Boat Classification: How to Determine which Boat you Need

Boat Classification: How to Determine which Boat you Need

Recreational boating is one of the favourite pastimes for many; whether you want to go on a solo adventure, a fun fishing trip with your family, or a leisurely luxury cruise with your business partners, you need to have the right watercraft for the ride. A gleaming vessel of your own is sure to be your greatest possession!

Before you make a purchase, you need to have a good idea about what you want from your boat. Only when you have a clear conception that the boat you select will serve its purpose, you can make an informed decision.

Let’s try to classify boats as per the activities they are suited for.

For Adventure:

 The first one that comes to mind is the personal watercraft (PWC); equipped with planing hulls, these are designed for those who love the idea of some thrill on the waters, be it tubing or waterskiing. Ideal for solo travellers, the PWC is also available in designs that can accommodate up to 3 individuals.

Bowriders are good if you want to go on a swimming adventure. With a platform at the stern, it is easy to get in the water or put on your skis. Or, you can just enjoy the breeze in the spacious bow area as well.

Another great choice for skiers and wakeboarders is a sturdy boat with a powerful engine to tow one or more individuals. But while they look similar, ski and wakeboard boats have different placement of the engine, propeller, and hull. This is to ensure that skiers have a slight wake while wakeboarders have giant wake to perform their best.

With a sporty chic look, the deck boat can also be a viable option for adventurers. Be it stern drive or single side console with an outboard engine, the ample space and stable platform make it a good choice for your waterskiing, wakeboarding, or tubing activities.


For Cruise:

When just a leisurely and comfortable cruise is what you want, a cabin cruiser is all you need. With sleeping and cooking areas and a bathroom, this is a good vessel for a nice journey, especially in choppy waters.

Whether you want to take your family island hopping around Sydney Harbour for a few days or entertain clients on a weeklong trip in ultimate luxury, the yacht is your ideal choice. Fitted with sleeping arrangements, air conditioning, and plumbing, the single or double-engine motor yachts are suitable for overnight cruises.

Trawlers are good for long cruises, as their displacement hull uses less horsepower and cuts down on fuel consumption. With ample space for a comfortable journey, this is the right watercraft for a great holiday.

For Fishing:

Low and sleek construction, outboard engines, livewells to keep the catch alive, electric motor on bow, and a V-shaped hull – every feature of bass boats is just right for the anglers out on the waters. But if you want to fish in shallow freshwater areas, a lightweight aluminium boat may be a better choice.

To fish in rough waters, it is best to opt for a centre console boat. As the name suggests, the control centre of the vessel is in the middle of it. With a single deck and ample space for fishing gear, you can go on an adventure in pursuit of sportfish on ocean waters on it.

When you are an ardent enthusiast of fishing and plan to go on extended expeditions in search of big ones, you need a gameboat. Constructed from fibreglass and fitted with powerful engines, these are made to find, hook, and catch big fish such as tuna, marlin, and so on. You can live in comfort onboard as well.

For Sailing:

The point of distinction between sailboats and powered boats is that the former uses wind as its driving force partially or completely, unlike the latter. Often equipped with an engine, the primary source of propulsion of these vessels is a natural force – the wind.

A sailboat can vary widely in style and have distinct characteristics. It may be a small dinghy powered solely by wind or a large motorsailer partially run by an inboard engine. The classification of these watercrafts depend on a number of factors that include size, configuration of hull, type of keel, number of sails, use, as well as purpose.


For All-round Enjoyment: If you want an all-purpose watercraft that you can use for fishing, cruising, enjoying water sports, or just boating, the cuddy cabin is what you are looking for. Simple to manoeuvre, these have a closed deck that has ample space for sleeping, cooking, and a toilet, making it good for a family outing.

Pontoon boats don’t look much; but they can be great for a leisure cruise, and the sturdier ones can also give you the thrill of waterskiing. Floating on large tube-like pontoons, these watercrafts are well-loved for their stability and comfort.

When you want to take your family on a relaxed fishing adventure, the right vessel for you is the walkaround. With a full-length deck, steps to the front deck, and rod holders and livewells, it is the ultimate match for your excursion. The cabin, fitted with sleeping berths, cooking area, and a toilet, offers cosy accommodation while you are out on the waters.


It is easy to be confused about which boat to buy; you must know what you want from it.

If you plan to use it on your own, you can make the decision alone. But if you want to take your family out on a boating trip, it is best to consult them before you determine which vessel to buy. Involving them in the decision is sure to add to their enthusiasm about the boating expeditions you plan in the future.

Don’t buy the first boat you see. Take note of its features, capacity, make, warranties, and price. Even if it fits your tastes and preferences, it is best to look at a few options before you make any decision. This will ensure that you are satisfied with your choice.