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Do you own a yacht?

3524 Views 59 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  jdege
In you own mind, disregarding any official definitions, do you own a yacht? Do any of your neighbours?

In the last couple of weeks I have seen the word yacht applied to quite a few boats referred to as yachts either in stories or online. Most of them were larger sailboats but a couple were motor-cruisers in the 40' range and there were even a few sailboats comparable to mine albeit of a slightly classier brand.

Me? I'd have to move into the 60-foot range before I would apply the word yacht... unless for some reason my application to the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club is accepted (and paid for by an anonymous donor)... and then, well, I guess I am buying a uniform regardless of my boat size ;)
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I describe my schooner to Americans as a sailboat, because the correct term “brigantine” falls on totally deaf ears, even to sailboaters.
To be even more correct when speaking with Americans, you would call your vessel a "hermaphrodite brig" rather than the British term "brigantine”, neither of which would be fully grasped by most modern yachtsmen. On the flip side, if this was the 1930's, you could also call your rig a square topsail, staysail schooner.

Jeff
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Theres a cultural difference in the word Yacht depending on what country you are from.
As several others have already done, I can confirm that. We had friends from Germany visiting (sailors) and they referred to my humble boat (the term I use) as a yacht. And no, it was not politeness or attempts at flattering, they said that is the standard terminology for pleasure craft there.
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We own a boat.

Any sailboat larger than ours is a yacht.
I like it. Goes right along with "anybody going faster than me is a runner, anybody going slower than me is a jogger".

Fred W
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Lets see I use Sailing Vessel, on the radio as well.
I call it classic plastic to my fellow racers.
sailboat to those who don't know that there are boats mades other than bass boats
Never referenced my boats as yachts, including my former C&C, except that it was a "C&C Yacht" while properly referencing her brand.

I find myself frequently referencing her as "the old girl." That feels so generally in bad taste these days. After all she's not told me her preferred pronouns and if she's old then I'm ancient. I think I broke a lot of rules by calling out a female's age too.

Maybe I should use yacht, seems less complicated.

There you go, my S2 7.9 sailing yacht. I feel like I should have a greek fisherman's cap with that declaritive.
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Yep, I use the term Pocket Yacht for my boat. I figure if it has a lid, a galley and a can, it's a Yacht.

My sailing kayaks and canoes I don't really think of as yachts. For them I prefer the term expedition boats.
Water Sky Cloud Boat Watercraft
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I guess I just have a "rudder" - since I belong to the Rudder Club !

😂🤣😂
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We own a boat.

Any sailboat larger than ours is a yacht.

Powerboats larger than 45' are yachts, except those stupid designs that look like they could flip over at any second.
Yep, thst's my definition. If you can't afford it then it's a yacht, otherwise it's just a boat. 😁
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In New Zealand even my 22ft trailer sailer is called a yacht. Power boats called launches. Jet boats called fizz boats.
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It is interesting the different regional perceptions of the word. Even the definitions vary.

This is from Britannica:

"yacht, a sail- or power-driven vessel, usually light and comparatively small, used for racing or for recreation. In recreation, the term applies to very large craft, originally powered by sail and later by steam or internal-combustion engines. It is in this sense that the generality of nonyachting (nonsailing) people usually think of the term. Technically, the word yacht excludes boats propelled by paddles, oars, or outboard motors. Also, recreational powered craft below the largest size are usually called cabin cruisers."

"The English word yacht and the equivalent word in many European languages comes from the Dutch use in the 16th and 17th centuries of the word jaght, later jacht, which, with the word schip added, meant “ship for chasing.”"

"As the Dutch rose to preeminence in sea power during the 17th century, the early yacht became a pleasure craft used first by royalty and later by the burghers on the canals and the protected and unprotected waters of the Low Countries. Racing was incidental, arising as private matches. English yachting began with King Charles II of England during his exile in the Low Countries. On his restoration to the English throne in 1660, the city of Amsterdam presented him with a 20-metre (66-foot) pleasure boat with a beam (maximum width) of 5.6 m (18 feet), which he named Mary. Charles and his brother James, the duke of York (James II, reigned 1685–88), built other yachts and in 1662 raced two of them for a £100 wager on the Thames from Greenwich to Gravesend and back. Yachting became fashionable among the wealthy and nobility, but at that time the fashion did not last."

I wonder if North American aversion to the word stems from Yachting's historical association with British royalty and aristocracy, since many people came to North America to get away from that class system.

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We keep a very worthwhile reference book onboard which is very difinitive for settling questions such as these...

Per the Sailing Pocket Dictionary by Henry Beard & Roy McKie:

Yacht: Any recreational craft whose owner or user is not responsible for her upkeep, or whose owner recognizes sufficient tax benefits from his ownership to defray all operating expenses. Also commonly used to describe any boat prior to its purchase, and by many boat owners to describe their vessel to persons who have never seen it and are never likely to do so...
Works for us! (And is the opening paragraph on the page describing our boat on our blog...)

Cheers, Bill

PS: While we also recognize a yacht is basically a recreational vessel- and is referred to as such outside of N America- I personally suspect the term became pretentious to N Americans about the time of the Boston Tea Party as yet another way to distance themselves from the aristocracy of the day... Just surmizing, however...

PPS: The Sailing Pocket Dictionary defines a torch [flashlight] as: A cylindrical metal object used for storing dead batteries...

Grab a copy if you ever find one; it has been out of print for years. Very edifying...
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I have a boat. I have had many non sailing people tell me all kinds of definitions of yacht, none of which were accurate. one being "over 65 ft. with crew". I tried correcting them by saying my Sunfish was a yacht. They just blew me off. I am good with that!
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I defer to the Kiwi, they have a better grasp on English than I. My boat will nowforth be a "yacht," more importantly I can use the term "fizz boats" which I am forever in your debt for. My brother and his friend coined the term for them as "lake lice," but "fizz boats" is way more colourful (colorful)?
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I defer to the Kiwi, they have a better grasp on English than I. My boat will nowforth be a "yacht," more importantly I can use the term "fizz boats" which I am forever in your debt for. My brother and his friend coined the term for them as "lake lice," but "fizz boats" is way more colourful (colorful)?
We've always known jetskis and pwc as "Bum Flies" because they are always buzzing around and annoying everyone.

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I generally refer to my sailboat as a Good Old Boat, Classic Plastic, Sailing Vessel, or just the boat, the Marina(s) on the other hand judging by my slip/transient/yard fees think it is a yacht. :p:p😂🤣
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Well, its really quite easy to determain the difference




There's only one I want to be on!
I refer to our Bristol 29.9 as a boat, a sailing vessel, a sailboat, and a Yacht depending on who I am talking to, and the tone of the conversation, Imo, in North America folks like to clutch their pearls over silliness like the term “Yacht”, even folk who keep their “boats” at a Yacht Club”. We humans can be a silly bunch when it comes to these sorts of things, in hind sight it is kinda humorous, :)

Fair winds,
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Since a yacht is defined as a craft used for pleasure, my old Compac 16 was a yacht and a half.
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I have a boat. I sail a boat. I go to the boat. I repair the boat. It is a boat.
This x10
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According to my insurance company, I own a "Yacht". The company distinguishes between "Boat" policies and "Yacht" policies. I learned this when I upgraded from my Oday 23 to my Catalina 28. With the Oday, I had a Boat policy; the Catalina required a Yacht policy. Hence, I am now a Yachtsman (Yachtsmen can use the word "hence").
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According to my insurance company, I own a "Yacht". The company distinguishes between "Boat" policies and "Yacht" policies. I learned this when I upgraded from my Oday 23 to my Catalina 28. With the Oday, I had a Boat policy; the Catalina required a Yacht policy. Hence, I am now a Yachtsman (Yachtsmen can use the word "hence").
And wear a tie!!!!!
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