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Cruiser Yachts vs. Motor Yachts – What’s the Difference?

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

If you’re totally new to the world of yachting , you might be only vaguely aware of the different types of yachts available. We wouldn’t blame you. There’s a lot of overlap between these categories. That can make them seem just a bit arbitrary to the casual or novice boater. However, if you have some idea of what you desire out of your yachting experience, you will want to know the key distinctions between these types of vessels. So, you can make the choice that suits your wants. Here are a couple of major differences between cruiser yachts vs. motor yachts.

Note: you’ll likely find boats with different specifications than what you see below that would still be classified as either of these kinds of yachts. That said, we still tried to keep this as general as we could for your convenience. If you have any questions, ask the people who have all the answers at The Advantaged Yacht Charters .

Cruiser yachts are like the sports cars of the boating world. It’s not just the sleek and streamlined shapes or the at-times bold color choices: it’s also how fast they can go. Many cruisers can reach high speeds in the water, reaching 30 knots or even more. The smaller size and angular designs make them more hydrodynamic, which is perfect for adrenaline junkies. If your idea of an excursion is a high-seas adventure, cruiser yachts might be your style.

Of course, for many people, speed isn’t everything. I’m talking about people who picture being on the open seas as a way to kick back and relax, now that they are miles away from the pressures they find on land. Cruiser yachts tend to prioritize chilling out over cutting loose, so they tend to reach the relatively milder high speed of 20 knots. Ironically, this means that motor yachts may be more ideal for “cruising” than the actual cruisers!

How Much Room?

Another reason that motor yachts can’t go as fast as other kinds of yachts is also a major part of their appeal: they’re significantly larger. These kinds of boats tend to come with multiple heads and staterooms, but more space also means more amenities. You might find bars, spaces for eating, and lounging areas aboard a motor yacht. Do you remember when we mentioned earlier that cruiser yachts are like sports cars? It wouldn’t be too far off to say that motor yachts are the boating equivalent of stretch limos.

Cruiser yachts typically have less room for such features and fewer cabins. Still, what it lacks on the inside is made up for by the emphasis on what is outside; you may find more outdoor space on a cruiser, so you can enjoy that fresh sea air. Motor yachts may be a better vessel for a fancy dinner party. But, the cruiser yacht may be better suited for those who prefer bringing a cooler, grilling up, and casting out a fishing line with a few buds.

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A Complete Guide to Motor Yachts & Power Cruisers: All You Need to Know!

John Sampson

If you’re looking for a luxury experience out on the water, a motor yacht or power cruiser is the best choice of vessel. It offers you a combination of performance, features, and amenities. While these boats come in a wide variety of lengths, styles, and models, they have something to suit any budget and needs out on the open ocean.

The motor yacht is a status symbol, and there’s a reason why billionaires purchase high-end motor yachts because no other form of transport, except for maybe a private jet, showcases wealth. In this post, we’ll look at the features and design of motor yachts and power cruisers, and we’ll make a few suggestions for top-performing models.

Motor Yachts

What are Motor Yachts & Power Cruisers?

If you’re looking for an ocean-faring vessel for longer seafaring trips, you can’t beat the luxury accommodations and performance offered by motor yachts and power cruisers. These boats can stay out on the water for days or even weeks at a time. They allow for island-hopping in the Caribbean or travel through the South Pacific with ease.

These boats are the pinnacle of class and luxury, making all other vessels, even top-end models like cabin cruisers , look inferior in comparison. Typically, motor yachts and power cruisers have extended lengths compared to other boats, with the smallest models starting at around 40-feet.

Every foot adds thousands of dollars to the price tag of these boats, and a 90-foot model can cost hundreds of thousands if not, millions of dollars. These boats come fully equipped with everything you need to live the life aquatic.

There are purpose-built decks, plenty of cabin space, luxury accommodations for several people, and all the amenities you would find in luxury hotel rooms. There’s a full bathroom and shower, and some models come with hot tubs built into the deck.

The motor yacht is the entertainer’s dream, providing you with TVs, satellite communications, Wi-Fi, and more. There are several categories of motor yachts, including pilothouse, flybridge, sedan bridge, aft cabin, and express-style boats.

The bridge boat is the most popular style in motor yachts and power cruisers. You get plenty of space for overnight accommodations, plenty of deck space, and a helm on the bridge and in the cabin. As a result of the design, these boats fare well in all seasons and all ocean conditions.

A motor yacht or power cruiser relies on its design to categorize the vessel, with elements like cockpits or flybridges and outdoor areas defining the boat. You have plenty of options for diesel and petrol motors, and different hull designs, from planning to full-displacement, determining the speed and handling of the vessel.

Motor Yachts

Benefits of Motor Yachts

There are several benefits to owning a motor yacht or power cruiser. These boats come with so many features that you have everything you need for life out on the water.

International Sailing

The motor yacht or power cruiser offers you all the luxuries and amenities you need to spend days or weeks out on the water. The larger models can handle long international trips through the South Pacific or the Caribbean, and they have enough fuel capacity for very long journeys.

Suitable for Offshore Sailing

Power cruisers and motor yachts are great choices for offshore sailing. Due to the length and stability of these boats, they can withstand rough ocean conditions in storms. The powerful motors, extra width, and deep hulls on these vessels make them exceptionally stable on the water.

Power and Handling

The power cruiser and motor yacht come with huge engines offering you exceptional power and cruising capability. The long hull on the boat means that they turn slowly and lack the maneuverability of smaller models. However, they have enough power to cut through large swells with ease, and the handling is smooth and steady.

Dynamic Cruising Experiences

These boats are cruisers, offering excellent performance for slow, steady cruising through the islands. The longer models feel effortless to drive, gliding through the water with ease.

Plenty of Storage

The motor yacht and power cruiser come with plenty of storage facilities for all your gear. These boats can accommodate everything you need for your time out on the water, from watersports equipment like skis and tubes to dive gear and fishing equipment. The accommodations come with cabinets and wardrobes, and the kitchen features a full fridge and freezer on most models, with plenty of room for food storage.

Sunseeker Cabin

Luxury Living Accommodations

The yacht and power cruiser offers you the best liveaboard accommodations. The longer the boat, the more luxurious the fittings and finishes. Most models over 60-feet in length will come with multiple bedrooms, featuring queen-size beds. The decks and lounge areas feature plush couches and seating, with split-level designs allowing for shaded dining areas. Some of the largest models offer you an experience that’s more like a floating hotel.

Entertainment Paradise

The motor yacht and power cruiser are entertainers’ dreams. They feature full electronic setups, including TVs, audio systems, plenty of speakers, and loads of deck space to start the party on the water.

Comes with Smaller Boats or Skis for Watersports

Since most power yachts and cruisers are large boats, they are not suitable for getting close to shore. As a result, many of these boats, especially the luxury models, come with jet skis or inflatable dinghy boats that let you get to the beach or take fishing or diving excursions away from the boat.

Full Amenities

Motor yachts and power cruisers feature every amenity you could possibly imagine in a watercraft. As mentioned, the larger models are more akin to floating boutique hotels than a boat. You get full kitchens, refrigerators and freezers, sinks, and some models even have dishwashers. These boats come with the widest range of customizations available for any setup you want.

Multiple Sizing Options

Typically, motor yachts and power cruisers come in lengths from 40 to 90-feet. Models over this length will cost a fortune, and every foot adds thousands of dollars to the price tag of these luxury vessels.

Disadvantages of Motor Yachts

While the power cruiser and yacht offer you the best luxury boating experience possible, they come with a few drawbacks.

Expensive Price Tags

As mentioned, the power cruiser and yacht are the most expensive watercraft available. These boats have starting price tags of around $500,000, with high-end models fetching $10,000,000 or more. They are truly the best boat option for the wealthy elite.

Not Suitable for Water Sports

Due to the vessel’s size and lack of maneuverability, these boats are not suitable for water sports . However, nay models come with smaller boats or jet skis included, allowing for watersports like wakeboarding and skiing. The vessel does serve as a wonderful dive boat, allowing for liveaboard trips through popular dive destinations like the Red Sea and the Caribbean.

Motor Yachts

Expensive to Maintain

Motor yachts and power cruisers come with expensive price tags, and they also cost a fortune to maintain. You’ll also pay a significant sum in annual marina fees to dock your boat.

High Fuel Consumption

Power cruisers and motor yachts have high-powered motors to propel the heavy vessel. As a result, they drink plenty of fuel. Diesel models are available for better economy, while petrol-based models are more for performance. Some manufacturing brands offer green tech motors offering you excellent fuel economy for long trips at sea.

Not Trailerable

Due to the sheer size of these boats, you can’t fit them on a standard trailer. You’ll need to hire a specialist yacht transport service if you need to remove it from the water for repairs.

Top Motor Yacht and Power Cruiser Brands

There are dozens of premium motor yacht and power cruiser brands and hundreds of models available in various lengths. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to look at all of the best models and brands available, regardless of the astronomical price tags associated with these vessels. Here are our top choices for the best power cruisers and motor yachts available.

Benetti is the world leader in superyacht design and construction. Lorenzo Benetti founded the company in 1873, with Azimut purchasing the brand in 1984. The Benetti range is exclusive, with opulent features and luxuries, giving you everything you would expect in a premium model.


Relax in luxury and enjoy your time out on the water. Benetti offers you seven models, starting at 95-feet. These boats are custom-built to order, with a long list of customizable options allowing you to set up your boat to your requirements.

Benetti offers custom-made motor yachts in its Mega and Giga ranges, with the “Lionheart” model being one of its most popular luxury models. If you have the budget, and money isn’t a problem, Benetti brings you one of the best ranges of motor yachts available.

As one of the leading brands in luxury motor yachts, Feadship is an acronym for “First Export Association of Dutch Shipbuilders.” This elite shipyard produces some of the most sought-after models for society’s elite.


Feadship has a reputation for being the best motor yacht brand in the world when it comes to custom-built watercraft. Purchasing a motor yacht from this brand is like buying a home; you’ll work with the company to design your ideal boat, fitted with any customization you want in the vessel.

Our choice for the top models in the range is the “M/Y Faith.” This beautiful watercraft is a superyacht for the rich, giving you a 5-star experience out on the water.

This brand is another well-known company with an established reputation in the superyacht market. Founded in 1987, this brand has more industry awards than any other manufacturer, despite its relatively short time in business.


Oceanco makes superyachts for the elite, with some models reaching up to a colossal 420-feet, with onboard jet skis and dinghies, luxury accommodations, and full electronics for navigating the world’s oceans. Oceanco also utilizes green technology in its builds, giving you a motor yacht that reduces your environmental impact on the sea.

This motor yacht company is also the owner of the Benetti brand. While Benetti is the more famous choice, Azimut also designs and builds some excellent watercraft for ocean-going experiences. The recognizable Italian design on these vessels shines through in the build quality, with impressive finishes and styling aesthetics that just scream high-end luxury when looking at the boat.


Most of the Azimut range of motor yachts includes cutting-edge electronics and technology. They also offer you a range of hybrid engines for economy and power. The manufacturer also uses nanotechnology in the boat’s coating, giving you a long-lasting vessel that looks fantastic, even after decades of service.

If you’re looking for the best entry-level brand for motor yachts and power cruisers, check out the range offered by Sunseeker. Sunseeker is a recognizable brand in boats, producing a lineup of many models.


The motor yacht and power cruiser range from Sunseeker offer you smaller lengths, from 50-feet up, with more affordable price tags than the other brands mentioned in this review.

While they may be more affordable than boats from the other brands, you get excellent design and build quality, with materials like carbon fiber on the hull for added strength and lightweight design.

Wrapping Up

If money isn’t an object, and you want the best luxury experience out on the water, a motor yacht or power cruiser offers you the ideal model for your aquatic adventure. You get a boat loaded with every amenity you can think of and full functionality for anything you want to do on the water.

Sail through international seas, visit islands, take long dive trips, or just enjoy a cruise down the coastline. While these boats come with heavy price tags, they are worth every penny if you have the budget and you want a premium experience out on the water.

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John is an experienced journalist and veteran boater. He heads up the content team at BoatingBeast and aims to share his many years experience of the marine world with our readers.

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Jimmy Rogers


Different Types of Yachts Explained

  • August 14, 2020

In this article, I hope to dispel the confusion surrounding the categories of yachts that exist and explain what each means.  There is definitely a lot of overlap in the categories or “types” out there…

The types below are put into these categories:

1. Express, Express Cruiser, Cruiser, Sports Cruiser

2. flybridge, sedan, sedan bridge, sport bridge, 3. motor yacht, pilothouse motor yacht, cockpit motor yacht, skylounge, 4. tri-deck, mega yacht, 5. sportfish, express sportfish, flybridge sportfish, convertible.

These are all terms to describe a yacht with a single deck above the hull and living quarters below.  This type is known for its sporty and sleek look, like the sports car of the yacht world.  The below photos and descriptions show the different styles that fall into this category

Riva 63 Virtus

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

This beautiful Riva 63 Virtus is called an open express .  Note the single deck above the hull and below is one level with living quarters.  This is also referred to as a “Mediterranean” style yacht…maximum space for sun and laying out with little to no shade or cover.  This particular boat has a bimini top that comes up via a hydraulic system to provide some shade

Sea Ray 51 Sundancer

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

This is an older 51’ Sea Ray Sundancer, which would be called a hard top express .  Note the hard top over the helm area to provide shade.  There is a gap between the windshield and the hardtop so it is still a totally open air area to provide a breeze.  Here that open air area has an “isinglass” enclosure, which is a rollable plastic material that you can still see out of and take on or off depending on how much breeze and open air you want.

Sunseeker 60 Predator

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

This Sunseeker 60 Predator is a hard top express with enclosed front windshield .  In this case there is no gap between the front windshield and the hardtop, creating an area above decks on the boat that is fully sealed off on 3 sides.  The back part is still open so the area above decks still has an outdoor feel, but the climate in that area is much easier to control, especially with the addition of some large A/C units.  In this particular model, there is a huge sunroof that will slide back to make the area feel much more open if you so desired.

Pershing 80 Express

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

The Pershing 80 is an Express yacht with a fully enclosed area above decks .

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

You can see here that even the back part of the hardtop has doors that close off the above decks salon from the open air aft deck.  This creates a fully climate controlled indoor living area above decks.  However, this Pershing 80 has many tricks up her sleeve like huge sun roof, sliding down side windows, and also the entire back glass enclosure pictured above will slide down into the floor to create a totally open feel throughout the entire upper deck…so you can have the total open feel, or total closed feel…just depends on your mood and the climate.

In summary, there are many different types of “express” boats, but the common thread that ties them all together is the 2 deck layout, one below the hull and one above the hull.

This is a yacht that has an area on the top of the superstructure that provides views all around the vessel, with a control station there as well as seating and lounging space.

Sunseeker 74 Predator Sport Bridge

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

To start with the smallest type of bridge, this Sunseeker 74 Predator Sport Bridge is essentially an express yacht with an area up top just big enough for a control station and a couple lounge chairs.  This gives a captain a place to run the yacht that is away from the owner and guests, or provides the owner a true open air feel while running the yacht if he chooses so from time to time.  There is still a control station below.  These sportbridges typically do not have any shade, not even a bimini top.

Ferretti 620 Flybridge

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

This Ferretti 620 is the traditional type of flybridge .  There is a large amount of enclosed living space on the main deck, staterooms below and a large amount of outdoor lounge space on the bridge up top.  There are two control stations, one on the bridge and one below…again giving the captain versatility to go wherever convenient, due to weather or to allow privacy for owner and guests.  The flybridge here is very open with only a small bimini top to allow for the most outdoor feel possible.

Azimut 80 Flybridge

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

The Azimut 80 Flybridge here provides a hardtop with a retractable soft top inside of it, giving the passengers the option of shade or sun.

Sea Ray 58 Sedan Bridge

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

This Sea Ray 58 Sedan Bridge has a hardtop on the flybridge with a full plexiglass enclosure around it .  This provides more permanent shade and the ability to have A/C or heat in the bridge area…allowing the flybridge area to be utilized even in more extreme cold, warm or rainy weather.  This Sedan only has one helm station, located on the bridge, to allow for the maximum amount of living space on the main deck.

Maritimo 48 Enclosed Bridge

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

The Maritimo 48 Enclosed Bridge offers the ultimate in climate control and protection.  For boaters that desire full protection from the elements this type of yacht will keep you comfortable regardless of the outside temperature.  This yacht also only has one helm station located on the bridge that offers the maximum amount of living space on the main deck.

The term motor yacht is probably the most traditional and overarching of all these types, basically meaning “Large Recreational Vessel that is Motor Powered”…so technically that could include an express, flybridge, sportfish…anything with a motor.  But this denotation in the modern world of yachting typically refers to a multi deck vessel similar to a flybridge but with a larger interior main deck.

Hatteras 80 Motor Yacht

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

The Hatteras 80 Motor Yacht is an open bridge Motor Yacht with hard top .  As you can see motor yachts typically have a larger and further forward interior area and smaller outside bow space.  This is the preferred type of vessel for long stays aboard as they offer the maximum amount of living quarters per square foot of boat.  Most also have an upper and lower helm station, allowing for different piloting options, in the open on the bridge or on the main deck in a fully climate controlled environment.

Westport 112 Pilothouse Motor Yacht

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

The Westport 112 Pilothouse Motor Yacht is one of the most popular motor yachts in its size range.  From the above photo you can see that the pilothouse is located on a split level sort of area between the main deck and the flybridge.  It allows the captain to have a centrally located command center on the yacht that is away from the living and lounging areas.  There is still an additional command center on the bridge, but the main nerve center of the yacht is the pilothouse.  In smaller yachts, the pilothouse area may be located on the main deck and not in a totally separate area…the term pilothouse basically means “the area where the ship is controlled by the ship’s captain”

Lazzara 80 Skylounge Motor Yacht with Cockpit

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

This 80 Lazzara has both the Skylounge and Cockpit.  The Skylounge is a term for an enclosed flybridge with an interior living space that is fully climate controlled .  Many skylounges have windows that slide down or sunroofs also that allow you to get the open air feel as well.  With 3 decks that have an enclosed living area, this is by definition also a tri-deck…but that term is usually reserved for larger megayachts.

The cockpit is a nice addition on yachts where the owner or guests intend to do some fishing or diving.  It provides a great platform for the recreational sportsman that is right at the water level.

A Tri-Deck is a yacht that has 3 levels of enclosed living space.  Although smaller Tri-Decks exist like the 80 Lazzara above, the term is typically seen used in yachts in excess of 120 feet.

Many definitions exist for what defines a Mega Yacht, but I believe it to be a vessel in excess of 80 feet.

Westport 130 Tri-Deck

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

Notice on this 130 Westport that there are 2 decks above the hull with enclosed, climate controlled living areas and one deck below, for a total of 3 decks enclosed decks.  There is also a large flybridge above and multiple other open areas for lounging.

Christensen Shipyard Megayacht

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

The sky is the limit with mega yachts…a boatyard like Christensen Shipyard will build the yacht of your dreams, designed to you exacting specifications…

A Sportfish is any yacht that is geared towards fishing.  This will mean that they have a large cockpit with which to fish out of, designated storage for rods, bait, tackle and the day’s catch.  They typically will also be higher performance than a motoryacht, able to get out to the fishing grounds and back as fast as possible, as well as handle rough seas.

Cabo 52 Express

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

The Cabo 52 Express is the express sportfish style, in which it has 2 decks, one above the hull and one below.  The tower located above the hardtop is used by fisherman to help spot anything that will help them catch fish, be it a tide line, bait jumping or the prized marlin.

Hatteras GT63

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

This Hatteras GT63 is a Flybridge Sportfish , with an enclosed living area above the hull and bridge.  This yacht also has the tower for spotting above the hardtop.  She is bred for high speed performance in rough seas and can blast right through 6 foot waves and hit top speeds of over 40 knots.  This type of “Sportfish DNA” is for the yachtsman that wants to chase fish even if the seas are rough, and appreciates a yacht that is solidly put together to handle those conditions.

Hatteras 77 Convertible

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

The Hatteras 77 Convertible is an incredible yacht that incorporates the amenities of a motor yacht and a sportfish in the same package…hence the term Convertible…able to convert to a fishing or a cruising yacht as needed.  She also has an enclosed flybridge up top for climate controlled comfort.


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Trawler vs Motor Yacht

trawler vs motor yacht

When looking for a nice liveaboard boat, the continuous argument over whether a motor yacht or a trawler is better may confuse you. Both are excellent designs that are ideal for cruising.

The trawler is well-known for its slow speeds, making it suitable for long-distance cruising, whilst the motor yatch appears to be popular among boaters who prefer to travel at a higher speed and enjoy modern facilities.

Read on to know more about these boats.

What is a Trawler Boat?

A trawler boat is a type of fishing boat that is used to catch large quantities of fish by dragging a net along the seafloor. Trawler boats can be either powered by sails or engines, and they range in size from small vessels that can be operated by a single person to large ships that can accommodate dozens of crew members.

Trawler boats are often used in commercial fishing operations, and they are also popular among recreational fishermen.

Furthermore, this type of boat has full displacement and wide hulls , which allow for a variety of living places when travelling.

Advantages of Trawler Boat

  • Trawler boats are designed for long-range fishing, so they can travel farther than other types of fishing vessels. This means that you can access more fishing areas and catch more fish
  • Trawler boats are also very stable to allow easy maneuvering, even under bridge and in shallow water
  • Trawler boats are spacious and well-equipped, making them perfect for extended trips
  • Trawler boats are extremely versatile, making them perfect for a wide range of applications. Whether you need a boat for fishing, cruising, diving, or simply enjoying the water, a trawler can do it all

Disadvantages of Trawler Boat

  • The top speed of a trawler boat is around 22 mph, thus deemed slow by many boaters who love higher-speed cruising
  • One disadvantage is that a trawler boat can only fish in relatively shallow water
  • Another disadvantage is that a trawler boat can be very expensive to operate. The cost of fuel, maintenance, and crew salaries can be quite high. This can make it difficult for fishermen to turn a profit using a trawler boat
  • Finally, a trawler boat can be a danger to the environment, especially the seabed. Trawlers often drag their nets along the bottom of the ocean, which can damage coral reefs and other important marine habitats. This can harm fish populations and disrupt the natural balance of the ecosystem

What is a Motor Yacht Boat?

trawler yacht

A motor yacht boat is a type of watercraft that is propelled by an engine. Motor yachts are typically larger and more luxurious than sailboats and can be used for both recreational and commercial purposes. They are often used for luxury vacations, as well as for corporate events and charters.

Motor yachts come in a variety of sizes, from small vessels that can accommodate just a few passengers to large boats that can accommodate dozens of people. They may have one or more decks and may be equipped with a wide range of amenities, including swimming pools, Jacuzzis, sun decks, and bars.

The engines on motor yachts can be powered by gasoline, diesel fuel, or electricity. Some vessels are also equipped with hybrid engines that can run on multiple types of fuel.

Advantages of Motor Yacht Boat

  • Motor yachts can be used for both recreation and transportation purposes. This makes them a versatile option for those who want to enjoy a variety of activities on the water
  • Motor yachts offer plenty of space for both passengers and cargo. This makes them an ideal option for those who want to travel with a large group or transport a lot of belongings
  • Motor yachts are known for their luxurious features and amenities. This makes them the perfect choice for those who want to enjoy a high-end boating experience
  • Motor yachts have modest drafts, allowing them to enter narrow bays and shallow water without difficulty
  • This type of boat allows higher top speeds reaching 30 mph for faster cruising activities for boaters, therefore it can offer a more exciting travel

Disadvantages of Motor Yacht Boat

  • First, they can be expensive due to their luxurious design and facilities
  • They require a lot of maintenance. A motor yacht needs to be properly cleaned and serviced regularly to stay in good condition. This can be costly and time-consuming
  • These high-speed and large boats can be difficult to operate. A novice sailor may have trouble maneuvering a large motor yacht boat. This could lead to accidents and damage to the

motor yacht

Are you considering purchasing a yacht, but aren’t sure if a trawler or motor yacht is the right fit for you? Read on to know their differences:

The first major difference between trawlers and motor yachts is size. Trawlers are typically smaller than motor yachts – most range from 30 to 60 feet long.

Motor yachts, on the other hand, can be much larger, with some exceeding 100 feet in length. Some mega yachts can be as long as 130 feet.

Trawlers are also slower than motor yachts. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, many people prefer the slower pace of a trawler, which is around 22 mph.

Suppose you’re looking for a yacht that can travel quickly and easily across open water. In that case, a motor yacht is the better option, with its top speed reaching 30 mph.\


Trawler accommodations tend to be more basic than those on a motor yacht. This is because trawlers are designed for fishing, not luxury cruising.

Motor yachts, on the other hand, typically have more luxurious amenities, such as multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, and a spacious living area.

Finally, one of the key differences between trawlers and motor yachts is price. Trawlers are typically much cheaper than motor yachts.

So, what is the best choice for you – a trawler or a motor yacht? It depends on your requirements. Although trawlers are becoming more popular, motor yachts will always be a luxurious option for those who want to cruise in style.

Which type of vessel do you think would be a better fit for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Articles and Guides

Types of Yachts: An Overview

17th feb 2023 by carrie reed.

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From small yachts to superyachts, many luxurious vessels are available for purchase on the market today. Each type of yacht has unique features that set it apart from the other types, so a certain yacht style might suit you better than another. To make sure that you are looking at the right one for you, you will need to know how to distinguish the different types of yachts from each other.

While there is no set definition that specifically sets yachts apart from other vessels, they are generally understood to be larger than average (at least 40 feet long or bigger) with a galley, a head, and cabins with sleeping quarters. Yachts usually have powerful diesel motors that can handle cruising, runs to distant fishing grounds, and watersports. Yachts can also be classified by numerous factors, including size, amenities, and method of propulsion.

Types of Yachts

There are four main categories of yachts: motor yachts, sailing yachts, motor sailers, and cruisers. Let's take a look at each one.

Motor yachts

A motor yacht is propelled with the use of a motor or, more commonly, multiple motors. As the most common type of yacht available today, motor yachts are built for entertainment with spacious social interaction areas and luxurious accommodations. Buyers often choose motor yachts because of their suitability for extended cruising ventures, entertaining large groups of guests, and charter trips.

Sailing yachts

A sailing yacht uses sails as its primary means of propulsion. While these yachts also have motors on board, they’re usually used only when there is not enough wind to propel the craft, when docking, or when operating in heavily trafficked harbors or channels. Sailing yachts are appealing because of the quiet and environmentally friendly way they operate, as well as their essentially unlimited range. Sailing yachts generally have a lower profile and due the the shape of the hull, less onboard space than other types of yachts.

Motor sailers

Motor Sailers are a hybrid between a motor yacht and a sailing yacht. They generally use a motor as the primary form of propulsion, but also have sails that can be used when the weather conditions are right. Though less popular than the other types of yachts there are subcategories of motor sailers such as the gulet (for information see What is a Gulet? What is it like to charter one? ), and there are also some catamaran motor sailers.

Cruiser yachts

Yacht styles that do not quite fit into the previous categories are often called cruiser yachts or express cruisers. These yachts are generally modern looking, with sleek, streamlined hulls and open cockpit areas. They are on the smaller side for yachts, typically no more than 60 or 70 feet long, and are usually powered by twin diesel engines.

Types of Luxury Yachts

A luxury yacht is generally understood to be a yacht that is built with the latest in modern technology and features high-end finishes and materials. The word "luxury" can be used with any type of yacht that is exceptionally well-appointed, but some types of yachts are considered to be more luxurious than others. Let's take a look at what they are.

Luxury yacht Scheherazade in Croatia

Classic luxury yachts

Today's classic luxury yachts are designed to emulate the grace and style of the classic yachts of yesteryear while incorporating the latest technology in a non-intrusive way. These yachts tend to have large private cabins with full baths and Jacuzzis, spacious social areas that can accommodate many guests, and lavish accommodations featuring air conditioning, high-speed internet access, and expansive entertainment systems.

Mega luxury yachts

Mega luxury yachts are private yachts that can be hundreds of feet long and are crafted specifically to carry large numbers of family and friends in lush accommodations. They feature vast open areas for sunning and socializing, multi-level entertainment and relaxation options, and VIP staterooms with private en suite heads. Many have additional special features, such as saunas, gymnasiums, and spas.

Types of Small Yachts

Small yachts, also called sport yachts, are vessels that are less than 60 feet long and are designed to accommodate no more than a dozen people at a time. These yachts often have sleek designs and may be used for fishing trips, offshore excursions, and water sports. Like the term "luxury," the word "sport" can be applied to just about any style of yacht, but some types seem to fit the category better than others. More information: Small Luxury Boats with a Difference .

small yacht

Yacht Sizes

You can find yachts in three size categories: yachts, superyachts , and mega yachts. While you can find some variation in how these terms are used, yachts are generally classified as being up to 100 feet long. Superyachts are between 100 feet and 200 feet long. Mega yacht is the term used for any yacht that is more than 200 feet long.

Yacht Categories

Yachts are often categorized by their notable features, with the terms "sport" or "luxury" added to describe their level of opulence. Here are some of the most popular yacht categories.

Yachts moored in Porto Cervo, Italy

Catamaran yachts

This type of yacht is often made of fiberglass and has two hulls with an open space in the middle for greater stability and a smoother ride. They are available in both sailing and power varieties.

Flybridge yachts

Flybridge yachts are built with a spacious deck and living space atop the main cabin, called the flying bridge or flybridge. The layout of the flybridge may be open or fully enclosed with climate control. They also typically have a hardtop and a sizable seating and/or lounge area.

Sportfish yachts

Also known as sport fishing yachts , these yachts are built for speed and durability, making them great for fishing trips and sport fishing tournaments. They typically have a large cockpit and ample storage space to accommodate anglers on the water for long periods of time. Sportfish yachts may come equipped with outriggers, fishboxes, fighting chairs, and other fishing features.

Expedition yachts

Expedition yachts are designed for adventure, with a deep displacement hull to enhance stability and comfort during long trips. They are designed for passengers to remain safe and comfortable through long oceanic voyages, and tend to have extended range and plenty of accommodations.

Written By: Carrie Reed

More from: Carrie Reed

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  • Motor Yachts vs Luxury Cruisers

Motor Yachts vs Luxury Cruisers


One of the most common questions we’re asked by prospective pleasure cruising boat buyers is: “what’s the difference between a motor yacht and a luxury cruiser”.

A motor yacht and a luxury cruiser are similar in the fact they are both recreational boats designed for leisure and comfort.

The term ‘motor yacht’ typically refers to an ocean-going vessel powered by one or more engines. Motor yachts are available in many designs and sizes. They can range from medium-sized vessels (around 30’ / 9m) with simple, but elegant, interiors; to large (nearly 600’ / 180m), multi-deck, luxurious floating palaces with sophisticated amenities such as staterooms, dining areas, entertainment centres, helicopter pads and more.

The term ‘luxury cruiser’ generally refers to a recreational boat designed around onboard comfort. Sometimes these vessels have a greater emphasis on spaciousness and features, rather than hull design; occasionally at detriment to their seaworthiness. Available in various sizes and configurations, many of these boats are designed with a focus on extended stays on the water, rather than cruising (as the name ‘cruiser’ might suggest).

While the two terms are often interchangeable among the boating community throughout Australia and New Zealand, we refer to our high-end, Downeast boat brands – Back Cove and Sabre – as motor yachts, to highlight their exceptional cruising capability, elegant onboard amenities and timeless style.


Marine Insight

The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Boats – Top 20

As we all know, a boat is a type of watercraft that has been specifically designed for navigating near-shore areas or inland waterways such as rivers and lakes.

What makes a boat different from a ship is its smaller size and lesser carrying capacity compared to the latter.

However, the definition of a boat –its size, shape and capacity-varies according to its purpose. To understand better, you might want to read about the major differences between boat and ship .

According to modern naval terms, a boat is defined as a watercraft that is small enough to be carried abroad a ship (some boats are measured up to 1000 feet in length).

Similarly, many boats are intended to provide service, not in near-shore areas but in the offshore environment.

Interestingly, contradicting the “ships can carry boats, but boats can’t carry ships” argument, even sometimes the US Navy submarines are called boats.

Historical evidence suggests that the boat has been used for transportation since pre-historic times. However, from the oldest known boat named dugouts, the evolution of the watercraft has now reached luxurious motor yachts.

Apart from recreational purposes, boats have also served an integral purpose in the modern commercial world by allowing active transportation of both passengers and cargo, wherever short distances are concerned.

Table of Contents

Types of Boats

Technically, there are several different types of boats, and it’s impossible to list down all the types. But, primarily, boats can be classified into three main sections as follows:

  • Unpowered or man-powered boats (like rafts, gondolas, kayaks, etc.),
  • Sailboats (sail-propelled)
  • Motorboats (engine-powered)

Here we have a list of the major types of boats in the above-mentioned categories of vessels, along with boat pictures used around the world.

Types of Boats

Related Read:   5 Biggest and Magnificent Sailing Ships of All Time

1. Fishing Boats

Built exclusively for fishing, fishing boats in different sizes are used on both salt and freshwater bodies. The immediate qualities of these boats include stability, strength, and durability to survive the fishing ventures across various kinds of waterways.

Fishing boats can be both manned and un-manned types. The all-purpose fishing boats generally include a front bow, rod lockers, a trolling motor system, an outboard power and live wells.

Compared to the boats meant for lakes and rivers, the boats fishing in the offshore environment will be taller in size and strong-built to withstand saltwater and harsher conditions.

On the other hand, the aluminium fishing boats weigh less and are highly durable.  The bass boats designed with slim profiles, and consist of 2-3 anglers on board, are type of a boat used for fishing.

Fishing Boat - Representation Image

Related Read:  Types of Fishing Vessels

2. Dinghy Boats

A dinghy can be a small inflatable boat usually made of rubber and comprises cross thwarts and rowlocks that act as seats and oars, respectively.

Commonly powered by sails, oars and small outboard engines, Dinghies are popularly known as sailboats, rowboats or simply inflatables.

These boats team up with more significant vessels and come in handy when the mothership cannot navigate in narrow areas. These rowboats can also be utilised as companion boats and are taken to camping expeditions or fishing in shallow waters.

Dinghy Boats - Representation Image

Related Read: Differences Between a Ship and a Boat

3. Deck Boats

As the name suggests, Deck Boats come with an open deck area that provides plenty of seating arrangements for a small group of people.

The boat features a V-shaped hull with a wide beam to accommodate more passengers than a pontoon boat. Usually measures 25-35 ft in length, they are provided with a stern power drive and are popularly used for recreational activities like swimming, water sports etc.

Italy, Tuscany, Viareggio, Tecnomar Madras 20 luxury yacht (20 meters), aerial view

4. Bowrider Boats

Known as a quintessential family boat, Bowriders offer room for eight or more passengers across its cockpit, bow cockpit and helm. In addition, the bow area of these boats has been constructed in a unique way to allow a spacious seating arrangement.

Bowrider Boat

Moreover, these runabout-style vessels contain a swim platform for putting on wakeboards or for swimming activities feel-good leisure boating.

With its classic V-shaped bottom, Bowrider Boats offer a splendid ride across different water conditions. The usage of sterndrive power is the typical rule, but the demand for outboard engines is increasing rapidly.

4. Catamaran Boats

Unlike other boats, Catamaran is a multi-hulled watercraft that features two parallel hulls of equal size. Catamaran Boats feature less hull volume, shallower draft, and higher displacement than vessels with a single hull.

Excellent for fishing purposes and even for leisurely cruising abilities, Catamarans are being built for various purposes across the world.

Catamaran Boat

Related Read:  Main Types of Catamarans Used in the Shipping World

6. Cuddy Cabins Boats

Well-suited for fishing, yachting, sailing and other water sports, Cuddy Cabins Boats is one of the most family-friendly vessels.

Featuring a closed deck over the boat’s bow, the boat allows a convenient storage space and easy navigation. The cuddy cabin boats are usually built of fibreglass and aluminium, and the minimum length is around 4.75 meters.

Cuddy Cabins Boats

7. Centre Console Boats

Essentially a boat that features a hull with no cabin or foredeck and the helm station in the centre of the boat, Centre Consoles are great fishing platforms.

These boats are ideal for sports fishing and work in harsh offshore waterways with plenty of ocean fish. The essential equipment consists of bait wells, gunwale rod holders, fish lockers and outriggers, to name a few.

In addition, the deck provides a powerful insulation system for icing the fish storage.

Centre Console Boats

Related Read:  Lafayette – The World’s Biggest Ship for Fish Processing

8. Houseboats

There are houseboats of different shapes and sizes worldwide, offering the luxury of living on water and providing excellent recreational and holiday accommodation facilities.

Houseboats, also known as Float house, incorporate broad flooring and modern amenities such as entertainment, fine dining, and proper sleeping arrangements.

The boats offer fun activities like relaxed cruising, water sports, family sailing etc. While most of the houseboats are motorized, there are boats incapable of operating under their own power since they are usually kept stationary at a location.

House boat

Related Read:  Top 10 Largest Cruise Ships in 2017

9. Trawler Boats

With features including a displacement hull and fuel-efficient engines, trawlers are intended to smoothly manoeuvre through the water bodies without exhausting much horsepower or consuming excessive fuel.

This quality makes the trawler a brilliant option for long-range cruising activities, as all modern facilities can be found aboard the boat.

Trawler Boat

10. Cabin Cruiser Boats

Offering all the essential features of a home, Cabin Cruiser boats are great for relaxed sailing. Designed with a galley and a berth, these boats offer modern comforts like heaters, air conditioners, and power generators.

In addition to a deep-V bottom, the Cabin Cruisers employ a secure shaft drive mechanism plus rudder steering and therefore are mainly suited for movement in the salty water.

Cabin Cruiser Boats

11. Game boats

Powered by diesel or petrol engines, these fibreglass boats are large in measurement and are useful for the game fish pursuit, especially pelagic fishes like tuna and marlin.

Game boat

Equipped with sleeping berths, plumbing systems, and cooking galleys, these boats allow passengers to continue their activities for a couple of days or more.

12. Motor Yacht Boats

The latest design in the evolution of boats, the motor yacht, is a watercraft primarily used for leisure activities. The motor yacht has a standard length of 12m and above, with one or two diesel engines per navigation requirements in inland waters or the oceans.

The motor yacht can vouchsafe for an enjoyable family trip for a long period of time that it sails on the water. There are different types of yachts in the market, including day sailing yachts, weekender yachts, cruising yachts, luxury sailing yachts etc. to meet the various requirements.

Motor Yacht Boat

13. Personal Watercraft (PWC) Boats

The PWC boats, also known as water scooters and jetski, are customized boats for adventurous activities. This recreational watercraft allows individuals to explore the waters at their own ease and participate in games such as water-skiing and sports fishing, etc. There are two types of PWCs – “sit down” and “stand-up” models; while the former is intended for two or more people, the latter can only be used by a single rider.

Personal Watercraft (PWC) Boats

14. Runabout Boats

Capable of accommodating four and eight people, Runabout Boats are typically used in racing, fishing, water skiing, etc. The movement of these open boats is controlled by a steering wheel and forward controls, as located behind a windscreen. Runabouts are usually declared entry-level vessels for casual sports and boating activities.

Runabout Boat

15. Jet Boats

Powered by a jet of water ejected from behind the vessel, Jet Boat is notable for its high manoeuvrability. The structure of a jet boat is quite similar to that of a bow-rider, as it offers a lot of seating areas and a swimming platform. In addition, the advanced propulsion system is securely enwrapped in the hull to protect it from any external damage.

Jet Boats

16. Wakeboard/ Ski Boats

The wakeboard boats and the ski boats look quite the same but differ in their fields of action. The inboard ski boats require a powerful range of acceleration, and the shape of the engine and propeller accentuates it. On the other hand, the inboard wakeboards feature a V drive engine system, deep hulls, and a huge wake to set in motion.


17. Banana Boats

A banana boat is a type of watercraft that is solely utilized for recreational activities and family entertainment. As the name suggests, it is a banana-shaped inflatable watercraft and easily floats on water. It does not have an inbuilt motor system. A banana boat has the capacity to seat around three to ten people. Interestingly, at the same, the vessels being used primarily for the transportation of bananas as cargo is also called Banana boats.

Banana Boats

Related Read:  Top 10 Most Expensive Private Yachts In The World

18. Lifeboats

In emergencies, lifeboats come to the rescue! The lifeboats are small watercraft attached to bigger vessels like cruises, and their main function is to carry passengers to a secure area if the concerned vessel is met with an accident. The lifeboats are well-equipped with immediate food and water supplies and other necessities to pacify the frightened voyagers in case of a shipwreck.

life boat

Related Read:  Common Reasons for Ship’s Lifeboat Engine Starting Failure

19. Pontoon Boat

Used popularly for inland waters and other small water bodies, Pontoon boats are flattish in shape, relying on tubes (pontoons) to float on the water. Typically, the length of the Pontoon boat ranges from 15-30 ft with a shallow draft. It consists of multiple aluminium tubes supporting the broad platform providing excellent stability.

Pontoon Boat

They are used for recreational activities like cruising and fishing etc. The shape of a Pontoon boat helps designers plan the seating arrangements and other facilities according to the requirements.

20. Sedan Bridge Boat

Typically ranging from about 35–65 feet in length, Sedan Bridge Boat by Sea Ray Company offers the pleasure of excellent visibility to the navigator. With an extended bridge area, the boat makes the passengers feel like a big ship bridge and offers accommodations down below to suit extended stays on the water.

Sedan Bridge Boat

Apart from the above-mentioned ones, several other types of boats are also available in the market.

The list of the boats continues with vessels such as Skiff or Jon Boats, Hydrofoil boats, Cigarette boats, Cuddy Boats, Tug Boats , High-Speed Crafts, Bumper Boats, Pilot Boat, Fire Boat, Well boats, Kayak, Bay or Flat Boats, All-Purpose fishing Boats, Deck Boats, High-Performance Boats, Rafts, Surfboats, Narrowboats, Folding Boats, Log Boats, Go-fast Boats, Catboats, Junk Boats, Ferry Boats, Canoe Boats, U-boats, Dory boats etc.

Over to you…

If you think any other type of boat should be added to this list, let’s know in the comments below.

You might also like to read:

  • A Guide To Types of Ships
  • Types of Sailboats: A Comprehensive Classification
  • Different Types of Submarines and Underwater Vessels
  • Different Types of Barges Used in the Shipping World
  • LNG Tankers: Different Types And Dangers Involved
  • What is Karadeniz Powership? 
  • Top 11 Books On Boating

Disclaimer:  The authors’ views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight.  Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader.

The article or images cannot be reproduced, copied, shared or used in any form without the permission of the author and Marine Insight. 

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Though the personal watercraft boat seems like it would be an adventure, I’d prefer the classic fishing boat with an outboard power and live wells. I love fishing and this probably suits my needs just fine. It could also be that I don’t know how to swim either and this just seems safest.

Add another catergory Power Sailer. My Imexus 28 Trailer Sailer has a 180hp inboard whilst being generally sailing oriented. This catergory has some early examples like the Lancer 27, a big volume seller in the Macgregor 26Xand M and others like the Hunter X and Mackmam 28 All having large outboards fitted. Jimmy Buffett had one built I believe which was much bigger yacht again featuring a pair of 70 hp inboards I think. Just another catergory to add to the list. Regards Graeme

Well explained, I got some information about the bout on your article. I have shared it with my friend, who is planning to buy a boat. I am sure this post helps him to choose the right type of boat for him. He joined a yacht show in Thailand and like a boat from Boat Lagoon Yachting. Thanks for sharing.

@Johan: Glad the information came handy

I find it helpful that you made a list of boats with a detailed description of each. When I learned that a person can get a fishing boat so that they can be used to get saltwater and freshwater fish, my suggestion for boat buyers is to invest in a custom dock by a local contractor before buying one. Doing this will help them have a safe place to keep it safe while not in use.

Got any recommendations for a single man boat? I’m writing a character who likes the freedom of getting on his (modest) motor boat and taking off for the afternoon/evening. Below deck accommodations w/b great too. But I wouldn’t want to cost to be more than $20k. Any help is appreciated! Oh, and, he likes to go fast!

Nice post very informing. btw how do I know the difference between boats that are different that look the same?

I lovw boats so much! these are so cool! have you ever gone on a pizza boat they are the best things ever! carrbean pizza boats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i want to marry one one day. Lol.

This is really informative and i loved it i work with a marine company as a social media strategist and i was scouring the web for contents and i stumbled on this i thought i knew boats but now i know better thanks for the information btw i was wondering if you could give me permission to use some of these pictures for the content i’m creating. i’d love to hear from you soon. Regards

good information about boats

Banana Boats!! Seriously!!!

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Understanding the different categories of boats

There are many types and names given to boats such as: Cuddy, Open Deck, Center Console, Express, Express Cruiser, Cruisers, Sport Cruiser, Opens, Cuddy, Sedan Bridge, Flybridge, Sport Bridge, Aft-Cabin, Sports Cruiser, Cockpit Motor Yacht, Motor Yacht, Motor Yacht Pilothouse, Motor Yacht, Megayacht, SuperYacht, Sport Fish, Fishing Boat, Sport Express Fish, Fishing Convertible, Skylounge, Trawler, Fast Trawler, House Boat

There are no strict definitions, but tendencies accepted by all. We have chosen some photos to illustrate what a boat in this category would resemble, but always remember that there are several variants and some boats can easily fit into several categories.

OK, let’s start …

Cuddy Cabin : boat less than 30 feet with a small cabin at the bow of the boat. This small cabin is furnished with a large cushion only and perhaps a porta-potti toilet. Everything is pretty rudimentary.


Open Deck : boat less than 40 feet with the bow section offering easy access to a sitting area. Generally, there is a space for a toilet on the passengers side by the windshield. Everything is designed to accommodate friends and family for a day excursion, where comes the name, Day Boat.


Center console : boat powered by outboard engines, the whole boat is easily accessible, meaning that it is easy to move about the boat with a central cockpit.  Often a toilet is incorporated in the cockpit and often has a fabric bimini or hard top roof. With a higher freeboard that most boats in this length, it is a very versatile boat, very popular in the south of the United States. The Boston Whaler or Everglades Rugulator are a perfect match to this category.


Express : boat with inboard engine (s) with a fairly large cockpit and a cabin that allows comfort. It usually offers the possibility of sleeping 4-6 people and the cabin has a toilet in a closed compartment.  A galley with a microwave, a hot plate and sometimes a dinette area. The options of air conditioning, , hot water and a generator for comfort at all times is also available in a Express model.   This category also uses names such as: EXPRESS CRUISER, CRUISER, SPORT CRUISERS, SPORT YACHT and among Europeans: OPEN and FEATURED. The Searay Sundancer 33 or 48 correspond to this description.


FLYBRIDGE :  boat that has a helm above the interior cabin accessible from the cockpit by stairs or ladder that allows an improved vision while navigating but especially adds additional living space for all on board. Depending on the configuration of the main deck, there are several possible variations … The Azimut 53, 55, 60, 62 or Searay L510 Fly, for example, correspond very well to this description.


Sedan Bridge :   offers easy access to the cockpit area without the need to climb stairs as the cockpit is almost at the same level as the boat’s aft platform. A Sport Bridge can also offer this easy access and basically both the Sedan Bridge and Sport Bridge fit in the flybridge category.


Aft-Cabin : it is also a flybridge but there is a stateroom located on the stern of the boat.  This boat will require you to climb a small ladder or stairs to get access to the cockpit area and then again more steps to gain access to the helm.  The engine is found in the central part of the boat, usually below the living room floor. The Carver 456 or Meridian 408 fits this description.


Cockpit Motor Yacht : it fits into the same description as the Aft-cabin except that there is an area at almost the same level as the aft platform to embark onto the boat, much like a sedan bridge, but there are stairs or a small ladder to access the cabins and the cockpit. The engines are still under the living room floor. The Meridian 459 perfectly matches this description or the Carver 564. These are of course flybridges also.


Motor Yacht:  is a flybridge first and foremost, but a Motor Yacht when the boat attains a certain length. Sometimes we add the abbreviation M / Y to other descriptions, such as AFT-CABIN M / Y. In summary, several manufacturers add the letters M / Y as soon as the boat has engines. Not a precise category but what is certain is that it is a boat with engines.


Pilothouse : think of the Carver 56 Voyager for example, it is primarily a flybridge but with a well arranged helm in a section separate from the rest of the boat. Sometimes we mention RPH, for Raise Pilot House, when the helm is completely separate but above all raised above the main deck. This helm is not on the flybridge itself. Several European manufacturers offer this configuration for the helm, such as Ferretti and Sunseeker.


Skylounge : this is primarily a flybridge with a helm located on the upper deck like all flybridges except that the cockpit will be completely enclosed from the outside elements, ie protected from the sun and / or rain. Often mentioned as a fully enclosed helm, very comfortable with the air conditioning/heat, seats, sofa for people accompanying the captain. It really is another environment on board the yacht, usually there is a full bar, TV, etc.


Yacht : here we are talking about a boat greater than 50 feet, rather luxurious. It is a Motor Yacht that is at the top of the range. Often the Azimut, Princess, Sunseeker, Sanlorenzo, Ferretti, Riva, bear this name. The new Searay L series also fits this description.


Megayacht :  it is customary to refer to a megayacht when the vessel is over 100 feet and less than 200 feet in length but like the other types of boats, there are no rules. Normally the boat would have at least 3 decks including a sundeck.  The lower deck for the bedrooms, the main deck for the living room, galley, cockpit or additional small lounge, an RPH (raised pilot house), an upper deck with an enclosed and comfortable area.  The sundeck on the top deck for sun and sometimes a spa.


Superyacht : these are custom-made yachts for a very wealthy client. The value easily exceeds 80 million USD and can reach and exceed 500 million USD. It measures at least 200 feet and up to 500 feet. They often have a very large swimming pool, a heliport, 4 to 5 decks. In short, very luxurious yacht with crews of 15 to 30 people. Normally there are anyway from 3 to 6 rooms for 12 guests.  Sleep quarters for the crew are separate and ratio with the length of the vessel.


Sport Fish : fishing boats in this category include several types of fishing boats and depends on length.  One can qualify a 20-foot boat a sport fish but generally they exceed 30 feet. They are well built boats, strong and robust as they can handle an uneasy sea. They have very powerful engines. They are also called Fishing Boat. The most prominent of this category, to name a few, are the brands Viking, Bertram and Hatteras. They always have a helm on the upper deck and a very distinctive appearance.


Express Sport Fish : these are fishing boats without a raised helm but may have a TUNA TOWER.


Convertible Fishing : again, this is a Fishing Boat but with a very luxurious interior in line with a luxury Cruiser and even sometimes more luxurious than a Motor Yacht. Usually the Convertible will have the upper deck completely enclosed for more comfort. The helm on the upper deck is then merged with a full lounge with refrigerator and of course a bar. A class A yacht.


Tuna tower :  is a helm at the top of a stainless steel tubing structure to provide excellent visibility inorder to spot the schools of fish in the distance.


Trawler : a boat designed for long periods of navigation. The engine room is particularly functional, the different systems are very visible and above all are easy to maintain. The functional aspect is the priority of the manufacturer. The helm is also a highlight. Usually, it is easy to move around outside the boat (the bulkwalks are wide). Normally there is one engine and the maximum speed hardly exceeds 10 to 12 kn.


Fast Trawler : is a Trawler but speed performance of the boat is superior, in fact, the speed can reach and exceed 20 kn. Often, there will be twin engines.


House Boat : a boat that allows a lifestyle that is similar to floating cottage. It is usually mounted on a structure similar to a pontoon. The main deck includes the helm, galley, staterooms and bathrooms and often there is a roof terrace. This is not a fast moving boat but does allow for lots of room for entertaining and family life.  Some houseboats can reach over 70 feet in length.


Lobster Boat : originally built as a fishing vessel on the northeastern coast of the United States with the stern open so as to allow, for example, to easily access fishing nets or cages.  The bow of the boat was designed to tackle big waves as fishermen rarely have the luxury to wait for a calm day. Today, Hinckly for example, produce this type of boat in a more luxurious format.

Hinckley Picnic boat in Maine

There are also many other terms as the nautical vocabulary is quite elaborate and especially very adaptable. The same boat can be labeled differently and left up to not only the experience of the sales person but the clientele that the manufacturer is aiming.

Do not hesitate to contact the brokers at Ita Yachts Canada for any questions at 514-521-1221, we are at your disposal.

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difference between cruiser and motor yacht

Sailboat vs. Motorsailer | How They Compare & How They Differ?

difference between cruiser and motor yacht

Sailing as a hobby is a fun, relaxing, and often invigorating experience. People from all backgrounds can enjoy setting sail and taking in the fresh humid air. If you’re just getting acquainted with the sailing world—or even if you’ve been around boats for years—there are tons of things to learn. There are many different types of sailboats, and there are various uses for each type. Many people consider sailboats vs. motorsailers and how they compare and differ. When making a purchase, you want to make sure you’re getting the best boat for your needs.

What are the differences between traditional sailboats and motorsailers? There are big differences in cruising when it comes to sailboats vs. motorsailers, but the main difference is that sailboats are powered by the force of the wind, while motorsailers use an engine to sail.

Read on to learn how sailboats and motorsailers compare, as well as some things they have in common.

Sailboats vs. Motorsailers: What’s the Difference and How Do You Choose?

People have been sailing on the water for centuries. Since their beginning, boats have been used for many different reasons, from trade to protection to sport! Depending on your personal preferences, you may choose either a pure sailboat or a motorsailer.

While a motorsailer is a type of sailboat, it still has many aspects that set it apart from the pure sailboat, specifically what makes the boat move forward in the water. Choosing which boat is best for you should be based on your preferences and skills when it comes to sailing. (And remember, you don’t have to get tied down to just one boat. Many sellers provide the option of renting boats for those who want to test the waters first. No pun intended. )

When you’re deciding to purchase either a traditional sailboat or a motorsailer, you must consider what your goals are with sailing and cruising. Asking yourself the following questions before you start shopping is a great way to narrow down your search:

  • Are you a beginner in sailing?
  • What is your budget?
  • Do you plan on traveling long distances?
  • Do you want to have passengers with you, or do you prefer to sail alone?
  • Do you plan on living aboard the boat?
  • What type of body of water do you plan on sailing?
  • What do you plan on using your boat for?

Each boat comes with its own benefits and disadvantages. It’s up to you, the sea voyager, to do your research, learn about each type, talk to professionals, and decide which is best for you.

Fortunately for you, we put together this complete guide to learning about and purchasing these vessels. Continue reading to learn about some facts and features of each to get started on your journey.

Sailboats: How They Work and If They’re Right for You

When you close your eyes and think of sailboats, what do you see? You may think of peaceful, quiet afternoons on a breezy bay, cruising in the wind. However, over the years, these boats have advanced to become capable of so much more than their humble roots. Sailboats can race, go long distances—whatever you can dream of!

But what exactly are sailboats? Sailboats are small, personal vehicles that are propelled by sails smaller than sailing ships. They use the force of the wind to sail forward.

There are many different types of sailboats that range from small sailing dinghies to large, luxurious yachts over 200 feet long. The classification all depends on their size and purpose.

How Do Sailboats Work?

Sailboats don’t have to be complicated. They have a few common parts that each have their purpose when it comes to propelling the vessel. To put it simply, sailboats are powered and propelled by the wind.

Each common sailboat has the following components:

  • The Hull is the shell of the boat that contains its internal components. It has a symmetrical shape that balances the boat and reduces the backward pull from its movement in the water.
  • The Tiller is a piece that can be compared to a car’s steering wheel.
  • If the tiller is the steering wheel, the Rudder is the boat’s “tire.”
  • The Mainsail is the larger sail that takes in the bulk of the wind to propel the boat forward.
  • The Mast is a long vertical pole.
  • The Boom is a long pole that’s parallel to the deck. This can be rotated 360 degrees horizontally to give the mainsail as much wind as possible.
  • The Jib is a smaller, triangular sail that adds power to the mainsail.
  • The Keel is a slim plank that extends from the bottom of the hull. It provides balancing underwater that keeps the boat from tipping.

When the boom is pivoted perpendicular to the wind, the mainsail will puff outward. It’s pretty well-known about sailing that you want the wind at your back in order to give your boat the most force to move forward.

These types of boats mainly rely on ballast for stability, which can be 30-50% of the boat’s weight.

Exploring the Types of Sailboats

Your options are endless when it comes to the traditional sailboat. There are many different types of sailboats, which are all categorized by their components:

  • Hull type: catamaran, monohull, trimaran
  • Keel type: fin, wing, bilge, daggerboard, or centerboard
  • Mast and sail configuration: sloop, fractional rig sloop, yawl, schooner, ketch, yawl, cutter, cat

Want to move fast? The speed a boat can reach will depend on its build and its size. Racing boats tend to be sleek, light, and slim. Large, bulky ships tend to cruise more slowly due to drag and friction.

Who Are Sailboats Good for?

Sailboats have a long history; in the past, they were used as early as Ancient Egyptian times. The Egyptians used sails to travel upstream against the Nile River’s current. They were also used to create international trade routes.

Today, people use them for many things, but most often for recreation. Cruising and racing are some of the most popular hobbies of sailboat owners. Small dinghies tend to be better for racing. There are even professional sailboat racing teams!

You can cruise a sailboat in a variety of bodies of water like lakes, rivers, canals, coastal waters, and, of course, oceans. Many people choose sailboats for quick daytime sailing or weekend getaways. Sail solo, or bring a crew of your friends aboard for a great time!

Pros and Cons of Using a Traditional Sailboat

As with anything using a traditional sailboat comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few you should consider:

  • Over the years, advanced technology has allowed manufacturers to make sailboats more sturdy, but remain light at the same time. This allows them to move swiftly with little wind but remain durable cruise after cruise.
  • Sailboats are a great option for people who want to learn the process of manual sailing.
  • Because sailboats rely on environmental factors, you often have to wait for ideal weather and wind conditions before hitting the water. You need a calm patch of waves and ideal wind to have a good cruise.
  • Next, sailboats don’t roll very much; they reach an angle of heel and pretty much remain there. The heel will depend on how much wind you get and how much sail you have. And the sail will depend on how hard you want to push the boat to get to your destination. This process will require some packing up, often more than what is required for cruising with a motorsailer.

When considering the cost of a sailboat, understand that it goes beyond simply the purchase price. You must also account for costs like insurance, dock fees, regular maintenance, upgrades, and more. Speak with a professional sailboat salesperson as you’re making your decision. Try to get the best recommendations for your budget and your needs.

Motorsailers: How They Work and If They’re Right for You

Motorsailers are a type of sailing vessel that is powered with an inboard engine in addition to its sails. Owners of this boat have the option to use the power of the engine or wind to the sails to move the boat.

These hybrid boats are great at aiding with propulsion backup and roll reduction. The added bonus is that you get to enjoy the fun of sailing, while also having the option to kick back and let the engine do its work if you want.

How Do Motorsailers Work?

The first version of the motorsailer came about after the invention of the steam engine. Back then, navies were wary about these new engines and instead relied on a large sailing rig as a backup for propelling their fighting ships. Unfortunately, many of these first powersailers were faulty and did not work well. Since then, we’ve made many advancements to the design and capabilities of the motorsailers we see on the water today.

Motorsailers can be equally powered by both the internal engine and the sails. These boats often have a large fixed propeller to aid in movement along the water.

Don’t confuse these boats with a powerboat. While they have a large engine like a powerboat, the motorsailer can still work well with wind alone. Many engines in boats are used as a backup, but the motorsailer’s engine was built to propel the boat forward with similar displacement speeds as traditional trawlers.

A cool feature of the motorsailer is its enclosed cockpit, also known as a doghouse. Some models may also come with a higher freeboard than pure sailboats. The inboard drive unit protrudes through the keel, which is sometimes more shallow than a vessel built purely for sailing.

Although many models of motorsailers are spacious and known for their luxury, much of the boat’s space is dedicated to fuel storage.

Exploring the Types of Motorsailers

The types of motorsailers vary. Many are built with luxury accommodations and are great options for living aboard. The size of motorsailers ranges from 35 feet or longer, up to 245 feet, often with two to three cabins. Motorsailers are a great option if you want to cruise overnight and sail in the day time.

Motorsailers come in a variety of types, which all depend on the ratio of sail propulsion to power. (These range from 30 percent sail/ 70 percent power up to 70 percent sail/ 30 percent power.)

Who Are Motorsailers Good for?

Motorsailers are great for long cruises because they are more comfortable, coming with a lot more space than traditional sailboats. They can be customized inside to be as welcoming as your home on land.

You can comfortably take them offshore in between ports or other anchorages fairly quickly. It all depends on the boat’s fuel tanks and its rate of consumption.

Once you get to know how to use motorsailers, you can get great sailing synergy. This can produce a net gain in speed over what would be possible by just using one method of propulsion. Three knots of fuel can get you seven to 10 knots of boat speed.

These types of boats are great for people who are trying to decide between a pure sailboat and a powerboat. If you can’t make that final decision, these boats are an ideal combination for indecisive boat-goers.

Pros and Cons of Using a Motorsailer

  • The motorsailer is often more convenient for a lot of people than pure sailboats. It allows you to have those lazy days when you don’t feel like setting up your sails.
  • These vessels can sit in flat water with minimal rolling. This minimizes the amount of packing up and strapping down for your decorations and personal kit. You just need to make sure you have ideal bilge keels or gyro-driven stabilizers.
  • Motorsailers can tackle a wide range of weather and sea conditions without damage or discomfort. They’re able to keep up a decent speed even if there is little to no wind. They’re also pretty nimble with the sail alone under a decent breeze.
  • This boat may be bulkier and heavier, which allows for more space for accommodations inside the boat.
  • One disadvantage of the motorsailer is the heeling angle. The wide stern and heavy displacement isn’t ideal for sailing. However, many owners of these boats still can cruise this way in a decent manner. The big keel can tend to slow you down a bit, but many sailors can cruise at a decent speed.
  • There is often a smaller rig on these boats, which may affect the sailing speed. Motorsailers come with more weight because of the engine and their larger gas and water tanks.
  • Many sailors say that because the boat is built half for sailing and half for powering, it’s only half as good at each use. While there may be some truth to this statement, many owners of motorsailers get along just fine and enjoy their powering and sailing.

There are many benefits to purchase (or even rent) a sailboat or motorsailer. Consider the facts and features for each of these boats when you’re choosing which boat to purchase or rent. And remember: there is no right or wrong answer to sailing. It’s all about your preferences, your style, your budget, and your needs.

It’s Time to Get Sailing!

Now that you understand some of the different types of sailboats and how they compare to motorsailers, it’s time to get out on the water. Choose the vessel that works for you, then enjoy your journey.

And if you’re new to sailing, check out more articles like this one on this blog to continue learning. You have countless options when it comes to your sailing experience. Determine what your interests are, learn about them, and join a community of sailors to keep growing your knowledge around this great hobby.

I am the owner of sailoradvice. I live in Birmingham, UK and love to sail with my wife and three boys throughout the year.

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