A yacht is a watercraft used for pleasure or sports. The term originates from the Dutch word jacht "hunt", and 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. The jacht was popularised by Charles II of England as a pleasure or recreation vessel following his restoration in 1660.
Today's yachts differ from other vessels by their leisure purpose. A yacht is any sail or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising or racing. A yacht does not have to have luxury accommodations to be a yacht, in fact many racing yachts are stripped out vessels with the minimum of accommodations. The term 'sailboat' is sometimes used in America to differentiate sail from powerboat.