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An Overview of the Many Types of Yachts

From small yachts to superyachts, many of these vessels are available for purchase on the market today. Each type of yacht has unique features that set it apart from the other types, so a certain yacht style might suit you better than others. To make sure that you are looking at the right boat for you, you will need to know how to distinguish the different types of yachts from each other.

While there is no set definition that specifically sets yachts apart from other large personal sea vessels, they are generally understood to be larger than average (40 feet long or bigger) with a galley, a bathroom/head, and a cabin for sleeping quarters. Yachts are also too big to be powered by human movement, like rowing, and usually have a powerful motor that can handle cruising, deep-water fishing, and watersports. Yachts can be classified by numerous factors, including size, amenities, and method of propulsion.


Types of Yachts

There are four main categories of yachts: motor yachts, sailing yachts, gulet yachts, and cruiser yachts. Let's take a look at each one.

Motor yachts

A motor yacht is primarily propelled with the use of a motor. As the most common type of yacht available today, motor yachts are built for entertainment with spacious social interaction areas and luxurious accommodations. Buyers often choose motor yachts because of their suitability for extended cruising ventures and charter trips.

motor yacht

Sailing yachts

A sailing yacht uses large sails as its primary means of propulsion. While these yachts also have motors on board, the motors are usually limited to times when there is not enough wind to propel the watercraft quickly enough. The main appeal of a sailing yacht is the quiet way it operates with minimal use of fossil fuels. Sailing yachts generally have a lower profile and less onboard space than other types of yachts.

Gulet yachts

A gulet yacht is an all-wood vessel that is a hybrid between a sailing yacht and a motor yacht. It uses a motor as its primary form of propulsion, but it also has large sails that can be used when the weather conditions are right. A gulet yacht is usually designed in a classic style resembling a two- or three-masted schooner with a rounded stern. More information: What is a Gulet? What is it like to charter one?

Cruiser yachts

Yacht styles that do not quite fit into the previous categories are often called cruiser yachts or express cruisers. These yachts are generally more modern looking, with sleek, streamlined hulls and open cockpit areas. They are on the smaller side for yachts, typically no more than 50 feet long, and are usually powered by twin diesel engines.


Types of Luxury Yachts

A luxury yacht is generally understood to be a yacht that is built with the latest in modern performance technology and features high-end finishes and materials. The word "luxury" can be used with any type of yacht that is exceptionally well-appointed, but some types of yachts are considered to be more luxurious than others. Let's take a look at what they are.

luxury yachts

Classic luxury yachts

Today's classic luxury yachts are designed to emulate the grace and style of the classic yachts of yesteryear while incorporating the latest technology in a non-intrusive way. These yachts tend to have large private cabins with full baths and Jacuzzis, spacious social areas that can accommodate many guests, and lavish accommodations featuring air conditioning, high-speed internet access, and expansive home entertainment systems.

Corporate luxury yachts

Corporate luxury yachts have everything a business team needs to both relax and perform at a high level. They are built with state-of-the-art conference facilities, contain the latest technology for networking and communication, and have a laid-back atmosphere so that employees can rest and unwind when the work is done. Corporate luxury yachts are staffed with a professional crew that provides first-class service with a smile.

Mega luxury yachts

Mega luxury yachts are private yachts that can be hundreds of feet long and are crafted specifically to carry large numbers of family and friends in lush accommodations. They feature vast open areas for sunning and socializing, multi-level entertainment and relaxation options, and VIP staterooms with private en suite bathrooms. Many have additional special features, including saunas, gymnasiums, and spas.

mega luxury yacht


Types of Small Yachts

Small yachts, also called sport yachts, are vessels that are less than 60 feet long and are designed to accommodate no more than a dozen people at a time. These yachts have a sleeker design and more powerful motors than other types of yachts and are generally used for fishing trips, off-shore excursions, and water sports. Like the term "luxury," the word "sport" can be applied to just about any style of yacht, but some types seem to fit the category better than others. More information: Small Luxury Boats with a Difference


Yacht Sizes

You can find yachts in three size categories referred to as yachts, superyachts, and mega yachts. While you can find some variation in how these terms are used, yachts are generally classified as being up to 70 feet long. Superyachts are yachts between 80 feet and 250 feet long. Mega yacht is the term used for any yacht that is more than 250 feet long. There are also tri-deck yachts, which are superyachts that have three levels of staggered, enclosed living space.


Yacht Categories

Yachts are often categorized by their notable features, with the terms "sport" or "luxury" added to describe their level of opulence. Here are some of the most popular yacht categories.

Catamaran yachts

This type of yacht is often made of fiberglass and has two hulls with an open space in the middle for greater stability and a smoother ride. They are available in both sailing and motor varieties.

catamaran yacht

Flybridge yachts

Flybridge yachts are built with a spacious deck and living space above the main bridge. The layout of the flybridge may be open or fully enclosed with climate control. They also typically have a retractable or removable hardtop and a sizable seating and/or lounge area.

Sportfish yachts

Also known as sport fishing yachts, these yachts are built for speed and durability, making them great for fishing trips and sport fishing tournaments. They typically have a large cockpit and ample storage space to accommodate anglers on the water for long periods of time. Sportfish yachts may come equipped with outriggers, fish lockers, fighting chairs, and other fishing features.

Expedition yachts

Expedition yachts are designed for adventure, with a deep displacement hull to enhance stability and comfort during long trips. They are often decorated with accoutrements from around the world, reflecting a true adventurer's spirit. They are also well-appointed with luxurious details like Italian marble, Danish leather, and French regalia.


At Rightboat, our team is ready to help you find the right type of yacht for your needs. With years of experience, we can help provide you with expert advice on the features and functions of different types of yachts. Check out the wide range of yachts for sale at Rightboat today!


Written By: Carrie Reed

Carrie is passionate about maritime law, which she studied for her International Relations degree. She began sailing when she was 15 years old and she has been passionate about it ever since. She also enjoys the occasional yacht trip.

More from: Carrie Reed

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