superyacht catamarans

The ‘Multiyacht’ in question

Published on 01 august 2016 at 0h00

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Let’s start by explaining what is meant by the term ‘Yacht’, and let’s try clear up the confusion due to the development and the many definitions, from the etymology to the current meaning. From the half-decked medieval craft to the modern vessel of over 180 meters and with six decks, it’s actually not easy to find your way!

ROYAL DESCENT

From common memory, the term ‘Jacht’ was used in the 16th century – a Dutch word pronounced ‘yak’, which described a small, fast warship with which the Dutch hunted pirates. For this reason, the French employed the word to describe a small Dutch ship. In the 17th century, the Dutch gave King Charles II of England the gift of a ship: the ‘Yacht’ thus became highly prized by the English aristocracy. The term now referred to a ship used to transport important personalities and was defined for the first time in France in 1702, by Nicolas Aubin in his ‘Dictionnaire de Marine’, as a small, two-masted sailing boat with a shallow draft, dedicated to day sailing. Little by little, the meaning left the military framework or sovereign representation and evolved towards a leisure sailing vessel. During the 19th century, it took the form of a slim, light, fast vessel which rich enthusiasts maintained in certain ports, for day sailing, regattas, and pleasure outings.
At the end of the 19th century, the definition of a yacht encompassed a leisure sailing or motor boat, from a small half-decked boat to the luxurious royal yacht. At the beginning ...

This article appeared in issue 149. To read the article in full, buy this issue individually

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