When is a boat called a yacht? Let’s find out.
The marine community interchangeably uses boats, ships, and yachts.
Even though these watercraft mostly sound the same, there are distinct differences among the three. Boats can refer to watercraft ranging from personal vessels to something that can carry one or more passengers. Yachts sound more distinct when mentioned, as they often reflect a higher level of beauty and scream luxury. On the other hand, a boat becomes a ship when it reaches a particularly substantial size required for sea travel, usually cargo vessels or luxury cruises. “Boat” often becomes the umbrella term for floating watercraft, but when is it considered a yacht?
Size Matters For Boat Classification
In several instances that people in the boat and yacht community get asked what size makes one’s boat a yacht, there is no definitive answer. Most maritime authorities and established boat manufacturers put a thin line somewhere between 30 feet (9 meters) to 33 feet (10 meters) in length. However, the boat size is usually open for debate among boat and yacht enthusiasts. Most of them agree that aesthetic, function and machine specifications that are slightly above average are considered a yacht.
Boat Classes – Quick Explainer
Yacht manufacturers back then weren’t expecting the boating industry to spike a high demand in the future, so over time, they coined terms such as mega yachts and superyachts. These incredibly massive-sized boats qualify as Class III codified by coast guards or commercial yacht codes. Class I refers to boats 16 to 25 feet, whereas Class II classifies boats ranging from 26 to 39 feet. Mega yachts are a little bit smaller in size than superyachts. But these aren’t boats anymore, especially when they sport high-end design, comfort, and entertainment amenities. Calling them plain yachts is considerable, and no one else will even argue. (source)
Physique And Overall Features
How the boat looks is undeniably one of the factors that people will consider it a yacht, aside from its size, of course. When its standard for form and appearance is raised higher than usual, and it is sleek and stylish, there will be no more questions, and automatically it’s a yacht.
Most mega yachts and superyachts are available to rent for clients who want to relax in their own lavish time and even come with a crew to serve for added value. Because these yachts are of considerable size, a hired team will come in handy to do most of the service and maintenance.
Entertainment features and amenities such as bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, bars, or gaming rooms are all added to yachts to make them more distinctly upgraded than traditional boats, thanks to their immense size that yacht manufacturers consider when designing the interiors.
As mentioned, when we say the term yacht, we don’t think of a small, worn-out aluminum fishing boat. When someone says yacht, most people’s minds go to a fancy, luxurious vessel that is typically crewed by hired staff, and the wealthy enjoy a life of luxury while onboard.
For conversation’s sake, boat and yacht will always be interchangeable. In Dutch, where the word yacht rooted its origins, it is called yacht, which means hunt, or to hunt. It never really mattered to Dutch people the difference, but it’s remarkable that over time, there are specific standards of the size that makes a boat a yacht. (source)