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Yachting

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Yachting refers to recreational sailing or boating, the specific act of sailing
Sailing
Sailing is the propulsion of a vehicle and the control of its movement with large foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to move the boat relative to its surrounding medium and...

 or using other water vessels for sporting purposes.

Competitive sailing


The invention of sailing is prehistoric, but the racing of sailing boats is believed to have started in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 some time in the 17th century. Soon, in England, custom-built racing "yachts" began to emerge. In 1851, a challenge to an American yacht racing club in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 led to the beginning of the America's Cup
America's Cup
The America’s Cup is a trophy awarded to the winner of the America's Cup match races between two yachts. One yacht, known as the defender, represents the yacht club that currently holds the America's Cup and the second yacht, known as the challenger, represents the yacht club that is challenging...

, a regatta won by the New York Yacht Club
New York Yacht Club
The New York Yacht Club is a private social club and yacht club based in New York City and Newport, Rhode Island. It was founded in 1844 by nine prominent sportsmen. The members have contributed to the sport of yachting and yacht design. The organization has over 3,000 members as of 2011. ...

 until 1983, when they finally lost to the Royal Perth Yacht Club of Australia, which entered the Australia II
Australia II
Australia II is the Australian 12-metre-class challenge racing yacht that was launched in 1982 and won the 1983 America's Cup for the Royal Perth Yacht Club...

 into the contest. Meanwhile, yacht racing continued to evolve, with the development of recognised classes of racing yachts, from small dinghies
Dinghy sailing
Dinghy sailing is the activity of sailing small boats by using five essential controls:* the sails* the foils ....

 up to huge maxi yachts.

Although there are many different types of racing vessels, they can generally be separated into the larger yachts, which are larger and contain facilities for extended voyages, and smaller harbour racing craft such as dinghies and skiffs. Smaller boats are not generally referred to as yachts, although all recreational boats (as opposed to commercial or military vessels) are yachts. These days, yacht racing
Yacht racing
Yacht racing is the sport of competitive yachting.While sailing groups organize the most active and popular competitive yachting, other boating events are also held world-wide: speed motorboat racing; competitive canoeing, kayaking, and rowing; model yachting; and navigational contests Yacht racing...

 and dinghy racing
Dinghy racing
Dinghy racing is the competitive sport of sailing dinghies. Dinghy racing has affected aspects of the modern dinghy, including hull design, sail materials and sailplan, and techniques such as planing and trapezing.-Organisation of dinghy racing:...

 are common participant sports around the developed world, particularly where favorable wind conditions and access to reasonably sized bodies of water are available. Most yachting is conducted in salt water, but smaller craft can be--and are--raced on lakes and even large rivers.

Dinghy races
Dinghy racing
Dinghy racing is the competitive sport of sailing dinghies. Dinghy racing has affected aspects of the modern dinghy, including hull design, sail materials and sailplan, and techniques such as planing and trapezing.-Organisation of dinghy racing:...

 are conducted on sheltered water on smaller craft with crews of between one and three people. The common arrangement for racing boats is the sloop
Sloop
A sloop is a sail boat with a fore-and-aft rig and a single mast farther forward than the mast of a cutter....

, a boat with one mast. Some dinghies have only one triangular sail, but most have two configured as a sloop
Sloop
A sloop is a sail boat with a fore-and-aft rig and a single mast farther forward than the mast of a cutter....

; some dingies and almost all larger racing boats carry a spinnaker
Spinnaker
A spinnaker is a special type of sail that is designed specifically for sailing off the wind from a reaching course to a downwind, i.e. with the wind 90°–180° off the bow. The spinnaker fills with wind and balloons out in front of the boat when it is deployed, called flying. It is constructed of...

, a large, bulging sail designed for sailing "with the wind." Most races are conducted between vessels of identical design ("one design" racing). In these races, with identical equipment the sailors best able to make use of the ambient conditions win.

Dinghy designs vary from small, stable, and slow craft for novice sailors to lightweight, high-speed designs that are very difficult for even experienced crews to sail safely and effectively. Australia's 18-foot skiff
18ft Skiff
The 18ft Skiff is considered the fastest class of sailing skiffs. The class has a long history beginning with races on Sydney Harbour, Australia in 1892. The boat has changed significantly since the early days, bringing in new technology as it became available. Because of the need of strength,...

 class are the fastest monohull dinghies, reaching speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour (25 miles per hour) even in relatively light winds. Sailing has a reputation for being a boring spectator sport, but skiff racing can be very exciting, particularly in unpredictable conditions where crews struggle to keep their boats upright. Various multi-hull racing classes are even faster. Various one-design dinghy classes are raced at the Summer Olympic Games
Summer Olympic Games
The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad are an international multi-sport event, occurring every four years, organized by the International Olympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that...

.

Larger yachts are also raced on harbours, but the most prestigious yacht races are point-to-point long distance races on the open ocean. Bad weather makes even finishing such races a considerable test of equipment and willpower, and from time to time boats and sailors are lost at sea. The longest such events are "round-the-world" races which can take months to complete, but better-known are events such as the Fastnet race
Fastnet race
The Fastnet Race is a famous offshore yachting race. It is considered one of the classic offshore races. It takes place every two years over a course of . The race starts off Cowes on the Isle of Wight in England, rounds the Fastnet Rock off the southwest coast of Ireland and then finishes at...

 in the United Kingdom and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, starting in Sydney, Australia on Boxing Day and finishing in Hobart. The race distance is approximately...

 along the east coast of Australia. Large races are usually organized with a first-past-the-post trophy (called "line honours") and under a handicap system that adjusts finishing times for the relative speeds of the boats' design, theoretically offering each entrant an equal chance.

Other yachting events



While sailing groups organize the most active and popular competitive yachting, other boating events are also held world-wide: speed motor boat racing; competitive canoeing, kayaking, and rowing; and navigational contests (generally a test of celestial and landmark-based navigation skills where GPS and other electronic navigation equipment is disallowed) are among the events which are organized around the world. Specialized yachts, such as hydrofoils, hovercrafts, or personal watercrafts also engage is competitions involving test of equipment and skill (usually, skill in maneuvering safety). All such events are part of the larger world of yachting, if they are done for recreational or sporting purposes.

Non-yachting use of watercraft


Common commercial uses of watercraft, which would not be referred to as yachting, include commercial fishing, shipping, operation of ferries, and military applications. In these cases, larger vessels are referred to as ships, smaller vessels as either ships or boats, although boat is a generic term that could be applied to a recreational yacht or a commercial or military vessel of smaller size.

Cruising - yachting as a lifestyle


Cruising
Cruising (maritime)
Cruising by boat is a lifestyle that involves living for extended time on a boat while traveling from place to place for pleasure. Cruising generally refers to trips of a few days or more, and can extend to round-the-world voyages.- History :...

 involves traveling on a boat, whether across a bay on the Great Lakes (in the U.S.) or from island to island in the South Pacific. Safe cruising across long distances requires a degree of self sufficiency and a wide range of skills beyond handling the boat. Knowledge of topics such as navigation
Navigation
Navigation is the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks...

, meteorology
Meteorology
Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

, mechanical and electrical systems, radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

, first aid
First aid
First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by non-expert, but trained personnel to a sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be accessed. Certain self-limiting illnesses or minor injuries may not require further medical care...

, sea survival, nutrition
Nutrition
Nutrition is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet....

 and more are needed and can be life saving when cruising to distant shores. In the US the United States Sail and Power Squadrons offer courses and certifications in these skills. In the UK, a system of certification is run by the Royal Yachting Association
Royal Yachting Association
The Royal Yachting Association is the national governing body for certain watersports in the United Kingdom. Activities it covers include:* Sailing* Windsurfing* Motor cruising* Sportsboats* Personal watercraft* Powerboat racing...

. Similar systems are offered by organizations in other countries and typically include a range of courses, both theoretical and practical.

See also


  • Boating
    Boating
    Boating is the leisurely activity of travelling by boat, or the recreational use of a boat whether powerboats, sailboats, or man-powered vessels , focused on the travel itself, as well as sports activities, such as fishing or water skiing...

  • Cruising (maritime)
    Cruising (maritime)
    Cruising by boat is a lifestyle that involves living for extended time on a boat while traveling from place to place for pleasure. Cruising generally refers to trips of a few days or more, and can extend to round-the-world voyages.- History :...

  • Dinghy racing
    Dinghy racing
    Dinghy racing is the competitive sport of sailing dinghies. Dinghy racing has affected aspects of the modern dinghy, including hull design, sail materials and sailplan, and techniques such as planing and trapezing.-Organisation of dinghy racing:...

  • Dinghy sailing
    Dinghy sailing
    Dinghy sailing is the activity of sailing small boats by using five essential controls:* the sails* the foils ....

  • Luxury yacht
    Luxury yacht
    The term luxury yacht, “Superyacht” and "Large Yacht" refers to very expensive, privately owned yachts which are professionally crewed. Also known as a Super Yacht, a luxury yacht may be either a sailing or motor yacht.-History:...

  • Monsoon Regatta
  • Sailing
    Sailing
    Sailing is the propulsion of a vehicle and the control of its movement with large foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to move the boat relative to its surrounding medium and...

  • Ship location mapping service
    Sailwx
    Sailwx is an integrated maritime information service that aggregates worldwide ship locations into a single map. Weather conditions including ocean currents, wave height and tides are also available and can be integrated into ship location maps....

     of vessels worldwide
  • Yacht charter
    Yacht charter
    Yacht chartering is the practice of renting, or chartering, a sailboat or motor yacht and travelling to various coastal or island destinations. This is usually a vacation activity, but it also can be a corporate event....

  • Yacht club
    Yacht club
    A yacht club is a sports club specifically related to sailing and yachting.-Description:Yacht Clubs are mostly located by the sea, although there are some that have been established at a lake or riverside locations...

  • Yacht racing
    Yacht racing
    Yacht racing is the sport of competitive yachting.While sailing groups organize the most active and popular competitive yachting, other boating events are also held world-wide: speed motorboat racing; competitive canoeing, kayaking, and rowing; model yachting; and navigational contests Yacht racing...

  • Yacht
    Yacht
    A yacht is a recreational boat or ship. The term originated from the Dutch Jacht meaning "hunt". It was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries...