A boat rudder.

Yacht history – From boat to yacht

Some would say that all yachts are boats, but not all boats are yachts, and they would be right. Others would say that a yacht is a boat made solely for the purpose of pleasure of its owner, and can not be distinguished from a boat by size, weight or style, and they would be right too. So, how can it be? We have two seemingly contradict statements, and they are both somehow true.

Yacht history is an interesting one, which is why a different point of view invokes different opinions, which is how both statements are true, so, let’s take a walk through time and space, and find out more about traditional yacht history and the origin of the yacht, as well as the way we perceive yachts today.

A side of the boat.

Traditional yacht history and its origin

It is a common saying that you can tell a yacht by seeing one, which has nothing to do with size, weight, sleeping quarters, wheel or a motor, all of those things don’t matter. This means that a yacht is what you perceive, a prized possession of its owner, and one aimed at pleasure and entertainment.

The first yacht was invented by the Dutch in 14th century, who used small, fast boats to chase off smugglers, pirates and other sorts of criminals, and at one time they realized that these little boats are perfect to set sail when celebrations and congratulations are in order. Now, this refers to rich merchants and ship owners who wanted to sail out and celebrate successful merchant trips.

This is how a “jaght” came into being, and pretty quickly these “jaghts” an essential and chic accessory, owned by everyone who is anyone. Now, this was a time a yacht was created, but did it also mean the creation of the yachtsmen? Not necessarily, and read below why.

The royal yacht history

For popularizing the ownership of yachts none other than a royal personality is responsible. Charles II of England spent 10 years in exile in Holland, before he returned to the English throne in the middle of the 17th century. The Dutch threw him an enormous  “return-home” party in Amsterdam, where they presented him with one of the most luxurious yachts, with an included crew of 20.

The name of the yacht was “Mary”, and the king took great pleasure in sailing her up and down the Thames. Thanks to this newfound love for these elegant boats, the king started studying navigation and naval architecture, building approximately 20 yachts during his lifetime. This is a moment in a yacht history that is defined as action of a world’s first yachtsman.

Yachting stayed the Sport of Kings for over a century, and by the 1800s, yachting began to include participants who weren’t of royal blood, and the world’s wealthiest elite started to join in, forming first ever Yacht Clubs and giving way to the birth of completely new, yachting industry.

A small and fast yacht.

So, how we distinguish a yacht from a boat?

According to yacht history, we’ve established that a yacht is a boat, but not a regular one. It’s a kind of boat built for recreational sailing, but one that definitely can’t be defined by propulsion type. We did mention that a yacht can’t be defined by size either, but that was mainly a traditional yacht history notion, modern yachting says otherwise.

For example, the bigger and the more expensive the boat is, the better is the chance for it to be counted among exclusive yachts. Almost anything over 40 feet long qualifies as a yacht, but what is trickier is to determine the bottom end of the yacht length scale.Some of the owners of expensive yachts established the minimum through a random survey to 33 feet, for unspecified reasons, which is why we bring another aspect of yachtiness into consideration: attitude.

A larger luxury yacht.

All yachts have attitude – the ultimate difference

Let’s just say that a yacht attitude isn’t something exclusively reserved for the most expensive yachts – it’s a combination of factors that are easy to spot collectively, but hard to determine individually. One of them is definitely looks, although that is precisely a thing that varies with personal taste, but nevertheless, it is essential when defining the word “yachty” when describing a boat.

Varnish is another thing that counts as well, both in quality and quantity. The more is better, and it has to be gleaming, because the shiny hull is mandatory, as well as the shiny hardware, coiled lines, ensign angles etc. Varnish also earns big style points, but all yacht innovations are welcome, especially when it comes to style.

Oddly enough, privacy is not a determining factor of attitude, and the more factors that can make or break a yacht’s attitude are owners and time. Why? Well, the owner factor is the more abstract one, but the summa summarum is that you as a yacht owner, should be able to transfer your own attitude over to the vessel of your own.

And what about time factor? Because careful maintenance and constant upgrades can turn a boat into a yacht, and a constant neglection can just as easily turn a yacht to a boat. The good thing is that today’s luxury marinas, such as our Porto Montenegro marina, are tailored to your needs exclusively, offering you numerous berthing options as well as the royal treatment of the vessel itself, so, as an owner, you get all the help you need.

Learn how to make a final distinction between a boat and a yacht, and how have first luxury yachts come to be one the most favorite sea vehicles.