Are you in the market for a boat, but not sure what type or style of boat you need? Read the following article below to get an overview of the 20 key styles of boats you need to know about so you can be one step closer to finding the right boat for you. Once you know what type of boat fits your needs, be sure to check out TNT’s brokerage boats for sale to see available listings.
Boats come in all shapes, sizes and styles, designed for a wide variety of uses. In this article, we break down 20 of the most popular types of boat, from rubber-bottomed inflatables to spectacular superyachts, and from fun-loving pontoon boats to go-fast racers…
The concept is simple; mount the helm in a compact console in the center of an open boat, and you get easy, walkaround access to the bow, stern and sides. Which makes it the perfect type of boat for hooking that 400-pound tuna.
But center consoles have evolved from bare-bones fishing boats typically with a single outboard, to mega-powerful speed machines with cabins and galleys and as many as six 450hp Mercury Verados. The latest all-American 59-foot Cigarette Tirranna packs 2,700hp and costs over $3 million.
Today, center consoles are still arguably the most popular boat design out there, with makers like Boston Whaler, Contender, Grady-White, Pursuit, Scout, Everglades, HCB and Cobia cranking them out in sizes from 16ft/4.58m to 65ft/19.8m, with prices from around $15,000/£11,500, to millions.
Tell someone you’ve just bought a new trawler and you can see them conjuring up mental images of George Clooney behind the helm of the Andrea Gail in The Perfect Storm.
Today’s trawler yachts have come a long way since the those early, chug-chugging Grand Banks, Nordhavns and Selenes. They’re now a much faster, more spacious, more luxurious type of boat.
Yet the concept is still the same; motoryachts designed primarily for comfortable long-distance, liveaboard cruising, usually at a more leisurely, more economical pace.
Nothing captures this new trawler thinking better than Beneteau’s impressive new $2m/£1.53m Grand Trawler 62. Designed to cruise at 8-to-10 knots, it has the power hit 20 when gnarly weather approaches. Inside, there’s huge interior volume, and cabins for six with a cavernous owner’s cabin.
And Beneteau is not the only trawler maker making waves. Turkish yard Sirena, Absolute with its Navetta range, and Cranchi with its quirky Eco Trawler line all break the mould.
The multitude of trawler options range from Ranger Tugs’ teeny 23ft/ R-23 from $146,000/£112,000 to Marlow Yacht’s multi-million dollar 100ft/30m Voyager.
It’s all about the wave. Water skiers tend to prefer flatter, smoother water to perfect their big turns, aerial stunts and slaloms, while wake boarders crave the biggest wave possible. Ideally, that means two very different types of boats.
The best purpose-built ski boats have their high-torque engine mounted in the middle, with a shaft-drive and small-diameter prop for instant acceleration, minimum turbulence and low wake.
The best boats for wakeboarders and their wake-surfing cousins, have rear-mounted V-drive inboards along with ballast tanks or wake plates to keep the transom low and the wake big and shapely.
Top ski-boat makers include MasterCraft, Malibu and Ski Nautique, while the biggest wakes are thrown up from boats by Moomba, Supra, Tigé, Centurion and Axis Wake.
The sweet-spot sizewise is around 23ft/7m, with prices ranging from around $40,000/£30,600 up to $200,000/£153,000 for the ultimate wavemaker.
The problem with propellers and rudders hanging down below a boat is they can hit stuff. Like rocks. And logs. When your boating is done in lots of skinny water, then a sound alternative is a jet boat.
With the boat’s engine spinning an impeller mounted inside a tunnel, water is sucked in through a hull opening, and blasted out through a narrow, steerable nozzle mounted on the transom. Think of them as super-sized Jet Skis.
Advantages include no prop or rudder hanging below the boat, so safer running in shallow water. There’s also less drag, which means higher speeds and lower fuel consumption. And having no prop makes them safer for water skiers and wake-surfers.
Negatives include trickier low-speed maneuvering, and challenging reversing – there’s no reverse gear, just a bucket that drops down to redirect the thrust under the boat.
Top makers of this type of boat include Yamaha, Chaparral, and Scarab, with Hinckley at the very top end. Sizes range from 19ft/ to 28ft/ and pricing from around $30k/£23k. to over $150k/£115k.
Go-fast performance boats
Want to go fast? No, really fast? Missouri’s Marine Technology Inc. will happily build you one of its 52 Race super-cats, powered by twin 1,750-hp Mercury inboards that can hit a top speed of 200mph.
For slightly less-intense on-water performance, Miami-based Cigarette Racing is still king of the go-fast boats. Its latest Tirranna 59 can be optioned with six Mercury Racing 450Rs – that’s a total of 2,700-hp – to give easy 100mph+ cruising. All for around $3 million.
The roots of this type of boat dates back to Miami and the early ’60s and a rogue called Don Aronow. He was behind such iconic brands as Formula Marine, Donzi, Magnum and Cigarette, winning over 350 offshore races in the process.
Today, many of the original players are still around, with the addition of builders like Midnight Express, Mystic, Marine Technology, Fountain, Eliminator, Skater, and HCB. Sizes range anywhere from 30ft/ to over 60ft/ with prices from $200k/£155k to over $3m/£2.3m