Showing posts with label Yachting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yachting. Show all posts

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Definition of a Yacht

Photo: Maxpixel
There may have been a time when you did not know what the term "yachting" meant.  In fact, the very definition of what makes a yacht different from other boats often escapes many people.  For the yacht owner, there is probably no more frustrating experience than to be discussing this part of your life at a social gathering only to have someone respond "I know what you mean, I love my fishing boat."  The two could not be more different and the better people understand that the fewer strange looks you will get when you tell your associates that one of your passions is "yachting".

Two things that are most often true of yachts is that they are mostly large boats and that they are primarily used for recreation.  But despite some predefined notions of how yacht owners approach their passions, there is a lot of variety to how yachts are used recreationally.  For one thing, yachting is split between those who enjoy yachting for the luxury of cruising the high seas in maximum comfort and those who love yachts for racing.  Both approaches to yachting have strong populations and lots of support industry to feed the growing enthusiasm for yachting amongst the yachting population.  

Even within the luxury yachting set, there are distinctions in types of yachts and in how people go about enjoying this very diverse hobby.  One big difference is between motorized yachting and sailing.  There is a beauty to sailing that is undeniable.  But sailing also is also more demanding and it has a lot of equipment and specialized skills that are called to carry it off.  But it is an addictive side of yachting that you can grow into.  Many who love sailing yachts will start out sailing with a crew who are skilled at handling the rigs and then allow those talented sailors to teach the skill to the yacht owner.

Another distinction of yachts is the level of involvement you might bring to actually operating the boat on open waters.  A full crew yacht is one in which everything is done for you.  This is the ultimate of luxury because not only do you have no concerns for the actual act of taking the yacht from here to there on the waters, you are pampered with every need and desire by a crew dedicated to your comfort and happiness.  But if you want to get closer to the experience of running the boat yourself, you can go with a skipper only who can manage much of the details of the yachting but leave the "crew work" to you.  And then for the ultimate in taking on the seaman to elements you can take out a "bareboat" yacht which means you do all the work.

You can see there is a lot of variety in the experience you can have on a yacht and still call it a yachting excursion.  But in all of these cases, the yacht is devoted to one thing, to giving you fun and pleasure and excitement. Whether it’s the thrill of a yacht race or you alone in your yacht exploring the coast of Africa and having the adventure of a lifetime, you are fulfilling a dream.  And to most of us, that is what it means to own a yacht or even to charter one and feel like you own it.  You are giving yourself the chance to realize a dream and have that singular experience of fun, happiness or relaxation on a luxurious yacht in a luxurious setting.  What could be better than that?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Chasing the Good Life Instead of Pirates

Sailing Yacht - Photo: MaxPixel
A little piece of trivia about yachting that is fun to bring out if you are enjoying an afternoon on a friend's yacht is that the word "yacht" is actually Dutch and it original spelling is "Jacht".  The translation of the original word is "hunt" because the yacht was created to give the Dutch naval vessels a tool to hunt down pirates in shallow water.  But these days we are far more interested in chasing the good life on board a luxury yacht than going after pirates.

It didn’t take long for yachting to become a lifestyle choice for those that could afford such luxury.  It is fascinating that yachting was enjoyed as far back as the early 1800s where there are references in history that King Charles II was a huge yachting enthusiast.  So we are in good company if we have come to love yachting too and its small wonder that it makes us feel like kings and queens when we are on board a luxury yacht cruising entirely for our pleasure.

Today when you think of the word "yacht", you almost always associate it with private boats kept for the pleasure of those who can afford a large seafaring ship dedicated to relaxation, romance, and pleasure.  That image is wonderfully displayed in the delightful movie Some like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis in which Tony yells the sexy "Sugar" played by Marilyn that he is waiting for a signal from his wine steward on board his yacht for the time to return from the beach for cocktails.  Who of us doesn’t get a kick out of that kind of lifestyle and we jump at the chance to enjoy it even if it's just for a few weeks each year on holiday or vacation?

When you start to think about the kind of yacht you wish to buy or charter, you have a few decisions to make.  For one thing, you can buy a sailing or motorized yacht.  Sailing seems so natural and you don’t have to carry as much fuel (although a good sailing yacht will still have some ability to get to shore using a motor so you are never in danger of being stranded).   Also what a wonderful way to pass the morning watching the crew of your yacht put up and maneuver the sails to get you surfing the winds at sea and letting them take you along.

A yacht is almost always a large boat except perhaps if it is devoted to racing.  But for luxury and relaxation, having plenty of space on the yacht is important.  If you are going to buy a new yacht, you should walk the boat over many times and picture different ways you will entertain family and friends and be sure you have plenty of accommodations not only for the largest party you might take with you to sea but also for a good sized crew you will have along to care for the yacht itself as well as for you and your guests.  Your chef should have an ample kitchen with room for plenty of provisions if you want to stock the yacht for several days or weeks at sea.  And there should be the proper facilities to store fine wines and other beverages for your wine steward to work with during your voyage.

By making sure your yacht is well designed for the lifestyle you want during your outings, you will get lots of good use from it each year.  And if you are going to charter, you can look forward to bringing your same high standards to picking just the right yacht, captain and crew each time as well so your adventure at sea is just as enjoyable and luxurious as you always wanted it to be.