Yacht vs Boat

Yacht vs Boat: What’s the Difference Between the Two?

All yachts are boats, but not all boats are yachts. Even so, call a yacht a boat, and the owner might get upset with you. Wait, what? Even though a yacht is technically a boat, it’s not considered to be as classy. So the owner might not be too happy if you call his pride and joy merely a ‘boat’. Okay, so what is the difference between a boat and a yacht? Let’s try to clear this up and settle the yacht vs. boat debate in your mind once and for all. You never know when you might need to use the right terminology.

Yacht vs Boat

A yacht is a type of boat that is larger and more expensive than a regular boat. It is often used for luxury purposes, such as sailing in the sun or cruising around the Mediterranean. A boat, on the other hand, is a more general term that can refer to any type of vessel. It may be smaller and less expensive than a yacht, and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as fishing, sailing, or simply transporting people or cargo. In general, ‘boat’ is a more generic term than ‘yacht’. Most people will often refer to anything from small fishing boats to large cargo ships as a boat. However, there are clearly some differences. While there is no hard and fast rule about what makes a boat a yacht, there are a few differentiating factors. Let’s take a look at them.


A yacht is not usually a very small vessel. The rule isn’t hard and fast, but to qualify as a yacht, the vessel should be about 35 feet or longer. They can get pretty big, reaching up to more than 200 feet long. Though once they start getting big, they can be further qualified as mega yachts and super yachts.


The use of the vessel plays a lot into whether it can be called a yacht or not. The purpose of a yacht is typically recreational. It is a vessel designed with luxury and comfort in mind. In fact, a big part of what makes a boat a yacht is how it is used. That makes sense, right? The word yacht probably conjures up images of a gleaming white boat with polished teak accents in your mind. There’s usually a comfortable interior with bedrooms (suites or cabins), bathrooms, a kitchen (galley), and a seating area (saloon). A boat, on the other hand, has a broader definition of what it can be used for. It can have recreational purposes, like fishing or cruising around a lake. But commercial fishing boats, police boats, and other boats used for work or commercial purposes would be called boats also.


Boats can be either motorized or nonmotorized. A nonmotorized boat might be a little fishing boat that operates under manpower. Larger boats use the wind and sails to power the vessel. There are also plenty of boats with engines. Some can even build up some pretty impressive speed on the water. However, yacht engines tend to be more powerful, and sophisticated and can go longer distances than boat engines.

Now You Know

We hope this has helped clear up some of the yachts vs. boat debate. You can probably understand now why the owner of a yacht would take offense when you call his vessel a mere ‘boat’. At least, the next time you’re wondering which term to use, you’ll have a better idea. Need a boat lift? Get a quote. To learn more interesting tidbits about boats, feel free to check out our blog.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about a Yacht and a Boat:

A yacht is a larger and more expensive vessel used for luxury purposes, while a boat is a more general term for any type of vessel, often smaller and less expensive.

While there's no strict rule, a vessel is usually considered a yacht if it is about 35 feet or longer.

Yachts are primarily used for recreational purposes and are designed with luxury and comfort in mind, featuring amenities like bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, and a seating area.

Yes, boats can be either motorized or nonmotorized, ranging from small fishing boats operated by manpower to larger boats powered by wind, sails, or engines.

Yacht owners might take offense because yachts are considered more classy and luxurious than regular boats, so calling a yacht a "boat" might seem to downplay its elegance and status.


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