Do you love the water? Have you every wished that you could take long trips, cruising from point to point along the coast, while taking all the amenities of home with you? Well if you have then a houseboat is the perfect boat for you.  Houseboats are a great way to bring family and friends together.  They are designed to take living to the water, and offer spacious floor plans and all the modern amenities needed for living and entertaining.  Houseboats are made for relaxing cruises, weekend getaways, and family fun.  Houseboats are best suited for rivers, lakes and coastal waterways.  The are not meant to be takes far out to sea.  Houseboats are built in a wide selection of sizes and styles and can be customized to fit their owners personal needs, style and taste.




Where to Buy a Houseboat

Buying a houseboat is much like buying a house.  You should inspect every detail of the boat the way you would a home.  If you are interested in tracking down a houseboat online a great place to start is  They have a wide selection of boats for sale.  You can browse by model or state.  Expect to pay anywhere between $60,000 to a million dollars for one of these boats depending on the condition and amenities it offers.  Other websites to check out are,, and  All of these website offer a variety of houseboats for sale.  Before you decide to invest in a house boat I would highly recommend seeing it in person.  The internet can be a great tool for tracking down a houseboat, but be fore you pull the trigger be sure to give it a full inspection.



My Take
Owning a houseboat opens up the ultimate water experience.  You no longer have to worry about getting out of the water at the end of the day.  Instead you can just kick back, watch the sunset from your boat and then retire to bed.  Houseboats are great for weekend trips to boating destinations.  They allow you to take a large group of people out to explore the water, drop anchor just of shore and hop in the water to swim and fish for the rest of the day.  I think owning a houseboat would be very cool.  It offers endless possible activities all while providing the comforts of home.  I don’t see how any hardcore boating and water enthusiast could pass up the opportunity to own one of these awesome machines.

Flats Boats

Flats boats are a unique type of fishing boat.  The are specialized for fishing in coastal areas where Snook, Tarpon, Redfish, Sea Trout, Permit and Bonefish live.  They can float and run on water that is less than two feet deep and are ideal for holding two to three fishermen.  There are no creature comforts and nothing luxurious about flats boats.  These boats are all about functionality.  They offer a large casting deck plus tackle storage, rod holders, and live wells instead of plush seating.  They traditionally range from around seventeen to twenty-five feet and cost anywhere from $2,000 to $48,000.  If you fish the coastal areas specifically in the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida or the Gulf of Mexico you should seriously consider a flats boat.  They were designed for exactly the kind of fishing those areas offer and are perfectly suited to the task of catching and landing big fish.

Where to Buy a Flats Boat

These are unique boats and are regularly found in the areas where they are in the most demand.  If you are interested in buying a flats boat new, the best manufacturer to look into is Carolina Skiff.

Carolina Skiff–Carolina Skiff offers the best in flats boats.  They offer am wide selection of models that can fit almost any budget.  They most basic and affordable model is the J Series john boat.  These boats start around $2,130.  They offer the average fisherman all the functions he needs to be successful in his quest for big fish.  Their most expensive model is the Ultra Elite SS Series.  These boats offer more amenities and are able to cruise across open water.  This model commands a steep base price of $47,827.  If you are looking for a little more than the J Series offers, but do not want to shell out nearly fifty grand, fear not.  Carolina Skiff has many models in between these two boats that will fit almost any budget.

Carolina Skiff J Series

Carolina Skiff Elite SS

If you are interested in buying a used flats boat is a great place to begin your search.  They offer a great selection of all makes and models of used saltwater fishing boats at prices that will fit any budget.

My Take
I grew up fishing for Redfish in the inter-coastal water ways of North Carolina.  The water there is shallow and changes constantly with the tides.  Because of that, it takes a very specialized boat to chase these fish.  Flats boats are designed for this very purpose.  Their ability to function is very shallow water gives them access to the Redfish’s prime habitat.  If you are looking to catch any of the fish mentioned in this article, a flats boat is exactly the kind of boat you need.


Dinghy is a term that refers to a variety of small boats.  They can be inflatables, rowboats or small sailboats.  Dinghies are carried or towed by larger vessels such as houseboats, cruisers, or motor yachts.  Dinghies are used when the mother ship cannot venture into shallow water or in ports, where maneuvering a larger vessel can be almost impossible. When not connected to a larger boat, these small boats are perfect as a companion vessel for camping trips or for fishing smaller waters.  Most modern dinghies have a rigid hull composed of either fiberglass, aluminum, or marine plywood.  If they are inflatable, they are generally made of rugged coated fabrics.  Their method of propulsion are small outboard engines or oars.




Where to Buy a Dinghy

There are not many companies that manufacture dinghies.  Many large yachts will come with one or two.  However, if you are in the market for a dinghy here are several manufacturers you will want to check out:

Achilles Inflatable Crafts— Achilles manufactures inflatable dinghies starting at $1,155.  These small crafts are small and lightweight, perfect for use from a larger craft.






Zodiac Inflatable Boats— Zodiac is a leader in inflatable water crafts and offers a very wide variety of boats.  Their prices depend on the type of craft you are looking for but be prepared to shell out around $1,100 to $2,000.






Brig Inflatables— Brig manufactures  inflatable crafts for a variety of reasons.  Their flagship Eagle Series offers the highest quality of rigid dinghies.  Be prepared to pay an hefty price, beginning around $51,200.



The term dinghy can be used to describe a variety of small water craft.  They are great for short trips, fishing lakes and shallow waters, or, if you own a yacht, allowing you to have a smaller vessel to navigate shallow waters and ports.  They make great fishing vessels if you do not plan on heading out to deep water.  Dinghies are an inexpensive way to enjoy the water.  Many models are small and easy to store.  They have very low maintenance costs do to their little stature, but they offer excellent functionality in shallow water, or calm lakes.

Deck Boats

Deck boats are unique in the boating world.  They offer huge seating areas and can often accommodate as many people on board as the huge pontoon boats.  Unlike pontoon boats, however, Deck boats have a V-shaped bottom allowing them to really fly through the water, much like a bowrider.  These boats are powerful as well, making them great for skiing, tubing, wake boarding, or for just cruising along through the open water.

Where To Buy A Deck Boat

There are several companies that stand out for making excellent deck boats.  The best place to buy one new is to check out the manufactures websites.



Bayliner has two different models of deck boats, the 197 and the 217.  The 197 is 18′ 7″ long with a seating capacity of ten.  Its base price is $29,293.  The 217 is larger at 20′ 7″ with a seating capacity of twelve.  The 217’s base price is $36,632.  Both these are excellent deck boats providing a large seating capacity with comfort and functionality.

Bayliner 197




Regal Boats offers four different models of deck boats, the 24 Fasdeck (staring at $61,283), 24 Fasdeck RX (starting at $66,669) , 27 Fasdeck (starting at $73,726), and 27 Fasdeck RX (starting at $82,188).  These are high performance deck boats that offer the best in luxury and functionality.

Regal 27 Fasdeck




Monterey Boats manufactures the M-Series of deck boats.  There are four boats in the M-Series: The M3, M3-MSX, M5, and M5-MSX.  These boats start at around $57,000 for the M3 and increase from there.




My Take
Deck boats offer you just about everything you could ever want in a boat.  Their large seating areas make them perfect for families and hosting large get-togethers.  You can cruise to a quiet spot, drop anchor, lay back and enjoy the day.  For people seeking more thrills, deck boats V-shaped hull allows them to reach high top speeds.  This makes these boats ideal for water skiing and tubing.  There large deck areas provide plenty of room for your average fisherman to drop a couple lines in the water and see what biting.  No matter how you want to enjoy the water, a deck boat will be perfect for you.


Cabin Cruisers


Cabin cruisers are popular boats that have all the comforts one would expect from a recreational cruising boat.  They generally have a galley, toilet, and at least one sleeping quarter.  They offer owners the ability to take all of the comforts of home out on the water.  You can have air conditioning, heating, water heaters, power generates and shore power systems.  Many cabin cruisers can be easily towed and stored on land, which reduces maintenance and expense.  They provide many of the amenities found on larger yachts at a much cheaper price.  Cabin Cruisers offer a wonderful way to explore the water with all the comforts of home at your finger tips.

Where to Buy Cabin Cruisers

To purchase a new cabin cruiser the best place to go is directly to the manufacturers website.  Several good manufacturers include:

Campion 925

Campion— Model 925 staring at $92,071– Standard equipment: hot and cold shower; foredeck sunpad; electric bathroom; dockside water; 110v shorepower with cord; 20a battery charger; hardwood floor in galley; microwave; coffeemaker; single-burner stove; water heater; color-coded electrical system; depthsounder; trim tabs w/indicators; 12v power outlets; remote oil filters; dual battery system; snap-in carpet; full camper canvas enclosure; Clarion AM/FM/CD stereo with 8 speakers.

Chaparral–Model 370 Signature starting at $330,752– A beautiful yacht that feature all new design features for 2012.  Includes a wet bar, 16,000 BTU air conditioner/heater system, as well as a windlass and a premium sound system all in the base price.

Monterey Boats— Model 320SY starting at $279,698– Another gorgeous yacht that comes with all the amenities you could ever need.  It keeps its best feature below deck with a fabulous cabin layout that features an open floor plan.

If you are interested in looking for a used cabin cruiser and have good selections.

My Take
If you are looking for a luxurious cruising boat a cabin cruiser is just what you need.  They contain all the luxury of larger more expensive yachts and combine them with sleek style and the ability to reach high top speed.  Their cabins contain all the amenities that anyone could ever want.  You can kick back and enjoy a delicious cocktail topside or head below deck for some cool, relaxing, comfort.  These boats are luxury machines and if you can afford the hefty price tag, you will have a wonderful time cruising the water wrapped in lavish luxury. 

Bass Boats

Bass boats are the perfect fishing boats for landlocked lakes, rivers and streams.  They have low, sleek, profiles and are built to carry two to three anglers on board fishing.  For casual fisherman, boats between sixteen and eighteen feet long with horsepower ranging from twenty-five to one hundred and fifty are recommended.  They contain live wells to keep the fish alive and electric trolling motors allowing the boat to silently glide through the water to get where the fish are hiding.  These are indispensable boats for anglers who regularly fish fresh water.




Where to Buy Bass Boats

Bass Pro Shops offers a line of bass boats.  You can view their various models online.  Here are their least and most expensive models:

Tracker Pro 165 — $8,495–The Pro 165 is an aluminum fishing boat that is sixteen feet, two inches long.  It has a four person capacity and is perfect for fishing small freshwater lakes and rivers.  This model features a live well and trolling motor.




Tracker Pro Team 190TX — $18,995– The Pro Team 190TX offers more room to fish and more power to get you to the fish.  The boat is eighteen feet, seven inches long and features a sixteen gallon live well and a twelve volt, foot controlled, trolling motor.




Other bass boat manufacturers include:
Stratos Boats
Ranger Boats
Yar-Craft Boats
Triton Boats

If you are interested in buying a used bass boat it may be helpful to look at or

Why to Buy a Bass Boat

Bass boats are uniquely designed for freshwater fishing.  They allow you to get into shallow water and their trolling motors let you sneak up on unsuspecting fish.  They are sleek and sporty looking.  They contain all the necessary features that any fishing boat should have, including a live well, rod holders and plenty of space on the deck from which to cast.  If you are an angler living close to a lake or river, a bass boat is exactly what you need to get at the biggest fish.

My Take
Growing up in the mid-west I have fished on bass boats countless times.  They truly are perfectly suited to the small lakes and rivers that dot and criss-cross the center of the country.  They allow you to cover miles of water and get at an unbelievable amount of fish.  Any fisherman who loves to be out on the water would love to have the ability to go where the fish are.  These bass boats give fresh water anglers the same privileges that larger boats offer saltwater fisherman; the ability to move around, cover a lot of water and to get to the fish.

Center Console Fishing Boats

Anyone who has ever been close to a large body of water has probably seen the unmistakable tops to the consoles of these fishing boats and known immediately that the fish were biting.  These are the most quintessential type of fishing boat.  They are staples of marinas around the world.  These boats are built to handle rough offshore water as the anglers on board hunt their prey.  They often come equipped with a live well, several rod holders, and outriggers.  Center console boats offer a variety of uses, but are perfect for the outdoor enthusiast who is looking for a vessel that can handle the salty attitude of a large body of water.  Prices vary depending on make and model but, generally speaking, center counsel fishing boats are going to be relatively costly.

Where to Buy a Center Console Fishing Boat

The best way to find the right center console fishing boat for your needs is to investigate the different manufacturers and look at what they offer.  Here is a list of several of the most notable manufacturers along with several models of the boats they offer:

Boston Whaler
Boston Whaler has built a reputation based on the high quality of their center console fishing boats.  They offer several lines and models.

210 Montauk — Starting at $47,664– This model, new for 2012, takes the classic center console platform and raises the level of functionality to heights never before seen.  It offers a large fishbox, ankle locker, and convertible cooler seat.




370 Outrage — Starting at $421,067– This model of Boston Whaler has won numerous awards for its excellence.  It features a live well, tackle storage, refrigerator/freezer, sink and grill.  The cabin boasts an HDTV, coffeemaker, hanging locker, fridge, microwave, and shower and vanity.  It is the ultimate in functionality and luxury.



Contender Offshore
Contender Offshore has a reputation for building some the sturdiest and most seaworthy vessels on the water.

21 Open — Starting around $55,000– This model packs into a small package everything needed to enjoy the water.  It boasts a thirty gallon live well and a ninety gallon fuel tank.  This little boat does not hesitate to take on the waves head on and is perfect for the avid angler.




Contender 30 Tournament — Starting around $64,000– This model’s size is perfect for the offshore angler looking to spend long days on the water.  It is capable of making long, far, offshore trips to chase after larger sport fish.



Why Buy a Center Console Fishing Boat

Center console fishing boats are the gold standard for anglers.  These boats are perfect for large bodies of water and chasing after trophy fish.  Their sleek, comfortable, design, as well as their functionality make them attractive investments.  Buying a high quality boat brand new can be very cost prohibitive, but if you are an avid fisherman owning a center console fishing boat is a must.  They provide access to the biggest, baddest, fish in the sea.

My Take
The biggest fish I have ever caught have come on center console fishing boats.  God willing, one day I will be able to afford my own.  They are the staple of ports and harbors across the globe for good reason.  They are reliable, powerful, comfortable, and functional.  I have taken fishing trips on them from Nantucket to Hawaii and caught everything from Bluefish and Stripers to Blue Marlin.  It is the dream of every young fisherman to one day be able to own one and take their own adventures on the sea in search of monsters.  If you love to fish and have the money to afford one one of these boats, there is no reason to wait.

Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats, invented in 1952, provide comfort on the water with their hallmark couches and pontoon base.  These boats entice their riders to kick back, relax, enjoy the water.  Pontoon boats can come equipped with different amounts of horsepower.  With lower horse power engines, they are perfect for lazy rides during the summer months.  When equipped with higher horsepower engines, pontoon boats can offer relaxation along with the speed for skiing and tubing.  Pontoon boats are versatile and economical.  They are perfect for families because of their relaxing rides and spacious interiors.  You can use them for a variety of activities. Fishing, swimming, skiing and tubing, or simply cruising around on the water.

 is an extension of Bass Pro Shops and offers a variety of Pontoon boat models.  Here are their least and most expensive models:

Suntracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX

2012 Suntracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX — $11,195– The Bass Buggy is a fishing pontoon.  It features three fishing seats enclosed within a fenced deck, two live wells, rod holders and drink holders.  There is a comfy L-lounge couch for kicking back and relaxing and the boat is a captain friendly maneuverable size.

Suntracker Party Barge 250 XP3

2012 Suntracker Party Barge 250 XP3 –$39,995– The Party Barge offers the top of the line in terms of speed and elegance.  Its spacious interior allows the Party Barge to carry a crew of up to fifteen.  Its sundeck, changing room, refreshment center and freshwater sink make this boat a great time on the water for days at a time.

Apex Marine offers the top line of compact pontoon boats.  They design boats that offer all of the amentities of larger boats in more managable sizes and prices.  Their website lists the different models of pontoon boats they offer.

South Bay Pontoon offers the best in high end luxury pontoon boats.  Their 900 series offers the highest quality performance alongside unquestioned luxury and elegance.  Their website provides information regarding all the various models of their luxury pontoon boats.

Why to Buy a Pontoon Boat

Pontoon boats are versatile water craft that can be used for a variety of activities.  Their spacious interiors are perfect for families or for entertaining guests on the water.  They can be used for fishing, skiing and tubing, entertaining or simply cruising the open water.  There versatility, comfort and economic price make them a great investment.

My Take
Pontoon boats are great for families or to have a good time out on the water.  My buddy’s uncle used to own one and we used to take it out on the lake to go swimming and fishing.  They are easy to drive and maneuver, offer a variety of possible activities, and are great to simply lounge in and cruise around the water on a sunny day.  They are perfect for kids because the railing surrounding the large deck keeps them safe.  Pontoon boats are the ultimate entertainment watercraft and are a great investment for anyone who wants to take advantage of the water.


If you are the type of person who loves to drive fast cars and who has always had a love of the water, bowriders are the type of boat for you.  Bowriders are the most popular boats in the runabout/sportboat category.  Their sleek design looks amazing as it slices through the water.  Bowriders have a spacious seating area in their bow (front seating area).  They have swim platforms in the back, which are great for either taking a dip or just dangling your toes in the water after you drop anchor.  These boats can be used for skiing, and generally operate with sterndrive power although outboard motors are becoming increasingly popular.  Bowriders are phenomenal boats that offer pure boating fun.  So if you have a need for speed, pick one up and start cruising!

Where to Buy a Bowrider

Four Winns offers high quality bowriders.  They have several different models:



Horizon 260

The Horizon 260— Available from approximately $90,000: These boats are twenty-six feet long and weigh 5,100 pounds.  They can hold up to thirteen people and offer spacious comfortable decks.  They can be ordered and personalized on Four Winns website.


SL 222

The SL 222— Available from approximately $65,000: These boats combine sport and luxury.  They are 22.7 feet long and weigh 4,420 pounds.  These boats have a maximum capacity of ten people.


Campion is another company that builds high quality bowriders.  You can browse their various models and inventory online at


If you are interested in a used bowrider, is a good site to check.


Why to Buy a Bowrider

Bowriders provide sleek style, speed, and the ability to cruise the open water.  They are great for families because of their large seating capacity.  These performance machines give their owners a reliable, high octane, machine capable of delivering thrills while at the same time providing safe, fun, activity for the entire family.  They can be used for water skiing and the swim platforms at the back allow access to the water when you want to take a dip.  These boats are expensive, luxurious, sporty machines.

My Take
Bowriders are an exhilarating, luxurious, way to enjoy the water.  They are perfect for cruising at high speed and enjoying various water sports.  I drove a bowrider once when water skiing with my family.  It was an exhilarating experience.  It was by far the fastest boat I have ever been in control of.  However, these boats are very expensive and are not great for fishing or hunting.  Bowriders are the high performance sports vehicles of the sea.  If you have the money, and are looking for luxury and thrills, this is the kind of boat for you.

All Purpose Fishing Boats


If you’ve ever dreamed of being on the open water with a line out waiting for a fish to take the bait, an all purpose fishing boat is the perfect investment for you.  All purpose fishing boats are built for versatility.  They are perfect for catching whoppers in both fresh and salt water.  All purpose fishing boats are designed to navigate all kinds of waterways and are great at pursuing a variety of fish species.  They typically feature live wells, rod lockers, a bow or transom trolling motor, and a powerful outboard.  Jon boats, a more specific type of all purpose fishing boat, offer even more versatility for the avid outdoor enthusiast.  Jon boats are flat-bottomed, aluminum, multipurpose fishing, hunting and camping boats.  They offer easy maintenance, are inexpensive, and nearly indestructible.




Where to Buy All Purpose Fishing Boats
The outdoor superstore Bass Pro Shops has a great selection of Tracker model Jon boats.  Their website is a great place to peruse their merchandise and compare prices.  Here are some of their most popular models:

2012 Tracker Topper 1032 Riveted Jon— Available for $530.00: Weighs only eighty pounds and is easy to transport and store.  It is ten feet long and constructed of marine aluminum alloy.



2012 Tracker Guide V-14 Deep V–Available for $1,700.00:  One piece aluminum hull allows years of fishing without worry of bumps and dings along the way. This no frill utility boat features three bench seats and can hold up to four people.




You can also go to individual manufacturers’ websites to view their inventory online.  Some of the best all purpose fishing boat manufacturers are:
Lund Boats
Triton Boats

Why Buy an All Purpose Fishing Boat?
All purpose fishing boats are inexpensive and can be used for a variety of marine activities.  They can be used for fishing freshwater, saltwater, streams, rivers, lakes and can be used for hunting water fowl.  While not flashy, all purpose fishing boats are durable and built to last.  No matter where you live, if you are near the water, these boats will be perfect for you.

My Take
All purpose fishing boats offer their owners an affordable, durable, way to engage in marine activities.  Whether it be fishing, hunting, or merely enjoying some time on the water these boats are up to the task.  What they lack in flash and comfort they make up for in sheer utility.  My grandfather owned an all purpose fishing boat for several years when I was younger.  We used to take it out once a week during the summer.  While it wasn’t pretty, it was low maintenance and did not require much expense or work.  These are not the boats for impressing your neighbor but if you are looking to catch fish they are perfect for you.