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What Is A Maxi Yacht?

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Gabby Boucher
Updated Tue 04 Jul 2023

Wondering what is a maxi yacht? This type of large sailing vessel is extremely popular in the Whitsunday Islands, which happens to be one of the world’s most breathtaking sailing destinations! So if you’re planning a boat trip through the Whitsundays, you may want to brush up on your knowledge of maxi yachts and consider hopping on one for your exploration of the Coral Sea!

yacht at sea

What Is A Maxi Yacht?

A maxi yacht generally refers to a racing yacht that is over 21 or 22 meters in length (68-71 feet). Though they are often built and designed for racing, many maxis are converted into tour boats after their racing careers. But many maxis have fascinating histories, whether it’s competing in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race or taking on global sailing expeditions. 

Because these boats are built with premium materials and engineering processes, they have superior speed and sailing capabilities compared to other catamarans or power boats. A maxi yacht can cost millions of dollars to build and maintain, so you can be sure you’re stepping aboard a top-notch vessel when you hop onto a maxi! 

Atlantic Clipper

Maxi Boat Tours In The Whitsundays

If you’re looking for the ultimate sailing experience in the Whitsundays, a maxi yacht boat tour is the way to go. They are some of the fastest boats, meaning you can cover more ground and see more sights in less time. Most maxi tours are 2 nights, with either 2 or 3 days for exploring. So you’ll get to pack in so much sightseeing in the Whitsundays during your tour!

Super maxi yachts are also the most spacious options for boat tours in the Whitsundays. There are often extensive cabins and saloons that allow ample space for relaxing on board. Often carrying groups of around 20-30 passengers, you’ll have a fun, social experience aboard a maxi yacht. 

Check out our top maxi tours here!

tour group on board a boat

Best Super Maxi Yachts in the Whitsundays

Once you’ve decided to board a maxi yacht for your Whitsunday adventure, you may be wondering what are the best super maxi boat tours to choose from. Here is a quick overview of the top maxi yachts where you can have the sailing experience of a lifetime in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands

All maxi sailing tours visit the iconic Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout, as well as numerous marine life-rich snorkeling spots. They also include all food throughout the tour, and many are BYO alcohol. 

group tour whitehaven

British Defender

British Defender is one of the most incredible maxis in the Whitsundays! At 77 feet long, this sturdy and spacious vessel was built in 1989 and has sailed all over the world. There are 3 bathrooms on board, each with a hot shower, as well as single and double bunks that can fit a total of 28 guests. 

As you sail to Whitehaven Beach and numerous excellent snorkeling spots over 2 day and 2 nights, passengers can get involved and help the crew with sailing! British Defender is also the only maxi in the Whitsundays with air-conditioning! If you’re visiting Tropical North Queensland during the hot summer months, you’ll definitely want that air-con so you can eat, sleep, and relax in comfort. 

British Defender is also available for private charter!

British Defender at sea


This 3-day, 2-night maxi tour is another one of the top sailing tours. Apollo has an extensive and successful racing history! This boat has won every major race on the east coast of Australia and is now one of the most comfortable tour boats in the Whitsundays. 

On your tour with Apollo, you’ll visit gorgeous local spots like Stonehaven Bay, Nara Inlet, Langford Reef, and of course, Whitehaven Beach. Apollo also offers the perfect balance of fun and relaxation. This 75-foot-long maxi has space for 26 guests, so you can make new friends but it’s not a party boat so you’ll be able to enjoy some serenity on your tour as well. After being fully refitted in 2022, Apollo is running better than ever!

Apollo is also available for private charter!

sailboat whitsundays


Siska offers a 2-day, 1-night tour that is the perfect social experience for young people ages 18-35. With only 24 guests on board, you’ll be able to make new friends without feeling too crowded on this luxurious maxi yacht. 

There is a spacious saloon with two dining tables, and an extensive awning that will provide some shady relaxation spots when anchored. Because Siska only runs for 2 days and 1 night, it’s a great overnight maxi tour for those who are short on time. But if you have at least 2 nights to spare exploring the Whitsundays, British Defender or Apollo are the ideal options!

Siska is also available for private charter!

siska sailboat at sea

Live chat with our travel experts or call us at +61 7 4914 2425 if you have any questions about planning your Whitsunday sailing trip!

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