What Kind Boat Should I Buy? Exploring Your Options

Buying a boat is similar to buying a car. Some people want convertibles, while others want pickup trucks or SUVs; the choice ultimately comes down to how the buyer will use their new ride and what they want to do once they get on the road.

The same principle applies to getting a new boat out on the water, so to figure out which one is the best for you, let’s look at some of the most popular styles on the market:


Bass Boats

Suppose that you are an angler who will be boating primarily in freshwater lakes, wetlands, rivers, and other such bodies of water. In general, the fish you’ll be catching are bass, so the name of your best choice is “bass boats.” They’re perfect for the environments where fishermen would find bass: They’re light, typically made of aluminum or fiberglass, and are purpose-built for fishing instead of lounging or cruising.

Important Features

  • Bass boats have swivel chairs to allow anglers to spin a full 360 degrees and cast in any direction. 
  • Live wells provide a place to keep live fish, and there’s a large amount of storage space for things like fishing rods, lures, and other necessary accessories. 
  • Two motors provide different power levels, with the outboard motor granting high-speed performance and the trolling motor offering quiet, slower movement to avoid scaring fish off. 



You might prefer a bowrider if you’re looking for comfort without stepping up to a lavish yacht. These are typically between 16 and 28 feet long and have open bows with a seating area, which means they’re wonderful in sunny, dry weather — but not so fun when the rain starts falling. 

Some bowriders have an enclosed head or even an entire cabin to shield the pilot and their occupants from the elements, but remember that the bow seats will still be exposed.

Important Features

  • Bowriders are well-sized and able to provide a luxurious experience without involving the costs of larger deck boats. 
  • Front and rear seating provide room for up to ten people, and storage compartments work to keep sensitive belongings dry. 
  • Bowriders have plenty of power for people who love water skiing or riding inner tubes, ensuring an exciting time.


Center Console Boats

These boats are larger than bass boats but still lack cabins. With that said, center console boats are primarily for saltwater fishing, and their designs allow anglers to easily walk around the entire perimeter of the boat with no obstructions. Like bass boats, center console boats are pragmatic fishing boats, and unless fishing is your goal, you won’t find them very luxurious.

Important Features

  • There’s plenty of storage space, often at the bow or under the seats, and these spaces can be for stowing rods, keeping live fish, or stowing personal belongings. 
  • The balance of center console boats is excellent, giving them solid, responsive handling.



For longer excursions, cruisers provide the creature comforts you want. You can think of cruisers as larger, more enclosed bowriders; you get an enclosed cabin, which features a home-like living space with a kitchen and dining area, bedrooms, and a full bathroom. While a large yacht might need a crew, cruisers often operate under a single pilot.

Important Features

  • Sizes for cruisers vary greatly, going from as small as 30 feet to reaching more than 100. 
  • Motors are typically inboard, which allows for a deck at the stern, and the motors have abundant power to achieve high cruising speeds. 
  • Cruiser hulls are also shaped to minimize the impact of waves to improve smooth movement through the water.


Pontoon Boats

Unlike most other boats, pontoon boats don’t have a traditional hull, but instead two or three pontoons underneath to create a large, rectangular space that can accommodate many passengers. Pontoon boats typically aren’t very fast, though many have enough power to accommodate water skiing or tubing. Additionally, most do not feature a head or enclosed cabin, as pontoon boats aren’t designed for all-day cruises.

Important Features

  • Thanks to their large, flat decks and excellent stability by way of the pontoons, these boats are perfect for parties. 
  • Many feature grills or stoves, fridges, wet bars, and a variety of comfortable seating arrangements. 



We’ve made it to the ultimate in luxury. Yachts are typically 36 feet or longer (they can easily exceed 100 feet) and rely on heavy-duty diesel engines to carry them on long, multi-day excursions.

Important Features

  • With a yacht, there’s almost no limit. Expect extravagant living quarters with fine furnishings, dining areas, bathrooms, and even large-screen TVs, pool tables, swimming pools, and bowling alleys! 
  • For those with the money, the possibilities a yacht provides are only limited by the imagination.


Which Boat Is Right for You?

Consider your needs and your budget, as well as your ability to maintain your boat. Boats can be expensive to keep up, and you don’t want your investment to suffer due to negligence. Buy the right size and type for your lifestyle and make sure to keep it clean, and you’ll enjoy your time on the water in style!



When it comes to keeping your boat clean, look to Captains Preferred Products boat cleaning supplies. Find everything you need to keep your vessel squeaky clean all season — always at the best prices.

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