Motor yachts may be the ultimate in cruising comfort, with the seaworthiness to take on the biggest waters and the plush accommodations to make sure you get where you’re going in style. Most motor yachts stretch beyond 40’ and the elite “superyacht” category pushes that length over 100’. Below decks, motor yachts feature comfortable staterooms to provide sleeping accommodations for multiple guests, spacious heads with toilet and shower, full galleys with cooking and refrigeration options, and electricity to power air conditioning and appliances. The boat’s captain often has a choice of two driver’s stations, the cabin helm or an elevated “fly bridge” (an open area on top of the vessel).
The largest yachts often require a captain and crew to attend to the owner’s every need. Cruising across the ocean, island hopping, running the Great Lakes, virtually no destination is beyond the reach of a large motor yacht. Self-contained, and with all the comforts of a luxury home, its lucky passengers can kick back and relax, making the most of a weekend, vacation, or even retirement. Several large boat retail chains offer organized group cruises to popular destinations. Motor yachts also make the ideal location to entertain clients or guests.
Inboard engines position the engine within the boat’s bottom, or “hull”, and only immerse a portion of the driveshaft (the rod connecting the engine to the propeller) and propeller in the water below the hull, often advantageous in saltwater environments. Steering is accomplished via a movable rudder, located aft of the propeller blades.
A variant of conventional inboard propulsion, pod drives replace the traditional driveshaft and propeller with a self-contained “pod,” directly below the engine on the bottom of the hull, containing the transmission, outdrive and propeller in one unit. Pods typically come in pairs, and sometimes triples or quads, on boats above 40’ in length. As they can move independently of each other, thrust can be applied in virtually any direction, resulting in unparalleled maneuverability.