5 Main Differences Between a Boat and a Yacht

5 Main Differences Between a Boat and a Yacht

he words ‘boat’ and ‘yacht’ are often used interchangeably by boating enthusiasts. It may seem like they refer to the same thing but they actually don’t. The two are very different.

Yachts are larger recreational boats. The yacht is a Dutch invention. The Dutch started using yachts in the 14th century to help their naval forces. The term ‘yacht’ is a Dutch word used to refer to light and speedy vessels used by Dutch naval forces to catch pirates, smugglers, and criminals. They were later used by rich ship owners to sail to celebrate the successful return of merchant ships. Nowadays, yachts are more used for pleasure and leisure purposes. It is a popular cruising option. Some use it for racing.

Boats are smaller and can refer to anything from a sailboat to a fisherman’s boat. They’ve been around since 8,000 BC. The very first boat is said to have been made with the use of a trunk. In as early as 4,000 BC though, Ancient Egyptians have been sailing along the Nile River with the use of reeds.

One can be easily confused when it comes to boats and yachts because they ultimately do the same thing. However, there are stark differences between the two. To fully know the difference between the two, you should take note of the following factors.

1. Their Size

As already mentioned, you can easily differentiate a boat from a yacht by considering their difference in size. Yachts are bigger than boats. 

A yacht can be 35 feet to 160+ feet in length. Most yachts will be somewhere between such lengths.  A “superyacht” is one that is over 160 feet in length. The biggest yacht in the world is 590-feet long and is called the Azzam. It is owned by a royal family in Abu Dhabi. With its size, it can reach top speeds that can go over 30 knots. It was built in 2013. It cost the family $600 million to have it built.

Boats on the other hand are smaller. More or less they are within 15 to 30 feet in length. The smallest boat to have crossed the Pacific Ocean is only 10-feet long and is called Yankee Girl. For its size, Yankee girl was also able to sail across the North Atlantic Ocean.

2. Where They Operate

Yachts and boats operate in different kinds of bodies of water.

Small boats can operate in calm waters like rivers, lakes, and shallow harbors. Larger boats that are 20 to 30 feet in length can sail in rough ocean waters.

As yachts are bigger, they can sail in deep ocean waters. They can even deal with turbulent seas. Yachts are equipped with advanced electronics and navigation tools so they can bravely deal with turbulent seas. Their construction can also survive strong elements. Yachts are fully equipped for long ocean trips. They have cabins and larger spaces that can provide comfort to passengers.

3. The Crew

Boats are smaller so they can easily be managed by one captain. No crews are necessary as no complicated tasks will be required when sailing a boat.

Yachts however need a full crew. One captain is not enough to handle all the demands that sailing a yacht entails. A full crew will be necessary to help in dealing with navigation, electronics, maintenance, engineering, and repairs. Stewards are even needed to tend to passengers. You could simply check out Isabella Yachts Phuket, to see just how much staff is necessary to maintain a yacht. Isabella Yachts Phuket is so luxurious and premium that they can even offer a premier yacht cruise experience with in-house chefs and waiters.

If you’d truly understand the amount of effort needed to sail a yacht and the manpower needed, you would know that your simple afternoon boat ride with friends is actually a private cruise service.

4. The Propulsion

Sailing can be possible by relying on sail and the wind or by inboard or outboard motors.

Large boats can have large engines that will allow them significant speed when on water. However, such cannot equal the engines of yacht machines.

Yacht engines are bigger and powerful. Some can even create as much as 800hp. Such power can maintain a consistent speedy run on long distances. The Azzam, the world’s largest yacht, can sail so fast that its speed can go over 30 knots. 

5. Technology and Navigation

Boats can sometimes be equipped with advanced tools for navigation but such is not the case with yachts. Yachts are required to have advanced tools, technologies, and electronics for navigation at all times. As yachts can go on trans oceanic trips, they have highly advanced tools that allow for precise navigation. Yachts also come with sophisticated systems that allow for easy detection of near objects and boats. Some yachts are now even installed with high-speed internet.

In Summary

To make it simpler for you to understand, do take note of the following:

1. Yachts are bigger than boats.

2. All yachts can operate in turbulent seas while not all boats can.

3. Boats don’t need a crew to operate while yachts need a full crew to do so.

4. Yachts use more advanced propulsion technology than boats.

5. Yachts don’t merely rely on wind to sail. Boats can solely rely on winds for sailing.

6. Yachts have and use more advanced technology for sailing.

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