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6 Types of Boats and their Uses

6 Types of Boats

For a prospective boat buyer, the sheer number of boat types out there can be staggering: Wikipedia currently has 161 entries on its boat types list that goes from airboat to zile.

Whether you’re buying a boat or just want to learn more, ATC is here to help you narrow down this vast selection by introducing you to 6 main types of boats and their uses.

Ready to dive in? Get to know some of the most popular categories of boats on the water below!

1. Dinghies

Dinghies are small, low-maintenance boats most commonly powered by oars, sails, or a small outboard engine. Measuring 7 to 12 feet in length, larger boats often pull or carry dinghies on board for emergency transport back to shore.

For those seeking a starter boat for freshwater fishing or enjoying some time out on the pond or lake, dinghies are great choices.

2. Deck Boats

Deck boats are your quintessential midsize party boat. They’re 25 to 35 feet long and feature an open deck with ample seating and a V-shaped hull for enhanced performance.

As outboard powered models, deck boats are generally used for water sports with family and friends.

3. Fishing Boats

You can cast a rod from a lot of boat types, but alas, just because you fish from it doesn’t make it a fishing boat! The fishing boat category encompasses a wide range of boats, each designed with a specific body of water or species of fish in mind.

Motor BoatFor example, bass boats are slim vessels positioned low to the water that feature high horsepower engines meant for cruising lakes and rivers. On the flip side, offshore fishing boats are taller models created to withstand saltwater environments and the harsher conditions that come with angling on the open seas.

4. Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats are steady boats that rely on buoyant aluminum tubes on each side of their main platform to stay afloat. Pontoons may be powered by oars or paddles or run on an outboard engine. They’re popular choices to be used as ferries to cross rivers or lakes.

5. Runabouts

Any powerboat that measures between 14 and 24 feet can be considered a runabout. Running on either an outboard or a stern-drive engine, runabouts are multiuse vessels that typically offer seating for a select few. Their smaller size makes them make great for fishing and watersports.

6. Sailboats

Sailboats are majestic models that rely on a mast and sails to navigate the water by the winds. The easy open-air feeling of a sailboat ride is hard to replicate, but getting to know how to rig the sail just right can definitely come with its own learning curve. Types of sailboats include keelboats, dinghies, and multihull.

Want to Learn More About Marine Engine Performance?

Many of these watersport-ready models run on outboard engines. If you’re a marine enthusiast or soon-to-be-boat owner interested in plunging deeper into the world of outboard engines, you might be interested in our free eBook Top 5 Ways to Ensure Outboard Engine Peak Performance. This informative guide is chock-full of tips and tricks from our marine services pros, from how to choose the right propeller to maximize engine power to crafting a solid routine maintenance plan to keep your boat running its best.
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