What makes a boat a yacht? Most people believe that a yacht is nothing more than a large boat, and that you can identify a yacht on sight. But the truth is, a yacht is not determined by size, weight, style, or any of those superficial factors. Rather, a yacht is set apart from other boats because it was specifically designed for pleasure, rather than for work.
The yacht was invented by the Dutch in the 14th century, and people have been perfecting it ever since. As a company that provides yacht services in Fort Lauderdale, FL, we often get questions from customers about the origins of the yacht. Read on to learn more about the fascinating history of the yacht.
The yacht’s origins
In the 14th century, the Dutch developed fast, small boats to pursue criminals and pirates. But rich Dutchmen began using these “jaghts” for a different purpose: to celebrate their returning merchant ships. Before long, these rich businesspeople were taking these small, sporty boats out just for fun—and to see and be seen.
King Charles II of England spent 10 years in exile in Holland before returning to the throne in 1660. To celebrate Charles’ triumph, the city of Amsterdam gave him a 60-foot yacht named “Mary,” with a 20-person crew. This was perhaps the first large, luxury yacht that was similar to those we are accustomed to seeing today.
Off to the races
It did not take long for yachting enthusiasts to start turning their love of these boats into a competition. In 1661, the first organized yacht regatta occurred: a 40-mile race on the Thames River. King Charles raced one of his yachts, and the Duke of York raced his own boat. Charles won, and the phenomenon took off among the European royals.
By the 1800s, yacht racing was open to people besides the royals. Wealthy people were forming yacht clubs—the first being the Cork Water Club in Ireland in 1720—and the popularity of yachting in general continued to grow. It became both a status symbol and a way to truly enjoy the open waters.
The exciting, rewarding sport and hobby of yachting eventually found its way to America, and Americans began bringing home international trophies. Today, many people across the country enjoy belonging to yacht clubs as a way to socialize with other yacht enthusiasts, learn more about the yachting process and ensure their boats stay in top condition.
Are you interested in becoming a part of your local yachting community? If so, you need to find a reliable, experienced company that can provide a wide range of quality yacht services in Fort Lauderdale, FL. For many yacht lovers in the area, that means trusting the team at Starboard Yacht Group LLC.
From 1600s Holland to present-day America, the yacht has a rich history. When you take up this pastime, you are joining a long line of dedicated, passionate yacht enthusiasts. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about yachting.