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4 Awesome Family Boats For Your Next Outdoor Adventure

With summer fast approaching, you want to make special memories with your family. What better way to do that than to take them on the water? Whether your interests are in fishing, water sports, or just cruising around your local lake, there are many great family boats to choose from.

When selecting the perfect boat for your next outdoor adventure, there are some essential things to consider, such as:

Where will you be using it?

Where you plan to go boating can impact your purchase decision. The depth of the water should be a big consideration. Do you need something that can handle deep, choppy ocean waters, or do you prefer a boat that can navigate the shallows just offshore?

What are your storage options? 

Boat storage and transportation are also important considerations when perusing family boats. If you plan to transport your boat every time you go on the water, you have to make sure you have space for it at home and a vehicle capable of towing it. You can also store your boat at local marinas if you prefer to keep it on the water at all times.

How big is your family?

Picking your boat depends mainly on how much space you need. It’s better to make sure there is enough room to enjoy yourselves rather than cramming everyone into a too-small boat; plus, all family boats have passenger capacities that are smart to adhere to.

What kind of watersports or activities do you want to do in the boat?

If your family is all about water sports, you will want a very different boat than if your family prefers fishing or lounging on the water.

Answering these questions should help you narrow down your family-friendly boat selection. Remember them as you check out the top family boats for your next outdoor adventure.

4 Types of Family Boats to Consider

Pontoon Boats: A Little Bit of Everything

family playing by lake and pontoon boat

These highly-rated family boats are great for outdoor excursions. There are many pros to getting a pontoon boat. You can fit a lot of people comfortably, they have high side rails for safety, and they are some of the easiest boats to maintain. Due to their shape and build, they are also more stable than other kinds of boats.

If you love fishing and lounging on the water, then a pontoon boat is for you. As a bonus, many models have more robust engines, so you can still take it for a spin and get some water-skiing in.

However, it is important to note that pontoon boats are less maneuverable even if the engine has more horsepower, and you need to watch out for shallow waters. But if these aren’t high on your list of worries, it might be the perfect boat for your family.

Not sure where to start your pontoon boat search? Start by checking out the Sylvan L-3 DLZ or the Regency 250 LE3 – both known for their versatility and comfort.

Sterndrive Boats: Watersport Safely

sterndrive boat

If your family loves watersports and wants to wakeboard, wake surf, water ski, or go tubing all weekend, then forward-facing sterndrive family boats are a great option. This means the propeller is placed under the boat hull versus behind the vessel, so there is much less risk of injury to the surfer.

Wake surfing, which previously required an inboard watersports tow boat for safety reasons, has grown in popularity. But without the proper boat, wake surfing can become difficult and dangerous.

Now with forward-facing sterndrive options on the market, your family can confidently, safely, and legally wake surf while enjoying all the benefits of a standard runabout or bowrider.

Popular, top-of-class options include the Volvo Penta Forward Drive and the MerCruiser Bravo Four S.

Runabouts: The Classic Boating Experience

Runabout family boats are a great option for those seeking the classic boating experience. Runabouts are a catch-all term for several boat types, including bowriders, deck boats, and jet boats. Despite slight differences, the bottom line is all runabouts are power boats.

These boats are great for taking out on the lake for several activities such as fishing, watersports, and cruising around. Due to their small size, they are easy to transport, store, and maintain.

While their smaller size can be an advantage in some areas, it can also be a disadvantage if you have a large family or want to invite many friends on the boat. They typically can fit six to eight people, though the specific capacity number will depend on the make and model.

Some excellent power boat options for families include the Yamaha SX220 and the Regal OBX 21.

Center Console Boats: Family-Friendly Fishing

While center console family boats are typically thought of as fishing boats, they offer a versatile experience for the whole family to enjoy.

Just like the name indicates, the central console and steering station are located in the center of the boat. Since they are a fantastic fishing boat option, they can be taken out in freshwater or saltwater, and they handle great on the rougher waters of the ocean.

If you’re planning to bring the whole family, they offer ample space for everyone to sit back and relax while fishing or cruising, plus plenty of storage for drinks, food, and whatever you happen to reel in.

Check out the Boston Whaler 220 Dauntless or the Pursuit C 238 to start your search for the perfect center console boat for you and your family.

Whether you’re into watersports, fishing, or enjoy swimming and lounging on the water, there is a boat built exactly for what you’re looking for.

Did you find your dream family boat? uShip makes it easy to find transporters who specialize in boat shipping, so your next outdoor adventure can start as soon as possible.