What Type Of Boat Is Right For You?
Choosing the best boat for your lifestyle depends upon what activities you want to do with it. One of the many great things about boats is that they can be used for several different types of activities. For our purposes, however, we'll start with the basics. Watersports:
- Bowrider – Most bowriders have towing capabilities and can accommodate a tower for tow ropes. Swim platforms and ladders make getting in and out of the water an easy experience. Great at handling rough water, bowriders have a v-shaped stern that allows them to make sharp turns at high speeds. They are 16 to 35 feet and seat approximately 10. Bowriders are trailerable, which makes them convenient for traveling to different destinations.
- In-board ski boat – As its name suggests, in-board ski boats have an in-board engine that is located in the center of the boat. This helps to minimize the displacement of water when underway, creating a nice flat wake for waterskiiers, wakeboarders and tubers. The propeller is located under the boat to protect riders. Fast and sporty, in-board ski boats are 18 to 28 feet and seat about 14.
- Bass boat – Designed to seat two or three, bass boats are built low to the water for easy fishing access from all sides. They are fast and have electric trolling motors located at the bow. Bass boats usually have livewells and can come with built-in GPS and other sonar equipment.
- Sport fishing boat – Great for deep sea and saltwater fishing, sport fishing boats can be designed for multi-day and long distance fishing trips. They often range in size from 38 to 100 feet and have towers, outriggers, livewells and specialized fish finding gear and equipment.
- Pontoon boat – Pontoon boats are 16 to 30 feet in length and, depending upon the model, can seat up to 25. An original party-on-the-water type of boat, pontoons may have wet bars, comfortable seating, tables and many other amenities. Some even have a second story with sliding boards.
- Sailboat – Sailboats offer a variety of sizes, styles and sailing experiences. Sail leisurely around small islands or hoist the sails and catch the wind for high-powered racing action. Some sailboats have a small engine for times when the wind doesn't cooperate. Larger sailboats may even have a small berth below deck.
- Motor yacht – With on-board kitchens, toilets and luxurious cabins and sleeping quarters, motor yachts are like a floating luxury hotel. They range in size from 36 to 100+ feet.
- Trawler – Trawlers do not go very fast, but they make for relaxing and comfortable overnight trips or day cruises. They have kitchens, sleeping quarters and bathrooms. Displacement hulls provide efficiency in terms of engine usage and fuel consumption. Trawlers range in size from 26 to 50 feet and are not trailerable.