The most popular boat brand is a broad question because a popular fishing boat is not a popular sailboat. This article researches the most popular brand for each type of the best boat brands for lakes. All the types of boats we are looking at are what boaters look for to use on U.S. lakes. The information in this article comes from the top boating websites like Divein.com, Boatingmag.com, Boattrader.com, Boats.com, and Boatsafe.com.
What Is the Most Popular Boat Brand?
There are a lot of boat categories to consider. We are looking at the most popular boat brands for these kind of boats: bass boats, bowriders, cabin cruisers, deck boats, fishing boats, high performance boats, inflatable boats, personal watercrafts, pontoon boats, sailboats, ski and wakeboard boats, and yachts.
The Most Popular Bass Boats and Fishing Boats
Bass boats have shallow, v-shaped bodies, use high-horsepower trolling motors, broad platforms that allow you to cast off the back and front, low-profile bottoms for moving in shallow water, aerated onboard tank for fish, plenty of storage, minimized seating, and an outboard engine that allows for extra seating. They are usually 15 to 25 feet long.
The Nitro Z series, Crestliner series, Bass Cat series, Tracker series, and Ranger series are the five most reviewed bass boats. Fishing boats have different features that include all-purpose fishing boats, sport fishing boats, and fish and ski boats. Boston Whaler, Ranger, and Nitro series pop up as popular all-purpose top fishing boat brands. Skeeter is also another popular bass boat brand.
The Albermarle, Boston Whaler, HCB Estrella, and Bayless show up as popular brands for sport fishing. Nitro, Crestliner, and Ranger show up as the most reviewed fish and ski boats. For fishing boats under $10,000, the Crestliner, Carolina Skiff, and Gillgetter turn up most often as the most popular.
The Most Popular Bowriders
Bowriders are known as runabouts and the “ideal” family boat because of their versatility on the water. They have enough deck space to accommodate fishing gear, supplies, and enough speed to make waterskiing, wakeboarding, and tubing possible, with an offset helm and extra forward seating. Bayliner, Yamaha, Chaparral, Sea Ray are the most reviewed bowriders.
The Most Popular Cabin Cruisers
Cabin cruisers can cruise long distances and come with features for comfort. They typically provide accommodations like a main living area in the boat’s hull and are temperature controlled. Cabin cruisers have the characteristics of a yacht to make people comfortable, but they are much smaller and less expensive. Jeneau, Rinker, Glastron, and Sea Ray are the most reviewed Cabin Cruisers.
The Most Popular Deck Boats
Deck boats are designed with large decks. The bow is bigger than it would be on other types of boats. The additional space makes plenty of room for seating and an open floor area. Sometimes called a party barge, they combine the layout of pontoon boat with the functionality of a bowrider. Bayliner, Sea Ray, and Hurricane show up as the top deck boats.
The Most Popular High Performance Boats
High performance boats equate with speed. They go from 60 mph up to 90+ mph. High performance boats are also known as speed, power, cigarette, and racing boats. High-performance boat manufacturers and suppliers will build customized boats for buyers who know what features they want in a speedboat.
Boattrader.com and sevenseasus.com lists these manufacturers as the top ten speed boat builders in the U.S.: Cigarette Racing Team-140 mph, DCB Racing-159 mph, Advantage Boating-90 mph, Donzi Marine-120mph, Fountain Powerboats-110 mph, Baja Marine-80 mph, Nor-Tech Boats-85 mph, Sunsation Powerboats-85 mph, Mystic Powerboats-200 mph, and Marine Technology Inc.-150 mph.
The Most Popular Inflatable Boats
Inflatable boats are inexpensive, versatile, portable, and easy to set up. Today, there are a variety of high quality inflatable rafts, rigid inflatable boats or RIBs, kayaks, and canoes that can last decades, but remain extremely affordable. RIBs are lightweight boats that have a high-performance capacity combining tube-based vessels and traditional structure vessels.
Inflatable boats can have motors, and most are for one or two passengers. Anglers to explorers use inflatable boats, which are also great for traveling because they are easy to tote on the run. Intex series, Sea Eagle series, and Sport Boats series brands show up as the most reviewed.
The Most Popular Jet Skis and Personal Watercrafts
Personal Watercraft (PWC) are often called “Jet Skis”, and are legally defined as:
“A small vessel which uses an outboard motor or propeller-driven motor, or an inboard motor powering a water jet pump, as its primary source of motive power and which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on, or being towed behind the vessel, rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.”
Sea-Doo series, Yamaha series, and Kawasaki series consistently make up the top selling PWC brands.
The Most Popular Pontoon Boats
Pontoon boats are a type of recreational boat that relies on structures called pontoons to float and are typically 14 to 30 feet long. Pontoons are airtight, hollow tubes, which make them water resistant and unsinkable. Pontoon boats have a large, flat, upper deck. They have become increasingly customizable.
The most reviewed pontoon boat brands are Avalon, Bennington, Crestliner, Harris Crowne, Lowe, Manitou, Princecraft, and Suntracker.
If you like the practicality of a pontoon but are looking for something a little faster, check out this video:
The Most Popular Sailboats
Sails and wind power sailboats, and most have a motor. Three distinctive characteristics of sailboats are:
- Hull type: monohull, catamaran or trimaran
- Keel type: fin keel wing keel, bilge keel, daggerboard, or centerboard
- Mast configuration and sails: sloop, fractional rig sloop, ketch, schooner, yawl, cutter, and cat.
Groupe Beneteau, Hinckley, Hallberg-Rassy, and Nautor’s Swan brands consistently get great reviews in the sailing category.
Ski and Wakeboard Boats
Because the wakeboard had not been invented, ski boats evolved in three-event discipline competitions, slalom, trick, and jump skiing. The direct drive inboard ski boat could accommodate all three disciplines. Today, skiers and wakeboarders who perform tricks and aerial maneuvers use a V-drive ski boat. V-drive inboards boomed with the advent of wakeboarding as a popular watersport.
The V-drive inboard weight distribution is rear-biased, and they create a larger wake by default. The direct-drive inboard is still used for slalom skiing and jump. It still has the most balanced weight distribution of all tow boats, which makes the flattest wakes with the crispest handling. The direct-drive engine is in the middle of the boat, which takes up a too much valuable cockpit space with little room for seating.
The most reviewed brands of ski and wakeboard boats are the series of Ski Nautique, Mastercraft, Malibu, Supra, and Tige.
The Most Popular Yachts
There is no concrete definition of what makes a yacht a yacht, but yachts are any type of sea vessel that is used strictly for recreational or pleasure purposes like cruising, entertaining, water sports, fishing, or year-round accommodations. The main types of yachts are sailing, motor, gullet with both sails and motors, cabin cruiser, luxury, sports, and catamaran yachts.
There are so many yacht brands worldwide that the yacht reviews together list at least 50 different manufacturers. Anyone who wants to buy a yacht will seriously consider what kind of features they want and need and what type of water body they are going to use the yacht on because of the huge investment. Yacht manufacturers frequently customize yachts for their customers. The following are the main features of the various types of yachts:
- Sailing Yacht: a yacht mainly propelled via wind and sails
- Motor Yacht: a yacht propelled via one or more motors
- Gulet Yacht: a hybrid yacht with both sails and motors
- Open Yacht, Cruiser, Cabin Cruiser, Express Cruiser: an otherwise uncategorized standard yacht for cruising and entertaining
- Luxury Yacht: a yacht that includes high-end finishes and features and the latest in modern performance technology. The term ‘luxury’ can precede any type of yacht, i.e. “luxury motor yacht”, “luxury sailing yacht”, etc.
- Sports Yacht: a yacht geared towards fishing, water sports, or cruising with a sleeker design and more powerful motor for faster cruising speeds. The term ‘sports’ can precede other types of yachts as well, i.e. “sports motor yacht”.
- Catamaran Yacht: a yacht with two hulls or pontoons often made of fiberglass that can be used in shallow waters.
If you’re new to boating, or even if you’re a veteran looking to pick up a handy tip, don’t miss out on this video: