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A yacht /jɒt/ is a watercraft used for pleasure or sports.[1] The term originates from the Dutch word jacht “hunt”, and was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries. The jacht was popularized by Charles II of England as a pleasure or recreation vessel following his restoration in 1660.

Todays yachts differ from other vessels by their leisure purpose. A yacht is any sail or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising or racing. A yacht does not have to have luxury accommodations to be a yacht, in fact many racing yachts are stripped out vessels with the minimum of accommodations. The term ‘sailboat’ is sometimes used in America to differentiate sail from powerboat. See also ‘yachting’.

Luxury Yacht

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This luxury sailing yacht is the Adele, an 180-foot ketch designed by Dutch designers Hoek.

The designers maintain a sailboat design philosophy that seems to center around balance, which Hoek sees as serving the bigger picture of incorporating the choices of what will be important in a sailboat:

“[P]erformance or aesthetics, say — is insufficient. One has to see the Big Picture, which ultimately comes from balance,” the Hoek team wrote about their intellectual position on design.

“From a naval point of view the balance is found in correctly positioning the different parts; achieving the right center of gravity, weight and trim; calculating the bast stability/sail area ratio, performance and so on.

“A balance in aesthetics is also crucial. Are the deckhouses in proportion to the freeboard? Does the sail plan fit the rest of the profile? Is the deck layout in harmony with the interior layout and volume?”

Hoek maintains that the third part of the design balance is something experience provides a designer with: being able to balance the afore-mentioned design points with the requirements of the people commissioning the craft.

The Adele sailed 40,000 miles in her first season, and almost all of that sail time was with the owner aboard, Jan-Eric Osterlund. During the first year’s voyages, the craft reached Spitsbergen and the ice cap (at 82 degrees latitude), Sweden, England, Panama, on towards the Galapagos, and the Pacific Islands.

To visit Hoek Design, click here.

Tetrahedron Super Yacht

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This is a concept yacht the designer, Jonathan Schwinge, calls the Tetrahedron. It’s a superyacht design that is based on the hull of the Maritime Applied Physics Corporation’s Quest, which was shown off in 1995.

As designed, the Tetrahedron design can reach 38 knots over a 3,000-nautical mile range, according to the designer.