In the mid 1970s, I sailed across the Pacific. I didn't hear the term yachtie til I got to the western part of the S. Pacific. I think it started in Australia
or New Zealand
, where "ie" was added to any term which might have enthusiasts--the American surfer was a "surfie" down under. Of course, in New Zealand
, it would refer only to sailing yachties, as power boats were called "launches;" even really big power yachts were called launches. In the U.S., "yachty" tended to refer to the blue blazer set and their yachts, but that was an adjective, not a noun. I suppose that to some, "yachty" would be a term of disparagement, if spoken from a vantage point of egalitarianism. ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** In the U.S., yacht is the name given to any pleasure vessel, tacitly omitting small craft such as dingies and kayaks. Traditionally, a ship was any boat to large to carry on board another vessel, and a boat was any vessel that might be carried on a ship-but in the U.S. popular usage refers to any vessel as a "boat," even an aircraft carrier.