What Are the Different Yacht Parts?

Maggie J. Hall

Different yacht parts generally include those used in the basic construction of the vessel and the components that power the boat. Yachts vary with regard to equipment and accessories, which depend on the size of the yacht, the number of passengers, and the number of days the ship may be at sea. Regulatory organizations require emergency equipment aboard all vessels.

Yachts usually have long, vertical keels that can be clearly seen when they are laid up on land.
Yachts usually have long, vertical keels that can be clearly seen when they are laid up on land.

The hull comprises the bottom and sides of the boat and may be constructed of fiberglass, plastic, or steel. For centuries, different yacht parts were constructed from wood. Most vessels have a single hull, but catamarans, for example, have two or more. The keel is the spine of the boat and runs front (fore) to back (aft) along the center of the hull. This structure aligns and balances the vessel as it travels through the water. On smaller yachts, the keel may be removable.

The stern is also known as the rear of the boat and generally forms a squared shape.
The stern is also known as the rear of the boat and generally forms a squared shape.

The bow is the front of the yacht and usually forms a point, but on some vessels, it may be square. The stern is also known as the rear of the boat and generally forms a squared shape. The deck is the floor of the ship, and different types of yachts may contain one or more decks. One of the largest recorded luxury yachts has eight decks and measures 551 feet (168 meters) in length.

The bridge contains the communication, navigational, and steering components of the yacht. The larger and more expensive the vessel, the more likely the instrumentation is to involve high-tech equipment. Different yacht parts that power the vessel depend on whether the ship is used for cruising, sailing, or a combination of both. Cruising, or motorized yachts, have an engine room below deck that contains some type of motor and transmission that links with the propeller on the rear of the hull. Sailing yachts have a rudder on the rear of the hull and one or more masts with sails that open or close by pulling or releasing ropes, called rigging.

Below deck, different yacht parts comprise the cooking, sleeping, and personal care areas that accommodate the guests and crew. Ship kitchens are called galleys, the sleeping quarters are commonly called cabins, and the bathroom is known as the head. Small sailing yachts may only contain one cabin which contains the galley, sleeping quarters, and the navigational equipment. Large vessels typically contain multi-roomed space below deck comparable to extravagant homes.

Yacht equipment varies with the size of the vessel but generally includes required emergency and safety equipment. Fire extinguishers and floatation devices are usually required as well. Additional equipment might consist of first aid kits, lighting, and emergency food and water supplies.

Sleeping areas and bathrooms are typical under the deck of a yacht.
Sleeping areas and bathrooms are typical under the deck of a yacht.

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