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Ijin Marine Limited

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A Guide to Different Types of Boats

A boat is a small vessel which has been specifically designed for navigating in near-shore areas or inland waterways. Though there is a thin line between a ship and a boat, there are quite a few differences which set both of them apart.

Apart from recreational purpose, boats have also served an integral purpose in the commercial world by allowing active transportation of both passengers and cargo, wherever short distances are concerned. In this article, we will take a look at the main types of boats that are used around the world.

Technically, there are several types of boats and it’s impossible to list down all the types. However, boats can be classified into three  main sections as follows:

  1. Unpowered or man-powered (like rafts, gondolas, kayaks, etc.),
  2. Sailboats (sail-propelled)
  3. and Motorboats (engine-powered)

A few chosen instances of these categories of boats may include the following:

1. Fishing Boats

As the name suggests, these type of boats are used for fishing activities. Fishing boats are used on both salty and fresh water bodies. The immediate qualities include stability, strength and durability to survive the fishing ventures across various kinds of waterways.

fishing boat

The all-purpose fishing boats generally include features such as a front bow, rod lockers, a trolling motor system, an outboard power and live wells. On the other hand, the aluminum fishing boats weigh less and are highly durable. Fishing boats can be both manned and un-manned types.

2. Bass Boats

The bass boats are designed with slim profiles, and consist of 2-3 anglers on board,and are used for fishing. The common specimens are built of aluminum with 25-150 horsepower, and the length varies between 16 and 18 feet.

bass boat

Similarly, the tournament bass boats utilize 150-250 horsepower and are more than 18 feet, lengthwise. Live wells, and electric trolling motors are compulsory features.

3. Bowrider Boats

The bow area of these type of boats has been constructed in special way to allow a spacious seating arrangement. Moreover, these runabout-style vessels contain a swim platform for putting on wake-boards, or for swimming activities.


The usage of stern drive power is the typical rule, but the demand for outboard engines is increasing at a high rate.

4. Catamaran Boats

The power or sailing style catamarans comprise of multiple hulls and are excellent for fishing purposes and even for leisurely cruising abilities.


A boat consisting of three hulls are also referred to as a trimaran boat.

5. Cuddy Cabins Boats

This type of boat is well-suited for fishing, yachting, sailing and other water sports. Also, the presence of a closed deck over the boat’s bow allows a convenient storage space and also easy navigation.

cuddy cabin

The cuddy cabin boats are usually built of fiber glass and aluminum, and the minimum length is around 4.75 meters.

6. Centre Console Boats

The Centre Consoles are ideal for sport fishing and work in harsh offshore waterways where there is plenty of ocean fish.

center console

The basic equipment consists of bait wells, gunwale rod holders, fish lockers and outriggers, to name a few. The deck provides a powerful insulation system for icing the fish storage.

7. Dinghy Boats

A dinghy is a small inflatable boat usually made of rubber and comprises of cross thwarts and rowlocks that act as seats and oars, respectively. Dinghies are popularly known as sailboats, rowboats or simply inflatables.


These boats team up with larger vessels and come in handy when the mother ship is unable to navigate in narrow areas. These rowboats can also be utilized as companion boats and are taken to camping expeditions or for fishing in shallow waters.

8. Houseboats

These boats offer the luxury of living on water and provide excellent recreational and holiday accommodation facilities.


House boats incorporate broad flooring and modern amenities such as entertainment, fine dining and proper sleeping arrangements. The boats offer fun activities like relaxed cruising, water sports, family sailing etc.

9. Trawler Boats

The main advantage of trawlers is that the presence of a displacement hull allows them to smoothly maneuver through the water bodies without exhausting much horsepower or consuming excessive fuel.


This quality makes the trawler a brilliant option for participating in long-range cruising activities, as all modern facilities can be found.

10. Cabin Cruiser Boats

These boats are apt for relaxed sailing and include a galley and a berth. All modern comforts like heaters, air conditioners, and power generators are enclosed in the arrangement.

cabin cruises

The Cabin Cruisers employ an easy shaft drive mechanism plus rudder steering, and therefore is mainly suited for movement in salty water.

11. Game boats

These fiberglass boats are generally large in measurement, powered by diesel or petrol engines, and are useful for the game fish pursuit, especially pelagic fishes like tuna and marlin.

game boats

Sleeping berths, plumbing system, cooking galleys, allow the boats to remain waterborne for a couple of days or more.

12. Motor yacht Boats

The motoryachts have a standard length of 12m and above, with one or two diesel engines as per navigation requirement in the bigger river systems or the oceans.

Motor Yacht

The motoryachts can vouchsafe for an enjoyable family trip, for a long period of time that it sails on water.

13. Personal Watercraft Boats

The PWC boats are customized for adventurous individuals who all are seeking thrilling expeditions.


The PWCs allow one to explore the waters at their own ease, not only during solo rides but also during family trips. Games such as waterskiing, sport fishing, tubing are comfortably carried out.

14. Runabout Boats

The movement of these open boats is controlled by a steering wheel and forward controls, as located behind a windscreen.

runabout boats

Cabin space is not required. Runabouts are usually declared entry-level vessels for casual sports and boating activities.

15. Jet Boats

The structure of a jet boat is quite similar to that of a bow-rider, as it offers a lot of seating area along with a swimming platform.

Jet Boats

The advanced propulsion system is securely enwrapped in the hull, to protect it from any external damage. The jet boats are really fast, yet easy to manage.

16. Wakeboard/ Ski Boats

The wakeboard boats and the ski boats look quite the same, but differ in their fields of action.

Wakeboard Boats

The inboard ski boats require a powerful range of acceleration and the shape of the engine and propeller accentuates it. Contrarily, the inboard wake boards need a V drive engine system, deep hulls, and a huge wake to set in motion.

17. Banana Boats

It is a boat that is solely utilized for recreational activities and simply for family entertainment.


As the name suggests, it is banana-shaped and inflatable and easily floats on water. It does not have an inbuilt motor system. A banana boat has a capacity to seat around three to ten people.

18. Life Boats

In emergency situations, lifeboats come to the rescue! These are mainly attached to bigger vessels like cruises and their main function is to carry passengers to a secure area, if the concerned vessel is met with an accident.

life boats

The lifeboats are well-equipped with immediate food and water supplies, and other necessities to pacify the frightened voyagers in case of a shipwreck.

More Types of Boats:

1. Hydrofoil boats

2. Cigarette boats

3. Cuddy Boats 

4. Tug Boats

5. High Speed Crafts

6. Bumper Boats

7. Pilot Boat

8. Fire Boat

9. Well boats

10. Kayak 

Apart from the above mentioned ones, several other types of boats exist in the market such as Bay or Flat Boats, All-Purpose fishing Boats, Deck Boats, High Performance Boats, Rafts, Surf boats, Narrow boats, Folding Boats, Log Boats, Go-fast Boats, Catboats, Junk Boats, Ferry Boats, Canoe Boats, U-boats, Dory boats etc.

References: boatsdepotdiscoverboatingmyboatinglife

Image Credits: discoverboating, gogetadventureseamagicsail-worldtrendszine,yachtchartersinmiami

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