Boat Types – Boating Information, Buyer Guide & Comparison Tool

Read more information about the many different types of boats below. For each boat type, you'll find a handy form that you can complete to get in touch with boat dealers and manufacturers. They will follow up with you via email, can answer any questions that you might have about the boat you're interested in, and help you determine if it's the right boat for you and your family. Enjoy your research!

All-Purpose Fishing Boats

All-Purpose Fishing Boats

Built for versatility, these boats can be used in both salt water and freshwater. They are designed to navigate many different types of waterways so you can pursue many different species of fish.

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Aluminum Fishing Boats

Aluminum Fishing Boats

Small lightweight and, durable trailer boats made of aluminum are most often used for freshwater fishing. Generally very simple craft, featuring riveted or welded aluminum hulls and bench seating, they can be operated in fish-friendly places - shallow water, coves, inlets - not many other boats can reach. Powered primarily by outboard engines, this type of boat offers both tiller and remote steering options.

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Bass Boats

Bass Boats

Bass boats have low, sleek profiles and are built to fish with two or three anglers on board. The minimum length of bass boats starts with 16 feet and can go up to 26 feet.

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Bay or Flats Boats

Bay or Flats Boats

These boats are popular in coastal areas where sea trout and redfish live. They can float and run in water less than two feet deep and are ideal for fishing with two to three people on board.

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Bowriders

Bowriders

These family boats are the most popular in the runabout/spotboat category and are equipped with extra seats and forward access to the bow, a convenient spot to relax and sun.

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Cabin Cruisers

Cabin Cruisers

Recreational by nature, Cabin Cruisers are generally equipped with cooking, sleeping and bathroom facilities and are ideal for those who want to feel the sun above and the ocean below.

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Center Consoles

Center Consoles

These open fishing boats are built to take rough offshore waters in pursuit of ocean fish. Rod holders, outriggers and other gear are common fittings onboard.

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Cuddy Cabins

Cuddy Cabins

Cuddy cabins are ideal for day cruising, watersports, and other on-the-water activities such as fishing and swimming.

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Deck Boats

Deck Boats

Deck boats have wide deck to carry 8 to 12 or more passengers (like pontoons) but look and perform more like runabouts. They are powerful, too, making them excellent boats for skiing, tubing and wakeboarding.

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Dinghies

Dinghies

Dinghies are small, easy-to-transport craft, most often used as companion boats for larger vessels.

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Fish & Ski

Fish & Ski

This craft allows boaters to enjoy the two most popular on-water activities; fishing and skiing. This family fishing and recreational boat has enough power to pull a skier or two, and to get to the fishing spot in short order.

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High Performance Boats

High Performance Boats

High performance boats are the sleek sports cars of the boating world, offering high speeds and precise handling to boaters who prefer their thrills full throttle. Marrying big horsepower with sleek hulls results in boats that are equally at home slicing through ocean swells or tearing up inland lakes. Cranking offshore or simply relaxing in a cove, performance boats deliver lots of smiles per hour.

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Houseboats

Houseboats

Houseboats are designed to offer lake house living on the water complete with spacious floor plans and modern amenities for entertaining, dining and sleeping.

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Inboard Ski/Wakeboard Boats

Inboard Ski/Wakeboard Boats

Fast, wet and wild — inboard propulsion delivers the power and speed fans of water sports such as skiing and wakeboarding need.

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Inflatables

Inflatables

Inflatable boats range in size from 8-foot dinghies for tenders to 30-foot high performance boats. These boats are suitable for saltwater and freshwater fishing, watersports and more.

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Jet Boats

Jet Boats

Like bowriders and deckboats, they offer comfortable seating and sunning areas, plus a speedy and exciting ride. They are distinguished from runabouts by their propulsion system, which is enclosed inside the hull.

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Motor Yacht/Cruisers

Motor Yacht/Cruisers

Large boats equipped with powerful single or twin engines, these craft are ideal for ocean cruising, navigating large rivers or the Great Lakes, as well as entertaining at the dock, and can stay on the water for days.

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Multi-Hull Power Boats

Multi-Hull Power Boats

Featuring two or three hulls, rather than the more common single hull, multi-hull powerboats include designs for hardcore freshwater and saltwater fishing, as well as recreational and cruising, complete with expected amenities.

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Personal Watercrafts

Personal Watercrafts

Lightweight and maneuverable, personal watercraft are the perfect option for boaters looking for an exciting escape and enjoyable time on the water.

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Pontoon Boats

Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats give families with younger boaters a secure place to enjoy the ride or toddle about when at anchor, thanks to wide decks and "lay pen-like" side rails and gates. When equipped with larger engines they can be as quick as runabouts.

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Sailboats

Sailboats

Sailboats differ from other types of boats in that they are propelled partly or entirely by wind; they use sails to transform the power of the wind into power that moves the boat through the water. The term sailboat covers a wide variety of sailing craft, each with its own characteristics and styles. In general, sailboats are distinguished by size, hull configuration, keel type, number of sails, use and purpose. To learn more about a specific type of sailboat, click on a category below.

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Sportfishing Boats

Sportfishing Boats

These boats are great for pursuing large fish. Often equipped with sleeping berths, a galley for cooking and plumbing for convenience, they have the capacity to stay on the water for days.

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Trawlers

Trawlers

Facilities for sleeping, cooking and plumbing provide boating fun for weekends on the water with family and friends. They can handle big rivers, lakes and oceans on moderate days.

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Walkarounds

Walkarounds

These boats may be the ultimate family fishing boats and are most popular in coastal waters, large bays and the Great Lakes where anglers pursue salmon or offshore ocean species. They are equipped with rod holders, livewells and steps to the forward deck to make it easy to follow a big fish around the boat.

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