There’s a reason why millions of boats are sold around the world every year: they offer freedom, adrenaline and gorgeous views to all owners. So, if you’re thinking of joining the club of boat owners, you’re making a good decision.
However, there’s such a huge variety of different recreational boats out there that choosing one that will fit your desires and needs can be a complicated and overwhelming task, especially if this is your first boat. Luckily, here’s a small guide that will help you narrow down your choices and choose the right recreational boat.
These boats rest upon aluminum “logs” which give them their recognizable boxy look. The main use of pontoon boats is for slow cruises, mainly on freshwater and in harbors—they have great stability yet don’t handle well in open waters, especially if they are a little on the rough side. Pontoon boats owe their popularity to the fact that they are multi-purpose when it comes to recreational use, and their price tag is on the cheaper side.
However, they are not super-rich in looks, even though newer models have great design compared to older models. All in all, if you love stability and open space deck, this might be a boat for you.
Do you like to show up in style? Do you love to be comfortable as you get from point A to point B? A runabout will be a perfect choice for you. They are not super functional vessels, but if you love comfort and lounging (and want to look classy while doing so), a runabout will offer everything you’ll ever need. These boats are mainly used in freshwater boating communities and are not made for rough water or watersports. Cruising around a lake with a cocktail in hand is what these classy girls are made for!
Rigid inflatable boats (RIBs)
Once pretty unknown, rigid inflatable boats or RIBs are quickly becoming the go-to choice for recreational boating. These vessels are made with rigid v-hulls and inflatable sidings, which makes them perfect for both seawater and freshwater entertainment. Also, their unique build provides them with stability and handling of larger seaworthy boats, yet their open-deck plan and functionality allow the users to enjoy various boating activities.
The inflatable part of the boat makes this type of vessel basically unsinkable and offer excellent handling even in rough conditions. And if you look into rib boats for sale, you’ll see that there are various sizes, models and manufacturers available, so you can choose something that fits your needs. There are even super lux models that will make you feel like a celebrity as you speed across the water!
Just like their name states, these boats’ main appeal is chilling in the bow. It can be very relaxing to enjoy comfortable bow seating, but if you decide to go fast, you’ll feel like you’re flying over the surface of the water—it’s a great feeling! These boats are very multi-purpose and can be used for everything from day trips (most don’t have overnight cabins) to watersports.
If you want something seaworthy yet bigger than a RIB, opt for a cruiser yacht. Unlike bowriders, these cruisers have an enclosed cabin, which means you don’t have to cut your trips shorts due to nightfall—you can just spend the night in comfy accommodation. Additionally, if you take a wave over the bow, the cabin will keep you and your boat nice and dry.
While cruisers can be used for certain watersports, they are best suited for people who like to, well—cruise. If you’re looking for a spot for a relaxing lunch and drinks with family and friends and ability to just dive off the back when you reach a perfect spot, a cruiser should be your choice.
Unlike all the other boats on this list, catamarans are multi-hulled vessels that have two parallel hulls which allow them to have less hull volume, shallower draft and higher displacement. These boats are great for fishing trips, but are also suitable for various leisurely activities like lounging and catching the sun with a cocktail in hand.
Analyze your needs, location and budget, and finding a recreational boat for you won’t be that hard, especially now that you know which type of boat to search for. Whatever you choose, expect to have the best time on the water this year!