Although it seems as if a new type of yacht is being made every passing month, the basic structure and purpose of a vessel can help determine the type under one of these categories.
There are five major classifications of a yacht
A Sportfish is any yacht that is geared towards fishing. This will mean that they have a large cockpit with which to fish out of, designated storage for rods, bait, tackle and the day’s catch. They typically will also be higher performance than a motor yacht, able to get out to the fishing grounds and back as fast as possible, as well as handle rough seas.
These are all terms to describe a yacht with a single deck above the hull and living quarters below. This type is known for its sporty and sleek look, like the sports car of the yachting world. And just like sports cars, these yachts are the least practical on this list, primarily focusing on shorter trips.
The term motor yacht is probably the most traditional and overarching of all these types, basically meaning “Large Recreational Vessel that is Motor Powered”…so technically that could include an express, flybridge, sportfish…anything with a motor. But this denotation in the modern world of yachting typically refers to a multi-deck vessel similar to a flybridge but with a larger interior main deck, giving greater flexibility for some recreational activities.
This is a yacht that has an area on the top of the superstructure that provides views all around the vessel, with a control station there as well as seating and lounging space. Usually, there is an area up top for a control station and a couple of lounge chairs. This gives a captain a place to run the yacht that is away from the owner and guests or provides the owner with a true open-air feel while running the yacht if he chooses so from time to time. There is still a control station below.
A Tri-Deck is a yacht that has 3 levels of enclosed living space providing the most space than anything else on this list, the term is typically seen used in yachts in excess of 120 feet. And because of this sheer size, it is also sometimes called a mega yacht.