A sailing yacht is a vessel that moves forwards primarily through wind power. The difference between a sailing yacht and a sailboat is in its size. A sailing yacht usually starts from a length of about seven meters. A distinction is made between monohulls and multihulls (catamarans and trimarans). One of the longest sailing yacht in the world is up to 90 meters long. The term sailing yacht refers to a sailing ship that is mainly used for recreational or sporting activities, or even occasionally for representative purposes.
The most important thing on a sailing yacht, in contrast to a dinghy, is the weight stability. This means that they are provided with a keel, which contains ballast. The sailing yacht centre of gravity is so low that it is a significant factor in keeping the sailing yacht upright (the principle of "bounceback"). This is the reason why a sailing yacht can be very difficult to capsize and usually manage to stay upright in every situation. In addition to the constituent characteristics, the sailing yacht is characterized by a habitable cabin, sleeping and living facilities.
A sailing yacht is also differ in their number of masts and sails. Kat-rigging (small sport boats with a mast behind the mainsail, no further sails), Sloop (sailing yacht with a single mast, mainsail, jib, optional spinnaker), Ketch (sailing yacht with two masts, a mainmast and a smaller mizzen-mast, the aft mounted; very popular for blue-water sailors) Yawl (very similar to the Ketch, has two masts, the mizzen mast and driver mast stands more aft), Schooner (sailing yacht with two masts, the forward mast is less than or equal to the posterior pole, sailing ships with more than one mast are called Schooner), Gaff Schooner (have at least two masts, and are named after the gaff rig, their rigging. They range from the two-masted to the seven-masted Schooner), Cutter (a special feature of the cutter is the characteristic hull shape. The stem is almost vertical and the boat tapers at the bow and stern. The typical sailing cutter has a mast and is driven by two or three headsails).
Furthermore, a sailing yacht has differentiating hull shapes (S-frame, U-frame and chine) and the type and shape of the ship (sailing dinghies, keel boats and sail boats with rigid keels or keel fins, with the latter also long-keeled, short keel and moderate short keel).
For the purpose of regattas, the different types of a sailing yacht were divided into different classes, which more or less regulate the structural features of a boat model.
The sailing yacht moves through a combination of wind pressure in the sails, the air flow around the sail and the resistance opposing the hull under the water. Physically, there is combination of several forces acting on the boat, which means there is a need to adapt the sails to the wind to keep the course (sail trim).
Sailing yachts are additionally equipped with an engine in order to bridge periods of calm or to better manoeuvring in the harbour.
Traditionally, a sailing yacht is made out of wood, which is coated in a protective layer of paint. Since the mid-20th Century, mainly modern boat building materials such as fiberglass, carbon fibre reinforced plastics, steel or aluminium are used. Shrouds and stays are today mostly made of stainless steel wires and the lines to operate the sails are made out of synthetic fibres. Even the sails, formerly made out of linen or cotton, are now made of synthetic fibres or films.
Dufour and Beneteau in France and Bavaria Yachts and HanseYachts in Germany are among the world's largest producers of yachts, boats and ships. Search for other top models from boat builders such as Azimut, Bayliner, Dehler or Elan and discover your favourite boat!
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