Today's privately owned sailing yachts typically range in length
from 20 to 46 feet. Depending upon whether the owner intends
to use it for racing or for cruising, a sailing yacht can have sparse
accommodations or can be quite luxurious. Sailing yachts can be
monohull, which means a centerboard or fixed keel below the water's
surface is used for stability, or they can be multihull, which means
they have two or more hulls for stability.
There are four basic types of sailing yachts: day sailers,
weekenders, cruisers, and racers. The kind of sailing yacht
that is right for you will be determined by your goals and desires.
If you are looking for a boat to enjoy on a daily basis but aren't
planning to take overnight trips, a day sailer is perfect. Day
sailers are usually less than 20 feet in length and have no cabins.
They are usually equipped with a retractable keel or centerboard.
Those interested in taking short trips in their sailing yacht will find
that a weekender will do the trick. Weekenders, which are generally
less than 30 feet in length, have twin keels that allow them to operate
in shallow water. Weekenders are equipped with a basic cabin that
can usually sleep two or three people, and are perfect for two-day or
Cruising yachts fall into the 23-foot to 46-foot range, and with their
balance of power, handling, comfort, and design, they are a great choice
for sailors who want to have it all. The cabin below often has
several rooms, making it comfortable for families. Most cruisers
have large freshwater tanks, and are designed to travel thousands of miles.
Racing yachts are designed for the sportsman. They have wide beams
and flat bottoms, and can attain speeds up to 40 miles per hour.
Since racing yachts are built for speed and not comfort, accommodations
tend to be very basic. Of course yacht races vary, and so do racing
yachts. Some yachts are designed to cover only a few miles, while
others are designed to race long distances.