Nautical Expert

Motorboat magazine

That’s why you’ll want to buy a motor yacht instead of a sailboat

This is why motorboats are better than sailboats

Updated on July 2nd, 2023

Do you really need a sailing yacht? To future seafarers who have read a lot about sailing and finally decided it was time to go on an adventure, this question may seem silly. But don’t rush, perhaps a sailboat is really not very suitable for you.

Sailing yachts do offer many advantages over motor yachts, but all the advantages that sailors and nautical magazines love to describe are valid only on one condition: you really have to love sailboats. Or you must love the sea so much that it doesn’t matter what you go there on. Only then will you be able to accept all the inconveniences that sailboats have. Otherwise, their disadvantages will outweigh all the advantages.

The very fact of purchasing a sailboat implies that you will be willing to fiddle with rigging and all related equipment. Working on any yacht is an ongoing process, and sails add even more to the hassle. If you do not have a professional crew, then you do everything yourself, including the repair of all critical elements that will break sooner or later, and, as a rule, at the most inopportune moment.

It’s all right if, like most sailing yachtsmen, you enjoy working on board whether the boat is on course or in a marina. After all, that’s why a sailboat is bought, to enjoy every moment in the boat, including caring for it, fiddling with ropes and the accompanying romance. Well, in some cases due to lack of money. After all, on a sailboat, which can be bought for the price of a broken used car, you can get around the whole world. A motorboat bought at that price would only be able to get around the nearest lake.

However, in a situation where you are looking for a spacious boat that can quickly fulfill its intended purpose and take you to the right place, a sailing yacht may disappoint you. If you only need transport, then it is better to look towards motor yachts. Especially when it comes to those regions where there are no steady winds.

When a motor yacht is out of competition

First, always when it comes to speed. After all, not everyone has a couple of free weeks for leisurely cruises, several days of which will be spent waiting for the right wind.

Secondly, when the boat solves technical problems. For example, if your main hobby is diving, then a motor yacht becomes a mobile base with an optimal layout.

Thirdly, when you need increased passenger capacity. With the same length, a sailing yacht will never accommodate the same number of guests as a motorized vessel.

Fourthly, when a small draft is needed to approach shallow places.

Fifthly, when you have no desire to mess with sails and you want the boat to just sail in the direction you turned the helm with no additional conditions.

Sixth, if you like being warm and dry in your wheelhouse and don’t like the constant tilt of the hull.

Seventhly, if you plan to often sail under bridges on inland waterways.

Purchase and maintenance cost

New motor yachts of comparable size are almost always more expensive than sailing yachts, with a few exceptions. But the secondary market is huge, and finding a very reliable trawler at the price of an average sailboat is not a problem.

A strong argument in favor of choosing a sailing yacht can sometimes be the cost of ownership. But, as a rule, in this case, many important nuances are not taken into account. For example, sailing rigs, which can be very expensive, are subject to heavy wear and tear and regular replacement, and every yacht has an engine that needs to be serviced.

In general, the whole question is only how many engine hours your motor yacht will wind in a season. A noticeable trend towards the electrification of boats of all sizes, in the near future, of course, will somewhat alleviate this problem, but at the moment the internal combustion engine continues to exist and dominate, so the issue of continuously rising fuel prices remains very relevant.

One way or another, the biggest misconception is that a sailboat can protect the owner from unnecessary expenses, allowing you to travel with virtually no maintenance costs. Moreover, miscalculation of the maintenance budget is often the reason for the resale of sailing yachts. This is especially true of modern high-tech boats of large sizes or, conversely, antique classic yachts. The cost of maintaining many of them is almost comparable to the cost of maintaining displacement motor yachts of similar length, along with fuel.

The sail is an incredible invention that for thousands of years has caused delight and sensations incomparable with anything else. Sailing is a goal in itself and a kind of philosophy. But that is why a sailing yacht may not suit you and, perhaps, for your tasks it is better to buy one of the fast motor beauties.