SailingWater Sports

Types of Recreational Boats

Recreational boating has been a popular activity for years. Though these boats vary in size and style, you can still use them for fishing, cruising, and different watersports.

What are the types of recreational boats? In today’s article, we’ll discuss the different functions, styles and factors that you need to consider when choosing the right recreational boat for you and your family.


Before searching and buying your dream boat, you should keep in mind that recreational boating activities are divided into three categories: fishing, watersports, or cruising.

Now, it’s important to choose from these three before buying since these activities require different types of boats. For beginners, here are the best recreational boats that you should consider:

Fishing Boats

  • Centre Console Boat – this boat is usually larger than 20 ft. in length. The operating console is at the center of the boat, perfectly designed for fishing. The best thing about this boat is that it has enough space for a person to walk from stern to bow without experiencing any difficulty.
  • Walk-around Boat – this type of boat is recommended for fishing activities and family trips. This recreational boat allows you to access all areas on the deck freely. Usually, its size ranges from 18 to 30 ft. in length.
  • Flats-fishing Boat – if you’re planning to go on a solo trip or just inviting one of your buddies, you can choose this type of boat. The flat-fishing boat is designed for 1/2 pax only. It usually comes with a rod storage and measures up to 23 ft. long.
  • Convertible Boat – is perfect for offshore and long trips since this boat can handle large waves. Convertible boats are often called a “sport fisher” since it’s considered one of the classic fishing boats. Its size is around 31 to 60 ft. in length.

Cruising Boats

  • Runabout Boat – this is simply a small motorboat that can be occupied by four to eight people. Usually, it measures between 20 to 35 feet long, perfect for water-based leisure activity.
  • Catamaran Boat – compared to other boats, the catamaran boat has a unique and stylish look that features two parallel hulls, ideal for fishing and cruising activities. Typically, it measures between 38 to 47 feet in length.
  • Cabin Cruiser Boat – designed for an overnight stay and for a small gathering with family or friends. This type of boat measures between 25 to 45 feet long.
  • Pontoon Boat – a simple boxy boat that is designed for day cruising. The Pontoon boat has enough space for your family and friends since it’s 16 to 30 ft. long. It has a foldable roof that you can adjust depending on the weather. 

Watersports Boats

  • Ski Boat – if you’re looking for some fun, this type of boat is perfect for you. The ski boat features a powerful acceleration feature that’s suitable for watersport activities. It measures around 20 to 22 feet in length.
  • Jet Boat – The jet boat is almost the same as the ski boat when it comes to acceleration. The factors that make them different from each other are its deep hulls and its size that ranges from 18 to 28 feet long.
  • Crossover Boat – considered as the dream boat of watersports lovers, this type of boat will allow you to ski, ride and surf. Imagine, endless water activities? 


Since you’re now aware of the basic types and functions of recreational boats, it’s time to discuss all the boating activities that your family and friends can do during your free time.

  • Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing – The only thing that you need to consider is the size (standard is 20 to 50 feet long). Make sure that you have enough space for everyone who will join the activity. If you’re planning to invite a lot of guests, make sure that your boat has a huge cockpit.
  • Sailing – planning to go sailing with your friends? One of the best boats that you can use is the catamaran. Besides its size, this type of boat has a unique design, it has a mainsail, mast, jib, and boom that is perfect for water activities.
  • Watersports – a fun way to spend your weekends is to do activities such as water skiing and windsurfing that are best with ski boats and jet boats.
  • Day/Overnight Cruising – if you guys are wondering what the difference is between cruising and sailing, well, the simplest explanation is that sailing is a shorter-term maritime adventure compared to cruising. It’s important to pick the right type of cruising boat to make sure that you‘ll feel comfortable on your trip.


All recreational boats vary when it comes to size, design, and purpose. The main thing that you need to keep in mind when buying one is to know what will be its purpose. In that way, you can easily search for the perfect recreational boat for you and your family.

In your experience, what type of boat is best? Share your thoughts and comment below.

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