Understanding Different Types of Boats for Your Next Purchase

If you're lucky enough to be in the market for a new boat, you would do well to ensure you know the difference between the most common boat types. As with vehicles, there is a big difference in the overall space and even handling of various boat types. Knowing a little bit about these differences will ensure you start shopping in the right place and know what to look for online or in person.

Fishing boats

The term "fishing boat" can be applied to a number of different models, but note that they are often without a front windscreen in order to make it easier to fish off the front of the boat. This can make it uncomfortable if you're looking to cruise, as no windscreen means more water splashed in your face. An inboard engine on a fishing boat will usually be smaller and more lightweight than other engines, as anglers need it to be quiet so as not to scare the fish far away.  

Some fishing boats are called walk-arounds, meaning they have a small platform at the front for standing and accessing all areas of the boat; this is a good choice for when you'll have many anglers on the boat at once. Game boats will have tall cabins in the middle so the captain can easily spot game fish that are seen on top of the water, such as swordfish and marlin.

Ski boats / Wakeboard boats

Ski boats usually deliver the most power so that the boat can gain the speed needed to pull skiers. Their hulls are pointed for breaking through the water easily without creating much wake behind them, which would interfere with a water-skier. However, wakeboard boats are different; someone using a wakeboard actually wants a larger wake so they can slide up the side of it. These boats offer lower speeds but a wider, deeper hull than a ski boat. Be sure you understand these differences so you get the right boat for your chosen water sport.


Pontoons are often called party boats because they have a flat deck that is attached to airtight flotation tubes. These are good for large crowds, but note that the flat deck area and the flotation tubes do not allow for gaining much speed on the water so they're not typically used for racing and sporting. They can be used for swimming off the boat as the wide, flat bottom makes it easier to climb up a side ladder or set of steps onto and off of the boat. Talk to a company like Coastal Pontoon & Jetty Repairs for more information on pontoon boats.