Sailing as a sport and recreation owes its creation to Piracy. The traders and sea farers were in deep trouble when they couldn't recover their lost assets from the sea thieves. Thus began building
'jaghtschips', or ' hunting ships', the word 'jaght' in Dutch means 'to hunt'.
jaghtschips', a swift, maneuverable sailing vessel about 14 to 20 m (about 45 to 65 ft) in length was renamed Yachtships by the English, were fast and flexible and were used to catch pirates by their respective Navies. But it soon caught the fancy of the Lords and Kings and they soon adopted them for their pleasure cruising in the Thames River.
King Charles II popularized the sport in England after receiving a yacht as a gift from the Dutch people. In 1720 the first known formal organization of yacht devotees, the Cork Water Club, now the Royal Cork Yacht Club, was founded in Ireland. The oldest yachting organization still existing is the Royal Yacht Squadron, founded at
Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, in 1815 as the Royal Yacht Club of England.
Yachting later developed as Speed Sport and the first recorded Yachting race ' The 100 Guineas Cup race' was held in the year 1851 which involved a 60-mile circuit in the Southern British Island of Isle of Wight. The Guinea Cup or Queen's Cup, was sponsored by the Royal Yacht Squadron of Britain as part of an international exhibition in London in 1851.
'The Guineas Cup Race' was later renamed as the "Americas Cup' to this day remains a prestigious Sporting event for Yachters. Yachting was later adopted by the International Olympic Committee in 1900 at Paris.
In the late 19th century Yachting was revolutionized by the appearance of various types of power-driven craft, particularly steam yachts. These enormous steam yachts were gradually succeeded by smaller, less costly, cabin cruisers powered by gasoline or diesel engines.
Sailing achieved unprecedented heights of popularity with amateur Yachters after World War II. Reduced maintainence costs with the use of fiberglass and aluminium for hulls and nylons, a general rise in personal income,better communication links and the construction of several Marinas contributed to the surge in Yachting Activity in this century.
Sail ships have been use since time immemorial. Perhaps the urge to sail across the rivers, seas and oceans urged Man to develop better and huge boats carry livestock, granary and his folk to new places. The ancient Phoenicians were masters in boat building and there is enough evidence to prove that they were masters in boat building and sea faring.
Boats built out of papyrus were in use in Ancient Egypt. The idea of pleasure boating should have come in existence when the pharaohs used their boats for pleasure cruising on the Nile. The Pharaohs were so attached to their pleasure boats that they had even buried them in huge chambers along with their mummified remains possibly as a means for a safe journey after life.
The 'Kettuvalams' or the House boats of Kerala are an adaptation of the Yachts and were in use by the Maharajas for their pleasure cruises in the Backwaters of Kerala now being developed as the
West Coast Canal.
The Catamaran applied to any craft having twin hulls. Originally it denoted a form of sailing and paddling raft employed on the coasts of India. With over 50 million people attracted to this exciting sport in the U.S alone there remains a lot of effort from yachtsindia.com to popularize this activity in India. The nature of this sport is such that age appears no barrier to long-term success.