Boat Guide

Best Family Boat for the Money

best family boat for the money

A great way to bond with your family is through boating and water activities, be it swimming, fishing, or relaxing. But what’s the best family boat for the money? Taking into consideration their purpose and size, let’s find out.

Best Family Boat for the Money

It can be a challenge finding the perfect boat to create memories with your family. Simply put, there are just too many boat models out in the market today. Moreover, family boats tend to cost a pretty penny. For this reason, we’ve put together a list of family boats where you’ll get the best bang for your buck.

1. Boston Whaler Dauntless 180

best family boat for the money
image by bostonwhaler.com

First on our list is the Boston Whaler Dauntless 180, which is a great fishing boat as well as an overall recreational boat. In fact, it’s a best seller among sportfishers, bay anglers, and harbor anglers. Moreover, it has watersports capabilities so you can enjoy activities such as wakeboarding or skiing with the family. At 18 feet long, this family boat is easily towable. At the same time, its size means storage will not be an issue.

2. Chaparral 257 SSX

best family boat for the money
image by chaparralboats.com

Keep everyone dry and safe with the Chaparral 257 SSX. Although it is more of a spots boat, the 257 SSX is also great for large families because it can accommodate up to 14 passengers. In addition, this boat is great for families with young children.

The high freeboard and deep cockpits will keep everyone from getting wet, as well as safe from tipping into the water. Moreover, the vehicle is 25 feet and 6 inches long. Thus, it will be easy to handle and transport. In comparison to the Dauntless 180, this is almost double the price, at more than $100,000.    

3. Carver C34 Coupe

c34 coupe

Escape for a weekend with your significant other with the Carver C34 Coupe. For a luxury boating experience packaged in a compact watercraft, the C34 Coupe wins hands down.  This model is great for boaters who place comfort at the top of their priorities. Although it can accommodate 6 people, it was built to accommodate couples. Not only is it spacious, but it’s also easy to handle.

What’s more, it has retained some of the features and amenities you’d expect from a bigger boat. For instance, it has a sizeable main deck with a headroom of 6 feet and 8 inches. It also has an oversized swim platform, barbecue grill and sink, and freshwater shower. If you can afford to splurge, then the experience aboard a C34 Coupe will be worth its almost $400,000 price tag.

4. Glastron GT 180

glastron gt 180
image by moreboats.com

For a truly affordable option, the Glastron GT 180 is worth looking into. This 17 feet and 10 inch long boat has a starting price of around $25,000 and it’s a great entry point into boating. Given the fact that it’s not too big nor too fast, beginners would have an easier time getting used to it.

It has a seating capacity of 8 people so if you have a small family, it would be the perfect boat. Padding and handgrips are a welcome feature for families who wish to bring small children aboard.

5. Cobalt 23SC

best family boat for the money
image by cobaltboats.com

The Cobalt 23SC is on a league of its own. Equipped with both speed and stability, this 23 feet long boat can accommodate up to 12 people on board without making it feel like a cramped space. Among its amenities are a wide foredeck, boarding ladder, porta potty, plush seating, ample storage, and a considerable sun pad.

All of these characteristics make for a great day boat. Add it to the fact that Cobalt boats are designed for easy operation, the 23SC will give you the ability to explore lakes and coastal waters as well as go island hopping with your family throughout the day. For this reason, we’d say the base price of this unit is fair. Explore the features you want incorporated and determine the projected price here.

6. Bayliner Element E18

element e18
image by bayliner.com

Coming from a company with a long history of producing affordable family boats, the Bayliner Element E18 certainly doesn’t disappoint with starting prices less than $20,000. This 18 feet long boat has a smart layout, with seating arrangements that constitute different social zones. That is to say, adults can stay occupy one area and bask in the relative peace of the sea while children can gather in another area to play.

Similar to the Chaparral 257 SSX, the Element E18 also has a deep freeboard and high gunnels, which keep everyone safe from tipping over or getting wet as the boat is in motion. Other features that give this family boat more marks is the plentiful storage spaces, which can be used to keep bulky gear. Moreover, if you love to take a dive into water, you’ll appreciate the split swim platform, which makes it more spacious compared to other boats of this size.

7. Avalon LS Quad Lounge

best family boat for the  money
image by avalonpontoons.com

If we’re talking about the best family boat for the money, we cannot exclude the growing in popularity pontoon boat. Specifically, the Avalon LS Quad Lounge. It comes in three sizes – 20 feet, 22 feet, and 24 feet. Depending on the size of your party, you can chose the most suitable model.

Although a little pricy at around $100,000, this pontoon boat will give your family an unforgettable experience. Its design allows for everyone aboard the boat to have equal views. Moreover, it provides a great way to soak in the sun, or do watersports such as skiing.

Summary of the Best Family Boat for the Money

As you can see, family boats come at different price points. So really, the best family boat for the money will depend on what you want out of your vehicle. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles of the higher end family boats, then you definitely opt to take a look at other affordable options.

Lena Horner
the authorLena Horner
Lena Horner is a LA Galaxy fan who does freelance writing and marketing. A graduate of UCLA with a degree in Marketing, she enjoys the outdoor. Lena enjoys the outdoor and is constantly convincing her partner to live in an RV fulltime.

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