A cruiser yacht is a type of large boat that has enough living space to allow a person to live on the boat semi-permanently or permanently. The size of the cruiser yacht also often allows for a full-time crew to live on board, which means the cruiser yacht must be of significant size. Such boats are very expensive to build, purchase, and maintain, so they are often considered a status symbol among the wealthy. Specific features of the yacht will vary from boat to boat, though the most important and consistent characteristic is adequate living space for several people on board.
By comparison, a racing yacht is significantly smaller and more maneuverable, and lacks any permanent living space on board. They are designed specifically for racing, and a small crew of only a handful of people are on board at any given time. A cruiser yacht is much larger and less maneuverable, and it is not designed in any way for racing. Many cruiser yacht models, in fact, look like miniature cruise ships rather than large racing yachts. Most cruiser yacht models do feature a sleek design meant for improving speed and handling, but the size of the ship often prevents the boat from moving too deftly through the water.
The interior of a cruiser yacht is often fairly luxurious, though exceptions are possible. The living space often includes a living area, dining area, one or more sleeping areas, as well as work areas and living quarters for full time crew. Like other large ships, cruiser yachts feature a captain's deck from which the captain can pilot the ship, as well as all safety and guidance equipment necessary for long trips at sea. Many larger yachts are required to have a sufficient number of life boats on deck should an emergency warrant them.
The specific features of the ship will vary according to the owner's preferences. It is not uncommon for large entertainment systems to be built into the ship, including televisions, stereos, and even movie screens. Hot tubs and spas are another common feature, as are swimming decks from which people on board can access the water when the boat is not moving. Full bathrooms are a normal feature of these yachts, as are fully functioning kitchens. Some yachts feature fully stocked bars, some of them even manned by professional bartenders and waitstaff. Outdoor dining areas are quite common, and while far less common than other features, some larger yachts may feature an outdoor pool.