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Yachting is the use of recreational boats and ships called yachts for racing or cruising. Yachts are distinguished from working ships mainly by their leisure purpose. "Yacht" derives from the Dutch word jacht ("hunt"). With sailboats, it is the activity is called sailing, and with motorboats, it is called powerboating.
The history of sailing dates back to prehistoric times but the racing of sailing boats is believed to have started in the Netherlands some time in the 17th century. Soon, in England, custom-built racing "yachts" began to emerge. In 1851, the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes challenged the American yacht America. The race took place in the Solent. The America won the race and took the trophy, the America's Cup, back to the US where, held by the New York Yacht Club, it remained until 1983. The cup was then lost to the Royal Perth Yacht Club of Australia, which entered the Australia II into the contest. Meanwhile, yacht racing continued to evolve, with the development of recognised classes of racing yachts, from small dinghies 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 is a common participant sport 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 raced on lakes and even large rivers.
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 in the United Kingdom and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 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.
While sailing groups organize the most active and popular competitive yachting, other boating events are also held worldwide: 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 in competitions involving test of equipment and skill (usually, skill in maneuvering safely). All such events are part of the larger world of yachting, if they are done for recreational or sporting purposes.
Cruising involves traveling on a boat, whether across a bay, on the Great Lakes (in the US) 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, meteorology, mechanical and electrical systems, radio, first aid, sea survival, nutrition and more are needed and can be life saving when cruising to distant shores. In the US, the United States Power Squadrons offer courses and certifications in these skills. In the UK, a system of certification is run by the Royal Yachting Association. Similar systems are offered by organizations in other countries and typically include a range of courses, both theoretical and practical.
Sailing employs the wind—acting on sails, wingsails or kites—to propel a craft on the surface of the water, on ice (iceboat) or on land over a chosen course, which is often part of a larger plan of navigation.
A yacht is a sail or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising, or racing. There is no standard definition, so the term applies to such vessels that have a cabin with amenities that accommodate overnight use. To be termed a yacht, as opposed to a boat, such a pleasure vessel is likely to be at least 33 feet (10 m) in length and have been judged to have good aesthetic qualities.
Yacht racing is a sailing sport involving sailing yachts and larger sailboats, as distinguished from dinghy racing, which involves open boats. It is composed of multiple yachts, in direct competition, racing around a course marked by buoys or other fixed navigational devices or racing longer distances across open water from point-to-point. It can involve a series of races when buoy racing or multiple legs when point-to-point racing.
Dinghy sailing is the activity of sailing small boats by using five essential controls:
Dinghy racing is a competitive sport using dinghies, which are small boats which may be rowboats, have an outboard motor, or be sailing dinghies. Dinghy racing has affected aspects of the modern sailing dinghy, including hull design, sail materials and sailplan, and techniques such as planing and trapezing.
A yacht club is a sports club specifically related to yachting.
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 waterskiing. It is a popular activity, and there are millions of boaters worldwide.
The Cherub is a 12 feet long, high performance, two-person, planing dinghy first designed in 1951 in New Zealand by John Spencer. The class is a development class, allowing for significant variation in design between different boats within the rule framework. The minimum hull weight was originally 110 lbs.
In dinghy sailing, a boat is said to be turtling or to turn turtle when the boat is fully inverted with the mast pointing down to the lake bottom or seabed. The name stems from the appearance of the upside-down boat, similar to the carapace, that is the top shell of a sea turtle. The term can be applied to any vessel; turning turtle is less frequent but more dangerous on ships than on smaller boats. Relative to monohulls, it is more hazardous on multihulls, because of their inherent stability in an inverted position. Measures can be taken to prevent a capsize from becoming a turtle.
A sailing yacht, is a leisure craft that uses sails as its primary means of propulsion. A yacht may be a sail or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising, or racing. There is no standard definition, so the term applies here to sailing vessels that have a cabin with amenities that accommodate overnight use. To be termed a "yacht", as opposed to a "boat", such a vessel is likely to be at least 33 feet (10 m) in length and have been judged to have good aesthetic qualities. Sailboats that do not accommodate overnight use or are smaller than 30 feet (9.1 m) are not universally called yachts. Sailing yachts in excess of 130 feet (40 m) are generally considered to be superyachts.
Navico is a marine electronics company providing navigation, marine instruments and fish finding equipment to both the recreational and commercial marine sectors.
Pwllheli Sailing Club is a yacht club in Pwllheli, Wales, founded in 1958. Over the years its clubhouse has moved several times, and it has also become an organiser of national and international yachting and dinghy sailing events.
Australian Sailing magazine (ASL) is published by Yaffa Publishing Group, an independent publisher headquartered in Surry Hills (NSW). Founded in 1976, it is Australia's only dedicated yacht racing magazine.
The Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race is a biennial yacht race held in odd-numbered years, from Marion, Massachusetts to the island of Bermuda, a distance of 645 nautical miles (1,195 km). The most recent race was held starting June 9, 2017.
The sport of sailing involves a variety of competitive sailing formats that are sanctioned through various sailing federations and yacht clubs. Racing disciplines include matches within a fleet of sailing craft, between a pair thereof or among teams. Additionally, there are specialized competitions that include setting speed records. Racing formats include both closed courses and point-to-point contests; they may be in sheltered waters, coast-wise or on the open ocean. Most competitions are held within defined classes or ratings that either entail one type of sailing craft to ensure a contest primarily of skill or rating the sailing craft to create classifications or handicaps.
The Britannia Yacht Club (BYC) is a private social club, yacht club and tennis club based in Britannia, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It was founded in 1887 by a group of cottagers.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to sailing:
Bosham Sailing Club is the oldest sailing club in Chichester Harbour and was founded in 1907 It is located in the historic village of Bosham in West Sussex. Its clubhouse is the Old Mill on Bosham Quay.
Handicap forms for sailing vessels in sailing races have varied throughout history, and they also vary by country, and by sailing organisation. Sailing handicap standards exist internationally, nationally, and within individual sailing clubs.
Sailing is a popular sport and recreational activity in Australia with its varied coastline and often warm climate.