Beginners Guide

Different Types of Boats

There are different types of boats for every navigator and a beginner should know them. This would help decide which boat to pick based on its intended use and the operator’s idea of having fun in the water.

But first off, one should also be familiar with the two common types of materials used in making boats: aluminum and fiberglass.

Aluminum vs Fiberglass

While there are other types of materials boats are made of, aluminum and fiberglass happen to be the most commonly used types for recreational boating. The most obvious difference between the two is the price tag — aluminum being significantly less expensive than fiberglass types. The latter requires expensive molding, pricey materials and many hours to build compared to the former.


There are two methods of construction for an aluminum type of boat — the pressed aluminum and plate aluminum construction. Pressed aluminum is ideal for smaller boats intended to be used in calmer journeys like in rivers and lakes. Plate aluminum construction, on the other hand, is used for larger boats ideal for coastal and offshore purposes, commercial fishing and ferries.


The fiberglass-made boat is the best option to pick for a yacht or a cruiser. Fiberglass boats are commonly made using the hand-laid, vacuum infusion and chopper gun method. This type of boat is generally heavier compared to aluminum and thus requires more care when being operated. They chip or crack when it hits a rock while aluminum boats will have dents.

These two types of boats are great but it all boils down to your preference and what you intend to do with the vessel.

Different Types of Boats

Bass boats

These boats are made for fishing. Its sleek and low profile makes it ideal for fishing. They can be made from fiberglass or aluminum, but tournament-style boats are more commonly made from the former.

Cuddy Cabins

These boats are ideal for family adventure like fishing, watersports, and cruising. They are nimble and are easy to maneuver. The boat’s cavernous storage can serve as a sleeping area. Low-profile cuddy cabins have become more popular nowadays because of their sleek look.


It has been said that trawlers are made for sailors who wouldn’t want to handle halyards and sails. The displacement hulls are designed for efficient and ease of movement through the water without using too much fuel and horsepower. It’s a great type of boat for long-range cruising, as well as a family boat for cruising.


This boat is aptly named because it allows passengers to have a walkaround access on the vessel. They are popular types among anglers as they have rod holders, livewells and steps toward the forward deck. These boats are also powered by outboard engines.

Cabin Cruiser

If you want to experience comfort during your sea voyage, a cabin cruiser could be the type of boat you’re looking for. This recreational cruising boat has a head, galley and at least one berth (or fixed bed). Other amenities you can enjoy are air conditioning, water heaters and power generators.


They are runabout-style vessels that offer spacious seating in the bow area. The stern can be a great place to put swim platforms and wakeboards for your water adventure.

Center consoles

They are open fishing boats designed for rough waters. They are a single-decked open hull where the controls are found on the center. The design can handle large ocean waves with ease while out fishing in offshore waters.


Also called cats, these boats have two parallel hulls rather than a single one and is designed for hardcore fishing and leisure cruising.


Dinghies are small boats that are paired with larger boats. They can be used when the mother ship is too large to navigate narrow areas or too difficult to maneuver. Dinghies are also great for camping and fishing in smaller bodies of water. Outboard engines and oars are the main propulsion for this type of boats.


If you want to spend a relaxing time on the water, the houseboat is the best type of boat to go for. It’s designed to have spacious floor plans plus modern amenities for your comfort.


As the name suggests, this vessel is designed for catching gamefish like tuna and marlin. This family-friendly boat usually has berths and a galley and can be used to stay in the water for several days. It’s easy to find, hook and fight big fish using this boat.

Motor yachts

The standard length of a motor yacht is 12 meters and above. It is a great choice of boat for a leisure family trip since it can sail on the water for long periods of time.

Personal watercraft (PWCs)

Thrill seekers find this boat a comfortable and safe vessel to explore the waters. PWCs allow one to venture the sea at their own pace, as well as, enjoy games like sports fishing and waterskiing. On top of that, PWCs are easy to maintain, transport and store.


Runabouts are open boats that have forward controls behind a windscreen. Generally, they are entry-level boats best used for family boating, towsports and fishing.


What makes sailboats stand out is the fact that they are partly propelled by the wind. The wind blows on the sails and makes the boat move. Sailboats can be distinguished by thei size, keel type, number of sails, hull configuration and the overall purpose.


These come in two categories: roll-up and rigid inflatable boats. These boats are great for saltwater and freshwater activities like watersports, fishing and more. Its engine type differs based on the boat’s size and type but they can range from 2hp outboard to 250hp.

Ski and wakeboard boats

These two may look the same but what sets them apart is their field of action. The inboard ski boats need a great range of acceleration. On the other hand, the wakeboards require a V-drive engine system, deep hulls and a huge wake to propel it.

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