Just exactly what is a yacht? It is often described as a sailboat or motorboat used for recreation. Most are privately owned and big enough to contain a cabin. It is a derivative of the word jacht which was applied to light sailboats that were once used to pursue pirates. Currently, yachts are popularly described as leisure vessels. There was a point in history that there a significant amount of yacht owners but this mania dissipated during and after the Great Depression.
Though very large yachts offer ample space for wine cellars, private screening rooms, and basketball courts, they have drawbacks, too; some of them are too big to enter smaller harbors and thus must dock at commercial marinas with oil tankers and other non-pleasure boats. Yachts of all sizes typically cost about 10 percent of their sticker price to maintain each year. Large luxury yachts often require a full-time staff including a captain, engineers, stewards and stewardesses, chefs, and deckhands. Many yacht owners charter their boats when they’re not using them to recoup some of the maintenance costs. American yachts tend to be registered abroad, both for tax reasons and because yacht crews are often not American citizens and therefore can’t work on an American ship without a visa.
A yacht that is not powered by sails & wind is referred to people as a motor yacht. Motor yachts are powered either by diesel or gasoline engine(s). A typical motor yacht has its staterooms separated from the living areas & a spacious living area in between. Many yachts extremely luxurious and have plenty of amenities.
Although the speed depends on the model/ type of the yacht, the typical cruising speed is within the 20 knot range with average weight conditions and sea state. Top speeds, between 25 to 60 knots, can be also achieved by special hull-designed or big motor yachts. Their fuel tanks provide autonomy of 60 to 300 nautical miles. Obviously, the heavier and faster the boat is, the higher the fuel consumption. Motor yachts are ideal for people who want to cover larger distances in a shorter period of time. It is really important to note that when strong winds prevail in a cruising area, motor yachts stay in the port since they cannot cruise in rough weather conditions.
There are many reasons why people choose to buy a yacht. Let’s face it; you have to have a sizeable pocketbook. To many, it is simply a get away from it all retreat. Others seek a capital investment and one or two see it as a charter business venture. There are numerous reasons to own this luxury vessel known as a yacht, but it goes without saying, it is nice to know someone who owns one. What a great way to relax and see the world.
Source: “And When Did Owning One Become a Symbol of Wealth?” Slate Magazine. Web. 19 Dec. 2012.