Once upon a time, motor yacht charters and sailing yacht charters were so far apart that prospective charterers didn’t have to think twice about which type to charter. There were sailboat people and motor yacht people in this world, and rarely the twain did meet (and when they did, it was often with some humorous name-calling.)
In the past, if you wanted luxury and space and were more focused on getting to the destination in glamorous style, you chartered a motor yacht. On the other hand, if you hankered for adventure and adrenaline and wanted to enjoy the romance of the journey, you chartered a sailboat.
Yet as sailing yachts have become larger and more luxurious, and motor yachts have become increasingly suited to world cruising exploration, the decision between the two styles has become somewhat more complex.
So, what are the key differences between a sailing yacht charter and a motor yacht charter?
Size and comfort
The cabins on motor yachts do tend to be larger and, on balance, more luxurious, and there is plentiful living space. The large deck spaces of motor yachts also make them ideal for on-board entertaining.
Sailboats are also beautifully appointed, but generally have a stronger focus on simplicity and functionality, and they’re more of a shared and open space. This makes them brilliant for families and close groups who want to enjoy the adventure together, or corporate training vacations where the focus is on team-building.
Mod-cons and toys
Modern sailing yachts have improved enormously when it comes to entertainment systems, water toys and other comforts. Some even have Jacuzzis and beach clubs, while almost all have state of the art entertainment systems and a range of water toys.
However, it is fair to say that motor yachts, due to their larger volume, still tend to win the ‘mod cons’ round – the larger ones will even have gyms, spas, dive centers and whole garages full of tenders and water toys.
How connected do you want to be?
Motor yachts generally have bigger satellite dishes, meaning that signals are stronger. If you are a businessperson who requires strong satellite connectivity, or if your family and friends are constantly streaming data, then make sure that you ask the right questions about communications when booking your charter, whichever type of yacht you go for.
How involved do you want to be?
The spirit of sailing charters tends to inspire involvement and activity, where on a motor yacht you can just lie back with a glass of champagne and watch the azure water slip by.
Making the most of the weather
Sailboats have the distinct advantage of being just as wonderful when the wind blows as when it doesn’t – either put the sails up and streak along the waves, or motor to a beautiful anchorage on a calm, windless day. However, sailing yachts don’t tend to motor at speed, so motor yachts are a better option if you’re looking for guaranteed high speed performance or just want to get to the destination as soon as possible.
Sailboats are without question more ‘green’ for fuel efficiency. However, the motor yacht industry is making great strides in environmental practices, and this is a real growth industry which is sure to narrow the gap.
The ride: Contrary to popular opinion, sailing yachts actually have a more stable platform. However, sailboats heel over significantly when under sail, so you will need to get used to living life a little bit lopsided. However this is all part of the fun for those who love sailing.