Rowboats are the most basic type of boat, and you can probably make your own at home. They have oars and are designed to sit at least one person. With low sides and a flat or V-shaped hull, the boat is easy to control. Log rafts, canoes, gondolas, and kayaks are examples of row boats. The manual boats do not have sails, so they are best used for inshore trips. In addition, they cannot withstand rough weather.
Sail boats, with sails harness the wind’s energy and use it to power your boat. Canvas, nylon, polyester, or plastic are commonly used materials for sails. Sail boats can have motors and oars as well as sails. To manage those vast swatches of sailcloth, you will need sailing skills – this isn’t a boat for novices. Moreover, there is a lot of gear required!
Generally, a motorboat or speed boat is any vessel equipped with a motor. Most motors are mounted on the transom, the flat section of the stern at the rear. It is possible to power a speedboat with only its motor or by adding sails, oars, or other devices. Using a motor boat requires less technical skill (and a smaller crew), so it’s a safer choice for beginners.
Inflatable boats range from the bright orange emergency rafts to the blow-up pontoons. Hovercrafts and floating tubes are also considered inflatable boats. Short trips and/or skinny water (one foot or less) are best suited to these boats. The boat is prone to punctures and is difficult to maneuver in rolling waves. Lakes, bays, rivers, pools, and slow currents are all great places to use them.
Recreational boats are bought to enjoy time on the water. Boats feature powerful motors, comfortable seating, and a few other luxuries. There are several types of boats in this category:
- Bow riders – seating area at the front
- Deck boats – seating at the front and the back
To qualify as a walkaround, your vessel should have ample space to walk around the boat, pun intended. You should have comfortable seating and guardrails to ensure your safety.
Fishing boats, the broadest category of boats. Any boat can be used for fishing, so even one without a motor counts as a fishing boat. However, the best fishing boats come with extra features such as rod holders, livewells, tackle boxes, and other storage options. These boats range in style and technology, from aluminum and bass boats to hi-tech ones with fishfinders and GPS.
A water sport boat has some similarities with a runaround boat. The primary difference is that these boats are meant for towing sports. With this boat, you can ski, kite surf, float in tubes, wakeboard, and other sports using ropes attached to the mast. There is a ladder, an open back, and extra storage space for gear and boards.
The paddle boat is used for transportation and for sightseeing. One to four people can ride these mini-boats, sometimes referred to as pedal boats. Like a bicycle, you pedal it with your feet. Pedal boats that use pontoons as their hull are classified as aqua cycles. Open or covered paddle boats are used inshore.
A cabin boat is another type of walkaround boat. The main difference is that a cabin boat has a sleeping area. Cabin boats can be small – for example, a cuddy boat only has a small sleeper cabin under the bow. Luxury cabin cruisers, such as a yacht, have beds, bathrooms, meal and dance areas, hot tubs, and enough rooms to accommodate 8 to 10 guests overnight.
Skiffs are another type of boat with a whole bunch of features. An angular bow, a boxy stern, and a flat bottom characterize its design. Because it has been designed primarily for high-speed navigation, it probably has a powerful motor and is a planing boat, regardless of whether it has oars. In addition to the motor’s ability to reduce drag, this boat is primarily intended for cruising, rescue, and military purposes.
Are you familiar with ATVs? Now try ACVs! Air-cushion vehicles are also known as hovercrafts. The hulls are hollow, and high-pressure air is released beneath the hull to cause floating. Sometimes these boats have propellers, and they can navigate swamps, rivers, lakes, and even ice. Their low weight and high power allow them to be driven offshore as well.
Catamarans have multiple v-bottomed hulls. Due to their speed and high ride, these high speed boats are common in competitive sports. Boats with hard chine may also be rigged with oars, sails, and high-performance engines. Catamarans can be distinguished by their sharp angles (called chines) on their front hulls.
A pontoon boat commonly known as a party boat is a buoyant boat with a shallow draft. The bulk of the hull is above water, with only about eight to ten inches submerged. Hollow tubes or logs called pontoons create the hull. Boats with pontoons are balanced and sturdy, especially on calm waters. These boats have a solid central fence in addition to those distinctive pontoons.
Center console boats have the console right in the center of the deck. The console is the steering section of the boat. In most cases, it will have a control panel with a steering wheel and sailing technology. Although sometimes exposed, the console can be protected by a windshield. A cover could be optional.
A houseboat is a full size RV that floats on water. These boats have everything you need including kitchens and sleeping quarters. They even have motors and steering wheels so you can drive them to anywhere on the water you want to go. There are many bodies of water where you can enjoy life on a houseboat
Flybridge boats can be any type of vessel, whether they are runabouts or towboats. Its distinguishing feature is the console, which ‘flies’ over the deck. The flybridge or steering console is one or more levels above the main deck, but it’s quite stable. In rough waters and choppy waves, it offers greater visibility. Boats of this type can be double- or triple-decked.
A tugboat is a powerful boat that is used to tow or push larger vessels. Tugboats are equipped with float tubes on their sides because they are ideal for rescuing stranded ships. One or more tugs can easily maneuver a large ship into tight turns and corner spots.
Barges can be so large that you might consider them ships! Essentially, they are inshore cargo ferries with a flat deck and a flat hull. Due to their drag, they move slowly, but can support massive weights. A barge used to be towed by horses along the shoreline. Today, some barges are equipped with engines and propellers for navigating rivers and canals. If they don’t have a motor, a tug boat will push or pull them to where they need to go.
Rescue boats are boats used by protective services, such as fire stations, marine hospitals, coastguards, and security corps. Dinghy, rowboat, lifeboat, inflatable, or speed boat are all options. For visibility, these boats tend to be painted red, yellow, or orange. Many come with advanced medical equipment.
A fire boat is a special type of rescue boat that specializes in water-based fires that routinely involve fuel. Fire rescue boats have special flame-retardant features and pumps for water cannons, plus lots of first aid gear.
Utility boats differ from recreational or racing boats because of their sturdy, rugged design. Any boat that is used for work falls into this category. While sleeper cabins are available for graveyard shifts, the focus is on functionality, not comfort.
A game boat is any specialized boat used for harvesting marine animals. The game boats that we all know hunt marlin, tuna, swordfish, crab, and other types of fish.
Trawlers are industrial-looking, with tall sides, consoles with covered switchboards, vast storage, and a better balance. They’re used offshore mostly and pull big nets to catch fish.
Yachts are the ultimate status symbols that can be compared to personal cruise ships. Although it’s small, it has many advantages over large commercial cruise ships. Despite having enough accommodations for a few days or even a week, yachts are significantly smaller than cruise ships. You can expect leather and hi-tech gadgets in this ship.
In a saltwater boat, except for the size, you may not be able to tell the difference between it and a freshwater boat. Construction materials and designs that resist salt and sand damage are the focus. Just like any boat with fiberglass, if you don’t take care of it, it can scratch and get gashes. As well as non-skid surfaces, high sides to avoid sea spray, and wave-resistant hulls, boats of this type must be able to handle rough conditions.
Jet boats are powered by the same propulsion system as PWCs (personal watercraft). These boats are any boat that uses pumps to force water up at high pressure from below the water line.
Flying boats or hydrofoils have special underwater fins that allow them to travel at extreme speeds. These fins lift the hull out of the water allowing them to go faster than regular boats. Not used as a private boat, hydrofoil boats are more commonly used in high-end competitive sailing, passenger ferries, and the military due to their high cost. Hydrofoils are essentially water-based Formula One cars.
Normally, ferries are pontoon boats, but slow-moving catamarans can also serve as ferries. They operate much like a barge boat, but they are for people. Commuter and passenger ferries transport passengers and commuters between islands and the mainland. Cars may also be transported. Government-run ferries are most common, but private ferries exist.
Similarly, our last boat category has many overlaps. Despite the fact that you can’t reach full speed in urban areas, some of us love sports cars. A cruiser boat might be the best choice for you if you live in a beach town. Cruiser boats travel at high speeds and don’t have much seating.