"Boat" vs. "Yacht"? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 89 Old 01-26-2014 Thread Starter
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"Boat" vs. "Yacht"?

We visited an old friend and told him about our sailboat. He knows nothing about boats (though he is an avid kayaker), so he asked what I guess is a common question: What is the difference between a "boat" and a "yacht"?

I was caught a little off-guard, but after thinking for a minute, I told him that a boat is something that you maintain and repair yourself, and a yacht is something that you hire out all of that.

What do you think is the definition?
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post #2 of 89 Old 01-26-2014
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Re: "Boat" vs. "Yacht"?

A yacht /ˈjɒt/ is a recreational boat or ship. The term originated from the Dutch Jacht meaning "hunt".[note 1] It was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries. After its selection by Charles II of England as the vessel to carry him to Britain from Holland for his restoration in 1660, it came to be used to mean a vessel used to convey important persons.

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

But personally - if it's enjoyed for its beauty and wonderful feeling you get sailing it then its a yacht. If its there for another purpose ( fishing, transport only or other) its a boat.
Termed differently when I'm sanding its bottom it's a boat. When I look back at her from the dinghy its a yacht. When I'm writing a check to the yard its a piece of stupidity I can't explain to anyone but another sailor.

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post #3 of 89 Old 01-26-2014
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Re: "Boat" vs. "Yacht"?

If you can't afford it, then it's a yacht. Otherwise, it's a boat.


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post #4 of 89 Old 01-26-2014
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Re: "Boat" vs. "Yacht"?

I prefer people refer to ours as a boat, sailboat to be exact. Don't like the pretentious tone most assign to yacht. You can call it a sailing summer condo, if you like.

I know a marina or two, where if you don't have a yacht, they won't even rent you a transient slip. They seem to know what one is, but don't publish the definition. Had a buddy with a brand new million dollar Swan 45 turned away!

That said, if you have an ice maker and central vac, it's probably a yacht.
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post #5 of 89 Old 01-26-2014
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Re: "Boat" vs. "Yacht"?

"Yacht" has connotations of luxury and pomposity. Being only 27' mine is just a boat.
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post #6 of 89 Old 01-26-2014
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Re: "Boat" vs. "Yacht"?

a friend of mine gave a good description... "if your boat has a boat, it's a yacht"
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post #7 of 89 Old 01-26-2014
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Re: "Boat" vs. "Yacht"?

Yacht is only pretentious in the USA. In Australia a sailboat is a dinghy. My boat is a yacht.

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post #8 of 89 Old 01-26-2014
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Re: "Boat" vs. "Yacht"?

and if your boat has a boat and a helicopter, it's a mega-yacht
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post #9 of 89 Old 01-26-2014
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Re: "Boat" vs. "Yacht"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
If you can't afford it, then it's a yacht. Otherwise, it's a boat.

...
You mean, a 150ft sailboat is a boat if the owner can afford it?

Some discussion about it here:

Interesting Sailboats

Interesting Sailboats

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post #10 of 89 Old 01-26-2014
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Re: "Boat" vs. "Yacht"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Yacht is only pretentious in the USA. In Australia a sailboat is a dinghy. My boat is a yacht.
and in Europe unless you have a boat bigger than 60ft.

(have a look at the links posted above)

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