Choosing The Right Recreational Boat Type

Choosing The Right Recreational Boat Type

Choosing the right boat can be a daunting task. With so many options it can be difficult to find the exact boat type that meets your individual needs. Whether you are a first-time boat buyer or an experienced seafarer, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of various boat types will help narrow your search next time you're in the market for a new boat.

To start you off on the right path we are breaking down recreational boat types into three categories:

  • Cruising - these boats come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and are the perfect option for family boating, weekending, light exploring and general fun in the sun.
  • Fishing - geared towards serious anglers, this boat type often features an open cockpit, ample deck space and a range of different equipment options depending on the type of fishing you plan to do.
  • Watersports - specifically designed to accommodate skiers, wakeboarders, and rafters, this boat type typically features powerful motors and towing capabilities best suited for high-speed action on the water.

Cruising Boats

Cruising Boats

Bowrider

Bowriders are one of the most versatile and popular boats on the market. The bow area is constructed in a manner that allows for spacious seating accommodations, making it one of the most sought after boat types for family outings and everyday boating excursions. The V-shaped hull allows the boat to slice through waves and chop to provide a smooth ride on rough waters.

Cabin Cruiser

Get the best of both worlds with the combination of versatility and comfort that cabin style cruisers can offer. The cabin cruiser is another versatile boat style that offers more convenience and protection than you might find from open-air options. The V-shaped hull provides a smooth ride on choppy waters and the cabin offers many modern comforts of home to keep you and your guests comfortable.

Pontoon

Unless you've been hiding under a dock, you probably know that pontoon boats are one of the most popular boat types for inland boating trips. These floating party barges feature two or three aluminum tubes that support a broad platform. The spacious deck offers tremendous seating capacity, making the pontoon boat an ideal boat to entertain friends and family on.

Catamaran

Unlike other boat types, the catamaran is constructed using two parallel hulls of equal size. The catamaran's dual-hull construction is more rugged than traditional single-hull boats, and provides increased speed, stability, and efficiency from reduced hull volume and drag. For these reasons, the catamaran makes an excellent option for open ocean cruising.

Deck Boat

As its name implies, the deck boat aims to maximize deck space allowing more room for seating and amenities than its bowrider cousin. Deck boats feature a flared V-shaped hull design to retain its speed and stability while squeezing every square foot out of its design.


Fishing Boats

Fishing Boat Styles

Bass Boat

These highly specialized boats are designed specifically for serious freshwater anglers. Bass boats feature low sides to avoid wind drag and have a nearly empty deck for unrestricted casting. The powerful motors and shallow hulls allow fishermen to quickly cover a large body of water and provide ample storage space to pack away your fresh catch. 

Center Console Boat

If you're ready to upgrade your fishing game to the next level you may want to strongly consider center console boats. This style is the most popular saltwater fishing vessel for good reason. The centrally located console provides an excellent line of sight while in motion and the open hull allows for fishing from virtually any direction.

Walk-Around Boat

As the name implies, this style allows anglers to navigate from bow to stern without having the cabin interfere with their path. Walk-around decks are slightly more difficult to safely navigate than center console boats but this style makes up for it by sharing many of the same amenities as cabin cruisers. This style of boat provides a good compromise for fishermen who still prefer to have a cabin.

Jon Boat

Jon Boats are a great cost-effective option for small freshwater ponds or lakes. These small utility crafts are generally made from aluminum or fiberglass and perform well in shallow fishing scenarios. While this style boat does not contain many bells and whistles it does give anglers an opportunity to catch lots of fish without having to break the bank.


Watersports

Watersports Boats

Wakeboard & Ski Boat

If you are looking to maximize your watersports experience on the water then look no further than wakeboarding and ski boats. These highly customizable styles of boats are designed specifically for towing skiers and wakeboarders or can even be ballasted to provide the perfect wake for wave surfing. Wakeboarding and ski boats have plenty of power and agility and can be set up to suit novices and experts alike.

Personal Watercraft (PWC)

Riding a PWC might be the most legal fun you can have while on the water. Personal watercrafts are easy to own and maintain and provide endless hours of adrenaline-pumping fun. They are offered in both stand-up and sit down models and tow straps can easily be attached for water skiing or tubing behind the craft.

Published

Recent Posts

Prevent Dock Line Chafing and Know When to Replace Failing Boat Lines
Prevent Dock Line Chafing and Know When to Replace Failing Boat Lines
Line chafe is one of the biggest enemies when it comes to boat ownership. Chafed and weakened boat lines are not only dangerous for overhead rigging but can also cause dock lines to fail and send your expensive investment adrift. It's important to know how to prevent dock line chafe and to recognize when damaged dock lines are in need of replacing.
Anchoring.com's Anchoring Quiz
Anchoring.com's Anchoring Quiz
Test your anchoring knowledge with our anchoring quiz!
Boat Ramp Etiquette: The Do's and Don'ts for a Swift Boat Launch
Boat Ramp Etiquette: The Do's and Don'ts for a Swift Boat Launch
During peak boating season the ramps are crowded and people are anxious to get on the water. If you're an avid boater, chances are you've seen tempers flare between fellow boaters competing for a spot on the boat ramp. Spare yourself and others the unnecessary frustrations at the boat ramp by following these simple ramp etiquette do's and don'ts.
How to Repair or Patch a Hole or Tear in a Boat Cover
How to Repair or Patch a Hole or Tear in a Boat Cover
Before you run out and drop a bundle on a brand-new cover, consider repairing your existing cover with a patch. It will be less expensive than a new cover, will not take up too much time, and will be more environmentally friendly than sending a cover to the landfill. In this article we’ll discuss the materials and steps required for a basic DIY boat cover tear or hole repair.
How to Launch a Boat by Yourself
How to Launch a Boat by Yourself
Launching a boat can be one of the most difficult and stressful aspects of boating. This stress only gets worse if you're launching a boat without any other helpers. If you're not careful about your planning and execution, your day can take a turn for the worse in a matter of seconds. Luckily we've assembled the tips and tricks to start your day off right and to avoid doing any unnecessary harm to your boat or vehicle.
The 5 Best Tips for Preventing Mold and Mildew on Your Boat
The 5 Best Tips for Preventing Mold and Mildew on Your Boat
Once mold and mildew get established, they are difficult to get rid of, and most boat insurance does not cover related damage. The key to dealing with mold and mildew is to prevent them by creating conditions adverse to their development. We've collected the five best tips to prevent mold and mildew on your boat.
Boat Cover Types and Materials
Boat Cover Types and Materials
Choosing a cover can be confusing given the number of different materials and the different variations of covers. We’ll cover some of the basics that you’re going to see out there.
Retrieve a Fouled Anchor and Tips to Prevent Snags in the First Place
Retrieve a Fouled Anchor and Tips to Prevent Snags in the First Place
It happens far too often. You're ready to pull anchor and set off after a relaxing float only to find that your anchor won't budge. Don't reach for that knife just yet, there are several retrieval methods you can use to salvage your anchor as well as your trip. Here a few tips to retrieve a fouled anchor.
How to Deploy and Use a Sea Anchor or Drogue
How to Deploy and Use a Sea Anchor or Drogue
Sea Anchor, Storm Drogue, Sea Brake, Parachute Anchor, Drift Sock: these are several names used to describe devices deployed to create drag on a vessel in open water. No matter how many different monikers you find out there, they are referring to one of two types, 1) a parachute or cone shaped piece of fabric dragged from the bow (most accurately called a Sea Anchor), or 2) a fabric cone or series of cones dragged from the stern (most accurately called a Drogue). In this article we’ll look at the differences between the two, their uses, and how to deploy and retrieve them.
Boat Cleaning Guide: Work Smarter, Not Harder
Boat Cleaning Guide: Work Smarter, Not Harder
Some boaters consider cleaning and detailing to be a daunting and back-breaking task. Fortunately for them, it doesn't have to be! While keeping a clean craft is definitely an important aspect of basic boat maintenance, it's not necessary to spend hours on end to accomplish this goal. Sufficient cleaning supplies and regular upkeep go a long way to keep your boat looking and performing great without costing you a fortune.