What to expect
A land yacht is a usually three or four-wheeled vehicle for one or two people, with a mast and sail attached. By adjusting the sail to catch the wind, the land yacht is propelled forward, sometimes reaching up to 40mph. Because of the speed they can go and the wind they require, land yachting usually takes place at the beach or over large flat spaces, like airfields. Hopefully, it’ll be quite windy, so remember to wrap up warm with windproof layers. If you’re land yachting at the beach, you shouldn’t end up in the sea, but are best off wearing something waterproof anyway, to guard against spray and wet sand.
What you’ll learn
Low to the ground and carried along by gusty winds, a land yacht can be a thrilling piece of kit, even if it’s a bit scary to ride the first time. By steering the vehicle and adjusting the sail, you begin to build on skills you’ll need in other activities, such as go-karting and sailing. Land yachting is a great chance to try something new, as it’s an unusual combination of rather different skills and activities. It can be a good introduction to the kind of sail control required for small dinghy sailing.
The first mention of a vehicle similar to a land yacht is in China around 500AD. Since then, they’ve changed only a little in their design. You’re most likely to find land yachts racing along the beach, but there were even land yachts used to cross the great plains of America in the 1800s.
- Bring a camera. Don’t forget to capture the day with some pictures or videos of everyone zipping about in their land yachts.
- Layers. A warm or windproof layer is essential when driving a land yacht, especially if you’re at the blowy seaside. Even more so if some of your group have to wait, whilst others are having a go.
Piloting a land yacht is quite a different experience to what you might get from other activities. Congratulations for giving it a go and trying something new! Land yachting is a hybrid activity that takes part of one mode of transport and combines it with another. What other examples of this can you think of? What new ones could you invent? How might helicopter football work? Do you think you could replace all cars with land yachts?
Trying something new, especially something that involves speed, takes courage. The group should celebrate everyone taking part and encourage one another to try more new adventures like this one.