S/y, S/v? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 78 Old 01-12-2007 Thread Starter
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S/y, S/v?

A question for the learned panel: A lot of the members here use the marks "S/Y" and "S/V". I have read or heard elsewhere that S/Y means "sailing yacht", and that S/V means "sailing vessel", and that there is a difference between the two: an S/Y is a boat used for pleasure, while a S/V is a commercial vessel. Is this your understanding? In the informal real world, it doesn't seem to me to be something to get worked up over, but is there a place or use of the terms where it makes a real difference?

P.S.: I assume the same distinctions apply to the terms M/Y and M/V (motor yacht and motor vessel)?
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post #2 of 78 Old 01-12-2007
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In the past things like that meant something but today it’s just a set of abbreviations. HMS, Her (His) Majesties Ship, RMS, Royal Mail Steamer, SS, Steam Ship, POSH etc have all gone by the board today and in a way the loss of custom and tradition is a shame but it’s the way it is so get over it as they say.
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post #3 of 78 Old 01-12-2007
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I don't believe there is a clear distinction between s/v and s/y. Both labels are clearly used for vessels which can be powered solely by their sails. I know that the term "yacht" was originally used to describe any light and fast sailing boat - used to convey "important" persons. I assume that is how the word attained a snobbish status. It later became to mean any vessel, sail or power, used for pleasure and racing.

Personally, I would never call an optimist dinghy a sailing yacht, but it certainly is a sailing vessel. Therefore, aside from the commercial use notion, perhaps size would be a distinguishing factor.

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post #4 of 78 Old 01-12-2007
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TB, OK, so my son Fred's Optimist is not a Yacht???

Now he is pissed off!!! See, he saw many people calling their boats yachts that he wants to call his a Yacht, too.

Now, appologize to fred!!!!

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post #5 of 78 Old 01-12-2007
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Through Fred's eyes, his Optimist IS a yacht - the size ratio between him and his boat makes the term relevant . . . .

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post #6 of 78 Old 01-12-2007
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Though I don't remember where, it seems I read somewhere that a sailboat over 30' is considered a sailing yacht. Don't know if that's accurate, but it's what I recall.

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post #7 of 78 Old 01-12-2007
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Over 30' ??

Sailing Yacht Giulietta.......hummmm nice........now, where did I put my white captain hat and my blue blue dress jacket??? Ha I know, by my white pants and my dock shoes!!

Over here, we are all sail boats (veleiro in Portuguese), from Fred's Optimist to the 79' Pugh Farniente.

A yacht here is a large "smokey".
I think we're more modest....
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post #8 of 78 Old 01-12-2007
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Actually Giu, I think the only time anyone uses the S/V or S/Y is in displaying their boat name. I think everyone here just thinks of them as sailboats as well. I know I do.

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post #9 of 78 Old 01-12-2007
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"Yacht" is a very archaic term from an era when social classes were clearly separated. No one uses it to describe their boat today . . . at least no one I know.

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post #10 of 78 Old 01-12-2007
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Well Fred does!!
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