Best boats under $20,000

10 Best Boats Under $20,000

cheap yachts for sale under $20k

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Last Updated on November 3, 2023 by Boatsetter Team

Boats are expensive, often very expensive, and that’s why so many people decide to rent a boat instead of buying one. But after years of renting you may decide you want a boat of your own. 

If you have a limited budget this can range from difficult to impossible, but there are some boats out there that cost under $20,000 and might prove ideal for you and your family. What are the 10 best boats under $20,000? Here are our top picks:

  • AlumaCraft Escape 165 CS
  • Bayliner Element M15
  • Hobie Mirage Passport 12.0 R
  • Lowe Roughneck RX1860
  • Mako Pro Skiff 13 CC
  • Princecraft Jazz 140
  • Sea Doo Spark
  • Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 16 XL Select
  • Tracker Bass Tracker Classic XL

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1. AlumaCraft Escape 165 CS

AlumaCraft Escape 165 CS 2

AlumaCraft Escape 165 CS – Around $17,500 with a 20-hp Mercury outboard motor and a ShoreLand’r trailer, the AlumaCraft Escape 165 CS gets you out on the water in an aluminum V- hull boat featuring AlumaCraft’s 2XB hardened-aluminum keel and twin-plated bow . Either tiller or side console versions are available, and both come with a whopping-big 20-gallon livewell and a pair of seats.

  • Estimated MSRP range : $9,914

Visit Alumacraft to learn more.

2. Bayliner Element M15

bayliner element m15

Bayliner Element M15 – The Bayliner Element M15 represents one of the best buys around in the fiberglass boat market, delivering a 15’2” deckboat packing 40 Mercury horses and a single-axel painted trailer with a swing-away tongue at an MSRP of right around $17,000. With a side console, a large L-lounger, swim platforms on either side of the outboard, and Bayliner’s M-hull, the M15 is ready for everything from watersports to day-cruising right out of the box.

  • Estimated MSRP range : $16,980

Visit Bayliner to learn more.

3. Hobie Mirage Passport 12.0 R

mirage passport 12

They’re small and limited to one person, but kayaks are some of the most popular boats around. And with an MSRP of $1,999 you could get an entire fleet of Hobie Mirage Passport pedal-drive kayaks. Stack ‘em up in the back of a pickup or get a roof rack and you can transport multiples without a trailer, you’ll never have to worry about buying fuel, and your carbon footprint won’t grow by one inch.

  • Estimated MSRP range : $2,000

Visit Hobie to learn more.

4. Lowe Roughneck RX1860 

Lowe Roughneck RX1860 

Those in search of a boat that can be used for everything from fishing to waterfowl hunting will want to take a peek at the Lowe Roughneck RX1860, a tiller-steered utility boat that comes in camo and sports a stock 20-hp Mercury outboard for under $12,000. That means you have plenty of room in the budget for goodies like a trailer or a larger motor. Yes, this is a fairly bare-bones Jon boat, but that also means maintenance is minimal and it cleans up easily.

  • Estimated MSRP range : $21,385

Visit Lowe Boats to learn more.

5. Lund 1648 

Lund 1648

If a Jon boat is what you’re looking for the Lund 1648 is bound to be in the running. The bare hull costs just under $4,000, which leaves plenty of cash left for an outboard and trailer. That means you can easily build a total package in the $15,000 range, or even less if you don’t need gobs of power. This is a standard-issue Jon so it comes with just two bench seats and a capped foredeck, but with all the money left in the budget you can rig it out as simply or as extensively as you’d like.

  • Estimated MSRP range : $3,698

Visit Lund Boats for more information.

6. Mako Pro Skiff 13 CC

Mako Pro Skiff 13 CC

Another fiberglass boat-motor-trailer package that comes in under our price ceiling is the Mako Pro Skiff 13 CC, a mini fishing skiff that MSRPs just under $18,000 with a 25-hp outboard. It’s also the one fiberglass center console that makes this lineup, and it features a mere eight inches of draft for getting to those fish in skinny water. Plus, despite its diminutive nature the Pro Skiff 13 CC is rated for up to four people, has an integrated aft bench seat in the stern , and a forward casting deck in the bow. Note that if you want more power and speed you can upgrade to a 40-hp outboard and still make it in just under the $20,000 cap.

  • Estimated MSRP range :17,995

Visit Mako Boats for more information.

7. Princecraft Jazz 140

Princecraft Jazz 140

 If pontoon boats are your thing and you want one under the $20,000 mark you’ll have a handful to choose from, and a standout is the Princecraft Jazz 140. Starting for a little over $16,000 the Jazz 140 comes with a 9.9-hp Mercury outboard engine, helm and passenger’s seats, two small couches in the bow, and can even be rigged out with a livewell and fishing station for you anglers. Plus, construction is high-quality with 5052 H36 marine grade aluminum, extruded pontoon keels, and 2.5” extruded cross channels.

  • Estimated MSRP range :$15,000

Visit Princecraft to learn more.

8. Sea Doo Spark 

Sea-Doo Spark

Yes, the Sea Doo Spark is a PWC, but that’s still a boat — and a rather thrilling one at that. With an MSRP right around $6,000, you can get three while staying within the budget, each with the capacity for two people, and take the entire family out for a day of wake -jumping, watersports, or exploring. Talk about fun!

  • Estimated MSRP range :$5,999

Visit Sea Doo to learn more.

9. Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 16 XL Select 

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 16 XL Select 

Barely squeaking in under the wire with an MSRP of $19,995, anglers who want to hit the lakes in a pontoon fishing machine will love the Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 16 XL Select. The package includes a 50-hp Mercury FourStroke outboard and all the fishing features you need to battle those basses, like rod holders, a livewell, two fishing seats (in addition to the aft L-lounger, helm chair, and console seat), and a Bimini top.

  • Estimated MSRP range :$19,995

Visit Sun Tracker to learn more.

10. Tracker Bass Tracker Classic XL 

Tracker Bass Tracker Classic XL 

Bass boats can easily break the bank, but not the Bass Tracker Classic XL. Rigged with a 50-hp Mercury outboard, a trailer, and plenty of big-ticket items (a livewell, a 12-volt bow-mount electric trolling motor , and a Lowrance Hook2 4X color fishfinder), the MSRP hovers just below $17,000. Added bonus: that package gets you some eye-opening performance for boats under $20,000, with top-end speeds of over 30 mph.

  • Estimated MSRP range :$16,995

Visit Tracker Boats to learn more.

So: did you find your eminently affordable dream boat on this list? We certainly hope so. But if not, remember, renting a boat for the day is always an option.

Boatsetter is a unique boat-sharing platform that gives everyone — whether you own a boat or you’re just renting — the chance to experience life on the water. You can list a boat , book a boat , or make money as a captain

List. Rent. Earn— Only at Boatsetter

Editors Note: This article was originally posted 7/21/2021, and updated on 12/28/2022

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Used Yachts For Sale Under $20,000,000

photo of 121' Numarine 37XP 2026

121' Numarine 37XP 2026

$ 20,000,000

Istanbul, Turkey

photo of 140' Benetti Benetti Crystal 140 2019

140' Benetti Benetti Crystal 140 2019

$ 19,985,000

Varazze, Italy

photo of 140' Majesty Yachts 2020

140' Majesty Yachts 2020

$ 19,950,000

Palm Beach, United States

photo of 172' Astilleros Buquebus Custom 2014

172' Astilleros Buquebus Custom 2014

$ 19,900,000

València, Spain

photo of 180' Benetti 2003

180' Benetti 2003

Nassau, Bahamas

photo of 162' Anastassiades & Tsortanides 1970

162' Anastassiades & Tsortanides 1970

Svalbard, Norway

photo of 116' Hargrave Tri-Deck 2023

116' Hargrave Tri-Deck 2023

$ 19,800,000

Fort Lauderdale, United States

photo of 157' Christensen Christensen 157 2005

157' Christensen Christensen 157 2005

$ 19,750,000

West Palm Beach, United States

photo of 155' Feadship Motor Yacht 2001

155' Feadship Motor Yacht 2001

$ 19,500,000

Corfu, Greece

photo of 185' Oceanfast Full Displacement 2004

185' Oceanfast Full Displacement 2004

photo of 110' JFA 2012

110' JFA 2012

$ 19,116,750

Enroute to Norway, Norway

photo of 120' AB Beach 2023

120' AB Beach 2023

$ 18,995,000

Miami, United States


Finding a used yachts for sale under $20,000,000 that fits your needs when it comes to number of passengers, horsepower, inside accommodations, and other features on board can be a challenge with so many options available on the market today. There are many types of boats available under $20 million like luxury  motor yachts , with many good options across all length ranges. Still, there are plenty of opportunities with brands like  Princess ,  Azimut , Benetti , Pershing , Westport , Trinity Yachts , and others. Let the team at United Yacht Sales help you find the right vessel that fits your needs under $20 million.

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cheap yachts for sale under $20k


7 Best Sailboats Under $20,000

Best Sailboats Under $20,000 | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

December 27, 2023

You can buy a fully-equipped and serviceable sailboat for less than $20,000 on the used market. Most of these vessels are fiberglass sloops.

Used sailboats between 20 and 30 feet in length can be found for between $10,000 and $20,000 nationwide, especially on the coast. Catalina, O'Day, and Islander sailboats are common in this price range and lots of fun to sail.

Table of contents

What to Look for When Buying a Used Sailboat

When buying a used sailboat, it's essential to carefully inspect the vessel and look for flaws and structural issues. Sailboats in this price range are often ready to sail or just need minor improvements.

For the price, an older fiberglass 20 to 30-foot sailboat should be in good to excellent condition. Here's what to look for when buying a used sailboat and what to expect in the sub-$20,000 range.

Overall Condition

The overall condition of the boat is important, as it gives you an idea of how well the vessel was maintained. A sailboat with a clean, glossy hull, a solid deck, fresh varnish, and polished brass is an excellent sign of a responsible owner.

However, a sailboat with rust, corroded aluminum parts, a filthy hull, and a moldy interior was likely neglected in more ways than one. The first impressions of a sailboat can give you a pretty good idea of what lies below the surface.

Hull and Deck

Fiberglass boats are quite impervious to weather and corrosion, but problems occur when water penetrates the hull. Soft spots form around areas where the fiberglass cracks and water permeates.

Look for 'dented' areas of the deck where water pools up, as deformities can be a sign of something worse going on underneath. Check the bilge for excessive water but be mindful that some boats came with 'wet' bilges.

Does the vessel have all of its standing rigging tightened and maintained? What about sails, halyards, and sheets? If the rigging is present and neatly organized, it's a good sign that you're getting your money's worth.

If the vessel has an inboard motor, check the condition and fire it up. Inboards can be an expensive nightmare if they're neglected, which is often the case on used sailboats. See how it runs and make sure it responds to forward and reverse.

Sailboats are notorious for poor wiring and electrical issues. Much of the time, sailboats were shoddily wired from the factory, and sometimes the issue is related to improper maintenance or water damage.

Check the switchboard and make sure everything works. Try the radio, cabin lights, engine starter, hydraulic systems, and bilge pumps. A few broken lights or dead outlets are acceptable, but an electrically-neglected vessel can be a nightmare and a navigational hazard.

Best Affordable Used Sailboats Under 20k

Owning a used sailboat is a great way to explore local waterways and occupy the weekends. Sailboats made by well-known manufacturers were produced in huge numbers in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

These vessels are seaworthy and affordable, which makes them an excellent choice for budget-friendly sailing. Here are seven of the best used sailboats for under $20,000.

7. West Wight Potter 19


It's difficult to omit the West Wight Potter 19 from a list of the best affordable sailboats for under $20,000, as this vessel is exceptional by almost every metric. The West Wight Potter 19 is the ultimate small trailer sailboat.

The vessel is a V-bottom sloop with a fiberglass hull and a centerboard. It was introduced in 1971 and has since become very popular from the United States all the way to Australia. It's a hardy coastal and inland cruising vessel that's made occasional offshore trips, including one from San Francisco to Hawaii.

It measures just under 19 feet overall and has a width of 7 feet 6 inches. With the keel up, it has a draft of only 6 inches, making it a beachable and trailerable cruising boat.

For its size, the West Wight Potter 19 has spacious accommodations below. It features a center-mounted split galley with a stove and a sink, along with space for a head below the stove.

A V-berth upfront offers sleeping quarters for two, and two additional berths aft bring the comfortable capacity up to four. The centerboard trunk in the center of the cabin features rigging to raise, lower, and lock the centerboard.

The West Wight Potter 19 features a fast-rigging system that allows one person to raise and rig the mast in just a few minutes. It's easy to sail, safe, and plenty of fun. Plus, the hull features positive floatation foam, which makes it quite literally unsinkable.

6. Contessa 26


The Contessa 26 is a unique and capable mid-sized sailboat. It's a fast boat and a common sight at long-range regattas like the singlehanded TransPac race from San Francisco to Hawaii.

The Contessa 26 was produced starting in 1966, but the design dates much further back. The basic hull shape of the Contessa 26 was based on a Nordic Folkboat designed in the late 1930s for speed and agility at sea. As it turned out, the design also proved to be quite seaworthy.

The Contessa 26 was produced up until the end of the 1970s. She measures 25.5 feet overall, with a waterline length of 20 feet. The Contessa 26 has a reasonable beam of 7.5 feet, giving it good stability and seakeeping characteristics without sacrificing speed or handling.

The Contessa 26 is not a trailerable sailboat by most definitions, as it weighs 5,400 lbs and has a 4-foot draft. It has a full ballast keel, which makes it a stout offshore sailing platform. That said, its relatively small draft makes it safe to operate in shallow inland waters.

The accommodations of the Contessa 26 are excellent for its size, and it comfortably sleeps between one and five adults. It features standing headroom, a basic galley, a head with shower, and a standard V-berth upfront.

Space below leaves much to be desired, as vessels like the Catalina 30 outshine it significantly. But overall, the Contessa 26 is an excellent cruising sailboat with a classic design and sharp performance.

5. Catalina 30


The Catalina 30 is one of the best used sailboats available for coastal and offshore cruising. If spacious accommodations are important to you, then you can't go wrong with this 30-foot Catalina sloop.

The vessel features a tall and stout Bermuda rig with an aluminum mast and standard rigging. The Catalina 30 measures 29.92 feet overall, with a length of 25 feet at the waterline. With a beam of 10.83 feet, the Catalina 30 is a wide and stable vessel.

Catalina 30 sailboats feature a long fin keel and a relatively deep 5.25-foot draft, which requires care when operating in shallow water. However, offshore the Catalina 30 has proven to be a seaworthy and well-handling vessel.

Overall, the Catalina 30 weighs just over 10,200 lbs. She's not exactly trailerable, but most marinas can haul out a Catalina 30 without too much trouble.

Interior accommodations on board are stellar. With sleeping room for seven adults, the Catalina 30 is a fantastic family boat. It features a full galley, a head and shower, a chart table, and a spacious dinette.

Over 6,000 Catalina 30 sailboats have been produced since 1972, making it one of the most popular sailboats ever built. A decent used Catalina 30 can be had for around $10,000 to $15,000 on the used market.

4. Islander 28


Another popular and classic 1970s fiberglass sloop is the Islander 28. Launched in 1975, the Islander 28 is an affordable and well-handling sailboat with a reputation for durability and seaworthiness.

The Islander 28 is a masthead sloop with a spade rudder and a fin keel. It displaces 7,000 lbs and has a relatively wide 9.83-foot beam. The Islander 28 measures 27.92 feet overall with a waterline length of 23.08 feet.

Islander sailboats are some of the most common vessels of the 1970s and 1980s. And though not as numerous as the Catalina 30, the Islander 28 is still a popular boat on the used market.

Islander 28 sailboats aren't exactly shoal draft, but their moderate 5-foot draft means they're safe to operate in most harbors. And while not technically trailerable, the Islander 28 is small and light enough to be hauled out and repaired in most boatyards.

The Islander 28 sleeps six adults comfortably and features full accommodations below. These include two seats, a galley, a table, a head with shower, and a V-berth forward.

An Islander 28 is a wise choice for coastal and offshore cruising. It's a stout, safe, and fun boat for the family, and it's easy for moderately experienced sailors to handle. A decent used fully-equipped Islander 28 can be found for less than $20,000 on the used market.

3. Compac 23


Compac is a well-known sailboat manufacturer with a long history of producing swift compact cruising boats. The Compac 23 is a large sailboat in a miniature package.

This vessel is ideal for those looking for a small and easy to handle sailboat with spacious accommodations. It features a fiberglass hull, an extensive cabin, and a shallow draft of just over 2 feet.

The Compac 23 has an overall length of just an inch shy of 24 feet, and a beam of 8 feet. Its dimensions make it stable and easy to handle, and it doesn't heel excessively. Overall, the Compac 23 displaces 3,000 lbs.

The interior accommodations of the Compac 23 set it apart from other vessels in its size category. The interior features a separated galley with a sink and a stove, seats, and a V-berth upfront. It also has plenty of well-thought-out storage space throughout the cabin.

The Compac 23 is also available with a pilothouse configuration, which features standing headroom and a clever table arrangement aft. The vessel features a skeg rudder and a long fixed fin keel, which removes the cumbersome centerboard trunk from the cabin.


The Cal 25 is a formidable cruiser for its size. While technically a fin- keel sailboat , the Cal 25 features a long ballast keel that offers superior stability and windward performance.

Some would consider the Cal 25 a "flush-deck" sailboat, as the top section of the cabin runs flush with the bow to the cockpit. This design increases cabin space and improves the lines of the boat.

The Cal 25 was produced between 1965 and 1976, making it one of the older fiberglass sloops on our list. That said, Cal Yachts build quality is excellent, and many serviceable examples of the 1,848 original Cal 25 sailboats still exist.

The vessel measures 25 feet overall, with a waterline length of 20 feet. She has a beam of exactly 8 feet and a relatively shallow draft of just 4 feet. The Cal 25 has a modest displacement of 4,000 lbs, making it a relatively practical trailer-sailer option.

The Cal 25 usually came with an outboard motor instead of an inboard to save space. The helm is controlled by a tiller, which maneuvers a skeg rudder located underneath the cockpit. With the mast collapsed, the Cal 25 is a great sailboat for winter storage and summer use.

The level of fit and finish varies between boats, as some were outfitted with finer wood and more premium features than others. The cockpit is spacious for its size, and the cabin headroom is excellent. The Compac 23 is an ideal used shoal-draft cruising sailboat in the sub-$20,000 category, and it's still produced today.

1. Catalina 22


The Catalina 22 was the first sailboat of countless families across the United States. This sleek 22-foot vessel was designed to be the perfect 'starter boat' for sailors who wanted to explore inland waterways and coastal areas.

The Catalina 22 was first introduced in 1969. It has an overall length of 21.5 feet and a beam of 7.67 feet. Catalina 22 sailboats are truly trailerable, as most come with a retractable swing keel. With the keel or centerboard down, the Catalina 22 has a draft of 5 feet.

The Catalina 22 is the most popular sailboat ever produced in its class. With over 15,000 built, this vessel is common on the used market, and parts are abundant. Overall, a standard Catalina 22 sloop weighs around 2,490 lbs, making it practical to tow behind most half-ton pickup trucks or V8 SUVs.

Fiberglass boats like the Catalina 22 are an excellent choice for first-time sailors looking for a fun and capable family boat with overnight accommodations. The Catalina 22 sleeps four adults comfortably, but five can fit if the crew are comfortable with a tighter arrangement.

The most unique feature of the Catalina 22 is its camper-like pop top. The top of the cabin, which normally provides sitting headroom, can be popped up several inches past the original height. This is an excellent feature for cooking at anchor, as it provides standing headroom over the galley and part of the settee.

Pre-owned Catalina 22 sailboats in ready-to-sail configuration run anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. Fiberglass sailboats like the Catalina 22 make excellent freshwater or saltwater daysailers, and some have completed lengthier offshore voyages.

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7 Best Sailboats Under $20,000

I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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10 Great Used Motoryachts You Can Buy For $150K

10 Great Used Motoryachts You Can Buy For $150K

January 16, 2017 1:45 pm

Consider this scenario: you’re in the market for a used motoryacht — probably nothing smaller than 40 feet — with a budget of $150,000, more or less. You want a boat from a good builder (preferably one of their more popular models), and you’re open to the layout as long as it’s comfortable. Everything else is on the table.

If that describes your boating future, you’ll be happy and perhaps a little surprised at the choices available to you in a used motoryacht or cruiser yacht .

To find out for ourselves, we spent two weeks researching this market on YachtWorld,, etc., and came away with a list of ten models that represent a cross section of what’s available for about $150,000. There’s a lot to choose from here — traditional aft cabin motor yachts, cockpit motor yachts, classic pilothouse yachts, and sporty sedan cruisers.

All of the ten boats profiled below were popular models during their production years which means (a) that a clean used model should be relatively easy to find, and (b) selling or trading up one day should be no problem.

At the end of the day it’s good to know $150,000 still buys a lot of boat. Assuming 20 percent down and a 15-year note, the monthly payment for one of these yachts can be less than $1,000. For many, that’s an affordable number, especially with strengthening home values and historically low interest rates. Food for thought as we approach the spring boat show season.

1. Carver 500/504 Cockpit MY Production Years: 1996–2000


At a Glance: A super-popular model for Carver, basically a condo on the water. This is a cockpit version of the Carver 455/456 Aft Cabin model produced during the same years.

Spacious two stateroom maple interior has a folding bulkhead in the forward VIP stateroom that conceals a small guest cabin/den to port with convertible bunks. (This feature was eliminated in 1999 when the interior was redesigned and the name changed to Carver 504.)

The large U-shaped galley is aft in the salon rather than forward as it is in most motoryacht floorplans. In the master stateroom, the walkaround queen bed faces aft to permit the installation of cockpit access door. Washer/dryer is in forward stateroom. Twin 450hp Cummins diesels cruise at 18 knots.

Best Feature: Huge interior, the result of moving the superstructure well forward in the hull (note the relatively short foredeck).

Pr ice Spread: From a low of about $150K up to the mid-to-high $200s for a newer model.

2. Carver 444 Cockpit MY Production Years: 2001 – 2006


At a Glance: The top-selling cockpit yacht in this class for several years. Basically a Carver 396 Aft Cabin with a good-sized cockpit. The 444’s huge full-beam interior — made possible by raising the side decks to eye level — comes as a surprise. With its panoramic views and nearly seven feet of headroom, the salon’s dimensions are those of a much larger boat.

To save space, the forward head is split with the shower stall to port and toilet compartment to starboard. A sliding glass door in the (smallish) master stateroom opens directly into the cockpit.

In 2004, an optional “Extended Salon” floorplan with a full-size dinette, enlarged galley and redesigned VIP stateroom became available. Twin Volvo 370hp engines cruise at 18–19 knots. Carver sold a ton of these stylish boats.

Best Feature: Enormous salon/dinette/galley area with panoramic outside views.

Price Spread: A random YachtWorld check will find several priced in the mid $100K range.

3. Meridian 411 Sedan Production Years: 2003 – 2008


At a Glance: Very popular (and very affordable) sedan cruiser — a winning blend of sharp styling and spacious accommodations — made the Meridian 411 one of the best-selling midrange boats in her class. Huge interior layout with galley and booth-style dinette forward, a step up from the aft salon area with entertainment center and facing settees.

Large salon windows bring the outdoors in. Modern decor with cherry cabinets, Ultraleather seating, and Corian counters. Master stateroom includes private en-suite head; guest stateroom has a double berth (tucked under the dinette) and access to the second day head. Extended swim platform leads to a large cockpit (with molded bridge steps) suitable for fishing and entertaining.

Lower helm was optional. Wide side decks make it easy to get to the foredeck sun pad.

Best Feature: A super-social flybridge with sun lounge, wet bar, settee, and aft sun pad.

Price Spread:  Low-to-mid $100s to over $300K.

4. Silverton 39 Motor Yacht Production Years: 2002 – 2008


At a Glance: This maxi-beam aft cabin cruiser — and her lookalike predecessor, the best-selling Silverton 372/392 Motor Yacht — is proof that a roomy interior trumps graceful styling almost every time. Elevated side decks on both sides of the house provide a huge full-beam salon as well as direct flybridge access to the foredeck.

The 39’s galley rivals many larger boats in storage and counter space. Both staterooms have queen beds, generous storage, and en-suite heads with stall shower. High-gloss cherry trim, Corian counters, and Ultraleather upholstery compliment the interior. Molded steps lead from the swim platform up to a roomy aft deck with wet bar, bench seating and hard top.

Note the triple helm seat on the flybridge. The 39’s high freeboard will test your docking skills on a windy day. Standard 380hp gas engines cruise at 16–18 knots.

Best Feature: Enormous two-stateroom interior dwarfs anything in her class. Excellent galley.

Price Spread: $150K to the mid $200s.

5. Bayliner 4788 Pilothouse Production Years: 1994 – 2002


At a Glance: Arguably the best big-boat value ever. Spacious, well appointed, and surprisingly fuel efficient. This is basically a restyled (and lengthened) version of the very popular Bayliner 4550/4588 Pilothouse.

Her three stateroom, two head interior features a full-beam salon with large U-shaped galley forward to port, wet bar, L-lounge seating, and large side windows. In the pilothouse, there is a settee aft of the helm and a companion seat to port.

Visibility from the pilothouse is excellent. Second guest stateroom with upper/lower bunks doubles as a den and opens directly to the master stateroom — very clever. An inflatable dinghy can be carried on the extended flybridge deck. The engine room is a tight fit. Forget all that talk about Bayliner quality — the 4788 is simply a lot of boat for the money.

Best Feature: Comfortable salon that opens to the large cockpit — perfect for entertaining. 

Price Spread:  Low-to-mid $100s for a 1994–95 model to $230 to $250K for a 2001–02 model.

6.  Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge Production Years: 1992 – 1998


At a Glance: Stylish 1990’s cruising yacht with three-stateroom interior and extra-large cockpit. The salon is impressive, a wide-open (carpeted) living area with cut-down galley, long leather sofa, entertainment center, and big wraparound cabin windows.

The forward master stateroom is huge with an island queen bed, two hanging lockers, vanity, and private en-suite head. Roomy guest stateroom has a full-size berth, and the second guest cabin has over/under bunks. Both heads have stall showers, but guest head is tight. Lower helm was optional. Center transom door is flanked by built-in bench seats in the cockpit.

In 1996, the flybridge ladder was replaced with molded steps and the helm was relocated aft. The 550’s straight sheer and drooping bow are distinctive. Detroit 625hp 6V-92 diesels cruise at 22–23 knots.

Best Feature: The large cockpit and party-time flybridge — great attributes for entertaining.

Price Spread: $150K to the mid $200s

7. Maxum 4600 SCB Production Years: 1997 –2001


At a Glance: Modern styling, an inviting two stateroom interior, and a very competitive price made the Maxum 4600 SCB one of the best motoryacht buys of her day. Maxum engineers packed a lot of value into this boat. The salon is exceptionally inviting with wraparound windows, a long leather sofa, cherry cabinets, and full entertainment center.

A raised dinette is forward to starboard, opposite the home-size galley with overhead glass storage and Corian counters. A lower helm was optional in place of the dinette. Note the tub in the master head. In the cockpit, a center transom door opens to an extended swim platform able to support a PWC.

The 4600 SCB is surprisingly fuel-efficient boat, a feature that stems in part from her relatively light weight. Cummins 370hp diesels cruise at 16–18 knots.

Best Feature: An affordable price — this is what brokers call a lot of boat for the money.

Price Spread:  From about $100K for an older model up to $200K-plus for 2001–02 model.

8. Sea Ray 450 Express Bridge Production Years: 1998 – 2004


At a Glance:   An innovative yacht when she was introduced in 1998. Not many 45-footers have three staterooms. The aft stateroom — accessed via a private entryway next to the salon door — includes a full-length berth with hanging locker and built-in washer/dryer.

Forward of that, the amidships stateroom features a double berth with partial standing headroom and an opening port. An island queen is in the forward stateroom. Both heads include separate stall showers. Aft of the galley is a breakfast bar with two swing-out stools. Small salon windows limit natural lighting below. Topside, the huge party-time flybridge has seating fore and aft of the center helm console. Note the unique staircase descending from the flybridge to the foredeck.

An extended swim platform was a popular option. Cummins 450hp V-drive diesels cruise at 20–22 knots.

Best Feature: Huge party-time bridge area.

Price Spread:  An early model might be found for $150K. Newer can easily exceed $200K.

9. Carver 440 Aft Cabin Production Years: 1993 – 1999


At a Glance: The largest model in the Carver fleet when she was introduced in 1993. A big 44-footer with an usually spacious salon, two double staterooms, two full heads, and a convertible dinette — sleeping accommodations for as many as eight adults.

The maple wood accents and carpeted salon are showing their age, but large cabin windows make the interior open and airy. Note salon entertainment center. Full-service galley includes double sink, upright refrigerator, washer/dryer, Corian counter and hardwood floor.

The aft deck is large enough for a table and chairs, and the flybridge has dual captain’s chairs with bench seating forward of the helm. Bow pulpit, fiberglass swim platform, and radar arch were standard. Carver sold a lot of these boats and used models are plentiful.

Best Feature: Very spacious layout with room to entertain a small neighborhood.

Price Spread:  From about $100K for an older model up to $200K-plus for 2001–02 model

10. Sea Ray 420 Aft Cabin Production Years: 1996 – 2002


At a Glance:   Sleek aft cabin cruising yacht incorporated European styling influences in an era when too many American-built motor yachts looked like floating condos. Well-appointed two stateroom galley-down interior sleeps up to eight — includes L-shaped sofa and raised dinette in the salon, walkaround queen berths fore and aft, two full heads, and stand-up utility room under the salon sole.

Full-size galley comes complete with separate Sub Zero refrigerator and freezer, convection oven, and lots of counter and storage space — a big plus. The aft deck is big for a boat this size. Molded steps make boarding from the extended swim platform easy and safe.

Built on a fully cored hull with prop pockets to level the engines. A good performer with 450hp Cummins diesels— cruise in the mid 20s (27–28 knots top.

Best Feature: Utility room with washer/dryer and pantry — a very unique feature in a boat this size

Price Spread:  From the low $100K range for a 1996–97 model up to about $200K for newer.

Ed McKnew  PowerBoat Guide Founder

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Top 12 New Boats Under $21K for 2021

new boats for sale 2021

Welcome to 2021 everyone, we’re all hoping it’s a big improvement over 2020 and we can put issues like boating during COVID-19 and boat show cancellations behind us. The best news? There are as many great new affordable boat models hitting the water as ever before.

Normally, we’d recommend you check them out at the boat shows , but since this spring we’ll still be feeling the effects of the pandemic and going to boat shows isn’t yet in the cards, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at 12 top new boats under $21,000 for 2021.

Explore All Boats & Brands

bayliner element m15

1. Bayliner Element M15

Price: $13,999

When Bayliner introduced the Element line a few years back, it was hailed as one of the most unique new model introductions in the affordable boat market in decades. For 2021, they’re making another and possibly even bigger splash, with the all-new M15 . This is essentially a mini-deckboat , stretching the tape to 15’2” long and 6’7” wide yet providing enough space and seating for five people.

Like other Elements it features Bayliner’s extremely stable M-hull hull design, and it’s packaged with a 40-horsepower Mercury outboard and a single-axel trailer with a swing-away tongue for a jaw-dropping starting price of $13,999. That means this is the most affordable boat in our round-up, and its small, simple nature means this may also be one of the easiest new boats for an inexperienced mariner to buy, run, and maintain all on his or her own. Plus, its diminutive nature means this entire rig is garage-ready and easy to pack away between weekends.

Visit Bayliner to learn more.

2021 Carolina Skiff 162 JLS

2. Carolina Skiff 162 JLS

Price: $18,972

Most people think that getting a fiberglass bay boat would be expensive, but Carolina Skiff proves that doesn’t have to be the case with their new 162 JLS , which starts at $18,972 with a 60-horsepower Suzuki DF60ATL3 on the transom. For the 2021 model year the 162 JLS has a modified-V hull and a full inner-liner, which is a serious change from old-school Carolina Skiffs and delivers a smoother ride as well as better fit and finish.

Plus, the boat comes with plenty of features like an 18-gallon livewell, six flush-mount console rodholders, under-gunwale rodracks, molded in bow stowage compartments, an aft swim platform with telescopic ladder, LED bow and stern lights, and a battery switch.

Visit Carolina Skiff to learn more.

crestliner 1650 fish hawk 2021

3. Crestliner 1650 Fish Hawk

Price: $18,583

Just last year Crestliner redesigned their epically popular Fish Hawk series and introduced the 1650, and for 2021 you can get into a new Fish Hawk in a shockingly affordably way with the $18,583 Fish Hawk 1650 SE. This model has an aft livewell, a rodbox in the center of the bow and racks along the port gunwale, two pedestal seats and four pedestal bases, and multiple stowage compartments built into the bow and stern decks.

The package includes a 50-horsepower Mercury and a trailer, and while the boat itself may not be as packed with bling as some more expensive models, the 1650 SE still has the low-maintenance, well-built construction that Crestliner is known for: an all-welded aluminum hull with a variable-degree deadrise, a full-length extruded keel, reverse chine extrusions with a full-length spray deflector, and slick-looking baked-on Armor-Guard paint.

Visit Crestliner to learn more.

legend 15 angler

4. Legend 15 Angler

Price: $18,999

This year you can get into a Legend 15 Angler for $18,999 with a 25-horsepower Mercury ELPT four-stroke outboard and a Glide-on trailer, and this boat offers something few competitors match: a hull thickness of 0.100-gauge aluminum. Most 15-footers have thinner skins, often to the tune of 10- to 20-percent thinner.

This boat is also packaged in loaded-to-the-gills form, with a Humminbird PiranhaMax 4 color fishfinder, a 15-gallon bow livewell, two adjustable rodholders, and a swing-away tongue and guide bunks on the trailer.

Added bonus: you could upgrade the 25-horse powerplant to a 30 HP model, and still come in under the $21,000 mark.

Visit Legend to learn more.

AB Inflatables Mares 11VSX

5. AB Inflatables Mares 11VSX  

Price: $20,244 with 30 HP (recommended), or $20,659 with 40 HP (maximum)

If your idea of a cool boat is a compact RIB (rigid inflatable boat)  constructed with a durable, lightweight fiberglass console that’s not only practical, but comfortable, the all-new 2021 Mares 11VSX should be on your short-list. You’ll have no problem staying on budget with this one, and the single unit fiberglass deck makes for quiet navigation, easy maintenance, and increased longevity.

Additional key features include a convenient removable lateral seat as standard, plus a four-person capacity that leaves plenty of leftover space for storing carry-ons, fishing gear, and dive equipment.

Visit AB Inflatables to learn more.

lowe legacy 2021

6. Lowe Legacy

Price: $16,995

Lowe greets 2021 by rolling out the $16,995 Legacy , a 50th anniversary model that reflects this company’s long history of building straightforward aluminum fishing boats . This is an all-welded boat designed to take on a multitude of freshwater species ranging from bass to bream, with a huge 30-gallon livewell in the bow, two pedestal fishing seats, a MotorGuide X3 electric trolling motor, and rodboxes for five rigs.

But the Legacy lives in the modern age, with 2021 perks like a cell phone holder, a 12-v power outlet, and a Lowrance Hook2 4X fishfinder at the helm. The base package has plenty of juice, too, thanks to a standard 60-horsepower Mercury FourStroke. And if you want more power that’s not a problem—upgrading to a 90 HP Mercury brings cost to $18,795, still well under the $21,000 barrier.

Visit Lowe Boats to learn more.

sea-doo GTX limited 300

7. Sea-Doo GTX Limited 300

Price: $17,999

The world of personal watercraft is changing, and for 2021 Sea-Doo gives a serious tech-injection to the GTX Limited 300 . Listing at $17,999 this model has a new 7.8-inch panoramic color display in the dash which can be paired with your phone via Bluetooth. That means you can now see maps and weather, utilize vehicle-optimized smartphone apps, and push your favorite tunes from your phone to the waterproof integrated stereo system.

Also new for 2021 on this model is the iDF Intelligent Debris Free Pump System, which allows you to un-clog the water intake at the press of a button. And yes, on top of these new features the GTX Limited 300 still has the biggest PWC swim platform around, 300 Rotax horsepower, and a three-rider capacity.

Visit Sea-Doo to learn more.

SunChaser Vista 20 LR 2021

8. SunChaser Vista 20 LR

Price: $19,985

With an MSRP sitting just under the $20,000 mark and a length overall of 20’11”, the SunChaser Vista 20 LR represents one of the best bang-for-your-buck per LOA of pontoon boat deals around. In fact, with a max capacity of nine people and 1,840 pounds, it represents one of the best bang-for-your-buck per pontoon passenger deals, too. That price tag includes a 40-horsepower Yamaha outboard and also brings standard perks like Sea Weave flooring and a Bimini top.

The real stand-out feature, however, may be SunChaser’s “Lifetime 6” warranty. It includes a limited lifetime warranty on the hull and structure plus a six-year warranty on all components, carpet, upholstery, and electronics, covers both parts and labor, and is transferrable to a second owner—that kind of coverage is very hard to beat.

Visit SunChaser  to learn more.

tahoe T16 2021

9. Tahoe T16

Price: $17,495

In 2019, Tahoe first introduced the T16, bringing one of the most affordable boats of its kind to the marketplace. For 2021 they’ve upped the ante, revisiting the T16 and adding non-skid mats and—the kids will love this one—a Kicker KMC1 AM/FM/Bluetooth stereo system with USB input and two speakers.

The boat starts at a national “no haggle, no hassle” price of $17,495, and comes rigged with a 60-horsepower Mercury FourStroke plus a bunk trailer with a fold-away tongue that reduces storage space to 19 feet overall. Add $1,600 to that number and you can upgrade to a 75 HP engine, still stay well within budget, and park this sweet little rig in your garage or under your carport.

Visit Tahoe to learn more.

tracker grizzly 1754 sc

10. Tracker Grizzly 1754 SC

Price: $15,295

While this design might not be unfamiliar to Tracker fans, the construction certainly is. Starting for 2021, the Grizzley 1754 SC now has a two-piece 0.100-gauge 5052 marine-grade aluminum hull . Add in the box-beam transom with corner braces, extruded aluminum gunwales, 0.190-gauge deck, and the baked-on Sure Tread finish, and this boat is simply better built than ever before.

Plus, the new seats on the Grizzley 1754 SC are TureTimber camo so this rig can do double-duty as a hunting boat, as well as a fishing machine. List cost sits at $15,295 with a 40-horsepower Mercury outboard and a trailer.

Visit Tracker Boats to learn more.

Xpress Hyper-Lift H17

11. Xpress Hyper-Lift H17

Price: $23,995, if you opt for a 90 HP max (but we believe with a different powerplant option, you'll get it under the $21K mark)

Xpress ups its game for 2021 with the introduction of the H17 with a Hyper-Lift hull, which includes a padded hull design that offers some serious get-up-and-go. In fact, if you opt for the 90-horsepower max (which does push price above our $21,000 mark a bit, hitting $23,995), this boat can run in the mid-40s and cruise casually at over 30 MPH.

Note that this boat also comes loaded with surprise features that few builders would include as standards, like a SeaDek liner, a two-bank battery charger (complementing the Minn Kota 45 Edge trolling motor), your choice of five different hull colors, and aluminum wheels on the single-axel trailer.

Visit Xpress Boats to learn more.

yamaha superjet 2021

12. Yamaha Superjet

Price: $9,499

For 2021, Yamaha rolls out an all-new PWC for stand-up riders, the SuperJet . Until recently reserved for professional riders, stand-ups are back and the SuperJet features Yamaha’s 1,049cc four-stroke TR-1 engine, a 144mm high-pressure waterjet, and an adjustable three-position handle pole.

Net result? Although this is a boat that you can only ride alone, speeds north of 50 MPH on a platform of just under eight feet means you’ll be grinning from ear to ear from the moment you hit the throttle. You’ll also be grinning when you learn that the price tag for this little box of thrills is just $9,499.

Visit Yamaha Watercraft to learn more.

Read Next: 23 Most Affordable Entry-Level Boat Models

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Editor's Note: Prices are updated as of last date of publish; Jan. 21, 2021.

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