Types of Boats – Full List of 20 Different Types

A boat is simply defined as a small vessel propelled by an engine, sails, or oars. Boats are small to mid-sized vessels, mainly used for ferrying people, recreation, or fishing. In comparison, ships are larger-sized vessels made to carry more passengers or cargo.

The full list of 20 different types of boats are as follows:

  1. Motor Yacht Boats
  2. Catamaran Boats
  3. Fishing Boats
  4. Sedan Bridge Boat
  5. Dinghy Boats
  6. Lifeboats
  7. Houseboats
  8. Game Boats
  9. Banana Boats
  10. Ski Boats and Wakeboard Boats
  11. Cabin Cruiser Boats
  12. Cuddy Cabin Boats
  13. Trawler Boats
  14. Pontoon Boats
  15. Center Console Boats
  16. Deck Boats
  17. Runabout Boats
  18. Bowrider Boats
  19. Personal Watercraft (PWC) Boats
  20. Jet Boats

Although there can be other names for different types of boats used around the world, these 20 types of boats are the most common.

Read on to know more details about the different types of boats and the features of each boat.

Types of Boats – the Full List

1. Motor Yacht Boats

different types of boats

Motor yacht boats are designed mainly for leisure. Their stylish look is the result of many evolutions in boat design. The length of a typical motorboat yacht is around 12 meters (about 39 feet). It is powered by a diesel engine, sometimes two diesel engines, following regulations on inland and sea-going vessels.

This type of boat is fully equipped with amenities that a family or a group of friends need for a long trip. They will not be short of any comfort or food they need as there is plenty of space and amenities in most motor yacht boats. Motor yachts are so popular that manufacturers have come up with different styles, including luxury sailing yachts, cruising yachts, weekender yachts, and many more.

2. Catamaran Boats

There is one significant difference in the style of catamaran boats over traditional boats. Instead of just one hull in conventional boats, catamaran boats have two hulls. But you will be surprised that there is less hull volume in catamarans.

Hulls of catamaran boats also have higher displacements and shallower drafts. They are great for fishing but are also capable of providing excellent cruising activities. That is why these boats are built around the world for different utilizations.

3. Fishing Boats

Third, on the list of 20 boat types is fishing boats. I’m very sure that you are familiar with fishing boats. They are one of the first reasons why humans invented boat building. These boats are exclusively built for fishing, both in freshwater and saltwater.

If a boat is to be used for fishing, it must be stable, strong, and long-lasting. A fishing boat must be able to withstand all kinds of weather conditions out in the open sea. In the past, fishing boats are operated by a crew. Now, unmanned fishing boats are plying the seas of the world.

A typical fishing boat is equipped with an outboard motor, a trolling motor system, live wells, rod lockers, and front bow. Boats that can cross the open seas are taller than the fishing boats that are meant only for inland water.

4. Sedan Bridge Boats

The length of sedan bridge boats ranges from 10.6 to 19.8 meters (35 to 65 feet). These boats are specifically designed so that the navigator will have greater visibility on the bridge. The bridge is extended, giving the passengers a feel of being on a bridge of a large ship. When it comes to accommodations, sedan bridge boats also offer amenities that make extended boat trips a real pleasure.

One amenity that can be a great addition to these boats is the Docktail Butler Marine Food and Cocktail Table:

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This convenient table can be used as a serving station or boat caddy. It allows you to level it flat at most angles.

5. Dinghy Boats

By far, dinghy boats are the smallest of all boat types. Most of the dinghies are made of rubber and are inflatable. These types of boats are also called inflatables, rowboats, and sailboats. They may have rowlocks that function as oars and cross thwarts that function as seats.

Outboard motors, oars, and sails can power dinghies. These boats usually team up with bigger sea vessels and function as companion boats to help their mother ship navigate narrow sea passages. They can also be used for fishing in inland waters and camping expeditions.

6. Lifeboats

Lifeboats are one of the most commonly known boats in the world. They are used in emergencies as a rescue vessel at sea or even on land when there is calamitous flooding. Typically attached to bigger sea vessels, lifeboats are used to convey passengers to safer locations when the mother vessel suffers an accident.

They are equipped with emergency supplies, such as food and water, as well as other essential tools that can calm the stressed passengers of a shipwreck.

7. Houseboats

Houseboats are actually structures that have all the elements of a home but are built or floating on water. As with homes on land, they also come in different sizes and styles. They are made for people who want the luxury of living on the water. Some houseboats offer great holiday accommodations and recreational facilities.

Houseboats are built with broad floorings to become stable and strong on the water. This design enables them to provide proper sleeping quarters, fine dining, and plenty of entertainment. Fun activities are also associated with houseboats or flatboats. These activities include water sports, relaxed cruising, and family or group sailing.

Houseboats are mostly stationary in one location. Although some may have motorized engines, they are not able to operate by just using their own power.

The Slide Anchor – Box Anchor for Offshore Boat Anchoring is a good anchor for any houseboat. It can set into any bottom condition:

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8. Game Boats

Game boats are typically made of fiberglass. They are relatively big and either powered by gasoline or diesel engines. As their name implies, they are mostly used in game fish pursuits, such as fishing of marlin, tuna, and other pelagic species of fish.

Fishing takes several days for the participants to enjoy the activity. So, to be considered a game boat, a vessel must have all the game fishing paraphernalia, cooking galleys, plumbing system, and sleeping berths.

9. Banana Boats

Banana boats are arguably the most fun boat type on this list. Chances are you have already ridden a banana boat in one of your tours in the Bahamas. These boats are exclusively used in beach resorts to bring excitement to city folks who want to experience the thrill of an unusual boat ride.

Banana boats are shaped – as you have guessed – like bananas. It is actually an inflatable water vessel that can easily float on water. There is no built-in motor in the boat. It is just being towed by a motorized boat to propel it forward.

Most banana boats can seat three to ten passengers. The legitimate banana boats are those boats that transport real bananas to the market.

10. Ski Boats and Wakeboard Boats

list of boat types

Sky boats and wakeboard boats are tenth on our list of 20 boat types. Although ski boats and wakeboard boats look similar to each other, they have different uses. Ski boats require a powerful range of acceleration. Their engine and propeller shape enhance this power range. A wakeboard boat is powered by a V drive engine system and a deeper hull that will make a big wake in motion.

11. Cabin Cruiser Boats

Cabin cruiser boats are designed to provide relaxed sailing. All the amenities you can find in a well-equipped home are found in these types of boats. They have galleys and berths, including air conditioners and heaters that can provide comfort while on the water.

Most cabin cruiser boats have a deep-V bottom hull, rudder steering, and secure shaft drive mechanism, which are very important when sailing at sea.

12. Cuddy Cabin Boats

These types of boats are flexible. They can be used for water sports, sailing, yachting, and fishing. They also have a closed deck above the bow of the boat.

Easy navigation and convenient, ample storage space are some of the attractive features of cuddy cabin boats. They are usually built of aluminum and fiberglass. Their usual lengths start at 4.75 meters (15.58 feet).

13. Trawler Boats

Trawler boats are especially suited for long-range sailing or cruising. They are equipped with all modern conveniences found in modern boats.

Trawlers also have fuel-efficient engines and displacement hulls, designed in such a way that the boat can sail without consuming so much fuel and dissipating its engine horsepower.

14. Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats are generally flat. They rely on tubes (pontoons) to keep them afloat. These tubes are made of aluminum. They support the flat platform of the boat, providing incredible stability.

The usual length of pontoons starts from 4.6 meters to 9.14 meters (15 feet to 30 feet). Pontoons are used in fishing, cruising, and other water activities.

15. Center Console Boats

These types of boats have no foredeck or cabin. The center of the boat is the helm station, which serves as the fishing platform. Most center console boats are used for sports fishing. They can function in challenging offshore waterways, where ocean fish are usually found.

These boats need to have outriggers, fish lockers, rod holders, gunwales, and bait wells, among many others, to function efficiently. The deck of these boats also offers powerful insulation systems that can preserve game fish in storage.

To protect a small to medium-sized motorboat or center console boat from outside elements while not in use, it should have a cover like the iCOVER Water Proof Heavy Duty Trailerable Boat Cover.

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This boat cover is made of 600 denier PU coated, marine-grade polyester, a waterproof, tear-resistant, UV-resistant material. 

16. Deck Boats

Deck boats are designed to have an open deck with adequate seating arrangements for a small crowd. You can use deck boats for water sports, swimming, and other water activities.

These boats are typically 7-10.6 meters (25-35 feet) long. They have V-shaped hulls and a wide beam that can hold more passengers than pontoon boats. An engine provides the propulsion power at the stern.

17. Runabout Boats

Runabout boats are relatively small and can only accommodate four to eight passengers. Most runabout boats are used in racing, water skiing, and fishing.

These boats are an entry-level watercraft for those who love boating activities and water sports. A steering wheel and forward controls installed behind the windscreen are used to maneuver the boat.

18. Bowrider Boats

Bowrider boats are considered as the classic family boat. They can accommodate eight people comfortably in their cockpits, helm, and bow cockpit. There are generous seating arrangements in the bow areas of these boats because of their special construction.

These boats also feature a swim platform. The platform can also be used for temporary wakeboard storage, aside from swimming activities. Their V-shaped hull provides a great ride in various water conditions. Sterndrives usually propel these boats in the water. But lately, more and more buyers are requesting for outboard engines.

19. Personal Watercraft Boats

Special personal watercraft boats are customized according to the buyer’s water sports activities. These boats are also called jet skis or water scooters. They are purely recreational watercraft designed for people who love water sports.

Personal watercraft boats are available in two boat types: the “sit down” model and the “stand up” model. The first model is designed to accommodate two or more passengers, while the second can only carry one rider.

20. Jet Boats

The last on our list of 20 boat types are jet boats. Jet boats are unique because they are powered, not by an engine, but by water jets that are ejected from behind them. They are built like bowriders in the sense that they offer plenty of seating plus a swimming platform.

These boats also offer high maneuverability. Its high-tech propulsion system is securely covered inside the boat’s hull to prevent external damage.

Conclusion – Types of Boats – the Full List                                      

So, to recap, the full list of the different types of boats are as follows:

  1. Motor Yacht Boats
  2. Catamaran Boats
  3. Fishing Boats
  4. Sedan Bridge Boats
  5. Dinghy Boats
  6. Lifeboats
  7. Houseboats
  8. Game Boats
  9. Banana Boats
  10. Ski Boats and Wakeboard Boats
  11. Cabin Cruiser Boats
  12. Cuddy Cabin Boats
  13. Trawler Boats
  14. Pontoon Boats
  15. Center Console Boats
  16. Deck Boats
  17. Runabout Boats
  18. Bowrider Boats
  19. Personal Watercraft (PWC) Boats
  20. Jet Boats