Information and Classifications
yachts are usually small, at under 20 ft (6 m) in length. Sometimes
called dinghies, they often have a retractable keel,
centerboard, or daggerboard. Most day sailing yachts do not
have a cabin, as they are designed for hourly or daily use
and not for overnight journeys.
yachts are slightly larger, at under 30 ft (9.5 m) in length.
They often have twin keels or lifting keels such as in trailer
sailers. This allows them to operate in shallow waters, and
if needed "dry out"—become beached as the tide
falls. The hull shape (or twin-keel layout) allows the boat
to sit upright when there is no water. Such boats are designed
to undertake short journeys, rarely lasting more than 2 or
3 days - hence their name.
yachts are by the far the most common yacht in private use,
making up most of the 25 to 45 ft (7 to 14 m) range. These
vessels can be quite complex in design, as they need a balance
between docile handling qualities, interior space, good light-wind
performance and on-board comfort. The huge range of such craft,
from dozens of builders worldwide, makes it hard to give a
single illustrative description. However, most favour a teardrop-planform
hull, with a wide, flat bottom and deep single-fin keel to
give good stability.
are quite capable of taking on long-range passages of many
thousands of miles. Such boats have a cruising speed upwards
of 6 knots. This basic design is typical of the standard
types produced by the major yacht-builders.
yachts are generally 82 ft (25 m) or longer. In recent years,
these yachts have evolved from fairly simple vessels with basic
accommodation into sophisticated and luxurious boats. This
is largely due to reduced hull-building costs brought about
by the introduction of fibreglass hulls, and increased automation
and "production line" techniques for yacht building,
especially in Europe.
yachts try to reduce the wetted surface area, which creates
drag, by keeping the hull light whilst having a deep and heavy
bulb keel, allowing them to support a tall mast with a great
sail area. Modern designs tend to have a very wide beam and
a flat bottom, to provide buoyancy preventing an excessive
heel angle. Speeds of up to 35 knots can be attained in extreme
yachts are typically fitted with a fixed keel or a centerboard
(adjustable keel) below the waterline to counterbalance the
overturning force of wind on the vessel's sails. Multihull
yachts use two hulls (catamarans) or three (trimarans) widely
separated from each other to provide a stable base that resists
overturning and allows for sailing in shallower waters than
most keeled monohulls.
The shape of a motor yacht's hull may be based
on displacement, planing, or in between. Although monohulls
have long been the standard in motor yachts, multihulls are
gaining in popularity.