Yachts were first used by the Dutch to hunt (jacht) pirates and criminals through the shallow waters of the Low Countries. A yacht is now characterised as “any sail or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising or racing.”
Charles II of England was known as the Merry Monarch because of his love of pleasure and infectious energy – no surprise that he was responsible for repurposing the yacht as a leisure craft. Thanks to Charles II the luxury yacht industry now boasts over 200 pleasure-crafts upwards of $65m.
Yachts are not purely for luxury however and can provide a challenge and thrill not comparable to many other adrenaline-fuelled activities. Sailing yachts are typically between 6m and 30m in length with the smaller rigs allowing the bravest of sailors to take on the big seas alone.
In 2015 one of the well-known luxury yacht designers, Phillipe Starck, moulded the two different styles together in the closely watched, Sailing Yacht A. It is a sail-assisted motor yacht consisting of a hybrid power plant and a three-mast sailing rig. The three sails are fully automated and made from carbon-fibre AND the yacht also features an underwater viewing pod.
Yachts have brought a more intimate way to spend time in the vast expanse of our oceans whether you prefer luxury or adventure.