Firstly, let’s start with where the term comes from. The word yacht derives from the Dutch word “jacht”, which means hunt, and at the time, was the word used to refer to boats that were used for fishing. It wasn’t until the 17th century that Dutch yacht builders started constructing larger vessels that didn’t have such a practical purpose but were intended for the wealthy. Unsurprisingly, this caught on, and yachting for leisure was born. It became a status symbol, and from there, the designs only became more luxurious. 

Throughout the 19th century, the popularity of yachts kept growing, and in the 20th, they were getting even more grand and luxurious. By this time, they contained tremendously advanced navigation systems that could take them further than ever before. In the 1930s, yachting reached new popularity and began incorporating streamlined designs with sleek exteriors and rounded hulls. This meant that they were now faster and more stable. 

After WW2, yachts reached a level of extreme luxury. They were more spacious than ever, contained multiple features and rooms, and started to become the advanced luxury vessels we love today. Ever since, yacht builders have strived to create the best seagoing vessels on the planet, catering for those who want the next level of ultimate escape and luxury. 

So there you have it; this is how the incredible yachts we get to enjoy today came into existence. From a small Dutch fishing boat to multi-million-dollar superyachts. Over time, the definition of a yacht has been shaped into something far beyond a boat, so what are the key differences?