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What Size Boat Is Considered a Yacht? – An Expert Explanation

Written by Anthony Roberts / Fact checked by Jonathan Larson

what size boat is considered a yacht

For any boat enthusiast, traveling by yacht is an expensive dream. In fact, a yacht has always been a symbol for luxury and high-end cruising experience among boaters. Hence, owning a yacht is not only a hobby but also a wise investment for those who prefer possessing physical properties.

As such, selecting a suitable yacht for your budget is extremely crucial. Actually, it is not uncommon for amateur sailors to mistake a big vessel for a yacht. There are even cases where people were swindled while purchasing a boat instead of a yacht.

If you are looking for an article that can answer the question “What size boat is considered a yacht?”, this is the perfect place for you! In this post, we will provide you with a detailed explanation of “When does a boat become a yacht?”, including yacht specifications and other important information you should know about yacht sailing.

Moreover, other tips on assessing yacht sizes and further notices while figuring out “How big is a yacht?” will also be highlighted so that you and other boaters can have a better understanding of this topic. Continue reading to learn more!

A Yacht Definition

There is no precise definition of a yacht. So, how can we know the answer to “When is a boat considered a yacht?” It all comes down to the intention. Almost all of the time, the designer of a boat chooses whether or not the vessel qualifies as a yacht.

Yachts are recreational watercraft that are most popular for their luxury. Acquiring a yacht is indeed a fancy hobby, and the typical offers of a yacht are fairly lavish. Yachts come equipped with lounges, eating spaces, bars, private suites, and quarters.

It’s almost like you’re in a hotel on water, although one with the maneuverability of a high-performance speed boat. Apart from these conventional facilities, yachts might have even more spectacular features, including pools and sports zones.

As previously said, another distinguishing feature of yachts is their great performance, which can be explained by their strong engine or huge sail. Most of the recognized characteristics of yachts indicate that they must have a specific amount of storage and be constructed in a given size.

Let’s have a look at certain models of yachts to have a better understanding of what they are.

Models of Yacht


Yachts come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The boats listed below are popular types that you should know if you want to avoid finding yourself trapped in the enormous sea of yacht classifications.

1. Powered yacht

The powered yacht is nothing more than a yacht that includes a motor. Different from normal water crafts whose engines are adjusted to suit the owner’s demand, most yacht’s motors need to be in moderate size and deliver excellent performance. Because yachts have a background of being utilized for racing, even powered boats are expected to be fast.

Yacht engines must have the strength to enable yachts to maintain good performance even if they’re as enormous as they would be. The capacity of such engines, as well as the space required to accommodate them, raises the cost of owning the boat even further.

2. Sailing yacht

Being one of the most preferable types of yachts, sailing yacht can be simply defined as a huge sailboat. This yacht’s design is heavily inspired by the Dutch jacht, the origin of the yacht. Dutch people in the past traveled in this type of watercraft to chase and hunt pirates, using only sails and paddles.

In spite of the popularity of motorized boats, we can still find sailing yachts among modern yachts parked in the port. Also, there are hybrid yachts, which use both sails and outboard motors.

3. Superyacht

Superyachts are enormous motorized yachts customized and expanded for maximum recreational abilities. The term “superyacht” is self-explanatory in terms of what it is. They are larger and therefore can accommodate more passengers.

In terms of size, superyachts are intended to be approximately 24 meters (79 feet) in length. Most superyachts, however, are far longer, reaching lengths of above 100 meters. Today, the biggest superyacht is the Azzam, which measures 180 meters (590 feet) and is worth over $600 million.

4. Megayacht

Another kind is the megayacht, which is at least 50 meters long. However, for whatever reason, the Azzam is classified as a superyacht, since the maker or owner determines whether their watercraft is a superyacht or a megayacht.

What Are the Crucial Differences Between a Boat and a Yacht


The only way that you can distinguish between a yacht and a vessel is to study their differences. Hence, in this part of the article, we will compile a list of different features existing in each type of watercraft so that you would no longer be confused while selecting yachts and boats!

Here are the main differences between a yacht and a boat that you can easily identify:

1. Capacity

In terms of design, vessels and yachts are very similar. They both do not need any kind of crew and may even be sailed alone. The main difference between a boat and a yacht is the passenger capacity, in which a yacht can carry up to 8 people. Therefore, if you ever come across a big boat with more than 5 sailors on board, it may be a yacht cruising.

2. Measurements

Boats do not have a minimum size, however they are typically 15 to 30 feet long. While there is no true size restriction or need for a boat, as long as it can entertain people, it may be considered a yacht. Yachts are anticipated to be at minimum of 10m or 33ft long in order to provide enough space for the degree of performance and comfort required of a yacht.

3. Purpose

Another significant distinction between vessels and yachts is the way they are used. A boat is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of boats used for both business and non-commercial reasons. This wide phrase includes canoes, fishing boats, rowboats, and tugboats.

Meanwhile, yachts are virtually exclusively entertaining vehicles meant for personal enjoyment. Even charter ships, which are the single exception to the trend, are designed for lavish excursions.

Another minor distinction among vessels and yachts is the place of their intended usage. Boats are more frequently seen on inland waterways, including rivers or lakes. Although certain business fishing boats are constructed for offshore operation, most private boats rarely travel far from the coast.

As we have mentioned above, superyachts and megayachts are phrases that define the range of sizes of such watercrafts but are not normally necessary. The question of whether a boat is purchased for commercial or personal purpose is frequently the most critical.

4. Amenities

Boats are transporting watercraft. The amenities they carry on board are determined by what is required for them to complete their mission.

Yachts, on the other hand, must transport a bigger number of passengers. In order to serve as a recreational vehicle, most of the yacht’s facilities should be installed for entertainment. Hence, it is not bizarre for you to encounter a yacht with a half-size swimming pool, heliport or small theatre. The luxury is the initial feature to distinguish between a yacht and a boat.

5. Visual

The visual contrast between yachts and boats is undoubtedly the most striking. A yacht is often defined by exquisite lines, a feeling of royal composure, and a touch of extravagance. A watercraft could be anything from a luxurious speedboat to an ancient canoe.


What size boat is considered a yacht or when does a boat become a yacht? It should be obvious after reading this post that it all depends on the luxury. Even though there is no proper definition of a yacht, you should now have a better understanding of what to search for. We hope that the above information will help you and your crew purchase a yacht reasonably, so that cruising experiences with family and friends will be safer!

Did you enjoy the article? Do you want to add anything else? Please let me know and leave a comment below.

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