Types Of Boats : The Ultimate List For 2022

Boat people usually say that life is better on the boat.

Making a home where the anchor drops and living amidst beautiful creatures, the wind, and being one with nature is certainly something everyone should experience once in their life.

Humankind has used boats since the beginning of time.

Starting from a log of wood to today’s yachts and ships, we certainly have come a long way. With time, the options available for us to choose from have gone from a handful to a LOT. 

We know the charm a boat holds, and we know the magic the sea holds, but do we know enough about boats or the types of boats to set sail and explore?

This article will help you understand the different types of boats available in the market and their features and specialties so that you can make an informed decision.

Difference between a ship and a boat

Before understanding the different types of boats, here are some significant differences between ships and boats:


The most important and probably the most noticeable difference between a boat and a ship is its size. In layman’s terms – A ship has the capacity to carry a boat, but a boat can’t carry a ship. & you know what? It’s the best way to remember and understand the sheer difference between these two watercraft sizes.

Operational areas

Ships are built for long-distance travel carrying cargo or passengers across oceans and continents. They are used for wars as well. Cruise vessels, naval ships, tankers, container ships, RoRo ships, and offshore vessels are examples of ships operating in the high sea.

Boats, on the other hand, are built for small distance (and duration) travels. Ferrying and towing vessels, sail vessels, paddle vessels, kayaks, canoe, patrolling vessels. They also don’t venture too far away from the coast.


Due to its size and duration of travel, the ship is operated by professionals and has onboard medical professionals and engineers as well.

Boats can have one person or a tiny group of people, depending on the type of boat.


Ships have dedicated engines to propel them and can also be propelled by sails or other advanced propulsion technologies. Boats are usually powered by sails, motor, or even human force.

Different types of boats 

Fishing boat

These are usually the first image that pops into your head when you hear a boat. These are the most common types of boats and are found almost everywhere. Stability and sturdiness are two main features of fishing boats, and these qualities help them withstand strong wind and currents in the sea or any other waterway. They can be both manned or unmanned, and the new models that are made with aluminum are far more durable and more robust.

Deck boats

If you and your friends or family are going on a boat together, you might want to look into this particular one. Deck boats are made for recreational activities such as swimming and watersports and, as the name suggests, have a broader beam to accommodate more people. They usually measure between 30-35 ft along with a stern power drive. 


These come in different shapes and sizes. Sometimes small enough to accommodate two people and sometimes large enough to hold a dozen. Like fishing boats, they are seen in different parts of the world, and one thing you will notice is that the material used to build houseboats also differs from geographical locations. They make excellent holiday and recreational facilities and are usually used for fun watersport activities, family time, or a very relaxing cruise. They have a motorized engine but are usually kept stationary at different locations.

With new and modern amenities, houseboats are a fun way to spend some leisure time.

Game boats

Equipped with napping berths, plumbing systems, and cooking galleys, these boats permit passengers to preserve their sports or a fun cruise for more than one day. Its massive size makes navigating and maneuvering the boat a bit of a task, but the diesel engine is powerful enough and up for the task.

Cabin cruiser boats

If you can lay back and relax & a leisure trip is your idea of an ideal vacation; you might want to look into a cabin cruiser boat. These are mainly used for salt waters. With a galley and a berth, these boats offer modern comforts like heaters, air conditioners, and power generators, making them the perfect leisure travel companion.


Again, another modern-day watercraft used primarily for relaxing activities and leisure travel. Day cruising boats, Weekender yachts, Cruising Yachts, and Luxury cruising yachts are among the different varieties of yachts available today in the market. Motor yachts, which are more popularly in demand right now, are mainly used for water sports and can guarantee a more extended vacation than others.

Jet boat

With its compact size and extreme maneuverability, it truly is a marvelous watercraft. It offers plenty of seating, and along with a swimming platform and superior propulsion, the gadget is securely enwrapped withinside the hull, protects it from any external damage.


Popularly referred to as sailboats or rowboats, dinghies are inflatable, smaller boats made with rubber and powered by sails, paddles, and small outboard engines. They cannot be easily maneuvered and are usually taken for shorter trips in shallow waters for fishing or relaxing. They are also seen as an accomplice in many larges watercrafts such as ships for easy evacuation if necessary.


They are excellent for leisure activities such as fishing and have much less hull volume, shallower draft, and better displacement. They serve several purposes around the world and are popular watercraft in many countries.

Cuddy cabin

Used mainly for fishing, yachting, cruising, and different water sports activities, cuddy cabins are the perfect option for a small family or a small group of friends.

Trawler boat

Easy to maneuver, moderate fuel consumption, and easy navigation make trawler boats stand apart from the rest of their family. They are excellent for a more extended trip in the sea or water body as it requires less horsepower.


The cockpit, bow cockpit, and the helm together provide seating for eight or more people and this uniquely built vessel makes sure you and your family/friends are comfortable and enjoying. The swim platforms make this one of the options out there. Enjoy the feel of water, enjoy the pleasure of boating with this joy ride. It is powered by electricity, but the newer models also feature outboard engines for more power.

Centre consoles

If you plan for a beautiful and comfortable fishing trip, this is the one to go with. Harsh offshore waterways where most boats struggle to hold poise and balance, the center consoles thrive. They are built to endure a wide variety of weather and wind conditions. It includes bait wells, gunwale rod holders, fish lockers, and outriggers, making your fishing trip more comfortable and convenient.

Personal watercrafts

These are perfect for any adventurous activities and are often referred to as scooters or jet skis. “Take a seat down,” and “stand-up” are the two main models available, in which the former is supposed to be for two or more people, and even a single rider can best utilize the latter. The ease and satisfaction of discoveries and adventure sure make PWCs stand out.


Are you interested in racing, fishing, or water snowboarding? Don’t look any further. Runabouts are for you. They are safer than many adventures or sports watercrafts available out there and are considered an entry-level vessel.

Banana boats

Probably one of the most fun water activities out there! It is an inflatable watercraft that can carry up to 10 people and, as the name suggests, has a similar shape to the yellow fruit. It has no motor or engines, and therefore rowing is how you navigate.


Very popular as they save lives. You see them on ships and can connect with larger vessels. They are usually equipped with food and water for emergencies. Their primary purpose is to hold passengers to a stable region if the ship meets with an accident.

Pontoon boats

Usually seen in smaller water bodies such as lakes, they offer stability and sturdiness and are the perfect vessel for water sports or leisure travels. They have large (mostly aluminum) tubes that help them move with the water flow.


These are small narrow, double-bladed watercrafts with paddles to navigate. It fits a limited number of people and is an excellent attraction for all the water sport enthusiasts worldwide. Kayaks for longer journeys have more capacity and storage when compared to leisure ones. They can withstand high currents and violent waters and are generally easy to navigate.

Bass boats

They are slightly more expensive than the ones their size. Many people enjoy using them to pursue fishing and/or other water sports, including a small group of people, because of its limited seating. Large live wells, multiple high-end fishfinders, and high-speed performance guarantee you a sure spot in any fishing competitions.

Walkaround boats

These boats primarily focused on fishing, with their varying size, offer many features that make it hard to resist. Apart from features such as fishfinders and live wells, which makes it great for fishing, they also come with galley areas and open cockpits for a relaxing cruise. As the boats get more extensive and the number of amenities included increases, these boats’ price also increases, i.e.; their prices are directly proportionate to their size.


A hovercraft is a type of vehicle that can travel over mud, land, water, and other surfaces. They are typically called an air-cushion vehicle. What gives the hovercraft the characteristic round-rectangle shape is the air blown through the slots around the platform. These boats are used for disaster relief, coastguard, military, survey applications, and sport or passenger service.

Now that we have covered some basic and the most important types of boats let’s categorize boats by activity to understand better.

  • Cruising- houseboats, yachts, motorboats
  • Cruising (shorter)- pontoon boats. Inflatables, deck boats
  • Water boats- kayaks, ski, runabouts
  • Fishing (saltwater)- bay boats, flatboats, consoles
  • Fishing (freshwater)- Jon boats, bass boats, aluminum fishing boats
  • Sailing- catamarans, trimarans


There you go, folks! We have covered all the basics regarding boats. I hope this helped clear some of your doubts regarding boats. Happy sailing, everyone! Be safe and