The perfect day for some people involves being out on the water in a boat. Whether it is to catch that prized fish, cruise around with the family, speed across the water, or spend the weekend in a secluded cove there is no wrong way to enjoy the water.
The key to maximizing your experience, however, is to have the right watercraft for the job. There are so many types of boats available and you need to know which one best fits your lifestyle.
Let’s take a look at the different types of boats.
Know Your Water Habits
Before you can dive into which boat will best serve your needs, those needs must be determined. There are boats built for moving slow and those for going very fast. There are boats you would only want to spend a few hours on and those you can literally live on. What do you want to do with your boat?
The first question to ask is what will you spend most of your time doing on your boat. You can obviously use a boat for more than one activity, and most people do, but the primary use will help determine the best type.
Will it be used for mainly fishing? Pulling skiers or waterboards? Do you want just a slow cruise around the lake or bay? Will it be a party boat for your friends to hang out and be comfortable?
Another question is how much time will you be using the boat? Do you want to invest in amenities to make your experience more relaxed and easy, or do you just need the basics? Do you want it self-powered (canoe or kayak), wind-powered (sailboat), or engine powered (motorboat)?
After you have spent a few minutes on the answers to those questions, it’s time to look further into the various boat styles.
While you can fish from almost any boat, there are those specifically designed for this activity. They are very sturdy and can withstand a variety of weather conditions.
Most also have built-in rod lockers, a trolling motor for a quiet and slow move, and a live well for the catch or bait. The standard aluminum fishing boat is short on amenities and may not be the smoothest ride, but is easy to operate and transport.
Center Console Boats
This type of watercraft is ideally made for sport fishing. The hull has no deck or seating area and there is no cabin. The helm is positioned right in the middle of the boat, hence the name.
It is made with a deep V-shaped hull that moves smoothly over even offshore destinations. An impressive outboard motor can handle the choppy waters as well.
Most of these boats come with rod holders, bait wells, and plenty of storage for the haul of the day. There is a small protective covering over the console, but this boat is short on amenities. However, it can still be more expensive the standard fishing boats.
The deck boat lives up to its name. It has an open deck hull designed to hold up to 8-12 passengers. This is a popular boat for those going out in the lake or river for a day of swimming or even water sports.
These boats have flat hulls and are quite stable which makes them a good choice for families with small children. However, there is generally no overhead protection from the sun or weather.
A bowrider is another popular vessel when it comes to water recreational activities. In addition to spacious seating, they also come with a swim platform and are a good boat for wakeboarding and other water sports.
This is the perfect boat for a great sound system and loud boat speakers.
The V-shaped hull allows them to move through the water quickly, but the boat itself can be a bit of a rough ride in choppy waters. Again, on these types of boats, there is seldom any protection from the elements.
There are different levels of cabin cruisers in this class, but this boat type offers more amenities than the ones already discussed.
The name comes from the fact that there is a ‘cabin’ located under the bow. It can become a sleeping area or just protection if the weather gets bad. Some models even have a small kitchen and toilet.
With the extra amenities and size, cabin cruisers are more expensive than some other boats. They do not have as much horsepower and tend to be a bit slower in the water. They also are not quite as easy to transport.
Pontoon boats are highly popular for those less interested in fishing and more interested in day cruising. These boats have abundant seating and are very comfortable. They float on the water using aluminum tubes and are very stable.
This type of watercraft is fairly affordable and easy to operate, but it is not as fast as other boats out there. Also, their outboard engines can be a bit noisy.
A sailboat often brings about thoughts of a peaceful day on a beautiful lake. These boats use the wind to move through the water, but some also come with motors to help out in a bind.
There are many sizes and some even come with more than one hull. It can be a simple craft gliding across the water, or complete with sleeping accommodations and great amenities.
The cost of owning a sailboat is generally higher than other boats and takes a bit more skill to navigate in the water.
Types of Small Boats
In addition to the larger boats that hold multiple passengers, there are also smaller watercraft for individual use.
Jet skis are motorized individual boats used for high energy recreational use. For a calmer experience, a kayak or canoe can also be used for a single occupant.
So Many Choices When it Comes to Types of Boats
Whether you want a relaxing day on the lake or a thrilling afternoon of water sports, there is a boat made just for you. The types of boats are limited only by your imagination and lifestyle. Go pick the one that speaks to you!
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