Yachts and their Car Equivalents

Yacht and Car Equivalents

I saw a internet question asking what are the catamaran equivalents to Toyota, Lexus, Mercedes, and Ferrari. This topic struck my interest as possibly a good analogy to introduce to new yachtsmen the reputation of brands of all types from power to sail to catamarans. Trying to answer the question, also made me reevaluate how I look at yacht brands in terms of similarities and differences to the car market. I decided to break the analogy down into two sections: quality and type. The quality section compares car and yacht brands in terms of term build reputation which equivalates in both cases directly to pricing. The type section talks about how the car types such as compact, SUV, and sport compare to yacht types like pocket cruisers, deck saloons, and racing designs.


  • Budget: Production produced at lower cost and possibly a reduced set of standard features. A generally lower threshold for extreme conditions whether be it offroad or offshore. There is usually a lot of debate among owners about the difference between perceived and real quality.
    • Cars – Kia, Hyundai, Toyota, Ford, Chevy, Dodge
    • Power – Sea Ray, Mainship, Swift, Trinity, Lazzara
    • Sail – Hunter, Catalina, Beneteau, Lagoon, Gemini
  • Luxury: Semi-custom with all the features and an excellent build reputation.
    • Cars – Cadillac, Lincoln, Lexus, BMW, Audi
    • Power – Sabreline, Viking, Hatteras, Westport
    • Sail – Catana, Tartan, Hylas, Oyster
  • Super: Highly custom with incredible attention to detail.
    • Cars – Rolls Royce, Bentley
    • Power – Buddy Davis, Lurssen
    • Sail – Nautor Swan, Sunreef, Morris, Hinckley


  • Compact – VW Bug, Pocket Cruiser, Nordic Tugs
  • Economy – Prius, Trawlers, Cruising Sailboats
  • Sport – Go Fast, Cigar Boats, Convertibles, Racing Catamarans
  • SUV – Ford Explorer, Norhavn, Motoryachts, Deck Saloon Sailboats

I broke down about some generally comparisons between the auto and yacht markets. If you are interested in a specific brand, please email me, and I will update the post with that type categorized. In terms of similarities, the yacht industry like in auto manufacturers with fuel costs is increasing looking for more energy efficient vessels. Hybrid yachts have hit our shores. One of the big differences between the markets is the size factor in yachts. Cars get only so big, but yachts range from a couple feet to a couple hundred feet. How do you see the two markets compare?

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