The Best Small Cruiser Boats in Australia

There’s so much to love about small cruiser boats, and Australia’s got to be one of the best places to have a cruiser boat of your own. These versatile, comfortable, and extremely easy-to-operate boats are designed for people to be able to head onto the open waters to enjoy a day or weekend of cruising.

In this article, Driva is going to show you the best small cruiser boats in Australia! Trust us, every cruise on board one of these baby’s is a pleasant experience you’ll never forget.

What are you waiting for? Whether you want to take your small family out past the beach breaks or are dying to get towed by your mates on some water toys, there are cruisers for everyone in this list.

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    Before we show you the goods, what are cabin cruiser boats?

    Just like any other boat, cabin cruisers have a bow, stern, helm, motor/engine, hull, and all other parts most boaters are aware of. Cabin cruisers are simply boats that have other facilities - such as cooking areas, bathroom/shower access and sleeping cabins for people to reside in while out on the water.

    Some cruisers use outboard motors, while the larger types will use inboard motors.

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    4 tips to keep in mind when looking for cabin cruisers

    1. Does it have livable cabins? 

    When looking at cabin cruisers, you want to consider the living conditions your options have. You want to know you’re able to enjoy a comfortable bed - one where your head isn’t going to bump against the roof in rough waters - a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom facilities, and anything else you might need to enjoy staying on a boat.

    2. Is it easy to drive and operate?

    Before buying a cabin cruiser, you need to know how to drive a boat to begin with, and not be in the process of learning. You want to ensure you know what you’re doing before buying something as serious as a cabin cruiser. However, the second aspect is understanding your options and figuring out if they’d be easy to operate on the water. Some boats may be difficult to berth, while other models will have a comfortable cockpit that’s easier to navigate. Choose a boat that’s price is inline with your budget and skill level.

    3. How far can it cruise?

    When it comes to how far you can travel with a cruiser boat, you’ve got to factor in the size of the fuel tank. On average, a small cruiser boat goes about 1000 to 2000 miles uninterrupted before they are in need of some refuelling. Diesel is expensive - so choose models wisely.

    4. How much are new boats, and how much is a used boat?

    Cost is a tricky aspect of small cruiser boats. When it comes to buying them new, you’re looking at anything between $100,000 and $500,000. The second-hand market is a whole different ball game, and it’s confusing, to say the least. You’ll find the offers at just about any price. The question is, what condition is the boat in, and is it worth the price?

    Here are some of the best cabin cruisers on the market

    The Grand Banks Eastbay 44


    • Great design and is perfect for long voyages.
    • The cruising performance in rough waters is impeccable. 
    • Spacious cockpit and comfortable both inside and out.


    • Close to being considered a large boat - will need a larger trailer for towing.

    The Grand Banks Eastbay 44 is one of the most stunning boats out there. This boat has been designed with the utmost care and attention to detail - from its galley all the way to its bow - this boat is glorious.

    The cockpit is teak-clad featuring electric windows, a full-sized bed, a great deal of wardrobe space, and the capacity for six people overnight. This is all thanks to the wide beam length providing ample space in the main cabin.

    The performance is amazing thanks to Grand Banks's traditional hull, a deep-V providing a smooth ride on the ocean with great manoeuvrability. The fuel capacity is also decent, considering this boat can be used for longer distances so it won’t cost you an arm and a leg in diesel to go out to sea. Overall, it’s stylish, safe, comfortable, and a ton of fun to be on.

    Azimut Magellano 43


    • The interior is modern yet classy. 
    • Lots of indoor and outdoor space for socialising.
    • Great handling in rough waters. 


    • It’s not the most affordable option. 

    The Azimut Magellano 43 is yet another stunning boat that’s been designed with a great mix of a luxurious modern design and solid performance. At three decks, this is a boat with ample space to socialise and, if necessary, get some space between one another. There are three cabins, a fully equipped galley, ample entertainment spaces, room to roam, and more. 

    In terms of performance, this boat doesn’t hold back. It’s been designed so that users can enjoy the open waters, even if it’s a bit choppy and rough out there! You’ll be enjoying yourself in the safety of your trawler-inspired vessel, which is equipped with a dual-mode hull. 

    Overall, this is one heck of a boat and it’s a great way to treat yourself and your family to a relaxing time on the water in a powerboat fit for royalty.

    Jeanneau NC1095 Fly


    • Accommodation for 8!
    • The salon and aft seating will provide great opportunities for entertaining and storage. 
    • The starboard side deck is recessed to make it easier to berth.


    • Not as fuel efficient as other models.

    This is one beautiful boat. The design is something practical and modern. The Jeanneau NC1095 has many amazing features included to ensure you’re getting the best for the money spent. The aft section has a ton of space, with the sofa seat being movable when you’re tilting the outboard engines, and the salon has a lot of storage options. Your passengers won’t be tripping over their own things.

    The outdoor space is in the back and on the top where the controls are, meaning there’s space for everyone to comfortably enjoy the trip out to sea.

    The two Yamaha outboard engines, while quiet, are extremely powerful with intuitive and responsive navigation, docking, and turning. Overall, this is one amazing boat that’s worth the money.

    Tiara 43 LE


    • Brilliant motor and drive performance.
    • Powered by a triple outboard engine system and integrated electronics. 
    • The aft deck length is expandable with a rotating lounge.


    • Not as many sleeping accommodation opportunities as other models.

    When it comes to a class act, nothing beats the Tiara 43 LE. It’s a stunning boat that’s not huge but far from tiny, either. The Tiara 43 LE has a focus on yachting and sport-style amenities, and it shows in all the best possible ways. You’re getting a well-thought-out blend of intense performance and functionality with ample space to entertain your guests.

    This vessel has a mechanised frame which means you can expand the patio’s surface when you’re anchored in place, which is something amazing for a cruiser boat.

    The aft deck is probably where this vessel truly comes alive. You’ve got a rotating lounge that’s got numerous locking positions. Then there are the built-in footrests and a table. That’s not all, though, because why would it be?

    The Tiara 43 LE also has an electric grill which is behind the seat. So, you’ve got a great way to cook up some food for your hungry guests. Overall, this is one of the most amazing small cruiser boats in Australia and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s adaptable, spacious, well-designed, and ready to serve all your hosting needs in a beautiful setting of your choice. What more could you ask for?

    Let’s get you out on the ocean with a cruiser boat of your own!

    It’s time to take this dream of owning your own boat and make it a reality. Life is short, and nothing shows off the beautiful Aussie coastline more than a cruise on your very own boat.  

    Whether you want to get some fishing gear for a fishing trip or are looking for a family cruiser to enjoy the weekends together, a small cruiser is where it’s at! With Driva, we can get you connected with the best lenders in the country to get you personalised boat finance rates! So, what are you waiting for? Apply today!


    Are cabin cruisers good fishing boats?

    Yes, they are good fishing boats, and they’re also great for overnight fishing trips as they’re equipped with sleeping quarters, a kitchen, and more. So you can sleep on a comfortable bed, cook in a decent kitchen, store fish in the fridge, and relax all on a cabin cruiser.

    What is a pocket cruiser boat?

    Pocket cruiser boats are sailboats that are specifically designed for club racing and cruising. They’re under 9m in length.

    What is the best small boat for rough seas?

    When out at sea, you want a boat you can rely on when the waters get somewhat trickier. So, for the rough waters, you should be considering a boat such as The Grand Banks Eastbay 44. It’s not only a spacious boat both inside and out, but it’s also great for handling rough waters. This particular boat has a lot to offer both the owners of the boat and all the passengers they bring along for the ride. Other options include Azimut Magellano 43 and, to some extent, the Jeanneau NC1095 Fly. 

    Can you drive a small boat without a licence?

    No. In Australia, you’re required by law to own a boat operator’s licence. This is a licence for any vessel fitted with an engine used for recreational purposes. It doesn’t matter how big or small the boat, or its engine is; it still applies. However, suppose you have a commercial qualification that’s up to date, such as a master's certificate or a coxswain. In that case, you’re able to operate a recreational vessel.

    Declan Flaherty

    As the Digital Marketing Manager at Driva you can find Declan during the day transfixed by a flurry of spreadsheets, mar-tech, Slack emojis and graphs all pointing in the right direction and keeping up to date with the latest car finance trends.

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