Top 6 Boat Types and Their Uses

Australians love the outdoors, and what better way to enjoy the country's many iconic waterways than by taking to them on a boat? When you first set out into the world of personal watercraft, there appears to be an overwhelming variety of vessels. 

From small and sporty to large and luxurious, each boat type has its unique advantages and intended uses. So, whether you're interested in fishing, sailing, wakeboarding, or just cruising around, we will discuss a boat that's just right for you. So, let's get started!

Fishing boats

Fishing boats come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from small dinghies to center console boats to large offshore fishing vessels. Most of these boats are designed with anglers in mind, featuring rod holders, fish finders, and bait storage compartments. Let's break down some of the most popular fishing boats:

  • Dinghies - These small, lightweight boats feature a shallow draft, meaning they can easily navigate through shallow riverways and creeks. Powered either by oars or outboard motors, dinghies are the ideal vessel for anglers wanting to explore smaller waterways.
  • Centre Console Boats - These boats are versatile, offering a great balance between fishing and recreational activities. Usually ranging in size from 6-10 metres, they feature ample storage and seating, as well as easy access to the bow for fishing.
  • Offshore Fishing Boats - If you're heading out on the open ocean, a larger offshore fishing boat is your best bet. These vessels feature robust hulls and higher freeboards to help protect against choppy waters and inclement weather. They typically come equipped with powerful outboard motors, multiple livewells, and plenty of rod holders. The thing that separates them from other fishing boats is their spacious cabins, which provide a comfortable place to rest and eat during long trips.

Deck boats

If you’re looking for a boat that can accommodate large groups of friends or family yet still maneuver quickly, a deck boat might just be the perfect option. Their name is derived from the large, level deck that runs throughout the boat’s length, allowing you to take full advantage of the space onboard. Featuring a deep V-hull, these boats can cut through the water at high speeds and handle rougher conditions. Deck boats are great for fishing, watersports such as wakeboarding, and cruising around and enjoying time on the water with family and friends.

Motor yacht

Do you dream of finding your ultimate escape on the open water? Motor yachts are your ticket to achieving this fantasy. Coming in at 10 to 25 metres in length, motor yachts (also referred to as a cabin cruisers) provide a great sense of freedom and independence due to their size and maneuverability. 

Whether catering for small groups on day trips or larger parties on longer voyages, with a motor yacht, you will have many options available when it comes to enjoying time away from the daily grind. With different styles of vessels, layouts, and amenities offered for your getaway, motor yachting can be tailored to give you the perfect escape experience.

However, all of this comes at a cost, with motor yachts typically being among the most expensive boats on the market. While some vessels will only set you back a few thousand dollars, most motor yachts will start at around $100, 000 and go up.

So, make sure you do your research and determine the best type of boat for your budget and lifestyle before considering a motor yacht.

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    Inboard ski boats

    Inboard ski boats, also known as wakeboard boats, provide an adrenaline-filled aquatic experience for skiers and wakeboarders alike. These boats are equipped with powerful inboard engines, allowing them to tow a skier or wakeboarder with ease. Their deep V-hulls and wide beams provide a solid platform for cutting through the water at speed, producing a thrilling ride. Whilst water skiers will prefer a smooth ride, wakeboarders need wake to boost them up into the air and perform their tricks. This can be achieved by setting up the boat with a wakeboard tower and ballast.

    Inboard ski boats will also feature plenty of seating and storage, giving you the option to take passengers out for a ride or just chill after your trick session is done.

    Pontoon boats

    Pontoon boats offer a great day out on the water for families and friends alike. The pontoon boat has a truly remarkable hull, with its airtight yet buoyant pontoons that distinguish it from other boats out on the water! It's like having a mini catamaran boat right at your disposal, allowing you to enjoy stability and an extra high ride due to the buoyancy.

    In the past, pontoon boats were regarded as underpowered and slow, but this is no longer the case. With better outboard engines and updated hull designs, newer pontoon boats have plenty of power, making them ideal for fishing and cruising. Because its shape and design limit it to recreational use, a pontoon boat is not typically equipped for watersports such as skiing.

    Inflatable boats

    Inflatable boats are becoming increasingly popular as personal watercraft, so it’s no surprise that more and more people are looking for ways to purchase or rent them. Inflatables are often referred to as rubber dinghies and are perfect for fishing or recreational fun.

    Their lightweight design makes them easy to transport and store, with some models even coming with their own carrying bag and air pump. Inflatable boats come in a range of sizes, with some holding up to five people comfortably.

    Inflatable boats offer many benefits, such as being economical compared to regular-sized vessels, as well as the ability to navigate shallow waters where other ships may have difficulty. If you want to get out on the water in a safe and fun way, an inflatable boat may be the best option for you.

    How to choose the right boat for you

    When it comes to choosing the right boat for your needs, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, think about the activities you plan on taking part in and what type of boat will best suit them. The size of the vessel is also an important factor, as larger boats can accommodate more people, as well as provide better stability and safety in rough waters.

    Then there’s the cost of ownership and upkeep, which will vary significantly depending on the type of boat you choose. Finally, consider your experience level; if you’re a beginner it’s best to start with a smaller, simpler vessel before moving on to the bigger ones.

    What are the pros and cons of boat ownership?

    Owning a boat can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but there are also some drawbacks. One of the main disadvantages is the cost associated with owning a boat. From the initial purchase price to maintenance and fuel expenses, owning a boat can be expensive. Additionally, boats require regular upkeep and maintenance, which can be time-consuming and costly.

    On the other hand, owning a boat opens up a whole new world of opportunities and adventures, from fishing trips and exploring secluded coves to simply enjoying a day out on the water with friends. There really is nothing quite like the feeling of sitting out on a boat, breathing in the fresh air, and enjoying the open water.

    Final thoughts

    No matter what type of boat you decide to go with, it’s important to make sure that the vessel suits your needs and budget. Knowing what to look for when choosing a boat will help you make the right decision and ensure years of enjoyment out on the water. Don’t forget that safety should be your number one priority when boating, so make sure to follow all regulations and wear a life jacket when out on the water.

    And when it comes to getting the right boat finance, it's important to stay safe too! At Driva, we don't simply finance cars; we also provide tailored boat finance solutions that are right for you. With over 30 lenders, we’ll find the perfect boat loan for you and make sure you get the best possible deal. We take the hard work out of getting an online boat loan. From start to finish, we're committed to 100% transparency. This means you can get the boat of your dreams with no hidden surprises. So, what are you waiting for? Let Driva take the stress out of boat financing so you can enjoy your time on the water sooner.

    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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