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Everything you need to know about yachting

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

Every part of the world is different, so are we when it comes to spending our holidays and creating everlasting memories. While some of us prefer typical land-based activities, others prefer sea-based trips, yachting, and spending somedays off-shore every once in a while.

If you enjoy yachting and would like to know everything about it, here is everything you need to know about its history, the different yacht types and classifications, and the top international yacht shows and races.

The history of yachting

The term yacht originates from the Dutch word “Jaghte”, which was originally used for describing fast pirate or hunting ships. The term has evolved throughout the years to describe modern-day yachts and became significantly associated with the idea of a luxurious lifestyle.

In the early times, sailing yachts was an activity only of the royals and the blue-blooded. Yachts became particularly famous during the time of Charles II of England when he received Yacht Mary as a present. Mary was faster than other yachts and was the king’s first yacht, which encouraged him to race other blue-blooded yachters and compete with them.

Soon after, yachting and participating in yacht competitions weren’t activities of royals and nobles only, but rich competitors joined and became part of the yachting scene. Around the 1800s, yacht clubs were initiated and hosted various yacht competitions. Back then, being a member of a yacht club was considered an indicator of wealth and a higher rank in the society.

Years later, yachts were not bound to competitions and yacht shows anymore, and became more popular amongst other leisure and sports activities. They were designed to fit multiple purposes that would fulfill the wealthy owners’ needs. Since then, a variety of types, sizes, designs and facilities became available.

Types and major classifications

Yachts come in many different sizes, styles, and motor capacities. Therefore, there are many ways to categorize and classify them. The Beaufort scale is one of the most common methods used for yacht classifications. Originally, the scale is used to indicate the force of wind based on a scale from 0 (Calm Winds) to 12 (Hurricane). In the yachts industry, it is used for categorizing yachts based on their strength in withstanding wind force.

Other scales are the RINA, The American Bureau of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, Dat Norske Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd, and Lloyd Register. A more common style is the classification based on size and sailing method. According to this categorization method, yachts are split into three main types. First of all, there are sailing yachts, which typically have sails and are more suitable for small groups and shorter one-day journeys.

On the other hand, Catamaran yachts are larger ones and sometimes have sails. They are more stable than sailing yachts and are suitable for longer trips and larger groups. Lastly there are the motor yachts, which are designed for speed, comfort, and pleasure. They are typically more expensive but have superior speed. They are truly luxurious, more spacious, and hold big celebrations, master suites and other luxuries.

The most prestigious yachting shows and races

Famously known as Regattas, yacht races are a big thing and are hosted around the globe, varying in vessel conditions, race lengths, and challenges. One of the most prestigious Regattas is the Volvo Ocean Race, which is the longest and toughest sporting event in the world. The race is a month-long trip around the world, departing from Europe in October.

Another yet interesting Regatta is the Transpacific Yacht Race (Transpac), which is an international racing event that goes across the Pacific Ocean. The race starts in San Pedro, California, and finishes in Honolulu, Hawaii. Another ocean-based race is The Transatlantic Race where participants cross the Atlantic from the West to the East, sailing the entire journey single-handedly.

Beside races, yacht shows are a must-visit as well. The Dubai International Boat Show, to be held in March 2020 at the Dubai Harbor, will be the region’s biggest marine and lifestyle show. The Cannes Yachting Festival is another show hosting motor and sailing yachts. The show is well organized and very popular so make sure you don’t miss out.

Yachting will always be an interesting and fun way of spending your holiday. A long-day sail in the sea while enjoying views of the waves and the surrounding islands is absolutely marvelous.

Enjoying a yachting experience doesn’t always mean that you have to own your own yacht. You can always charter one through BeSeated. We make renting yachts possible in over 15 cities around the world. For bookings and more information, click here.