Do you know how to find the perfect boat? Choosing the vessel that is perfect for you and your family can be challenging when you are unaware of the options out there. It also goes beyond the style of the boat—there is cost, functionality, and durability to consider. While buying a boat is an exciting time, you should also focus on choosing the one that matches your desires and your budget.

Here is everything you need on how to choose the right boat for you and your family. Let’s begin!

Different Boats For Different Folks

There are many kinds of boats out there—not just sailboats and yachts. Some people want a simple boat for fishing in a lake, while others want a boat to become their second home. The following choices are the most popular for families looking to travel by sea:

Center Console

Aptly named, the center console boat has a console located directly in the middle. This allows you to walk around the entire wheel. There is no foredeck or cabin, so these boats are less ideal for entertaining friends and family. But that also makes them perfect for fishing.


V-shaped boats that are known for their open bows. Bowriders have a seating space in the back of the boat and some to the front, allowing them to hold between 6-10 passengers, depending on the size of the vessel. Bowriders are excellent for entertaining, though the front end of the deck is a bit smaller. Since they ride smoothly through the ocean, you can also use bowriders for watersports.


As a type of powerboat, cruisers usually have some accommodations for those onboard. If you purchase a cabin cruiser, for example, there will be a small kitchen and dining area, as well as a place to sleep. Since cruisers are a smaller version of a yacht, there is no need for a crew. You and your family or friends will have everything they need. Cruisers are large enough to take on rough water easily, and they are stable.


Learning to sail a boat can be a life-changing experience. It is also an environmentally-friendly way to travel the world. There are many forms of sailboats, including performance or racing sailboats, cruisers, and daysailers. Some are small enough for one person to handle while others feature six cabins for a full crew.

Pontoon Boats

One of the more famous boats for inland use, pontoon boats are excellent for entertaining. They have a wide, rectangular floor and shape, providing a huge area for walking around and lounging. Larger models usually have a bar and lounge seats.

Performance Boats

Do you have a need for speed? A performance boat is calling your name. Take a look at dozens of makes, models, and sizes. Some models come with outboard engines. Others have an inboard engine and center console. Many new models also have some form of below-deck accommodation. The unifying feature is that performance boats are designed for maximum speed.


The classic boat for seafaring luxury. A standard yacht is about 36 feet in length and has two or more diesel-powered engines. You can use your yacht as a summer home and jump from one location to the next. However, there are many kinds of yachts out there to serve any kind of budget. Consider the features you want and where you want to travel, as a cruiser or deck boat may be the better choice.

Freshwater Fishing Boats

Whether you have a hankering for catching bass or want to float on a lake for a little while, a freshwater fishing boat is perfect. There are many sub-categories, including multi-species boats with wider bases and side-consoles, as well as bass boats and aluminum fishing boats. Consider the type of fish you want to catch the most, as there may be specialized designs.

Aluminum Jon boats are great for anyone who wants a budget-friendly but reliable fishing boat for all kinds of species.

How to Pick The Right Boat

Figuring out which kind of boat you want for you and your family largely depends on your intent. There are boats that may serve only one purpose, such as fishing or racing, while others are meant to serve a wide range of activities.

Here are some things you may want to do on your vessel:

  • Day cruises
  • Overnight or weekend trips
  • Watersports
  • Long passages or international trips
  • Saltwater and freshwater fishing
  • Sailing

Now that you have daydreamed a little about all you will do in your boat, you may have an answer as to which one is best. For day trips, you probably won’t need a cabin, but you will definitely need one when doing overnight or long passages.


Another thing to keep in mind when shopping for a boat is the size. Not only does size effect the cost of maintenance, storage, winterization, and so on, it also increases the boat’s capacity for passengers and capabilities for voyaging.

Size also helps with stability. For example, an offshore fishing boat may need to be longer than 30 feet to handle the rough waves. If you want an inland boat for entertaining your friends and family, a 20 foot long boat may be enough.


Owning a boat is going to cost money, even after the purchase. Storage and maintenance fees can be high, depending on the size of the boat. Make sure that you factor the cost of the boat into the price tag, so you have some idea about how much you will need. Don’t forget winterization, insurance, fuel, and repairs.

Let Us Help You Find Your Dream Boat

Selecting the right boat, be it new or used, is something you shouldn’t regret. A boat opens up a world of adventure, and so you should approach it like you would a new home. Make sure your needs are met while balancing those necessities with a budget-friendly price and size.

The team of Yacht Brokers of Annapolis can help you find the boat of your dreams. We are just as passionate about boating as you are! Give us a call or message us today to schedule a consultation or ask a question.