13 Different Types of Small Boats

Small boats are watercraft designed to navigate near-shore areas or waterways like rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water. These sorts of boats carry significantly less capacity than larger ships however the design can vary according to purpose. For those seeking a small boat for recreational purposes or who are interested in exploring different types of small boats, here are some choices.

1. Deck boats

Deck boats have an open deck areas with a seating arrangement of some kind. A deck boat is usually V-shaped with a wide beam. Its design is to accommodate more passengers than a pontoon boat, another small boat type. Usually measuring between 25 and 35 feet in length, a deck boat is commonly used for swimming, water sports, and more.

2. Fishing boats

Fishing boats evidently vary widely in size, for use in salt and freshwater environments. Some are manned and others unmanned, with features like front bows, rod lockers, trolling motor systems, and with the strength to withstand harsh conditions on water. These types of small boats, such as the Alumacraft boat brand, are usually built from aluminum. Comparatively, bass boats are slimmer and with up to three anglers on board.

3. Bowrider boats

Bowrider boats are a family boat, offering space for seating of up to eight passengers between the cockpit, bow cockpit, and helm. These are uniquely designed boats that can feature a wide variety of seating setups. Bowrider boats can oftentimes contain a swim platform and has a traditional V-shaped bottom.

4. Dinghy boats

Dinghy boats are small and inflatable, usually made from rubber and with cross thwarts and rowlocks which are seats and oars. Powered by sails, oars, and/or small engines, dinghies are popularly applied in sailboat, rowboat, and inflatable watercraft situations.

These types of small boats oftentimes compliment larger ships, helping them to navigate more difficult areas. Rowboats like these can also act as companion boats, can be used in shallow waters to fish, and can great boats for family camping trips.

5. Personal Watercraft Boats


PWC boats, also sometimes referred to as water scooters and jetskis, can be customized to adventure. Personal watercraft boats allow a user to explore the waters, participating in water games, go sports fishing, and more. There are sit-down models as well as stand-up PWC boats, with some intended for two or more people.

6. Trawler boats

Trawler boats are built with a displacement hull and fuel-efficient engines. Trawlers are designed to smoothly move across water without having to overuse horsepower or spending fuel which doesn’t need to be spent. For long-range cruises or similar outings, it’s features like this which recommend trawler boats as the go-to.

7. Runabout boats

Runabout boats are excellent entry-level vessels for those interested in casual water sports or newbies to boating as a whole. Runabouts can accommodate between 4 and 8 people. Go racing, fishing, or water skiing in this boat controlled by a steering wheel and forward controls behind a windscreen.

8. Cuddy cabin boats

Cuddy cabin boats are commonly purchased as a family-friendly small boat which is multi-purpose. Use it to fish, for yachting, sailing, or to play water sports. Cuddy cabin boats have a closed deck, with plenty of storage space. These small boats are manufactured from aluminum and fibreglass, in design of a minimum length of just under 5 metres.

9. Cabin cruiser boats

Cabin cruiser boats are meant for relaxed sailing, although larger models come close to a houseboat at times. With a galley and berth, cabin cruisers have a deep V-bottom. These types of small boats are designed with a secure shaft drive mechanism, rudder steering, and are excellent for salt water movements.

10. Catamaran boats

This multi-hulled watercraft with two parallel hulls of equal size boasts a shallower draft and a higher displacement than alternatives. Catamaran boats are ideal to fish or for leisure cruising, and are used all over the world from Asia on the Pacific to Florida on the US’ east coast.

11. Game boats

Game boats are powerful fibreglass boats, with either a diesel or petrol engine to support sailing. They can be quite large in measurement, compared to other small boats. Game boats, as expected, are useful for fishing pursuits.

12. Centre console boats

Centre console boats, as one may guess, are a hull with no cabin or foredeck, and the helm station is in the center. Commonly a go-to small boat to buy for sports fishing and use in harsh offshore waterways, the essentials to a centre console boat includes bait wells, gunwale rod holders, fish lockers, and outriggers. The deck also usually has an advanced insulation system perfect for icing fish storage.

13. Houseboats

Houseboats are generally quite large however they can be smaller. They provide the chance to live on water. On a houseboat, you can expect broader flooring, some sort of sleeping arrangement, and a variety of amenities. They’re used for water sports, relaxed cruising, or family sailing, although this relies on the design. The smaller versions of houseboats are generally motorized although there are larger models which are stationary.

  • Show Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *