There are three types of yachts in terms of how it’s propelled: sailing, motor, and gulet. Sailing yachts are what they sound like, and you’ll need to know how to sail if you plan to buy one (or be prepared to pay for a crew).

Motor yachts are self-explanatory as well. They have a marine motor that propels them through the water. The bigger the yacht is, the more motors it will have.

Finally, gulet yachts are a mix of the two types above. It has sails for when conditions are great and a motor for when you need to get somewhere fast.

Once you’ve decided how you want your boat to drive, it’s time to think about how you’ll use your yacht.

The Best Yachts for Different Uses

If you’re looking for a yacht that will impress your friends, customers, or just give you that luxurious feeling you’re searching for, your best fit is a luxury yacht. These are 80 feet plus vessels that are modern, have all sorts of amenities, and feature plush interiors.

These are the kind of yachts you take out around Tampa Bay in the evening with a bottle of champagne. Famous luxury yachts include Tony Parker’s “Infinity” and Eric Clapton’s “Va Bene.”

While a vessel must be 80 feet long to qualify as a luxury yacht, that doesn’t mean smaller ones can’t be luxurious. Tampa-based great Tom Brady has a beautiful yacht, the “ Vida a Vida ,” that comes in at around 55 feet.

Sport Yachts

If you’re looking for something that’s luxurious and more functional, you might be in the market for a sport yacht. These are ships designed to go fast and act as luxury cruisers while having some functional capabilities for fishing and water sports.

Conor McGregor’s Lamborghini yacht is a great example, as is  David Beckham’s “Seven .”

Catamaran Yachts

Finally, we have the dual-hull category. These yachts have two hulls, often with a large sunbathing deck or netting over the front opening. These are great party boats, but they have fishing functionality as well.

You’ll find a large range of catamarans available in Florida, as they’re popular in many different sizes.

Finding the Perfect Yacht for You

When you’re shopping for yachts in Tampa Bay, Florida, you want to ask yourself three questions. First, how do you want it to “go?” Second, how big of a yacht are you looking for? And finally, what type of yacht are you interested in?

If you can answer these general questions, then one of our associates can help you find your perfect fit. Browse  our options, here .

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A Guide to the Different Types of Yachts and Their Characteristics

Yachts are luxurious and stylish boats used for leisure and pleasure, often seen cruising along the coast or anchored in a marina. They come in different sizes and styles, each with its unique characteristics and uses. Here are the different types of yachts:

1. Sailboat Yacht

The sailboat yacht is a classic and elegant type of yacht that is powered by the wind. It is often used for recreational sailing, racing, and exploring. Sailboat yachts come in different sizes, from small single-person dinghies to large multi-masted yachts, and can be made from different materials, such as wood, fiberglass, or aluminum.

2. Motor Yacht

The motor yacht is a modern and sleek type of yacht that is powered by engines. It is often used for cruising, fishing, and water sports. Motor yachts come in different sizes, from small day boats to large luxury yachts, and can be made from different materials, such as fiberglass or steel.

3. Expedition Yacht

The expedition yacht is a rugged and sturdy type of yacht that is designed for long-distance cruising and exploration. It is often equipped with advanced navigation systems, communication equipment, and safety features. Expedition yachts come in different sizes, from small expedition sailboats to large motor yachts, and can be made from different materials, such as steel or aluminum.

4. Catamaran Yacht

The catamaran yacht is a spacious and stable type of yacht that is designed for comfort and stability. It has two parallel hulls that provide a smooth and stable ride, even in rough seas. Catamaran yachts come in different sizes, from small day boats to large luxury yachts, and can be powered by engines or sails.

By understanding the different types of yachts, individuals can choose the best type of yacht for their specific needs and boating activities. Yachts come in different sizes, styles, and materials, making it easy to find the perfect yacht for any boating adventure.

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What are the types of yachts that exist? What are the differences between them?

Oct 25, 2023 | Yacht news

Yachts are luxury boats that come in a variety of sizes, styles, and capabilities. Whether you’re looking for a sleek sailing yacht to cruise the Mediterranean or a powerful motor yacht to explore the sea with so many different options to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start to know which Yacht categories is for you.

What is a yacht?

There is no one definitive definition of a yacht, but it is generally considered to be a large, luxurious recreational boat. Yachts typically have multiple cabins and staterooms, as well as amenities such as kitchens, bathrooms, and entertainment systems. Some yachts are even equipped with swimming pools, Jacuzzis, and other high-end amenities. But with so many different types of yachts available, it can be tough to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to yacht categories. Here, we’ll take a look at all the different types of yachts available, and help you choose the right one for your needs.

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What are the types of yachts that exist?

1- sailing yachts.

Sailing yachts are powered by the wind, and are a great choice for sailors of all experience levels. They come in a variety of sizes, from small day boats to large ocean-going cruisers.

Yacht categories: sailing yach

Some of the most popular types of sailing yachts include:

  • Sloops: Sloops are the most common type of sailing yacht, and are relatively easy to sail. They have one mast and a single mainsail. Cutters: Cutters are similar to sloops, but have one additional mast at the bow. This makes them more stable and easier to control in windy conditions.
  • Ketches: Ketches have two masts, one at the bow and one at the stern. This gives them more power and stability than sloops or cutters.
  • Schooners: Schooners have two or more masts, all of which are located forward of the midsection of the boat. This gives them a lot of power and speed, but also makes them more difficult to sail.
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2 – Motor yachts

Motor yachts are powered by engines, and are a great choice for those who want a luxurious and powerful boat. They come in a variety of sizes, from small day boats to large superyachts.

Some of the most popular types of motor yachts include:

  • Express cruisers: Express cruisers are small to mid-sized motor yachts that are designed for speed and day cruising. They have open cockpits and a variety of amenities, such as sunbathing decks, wet bars, and refrigerators.
  • Flybridge yachts: Flybridge yachts are larger motor yachts that have a second helm station on the flybridge. This gives the captain a better view of the surrounding area, and makes it easier to maneuver the yacht in tight quarters.
  • Motoryachts: Motoryachts are the largest and most luxurious type of motor yacht. They have spacious accommodations, multiple decks, and a variety of amenities, such as jacuzzis, gyms, and helicopter landing pads.

3- Other types of yachts

In addition to sailing yachts and motor yachts, there are a number of other types of yachts available, including:

Yacht categories: motor yach

  • Catamarans: Catamarans are two-hulled yachts that offer a number of advantages over monohull yachts, such as increased stability and speed.
  • Trimarans: Trimarans are three-hulled yachts that are even faster and more stable than catamarans. Power catamarans: Power catamarans are catamarans that are powered by engines. They offer a combination of the speed and stability of a catamaran with the luxury and amenities of a motor yacht.
  • Yacht tenders: Yacht tenders are small boats that are used to transport passengers and cargo between a yacht and the shore. They are also often used for water sports and fishing.

What are the differences between each yacht type?

Choosing the Right Yacht for You

When choosing a yacht, there are a number of factors to consider, such as your budget, experience level, and intended use.

If you’re a new sailor, you may want to start with a smaller, easier-to-sail yacht. As you gain more experience, you can then move up to a larger and more complex yacht.

If you’re looking for a yacht for day cruising, you’ll want to choose one that has a comfortable cockpit and plenty of amenities. If you’re planning on doing overnight cruises, you’ll need to choose a yacht with cabins and sleeping accommodations.

And if you’re looking for a luxurious yacht to explore the world, you’ll want to choose one with all the bells and whistles, such as a jacuzzi, gym, and helicopter landing pad.

Top Destinations for Yacht Vacations Around the World

No matter what your budget or experience level, there’s a perfect yacht out there for you. With so many different types of yachts available, you’re sure to find one that meets your needs and budget.

Additional Tips for Choosing a Yacht

Do your research. Once you’ve decided on the type of yacht you want, take some time to research different models and manufacturers. Read reviews, compare prices, and visit yacht shows to see the different yachts in person.

Hire a yacht broker. A yacht broker can help you find the right yacht for your needs and budget.

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When is a Boat a Yacht?

Types of yachts – sizes, styles, & categories.

With so many different types of yachts to choose from, it can be hard to know your Flybridges from your Tri-Decks if you’re just starting your search. Although there is a growing number of terms used to describe the different types of yachts out there, many of the terms overlap or are used interchangeably.

If you’re on the market for a yacht, the team here at Van Isle Marina has compiled a review of the different terms you’ll likely come across when cruising through yachts for sale .

definition of a yacht - megayacht

a luxury motoryacht

Below is our brief guide to understanding the different terms the boating community has been known to use to describe yachts.

Definition of a Yacht

What exactly makes a yacht a yacht, and not just a big boat? There is no nailed down definition of what makes a yacht a yacht, but most boaters consider a yacht to be any type of sea vessel that is used strictly for recreational or pleasure purposes like cruising , entertaining, water sports, fishing , or year-round accommodations.

Yachts are usually large enough to have some form of sleeping quarters (cabin) on board for overnight trips as well as a kitchen (galley) and a bathroom (head). They are also large enough that they require more than human inputs (i.e rowing) to propel forward.

Yachts are classed by many things, including their mode of propulsion, size, style, amenities, and function.

General Types of Yachts

Definition of a Yacht - Sailing Yacht

a sailing yacht

A yacht is first defined either as a sailing yacht, motor yacht, or gulet yacht, and then as a sports or luxury yacht.

  • Sailing Yacht: a yacht mainly propelled via wind and sails
  • Motor Yacht: a yacht propelled via one or more motors
  • Gulet Yacht: a hybrid yacht with both sails and motors
  • Open Yacht, Cruiser, Cabin Cruiser, Express Cruiser: an otherwise uncategorized standard yacht for cruising and entertaining
  • Luxury Yacht: a yacht that includes high-end finishes and features and the latest in modern performance technology. The term ‘luxury’ can precede any type of yacht, i.e. “luxury motor yacht”, “luxury sailing yacht”, etc.
  • Sports Yacht: a yacht geared towards fishing, water sports, or cruising with a sleeker design and more powerful motor for faster cruising speeds. The term ‘sports’ can precede other types of yachts as well, i.e. “sports motor yacht”.

Definition of a yacht - Catamaran

a catamaran

Yacht Sizes

Yachts can further be defined as a superyacht or megayacht, depending on their size.

  • Super Yachts are typically 24 meters (78 feet) and above.
  • Mega Yachts are typically over 80 meters (260 feet).

Most motor yachts on the market are typically 24 meters (78 feet) or less.  There are only a handful of megayachts in the world due to their extravagant price tag.

Yacht Style Categories

Yachts can further be grouped or defined according to their form and function, such as with flybridge, sedan, pilot house, and sportfish yachts, for example.

  • Classic Motor Yacht: a yacht that was built between the 1920s and 1970s (before today’s modern technology began dominating modern yacht manufacturing). A modern yacht can be built based on the classic motor yacht style.
  • Sedan: a popular yacht style with deck space above the hull and living quarters below. The living quarters of a sedan yacht are enclosed and single-level.
  • Flybridge: a sedan-style yacht with an open deck and more comfortable living space above the main bridge of a vessel.
  • Daybridge: a multi-level yacht that is even more open than a flybridge. Belize Motoryachts are known for creating this distinctive style of yacht.
  • Open or Enclosed: a term used to describe the layout of and access to the flybridge. In an enclosed flybridge, access to the above flybridge is enclosed inside the living space. In an open flybridge, access to the flybridge above is open to the elements.
  • Downeast Style: a low-profile yacht with a large working cockpit and small helm station. This highly recognizable style is inspired by the mid-1900s traditional Maine lobster boat. Back Cove yachts are a shining example of downeast-style inspired yachts.
  • Pilothouse: A multi-deck yacht like a flybridge with a larger interior main deck.
  • Sky Lounge: an enclosed area at the top of the vessel that provides the benefits of the view but with several amenities, protection from the elements, expansive windows and sometimes a sunroof.
  • Cockpit Motor Yacht: a yacht with more cockpit space than deck space.
  • Sportfish or Sport Fishing Yacht: A yacht used for fishing with a large cockpit, storage space, and the ability to handle rougher seas. These can also be referred to as Flybridge Sportfish or Sportfish Express and are built for longer durations out on the water.
  • Convertible: a yacht that combines features of a standard motor yacht with a sportfish yacht to have entertaining space when you need it, and also fishing space when you need it.
  • SUV: a yacht that combines features of a standard motor yacht and sport yacht.
  • Tri-Decks : a superyacht with three levels of staggered, enclosed living space.
  • Expedition Yachts: a large yacht with a deeper displacement hull for more stability and comfort during longer-range trips.

Read a few descriptions of yachts for sale and you’ll soon realize the boating community sometimes seems to have its own language. To accompany this roundup of yacht types, check out our Parts of a Boat post for more information, or jump right into checking out some of the models we at Van Isle Marina have for sale right now.

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26 Different Boat Types | An Easy Guide On Types Of Boats

There are more different kinds of boats than one can imagine. Unpowered, motorboats, and sailboats are the three basic categories and subcategories into which a boat can be classified.

These groups may now be divided into subcategories, each with its own boat type. Each has its own set of benefits and features. The most common boat types, however, are seen here.

In border enforcement, internal transit, and commercial fishing, boats are employed to assist bigger vessels. The bulk of these boat classifications, on the other hand, are leisure and sports boats.

A boat is a type of watercraft that is built to cross shallow waterways and provides significant mobility benefits over large ships. Ships and boats have traditionally been identified by their size.

Handheld or hand-powered boats, sailboats, and motorboats are the only three types of watercraft. Kayaks, yachts, pontoons, banana boats, and other boats that we like fall into one of the categories described above.

In this post, we’ll go through a list of 20 different types of boats so you can understand more about the various modes of water transportation.

20 Different Boat Types An Easy Guide On Types Of Boats

Bass boats are small boats made of aluminum or fiberglass that are used for recreational fishing in freshwater. A bass boat’s level deck, aerated live wells, and a powerful outboard motor are all essential features.

They may also have the following motor for slow-speed activities.

These boats were designed with bass fishing in mind. Sleek fishing is a fish-catching method. This usually needs a boat that has a low profile while creating as little water disturbance as possible.

Three to four anglers may be accommodated in these boats, which range in length from 14 to 26 feet (fishers). It’s small, light, and effective on calm water, with good control.

It’s ideal for freshwater fishing. Swivel chairs, which allow the user to cast all around the boat, are infrequently fitted. The looping water flow of the aerated live wells allows them to store fish alive.

Because there is little freeboard or high sidewalls, they are less stable by design. Because the bulk of its body is underwater, it floats.

With the exception of the stern and the motor, practically all of its components are outside the water at cruising speed. Despite the fact that river fishing is excellent, rough waves make it difficult to handle.

A bay boat is a shallow-water utility fishing craft that has been developed using cutting-edge technology. The boat’s major features include a center console , V-shaped stepped hull, folding jump seats in the back, improved freeboard, transom ladder, high-power outboard motor, low gunwales, and fish storage.

It is well-known for its versatility and may be used offshore, in rivers, and in interior lakes. These boats are swift, have good performance, and can easily carry four anglers.

They’re typically made of fiberglass and range in length from 18 to 25 feet. This allows us to have everything we need for fishing without overwhelming the cottage.

It was designed to fill the gap between freshwater flat fishing boats and seagoing center console boats as high-performance fishing boats. It will be a boat for sportsmen who enjoy both freshwater and sea fishing .

If casting decks are designed around the central console, anglers will have greater stability and space.

A bowrider is comparable to a runabout boat in terms of design, and a deck boat in terms of qualities. It has an open bow, which allows for more seating area forward of the helm.

It’s why they’re about the same size as a deck boat but a little longer. They can be propelled by a sterndrive or an outboard motor.

It is intended for family usage and may be used for fishing, sailing, skiing, and other watersports. A swim platform was included on the bowrider, which was helpful for swimming and attaching wakeboards.

This is an excellent boat to have if you want to spend time on the water with your family and friends.

In a range of water conditions, its V-hull shape delivers great performance, speed, and handling. Because it has comfy seats in front of the helm, you could see fishermen casting (fishing) from the bow.

A conventional bowrider measures between 17 and 35 feet in length. Rather than fishing, these boats are generally utilized for traditional watersports.

Depending on the manufacturer, seat belts or a protective barrier may be put on the boat to prevent falls, particularly in the bow seats closest to the helm.

The best thing about this boat is the variety of activities it provides, including water sports, day sailing, and socializing with family and friends.

A catamaran is a watercraft designed primarily for sailing. It has two parallel hulls on each side and is a two-hulled watercraft. Due to its huge beam, it is naturally balanced on its two hulls.

The photographer, for example, has a greater living space, does not yaw, and can sail in low-draught situations thanks to its higher stability.

A catamaran is a much bigger boat that allows for better agility and true room-size accommodations with windows. This makes you feel more relaxed and at peace.

Two independent engines or propellers are mounted on each hull. You have better control and maneuverability because you can turn it 360 degrees in its current place.

This boat’s smaller draught (1-1.2 m vs. 2-2.4 m in a standard boat), greater speed multihull construction, and lightweight design allow it to sail faster, and it has better stability and mobility.

Because of its large width, it does not tilt or move much in the water, which is beneficial for people who get seasick.

The multihull design’s reduced draught allows it to anchor much closer to the land. Pontoon is built on the caravan design concept, which may surprise you.

Modern catamarans may be separated into two types based on their intended use: a sailing cameraman and a cruise cameraman. Read our comparison of catamarans with monohulls if you are interested.

Center Console Boat

Trolling Motor Riptide Terrova 112 on Fiberglass Center Console 22 feet boat

A saltwater fishing boat with a center console may be utilized for fishing as well as other nautical activities. It’s mostly for fishermen who also wish to try their hand at other marine occupations.

It has enough operating space for both saltwater and freshwater fishing because it has no cabins and a helm station in the middle. Because the design of the center console prioritizes more working areas, any available floor space is transformed into storage or working space.

Depending on the business, it might have a single or double helm seat, with varied head heights.

Its high speed and strong build make it unsuited for racing or other competitive water activities, despite the fact that it was built for fishing.

It can easily attain speeds of 60 knots when equipped with a high-capacity outboard engine. These fishing and day trip boats can seat up to seven passengers and range in length from 18 to 70 feet.

A stereo system, cup holders, USB connections, coolers, and a separate swimming platform are all standard features on even the most modern console boats. The best part about these boats is that you can instantly increase or decrease their speed by chaining together extra outboard motors.

The second feature I appreciate about them is that they can be easily transported on any standard trailer, saving time and effort in the selection process.

Convertible Fishing Boat

This vessel is ideal for recreational sailing and offshore fishing for anglers who want the best of both a fishing trawler and a luxurious Motoryacht. For better vision, it includes an aft fishing deck and a taller helm.

The motorboat features dual mezzanine decks, an outdoor galley, lounge seating, and a comfortable living room, to name a few.

Convertibles are usually 30-35 feet long, although they may be as long as 50 feet in rare situations. It’s built for serious offshore sportfishing; it’s safe, powerful, comfortable, and doesn’t need to be used to raise fish.

It has a cruising speed of 28 knots (32 mph), but in moderate waves, it can easily approach 40 knots.

This boat prioritizes strength above weight when it comes to construction. They’re built of fiberglass and can easily crush waves, ensuring that the boat remains steady even in the most adverse conditions.

The flybridge of a convertible is one of its defining features, and it came in useful for keeping an eye on offshore structures such as weed lines and rips, which attract a lot of fish.

Cuddy Cabin Boats

A cuddy cabin boat is great for anyone looking for a family-friendly boat with hidden cabin space that’s also tiny and maneuverable. Superior cruise control, increased storage capacity, and even a concealed cabin within the closed deck space are all common features of these flexible boats.

These boats have a cuddy or a small cabin beneath the deck space, which differs from a cabin cruiser in that you don’t have to look for a cabin.

V-shaped beds with optional tables, as well as a porta toilet and standard storage space, are included in these cabins. It’s basically a comparison between an ideal cabin cruiser and a deck boat.

These versatile boats are generally used to spend quality time with friends and family, in addition to sailing, fishing, yachting, swimming, and other water sports.

The lodgings are small, yet they provide more comfort and space than one might expect. It has a swim platform, water generator, sink, taps, and a cabin, making it an excellent boat for recreational usage.

A typical cuddy cabin boat is between 20 and 30 feet long and has a 500-1000 horsepower inboard or outboard engine. This power might come from a single large engine or a cluster of small engines.

The great thing about this boat is that it’s tiny enough to be towed anywhere you choose.

A deck boat is a motorized boat with an open deck that is distinguished by its unique design, large deck area, and speed. The name “Deck Boat” refers to the extra deck space given by the boat’s unique hull design.

This boat is great for fishing, cruising, quality family time, and some water activities, with a length of 18 to 24 feet and a spacious deck area as well as powerful stern propulsion.

Its V-shaped hull provides the extra room needed for a huge open deck and seating arrangement. You can hold tiny parties on these boats since they have so much space.

These expansive deck areas are often utilized for additional seating, but they can also be used to store fishing equipment. The benefit is that they can be hauled to your garage or carport by any ordinary trawler.

As a result, you won’t have to worry about trawler size and strength when hauling deck boats. Because of its flexibility, it is popular and widely used along beaches, rivers, and freshwater lakes.

Its hull design also contributes to its increased stability. These boats are simple to operate and need little maintenance.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, it’s actually rather straightforward. Depending on what you want from them, you have a range of possibilities. All variants come with a powerful engine, Bimini top protection , an enlarged swim platform, storage space, accessories, and life jackets.

Dinghies are small boats that may be seen on beaches and lakes and are used for a variety of activities including fishing, rescue, sailing, and water sports.

In the case of an emergency, these little boats, which are normally 12 to 15 feet long, are kept and used on major boats and ships.

They’re made of various materials, such as strong wood and inflated rubber. Due to their traditional and relatively basic construction, they may be propelled by oars, sails, or an outboard boat motor.

A dingy may be classified into four types based on its shape and mode of propulsion: Whitehall, Dory, and Inflatable rubber boats, which are the most common currently.

Because of their ability to work in even the shallowest of waters with exceptional mobility, they are regularly used by enthusiasts throughout the world looking for a good time in lakes and along beaches.

little dingy sailing boat

The same purpose makes it an excellent companion for large boats and ships, allowing it to transfer passengers in an emergency or when the massive boat or ship is unable to dock.

While any inflatable may be used as dingy, rigid-bottom inflatables are the most popular since they can inflate and collapse quickly without threatening other boats in the vicinity.

They are simply more cost-effective, both as a one-time purchase and in terms of continuing care, because they can be easily deflated and kept in a closet.

Dual Console Boats

Dual console boats are one of the most popular choices for day sailing or recreational fishing. The phrase “dual-console” refers to two independent consoles, each with its own set of windshields. Between the eating area at the bow and the entry entrance is a tunnel.

The driver’s seat is on the right side, while the passenger seat is on the left. Most fishermen, skiers, and casual boaters favor this boat type because of its adaptability. Because it is much larger than a center console boat, it provides better agility, comfort, storage space, and seating.

It provides additional relaxation and enjoyment of day sailing for casual sunny days on the ocean.

A dual console boat’s main advantages are higher capacity, better weather protection, a V-shaped hull, a front seating area, additional dry storage space, and fishability (came with a rod holder , fish box, and live wells).

It also has a carpet-free fiberglass deck with an easy-to-maintain external drain. Outboard motors propel these boats, which can range in length from 15 to 30 feet.

Modern versions often incorporated a separate compartment in the passenger’s side console, which was handy for lounging or changing. The twin console boat has less foot room than other similar boat designs since it has more seats.

Ferry Boats

You’ve undoubtedly heard the term “ferry” even if you don’t know much about boats or have never seen one. It’s basically a big boat that can move people and cars from one place to another.

Cross-river ferries, which move from one store to another, are common in large rivers.

Ferry Boats 1024x683 1

While the majority of ferries do precisely what they’re supposed to, some do include extra features like restaurants, entertainment spaces, brief excursions, and even lodging.

These boats are frequently small in size due to the confined waterways, which adds to their agility. A ferry is an essential component of a public transportation system designed for short-distance travel.

The function or purpose of a ferry distinguishes it from other boat types, rather than its appearance. Ferry boats are divided into four categories: catamaran, hydrofoil , cable, and Ro-Ro.

The most common type of vessel is the Ro-Ro, which is chosen based on the requirements and operational expenses.

The materials used in the building of a Ro-Ro ship and a Ro-Ro ferry are the most important difference. Ships, on the other hand, are designed for international trade and must follow the internationally approved design, techniques, and limitations.

Ro-Ro ferries, on the other hand, are less expensive, have a simpler design, and follow national construction codes.

Fishing Boats

Simply because you may fish from it with some portable fishing gear does not make it a fishing boat. A fishing boat is usually a wooden-hulled vessel with very little machinery. Since ancient times, they have used spears, hooks, and nets to catch fish in both fresh and saltwater.

A commercial fishing boat, or trawler, on the other hand, is a big metal structure that performs the task utilizing sophisticated equipment including trawling engines, trawlers, live wells, and electric power sources.

Trawlers with trolling motors , ropes, and other fishing gear are generally seen near the stern of these massive vessels.

They are no longer restricted to coastal or river waters, because of their sturdy build and modern navigational gear like G.P.S., sonars, and AIS.

They catch their fish by dragging a trawl (a large fishing net) across the water in areas where AIS technology has discovered a high concentration of a particular fish species. These massive boats are normally 20-25 meters long and weigh 30 to 40 tonnes under draught.

They have superstructures, marine engines , propulsion systems, and cargo space, making them more like a ship than a traditional boats.

Smaller bass boats are frequently used in both fresh and salt rivers for low-scale or pleasure fishing. These little boats are designed to give superior agility, comfort, and help while catching fish, rather than striving for quantity like large commercial fishing boats or trawlers.

Jet boats are dynamic and agile watercraft propelled by water jets instead of traditional propellers. These boats are designed for speed, maneuverability, and versatility on various types of water bodies.

At the heart of a jet boat is a water jet propulsion system. Water is drawn in through an intake located beneath the boat, and then forced out at high pressure through a directional nozzle at the stern. This propulsion system allows jet boats to operate in shallow waters and navigate through areas with submerged objects, such as rivers, lakes, and rapids.

The absence of propellers makes jet boats safer and more user-friendly, as there are no exposed rotating blades. This feature also enables them to operate in areas where traditional propeller-driven boats may encounter difficulties or risks.

Jet boats are known for their impressive acceleration and agility. The water jet propulsion system provides instant thrust and allows for quick direction changes, making them ideal for activities such as water skiing, wakeboarding, and river exploration.

These boats often have a compact and streamlined design, ensuring excellent maneuverability even in tight spaces. Some models may feature seating arrangements for several passengers, while others are designed for solo use or small groups.

Whether you’re seeking a thrilling ride on the water, an adventurous river excursion, or the ability to explore shallow waterways, jet boats offer an exciting and reliable means of transportation. With their unique propulsion system and maneuverability, jet boats provide an exhilarating experience for water sports enthusiasts and those looking to navigate challenging aquatic environments.

Jon boats are versatile and practical watercraft commonly used for fishing and hunting in shallow waters. They are characterized by their flat-bottomed design, which allows them to navigate through shallow and calm waters with ease.

Typically made of aluminum or fiberglass, Jon boats are lightweight yet sturdy, making them ideal for maneuvering in narrow channels, small lakes, and marshy areas. Their shallow draft enables them to access spots that may be off-limits to larger vessels, opening up opportunities for anglers and hunters to explore remote or hard-to-reach locations.

One of the standout features of Jon boats is their exceptional stability. The flat hull design provides a steady platform, allowing occupants to move around comfortably while casting lines, reeling in fish, or managing equipment. This stability is particularly advantageous when standing up or leaning over the sides to retrieve nets, set traps, or handle gear.

Jon Boats are commonly used for fishing and hunting in shallow waters

Jon boats typically come in various sizes, ranging from compact models suitable for a single person to larger ones that can accommodate multiple occupants and additional gear. They often have a bench or swivel seats , providing seating comfort and flexibility.

These boats are also highly customizable, allowing owners to add features such as trolling motor mounts, rod holders, storage compartments, and livewells, depending on their specific fishing or hunting needs. Some Jon boats may even have a small outboard motor attached to the transom for increased propulsion and maneuverability.

Due to their simplicity and practicality, Jon boats are popular among outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy fishing in calm waters, exploring remote locations, or engaging in recreational hunting activities. Their affordability, low maintenance requirements, and durability make them an attractive option for individuals seeking a reliable and versatile vessel.

Whether you’re gliding through shallow marshes in search of waterfowl or quietly casting your line in a serene fishing spot, Jon boats provide a reliable and efficient means to navigate shallow waters while enjoying the tranquility and beauty of nature.

Houseboats have changed the way people look after their boats, changing them from recreational to exquisite floating residences.

Indeed, in many countries, devoting a significant chunk of one’s life to one of them was considered normal. It’s gaining a lot of popularity these days in developing countries like ours.

There are two sorts of houseboats: static houseboats and houseboats with motors. While static houseboats are identical to any other lovely property on the water, we utilize the other for luxury parties, vacations, water sports, family time, and tranquil cruising.

A houseboat can be any size, from one or two persons up to four families, each with its own living spaces.

These boats feature specialized engine rooms with a primary engine and power generators, similar to those seen on large ships.

For day-to-day use, it also contains a second freshwater generator . These boats can range in length from 30 to 75 feet, with single or multiple decks.

These boats may not be as fast as smaller boats, but they are still a fun way to spend your vacation. Because of their closeness to nature and ease of use for other water sports, they are the most coveted of all boat types.

Inflatable Boats

Out of all the options, this is the only one that will fit in your trunk. Inflatable boats are built of tubes filled with compressed air and are extremely light. The three materials that may be utilized to produce them are PVC, Hypalon , and polyethylene.

They usually range in length from 6 to 14 feet and may or may not include an aluminum floor bed. Due to their adaptability and ability to take on a variety of shapes, inflatable dinghies, pontoons, life rafts, and other inflatable items are readily available.

For greater rigidity, a rigid inflatable boat has an aluminum floor bed, whereas a soft inflatable boat does not. These boats have an external motor for propulsion once fully charged with compressed air.

These boats are suitable for shallow-water rescue missions and are very simple to deflate and store. This is a fantastic alternative for newbie boaters, emergency services, river rafting, and solo fishing.

In the case of an emergency, a lifeboat is a rigid-hulled inflatable small boat that is used for rescue and search activities. All large ships are required by law to carry a minimum number of authorized lifeboats on board.

These boats are often used to transfer persons to safe regions and are outfitted with anything from tools to first aid and signaling equipment.

The solid hull construction, rather than the inflatable design, makes it more stable, sturdy, and capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions while carrying the most weight.

RHIBs (Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats) are the most frequent rescue or lifeboat designs, although they are not the only ones.

In reality, many new merchant ships have more closed lifeboats, which provide more safety, but they still have one RHIB-style lifeboat on board, which is used mostly for rescue.

The self-inflicting collar at its top, which surrounds its whole design, keeps it from sinking even if it is mistakenly hurled overboard under high weather conditions.

All lifeboats are manufactured in compliance with the SOLAS and LSA criteria, regardless of their kind. “International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea,” or SOLAS, stands for “Life-Saving Appliance Code,” whereas LSA stands for “Life-Saving Appliance Code.”

Modern lifeboats come fitted with EPERB, radar reflectors, and SART technology.

The pontoon is one of the boat types that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. From an unattractive boxy watercraft to a luxurious recreational boat, it’s gone a long way.

These outboard-powered boats, which range in length from 16 to 30 feet, are suitable for day sailing, aquatic sports, and freshwater fishing.

These boats rely on three hollow aluminum tubes with tapered ends in front for buoyancy instead of a solid hull. These hollow tubes are used to connect other support systems together.

A flat deck is built on top of these platforms, offering much greater deck space. If you’re limited to rivers and lakes, there’s no better luxury pleasure boat for the money.

The boat can fit up to 10-15 people on board, making it suitable for any family. The 900-horsepower engine also offers much-needed speed, while the pontoon tube design provides stability. The advantage of pontoons is that they require less maintenance and care than other forms of boats.

It gives your children extra space to play, is perfect for freshwater fishing, skiable, and comfortable. It’s safer in calmer waters, lasts longer (10-15 years), and holds more water.

A punt is a flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow, designed for use in small rivers or other shallow water. Punting refers to boating in a punt. The punter generally propels the punt by pushing against the river bed with a pole.

They are traditionally used for transportation on marshy areas and small water bodies in the UK, especially in Cambridge and Oxford.

Punts were introduced as pleasure craft in Victorian times. Today, punting on the rivers is a popular pastime in places like Oxford and Cambridge, England.

How the Punt boats looks

In appearance, punts are similar to gondolas, but gondolas are propelled by an oar rather than a pole, and the gondolier, unlike the punter, doesn’t need to touch the bottom of the river.

If sounds interesting, just read our guide to traditional boats: “ What are Punt Boats? “

RIB – Rigid Inflatable Boats

RIBs, or Rigid Inflatable Boats, are a type of boat that have rigid hulls and sides made of flexible tubes containing pressurized gas. The concept combines the buoyancy and stability of an inflatable boat with the performance and strength of a traditional hard-hulled boat.

RIB - Rigid Inflatable Boats in Geiranger

Here are some of the key features and uses of RIBs:

  • Design : A RIB typically has a polyester or aluminum hull, onto which an inflatable collar or tube is attached. The hull provides the structure and rigidity, allowing it to handle more effectively in rough water. The inflatable collar provides buoyancy and helps to stabilize the boat, making it virtually unsinkable and very safe.
  • Performance : RIBs are known for their high performance. The combination of a lightweight hull with large inflatable tubes makes them very quick and highly maneuverable. They can handle rough sea conditions better than most other boats of the same size.
  • Uses : Due to their high performance, stability, and safety, RIBs are used for a wide variety of purposes. They are popular as tenders for larger vessels, and they are also commonly used by coast guards and lifeboat services because of their stability and seaworthiness. They’re great for recreational purposes like scuba diving, fishing, and cruising. Many people enjoy them for high-speed rides and water sports.
  • Sizes : RIBs come in a range of sizes, from small models around 2-3 meters long, used as tenders or for personal use, up to large commercial models over 10 meters long, used for search and rescue, military applications, or commercial work.

Remember that while RIBs are known for their safety due to their buoyancy and stability, it’s still important to have the proper safety equipment on board and to follow safe boating practices.

For as long as there have been sailors, there have been sailboats. One of the earliest and most basic boat designs for transporting people and things across continents using the force of the wind.

It was the only and most efficient mode of long-distance transport prior to the introduction of motors or engines.

Although it is hard to say when the first sailboat was built, archaeologists have uncovered artwork from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia that depict sailboat-like constructions.

Traditionally, these boats were monohulls, but in recent years, multi-hull designs have gained favor. Two sails (Main and Headsails) are customarily linked to a sailboat by separate lines.

The main and headsails of a sailboat are powered by the wind, which causes them to take on a more foil-like shape, which helps create a positive pressure difference.

The boat is propelled forward by the pressure differential and the drag of the water. The boat will thereafter go in the opposite direction of the wind.

Ski boats, also known as wakeboard boats or tow boats, are high-performance watercraft designed specifically for thrilling water sports activities. With their powerful engines and specialized features, ski boats deliver an exhilarating experience for riders of all skill levels.

These boats boast a sleek and agile design, allowing them to navigate the water with speed and precision. Equipped with inboard motors positioned in the center of the boat, ski boats generate a strong wake or wave, creating the ideal conditions for wakeboarding, water skiing, and tubing.

The hull design of ski boats prioritizes stability and maneuverability, ensuring a smooth and controlled ride even at high speeds. Many ski boats come with tow bars or wakeboard towers, facilitating easy attachment of ropes and harnesses for towed sports.

Inside the boat, there is ample seating for passengers to relax and enjoy the action. Some models may offer additional amenities such as storage compartments, coolers, and audio systems, enhancing the overall comfort and enjoyment on board.

Whether you’re a seasoned water sports enthusiast or a beginner looking to try something new, ski boats are purpose-built machines that provide an adrenaline-pumping adventure on the water. With their power, agility, and specialized features, ski boats are the perfect choice for riders seeking excitement and thrills.

Skiff Boats

A skiff is a small, light boat typically designed for speed rather than stability. They are often used for recreational purposes such as fishing, water sports, or sailing, and they come in various shapes and sizes to cater to different uses. Skiffs can be rowed, sailed, or powered by an outboard motor, depending on their design.

  • Rowing Skiffs : These are the most traditional type of skiffs, with origins tracing back several centuries. They’re generally light and narrow, designed to be rowed by one person with one or two oars. They are often used for exercise or for pleasure trips on calm waters. Some rowing skiffs are built for speed and used in competitive rowing events.
  • Sailing Skiffs : These are lightweight and designed for speed, with a large sail area relative to the size of the boat. They are usually crewed by one or two people. The high performance sailing skiffs require great skill to balance and control, particularly in windy conditions.
  • Motor Skiffs : These skiffs are equipped with outboard engines and are typically used for fishing or short trips. Some are built with a flat bottom, making them suitable for shallow waters.
  • Fishing Skiffs : These are small, lightweight boats often used in inshore saltwater or freshwater fishing. They can be powered by oars, sails, or small outboard engines. Their light weight makes them easy to transport on a trailer and launch from a ramp or beach.

Regardless of type, skiffs tend to be small – usually capable of carrying up to six people – and are characterized by their simplicity and ease of handling. Despite their compact size, they are often designed to maximize internal space, making them quite versatile for various maritime activities. However, due to their light weight and design for speed, they are best used in calm waters, as they can be more prone to capsizing in rough seas compared to larger, more stable boats.

Have you ever seen a huge vessel nearing a port? If you did, you most likely noticed some small boats arriving to assist with the port terminal’s security.

Tug boats are small boats whose main function is to assist large ships in maneuvering through congested regions.

It also functions as salvage boats , icebreakers , and firefighting vessels as needed, in addition to enabling larger ships through tiny waterways or close ports.

Tug boats are often stationed at or near ports, harbors, rivers, and important maritime routes like canals and shallow or narrow waterways.

A tug pushes or pulls a large ship to a safe area by pulling it or using a secured tow line. It can only do so because of its tremendous power-to-weight ratio. Tug boats offer several benefits over other ships and boats, including a high power-to-weight ratio and outstanding maneuverability.

Because of its mobility, it may aid other ships or boats in canals, ports, and rivers. There’s also a 3-4 HP four-stroke marine diesel engine to keep it going all day.

Utility Boats

Among the several boat kinds, utility boats are the most basic yet powerful boat designed for freshwater. It is generally composed of aluminum to withstand harsh conditions.

This approach is employed when the water is calm or shallow. This flat-bottomed sailboat may be anywhere between 12 and 20 feet long.

They have an open hull design with seating for two to three people. With such an open vessel and a level bottom, fishing was impossible. It glides over the water rather than cutting through it.

This minimizes the amount of commotion in the water and makes it less likely for fish to run. They’re simple, affordable, and easy to keep up with.

Yachts 1024x683 1

Among these various boat types, the yacht is the only one that embodies elegance and pleasure. It’s essentially a high-end motorboat designed for recreational purposes. “Yacht” is derived from the Dutch word “jacht,” which means “cruising boat.”

They are usually used for the pleasure of organizing opulent parties, aside from cruises or sailing. A normal boat is around 20 meters long and has all of the amenities needed for enjoyment and comfort.

It can, however, be anything from 9 and 100 meters long. These boats use propulsion motors that vary from 105 to 2000 horsepower and can attain top speeds of 20 to 45 knots, depending on their size.

These yachts have been modified to fulfill certain needs and goals, resulting in a subclass within the boat.

The different subtypes are cruising boats, extra luxury yachts or luxury sailing yachts, day sailing yachts, and weekenders. Depending on the requirement, these boats are built as monohulls or multihulls.

Final Thoughts

According to historical evidence, boats have been used for transportation from prehistoric times. However, from the first known boat, known as dugouts, the history of watercraft has already reached beautiful motor yachts.

Apart from recreational purposes, boats have played an essential role in contemporary commerce by allowing the active movement of people and goods over short distances.

Because there are so many various types of boats to pick from, it can be difficult to know which one is ideal for you. Naturally, how you want to use a boat plays a big role in determining whether or not it is suitable for you and your family.

Keep in mind that certain boats are more specialized than others, and some are ideal for one activity but not for another. There exist, on the other hand, a number of models that are intended to be broader.

The first and most crucial phase in the boat-buying process is identifying what sort of ship will best fulfill your requirements and goals, as well as the wants and aspirations of others who will join you on your adventure.

The kind of things you want to do on the water often determine your expectations and desires.

Think about why you want to be on the water, and then narrow down your selections accordingly. Boating is more affordable than you would think.

There are a few practical variables that might help you establish your budget after you’ve decided on the type of boat you want to buy.

It’s time to start looking for a boat while keeping your budget in mind. Begin by searching for boat types on the internet, then refining your search to specific models using manufacturer websites, dealerships, online reviews, and forums.

Don’t only rely on your keyboard to get things done. You may also have friends or acquaintances that own or like boats or interests that are similar to yours. Inquire about their personal experiences and benefit from their direct knowledge.

Many boat buyers insist on being able to touch, feel, and see the boat before making a purchase. Working with a dealer might help you save time and money during the buying process.

When comparing yachts, don’t forget to look at the dealers as well. The quality and location of the dealership are important factors to consider when purchasing a boat.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options and are considering a certain boat, it’s crucial to assess other critical components such as the engine, propeller, bilge (the region inside the hull), steering system, electrical systems, and fuel tank.

To check if it’s right for you, do a test drive or a sea t rial . Consider the long term: the boat you test with two people may act quite differently with the entire family and friends on board.

In the same way, horsepower that looks sufficient in a short test may not be sufficient in the long run.

If you’re not confident about your technical abilities, an independent maritime surveyor can help. A surveyor will investigate the yacht from top to bottom and inside out, just like a home inspector would, so you know exactly how it is.

More than a boat’s claimed price and features may be learned about the acquisition process. Similar to car sales, there are usually a few extra expenses not included in the sticker price.

Dealer fees, insurance, registration, accessories, storage, and upkeep should all be discussed early in the purchase process with the dealer to evaluate the overall cost of boat ownership and avoid unpleasant surprises later.

Find out what to expect after you’ve signed the dotted line. What is the delivery procedure? Before you accept the keys, conduct a thorough examination of the boat’s systems to ensure that you can operate it safely right away.

When the time comes, you should also ask the dealer’s shop about the procedure for scheduling maintenance or repairs. To get a head start, learn more about the first year of upkeep.

Before you go on your first excursion, find out where you can take a boater education course. Learning basic seamanship skills and absorbing some local knowledge will help you gain confidence while you’re on the water. You may be eligible for a discount on your insurance if you take a boater education course.

Finally, it’s time to unwind and enjoy your new purchase. Get out on the water and enjoy yourself, not just now, but in the months and years to come.

Daily maintenance, ranging from a regular wash and wax to scheduled maintenance, is a crucial part of the pleasure of owning a boat.

Another alternative is to expand your boating knowledge by attending one of the many fun programs offered by local dealers or by consulting an online resource.

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About the author

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I worked as an officer in the deck department on various types of vessels, including oil and chemical tankers, LPG carriers, and even reefer and TSHD in the early years. Currently employed as Marine Surveyor carrying cargo, draft, bunker, and warranty survey.

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Allied Yachting

Types of Sailboats by Type of Rig

16 December 2015

To have a better idea of which types of sailboats would best suit your needs, your Allied Yachting broker can advise you on the various options available on the market for new or second-hand vessels as well as new construction. In the meantime, here is a summarized guide to the different categories of sailing yachts by type of rig , whether they are monohull (single hull) or multihull , as they’re called in the Mediterranean.

Sailboats by rig type: hulls, masts

Single mast sailboat

Single masted sailboat with monohull

The most common monohull modern sailing yacht is the sloop, which features one mast and two sails, thus sloops are single-masted sailboats. If they have just two sails — a foresail and a headsail — then they’re a Bermudan sloop, the purest type of sailboat. This simple configuration is very efficient for sailing into the wind.

Sailing sloops with moderate rigs are probably the most popular of all cruising sailboats. Just a single-masted sailboat with two sails (a foresail or headsail, and a mainsail) and the minimum of rigging and sail control lines they are relatively simple to operate and less expensive than rigs with multiple masts.

Sloops are adapted for cruising as well as racing, depending on the height and size of their rig.

The cutter sailing yacht is also a monohull similar to a sloop with a single mast and mainsail but generally carries the mast further aft to allow for a jib and staysail to be attached to the head stay and inner forestay, respectively. Once a common racing configuration, today it gives versatility to cruising boats, especially in allowing a small staysail to be flown from the inner stay in high winds.

Thus, a cutter-rig sailboat has an additional sail (the staysail) set on its own stay between the foresail and the headsail.

Cutters are mostly adapted for cruising, but capable of good performance while racing as well.

A ketch is a two-masted sailboat, the main-mast forward and a shorter mizzen mast aft.

But not all two-masted sailboats are ketches — they might be yawls.

A ketch may also carry a staysail, with or without a bowsprit, in which case it would be known as a cutter-rigged ketch.

Ketches are also monohulls, but there is a second shorter mast astern of the mainmast, but forward of the rudder post. The second sailboat mast is called the mizzen mast and its sail is called the mizzen sail.

Yawls have their origins as old-time sail fishing boats, where the small mizzen sail was trimmed to keep the vessel steady when hauling the nets.

Similar to a ketch, the difference being that the yawl has the mizzen mast positioned aft of the rudder post whereas the ketch has its mizzen mast ahead of the rudder post.

Thus, a yawl is also a monohull, similar to a ketch, with a shorter mizzen mast carried astern the rudderpost more for balancing the helm than propulsion.

Schooners are generally the largest monohull sailing yachts.

Monohull sailboat

Monohull two masts sailing boat

A schooner has a mainmast taller than its foremast, distinguishing it from a ketch or a yawl. A schooner can have more than two masts, with the foremast always lower than the foremost main. Traditional topsail schooners have topmasts allowing triangular topsails sails to be flown above their gaff sails; many modern schooners are Bermuda rigged.

A schooner is a two-(or more) masted sailboat, in which the aft-most mast – the mainmast – is the same height or taller than the foremast. Many sailors agree that of all the different types of sailboats, a schooner under full sail is one of the most beautiful sights afloat.

Gaffed-rigged sailboats, or “gaffers”, have their mainsail supported by a spar – the “gaff” – which is hauled up the mast by a separate halyard. Often these types of sailboats are rigged with a topsail. The gaff rig is no longer seen on modern production yachts.

A catamaran (‘cat’ for short) is a multihull yacht consisting of two parallel hulls of equal size.

A catamaran is geometry-stabilized, that is, it derives its stability from its wide beam, rather than having a ballasted keel like a monohull. Being ballast-free and lighter than a monohull, a catamaran can have a very shallow draught. The two hulls will be much finer than a monohull’s, allowing reduced drag and faster speeds in some conditions, although the high wetted surface area is detrimental in lower wind speeds, but allows much more accommodations, living and entertaining space in stability and comfort.

Two parallel hulls catamaran

Two parallel hulls sailing catamaran

The speed and stability of these catamarans have made them a popular pleasure craft in Europe, most high-quality catamarans are built in France, but careful since their wide beams aren’t easy (or cheap) to berth in the French Riviera.

Racing catamarans technology has made them today’s leading racing sailboats of the world, like in the latest editions of America’s cup or other renowned transoceanic races.

Please surf through our website listings of sailing catamarans .


Even harder to berth in the Mediterranean, and most commonly designed for around-the-globe racing rather than cruising, the trimarans have also been gaining some popularity in the western hemisphere, especially by naval designers with futuristic projects.

A trimaran is a multihull boat that comprises a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls (or ‘floats’) which are attached to the main hull with lateral beams.


A motorsailer or “motorsailor”, is a type of sailing vessel, typically a pleasure yacht, that derives propulsion from its sails and engine(s) in equal measure.

While the sailing yacht appeals primarily to the purist sailing enthusiast, the motorsailer is more suited for long-distance cruising, as a home for ‘live-aboard’ yachtsmen. The special features of the motorsailer (large engine, smaller sails, etc.) mean that, while it may not be the fastest boat under sail, the vessel is easily handled by a small crew. As such, it can be ideal for retired people who might not be entirely physically able to handle large sail areas. In heavy weather, the motorsailer’s large engine allows it to punch into a headwind when necessary to make landfall, without endless tacking to windward.

The Turkish word gulet is a loanword from the French goélette, meaning ‘schooner’.

A gulet is a traditional design of a two-masted (more common) or even three-masted wooden sailing vessel from the southwestern coast of Turkey, particularly built in the coastal towns of Bodrum and Marmaris; although similar vessels can be found all around the eastern Mediterranean. For considerations of crew economy, Diesel power is commonly used on these vessels, similar to a motorsailer. Today, this type of vessel, varying in size from 14 to 45 meters, is very popular and affordable for tourist charters in Turkey, the Aegean, Greece and up to Croatia in the Adriatic.

Please surf through our website listings of cruising sailing yachts by type of rig.


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How different yacht types change sailing characteristics

Ken Endean

  • July 4, 2024

Ken Endean looks back on the boats he has owned over 50 years and explains why the hull lines of older yachts continue to offer first-class handling

different yacht types

Most of Britain’s yacht owners, both now and in the future, will be sailing boats built in the 1960s to 1980s, that are highly durable, structurally sound and capable of being restored and maintained to a high standard at a fraction of the cost of buying a new boat.

And because there is a wide choice, potential buyers can take their time to choose a design that handles well – a quality greatly influenced by the hull shape. Amongst older craft, hundreds of Sabre 27s, Alacrity 18s and Hurley 22s are still afloat and capable of taking their owners to Cornwall, France, the Azores or beyond – safely and economically.

Looking back over the last 50 years, I’ve done most of my sailing in those three small yachts.

Comparing their lines plans, you can see that the subtleties in their handling characteristics were directly linked to their underwater shapes.

Back in the 1970s, any review of a new yacht was likely to include a lines plan, and the reviewer would comment on its probable behaviour in the open sea. Nowadays, few lines plans are published and many hull shapes are dictated by the need to incorporate two double cabins aft.

Reviews may record boat speed at varying wind strengths and wind angles but this is generally on flat-ish water and does not tell us how the craft will behave when a Force 5 is fighting a strong tidal stream in the Bristol Channel – especially if the skipper needs to carry out an emergency gybe. All three of our boats had twin keels, because we enjoy cruising between drying harbours and anchorages.

The diagram right shows simplified lines plans, each with one longitudinal buttock line and two transverse sections, one through the forefoot (in the right-hand half of the sections) and one through the quarters (in the left-hand half).

different yacht types

Ken’s first boat – an Alacrity 18

Alacrity 18

I had chartered a Corribee and found it rather tender. The next boat along from its mooring, an Alacrity 18, was noticeably stiffer, so I ordered one. After it was delivered, we spent several weekends adding fittings and then, over a fortnight, the Alacrity took us down to Cornwall and back. Two years later she did it again, comfortably and safely despite strong winds. Excellent!

The transverse sections in the lines plan show why the boat was stiff, because the hull flattened out towards the wide stern, although the transom shape was pleasantly softened at the quarters so that it didn’t dig in when heeled.

The transom left a clean wake until close to hull speed, when the stern wave began to detach, hinting that she might plane if pushed really hard. We achieved that once, in a memorable race. In a SW wind, one leg took us across the Western Solent to the Saltmead Buoy and we were at the tail of the fleet when we noticed the leaders being swept downstream of the buoy by the powerful spring flood.

We hardened up smartly and enjoyed the unusual experience of being first around, as the others tried to claw up to the mark against wind and tide.

We were still leading the pack on the final leg, a broad reach, with a She 31 coming up fast. The wind increased, and I hung onto the tiller. The Alacrity hissed towards the finish with a rooster tail astern. The She’s skipper finally lost his nerve and gave up the chase, luffing to reef in a violent rattle of canvas, with lots of shouting, leaving our little cruiser to finish in glorious isolation.

different yacht types

On wide-stemmed yachts, heeling can distort the waterline shape

More a ‘U’ than a ‘V’

On that screaming broad reach, heeling would have encouraged a broach. When a hull with wide, flat aft sections is heeled, the hull’s immersed shape is likely to become asymmetrical, which may induce eccentric handling characteristics. Also, when the windward quarter lifts, the rudder can lose grip.

As dinghy sailors, we compensated by instinctively using our weight on the windward side, but large yachts cannot rely upon crew weight and some modern designs with wide sterns require twin rudders so that one will remain fully immersed.

Article continues below…

Understanding how your hull shape responds to waves will keep you and your crew safe and comfortable. Credit: Richard Langdon

How hull shape affects comfort at sea

Understanding how your hull shape responds to waves will keep you and your crew safe and comfortable in a blow,…

Busting the hull speed myth Modern hull forms, like this Jeanneau SO440, use chines to create volume forward while keeping a narrow entrance at the waterline

Busting the hull speed myth

Waterline length is not the defining factor in maximum boat speed that we all think it is. Julian Wolfram busts…

The design of a small cruiser is usually a compromise. The Alacrity’s forward hull section – more a ‘U’ than a ‘V’ – indicates a relatively blunt bow, and when close-hauled in a short chop she was inclined to head-butt the crests and lose momentum. She was happier on the open sea, sailing up and over the longer waves, and the generous width at the bow did provide comfortable foot room at the forward end of the V-berth.

The flat-ish after sections and absence of a rudder skeg allowed her to perform an interesting low-speed manoeuvre when berthing at a pontoon, under sail. With care, she could be inserted into a space hardly longer than her hull.

The trick was to steer towards the middle of the space until half a length from the pontoon, put the helm down a little to get her turning, then apply full lee helm, when the rudder swung 90º to become a water brake and she drifted sideways to lie neatly alongside. I described this as a ‘handbrake turn’ to a petrolhead friend who expressed scorn until we compared the physical forces and agreed on the similarities.

different yacht types

A Hurley 22 will cope well when pushed hard

I grew up beside the Tamar Estuary, where the Royal Navy kept a training flotilla of Hurley 22s and I had always admired this compact, businesslike yacht. It was an unusual design for its time: a small cruiser with very heavy displacement and sailing qualities having priority over accommodation.

In fact, there is a small mystery over the displacement: the designer, Ian Anderson, wrote that she had a 40% ballast ratio, and the original lines plan showed the twin keel variant with a draught of 2ft 6in. However, all the manufacturer’s brochures indicated a ballast ratio of around 59%.

Most or all of the twin-keelers have a 3ft draught, and they appear to float nearly two inches lower in the water than shown on the drawings. It looks as though Hurley Marine judged the design as being too tender, so added deeper keels and extra ballast.

The Hurley 22’s heavy displacement, coupled to a marked deadrise over much of her length, gave her a very steady behaviour and she would happily slice through most sea states. Sometimes she even ‘submarined’ through steep breakers, most memorably at St Albans Head when I tried, and failed, to find a calm passage inshore of the tidal race.

different yacht types

Several Hurley 22s have sailed across the Atlantic

With a large outboard well at the stern, the rudder and cockpit were set well forward, restricting the length of the cabin space. It could have been uncomfortably cramped but the boat’s interior was deep, as observed in a 1968 magazine review: ‘One really does “go below” in this little cruiser.’

The accommodation was very cosy and secure and our Hurley 22 was an early version, with a comprehensive fit-out. There were only four places to sit – no proper settee berths – but the occupants could not be flung around because they were surrounded by a wealth of joinery. The numerous lockers, which even included a small sideboard, provided proper stowage for every piece of loose kit, and there was a sliding chart table.

Family adventures

That snug security was very welcome when it came to sailing with our two small daughters. We enjoyed several cross-Channel cruises, and the size of our boat never restricted the cruise planning. Lee-cloths on the quarter berths gave the girls safe nests for overnight passages and wild weather, which the Hurley coped well with.

Our most memorable day was a long quartering run from Torbay to Poole Bay, when we had been delayed by bad weather and I was running out of holiday time. Forecasts predicted strong SW wind for several days, so we weighed anchor just before first light and the breeze stiffened.

By the middle of Lyme Bay, reefed main and storm jib were working hard and as we passed Portland, spume was blowing in streaks. A cross-Channel ferry from Weymouth was battering south with waves driving over her bridge and a 15° list to port, while our girls were calmly eating lunch, seated comfortably on the cabin sole.

After coming into the lee of Purbeck we decided to spend the night in Studland Bay and we were hailed from an anchored boat: ‘Where have you come from? It’s been pretty windy here.’

different yacht types

Orbital motion of water can affect a boat on the front face of a wave

Directional stability

The Hurley 22’s rudder skeg helped directional control when travelling fast but made her less agile than the Alacrity in low-speed manoeuvres, when it resisted sideways motion and ‘handbrake turns’ were no longer an option.

She was also untrustworthy when running in big waves with a fading wind, a trait that affects many yachts and demands careful concentration when a steep swell is rolling up astern. As a wave passes, the water undergoes a circular motion: up, forward, down, back and repeat (see diagram above).

different yacht types

Classic cruisers: Westerly Centaur and Mirage twin keelers dried out on a Breton beach

At the crest the movement is a forward surge and reduces the influence of the rudder. For instance, on a steep wave with a period of five seconds and a height of three metres the forward surge at the crest is at approximately four knots. If the boat is running at a gentle five knots, then as a crest comes up astern the flow over the rudder is suddenly reduced from five knots to one knot and the helmsman will struggle to maintain control – a common cause of broaching.

The Hurley 22 may have been particularly susceptible because the rudder was set well forward and had a short lever arm in relation to the keels.

I once sailed with a companion who had seen a preliminary version of the design in which the rudder was hung in the conventional fashion, on the trailing edge of a single keel. Several yachts from that period (eg Roundabout & Clarionet) had skeg-hung rudders close to their keels and were notorious for broaching.

I reckon the Hurley 22 would have been even better with a transom-hung rudder.

different yacht types

Ken’s current Sabre 27, London Apprentice, middle-aged but still agile

We adopted our Sabre 27, London Apprentice , for an unconventional refit project – that was 37 years ago and she’s still one of the family at the age of 53. The designer, Alan Hill, did not publish a lines plan but his general arrangement drawing included several sections and from these it was possible to reconstruct the lines.

His drawing scale was stated as 0.547 inches to 1ft, which looks strange. Maybe he produced a generic lines plan for a medium-sized cruiser and when Marcon, the builders, requested drawings for a 27-footer he simply calculated a scale to make the lines fit that length. The hull form certainly resembled some cruiser-racers of the late 1960s, albeit with fuller bows to accommodate a decent vee-berth.

London Apprentice has several underwater features that could inhibit performance, including relatively shallow twin keels and a GRP shaft log moulding that resembles a second skeg. Twin keels are valuable for intimate exploration of shallow and drying cruising grounds, so we’re happy to have them and accept that the boat is no greyhound. However, she is extremely docile, which compensates for some loss of speed by reducing stress on the crew, particularly on long legs in troublesome conditions, when it is possible to push her hard without inviting trouble.

Strangely enough, those good manners may be partly linked to low initial stability. When at rest she is actually quite tender, like the Corribee, and the lines plan shows that aft of amidships the sections approximate to semi-circular arcs, so there is little form stability.

different yacht types

Off-wind sailing with full genoa and reefed main to balance the helm and ease the work of the autopilot

Also, the ballast is in shallow keels, although the ballast ratio is a respectable 45% and she stiffens up on heeling. In rough water, those semi-circular hull sections are beneficial because, when heeling or rolling, the immersed hull shape will remain more or less symmetrical. That would encourage the user-friendly handling qualities, such as not griping to windward when struck by a gust.

Centre of effort

I have no personal experience of using the Sabre 27 in gales on ocean passages but a couple of single-handed owners who have made a habit of ocean cruises report that it remains relatively placid, whether pressing on or hove-to. One of them, on passage from the Azores, hove to, retired to his bunk and slept for six hours as breaking crests thundered past.

The other was ‘welcomed home’ by Border Force officers who had been tracking him on AIS . They were suspicious about some strange zig-zags off the Spanish coast and were reluctant to accept his explanation that he’d just furled the sails and made a cup of tea.

As most of the hull’s lateral area is well aft, the bow is inclined to fall off the wind after going about, so that she never misses a tack, and close-quarters manoeuvres are possible under sail, although it’s important to maintain steerage way.

different yacht types

The familiar lines of a versatile and forgiving twin-keel hull

Close-hauled and under full canvas, well-heeled in a fresh wind, our Sabre 27 carries a fair bit of weather helm because the rig’s centre of thrust is then somewhere over the lee side, and the forward component of the wind force is trying to make the boat luff.

There’s no point in sailing the boat on her ear; very often a reduction in sail area will produce an increase in speed, especially if we take the area out of the mainsail and shift the centre of thrust forward to achieve a neutral helm, so in a rising wind we usually reef the main first and hang on to full genoa as long as possible.

The diagram above right shows why this tactic works. On elevation drawings it is conventional to show a centre of effort for the sails and a centre of lateral resistance for the hull, but those only relate to lateral components of forces, acting sideways.

The wind thrust and hull resistance vectors actually act obliquely, and when the rig swings out to leeward the wind thrust vector may move outboard of the resistance vector, so that the combination tries to turn the boat to windward. Applying weather helm maintains a straight course but at the cost of extra resistance from rudder drag. If the mainsail is reefed while retaining a full genoa, the centre of thrust moves forward so that thrust and resistance vectors cancel out and the rudder has less work to do.

different yacht types

20th-century classics offering affordable, fun-filled sailing include the popular 21ft Corribee

The result can be gratifying. Even under genoa alone we have maintained a full 6 knots when close hauled, with the dinghy towing astern. That’s close to the boat’s hypothetical ‘maximum hull speed’ of 6.3 knots. It suggests that, for this twin-keeler, the direct effects of hull and keel drag may be less important than rudder drag under weather helm.

Off-wind handling

I value our boat’s off-wind characteristics, because most cruising miles are achieved downwind, and on a fast run a badly behaved yacht can be a menace.

This is where the Sabre’s underwater appendages justify themselves. The rudder is set well aft and the skeg makes it reluctant to stall, while skeg and shaft log assist directional control like flights on an arrow. Gybing in rough water is positively a pleasure, we have never experienced a bad broach, and we usually trust the boat to take care of us in hairy conditions.

This first happened when we were running through a narrow slot between two rocky Scottish islands and a squall came up astern. We were grossly over-canvassed, with no room to round up for reefing, and I was worried, yet the boat remained under easy control, carrying full sail until through the slot and clear of the rocks.

Nowadays, we often reef while on a run, rather than rounding up, because we can sheet the main hard amidships and then steer dead downwind without qualms, encouraging the sail to go slack and flap from side to side while the reefs are taken in.

If the crew of the She 31 had been able to do that they might have overtaken our Alacrity.

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