What are the different types of motorboats?

You want to buy a motorboat but this name covers many different ships. If the selling price is a criterion, it is especially important to consider the use that you are going to make of your boat. Open hull without cabin, Day-Cruiser for the sun, Fishing for sport fishing or Jet Boat for speed, multi-purpose inflatable boat, fishing boat or habitable motorboat, motor yacht for comfort, there is one type of boat motor for everyone.

The cabin cruiser

This pleasure boat is equipped with a living cabin. Between the day cruiser and the speedboat, its length is generally between 6.5 and 14 meters. It is perfect for small cruises because it has all the necessary comfort. Its full deck ensures good handling at sea. It offers a good compromise between roominess and price, but its maintenance can be quite expensive. The cabin cruiser can be fitted with, a fixed roof, but some have a convertible top that allows you to enjoy more of the sun. However, on-board amenities remain limited.

It is powered by one or more outboard or inboard motors . It is an easy to handle, efficient and safe boat but which is not suitable for venturing out to sea.

Driving cabin cruisers can be sporty. With a sufficiently powerful engine, it allows the practice of nautical activities by the sea or on the lakes.

The Open Shell

The open hull has an open deck plan without a cabin. This hull is hollow with high edges and a steering console. With a length of less than six meters, it is a perfect boat for beginners in power boating. The open hull denomination includes walk-around with central console (which can be fitted with a small cabin), bowriders with double console or offset console. The motorization is generally outboard, with a single motor powerful according to the chosen use.

It is a boat designed for small day trips, coastal navigation. It allows family and friends to be taken on board with a small cabin to store equipment or take a nap. For family walks, we favor the comfort of the saddlery and sunbathing; sports enthusiasts will appreciate the deep-v hulls for water skiing, wakeboarding, or diving; fishermen benefit from a clear deck and plenty of storage space.

It is a boat very present on our coasts because it is financially affordable, versatile and maneuverable. However, when it is small, it is poorly suited to rough seas.

The Dinghy

Originally, the dinghy was a small boat common in India and more particularly in Calcutta. Today it refers to a small pleasure boat with an outboard motor and a large cockpit protected by the deck. Its length is generally between two and six meters. It is often used as a dinghy but also allows coastal navigation for the day. The deck of this small outboard is used exclusively for the protection of a large cockpit. Whether made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or even inflatable, the dinghy remains a small boat that is easy to tow.

Its shallow depth allows it to navigate in shallow waters. A compact, low-power outboard motor is enough to equip a dinghy. It will be quiet and can be easily lifted out of the water.

The Day-Cruiser

The day cruiser is a decked bow boat with a small cabin. Its length rarely exceeds 6.50 meters. The small cabin does not allow standing but can accommodate a single or double bed. The cockpit can be transformed into a sundeck. It is a completely affordable boat for short coastal cruises with the possibility of spending one or two nights on board, but its habitability remains limited. The engine can be inboard or outboard.

It is the perfect boat for lovers of the sea or lazing in the sun, for those who want a sporty engine or a luxurious sunbathing but who do not wish to spend more than one or two nights away from the mainland.


The fishing is a boat designed for sport fishing . It is very present on the American coasts where it is used for big game fishing. It is most often equipped with a cabin with all the necessary comfort to spend several days on board. The outboard engine is powerful enough to allow sport fishing in complete safety, but this large engine is sometimes viewed negatively in France. It is a fast boat making it easy to reach fishing areas far from the coast. The deck layout and equipment (rod holder, live wells, storage) are perfectly suited to fishing. It is generally an open boat but some are habitable.

The Jet-Boat

It is a boat propelled by a water jet, fast, sporty, and easy to maintain. It is the ideal boat for the practice of water sports and speed. It has no external transmission or propeller which allows it to be used in very shallow places. It uses the same mode of propulsion as the jet ski, one or two engines operating one or more hydro jet turbines. These turbines suck water from below and expel it backwards after compression.

This type of boat can accommodate a large sunbathing area. As it has no propeller, the jet-boat is the ideal boat for wake surfing. But the consumption is higher, and it is quite noisy because it runs at high speeds. It is a very maneuverable boat that can go from full speed to standstill in record time. The main advantage is its speed but also its safety because nothing protrudes under the hull. However, low speed performance is poor and idling maneuvers are more difficult.

The Motor yachts

It is a boat with several decks and luxurious equipment (swimming pool, jacuzzi, large swimming platform…). It can accommodate several people on board in great comfort and for several weeks. The engine of this boat is inboard. It is a boat intended for offshore navigation but its purchase price and maintenance are high.

Its length is generally between 15 and 30 meters, suitable for deep-sea cruises but which can be adapted to sport fishing, diving and water activities.

Some models are more designed for river navigation.

The choice of engine will determine top speed and fuel consumption.

If the motor yacht is a comfortable boat that can be very fast, it is also a boat with high consumption with a strong environmental impact. A boat or crew license is often required.


It is a powerful and fast racing boat. By extension, it can be a pleasure boat that can exceed 50 knots. Its hull is long and thin. It is equipped with powerful inboard engines. The offshore is a competition boat designed for speed and which incorporates high technology whether by its design or its performance. Nervous and fast, it is aimed at thrill seekers.

Motorization is often provided by two sterndrives or several outboard motors. Their V-shaped hull is ideal for sea swells or large lakes. It generally has a long-closed front area, a limited seating area. It can however be fitted with a berth below the deck. It is a poorly versatile boat with a high maintenance cost.

The fishing trip / helmsman

The fishing trip or helmsman is a boat with a wheelhouse housing the steering position, a sleeping area, a small kitchen, toilets… The aft cockpit is large to facilitate fishing. The engine can be inboard or outboard. This type of boat is a benchmark for day fishing, small cruises, or coastal navigation. It is a safe and reliable boat that can navigate rough seas while maintaining good stability. It has a clear cockpit, without benches, to facilitate access to the gunwales. The essential function of its wheelhouse is to protect against bad weather. It is open to the rear and communicates directly with the cockpit. It can be closed by a sliding window but still has large, glazed surfaces.

The pneumatic / semi-rigid

The inflatable boat and the semi-rigid are easy to move. The lack of protections and cabin makes it impractical when the weather conditions are difficult.

The inflatable boat can have an inflatable or rigid floor. For more comfortable navigation, the inflatable floor is recommended. But if you want to use your boat for speed, to make it more stable, better a rigid floor.

The RIB has a hard shell and inflatable elements. It is an efficient, powerful, stable, and versatile boat thanks to its open deck. With powerful engines, it can easily replace a superyacht. Up to six meters long, it does not require a special permit and remains an economical choice. RIBs are versatile boats that can be easily personalized.

The smaller ones serve as a dinghy while the larger ones are suitable for coastal navigation and even small cruises. The inflatable boat for fishing is very common.

The Runabout

The runabout is a fast motorized canoe with a windshield. Its front is often bridged. It is perfect for coastal navigation and speed, boating, water skiing… It can be equipped with an inboard engine as well as an outboard. Its V-shaped hull allows it to go fast. Some are made of wood with a traditional style. It is designed for short trips, for maximum day trips. It generally does not have a cabin but can be fitted with a comfortable seating area and a large sundeck.

The Trawler

It is the boat for long journeys, ideal for sailing long but slowly. Between eight and 20 meters long, it is smaller than a yacht. The trawler a comfortable boat with a large autonomy thanks to its large tank. It generally has a large living space even if the engine is inboard. The trawler is the perfect boat for long-distance cruising, low-speed travel. It is appreciated by people sailing alone or in pairs. From fishing to cruising to boarding, this is a versatile and easy-to-handle boat.


A speedboat is a livable and comfortable boat, fast and light. There is open, flybridge or hard-top versions. The flybridge cruiser has an upper deck equipped with a pilot console. This elevated cockpit offers a large field of vision. It can be doubled by a closed indoor station.

The cruise ship is equipped with facilities for living on board. She measures between 7.5 and 13.5 meters in length with a deep V-shaped hull suitable for weekend outings, along the coasts or offshore sailing. The engine is generally inboard.

The living cruiser is suitable for day cruises, water sports and many other activities. It offers a perfect compromise between performance and versatility. The front houses a small, closed cabin.

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