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Marine Guide

Types Of Boats

Last Updated September 10, 2020

Types Of Boats

Boats are used every day for various things, be it catching fish in personal or commercial fishing boats, enjoying recreational activities in rented ones, or merely spending a holiday on a luxury boat. You must be well aware that there are different types of boats.

Most people are familiar with simple fishing boats which they might have used in lakes and the lifeboats which of course, as the name suggests, are deployed for saving lives. These are generally kept in larger vessels and called for action when this vessel fails, and the passengers have to be transported to a secure location. They have food and water supply that can come handy in case of a shipwreck or a similar situation.

As mentioned earlier, there are different types of boats. The differences lie in the construction material, the mode of propulsion, and on use cases. The most widely used materials for construction are fiberglass and aluminum. Pressed aluminum is common in entry-level trailer vessel boats.

Commercial fishing boats and ferries also use aluminum as their building material. Most cruisers and yachts are manufactured from fiberglass. Fiberglass boats are heavier than aluminum boats and are comparatively less durable too. The construction of a vessel relies solely on what a person intends to do with it.

Boats also differ in how they are powered. Motorboats are engine-powered while sailboats are propelled partly or entirely by sails. Rowing boats require skillful handling of oars and one or more pair of strong hands.

The following list of boats has been grouped into 3 main categories: (i) boats for commercial fishing, (ii) boats for sports and recreation, and (iii) luxury boats. They come in different sizes and construction.

Boats for Fishing

There are different types of fishing boats and here are some of the most famous ones listed.

1. Fishing Boats

Fishing Boats

Photo © Joseph Mischyshyn (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The name is pretty self-explanatory. They are robust, stable, and durable. Fishermen use these boats for fishing on both saltwater and freshwater. Being constructed of aluminum, they are quite light-weight too. They have their sub-categories. Some of the higher-end models are feature-packed with front bows, trolling motors, and outboard power. These are quite popular as river fishing boats.

2. Catamaran Boats

Catamaran Boats

Catamaran Boats

These are an excellent choice for fishing but are not limited to that only. They can also be taken for a cruise because of the way they are made and the features they provide. Unlike the more common single-hull boats, these are multi-hulled boats. Catamarans have twin-hulls of the same size and shapes. They are mostly used for offshore fishing. The two hulls ensure more in bad weather. Catamarans also have interior seating and resting area making them comfortable and luxurious. Because of their lightweight and hydrodynamic, Catamarans are more fuel-efficient than monohulls.

The ones having three hulls are called trimaran. Both power and sail versions are available in the market.

3. Center Console Boats

Console Boats

Console Boats: https://www.dcms.uscg.mil

Console boats have usually an open deck space or seating at the front (open hull) and the controls like steering and ignition are on a console at the center  These are specially built to withstand offshore waters. Console boats are great for fishing in the oceans. Even the boat cover is constructed in such a way that it does not interfere with the fisherman’s casting. It is spacious and has the provision for storing fish in iced conditions. These boats are designed to provide safety and comfort even in choppy conditions. It also has ample space for keeping gunwale rod holders, outriggers, and bait wells. All center console boats have outboard power. The console boats can range from 18 to 65-ft and have a speed of 30-knots or more.

4. Dinghy Boats

Dinghy Boats

Dinghy Boats

Dhingies are small boats made of rubber and are inflatable. Inflatable dinghies come in three categories: With rigid bottoms, With air floors, and a hybrid between the two – ­ dinghy with jointed or slatted bottoms. These are carried in bigger vessels and are used in shallow places which the bigger vessel cannot access.

They are often called inflatables or rowboats and come with a pair of oars and a small outboard engine. Dinghies are capable of maneuvering in shallow waters and are thereby used for fishing in such places. They are frequently taken on camping expeditions.

Inflatable with rigid bottoms called RIBS (Rigid Inflatable Bottoms) are preferred because of their light-weight and stability. These can also be deflated and stored easily. Because of their soft-sides, they don’t damage the motherships.

5. Game Boats

Game Boats

Game Boats: Courtesy http://www.gandlb.com.au

This boat is typically used for catching fish in the open sea like the tuna and marlin. They are designed with two hulls make it easy for the fishermen to catch large fish. These maritime boats use diesel and petrol engines to run and can remain in the water for quite some time and when it needs to do so the sleeping berths, and cooking galleys come handy. Catamaran cruises are also quite popular.

6. Bass Boats

Bass Boats

Bass Boats https://www.flickr.com/photos/alcustom/8008973333/

These are specially made for catching a North American gamefish that is colloquially known as black bass. The outboard motor enables them to move quickly from one place to another whereas the trolling motor allows them to move slowly where the fisherman is fishing. In case of the failure of these motors these boats are so small that they can be propelled by oars if necessary. Either aluminum or fiberglass is used as the construction material. The aluminum ones are lighter, smaller, and less expensive than their fiberglass counterparts. On the other hand, the ones constructed out of fiberglass have more space and better handling.

7. Well boats

These are a special kind of boat focussed on fishing. All the boats mentioned in this list that are used for fishing preserve the fish after catching to be used later. However, these are different. They can breed the fishes until they can be shipped to their respective centers for processing. Thus the fishes remain alive till their ultimate stage of processing. This type of methodology and consequently these types of boats are gaining much popularity today.

Boats for Sports and Recreation

These recreational boats are meant for those who like watersports or just cruising.

1. Bowrider Boats

Bowrider Boats

Bowrider Boats

This type of boat has an open bow area with spacious seating.  Though more and more people are shifting towards outboard engines, the majority of the existing bowriders are still using the sterndrive power. They are used mainly for water sports. They have a swim platform at the stern. Here people can put on their skis or keep their wakeboarding equipment. Wakeboarding is a kind of water sport where the person riding on a short wide board similar to a surfboard is towed by the motor-powered boat.

2. Cuddy Cabin Boats

Cuddy Cabin Boats

Cuddy Cabin Boats: https://www.flickr.com/photos/greggjerdingen/15118347148

These are perfect for fishing and cruising activities with one’s family. These are nimble, giving sufficient control to the person maneuvering the boat. Apart from its ease of use these boats also feature a closed deck with sufficient storage area or a nice place to rest. They also come with a toilet and a sink and sometimes even a cooking area. However, their plumbing capabilities are quite limited. These usually have aluminum or a fiberglass build, and the smallest cuddy cabin boats are approximately 4.75m.

3. Trawler Boats

Trawler Boats

Trawler Boats Courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/greggjerdingen/15118347148

These big boats feature a displacement hull making it an efficient vessel that is easily maneuverable through the waters. It’s easy to sail, and their low fuel consumption makes them an excellent option for long-range cruising activities. They have all kinds of essential amenities necessary for a weekend trip complete with a cooking area, a place to sleep, and good plumbing.

4. Jetboat

Jet boats

Jet boats

Unlike most of the boats in this list, these boats don’t use motors and propellers to move them forward. Instead, they come equipped with pump-jets that draw water from underneath before pumping it out through a nozzle at the stern. They are highly maneuverable and can stop very quickly. This is called a ‘crash stop’. These solved the problem where propellers would strike the rocks in shallow waters and thus damage the boats’ components. These are becoming increasingly popular in all places where a boat is required, be it rescue operations, ferrying, sports, or as fishing ​jet boats.

5. PWC (Personal Water Craft) Boats

PWC (Personal Water Craft) Boats

PWC (Personal Water Craft) Boats

These are one of the most common boats when it comes to water sports.  They are safe and comfortable and are packed with t

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