Traveling Sailsman
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Types of Yacht

Get your yacht vocabulary up to speed

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A yacht is a wind or motor driven boat with graceful lines that is designed for racing or cruising. That is a wide definition and as a consequence yachts come in all shapes and sizes. Below is a list of some of the main types of yacht plying the seas and oceans.


A sloop is the most common type of yacht. It is a single masted boat with fore and aft rigging. A sloop has a single headsail set from the forestay.



A ketch is a two masted yacht with fore and aft rigging. The ketch has the mast in front of the rudder. Ketches can be difficult to control but very graceful in the water.



Similar to a ketch. A yalw has 2 masts and is rigged both fore and aft. The difference is that the smaller mast (mizzenmast or jigger) is behind the rudder. The yawl is also sometimes called a 'dandy'.



A schooner has 2 or more masts with rigging both fore and aft. The distinctive thing about a schooner is that the foremast is smaller than the other mast(s). Schooners are often tall ships or luxury boats.