Not all yachts are created equal. Just as some people like fast cars and others prefer SUVs, the array of "on-the-water vehicles" can be daunting. There are sailboats and power vessels, and within each general category are multiple variations. If you have decided on a power vessel, your choices generally will be between displacement and planing hulls, but there are numerous gradients.
A general term that includes smaller day cruisers as well as mega-yachts with captains and crews, cruisers can be the choice of families large and small for short jaunts, weekend expeditions, coastal cruising or living aboard. Power cruisers offer comfort, and usually include a choice of inside or outside seating, sometimes a second helm station or pilot house protected from the elements, berths or cabins for sleeping, and bathroom facilities known as "heads."
There are Express Cruisers, Sedan Cruisers, Aft-Cabin Cruisers and some other designations as well.
An express cruiser is a bit of a hybrid in the boating world. You can think of it as a speed boat with options; it can accommodate a group for a day, keep a small family happy for an overnight, or pamper a couple for a long weekend. Range may be somewhat limited, but express cruisers are designed to get you to a destination in short order so that the fun can begin. They also do well for fishing or swimming off the side, or for beach picnics and meeting boating friends on summer weekends. In short, they are fun. Usually ranging in footage between the lower 30s and the mid 50s, they are easy to maneuver and can be quite economical, in terms of initial cost and annual upkeep. They are great first boats; they may also serve as great "runabouts" for more mature boaters.
Sedan Cruisers are comparable to European sports cars, and are the stars of the recreational boating scene. Sleek and often sexy, they are built to look good, to perform well, and to carry their passengers across the waves and into the sun in comfort and style. They are the boats that are featured in "lifestyle" ads, and usually have an extended bow with good "lines," an upper level helm station that extends to open seating for guests, and an enclosed salon below. Staterooms are amidships and forward, and can be spacious and luxurious. They are well-suited for day trips, short excursions or coastal cruising.
Aft Cabin Cruisers may be the station wagons, or perhaps the RVs of the boating world. Boasting the most space of any yacht configuration below decks, they are well suited for large families, or for unrelated adult couples. With a multi-level configuration, they provide good privacy and with one stateroom aft and one in the bow, they offer the possibility of two similarly sized and appointed cabins, ideal for adult couples. Larger models feature additional cabins, often with upper and lower berths, and can be ideal for children, grandchildren or crew.
Another general category that encompasses a variety of differing configurations, hull shapes and sizes, there is some overlap between yachts designated as cruisers and those known as motor yachts. Cabin cruisers and motor yachts focus on inside comfort and all-weather flexibility. Larger motor yachts, those 70 feet and above, resemble luxury condominiums, and may have many of the same amenities, including sun decks, "covered patios," built-in barbecues, wet bars and "screened porches." Most feature reliable heat and air conditioning. Some have fireplaces and large-screen televisions; others have hot tubs or sun pads on the bow, full indoor and outdoor sound systems, and extended swim platforms. Fly bridges are common, with entertainment and dining options up top.
Larger motor yachts often include a pilot house or indoor helm in addition to an outdoor bridge, a remote docking station or joysticks on the bow and in the cockpit, powerful bow and stern thrusters to ease the approach to docks, and remote anchor controls. Often, a dinghy or small tender is stored on deck with a mechanical davit to facilitate its launch, and out-of-sight, protected stowage is provided for bicycles, water toys, sports equipment or fishing and safety gear.
Luxury yachts feature easily accessible engine rooms, large capacity fuel tanks and ample long-term provisioning storage for extended cruising. Crew quarters or a captain's cabin are prevalent. Additional features to investigate, depending on your intended use, include the latest in navigational, safety and entertainment electronics, fuel economy and cruising range.
Sleek and attractive, fishing boats today are a far cry from center console open boats of "old salts." They are designed for comfort and function, and can be an attractive alternative for the sportsman who wants to also have a "family boat." Usually, sport fishers are characterized by their futuristic and streamlined good looks, often punctuated by a tuna tower that allows easy spotting from a height high above the water line.
Sport fishers also boast fighting chairs for wearing down a trophy fish, multiple pole locations, live wells for bait and holding compartments for the fresh catch. Because fishing can also be a party, these yachts also frequently have food and drink storage for a crowd. A comfortable salon, audio/visual equipment, cooking and serving facilities and overnight accommodations mimic those found at upscale resorts.Learn More about sportfishing
Trawlers are sometimes considered the "dowdy relatives" of motor yachts, but today's trawlers are as upscale, stylish and reliable, and they are known for their stability and workhorse tendencies. They are descended from tugs and working boats. They operate efficiently and economically, and they tend to cut through the waves with a determined precision. Many trawlers can cross oceans with ease, accommodate passengers and crew in comfort, and provide safe haven under adverse conditions. Full displacement hulls are a characteristic of trawlers, and even though salons tend to be less spacious than some yacht interiors, they are comfortable and stylish.
Visibility and ease of operation are paramount concerns for the trawler owner; and many have full deck walk-around access, complete with handholds, rain guards and high rails. Trawler decks may be designed primarily for function, but there is plenty of space to enjoy as well.
There are also other categories of vessels, including multi-hulls and pontoon boats or party barges. If you need information, please contact us and we'll be happy to discuss the pros and cons of the various types.