When people talk about yachts, they are usually referring to the motorized cruising or the racing types, and seldom of the sailing types. However, yachts have gained popularity, and they are generally of two types, power and sailing yachts. In the market, there is a huge selection for both types.
Normal yachts start at about 32 feet in length, but their heights may vary, some of them reaching up to hundreds of feet. However, compared to super yachts and luxury liners, this length is insignificant. Super yachts are longer, starting at around 200 feet.
The origin of yachts can be traced back to the Dutch sailing vessels, mostly owned by pirates. It is surmised that Charles II popularized the yacht as a sailing vessel for transporting important people. From this, the yacht has progressed to carrying people or cargo, and powered by engines or sails.
Until the middle of the twentieth century, yachts were primarily made of steel or wood. However, the material used to make the yachts vary nowadays, and range from aluminum, to steel and also to fiberglass. Modern products like plywood are also often used in the construction of yachts.
There are several types of sailing yachts in existence today. Day sailing yachts are one variety and in accordance with their name, are not used for overnight journeys and hence tend not to have any cabin space. They are mostly for daily and hourly use.
Next is the weekender yacht that operates in shallow waters, has a cabin, kitchen and bedroom for up to 3 people. More complex in design are cruising yachts that are more popular for private use. These are spacious vessels meant to carry a number of people for long distances in luxurious travel accommodations.
Above this are the luxury sailing boats and racing yachts. Luxury sailing boats are generally more than 80 feet long, and contain amenities with luxury apart from the basic accommodation. These yachts are generally highly automated and computer controlled with the best in navigational GPS equipment.
Racing yachts are somewhat different from the above. Their main purpose is speed, and that is achieved by reducing the wet surface area that causes the drag.