Yachting refers to using water vessels, called yachts, for sporting purposes. A yacht is a recreational boat or ship. The term originated from the Dutch Jacht meaning "hunt". It was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries. After its selection by Charles II of England as the vessel to carry him to Britain from Holland for his restoration, it came to be used to mean a vessel used to convey important persons.
Yachts are different from working ships mainly by their leisure purpose, and it was not until the rise of the steamboat and other types of powerboat that sailing vessels in general came to be perceived as luxury, or recreational vessels.
Yacht lengths generally range from 10 metres (33 feet) up to dozens of metres (hundreds of feet). A super yacht generally refers to any yacht (sail or power) above 24 metres (79 ft) and a mega yacht generally refers to any yacht over 50 metres (160 feet).