Differences between ship, boat, yacht and vessel

Differences between ship, boat, yacht and vessel

What are the differences between a boat, a ship, a yacht and a vessel? Although they may appear to be the same, these four types of floating constructions are not synonymous, neither in terms of typology nor in terms of their legal considerations..

In this publication we will define the four concepts, starting with the most general: the ship.

Ship's rudder

Definition of ship

According to the definition of the Real Academia de la Lengua (RAE), a boat is a "vessel with a concave structure and, generally, of large dimensions". Such a broad definition allows us to include yachts and ships within the scope of the term boat. In short, it is a generic term to refer to any structure capable of floating on water and which is used as a means of transportation.

Definition of vessel

Also according to the RAE, a boat is a "vehicle capable of navigating on water propelled by oar, sail or motor". In practice, however, recreational craft are considered to be those which, irrespective of the means of propulsion, have hull length between 2.5 and 24 metresprojected and intended for recreational and sporting purposesand carrying not more than 12 passengers.

We will also look at the length, i.e. the length from the bow to the stern, as this will be decisive when it comes to adjusting the qualifications required to sail. In fact, the Yacht Captain and Yacht Skipper certificates allow the navigation of vessels up to 24 metres in length, i.e. all vessels.

In any case, in Spain, a recreational boating licence is not required to operate motor boats with a maximum power of 11.26 kilowatts and up to 5 metres in length, sailing boats up to 6 metres in length and floating or beach craft, with the exception of jet skis.

Different types of vessels in a harbour

Definition of ship

The term ship refers to a vessel of considerable dimensions. In fact, the RAE defines it as a "ship of large dimensions, generally built of steel, not propelled by means of sails, and intended for commercial, military or other non-sporting purposes".

The regulations refer to passenger ships engaged on international voyages or passenger ships engaged on domestic voyages, and its length is equal to or greater than 24 metres. That is, longer than those considered to be recreational craft.

Definition of yacht

Finally, the yacht is a "gala or pleasure craft". As its definition makes clear, the yacht does not depend so much on its length as on its recreational use. Again, in practice, this means that it is possible to sail with recreational titles, albeit with the relevant limitations in terms of length and geographical area.

Although if we stick to the competences of the existing nautical titles, until 2014 we could consider that a yacht began to be considered as such from 12 metres in length, i.e. 40 feet. From this length onwards is where the big differences between charter boats considered as motorboats and yacht charters begin.

In general, yachts are spacious vessels with great comfort and are usually equipped with a saloon and one or more bedrooms, as well as a kitchen and toilets. Within this type of boat, there are also the so-called superyachts, generally luxury boats of between 60 and 90 feet in length, with a design and finish of the highest quality, both exterior and interior, and equipped with a large number of details and comforts.

Related entries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

en_GBEnglish (UK)
Scan the code
Hi, how can we help you?