What Types of Boats Are Available Out There?

There’s an old saying that states that there is a boat for every boatman out there. It might be true that there are almost as many different types of water vessels as there are potential boat owners out there, but that doesn’t mean that it’s that difficult to know the basics of boat types.

The diversity and variety can be overwhelming to a new boat enthusiast, so you should be careful when making decisions about buying your first boat.

If you want to be sure that you are spending your hard earned money to choose the perfect boat for your specific needs, you need to spend some time becoming familiar with the basic types of vessels that are available these days.

There’s also a whole language to boats and boating, and manufacturers, sellers, and distributors will often use terms that are mostly unknown to the outsider. Getting familiar with the terminology is crucial if you are getting into boating.

Here’s a List of the Most Basic Types of Boats

The first term you will hear often is “Vessel.” A vessel is a generic, catch-all term used to describe all kinds of boats, from small rafts to large ocean cruisers. If it floats and if you can stand on it, you can call it a vessel.

If a vessel is propelled by an engine of any kind instead of oars or sails, we’re speaking of a powerboat. Engines can widely range in both shape, type and size, all the way from small ten hp outboard engines, through inboard motors and all the way to powerful jet drive propulsion engines.

For example, most commercial fishing boats, such as bass boats have engines and therefore can be called powerboats.

Next stop, Houseboats if a boat has necessary living accommodations, in effect if you can live on it for extended periods, you can call it a houseboat.

Most houseboats are also powerboats since they have an engine as well, but it’s not uncommon, especially in places with warmer climate for people to live on houseboats that are docked most of the time. Most houseboats contain at least sleeping and living quarters and basic kitchen facilities, but some luxurious houseboats can have full baths installed on board.

Sailboats- Any vessel that uses wind to provide its means of movement and navigation is called a sailboat. Sailboats lack any mechanical means of propulsion and travel by the force of wind alone. Even though one would think that sailboats are a thing of the past, they have never really been more popular.

Most modern sailboats range from small vessels that are a little more than a kayak with a sail all the way to luxury yachts that are both sailboats and houseboats at the same time. Further, we can differentiate all sailboats as either racers, cruisers or daysailers.

Catamarans are double-hulled boats, which may look strange but offer superior safety and stability that the boats with a single hull cannot come close. Catamarans often have sailed for propulsion, but there are some engine powered ones as well.


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