Anatomy of a Yacht- What is a Yacht?

When someone mentions a yacht you might picture a huge powerboat Bill Gates might own with a helicopter pad and an Olympic sized swimming pool on the deck however, this is not the true definition of a yacht.


The definition does vary depending on who you ask; but in general we are talking about a vessel around 40’ or larger that is used for pleasure rather than a working boat. They can be power or sail driven but the main idea here is that they are used for recreation rather than work.


The term originates from the Dutch word jacht which means “hunt” and was originally defined by the Dutch navy as a light fast sailing vessel used to pursue pirates and transgressors. King Charles II kept the term relevant when he choose a jacht as the vessel to carry him to England from the Netherlands for his restoration of the throne in 1660. After delivering the king, the “jacht” became known as a vessel to convey very important persons. Modern use of the term continues and after the rise of the steamboat and other power boats, sailboats came to be perceived as a luxury and larger powerboats that are not used for “work” are known as Yachts.