Motor Yachts Vs. Sailing Yachts – Power or Romance?

Motor Yachts Vs. Sailing Yachts

In the past, when it came to deciding which type of yacht to buy or charter, the initial decision tended to narrow down into two choices: motor yachts and sailing yachts. These days, the gap between the two is becoming smaller as sailing yachts become more luxurious.

So how can people who would like to invest in a boat share or charter decide which type of yacht is best for them? We’ve put together this guide to help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of motor yachts and sailing yachts, so that you can choose which one is best for you.

Motor Yachts

There’s no doubt that motor yachts dominate the industry since they make up 90% of the world’s fleet. There are numerous advantages to chartering or taking a yacht share in a motor yacht, but foremost is the fact that they can cover greater distances in less time. That makes them an ideal choice for people who want to travel extensively on their luxury vacation.  

Motor yachts also suit those who want to completely relax and not get too involved with the crew and the running of the vessel. Relaxation extends to the numerous facilities motor yachts can house such as helipads, swimming pools, hot tubs, elevators and basketball courts.

They have more ‘mod cons’ with entertainment systems and whole garages full of tenders and water toys. Even the smallest motor yachts have bigger satellite dishes than sailing yachts, meaning that signals are stronger, which is great if you need to conduct business or if your family relies on streaming data. Since they can accommodate more decks, they allow for more living space and are perfect for onboard entertaining.

The power of a motor yacht is one of its best features, but they also come with some less obvious benefits. They are easier for crews to sail and operate, so expenditure is greatly reduced and the crew recruitment process is far easier. Motor yachts usually have stabilisers to help steady the yacht, which makes them better for guests who suffer from sea sickness.

They also feature sophisticated technological navigational and communications systems. In terms of crew, motor yachts are simpler to operate and require less experience. Their shallow draft enables them to access some places that sailing yachts cannot reach.

Sailing Yachts

While motor yachts have a reputation for speed and comfort, sailing yachts have cornered the market in adventurous and romantic travel. They evoke a bygone time of grand voyages and discovery, conjuring up images of taking on the elements and getting closer to nature. Traditionally, sailing yachts are a more relaxed environment with greater interaction between crews and passengers.

On sailing yachts, the owner/passengers are on deck together with most of the crew, while on motor yachts most crew will be on another deck so that they don’t disturb the guests. However, motor yachts are increasingly becoming just as informal depending on guests’ preferences.

Although sailing yachts tend to be slower than motor yachts, sailing technology has also advanced. Hoisting the sails is a wonderful feeling and means that sailboats are often preferred by those searching for a peaceful experience at sea. On the other hand, sailing yachts are more dependent on weather conditions and can’t guarantee high speeds like motor yachts. They require more skilled crews and appeal to those who are interested in sailing techniques. Some destinations, such as the Eastern Caribbean, which benefits from trade winds, are better suited to sailing yachts.

Sailboats are without question more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient. However, the motor yacht industry is working hard to narrow the gap and create more ‘green’ vessels. There are now hybrid and solar powered yachts like the SolarCat 64 built by Nedship. Sailing yachts have obvious advantages when it comes to spending money on fuel.

Generally speaking, if you are new to boat shares or ownership, motor yachts are the safe choice for convenience, space and power. But those who grew up with a passion for sailing might prefer a sailing yacht. No matter what yacht you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience at sea.

Editorial Team
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