Boat types

Boatsetter provides renters with a wide range of boats to choose from that appeal to a variety of group sizes and water activities.

Generally speaking, boats can be classified into three main categories:

  • Unpowered or person-powered boats (e.g. rafts, gondolas, kayaks, etc.)
  • Motorboats (engine-powered)
  • Sailboats (sail-propelled)

Below is a list of some of the most popular boat types on Boatsetter.

MOTORBOATS

Bow riders are small boats with an offset helm and a V-shaped hull with open bow (forward) seating. They typically range from 17ft to 35ft and are usually designed for recreational purposes. Some bowriders are designed to go quite fast, while others are intended to be used for more casual cruising. The design is most well suited to inland waterways and calm lakes, not the open ocean.

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Recommended for: Cruising with small groups, Watersports

Center consoles are a type of single-decked, open hull boat where the helm station is in the center. The center console is where all the controls are located, including steering, ignition, trim control, radio and other electronic devices, switches, etc. It may have a small storage space and/or a head (toilet). Center consoles are popular fishing boats that can cruise at higher speeds and allow anglers access to all sides of the vessel.

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Recommended for: Fishing, Cruising with small groups

Pontoons are flattish boats that rely on floats to remain buoyant. Pontoon boats have a shallower draft that reduces the risk of running aground and allows easier access to the shore. Due to their efficient buoyancy, pontoons can be fitted with accommodations such as expansive lounge areas, stand-up bars, and sun pads.

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Recommended for: Cruising with small to mid-sized groups, Fishing

Cabin cruisers are typically 35’-60’ in length and provide accommodations for its crew and passengers inside the structure of the craft. Many cabin cruisers can be recovered and towed with a trailer and thus easily stored on land. Cabin cruisers are generally equipped with the following features: a head (toilet), a galley with a small dining area, at least one berth (bed), heating, air conditioning, and/or power generators.

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Recommended for: Cruising with small to large groups

Cuddy cabin boats are a type of cruiser but have fewer features than their cabin cruiser cousins. Cuddy cabin boats meet the basic needs of cruisers and provide only a V-berth, a porta potty, and have minimal vertical space below deck. The word “cuddy” means cupboard or small room.

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Recommended for: Cruising with small to mid-sized groups, Fishing

Sport fishing boats come in many shapes and sizes and are designed specifically for recreational fishing by anglers. Typically, these fishing boats are designed with a cockpit at the stern, a chair fitted to the deck, and several secured outriggers to get more lines in the water.

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Recommended for: Fishing

Jet boats are unique in that they gain propulsion from a jet of water ejected from the back of the boat. Unlike a motorboat that uses an external propeller, a jet boat draws water from under the boat through an intake and pump-jet inside the boat, before expelling through a nozzle at the stern. The boat is steered by a movable nozzle that aims the stream of water left or right. Jet boats have minimal draft and can operate in very shallow water since there’s no propeller or outdrive that could be damaged by hitting the bottom.

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Recommended for: Watersports, Cruising with small to mid-sized groups

Motor yacht is a general term used for boats ranging from 33’ to 130’ in length before they are considered super-yachts or mega-yachts at 130’ and longer. Motor yachts vary by use, style, and hull type. Some common motor yacht styles with varying hull displacements are cruisers, sport cruisers, sport fishing boats, expedition yachts, lobster yachts, and trawlers.

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Recommended for: Cruising with large groups

Power cats are stable boats that provide a smoother ride with their multi-hull design. Slimmer hulls mean less drag in the water and better fuel economy. Two hulls with a connecting bridge combine to create a wide and low center of gravity, providing more stability and less crash coming off of waves. Power cats are great for groups of all sizes and borrow some of the best features from motor yachts: speed, comfort, and ease of operation.

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Recommended for: Cruising with small to large groups

SAILBOATS

Catamarans can also operate as sailboats and have all the same features listed above. They range in size from small sailing or rowing vessels to large naval ships and roll-on/roll-off car ferries. The structure connecting a catamaran's two hulls ranges from a simple frame strung with webbing to support the crew to a bridging superstructure incorporating extensive cabin and/or cargo space. They are much slower than power boats so they can’t cover as much distance but are very popular.

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Recommended for: Sailing with small to mid-sized groups

Mono-hull sailboats are single-hulled boats that are much more narrow than their catamaran counterparts and offer a traditional sailing experience. They also draw more water than catamarans so they can’t get into shallower waters. They are good for small to mid-sized groups. They are much slower than power boats so they can’t cover as much distance but are truly a unique experience.

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Recommended for: Sailing with small to mid-sized groups

For more information on boat types, check out this link.