Yachting Holidays and Careers in 2015
Today if you talk about yachts most people will think of a smallish vessel used for shorter journeys, not a craft suited to long haul, or having any specific purpose apart from leisure use.
The word yacht comes from the Dutch word yacht which means hunt and referred to a slender ship capable of speed, and suited to only short voyages. The Dutch used this kind of ship to protect their coastal waters against pirates, and would also have been used when speed was of the essence.
The larger of these early yachts were also used for exploration. Due to their speed, they were ideal for crossing large stretches of water and it was the Dutch yacht the "Duyfken" that arrived in Australia in 1606. Laden with a small crew, but a packed cargo of food and supplies, it was its speed that allowed the crew to survive relatively healthy to this new land.
Speed also played an important role in war, so the speed and manoeuvrability of yachts allowed them to play an important part in early naval battles. Yachts were used to relay orders and messages, able to slip past the impressive but nevertheless slower warships.
It was precisely this speed and agility that the yacht possessed that attracted it to Charles II of England. While exiled in the Netherlands, and already keenly interested in all things naval, he fell enamoured of the yacht not only as part of a military fleet, but also as leisure boat. Indeed, it is said that it was Charles II that started the long patronage of sailing by the British Royals.
This passion soon spread to the other Royal families of Europe, and it was not long before every royal family possessed their own yachts. The start of yachting for pleasure was now firmly established, though only for the extremely wealthy.
Today yachting is not the preserve of the wealthy few and through the various yacht hire companies is open to anyone. Along with this, the variety of yachts has dramatically changed.
Obviously the only yachts for centuries were sailing yachts. With the invention of the engine, the variety of yachts changed with this new power source. We still have sailing yachts of course, but along with them we have:
Day sailing yachts. Day sailing yachts are smaller yachts, normally up to 6 metres long. Generally they do not have cabins, and may have small sheltered areas to provide protection from the worst of the elements.
Weekender yachts. Weekender yachts are larger at up to 9.5 metres long. These yachts are designed for short two to three day journeys. Weekenders normally have a basic cabin consisting of a single room with bed space for 2 to 3 people. They will also have a small basic galley (kitchen), some seating, and navigation equipment, plus storage space for food and water.
Cruising yachts. Cruising yachts are the most common type of yacht in private use, and ranging in size from 7 metres to 14 metres in length. The massive range of its type of yacht makes it problematic to give one single description, but most can be regarded as family vessels. With several cabins, larger galley with saloon etc, these yachts can take on longer range cruises with greater speeds than the smaller yachts.
Luxury sailing yachts. The largest of yachts, these are most commonly 25 metres and longer, and can be compared to a floating villa. With all the most up to date facilities and technology, these high end yachts are the preserve of the super wealthy.
Thesedays you don't have to own a yacht to enjoy sailing. With thousands of yacht charter companies around the world, booking a yachting holiday is relatively easy. Indeed, on the higher end yachts a crew is included so you do not even need to know how to sail.
With the option of following planned itineraries, or working out your own, yachting holidays though still not the preserve of everyone one, are nevertheless much more accessible than ever before.
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