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Types of Yachts and Sailboats- A Comprehensive Classification

Top global companies build different types of yachts and sailboats, each of which come with its own unique features. People choose yachts and sailboats based on factors such as luxury, utility, performance, space, and more. Let’s take a look at the major categories and what makes them different from each other.

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Types of yachts

Different types of sailboats

Unlike most types of yachts, sailboats are boats that use wind power to move. While sailing is easy, it is necessary to learn the basics from a professional beforehand. There are three key features that people use to differentiate between sailboats, which are:

  • Keel- the types include centerboard, bilge, daggerboard, wing, and fin
  • Hull- it can be trimaran, catamaran, or monohull
  • Mast- the configuration can be fin, ketch, fractional rig sloop, cat, cutter, or yawl


The following are the various types of sailboats that are popular around the world.

Cruising catamaran

Types of yachts catamaran

Typically 25-50 feet long, this type of sailboat is larger than others and ideal for extended cruising. They generally feature a lot of cabins and a massive double hull. The bridge deck is usually spacious and is used for leisure activities.

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Beach catamaran

Usually known as a beachcat, this type of sailboat has one deck area supported by two hulls on both sides. This boat is quite light, and you can park it on the beach when required by simply pushing it. They typically do not have keels but have daggerboards instead. Since they move fast, they are used for sailing competitions globally.


As the name suggests, this sailboat is meant for short day trips and does not provide any accommodation for spending the night. People use this boat for trips that last for less than 48 hours. There is usually a small cabin available onboard that is ideal for storing goods and resting for short periods of time.

Racer cruiser

This sailboat is popular thanks to its varying functions. On the one hand, it is ideal for sailing competitions. On the other hand, you can use it for leisure trips with family and friends at your own pace.

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As is obvious, this type of sailboat is powered by a motor. Usually, most motorsailers are yachts, which feature both sails and engines for higher performance. Such boats are typically used for recreational purposes. There are different types of luxury boats in this category, and they come in various sizes.

Sailing dinghies

Types of yachts and sail boats

These boats feature a single mast and require skills and expertise for sailing. Racing competitions with this type of boat are widespread, and the racers use various strategies and practice balance to win.

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Various yacht types to know

Some yacht types are far more popular than others due to various factors.

You can find different types of yachts worldwide with varying sizes and features. Different types of yachts brands add their unique touch to each model. Many of the top models are commercially available for yacht rental in Dubai, which is one of the world’s top sailing destinations. Take a look at the following yacht types list for more details.

  • Catamaran yachts
  • Classic yachts
  • Support yachts
  • Displacement yachts
  • Semi-displacement yachts
  • Motor yachts
  • Sports fishers
  • Flybridge yachts
  • Sports cruisers
  • Sailing yachts
  • Expedition yachts
  • Hybrid yachts

Catamaran yachts

These yachts typically feature either a sail or a motor. Some models blend both for higher performance. There are not many models of catamaran yachts, but their popularity has always been high. They are quite spacious in design and provide good stability while sailing. These yachts are quite luxurious and fast, and the deck and cabin space are usually large. You can use them for sailing trips across shallow waters only.

Classic yachts

These are yachts that were built sometime in the early 1900s. Such yachts are passed along by various owners across history and have a certain charm. While new owners choose to make minor renovations to the interior and exterior design, these yachts are known for their classic beauty. Usually, celebrities, royals, and ultra-wealthy people own these yachts. They are sought after more for the prestige and elegance they represent than for performance. A good example is Weatherbird by Chantier Naval De Normandie.

Support yachts

This type of yacht is meant for explorers who want to sail along unchartered waters. A larger fuel tank and storage facility are available on such yachts; some even feature helipads on the deck. These gigantic models typically have enough space to store cars and even submarines.

Displacement yachts

These yachts are fuel-efficient and perfect for long sailing trips. They displace water while moving instead of moving over it, hence the name. Ideal for thrill-seekers, they feature ample storage space for water toys, diving gear, and more.

Semi-displacement yachts

You can expect good speed, stability, and storage space with these yachts. This yacht is good for both relaxing over the blue sea and exploring new waters. They are ideal for long trips and feature luxury cabins, vast deck space, and other attractive amenities.

Motor yachts

These yachts are commonly used for luxury charters and are equipped with amenities like jacuzzis, spa rooms, dining areas, and more. People usually prefer this yacht for relaxing trips with loved ones and for hosting exclusive events and parties.

Sports fishers

Alternatively known as fishing yachts, these models are ideal for luxury fishing trips. They enable passengers to enjoy adventure fishing and relaxing amenities later in the day.

Flybridge yachts

These yachts have two decks and usually combine luxury with high performance. Flybridges are designed to provide unrestricted views of the surroundings and for relaxing.

Sports cruisers

Also called open yachts, they are faster than other yacht types and are typically used by adventure enthusiasts. They have premium engines, and the overall exterior design enhances the speed. The experience of cruising on these yachts is like flying over the sea.

Sailing yachts

Many consider this sailing yacht types to be the original one and prefer them over motor-based ones. They move based on wind conditions and require a lot of maneuvering skills. You can find them in regatta settings among hardcore yachting enthusiasts.

Expedition yachts

These yachts are quite luxurious but are better known for their affinity for long expeditions across the oceans. They have been designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, and people use them to travel to unexplored locations around the world.

Hybrid yachts

Hybrid types of yacht

These yachts combine different types of power sources to improve sustainability and fuel efficiency. They answer consumer concerns over the negative impact of yachting on the environment. The power sources include electricity, diesel, and battery.

Some yacht and sailboat types enjoy more popularity than others. In the upcoming decades, it is expected that yachts that promote sustainability will become more popular. Yet, it is safe to say that types like classic and expedition yachts will continue to remain popular in the future as well.

Find out more about the Difference Between A Catamaran And Yacht and its relevance in the global maritime industry.



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