From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A yacht is a watercraft used for pleasure or sports. The term originates from the Dutch word jacht "hunt", and was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries. After its selection by Charles II of England as the vessel to carry him to England from the Netherlands for his restoration in 1660 it came to be used to mean a vessel used to convey important persons.
In modern use of the term, yachts differ from working ships mainly by their leisure purpose. There are two different classes of yachts: sailing and power boats. With the rise of the steamboat and other types of powerboat, sailing vessels in general came to be perceived as luxury, or recreational vessels. Later the term came to encompass large motor boats for primarily private pleasure purposes as well.
Yacht lengths normally range from 10 metres (33 ft) up to dozens of meters (hundreds of feet). A luxury craft smaller than 12 metres (39 ft) is more commonly called a cabin cruiser or simply a cruiser. A superyacht generally refers to any yacht (sail or power) above 24 m (79 ft) and a megayacht generally refers to any yacht over 50 metres (164 ft). This size is small in relation to typical cruise liners and oil tankers.
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