Not everyone has a six-figure savings account to spend on a new boat. And there’s no need to pay out that kind of money to get a great boat! Whether you're buying your first boat or you've bought and sold several boats, you want to make sure to get the best bang for your buck. We’ve done the research for you. This post shares our top picks for boats under $20k, $30k, and $50k.
Best Boats Under $20,000
It’s possible to find quality boats under $20,000. Although these boats aren’t decked out with all the bells and whistles, they’ll let you fully enjoy the water for years to come.
Bennington’s name is synonymous with pontoon boats. This high-quality manufacturer offers an 8-passenger boat that makes an ideal family boat and provides a fantastic experience on the water for under $20,000. This price includes a 70-horsepower engine, a Bimini top, 23-inch tubes, and an all-in-one stereo system. You’ll also find an assortment of comfortable furniture, such as the chaise lounge, L-shaped bench, and cockpit table. A swim platform offers convenient access to the water. The 24-gallon fuel tank ensures that you’ll be able to stay out as long as you like without having to refuel.
Tracker Grizzly 1860 CC
If you’re hunting for a fishing boat, look no further than Tracker’s Grizzly 1860 CC. Its large casting decks and spacious cockpit offer plenty of flexibility for a variety of fishing styles. At under $16,000, this boat includes more than you’d expect, with a 40-horsepower engine, a 19-gallon fuel tank, and trailer. The aluminum hull is extremely durable, but since aluminum is also lightweight it doesn’t perform as well on choppy waters. The Grizzly 1860 CC is rated to hold up to seven people.
Bayliner Element E18
The Element E18 is anything but basic at under $20,000. The 18.2-foot length offers lots of room for up to nine people to enjoy recreational activities in three separate social areas. The proprietary M-hull design provides stability for a smooth ride and maximizes interior space. The deep freeboard and high gunnels keep gear secure. And 90-horsepower engine and a trailer come standard. Since the Element E18 is exceptionally easy to handle, it’s ideal for first-time boat owners.
Best Boats Under $30,000
With another ten grand to play with, you can get a little more speed or some nice extra features. You’re sure to have a fun ride in these great boats under $30,000.
Spending an extra $8,000 for the VR5 over the Bayliner Element E18 will give you a wider bow and more space in the rear as well, with the swim platform pushed further back. The result is a roomy, comfortable boat with seats for up to eight people. The 115-horsepower engine and 20-degree deadrise hull provide excellent handling. This boat comes standard with a waterproof 120-Watt AM/FM stereo with auxiliary inputs, and a trailer featuring disc brakes and a swing-away tongue.
Hurricane SS188 OB
With seating for up to ten people, the Hurricane SS188 OB is a deck boat with room for a crowd. It features bow and stern swim platforms with retractable ladders, and an AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth connectivity. At a max 200-horsepower, this boat will get you moving. If you’re into fishing, you’ll be pleased with the standard livewell with pump.
Ranger’s specialty is fishing boats, and Z175 offers plenty of features and performance to go with Ranger’s quality construction. A 115-horsepower engine, on-board charger, recirculating aerated livewell and baitwell with filter screens, stainless steel compression locks, an electrical system disconnect/jumper switch, and trailer all come standard. At 17’6” in length, this boat provides plenty of deck space and storage. Ranger’s proprietary SRS Soft Ride Seating also means a comfortable ride.
Best Boats Under $50,000
If you have up to $50,000 to spend on a boat, you can enjoy serious comfort and amenities without breaking the bank. These three boats will have you and your guests living in luxury.
Four Winns Horizon 190
You can own a popular Four Winns Horizon for less than $40,000. A 19-foot length provides comfortable space for up to nine people. Four Winn’s well-known Stable-Vee hull allows you to make tight turns easily, and the extended running surface means that the boat is more stable. Choose from a range of customizable engines, up to 260 horsepower, or add a Volvo Pento engine with 270 horsepower. You’ll enjoy the comfortable bucket seats with wrap-around backs. The Horizon 190 is built for fun, with a large swim platform and deep swim ladder, as well as plenty of gear storage.
Bennington SX 24 Swingback
This Bennington model introduces luxury and major amenities. Let’s start with the layout, which features a large portside lounge that’s perfect for both watersports and sightseeing. Plush two-tone vinyl seating with detailed stitching and Seagrass Slate vinyl flooring look posh. A Mercury 150-horsepower outboard motor provides plenty of get-up-and-go. The 24-gallon fuel tank gives you a range of over 100 miles at 15 mph. And the SX 24 Swingback’s handling is superb.
Yamaha is known for quality, and the SX210 is no exception. You’ll enjoy both power and premium amenities. It comes with two 110-horsepower engines, so speed is no problem. Comfortable seating and a two-tiered swim platform with cupholders and backrest cushions make it ideal for recreation. Hinged storage compartments are convenient. At 21-feet long, this boat is roomy and can carry up to ten people. And it includes a painted trailer with swing-away tongue and disc brakes.
When you’re planning your new boat purchase, don’t forget the accessories! If the boat doesn’t come with a trailer, you’ll probably want to get one, and you’ll need a boat cover to protect your investment from UV damage, moisture, and debris when storing or trailering. If a Bimini top isn’t included, you’ll want to consider purchasing one to shield you and your guests from the sun and surprise rain showers.
The best way to decide which boat is right for you and your family is to experience the ones you’re considering. A boat show is a fun way to check out a variety of boats in action. Boat shows also offer learning opportunities for everyone from beginners to experienced boaters, on myriad boat-related topics. And there are always enjoyable activities for the family!
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