Different Types of Boats and Uses - Trident Funding

Different Types of Boats and Uses

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There are so many different types of boats on the market and each boat has different intended uses. We’re going to focus on the most popular boats and yachts that typically range in price from about $150,000 to around $2 million. Some of these boats are center console boats, others are used for sports fishing, and others are enjoyed by water sports enthusiasts. 

Regardless of the type of boat you decide to purchase, learn how we do boat loans at Trident Funding. We offer loans on new and used boats, will refinance your current boat, and we offer competitive boat loan rates and flexible loan terms. Apply online in just a few minutes and Trident Funding will match you with a marine lender that best meets your financial needs. Our staff are all professionals, experienced in the marine industry, and are available to help you through not just the loan process but throughout the entire transaction.  

Now, you know how you’re going to pay for your boat, let’s get back to what type of boat is best for you. The three main boat or yacht categories are man-powered boats, sailing boats, and engine-powered boats, also known as motor boats. Man-powered boats are things like rafts, dinghies, and kayaks. We’re going to focus on the other two boat categories: sailing boats and motor boats. If you’re buying your first boat or are just curious how much a boat is going to cost you each month, check out a boat loan calculator. It’s a handy tool that can give you an estimate of your monthly boat loan payment, which can help you determine if the boat you like is within your price range, or if you need to keep looking until you find one you’re comfortable fitting into your budget. 

8 Popular Types of Boats

1. Center console boat

2. Convertible fishing boat

3. Deck boat

4. Cabin cruiser

5. Motor yacht

6. Sailboat

7. High performance powerboat

8. Jet boat


We know you want to be out on the water as soon as possible, so let’s jump right into the different types of boats and which one is best suited for your boating needs. You may own a lakehouse and want to go for an early morning cruise around the beautiful crystal clear lake, or you may love the thrill of waves crashing in the open sea as you’re on your way back from a deep sea fishing expedition, or you may be a thrill seeker and want a boat to give you that adrenaline rush when you’re pushing the throttle through the open waters. 

Some people enjoy having a boat with all the amenities of home including a TV, air conditioning, and comfortable beds, while others just want a place to relax and hang out with their families while participating in water sports for a few hours every weekend. 

Boats are used for so many reasons and on so many different waterways including rivers, lakes, bays, gulfs, oceans, intracoastal waterways, swamps, bayous, and more. However, a boat isn’t a one-size-fits-all purchase. The same boat that is perfect for cutting through waves and hauling back nets of fish is unlikely to be the same boat you want to host a fancy dinner party on. 

The most popular types of boats include:

  • Center console boat
  • Convertible fishing boat
  • Deck boat
  • Cabin cruiser
  • Motor yacht
  • Sailboat
  • High performance powerboat
  • Jet boat

Keep in mind that there are many more different types of boats but this list will give you an idea of what you can get for somewhere between $150,000 and $2 million. We will also explain which boat is best for which type of waterway and water activity. 

Center Console Boat 

Common Features

A center console boat is an open hull vessel with a single deck and a helm in the center of the boat. The hull is in the shape of a deep ‘V’ which helps the boat cut through choppy waters. The console of the boat is basically the control room; it’s where the steering, radio, electronic devices, navigation system, depth finding tools, and ignition are located. Most center console boats are powered by outboard motors and may have anywhere from one to more than five motors, depending on the size of the boat, and the power that the owner desires. 

Price Ranges

Center console boats vary in price but typically range from about $30,000 for a pre-owned smaller model to well over $1 million for a newer model that has been outfitted with custom features and amenities. 

Intended Uses

Center console boats are one of the most popular types of fishing boats. They’re typically less expensive than convertible fishing boats because they don’t have cabins and are usually smaller in size and not meant to be used for overnight excursions. 

These boats can easily be customized to your needs and can be left open or filled with seats, storage space, and fishing accessories. Additionally, the boats give good 360 degree visibility which is helpful for fishermen to spot a good area to set out their nets or lines. Besides being used as fishing boats, center console boats are also sometimes used as yacht tenders. They may be used to take passengers from a yacht to a small inlet or for a tour of nearby islands where it would be too cumbersome and difficult to maneuver a large yacht. 

Convertible Fishing Boat

Common Features

A convertible fishing boat is considered a step-up from a center console boat and is really the gold standard among fishing boats. These boats usually have multiple levels which can be accessed by ladders, and an elevated flybridge and cockpit which gives the captain a 360 degree view of the water from way up high, sometimes called a birds eye view. Cabins are common in these boats and they can accommodate families or groups of fishermen during the day and for multiple nights at a time. Interior spaces tend to be quite spacious and luxurious and have some of the same amenities you will see on yachts. Most models start at a minimum of 30 to 40 feet long and have twin diesel engines that power them. 

Price Ranges

As is the case with all boats, the price varies depending on if the boat is new or used, its length, condition, and features. However, most convertible fishing boats start around $100,000 and a large, brand new one can go for over $7 million. 

Intended Uses

A convertible fishing boat is often used for sport fishing, saltwater fishing, overnight fishing trips, and to transport groups of people offshore. If you go on a deep sea fishing expedition with dozens of other people, this is likely the boat you will take. These boats are roomy, can easily pick up speed, are sturdy, and are intended to be used in the open water to cover long distances. It’s not generally a boat you will just take to your local sandbar to relax for a couple of hours. 

Deck Boat 

Common Features

If you’re not into fishing, and just want a relatively  affordable boat to hang out on, then a deck boat may be the right choice for you. The hull is flared at the top to create more space on the deck. Some hulls are also ‘V’ shaped which makes them better for going through larger waves and choppier water; but that’s not really what they’re intended for. These boats are generally pretty easy to handle, not too difficult to steer, and provide a smooth ride in calm water areas. 

The ample, wide open layout and extra deck space means that you can have friends and family on board, have room to stow items, and add extra lounge chairs and water toys such as inner tubes and snorkeling equipment. Some deck boats include heads (toilets), showerheads, and small kitchenettes. Most deck boats range from about 20 to 30 feet long and are one of the most versatile types of boats out there. Some unique features on newer model deckboats include extended swim platforms and seats with cup holders that sit in the water. These are ideal for spending the day relaxing with cool beverage. 

Price Ranges

Deck boats typically start around $30,000 for a pre-owned one and go up to around $250,000 for a new model decked out with all the features. These prices vary greatly by brand and length. 

Intended Uses

Deck boats are intended to be used for day cruising in relatively calm waters. Ones with ‘V’ shaped hulls can be taken out in the ocean, but they’re not designed for going hundreds of miles offshore like a fishing vessel. Deck boats are often seen on rivers, lakes, and intracoastal waterways and are great for docking at a local waterfront eatery, towing an inner tube, wakeboarding, or docking at a sandbar for an afternoon of fun in the sun. 

Cabin Cruiser

Common Features

A cabin cruiser, often just called a cruiser, is a boat that can cruise long distances and has cabin quarters below the deck. They’re generally about 25 feet to around 45 feet long and can accommodate passengers and a small crew. They’re usually a bit smaller and less luxurious than a yacht but are also less expensive, so they make an ideal boat if you want to be able to spend the night on board, but can’t necessarily afford the cost of owning a yacht.  

These boats are generally versatile, stable, and comfortable and can be used out at sea as well as along local waterways. Cabin cruisers will have at least one stateroom (bedroom), a head (toilet) and at least a small galley (kitchen area). 

Price Ranges

Cabin cruisers generally range in price from about $100,000 to over $1 million. The difference in price really depends on the features of the boat, its age, and its size. 

Intended Uses

Cabin cruisers have multiple intended uses. They can be used to fish, for watersports, to cruise around, to go out to sea, and to spend the night on board. Think of these boats as smaller yachts. You can use them during the day or spend the night because they have the amenities you may need overnight such as a bathroom, bedroom, and a kitchen. 

Motor Yacht

Common Features

Everyone knows that a yacht or a motor yacht as they’re sometimes called, is a large luxurious boat, but what else do you know about them? Typically, a yacht is over 45 feet long and it’s not powered by sails, but by a motor, in most cases it’s propelled by two powerful engines. Yachts are designed to provide a spacious, smooth cruising experience for passengers, and have some room for crew members. 

Motor yachts come with galleys, multiple seating and lounging areas, indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, one or more staterooms, and one or more heads. Some other unique features may include an onboard ‘garage’ for jet skis and other water toys, a hot tub, and even a helipad. You can buy a yacht brand-new or if you can afford it, you can get a yacht built to your specifications and design it bit by bit with a ship builder. 

Price Ranges

Motor Yachts are among the more expensive boats and you may find an older model for $250,000 but most yachts cost over $500,000 and can even go up into the hundreds of millions of dollars for super yachts and mega yachts. 

Intended Uses

Yachts are also very versatile when it comes to motorboats. They can be used to cruise around for the day, to island hop, to take on overnight or even month long vacations, or to host parties and events on. Yachts can go out in the ocean, in intracoastal waterways, and in some rivers, but you will need to be aware of the body of water’s depth and docking capabilities. 

Some yachts are too large for certain areas and you don’t want to get stuck or scrape up your multi million dollar boat. Don’t worry though, that’s what you hire a captain and a crew for, to safely guide you to and from your destinations. If owning a yacht sounds amazing to you, check out Trident Funding, they offer yacht loans that you can apply for online. 


Common Features

There are many different types of sailboats; the most popular being catamarans, cruising sailboats, and motor sailboats. All sailboats have eight main components which include the hull, tiller, rudder, boom, mainsail, mast, jib and keel. You can find single-hull sailboats that typically range from 10 to 70 feet or so, and double hull sailboats including catamarans also vary in size and are generally more stable and can accommodate more passengers. 

Once upon a time, sailboats were strictly wind powered and some even had oars to help with steering and propulsion. Today, many modern sailboats also contain a motor, especially the ones that offer charters and go on long cruises. 

Price Ranges

Because there are so many variations of sailboats, the price range varies a lot. You may be able to buy a small, used sailboat without a motor for $10,000 or so but most sailboats with motors will cost over $250,000 and the larger ones are more like yachts and go up into the millions of dollars. 

Intended Uses

Sailboats are another versatile boat choice. They can be used to learn how to sail in a lake, for day trips around local coastal areas, or for long cruises through the ocean. They’re also often used in races all around the world. Additionally, there are tall ships used as museums and to reenact the past, and sailboats are popular for romantic sunset cruises. 

High Performance Powerboat

Common Features

If you have a need for speed, a high performance powerboat is right for you. This type of boat has many names including speedboat, powerboat, go-fast boat, and cigarette boat. The body of the boat is often made out of fiberglass and aluminum. The hull is either a catamaran or a ‘V’ shape and these boats exceed 60 miles per hour, and some can even exceed 180 miles per hour. These go-fast boats range in size and layout, with some having center consoles, others having cabins, and others only holding a few people on the deck. These boats tend to be more expensive to maintain and insure than some other boats like deck boats. 

Price Ranges

Like with all other boats, high performance powerboats range in prices. However, they usually start around $150,000 and go over $2 million depending on the make, model, size, and year. If you have your eye on that shiny, new, flashy yellow cigarette boat, check out our boat loan calculator, to see how much it will cost you every month. 

Intended Uses

These boats are generally not for new boaters and more intended for racing, for more experienced boaters, and are often used as police boats. You will also see speedboat owner groups throughout the world that come together and participate in races, rallies, and games. These boats are typically seen in all different bodies of water including oceans and lakes. 

Jet boat 

Common Features

A jet boat, also called a jet drive boat, is quite similar to a jet ski, but is larger, has more features, and can carry more passengers and supplies. They don’t have external propellers so there’s no chance of striking the bottom with a propeller or jumping off the boat and accidentally being injured on a propeller. Instead, jet boats run on a waterjet that sucks in water and forces it out in a stream or a jet to propel the boat forward. However, they can be a bit tricky to put into reverse, and do take some getting used to when handling them at slow speeds. Overall, they’re known for easy handling, acceleration, and turning abilities. Typically, jet boats range from 15 feet to 28 feet long. 

Price Ranges

Jet oats are considered to be one of the more affordable types of boats. They usually cost around $25,000 for a used model to about $150,000 for a brand new model with all the bells and whistles. 

Intended Uses

Jet boats make ideal, affordable recreational boats. Keep in mind that jet boats can be quite loud at higher speeds and they can suck up foreign objects, especially in shallow water. You can pull them up right to a sandbar like you would do with a jetski, but be on the lookout for debris and seaweed, especially if you’re in less than three feet of water, because the boat pump may suck them up. 

Jet boats are commonly seen in rivers, lakes, in the ocean, close to shore, and in intracoastal waterways. They’re designed to go relatively short distances in fairly calm water. They are pretty easy to maneuver so they can dock at your favorite waterfront bistro with a little practice.  

Types of Boats: The Wrap Up 

Now you know about the various categories of boats, a few specific types of boats, and which ones are best in salt water, in fresh water, for fishing, and for water sports etc. Remember to choose a boat that fits your price range, your lifestyle, and your overall boating needs. If you’re curious about how much that brand new motor yacht is going to cost you each month, input some information into the boat loan calculator and voila your estimated monthly boat loan payment will show up. 

Different Types of Boats: Frequently Asked Questions 

How Do I Know Which Type of Boat is Right for Me?

Buying a boat is a big decision and there are some important things you should keep in mind before taking the plunge: 

  • Know your budget and stick to it
  • Consider how often you will use the boat
  • Where will you store the boat?
  • Where will you use the boat? For example, will you go out in the ocean, for a leisurely river cruise, or on a lake
  • Think about how many people will be on the boat with you. Do you want a boat that can accommodate friends and family with plenty of space to move around and spread out?
  • Research different types of boats online and then make appointments to go and see them in person. 
  • What will you bring on the boat with you? Do you need a boat that has a built-in fridge, space for coolers, and a grill or stove? Or, do you need space to store fishing rods and bait?

What Type of Storage Space Do I Need for My Boat?

You’re going to need to keep your boat somewhere and it may be an added expense. If you buy a smaller boat, you may be able to store it at home, in your garage, or on your property if that’s allowed. If you live on the water and have access to a dock, that’s the most convenient place to store your boat. Otherwise, you will need to consider wet storage or dry storage at a marina. Typically, you rent the space for your boat, you may need to pay a deposit, and then you usually pay a monthly fee depending on the length of your boat and the type of storage. 

Be sure to ask the facility what their hours are, when you can access your boat, if you need to call ahead, or can just show up and get in the water? Also, inquire about what’s included with the monthly price? Do you have access to power, fresh water, are there on-site bathrooms, fuel available for purchase, a store to buy supplies? Another thing to keep in mind is what will happen to your boat during a hurricane or bad storm? 

Why Should I Buy a Boat? 

There are a hundred reasons to buy a boat! 

Let’s go through some of the top ones:

  • Spend time outdoors enjoying the beautiful waterways of your area
  • Spend more quality time with friends and family
  • Explore remote places you can only access by boat 
  • Have adventures and make memories
  • Never ask your partner again, “What should we do this weekend?” Because duh…you should go out on your boat.
  • See amazing wildlife and flora all around you 
  • Dock your boat and enjoy waterfront dining 

If you’re ready to buy a boat of your own, check out a boat loan calculator to see how much boat you can afford, and then apply for a boat loan with a reputable long standing company, Trident Funding. 

Ready to finance the boat or RV of your dreams?

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