Choosing the Right Type of Boat

Choosing the Right Type of Boat

So, you’re ready to buy a custom powerboat. Congratulations! Boat ownership is full of fun-filled days on the water. But before you buy, understand that not all boats are created equal. Each type of boat is intended for a specific purpose. The best way to choose the right type of boat for you is to learn about the different varieties, the pros and cons of each, and consider the activities you’d like to do on the water.

If you’re thinking about getting into the exciting world of boat ownership, here’s what you need to know to choose the right type of boat.

Popular Types of Boats

There are dozens of types of boats available for sale. The one that will best suit you should be able to perform the duties and activities you’d like to enjoy out on the water. Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular types of boats.

Pontoon Boat

Pontoon boats are one of the most popular types of boats because of their large deck space and versatility. Basically, pontoon boats are a large, flat deck sitting on top of usually two or three parallel pontoons. Typically, these boats range anywhere from 15 to 30-feet in length.

Most people use pontoon boats for relaxing and cruising, but they can also be used for fishing and, in a pinch, watersports. Pontoon boats aren’t designed to be fast or aerodynamic, so if you’re looking for a custom powerboat to really blow your hair back, this probably wouldn’t be the best choice.


  • Large deck space
  • Plenty of seating
  • Versatile


  • Bulky and hard to control in weather
  • Not made for overly rough or choppy waters


Bowriders are the “standard” family motorboat. They’re designed with plenty of seating across the bow, stern, and cockpit and a walkway through the center of the craft. The driver is situated in the middle of the boat on the starboard side. You can find bowriders with both inboard and outboard engines.

Bowriders are great all-around boats but don’t excel in any particular area. They’re mostly used as leisure family boats. Many feature a platform on the back for water activities like swimming and water sports, and the V-shaped hull ensures a smooth ride on various water conditions. 

You can order a bowrider as a custom powerboat, but they typically come standard from the factory. You won’t be able to choose your features like you would with a more high-end type of boat.


  • Seating for friends and family
  • Watersport capable
  • Small and easy to tow


  • Single engine can lack power
  • Reduced maneuverability

Cabin Cruiser

Cabin cruisers are larger boats with an enclosed cabin, galley, and berth. They typically come equipped with many modern comforts like generators, heaters, and air conditioners. There’s plenty of space to walk, lounge, and enjoy your time on the water. Some even come ready for overnight stays.

The extra-deep V-hull ensures a very smooth ride on most water conditions, perfect for relaxing and lounging. Cabin cruisers usually use a rudder for steering, which can reduce maneuverability. They’re best used in large bodies of water—typically saltwater.

While cabin cruisers are perfect for lounging about, that’s about all they’re good for. Fishing isn’t easy from the deck’s height, and the large size means the boat won’t be fast enough for most watersports. Custom powerboat versions of cabin cruisers can be very expensive because of their large size and various amenities.


  • Smooth, dry ride
  • Ample space and seating
  • Enclosed cabin to avoid bad weather


  • Large size typically makes them difficult to tow. Most are simply left in the water (which means slip fees)
  • Expensive to buy and maintain

Center Console

Center console boats are similar to bowriders except—as the name might suggest—the console is located in the center of the craft. Instead of the center walkway, passengers can walk around each side of the console.

Center console boats are booming in popularity because of their versatility and efficient use of space. Fishing enthusiasts love center console boats for the ability to fish off all sides, people who like watersports enjoy the speed and visibility, and boaters looking to relax enjoy the smooth ride of the V-shaped hull.

There’s a wide range of center console boats on the market. Boats designed for fishing are typically barebones and offer limited features. On the other end of the spectrum, you can find custom powerboats built for speed and luxury—like the Mystic M4200 and M3800. Center console boats are a great all-around option to suit just about any boating style.


  • Unmatched versatility
  • Great visibility from the center cockpit
  • Efficient use of space
  • Plenty of options to suit any need


  • Can be expensive (depending on options)


Instead of having one hull like most boats, catamarans have two. The multiple hulls let catamarans sit higher in the water and offer more stability, even at high speeds.

Catamarans come in many shapes and sizes. There are large cruising catamarans, sail-powered catamarans, and performance custom powerboat catamarans—like the Mystic C4000. With so many options available, there’s a catamaran to suit any need or desire.


  • More stability
  • Operate at faster speeds (for a custom powerboat)
  • Wide range of styles and features to suit any need


  • Can be expensive
  • Not ideal for rough waters


While there’s no official definition of a yacht, they’re generally assumed to be any boat larger than 45-feet that’s designed specifically for leisure. Yachts offer more luxury and features compared to most smaller custom powerboats but at a much higher price tag.

Yachts range anywhere from 45-feet all the way up several hundred feet. They can have multiple decks, customized features, helipads, and even tennis courts! With a yacht, everything is in excess.

While they do offer unmatched luxury and features, they’re also massive. You can’t tow your yacht out of the water for a day on the lake. Once it’s in the ocean, that’s where it stays. They’re also not suitable for anything besides relaxing and cruising. You’re not going to fish off a 20-foot tall deck or water ski behind the slow-moving behemoth.


  • Unlimited features
  • Ultimate in luxury


  • Incredibly expensive
  • High maintenance fees
  • Not towable

Which Type of Boat Is Right for You?

Everyone has a different idea of what’s “fun” out on the water. Some like to relax and soak in the sun, some would rather catch a delicious dinner, while others need to get their adrenaline pumping on some water skis. Whatever your desire, there’s a boat out there for you. Consider the activities you’d like to do and choose a boat suited to your needs.

Desires can change over time. Choosing a versatile type of boat like a center console is a great way to ensure your boat can keep up with any demand. You can speed the family around during the day and enjoy a nice relaxing time on the water with your significant other that same evening.

Ready to take the plunge into boat ownership? Contact the experts at Mystic. We build the best center console and catamaran custom powerboats on the market. Every boat is designed to suit your style and preferences. Contact us to schedule your one-on-one meeting to discuss your needs and take the next step toward life on the water.