Sailing yacht

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2013 Ahmanson Cup Regatta yacht Zapata II
An IMOCA 60, yacht of 60 feet.
Aerial view of a sailing yacht club and marina - Yacht Harbour Residence "Hohe Düne" in Rostock, Germany.

A Sailing Yacht (SY or S/Y) is a ship prefix used to identify a vessel that is privately owned and uses sails as its primary means of propulsion.

The category of classes sailing yacht is among those officially recognized by the International Sailing Federation.[1] This category includes within it the sailing boats that exceed 30 feet (over 9 meters), so in all respects similar to a yacht.


Sailing yachts can range in overall length (Length Over All—LOA) from about 6 metres (20 ft) to well over 30 metres (98 ft), where the distinction between a yacht and a ship becomes blurred. Most privately owned yachts fall in the range of about 7–14 metres (23–46 ft); the cost of building and keeping a yacht rises quickly as length increases. In the United States, sailors tend to refer to smaller yachts as sailboats, while referring to the general sport of sailing as yachting. Within the limited context of sailboat racing, a yacht is any sailing vessel taking part in a race, regardless of size.

Modern yachts have efficient sail-plans, most notably the Bermuda rig, that allow them to sail towards the wind. This capability is the result of a sail-plan and hull design.


These are the nine classes of the International Sailing Federation.


  1. ^ "Classes". Retrieved 21 April 2012. 

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