Small boats are a popular choice for leisure boating and fishing enthusiasts. With a variety of types available on the market, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best fit for your needs. In this article, we will explore the seven most common types of small boats and their features.
Understanding Small Boats
Small boats are typically defined as boats that are less than 26 feet in length. They are perfect for activities such as fishing, leisure boating, water sports, and transportation. Small boats come in various types, each with its unique features and benefits. Here are some of the most common types of small boats:
Fishing boats are designed to help anglers catch fish. They come in different sizes and shapes, but they all have features that make fishing easier, such as rod holders, livewells, and fish finders. Some fishing boats are designed for specific types of fishing, such as freshwater or saltwater fishing.
Dinghy boats are small, lightweight, and easy to maneuver. They are typically used as tenders for larger boats or for short trips around the harbor. Dinghies can be inflatable or rigid and are usually powered by an outboard motor.
Deck boats are ideal for families and groups of friends who want to spend time on the water. They have a wide, flat deck that provides plenty of space for seating, sunbathing, and water sports. Deck boats are also equipped with a swim platform and ladder for easy access to the water.
PWC or Personal Watercraft Boat
PWCs, also known as jet skis, are small, agile boats that are perfect for water sports such as wakeboarding and water skiing. They are designed to be ridden standing up and are powered by a jet propulsion system.
Pontoon boats are great for leisure boating and entertaining. They have a flat deck that sits on top of two or three pontoons, which provide stability and buoyancy. Pontoon boats are equipped with comfortable seating, a swim platform, and a ladder for easy access to the water.
Jet boats are designed to be fast and agile. They are powered by a jet propulsion system that allows them to navigate shallow waters and perform tight turns. Jet boats are perfect for water sports such as wakeboarding and water skiing.
Runabouts, also known as bowriders, are versatile boats that can be used for fishing, leisure boating, and water sports. They have an open bow area that provides extra seating and a spacious cockpit for the driver and passengers. Runabouts are usually powered by an outboard motor.
Inflatable boats have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their portability and ease of storage. They are lightweight, easy to inflate, and can be deflated for convenient storage. Inflatable boats are also relatively inexpensive compared to traditional boats, making them a great option for those on a budget.
Dinghies are small, inflatable boats that are typically used as a tender for larger boats. They are usually made of PVC or Hypalon and can be inflated using a foot pump or an electric pump. Dinghies are perfect for short trips to shore or exploring shallow waters. They are also great for fishing and can be easily transported in the trunk of a car.
Tenders are similar to dinghies but are usually larger and have more features. They are designed to transport people and goods to and from a larger boat or shore. Tenders can be used for water sports such as wakeboarding and water skiing, and they are also great for fishing. They can be powered by an outboard motor or rowed.
Inflatable kayaks are a great option for those who want to explore calm waters. They are lightweight and easy to transport, making them perfect for camping trips or day trips to the lake. Inflatable kayaks are available in single and double versions, and they can be inflated using a foot pump or an electric pump. They are also relatively inexpensive compared to traditional kayaks.
Aluminum Fishing Boats
Aluminum fishing boats are a popular choice among anglers due to their durability, lightweight, and low maintenance requirements. They are also less expensive compared to fiberglass boats.
One of the most established brands in aluminum boats is Lund Boats. With over 70 years of experience in building watercraft, Lund offers a full range of aluminum models suitable for any fishing application. The Lund Alaskan is a popular model that comes in various sizes and features a deep-V hull design, making it ideal for fishing in rough waters.
Another popular aluminum boat brand is Crestliner. The Crestliner XFC 189 is a top choice for crappie anglers. It features 23-gallon livewells with removable bait buckets in both the bow and stern, making it easy to keep bait alive and fresh.
Tracker Boats is also a well-known brand in the aluminum boat market. The Tracker Pro Guide V-16 SC is a versatile boat that can be used for both fishing and family outings. It features a deep-V hull design, a spacious cockpit, and plenty of storage compartments.
When it comes to aluminum boats, Lowe Boats is another brand worth considering. The Lowe FM 1625 SC is a popular model that features a spacious interior, a durable hull, and a comfortable ride. It also has a large livewell and plenty of storage space for fishing gear.
Bass boats are specialized boats designed for anglers who want to fish for bass. They are typically small boats that are fast, maneuverable, and equipped with features that make them ideal for bass fishing. Bass boats come in a variety of sizes and designs, but they all share some common features.
One of the most important features of a bass boat is its shallow draft. This allows the boat to navigate in shallow waters where bass tend to congregate. Bass boats are also designed to be fast and agile, which makes it easier to chase after schools of bass that are on the move.
Another important feature of a bass boat is its fishing equipment. Bass boats are equipped with features such as rod holders, live wells, and fish finders that make it easier for anglers to catch bass. Many bass boats also have specialized seating arrangements that allow anglers to fish from different positions on the boat.
Bass boats are typically made of fiberglass or aluminum. Fiberglass boats are more expensive but offer better performance and durability. Aluminum boats are less expensive but are more prone to damage from rocks and other obstacles.
Some of the most popular bass boat brands include Nitro, Ranger, Skeeter, and Bass Cat. Each brand offers a variety of different models with different features and price points. When choosing a bass boat, it is important to consider factors such as size, price, and features to find the best boat for your needs.
Bowriders are one of the most popular types of small boats, designed for recreational activities like water sports, fishing, and cruising. They are typically 17 to 30 feet in length and have an open bow area with seating, making them perfect for socializing and enjoying the sun and water.
Bowriders are versatile boats that can be used for a range of activities, from fishing to water skiing. They are perfect for families and groups of friends who want to spend time on the water together. Bowriders have a number of advantages over other types of boats, including:
- Versatility: Bowriders can be used for a variety of activities, making them a great all-around boat.
- Comfort: Bowriders have plenty of seating and storage space, making them comfortable for long days on the water.
- Affordability: Bowriders are generally less expensive than other types of boats, making them a great choice for first-time boat buyers.
Some of the most popular bowriders on the market today include:
- Sea Ray SLX 350: This high-end bowrider is known for its sleek design, high-tech features, and impressive performance.
- Yamaha SX210: This affordable bowrider is perfect for families and groups of friends who want to enjoy the water without breaking the bank.
- Bayliner VR6: This versatile bowrider is perfect for water sports, fishing, and cruising, and is available at an affordable price point.
Catamarans are boats that have two hulls instead of one, which makes them more stable and faster than monohull boats. They are popular among sailors and boaters who want to enjoy a comfortable and smooth ride. There are two main types of catamarans: sailing catamarans and power catamarans.
Sailing catamarans are designed for sailing and are often used for cruising, racing, and day sailing. They are faster than monohull boats and can sail closer to the wind. They are also more stable, which makes them a popular choice for people who suffer from seasickness. Sailing catamarans come in different sizes and styles, from beach catamarans to cruising cats to high-performance catamarans.
One advantage of sailing catamarans is their spaciousness. They have a wide beam, which means more room for living space and storage. They also have two hulls, which means two separate cabins, making them perfect for families or groups of friends. Sailing catamarans are also easier to handle than monohull boats, as they have two engines and two rudders.
Power catamarans are designed for speed and comfort. They are often used for fishing, cruising, and day trips. They are faster than monohull boats and more fuel-efficient, which makes them a popular choice for people who want to cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time. Power catamarans come in different sizes and styles, from small fishing boats to luxury yachts.
One advantage of power catamarans is their stability. They have a wide beam, which means they are less likely to roll in rough seas. They also have a shallow draft, which means they can navigate in shallow waters. Power catamarans are also more spacious than monohull boats, with more room for living space and storage.
In conclusion, small boats are a great way to enjoy the water and have fun. There are many different types of small boats to choose from, each with its own unique features and benefits. Whether you are looking for a fishing boat, a personal watercraft, or a deck boat, there is sure to be a small boat that meets your needs.