A yacht or yacht ( from equivalent yacht Dutch, shortened this yacht chip from Middle Low German, chase boat ',' fast ship ') is (now ) a watercraft for sports and / or leisure purposes, which - apart from special cases - with a deck and a cabin is equipped. According to the type of drive motor yachts and sailing yachts are distinguished. Constituent element of a yacht - in contrast to the dinghy - is a solid, usually provided with ballast keel.


In everyday use is generally spoken only from a certain length of the vehicle from a yacht. Below about 7 m one speaks rather of a boat, about 10 meters from a yacht. A typical yacht in European coastal waters is now fitted to the 10 to 17 meters long (30 to 56 feet ) and with several cabins. In German inland lakes prevail in yachts boat lengths from 6 to 15 feet in front.

Larger yachts are also called Maxi yachts, depending on the size as a mini maxis, maxis or Super Maxis. The boundaries between these categories are by no means certain, as a guide but can serve, for example, the classification of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, the intervening during his racing yachts of 18-24 meters as a mini - maxis, yachts over 30.5 m as a super maxis and all as Maxis boot.

Very large yachts, where no value is placed on sporting use, but which serve as pure luxury objects are referred to as mega yachts or super yachts.

Construction and equipment

Usual materials for yachts today are fiber reinforced plastics ( GFRP or CFRP mostly ). Wood was the only available building material previously, but has been almost completely replaced by plastics. Steel and aluminum are very rarely used. Concrete ( ferro- cement) was tested in the 1970s, but could never prevail.

When Maxi and Mega Yachts comfort plays an important role, they are more like private cruise ships as a sports boats.

Design, device, engine and equipment of a yacht depend very much the preferred area and the strength of usage. Yachts, which are taken in the EU operation shall comply with the CE standard and are classified according to their construction and equipment in one of the categories A to D.


In general, there are yachts, whether motor or sailing yachts, from a hull length of 21 meters (70 feet) are the responsibility of semi -or fully professional crews. From two persons one speaks of a crew, these are mostly to skipper / in ( " Skipper" ) and Steward / ess. The number of crew members are set with increasing size of the yacht no limits - she can mega-yachts comprise more than 60 people, including, for example, chefs and engineers. The skipper is then often with Captain patent for great ride.

In particular, because of the high labor costs has become a popular alternative to the own yacht charter of yachts. To allow other disadvantages of your own yacht can be avoided (cost, distance to the berth, climate and area dependence).


The largest private yachts reach over 180 meters in length. You can be 20-36 knots fast. The consumption is about 14,100 gallons per 100 miles. The tanks hold 1.2 million liters and these range for 8500 nautical miles.


There have been termed yachts in the past, many ship types. Besides small three-masted hunts with transom in 1600 specifically provided for pleasure trips with an early form of high sail ships for inland and coastal waters also were called in the first half of the 17th century. In the course of the 17th century, the term yacht was used more for administrative and stately vehicles. These are known as state or army yacht yacht. The donation of two such yachts at the English Court marks the beginning of the use of this form in England as a yacht. In Denmark, a cargo ship shape with this designation was developed during the late 17th century. It was a fast sailer with sharp Hullshape rounder at the bow, stern and narrower masted gaff rigging with Topprahen. This form was still built around the 19th century in Denmark and Northern Germany.

Known yachts

  • Germania, a first Krupp yacht from 1908
  • Hohenzollern, state yacht of Kaiser Wilhelm II
  • Britannia, the 83rd and so far last Royal Yacht of the British monarch, in service 1954-1997
  • Illbruck, German yacht, 2001/2002 winner of the Volvo Ocean Race
  • Alinghi, the Swiss yacht, 2003 and 2007 winner of the America's Cup
  • Eclipse yacht of billionaire Abramovich, with 163 meters the second longest private yacht
  • Azzam, with a length of 180 meters, the longest private yacht in the world