• Subscribe Now
  • Digital Editions

Motor boats for beginners: Everything you need to know

  • Isobel Smith

Looking to get into motor boats? Discover the options available that’ll see you out on the water in no time


Speed, comfort and style – these are the mantras of motor boat fans. You can go from flying through the waves at 35 knots to lying on a sunpad at some remote anchorage, drink in hand, and still make it home in time for tea.

Motor boats are a great way to get out on the water and it’s fairly easy to pick up the basics. Read our guide to find out more…

Boat training

The first step to enjoying motor boats is taking the necessary boat training that’ll teach you everything you need to know about boat handling.

The RYA has a number of courses on offer , ranging from complete beginners, all the way through to those looking to test their motor boat skills in more demanding conditions.

The RYA’s level 1 course is a great place to start for a complete beginner, but if you have some experience already, then taking the RYA level 2 course may be a better option. Either course is no longer than two days, with level 1 costing around £200 and level 2 around £340.

There are hundreds of RYA training centres throughout the UK that offer the necessary training and you can use the RYA’s online tool to find your nearest venue .

Hiring motor boats

Once you’ve developed a love of boating, it’s not surprising that you’ll want to spend more and more time out on the water. Hiring a boat is a commitment-free way to enjoy the sport without costs such as maintenance and mooring fees.

Many centres across the UK will allow you to hire a small RIB for either a few hours or up to a week. You can expect to pay up to £50 per hour for motor boat hire, depending on the make and model and around £140 for a full day.

Buying a boat

Many people dream of buying a motor boat and depending on what you’re looking for, you can pick up some models of smaller boats on the market for just a few thousand pounds.

Take a look at an online brokerage site to see average prices and search MBY’s boat reviews to find a model that suits your needs. If you’re not sure which boat would be best for your needs you can ask our motor boat forum community for recommendations.

Boat membership

Boat membership schemes are a great alternative to owning a boat as you can get experience out on the water without the financial commitment. All you have to do is pay a joining fee and then a fixed monthly sum to use a boat.

The majority of boats involved in boat memberships will have one owner member and up to seven memberships per boat. Once signed up, you can use an online calendar to book your time on board.

There are three different types of membership boating: single, flexible and crewed. If you want to use the same boat then single boat membership is a good option, while flexible gives you the chance to skipper a boat of your choice when you want.

On a crewed membership scheme you can join a skippered boat with similar people for 10 days throughout the year or make private crewing arrangements.

Prices will vary but RIBs will set you back around £300 per month, while a 40ft sportscruiser  could cost you up to £1,000 a month, in addition to fuel costs.

Boat sharing

Another alternative is shared boat ownership , whereby you share the purchase and running costs of a vessel with others, making it significantly cheaper than buying a motor boat outright on your own.

The boat is managed for you so you can focus on being out on the water rather than administration and maintenance.

Chartering motor boats

Chartering a yacht is essentially hiring a boat for a fixed period of time in a specific location, ranging from exotic destinations halfway across the world to holiday spots in UK waters.

Countries such as Greece, Turkey and Croatia are extremely popular charter destinations but there are hundreds to choose from.

Depending on the size of boat, location and whether your charter includes crew you can pay anything from £500 pp upwards.

Beginners Yachting Guide

motor yachting for beginners

March 24, 2021 By : Administrator

From our Nomad: Life on Water Series

We all dream of a gorgeous luxury vacation at one point or another… someplace where you can feel the sand between your toes, hear the rush of the ocean waves, and simply relax. Maybe your dream includes adventure sports like jet skiing or parasailing, or maybe you’re more interested in simply exploring new destinations. Perhaps you want to float between islands in the teal waters of the Caribbean, or maybe the deep jewel tones of the Mediterranean call to you like a siren song. 

Maybe you’re looking for more than just a vacation, but an entirely new lifestyle…Yachting is the solution. 

Yachts come in all sizes and types and charter for (or book to go to) all kinds of destinations. Yachting can be a luxury vacation, a new lifestyle, or even a new vocation. Yachting is a rich world of exploration and enjoyment for just about anyone (not just the uber wealthy!) 

In this beginner’s yachting guide we will cover all of the basics about yachting including:

What is Yachting?

  • History of yachting

Who goes yachting?

Where do yachts go, what kind of yachts exist, what amenities do yachts have, how do i book a yacht, how much does it cost to take a yacht vacation, who crews a yacht, how do i work on a yacht.

  • Yachting guide terminology

Safe Yachting Guide

And much, much more. So if you want to uncover all the secrets in the yachting world, let’s dive in to this yachting guide!

One of the most important parts of yachting is staying safe while overseas. We always recommend travel medical insurance that includes adventure sports coverage. To learn more about travel medical insurance and what plans are available, click here!

motor yachting for beginners

Yachting is the use of a boat designed for recreation or leisure to cruise or race.

Yachts are boats that differentiate from working boats like shipping or fishing boats because they are specifically tailored to include luxurious amenities and travel to various vacation destinations. 

Boats that are considered yachts can typically house up to twelve guests in staterooms onboard, as well as crew members like deckhands and stewards to keep the boat in “ship shape”, or clean and ready to sail. 

Yachting can be a short charter for a vacation of one or two weeks, or it can be an entire lifestyle. 

History of Yachting

motor yachting for beginners

No yachting guide would be complete without a bit of history. While sailing has been around since before recorded history, yachting has its roots in more recent nautical history. 

The first mentions of the word “yacht” appear in reference to boats designed for racing in 17th century europe. Boat racing became the pastime of the royals and the wealthy in England, Holland, France, and Spain. Eventually open ocean yacht racing became popular all the way to America and Australia. 

Yacht races are still commonly held to this day, and include various lengths from crossing small bodies of water all the way up to racing around the world. 

Yachts originally were designed as light, nimble ships in the water custom designed for speed. Their sizes ranged from that of a dinghy to ships that rivaled military battleships. These racing vessels were eventually classified into different sizes resulting in some of the terminology used to describe different ships to this day. 

These days yachts are not only defined as ships designed for racing. In fact, the majority of yachts are not designed for speed at all. Now yachts are known as the height of luxury in life on water, specializing in leisure over work. 

The simple answer? Anyone!

Yachts are designed for so many different types of lifestyles and people that there is no one kind of person that goes yachting. 

These ships are great for people who want to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of a 9 to 5 job and enjoy being on open water for a few days. Yachts are also great for large families or groups that would like to vacation privately together. Yachts are even good for small families looking to explore many different destinations in one single trip!

As you can see, there is no single group or type to go yachting because each charter is tailor made for the person or group booking the ship. 

Like a tailor-made yachting charter, it’s also important to protect yourself with a tailor-made travel or expatriate medical insurance plan. Learn more about travel medical insurance that includes adventure sports in the video below!

motor yachting for beginners

Yachts can go pretty much anywhere where there is relatively smooth sailing water and reasonable access. Depending on their size yachts can be on smaller bodies of water like lakes such as the Ozarks and Great Lakes in the United States, or they can call the entire ocean home and sail around the world regularly. 

According to LuxuryDefined some of the best destinations for yachts include: 

  • The French Riviera
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Palm Beach, Florida
  • Costa Smeralda, Italy
  • St. George’s Parish, Bermuda 
  • Newport, Rhode Island 
  • Nantucket, Massachusetts
  • Greater Victoria, Vancouver Island

Source: https://christiesrealestate.com/blog/9-of-the-worlds-best-yachting-locations/

Yachts typically have a “season” in which they are most active. Depending on their home harbour, yachts will be most active in the summer months (May- August in the northern hemisphere) or the winter months. Spring and Fall seasons are generally times in which the boat is resting or preparing for the next active season. 

motor yachting for beginners

There are many different types of yachts from those that sail exclusively with motors, to those with two hulls called catamarans. Here is a basic yachting guide for the different types of yachts and their definitions: 

Sailing Yacht: a yacht mainly propelled via wind and sails

Motor Yacht: a yacht propelled via one or more motors

Gulet Yacht: a hybrid yacht with both sails and motors

Open Yacht, Cruiser, Cabin Cruiser, Express Cruiser: an otherwise uncategorized standard yacht for cruising and entertaining

Luxury Yacht: a yacht that includes high-end finishes and features and the latest in modern performance technology. The term ‘luxury’ can precede any type of yacht, i.e. “luxury motor yacht”, “luxury sailing yacht”, etc.

Sports Yacht: a yacht geared towards fishing, water sports, or cruising with a sleeker design and more powerful motor for faster cruising speeds. The term ‘sports’ can precede other types of yachts as well, i.e. “sports motor yacht”.

Catamaran Yacht: a yacht with two hulls (pontoons) often made of fiberglass that can be used in shallow waters.

(source: https://vanislemarina.com/when-is-a-boat-a-yacht/ )

As you can see, yachts include a wide variety of types of ships with different methods of propulsion and design. Just like there isn’t one type of person that goes yachting, there isn’t just one type of yacht available. The opportunities and options are boundless when it comes to yachting!

Stay tuned for our next blog article all about sailing and the different types of ships that can be commissioned for vacation, or even a new lifestyle powered by the wind!

motor yachting for beginners

Basic yacht charters include provisions (food and consumables) as well as entertainment such as adventure sports equipment like scuba, snorkeling, or other water sports. Many yachts will include lifestyle amenities like wifi, cable TV, pools and jacuzzis, and indoor and outdoor seating or gathering areas to enjoy all the views the yacht will have to offer on charter. 

Amenities are dependent on the yacht itself, so be sure to clarify with your broker what specific amenities you want when booking your vacation, or hiring crew. 

Some of the craziest yacht amenities we’ve heard of include: 

  • Tennis Court
  • “Nemo Lounge” or underwater observatory
  • Drive in Tender Bay
  • Outdoor Cinema

(Source: https://luxatic.com/coolest-luxury-yacht-amenities-on-superyachts-that-you-didnt-know-existed/ )

According to boatinternational.com some of the amenities you can expect to be available on different yachts include: 

  • Beach Club (water level rear deck)
  • Salon Services

And of course, plenty of places to work on a tan.

(Source: https://boatinternational.com/charter/luxury-yacht-charter-advice/a-life-of-leisure-onboard-a-superyacht–1811)

motor yachting for beginners

Booking a yacht can seem like a daunting process, especially if you’ve never been before. Well, the experts at International Yacht Charter Group have put together a yachting guide to make it much easier. Here are their steps: 

1. Choose a Yacht Charter Specialist.

Find a specialist who makes you feel comfortable with the process and who willingly seeks your input. This is the best way to ensure you book the ideal charter yacht. Choose a specialist without ties to specific charter yachts; you want information on the whole range of options, not limited to a small “in-house” selection. The specialist should be experienced and very competent so that you will feel confident about your yacht charter booking.

2. Select the Yacht and Destination.

Browse online to start gathering information about all your yacht and destination options. You will choose between motor and sailing yachts as well as what part of the world you want to explore. The specialists at International Yacht Charter Group visit many yachts worldwide each year and have extensive knowledge about what will work best for individual clients.

3. Fill Out Paperwork.

Once the ideal yacht is chosen for the dates you want, it will be reserved with a yacht charter contract between you and the charter yacht owner. Booking a yacht charter is different from reserving a plane ticket or villa! A standardized contract is drawn up, which is then discussed in depth with your specialist. The signed contract and 50% deposit will prevent anyone else from booking the yacht.

4. Prepare to Travel.

Prior to boarding the yacht, your charter specialist and the Captain and crew will prepare the yacht for your vacation. You will have filled out a preference sheet regarding food, wine, and activities (as well as your arrival/departure information). That way the yacht will be provisioned according to your preferred items. The Captain will prepare a draft itinerary for your yacht charter based on your thoughts and ideas, which you are encouraged to discuss via email or phone prior to departure.

Before you depart make sure you purchase travel medical insurance for all travelers that includes emergency evacuation. You can see travel medical and evacuation plans here and get a fast and simple quote simply by clicking on the orange “Quote” button in the top right corner. 

5. Enjoy the Vacation!

While on charter, the Captain and crew are obviously your primary point of contact for questions about activities, meals, etc. Your Captain and crew act as concierge for your land-based adventures and on board activities. It’s recommended to discuss plans in advance whenever possible. Overall, a private yacht charter means there is no fixed itinerary, and typically some plans change en route.

Source: https://internationalyachtchartergroup.com/How-to-book-a-yacht-charter.php

You can contact international Yacht Charter Group to book a yacht by simply filling out their contact form: https://internationalyachtchartergroup.com/contactus/contactus-landing.php

The cost of renting a yacht depends on the size and type of ship, and the kinds of amenities desired in a ship. 

According to worldwideboat.com, “the average weekly cost of a 100-foot sailing yacht is between $50,000-100,000. A weekly 80-foot catamaran charter runs around $40,000-100,000, and a week-long 100-foot motor yacht rental is anywhere between $50,000-80,000.”

A 100-foot yacht will typically comfortably house 12 guests in complete luxury, meaning each person can expect to contribute around $5000 for their week long vacation. While this is quite the luxury vacation, it is priced similarly to a high end all inclusive resort, and less expensive even than some of the high end cruise lines where your vacation is shared with hundreds of people!

If booking a yacht for a vacation isn’t the right choice for you, but you are interested in exploring the world or working on a yacht, this next section is for you!

motor yachting for beginners

Yachts can have crews anywhere from a single captain to nearly 100 people. Depending on the size and amenities of the ship, the crew will include many different positions. Yacht crews are divided into four different departments, or categories: deck, interior, engineering, and galley. 

On deck there are different levels of crew, the names of which are classically in the common lexicon including members like the captain, the first mate, and deckhands. 

The people on deck are responsible for the navigation and bridge operation, safety, maintenance of the exterior, communication, and tender and recreation activities. 

The interior department includes stewards and amenity specific positions like bartenders, salon services, masseuses, laundry, and finances. 

Those assigned to the interior are responsible for the service on board, cleaning and maintenance of the cabins and living spaces, event planning and entertainment, and the indoor amenities offered onboard. 


The engineering department is responsible for all things related to the engine, electrical system, sanitation and environment control, planned maintenance, and troubleshooting issues on board. 

Engineering generally consists of a smaller department of a chief engineer and either several specialists or simply a 2nd under them. 

The galley department is responsible for all things food and beverage related. This department is always run by the head chef who will place provisional orders and with the help of a sous chef or other cooks will design and prepare a menu specific to the preference sheet of the guests. The galley is also responsible for provisions for the crew most often. 

Getting a job on a yacht starts with appropriate training. Depending on the department or type of work you want to do, the training can vary from a few weeks all the way up to getting licensed as a captain. 

Most deck crew have what is called a 6-pack captains license which allows them to captain the tender, or the smaller boat that takes people to and from the yacht when it is anchored. 

Generally, the interior crew and galley crew are required to have food handlers certifications as they are serving food and alcohol regularly to guests. 

After training, typically you would apply for positions in the months before a season and then maintain a position on a specific vessel for the entire season. Some crew management companies specialize in placement on different types of yachts, but typically the first year or two is spent on smaller vessels. 

Getting into the yachting industry can be difficult as there is always competition due to the shorter seasons of work. Yachting requires workers to be away from home for many weeks at a time as well as includes strenuous physical labor. This means most yacht workers are young, single, and highly independent. 

Before taking off on your new yachting job, make sure you have the right kind of international medical insurance. Learn more about international medical insurance to cover a roaming lifestyle at sea now!

Start your yachting career by searching for specific entry level positions in the department you’re most interested, and be prepared to travel!

Yachting terminology

motor yachting for beginners

Want to know more about yachting? Well, this yachting guide includes some terms we’re sure you’ll run into throughout your adventure:

1. Aft – The back of a ship. If something is located aft, it is at the back of the sailboat. The aft is also known as the stern. 

2. Bow – The front of the ship is called the bow. Knowing the location of the bow is important for defining two of the other most common sailing terms: port (left of the bow) and starboard (right of the bow). 

3. Port – Port is always the left-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow. Because “right” and “left” can become confusing sailing terms when used out in the open waters, port is used to define the left-hand side of the boat as it relates to the bow, or front. 

4. Starboard – Starboard is always the right-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow. Because “right” and “left” can become confusing sailing terms when used out in the open waters, starboard is used to define the right-hand side of the boat as it relates to the bow, or front. 

5. Tender- a vessel used for servicing and providing support and entertainment to a private or charter yacht. They include utilitarian craft, powered by oar or outboard motor, and high-speed luxury craft, supporting superyachts, powered by inboard engines, some using water-jets.

6. Charter- the practice of renting, or chartering, a sailboat or motor yacht and travelling to various coastal or island destinations. This is usually a vacation activity, but it also can be a business event

Now you know the lingo, it’s time to get off on your adventure!

motor yachting for beginners

Whether on crew or on vacation on a yacht, one of the most important things is safety. While yachts are remarkably safe on water, it’s important to always listen to crew members and follow instructions. 

By nature yachts can be slippery due to moisture on deck, difficult to balance due to waves and wind conditions moving the boat, and challenging to move through with smaller hallways and lower ceilings than typically seen on land. 

Before going on any yachting adventure, in addition to a yachting guide, it’s important to make sure you have the right kind of protection in your pocket. That’s where international medical insurance comes into play. 

Protecting yourself with an international medical plan, whether it’s just for a short trip of one or two weeks, or for an entire season offshore, is the most important step you can take to ensure your safety. 

Travel and expatriate medical plans can cover you in the event of injury, illness, trip cancelation, evacuation, and much more. Plans are less expensive than you think starting at less than $1 a day, and you can get up to $1 Million in coverage or more depending on the plan of your choice. 

Your safe yachting starts on dry land with your purchase of the right international insurance plan today. Click “get a quote” to get a quote now for your upcoming vacation, or explore plans by clicking on “plans” in the menu at the top of this page. 

Good Neighbor Insurance is always here to answer any questions you may have and make sure you get the best insurance for your situation. Call our Gilbert, Arizona office at 480-813-9100, or click “chat with us” to get started right away!

Happy yachting!

' data-src=


Search results, what happens if an employee misses open enrollment.

October 12, 2015

What Happens if an Employee Misses Open Enrollment? Open enrollment can be an extremely stressful and overwhelming time for both you and your employees. It is typically the only time during the year in which employees can make changes to their benefits choices, such as adding or dropping coverage, adding or dropping dependents, or enrolling […]

motor yachting for beginners

How to get the most out of your international group health insurance policy

September 10, 2010

1. Every year or two look around at other insurance options in the marketplace, as the insurance needs of your organization may have changed.  Talk to your broker or agent, or call Good Neighbor Insurance, an international health insurance brokerage, at 1-866-813-9100 or 480-813-9100. We will be glad to look at insurance options for your staff […]

motor yachting for beginners

How to Submit a Claim to IMG – International Medical Group

March 17, 2015

Many of our clients are on the IMG (International Medical Group) plans that we provide, so we have published this article to explain how to submit a claim to IMG. Since we have been in business serving our clients starting in 1997, we know from experience that IMG is one of the best international medical insurance companies […]

motor yachting for beginners

7 Best Volunteer Trips You Can Do to Make a Difference

May 13, 2020

Let’s take a few seconds to look at the following images:  How do you feel when you see them? Sad? Angry? Do you wish to be there to help clean the beach? Do you feel the urge to help build houses for those disaster victims? As a volunteer myself, seeing these images break my heart, […]

motor yachting for beginners

What are Travel Documents, and Why Are They Important?

June 26, 2020

You’ve been planning your trip for months. Meticulously finding the best prices for airfare, hotels, and transportation. Whether it’s an important work meeting or a fun get-away, it’s been on your mind for a long time.  You pack, get a ride to the airport, and go through security only to find out that you have the […]

motor yachting for beginners

The 7 Best Ways to Make a Difference Overseas in 2021

September 15, 2020

We all have a desire to make the world a better place, to leave a lasting impact. The trouble is, where do we start? There are so many needs, and it feels like one person can’t make much of a difference. There are probably hundreds of needs around the world today. We have done some […]

motor yachting for beginners

Find Boating Courses

Advertise boating courses.

  • Croatia No Longer The Number One Sailing Destination In Europe!
  • Why You Should Learn To Sail A Trimaran
  • Meteorology Courses – Why Learn This Core Sailing Skill?
  • Solo Circumnavigation – How To Master The Art Of Sailing Alone
  • How Powerboat Courses Can Improve Your Docking Skills
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • boat handling
  • Boat maintenance
  • Buying A Boat
  • Competent Crew
  • Competition
  • Competitions
  • Day Skipper
  • Dinghy Sailing
  • Disabled Sailing
  • Mile Building
  • Paralympic Sailing
  • Passage Planning
  • Powerboat Courses
  • Sail Maintenance
  • Sailing Courses
  • Sailing Experience Courses
  • Sailing Regulations
  • Sailing Tips
  • Sailing Training Courses
  • Solo Circumnavigation
  • Southampton
  • Uncategorized
  • Yacht Racing

A Beginner’s Guide to Motorboating

Motorboats are an exciting class of vessel that offer you the chance to quickly get yourself out on the water and skimming the open waves.

Types of Motorboats

The term ‘motorboat’ is something of a catch-all. Since it just refers to any boat with a motor, we need to break the category down a little further.

A speedboat is a kind of motorboat specifically designed for – you guessed it – speed.  They are as streamlined as possible, with deep v-shaped hulls to powerfully cut through the waves at pace.

Larger motor cruisers are built for leisure, and can drastically vary in size. Some are kitted out for day trips, and others are full holiday cruisers with sleeping accommodation and kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Finally, any boat with a motor attached classifies as a motorboat – that includes sailboats and dinghies fitted with an outboard motor.

How Does The Engine Work?

The engine is an ‘internal combustion’ engine, just like a car’s. However, instead of rotating an axel, the engine on a motorboat drives a propeller in the water, or sometimes a jet pump. Each of these creates a strong force against the water which accelerates the boat forward.

An inboard motor is an engine that’s built-in and enclosed by the hull of the boat. In contrast, an outboard motor is a self-contained engine that is usually mounted to the back of the boat. Outboard motors can be attached to dinghies and rowing boats, transforming them into motorboats.

Care and Maintenance Of Your Motorboat

A motorboat is obviously a completely different animal to a sailboat when it comes to maintenance and repairs, for one main reason – it has an engine.

For any given motorboat, there are a few simple engine procedures and checks that need to be done every time before hitting the open waters. The procedures vary according to the type of engine, and there are specialised maintenance courses available for different engine types. Refuelling and repairs are often also covered.

Piloting a Motorboat

Piloting a motorboat is, as you’d expect, something of a specific skillset.

In many ways, it’s easier than sailing – your source of power is onboard, and there’s no need to catch the perfect wind or run around pulling ropes and ducking under the boom with the athleticism of a gymnast. You just turn power on and point the boat where you want to go, right?

That’s the essence of it, but as you’d expect, there are a few nuances. The controls are generally quite simple, consisting of not much more than throttle and steering wheel, but the movement dynamics take some getting used to. Boats aren’t like cars, because the “surface” on which they travel – water – is itself in constant flux.

One important thing to remember is that if you’re travelling parallel to waves, either natural or those caused by another boat, you’re going to be rocking from side to side quite powerfully.  Aim to cut across waves at at least 45 degrees for a smoother ride.

It’s also important to know the local laws pertaining to boating , such as the minimum distance between boats, maximum speeds and other general rules – and be aware that these may also change from area to area.

A good introductory motorboating course will give you the skills you need to competently pilot a powered vessel, alongside teaching you essential maintenance, repair skills and local boating laws. Our job at The Boating Hub is to connect you to wide range of motorboat courses in the UK and further afield – and we’re confident you’ll find a course that meets your needs.

Become our Friends!

Get our newsletter.

Best Boats for Beginners

best boats for beginners

But first, let's look at some of the best boat types for new boaters.

5 Best Starter Boats

  • Aluminum Fishing Boat
  • Pontoon Boat
  • Fish-and-Ski

Explore All Boat Types

Keep It Simple (KISS) Boating

When it comes to choosing the best boats for beginners, one overall theme should be in your mind: keep it simple. This naturally means different things to different people, but what’s important is that a beginner boater doesn’t bite off more than he or she can chew. Start with a large motor yacht or power cruiser , for example, and you’ll need to learn how to operate complex propulsion and electrical systems, electronics, and accessories. At the same time you’ll have to get your feet wet when it comes to things like docking a boat (see our step-by-step guide for the basics), marine navigation , and boat maintenance . That doesn’t mean first-time boat buyers never start off big—sometimes they do—but the learning curve can be very steep and if you go that route you should be confident you have the time and ability to handle it.

Start off with a very simple boat, however, and you’ll be able to master captaining it in no time. At the far end of the KISS spectrum consider a dinghy , for example. Its propulsion system can be as simple as a small outboard engine, a sail, or even a pair of oars. There’s nothing more to take care of than a hull and some seats, and while your capabilities may be limited, you should feel comfortable operating the boat after just a few trips. Of course, many of us will want to experience a bit more flexibility on when, where, and how we go boating than a dinghy can afford. There are still plenty of relatively simple boats to choose from, like aluminum fishing boats or small pontoon boats , which take no more than a season or two to learn from stem to stern.

Costs of Boats for Beginners

Another major thing to consider is the cost of boat ownership . While boating on the whole is surprisingly affordable compared to many other recreational activities, there can be some expenses beginner boaters don’t necessarily foresee. Variables like maintenance costs, insurance, and off-season storage can come into play, and no one likes to be surprised by unexpected expenditures.

For some people this will be a non-issue. But if you have a family on a budget, be sure to calculate out as many potential costs as you can before choosing a specific boat to begin with. That way, the surprises can be kept to a minimum.

Learn More About the Costs of Boat Ownership

best starter boats

All-Purpose Boats for Beginners

Beginner boaters may also want to consider flexibility and versatility as an important factor. Let’s say you know you love watersports , and you’re looking at dedicated ski or wake boats . That may well be the best move for you. But on the other hand, if you haven’t experienced other waterborne activities like fishing, and you think that may be of interest down the line, a fish-and-ski might be a better choice. Now let’s broaden things out ever farther. Let’s say you went wakeboarding once and enjoyed it, tried fishing another time and enjoyed that too, and are intrigued by the idea of taking the family out for a swim in the lake or taking a bunch of friends out for a day of coving. In that case, an even more versatile boat like a bowrider or a deck boat might be a smart pick.

The bottom line? As someone new to boating there’s a good chance you’re about to be exposed to a world of possibilities you never knew existed. And the best boats for beginners will allow that to happen quickly, easily, and economically. Before you know it, you won’t be a beginner boater anymore and when you decide to upgrade, you’ll have a much better idea of which size and type of boat is perfect for your needs and desires. And yes, we’re sure that you will, in fact, decide to upgrade and buy another new boat down the line. Because like we said, this is going to be fun – really fun.

Read Next: First-Time Boat Owner's Checklist

You Might Also Like:

  • Best Boats for Families
  • Best Small Sailboats for Beginners
  • When is the Best Time to Buy a Boat?
  • The Ultimate Boat Buyer's Guide
  • Small Boats: What Are My Options?

Join Our Newsletter!

Get community news, buying bargains, and how-to guides at your fingertips.

best beginner boats

5 Best Boats for Beginners for 2022

motor yachting for beginners

Table of Contents

Last Updated on April 6, 2022 by Boatsetter Team

Here’s our best advice for any new prospective boat buyer or owner: Don’t let the boat get in the way of learning how to be a boater. The easiest way to get frustrated or overwhelmed by boating is to start in a boat that’s too big, too expensive, or too complicated, or with a boat that’s unreliable. Instead, choose a starter boat that will help you ease your way into boat ownership .

Here’s our short list of the five best beginner boats to help you narrow down your options:

  • Pontoon Boat
  • Aluminum Fishing Boat
  • Center Console

Already Own a Boat? Learn How to Offset the Cost of Ownership by Listing on Boatsetter

best boats for beginners

How to Choose the Best Starter Boat for Your Family

As you start to browse online boat marketplaces or visit local dealers, you’ll find a variety of entry-level boats to choose from. Here’s a few tips to keep in mind when selecting the best beginner boat for you and your needs:

Keep it simple

Larger and high-end boats are often equipped complex propulsion and electrical systems, electronics, and accessories. As a beginning boat owner, you need to focus on learning the rules of the road, basic boat-handling skills, how to launch a retrieve the boat from a trailer; in other words, Boating 101.

A boat with basic systems will let you stay focused on developing these skills.

Try before you buy

Would you buy a new car without taking it for a test drive? Didn’t think so—and the same idea should be true for boats. Most dealers will offer sea trials for serious boat shoppers, as long as inventory is in stock.

If you’re not ready to speak to a dealer just yet, or if you’re still weighing your options between different brands and models, a better alternative is to book a rental on a peer-to-peer marketplace like Boatsetter. With over 50,000 boats made up of over 20,000 different makes and models, you’ll be able to find a rental that’s comparable to the boat you’re eyeing to purchase.

Stick to a budget

Before you buy a boat, establish a budget that includes the cost of buying and financing the boat, fuel , maintenance and storage. Then stick too that budget.

Too often new boat owners underestimate the cost of a season on the water, or stretch that budget too thin. Boating is no fun if it’s taking too big a bite out of your wallet.

Get educated

Safe boating is always fun boating for everyone. Consider taking a boating safety and education course such as those offered by the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary , BoatUS , or by your state or local authorities.

best starter boats

Top Beginner Boats Options

1. pontoon boat.

Stable and easy to handle, a pontoon is a great way to get started on the water. Pontoons cover a huge spectrum of size and features, so it will be easy to pick a model that fits your budget, the water you’ll be boating on, and the activities that appeal to you.

Boatsetter Examples: The Manitou Aurora LE line is an example of a pontoon series that is designed to be easy to buy and to own.

2. Jet Boat

A jet boat offers the ultimate in powerboat simplicity. Its jet propulsion system eliminates a propeller, so there’s nothing to ding on the bottom. The jet drive also requires less maintenance than an outboard or a sterndrive powertrain, and is self-draining so it’s easy to prep for off-season storage. Operation is as simple as steering and controlling the throttle.

Boatsetter Examples: The best-selling Yamaha jet boat line includes runabouts, watersports and center console models.

starter boats

3. Aluminum Fishing Boat

A good all-around aluminum fishing boat can be used for almost any kind of freshwater angling, including bass fishing . Choose a size that matches your budget and the type of water you’ll be fishing. These boats are easy to tow and launch, and can be upgraded with accessories as you gain experience.

Boatsetter Examples: A mod V hull aluminum model like the Bass Tracker XL is ideal for rivers and calmer water. For bigger water where choppy conditions are likely an aluminum boat with a deep vee hull like a Tracker Deep-V model is the better choice.

4. Center Console Boat

A popular choice for coastal boating, a center console model can be set up for fishing or with more seating and comfort amenities for day-cruising. Outboard power and a deep-vee hull are ideal for salt water boating, and center console models cover a wide range of size and price.

Boatsetter Examples: Wellcraft Fisherman and Bayliner Trophy center console models are a good entry point in this category.

5. Runabout Boat

A runabout, or bowrider , is a great choice for all-around family boating, and known to be one of the best beginner boats that can suit a variety of needs. A runabout can be used for watersports, for casual angling, for day-cruising and for just lounging at a cove or beach. Runabout models cover a huge range of size and price point. A dealer can help you choose a boat length that’s a good match for the body of water on which you’ll usually be boating.

Boatsetter Examples: Top entry-level runabout models are offered by Bayliner and Glastron .

Earn an Average of $20,000 or More by Listing Your Boat for Rent on Boatsetter

Charles Plueddeman

Charles Plueddeman  is a self-employed writer and photographer based in Wisconsin. A staff editor and contributor to  Boating Magazine  since 1986, he is the author of its “Off My Dock” column. In the marine realm he specializes in engine technology and trailerable boats. His editorial work has appeared in many national publications, including  Popular Mechanics, Men’s Journal, Playboy, Popular Science, Cycle World,  and  Harley-Davidson Enthuisast .

Browse by experience

motor yachting for beginners

Explore articles

Fishing in Naples, FL Guide

Fishing in Naples, FL Guide

motor yachting for beginners

3 Ways to Get Your Boat Rental Ready With Shurhold!

motor yachting for beginners

5 Must-Do’s While Vacationing in Cabo San Lucas

Float Plan.

What Information Should Be Included on a Float Plan?

  • Paddle Board

Boating Beast

A Complete Guide to Motor Yachts & Power Cruisers: All You Need to Know!

John Sampson

If you’re looking for a luxury experience out on the water, a motor yacht or power cruiser is the best choice of vessel. It offers you a combination of performance, features, and amenities. While these boats come in a wide variety of lengths, styles, and models, they have something to suit any budget and needs out on the open ocean.

The motor yacht is a status symbol, and there’s a reason why billionaires purchase high-end motor yachts because no other form of transport, except for maybe a private jet, showcases wealth. In this post, we’ll look at the features and design of motor yachts and power cruisers, and we’ll make a few suggestions for top-performing models.

Motor Yachts

What are Motor Yachts & Power Cruisers?

If you’re looking for an ocean-faring vessel for longer seafaring trips, you can’t beat the luxury accommodations and performance offered by motor yachts and power cruisers. These boats can stay out on the water for days or even weeks at a time. They allow for island-hopping in the Caribbean or travel through the South Pacific with ease.

These boats are the pinnacle of class and luxury, making all other vessels, even top-end models like cabin cruisers , look inferior in comparison. Typically, motor yachts and power cruisers have extended lengths compared to other boats, with the smallest models starting at around 40-feet.

Every foot adds thousands of dollars to the price tag of these boats, and a 90-foot model can cost hundreds of thousands if not, millions of dollars. These boats come fully equipped with everything you need to live the life aquatic.

There are purpose-built decks, plenty of cabin space, luxury accommodations for several people, and all the amenities you would find in luxury hotel rooms. There’s a full bathroom and shower, and some models come with hot tubs built into the deck.

The motor yacht is the entertainer’s dream, providing you with TVs, satellite communications, Wi-Fi, and more. There are several categories of motor yachts, including pilothouse, flybridge, sedan bridge, aft cabin, and express-style boats.

The bridge boat is the most popular style in motor yachts and power cruisers. You get plenty of space for overnight accommodations, plenty of deck space, and a helm on the bridge and in the cabin. As a result of the design, these boats fare well in all seasons and all ocean conditions.

A motor yacht or power cruiser relies on its design to categorize the vessel, with elements like cockpits or flybridges and outdoor areas defining the boat. You have plenty of options for diesel and petrol motors, and different hull designs, from planning to full-displacement, determining the speed and handling of the vessel.

Motor Yachts

Benefits of Motor Yachts

There are several benefits to owning a motor yacht or power cruiser. These boats come with so many features that you have everything you need for life out on the water.

International Sailing

The motor yacht or power cruiser offers you all the luxuries and amenities you need to spend days or weeks out on the water. The larger models can handle long international trips through the South Pacific or the Caribbean, and they have enough fuel capacity for very long journeys.

Suitable for Offshore Sailing

Power cruisers and motor yachts are great choices for offshore sailing. Due to the length and stability of these boats, they can withstand rough ocean conditions in storms. The powerful motors, extra width, and deep hulls on these vessels make them exceptionally stable on the water.

Power and Handling

The power cruiser and motor yacht come with huge engines offering you exceptional power and cruising capability. The long hull on the boat means that they turn slowly and lack the maneuverability of smaller models. However, they have enough power to cut through large swells with ease, and the handling is smooth and steady.

Dynamic Cruising Experiences

These boats are cruisers, offering excellent performance for slow, steady cruising through the islands. The longer models feel effortless to drive, gliding through the water with ease.

Plenty of Storage

The motor yacht and power cruiser come with plenty of storage facilities for all your gear. These boats can accommodate everything you need for your time out on the water, from watersports equipment like skis and tubes to dive gear and fishing equipment. The accommodations come with cabinets and wardrobes, and the kitchen features a full fridge and freezer on most models, with plenty of room for food storage.

Sunseeker Cabin

Luxury Living Accommodations

The yacht and power cruiser offers you the best liveaboard accommodations. The longer the boat, the more luxurious the fittings and finishes. Most models over 60-feet in length will come with multiple bedrooms, featuring queen-size beds. The decks and lounge areas feature plush couches and seating, with split-level designs allowing for shaded dining areas. Some of the largest models offer you an experience that’s more like a floating hotel.

Entertainment Paradise

The motor yacht and power cruiser are entertainers’ dreams. They feature full electronic setups, including TVs, audio systems, plenty of speakers, and loads of deck space to start the party on the water.

Comes with Smaller Boats or Skis for Watersports

Since most power yachts and cruisers are large boats, they are not suitable for getting close to shore. As a result, many of these boats, especially the luxury models, come with jet skis or inflatable dinghy boats that let you get to the beach or take fishing or diving excursions away from the boat.

Full Amenities

Motor yachts and power cruisers feature every amenity you could possibly imagine in a watercraft. As mentioned, the larger models are more akin to floating boutique hotels than a boat. You get full kitchens, refrigerators and freezers, sinks, and some models even have dishwashers. These boats come with the widest range of customizations available for any setup you want.

Multiple Sizing Options

Typically, motor yachts and power cruisers come in lengths from 40 to 90-feet. Models over this length will cost a fortune, and every foot adds thousands of dollars to the price tag of these luxury vessels.

Disadvantages of Motor Yachts

While the power cruiser and yacht offer you the best luxury boating experience possible, they come with a few drawbacks.

Expensive Price Tags

As mentioned, the power cruiser and yacht are the most expensive watercraft available. These boats have starting price tags of around $500,000, with high-end models fetching $10,000,000 or more. They are truly the best boat option for the wealthy elite.

Not Suitable for Water Sports

Due to the vessel’s size and lack of maneuverability, these boats are not suitable for water sports . However, nay models come with smaller boats or jet skis included, allowing for watersports like wakeboarding and skiing. The vessel does serve as a wonderful dive boat, allowing for liveaboard trips through popular dive destinations like the Red Sea and the Caribbean.

Motor Yachts

Expensive to Maintain

Motor yachts and power cruisers come with expensive price tags, and they also cost a fortune to maintain. You’ll also pay a significant sum in annual marina fees to dock your boat.

High Fuel Consumption

Power cruisers and motor yachts have high-powered motors to propel the heavy vessel. As a result, they drink plenty of fuel. Diesel models are available for better economy, while petrol-based models are more for performance. Some manufacturing brands offer green tech motors offering you excellent fuel economy for long trips at sea.

Not Trailerable

Due to the sheer size of these boats, you can’t fit them on a standard trailer. You’ll need to hire a specialist yacht transport service if you need to remove it from the water for repairs.

Top Motor Yacht and Power Cruiser Brands

There are dozens of premium motor yacht and power cruiser brands and hundreds of models available in various lengths. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to look at all of the best models and brands available, regardless of the astronomical price tags associated with these vessels. Here are our top choices for the best power cruisers and motor yachts available.

Benetti is the world leader in superyacht design and construction. Lorenzo Benetti founded the company in 1873, with Azimut purchasing the brand in 1984. The Benetti range is exclusive, with opulent features and luxuries, giving you everything you would expect in a premium model.


Relax in luxury and enjoy your time out on the water. Benetti offers you seven models, starting at 95-feet. These boats are custom-built to order, with a long list of customizable options allowing you to set up your boat to your requirements.

Benetti offers custom-made motor yachts in its Mega and Giga ranges, with the “Lionheart” model being one of its most popular luxury models. If you have the budget, and money isn’t a problem, Benetti brings you one of the best ranges of motor yachts available.

As one of the leading brands in luxury motor yachts, Feadship is an acronym for “First Export Association of Dutch Shipbuilders.” This elite shipyard produces some of the most sought-after models for society’s elite.


Feadship has a reputation for being the best motor yacht brand in the world when it comes to custom-built watercraft. Purchasing a motor yacht from this brand is like buying a home; you’ll work with the company to design your ideal boat, fitted with any customization you want in the vessel.

Our choice for the top models in the range is the “M/Y Faith.” This beautiful watercraft is a superyacht for the rich, giving you a 5-star experience out on the water.

This brand is another well-known company with an established reputation in the superyacht market. Founded in 1987, this brand has more industry awards than any other manufacturer, despite its relatively short time in business.


Oceanco makes superyachts for the elite, with some models reaching up to a colossal 420-feet, with onboard jet skis and dinghies, luxury accommodations, and full electronics for navigating the world’s oceans. Oceanco also utilizes green technology in its builds, giving you a motor yacht that reduces your environmental impact on the sea.

This motor yacht company is also the owner of the Benetti brand. While Benetti is the more famous choice, Azimut also designs and builds some excellent watercraft for ocean-going experiences. The recognizable Italian design on these vessels shines through in the build quality, with impressive finishes and styling aesthetics that just scream high-end luxury when looking at the boat.


Most of the Azimut range of motor yachts includes cutting-edge electronics and technology. They also offer you a range of hybrid engines for economy and power. The manufacturer also uses nanotechnology in the boat’s coating, giving you a long-lasting vessel that looks fantastic, even after decades of service.

If you’re looking for the best entry-level brand for motor yachts and power cruisers, check out the range offered by Sunseeker. Sunseeker is a recognizable brand in boats, producing a lineup of many models.


The motor yacht and power cruiser range from Sunseeker offer you smaller lengths, from 50-feet up, with more affordable price tags than the other brands mentioned in this review.

While they may be more affordable than boats from the other brands, you get excellent design and build quality, with materials like carbon fiber on the hull for added strength and lightweight design.

Wrapping Up

If money isn’t an object, and you want the best luxury experience out on the water, a motor yacht or power cruiser offers you the ideal model for your aquatic adventure. You get a boat loaded with every amenity you can think of and full functionality for anything you want to do on the water.

Sail through international seas, visit islands, take long dive trips, or just enjoy a cruise down the coastline. While these boats come with heavy price tags, they are worth every penny if you have the budget and you want a premium experience out on the water.

Avatar photo

John is an experienced journalist and veteran boater. He heads up the content team at BoatingBeast and aims to share his many years experience of the marine world with our readers.

A Complete Guide to Micro Skiffs: All You Need to Know!

A complete guide to narrow boats: all you need to know, a guide to aluminum fishing boats.

Comments are closed.

Type above and press Enter to search. Press Esc to cancel.


  • Motor Boating
  • Guide To Motorboats

Guide to Motorboats

Motor boat

With so many different types of boats available, we bring you this beginner's guide to Motorboats. We hope it will help you make the right choice when buying a boat.

What is a motorboat?

A motorboat is a power driven vessel with an internal combustion engine driving a jet pump or propeller. Even a sailboat, while it has an engine running, is technically a power driven vessel. The term motor boating refers to motorised cruising vessels used for leisure.

A little bit of history!

Many names contributed to the invention of the motorboat. Charles Raymond Hunt was responsible for introducing the deep v-shaped hull in 1963, one of the motorboats most important advances. Renato Levi is given credit for the evolution of the motorboat, particularly developing unique concepts - improving the performance of racing boats. Rudolph Diesel also helped make advancements in motorboat industry. He is best known for inventing a 25-horsepower, four-stroke, single vertical compression engine.

Types of motorboats

A speedboat is a small motorboat designed to move quickly. It is often used in races and for water skiing. Even inflatable boats and dinghies with a motor attached are classed as types of motorboats.

The three popular variations of motorboats are: inboard, inboard / outboard and outboard. If the engine is fitted within the boat, it's called a powerplant. If it's a removable section attached to the boat, it's known as an outboard motor.

Motor cruisers offer a range of amenities, depending on the number of passengers and the type of the cruising. They range from small vessels equipped with basic essentials for a short cruise to much larger holiday crafts complete with shower, cooker and sleeping accommodation.

Where to begin

All first time motorboat cruisers should have some form of training. As a rule, the larger the motorboat and the longer the journey, the greater the level of training is required.

Beginners can rent small vessels for a short cruise, without needing much training. This will help you get to grips with the basic motorboat controls. Courses are available for beginners which cover the basic areas of handling the boat. The Royal Yachting Association offers three levels of courses, from a two day helmsman course offering basic boat handling, helmsmanship and engine maintenance to a five-day coastal skipper course.

A great way to start motorboating is to combine your motor boating course with a holiday, either in the UK or across the European mainland. A number of well known activity holiday companies are RYA training centres and offer courses with certificates.

Where to use your motorboat

Motorboating is the perfect way to explore Britain's many rivers –the Norfolk Broads, the Yorkshire dales, the historic city of York and the River Thames.

But there is no need to limit cruising to UK waters. Ireland, Germany, France and many other European countries offer a number of beautiful and interesting waterways.

From inland lakes to rivers and overseas, motor boating offers a relaxing and fun pastime. Unlike sailboats, there is no need to wait for the right wind conditions before setting sail.

Share this article

You might like.

Dame Ellen MacArthur launches plans for Round Britain 2017

Sign up to our newsletter

By submitting this form, you agree to our Privacy & Cookie Policy

Change units of measure

This feature requires cookies to be enabled on your browser.

Show price in:

Show lengths, beam and draft in:

Show displacement or weight in:

Show capacity or volume in:

Show speed in:

Show distance in:

British Marine

  • Inquire Now
  • Motor Yachts
  • Sailing Yachts
  • $1 – $25,000 Yachts
  • $26,000 – $50,000 Yachts
  • $50,000 – $100,000 Yachts
  • $101,000 – $200,000 Yachts
  • $200,000 – ∞ Yachts
  • Virgin Islands
  • Leeward Islands
  • Turks and Caicos
  • Spain & Balearic Islands
  • New England
  • Tahiti & South Pacific
  • More destinations
  • Charter Advice

Boating 101: A Beginner's Guide

Some simple guidelines to help keep you safe on the water.

Boating is a fun, educational, and stress-reducing activity that most people can participate in and enjoy. From sailing to water-skiing – or a Mediterranean yacht charter , boating can provide hours of enjoyment away from home. As with any water-related activity, however, there are precautions and rules that pertain to boating. These laws and guidelines are necessary to ensure the safety of all passengers and, in some cases, the environment. To ensure an enjoyable experience on the water and reduce the risk of dangerous situations arising, it is essential that newcomers educate themselves about some of the important aspects associated with riding or operating a boat.

Prior to taking a ride on a water vessel, prospective passengers and navigators should first become familiar with some of the terminology that is related to boating. For instance:

  • Knots refer to the speed of the boat. The definition of one knot is one nautical mile per hour, which is 6,076 feet.
  • A fathom is a unit of length equivalent to six feet, and a log is a record kept regarding the operation of the boat.
  • The bow is the front section of the boat, and the aft or stern is the rear.
  • The port side of a boat is the left side, while starboard refers to the right side of it.

Other important terms include the helm , which refers to the steering system, the hull means the structure or body of the boat, and a chart is the term for a map that a navigator might use.

Two of the most important terms that pertain to navigation are latitude and longitude. Latitude refers to coordinates running to the north or south of the equator, while longitude refers to coordinates to the east or west of the global meridian which is in Greenwich, England.

Propulsion related terms include the rudder for steering and the screw , which is another word for the boat’s propeller.

Safety related terms include the PFD, or personal flotation device , that is used to help keep people in the water afloat, and founder , meaning to sink.

Another important term regarding safety is the lifeline . This is a line or series of lines along the deck that a person can grab to avoid falling out of the boat, or going overboard . SOS is a globally recognized term for a signal sent out by ships in distress, and VDS means “ visual distress signals ” which is another way for a boat to signal for help.

When it comes to boating safety, the US Coast Guard rules require that PFD’s, or life jackets, are available for everyone on a boat that is younger than the age of 13. These rules are a requirement for yacht charters in New England and other U.S. boating tripsIn addition, they must be worn at any time that the boat is in motion. This rule applies in states that do not have child life jacket laws. Life jacket laws in Alabama, for instance, state that children under the age of 8 years old are required to wear PFD’s at all times while aboard any boat except when inside an enclosed cabin. For boaters in Alabama, the state law takes precedence over the U.S. Coast Guard rules.

Boat operators boating while intoxicated are subject to a minimum federal fine of $1,000, and may also face time in jail. The US Coast Guard also requires that boats have their registration number displayed on the port and starboard sides of the bow. Registration papers must always be carried on board and available for inspection. Boats 16 feet or longer must have visual distress signal devices, such as flares or non-pyrotechnic SOS lights. Fire extinguishers are required for boats with inboard engines, as well as boats longer than 26 feet. Powered ventilation systems are required by the US Coast Guard for boats with enclosed gasoline engines, as are navigation lights for boats 16 feet or longer. For environmental and health safety, the US Coast Guard also forbids the dumping of plastic related garbage into the water, as well as other potential pollutants such as oil. State governments also have additional rules regarding boating that owners and operators must become familiar with. These include more or less stringent regulations than the US Coast Guard provides, and also varying laws regarding activities that contribute to water pollution.

In addition to laws, there are also suggestions and guidelines that can improve the safety of boating enthusiasts. Carbon monoxide detectors are recommended for large boats with cabins and other enclosed spaces, especially those with gasoline motors. Flashlights, paddles, anchors, VHF radios, cell phones, and shark repellent, are all examples of equipment that may be necessary depending on where a boat is going. To help boaters learn how to stay in compliance with the law, and to get familiar with other guidelines that will ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the water, classes for boating exist around the country. Opportunities for enrolling into educational courses are available not only at colleges, but also at boating clubs and via websites online.

For more educational information about information and regulations related to boating, please visit the following links:

  • US Coast Guard – Virtual Safety Check
  • A Boater’s Guide To The Federal Requirements For Recreational Boats And Safety Tips (PDF)
  • Required Boating Safety Equipment
  • Safe Boating Checklist
  • Scientific Boating Safety Association Boating Safety Manual (PDF)
  • Boating Safety Program News and Courses
  • Guide For Safe Boating Operations For Small Vessels (Under 26) (PDF)
  • Definitions and Mnemonics for Sailors and Powerboaters
  • Online Boating Courses

Written by Katja Kukovic

Go to Knowledgebase

Set your search criteria to find the perfect yacht

  • Alaska Australia Bahamas BVI Caribbean Croatia Florida France Galapagos Greece Indonesia Italy Malaysia Maldives Mexico Mediterranean New England Norway Spain Thailand Tahiti Turkey
  • Motor Yacht Catamaran Sailing Boats
  • 2 4 6 8 10 12 12+

Search by yacht name


My Cruiser Life Magazine

Best Boat for Beginners – Starter Boats for Cruisers and Liveaboards

Embarking on the maritime journey of boating can be an exhilarating adventure, especially for beginners eager to explore the vast beauty of the waters. Choosing the best boat for starters is crucial, as it lays the foundation for a safe, enjoyable, and fulfilling experience on the waves. Dive into the world of boating with confidence, as we explore the best starter boats for cruisers and liveaboards, setting sail towards your aquatic adventures.

best boat for beginners

Table of Contents

6 best beginner boats for traveling and living aboard, what to consider when choosing beginner boats, easiest boats to drive, the trailerable pocket cruiser – ranger tug 25, coastal cruising sailboat, the classic best first boat – catalina 30.

  • Trusty Trawlers That Make Good Boats for Beginners – Island Gyspy 32

Best Starter Boat That’s a Solid Bluewater Sailboat – Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34

Best starter boat for family, the small cruising sail catamaran – pdq 32, small cruising power catamaran – pdq 32/34 mv, 1. dinghies, 2. bowriders, 3. pontoon boats, 4. center console boats, 5. inflatable boats, 6. day sailers, a simple boat makes the best first boat, boats for beginners cost, size and length of your starter boat, insurance for first time boater buyers, choosing the right boat, best boats for beginners – where will it take you, beginner boats faqs.

Here’s our list of the top six best boats for beginners.

  • Ranger Tug 25
  • Catalina 30
  • Island Gyspy 32
  • Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34
  • PDQ 32/34 MV

Of course, any list like this will always leave off a few gems. The purpose is not to point you towards a specific model but to give you some ideas of the cruising boats out there.

Remember, there’s no perfect boat for everyone for every situation. Boats are romantic, but they’re just tools. So start thinking about where you want to take your boat and what you want to do with it before settling on the perfect starter boat.

There are two schools of thought when picking your first boat. Either start small and work up to the big dream boat you want. Or dive in head first.

For example, what’s the point of owning an 18-foot jet boat or ski boat if you want a 36-footer to do the Great Loop in?

Of course, the reality is more complicated than either of these options. If your dream boat is circumnavigating in a 50-foot sailing catamaran and you’ve never set foot on a boat before, you’ll have a tough time getting insurance.

So, a good boat for beginners represents a compromise – like all boats do. They need to be small enough to be easy to learn, easy to drive, and easy to own. But they also need to give you the capability you want, or else what’s the point of buying the boat?

Best Beginner Boats

How did we pick these boats? With the theme of taking your home with you, traveling long distances, and living aboard, these boats allow you to do all that while keeping it simple and reliable.

If you’re looking for a trailerable cruising boat, Ranger Tugs need to be on your shortlist. The company made a name with the well-regarded 25, a tiny tug that seemingly packs in everything you need. Galley, private head, large stateroom, and plenty of living space are all inside a boat that is, quite frankly, one of the cutest things you’ll ever see on the water. Ranger Tugs have personality, and their owners a fanatical about them. Check out their owner’s group for more information, the Tug Nuts .

A boat on a trailer is an excellent compromise in many ways. Ranger Tugs are pricey–you could probably get a 34-foot trawler for less money. But that boat would require you to haul out for maintenance and pay slip fees. On the other hand, a Ranger Tug could live in your backyard, conceivably, and be driven to the mechanic. If you have the time, it could also be trailered over land to cruise to distant destinations too far for the average boat. Imagine being able to commute from the Keys or Bahamas in the winter and Maine in the summer, or even move to Washington State for a few months?

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ranger Tugs (@rangertugs)

Other similar options include the trailerable Rosborough 246 or the not-so-trailerable Nordic Tug 26 and 32. The Camino Troll is also worth a look.

Catalina has made a lot of great sailboats over the years, but the 30 has always stood out. It’s the perfect size for a beginner and still big enough to live aboard for extended periods. It has a surprising amount of interior volume, but it still sails well and is a popular racer. Catalina offered many rig heights and keel designs over the years, so research your options carefully. Best of all, there are plenty of the 30s on the used market, so you should be able to find a reasonable price on one in good condition and equipped well.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kate (@wickedsaltykate)

There are plenty of options in the coast cruiser market. You can pick any Catalina between 25 and 35 feet and get a winner. Check out our list of the 25 best sailboat manufacturers for even more options. These boats are inexpensive and simple, and many were built, so it’s easier to find some bargains.

Trusty Trawlers That Make Good Boats for Beginners – Island Gyspy 32

Trawlers don’t get enough attention on lists like this one. The Island Gypsy is a popular make that competes with the high-end Grand Banks trawlers. They have voluminous interiors with huge windows and comfortable living spaces. Smaller trawlers like this usually have a single engine, an important factor in keeping maintenance and operating costs low. Operating at slow speeds, and boat like this will run economically with a fuel burn of only a few gallons an hour.

Maintenance-wise, you’ll want to consider your options carefully for a boat like this. These boats were nearly all built in Taiwan in the 1970s and 80s, and the quality of various boatyards can be shocking. Common problems include corrosion in the tanks and leaking windows. Teak decks of that age are also nearly always a problem. Older wooden trawlers should only be considered by enthusiasts and never beginners. Some trawler brands had more problems than others, and we chose Island Gypsy for their reputation for building quality vessels.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Island Gypsy Trawler (@mv_vinden)

The DeFever Passagemaker is another popular choice for a small trawler. If you’d like something a little newer, check out the Mainship 34, Monk 36, or Beneteau Swift Trawlers .

Speaking of quality vessels, if you’re eyeing getting into serious passage making and want a boat that can go anywhere, Pacific Seacraft should be on your list. It’s a stout vessel that is exceptionally well built and has space for a cruising couple to take it anywhere in comfort. It has a big boat feel lacking in most pocket cruiser sailboat designs.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ben Wasmund (@benwa5192)

There are plenty of other bluewater sailboats, but the focus is on the small size and simple operation. Consider also the Pacific Seacraft Orion 27, Cabo Rico 34, Hans Christian 33, Baba 30/Toshiba 31, Cape Dory 28, Halbery-Rassy 35, or Shannon 28. Most folks will find these boats on the small side as long-term cruisers, but they’re great boats that are an awesome place to start.

PDQ was a Canadian-built multihull brand that was very popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. Their most popular model was the Capella 36, but the 32 is an even more interesting vessel. PDQ had a reputation for building well-thought-out boats to a high standard. Compared to most of the new multihulls on the market today, a well-cared-for PDQ is still an exceptional value.

Features that make the 32 exceptionally attractive include the large and functional galley and wrap-around salon windows on the bridge deck. Most boats were built with bridgedeck mounted outboard motors, a huge benefit regarding maintenance costs and operational complexity. The LRC (long-range cruiser) models have inboard diesels, significantly adding to the boat’s complexity. https://www.practical-sailor.com/sailboat-reviews/used_sailboats/the-pdq-32-a-comfortable-cruising-cat

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Zero To Cruising (@zerotocruising)

There aren’t many other well-built cruising cats of this size out there, and PDQ didn’t make very many 32s. One similar boat is the Gemini 105MC, a much more popular boat that has similar capabilities but a lower build quality. The Maine Cat 30 is a better choice, although much newer and more expensive. The Endeavorcat 30 and 35 are also worth considering.

PDQ also produced a popular motor multihull, the 34. This trawler-looking design packs a big punch in a small space. With twin diesel engines, it’s one of the easiest to drive boats on our list. It has an upper bridge deck for driving outside and an inner helm for bad weather.

There aren’t many power catamarans that compete with the PDQ in terms of this size. Most you will find are either much newer and larger, or are geared toward fishing more than cruising.

Best Types of Boats for Beginners

The best types of boats for beginners often combine ease of use, stability, and manageability. Some highly recommended options:

Small, lightweight boats that can be sailed, rowed, or powered by a small outboard motor.

  • Pros: Affordable, easy to handle, and great for learning the basics of sailing and boating. They’re also easy to transport and store.
  • Ideal For: Learning to sail, short day trips, and inland waters.

Open bow area boats with seating; they often come with inboard or outboard engines.

  • Pros: Versatile, good for a variety of activities like fishing, watersports, and cruising. They offer a balance of comfort and performance.
  • Ideal For: Families and beginners looking for a multipurpose boat for lakes and calm coastal waters.

Flat-deck boats mounted on two or more metal tubes (pontoons), offering stability and lots of space.

  • Pros: Very stable, spacious, and comfortable, making them perfect for leisurely outings, fishing, and entertaining.
  • Ideal For: Lakes and calm, inland waterways; great for social outings and family trips.

Boats with a steering station in the center, providing an open deck plan and 360-degree access around the boat.

  • Pros: Easy to maneuver, offering good visibility and versatility for fishing, diving, and day cruising.
  • Ideal For: Beginners interested in fishing and coastal cruising who want more mobility around the boat.

Boats made from flexible tubes with pressurized gas; can be rigid (RIB) or soft-bottomed.

  • Pros: Portable, lightweight, and easy to store. They’re stable, making them good for calm waters and short excursions.
  • Ideal For: Short trips, tender for a larger boat, or when storage space is limited.

Small sailing boats designed for daytime use, not equipped with overnight accommodations.

  • Pros: Simple to operate and maintain, offering a pure sailing experience. They’re great for learning the fundamentals of sailing.
  • Ideal For: Aspiring sailors and those interested in day trips on lakes or protected waters.

Pro Tips When Picking a Starter Boat

There is an immense range of boat types that you can consider. As previously stated, there’s no perfect boat for every situation. Even once you have the “perfect boat,” you might then decide you want to change where you cruise or how long you stay. Doing so might mean that your perfect boat isn’t so perfect.

Your first boat should be able to do what you want. Cruise Chesapeake Bay? Travel the ICW from New York to the Florida Keys? Spend winters aboard on the Gulf Coast? Liveaboard year-round on San Francisco Bay? Complete America’s Great Loop ?

Related: Best Boat for the Great Loop

In addition to meeting your goals, it also needs to teach you about boating. It’s a learning platform more than anything else. And there’s already so much to learn about boating that starting with the simplest boat is best.

There’s also nothing wrong with starting with small cuddy cabin sail or powerboats, a pontoon boat, or ski boats as a beginner boater. Something like this can introduce you to the boating world and help get your feet wet. It just depends if this is also a boat that you will enjoy owning, even if only temporarily.

What Makes the Best Beginner Boat?

So, why did these boats make it on the list and others didn’t? What exactly makes a good first boat? It boils down to these four factors when picking your first boat.

During the first year of owning any boat, you will experience a steep learning curve. If it’s your first boat, the curve is all the steeper. Boating can be challenging, and diving into traveling by boat or living aboard is doubly so.

Simplicity is often discussed as it relates to cost. Sure, you’d like a boat with a generator and air conditioning, but those boats cost more than the boat that doesn’t have it. But those systems add complexity and difficulty to your boating experience more than the cost alone. Every piece of equipment you add to your boat is another thing to learn and another thing that needs maintenance. So keep this in mind when looking at boats with complex propulsion systems and advanced electrical systems.

Of course, other factors will weigh you down as you pick your boat. For one thing, a budget will limit you.

As a general rule of thumb, spending your entire budget on purchasing the vessel is a bad idea. You’ll need a little left over for upgrades, unplanned repairs, and maintenance. Boat ownership is nearly always more expensive than we imagine. A good rule of thumb is to take your budget, spend half on the boat, and save half for future expenses.

The boat length you choose affects nearly every aspect of your boating. If you buy too small a boat, you’ll feel cramped and won’t enjoy the experience. If you buy too big a boat, you’ll be intimidated to drive it and feel overwhelmed. The length of the boat is also tied to its complexity. The bigger the boat, the harder it is to learn how to operate and maintain it.

If you can get by with a starter boat small enough that it can be stored out of the water, you’ll save a ton of money on maintenance, dockage fees, and off season storage. Trailerable boats are great if you have a tow vehicle and room to store them. Even if you don’t, in-out storage facilities make ownership much easier.

Finally, none of these choices are yours to make alone–your insurance agent will have some say. There once was a time when anyone could buy pretty much any boat and sail away. Some will tell you it’s still like that, that you just need to forgo insurance.

But neither of those are realistic choices today. First, you’ll need insurance to visit many marinas and boatyards. But even if you don’t plan on using those facilities, the risk of damaging a multi-million-dollar yacht when you drag anchor in a storm is very real. The tragic possibilities are endless at sea, and it’s simply irresponsible to travel by boat without insurance in this day and age.

So before getting too serious about boat shopping, it’s a good idea to speak with an insurance agent familiar with your type of vessel. They may require you to get experience with a smaller boat first. Or they might be okay with you getting trained by a professional captain for a few weeks before going it alone.

best boats for beginners

When selecting a boat, beginners should consider:

  • Usage: Determine the primary activity (fishing, sailing, cruising) to find a boat that best suits your interests.
  • Size: Start with a manageable size that’s easy to control and maintain.
  • Budget: Consider not only the purchase price but also ongoing costs like maintenance, storage, and fuel.
  • Waterways: Choose a boat suitable for the water bodies you plan to navigate, whether inland lakes, rivers, or coastal waters.

Starting with a boat that matches your skill level and intended use can make the learning process more enjoyable and ensure a safer boating experience.

Boat TypeWhy It’s a Good Starter Boat
– Compact size with comprehensive features (galley, private head, stateroom)
– Trailerable, reducing maintenance and slip fees
– Versatile for seasonal cruising (e.g., Keys/Bahamas in winter, Maine in summer)
– Ideal size for beginners and liveaboards
– High interior volume with good sailing performance
– Availability of used market options
– Voluminous interiors with comfortable living spaces
– Economical fuel consumption
– Single engine for lower maintenance
– Exceptionally well-built for serious passage making
– Suitable for a cruising couple with a big boat feel
– Large functional galley and wrap-around salon windows
– Lower maintenance with outboard motors or added complexity with inboard diesels for LRC models
– Easy to drive with twin diesel engines
– Features both an upper bridge deck and an inner helm for versatility

In years of cruising, we have noticed one repeating pattern. Most people who set sail give up boating after a year or so. For many, it’s simply that the lifestyle wasn’t what they thought it would be. For some, that’s because they bought the wrong boat.

Picking a good starter boat is an enormous topic. Before you set out on your dream at sea, consider why you’re buying a boat and what your mission is. Then talk to folks, work with a good buyer’s broker, and do as much research as possible.

To learn more about other boats before starting, check out:

  • Catamaran vs Pontoon
  • Yacht vs Sailboat

What is the easiest type of boat to drive?

Nearly every type of vessel takes training and practice to learn how to drive. Boats are deceivingly easy to drive in open water, away from obstacles. But in tight spaces, like in marinas and around docks, boats have quirks that take experience to pick up on.

The question isn’t which is easiest since none are difficult, but many are tricky. The best rule of thumb is to get training from a professional instructor before you set out. Most boats are easy enough that someone can show you everything you need to know in a few hours.

What size boat should I start with?

When you first start boating, you’ll have to find a balance between the smallest and simplest boat you can afford that is sufficient to do with it what you want to do. Keeping it small and simple makes learning easier, which will go a long way in ensuring that you enjoy your boating experiences. The only limits you may find on the size of the boat will come from your insurance company. They may require you to get training from a captain if you purchase a larger boat without much boating experience.

How do I pick my first boat?

Your first boat should represent a balance between simplicity and ease of use but large enough to do what you want to do with it. Boating is complicated, so the best course of action is to take a hands-on training class like those from ASA (American Sailing Association) or the US Power Squadron. Then, you’ll know what boating is like and what you want to get into.

If you’re considering getting a boat longer than 25 feet, start your boat search by looking for insurance first. Shop around because some companies will place limits on the length or age of the boat you might be able to choose.

What is the simplest boat?

Generally, the smaller the boat is, the simpler the boat. Larger boats have more complex systems, bigger engines, and more stuff, making them complicated. The simplest boat is a johnboat, a canoe, or an open daysailer with no electrical system, toilet, or cabin. Outboard-powered boats are simpler than inboard-powered boats. Every option you add to your boat wishlist adds complexity and moves away from the “simple” end of the spectrum.

motor yachting for beginners

Matt has been boating around Florida for over 25 years in everything from small powerboats to large cruising catamarans. He currently lives aboard a 38-foot Cabo Rico sailboat with his wife Lucy and adventure dog Chelsea. Together, they cruise between winters in The Bahamas and summers in the Chesapeake Bay.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

motor yachting for beginners

motor yachting for beginners

  • Subscribe Now
  • Digital Editions

hero profile

4 of the best beginner motor boats to buy right now

  • Top stories

Nick Burnham picks out four of the best beginner motor boats on the market that deliver on this compromise hull form

Spring has sprung. It’s that time of year again – summer is on the horizon and it’s time to tempt a few would-be boaters afloat. Scouring the brokerage sites has thrown up an interesting selection of prime first boat fodder.

If you’re happy to take on an older boat then a surprisingly prestige brand swings into focus, a genuine twin-engined sporty Fairline for less than the price of a new Ford Focus.

A slightly newer Scandinavian beauty can be yours for not a lot more, smaller of cabin but with the very wallet friendly advantage of a parsimonious small single diesel under the engine hatch.

A little more money puts you in charge of a much newer 27ft cruiser with all the expected modern amenities in the shape of an American built Rinker 270, and finally a super sporty and surprisingly capable Italian stallion comes from the Cranchi stable.

As ever, you pays your money and you takes your choice.

Recommended videos for you

4 great beginner motor boats.

motor yachting for beginners

Fairline Carrera 24

Built: 1989 Price: £24,950

Is there any finer recommendation for a boat than the fact that this one was bought new in 1989 from BA Peters in Chichester and then simply kept forever? 35 years later it has finally come onto the market with a whole sheaf of invoices.

And amazingly, it’s all original, right down to the Seafarer 501 strobing echo sounder. It speaks volumes for the quality of these brilliant little boats that they springboarded the brand up into the seven figure price tag territory it now occupies.

It’s amazing to think that Fairline ever built boats this small, and in 1989, this wasn’t even the smallest, the Sprint 21 sat below it. However, the crucial point is that these boats were built every bit as well as the bigger models.

motor yachting for beginners

The interior may be dated but it has lasted well and the layout still does the job

It’s pretty spacious for its length due to a 9ft 5in beam and the layout is very straightforward, a converting dinette forward, galley to port, heads with shower to starboard and a crawl-in double back aft beneath the raised helm.

The flat windscreen panes and a ‘bolt on’ flat bathing platform rather than one integrated into the hull rather date the design, as do the 1980s stripes and lack of a transom door, but actually this is still a well-proportioned and good looking boat. The cockpit is dead simple. There’s a raised helm with a double seat that flips over to give aft facing seating, and a bench seat aft. You can drop a cockpit table in to create an external dinette.


Fairline offered single and twin engines, from a solitary river-friendly 130hp through to a pair of 205hp V6 petrol motors. The twin Volvo Penta AQ151 146hp motors fitted to this boat were probably good for nigh-on 30 knots when new, although inevitably they are likely to have lost a few ponies over the last three and a half decades.

Article continues below…

Semi-displacement motor boats: 4 of the best on the used boat market

Best all-season boats: 4 reassuringly rugged options from the secondhand market.

As authentically Fairline as the build quality, the hull was a Bernard Olesinski design, just like every other Fairline of the era. It’s quite a fat boat, so unlikely to slice through the chop like the proverbial hot knife, but it will certainly deliver a solid, dry, stable ride. The first owners obviously rated it highly enough.


Length: 27ft 7in (8.4m) Beam: 9ft 5in (2.9m) Draft: 2ft 6in (0.8m) Displacement: 3.5 tonnes Fuel capacity: 318 litres Engines: Twin Volvo Penta AQ151 146hp petrol engines

motor yachting for beginners

Cranchi Endurance 30

Built: 2014 Price: £79,950

Cranchi’s Endurance boats are the sporty models of the range, designed for looks and performance over cabin space and practicality. Yet this is still an eminently useable and sensible boat if your ambition isn’t to live aboard for more than the occasional weekend.

As a first boat it’s also easy to crew and move around, while its deep cockpit sides offer a sense of security.

First the downside of that ethos. Forget much standing headroom, separate cabins or an expansive galley, the lower deck is very much of the large cuddy cabin style. In fact there is standing headroom at the base of the companionway steps, but it quickly drops as you head forward, where you’ll find an L-shaped settee that converts to a double berth.

motor yachting for beginners

The forward dinette also converts into a double berth when needed

And indeed there’s another double beneath the cockpit, although it’s all open plan. There’s no galley down here, unless you count the microwave, about the only other thing you’ll discover is the heads, which also benefits from standing headroom and a shower. Family fortnights might be a stretch, but it’s a perfectly good weekending space.

The payoff is outside, which is brilliant for the size of boat. Cranchi opted for a centre console vibe, with the double helm just slightly off the centreline giving masses of space to move around it and up onto the bow via deeply bulwarked side steps forward. Further aft there’s a large L-shaped dinette opposite a wet bar, the aft backrest of which hinges and folds to extend the sunpad behind it.

The Endurance 30 that we tested was fitted with a single 300hp diesel engine, and that gave a spritely mid 30-knot top end, so the twin 4.3 litre Volvo Penta GXi fuel injected petrol engines fitted to this boat should make it fly along.

motor yachting for beginners

And now for the best news of all because this boat is an absolute hoot to drive, it corners like a jetski. But it’s also a very capable offshore sea boat.

In trying conditions off Poole it gave a genuinely impressive ride.

Length: 31ft 2in (9.5m) Beam: 9ft 8in (3.0m) Draft: 3ft 0in (0.9m) Displacement: 3.5 tonnes Fuel capacity: 326 litres Engines: Twin Volvo Penta 4.3GXi 225hp petrol engines

motor yachting for beginners

Rinker 270 Fiesta Vee

Built: 2002 Price: £45,000

The Rinker 270 Fiesta Vee is the very epitome of this style and size of American sportscruiser. Small enough to be manageable but large enough to offer a properly useful interior, it ticks a lot of boxes for a lot of people, which is why it was Rinker’s most popular model when it was in production.

There’s a reason that virtually all boats of this size and type share a very similar layout and that’s because it works so well. The dinette forward easily seats four and with the table dropped and the infill cushions in place, it makes a decent sized bed too.

motor yachting for beginners

Cockpit feels safe and secure thanks to deep coamings and well placed grabrails

There’s a galley just aft to port which, unusually for an American boat, features a useful gas hob as well as a sink, microwave and fridge. Opposite, the heads has a shower which pulls out of the taps, and back aft, a double bed stretches back under the cockpit. For a typical family, it’s about all you really need.

Rinker eked out volume by making the topsides high and the cabin and cockpit stretch right to the edges. So the route forward is up a couple of steps and through the opening windscreen. The cockpit is split into two linked sections.

The forward half has the helm to starboard with a bench seat to port that also provides headroom at the head of the bed in the mid-cabin. Back aft, there’s a bench seat and table, while a small cockpit wet bar has a sink and a removable ice chest. High sides and grabrails help instill confidence in a less experienced crew.

Unusually, this boat has been re-engined with a Hyundai Seasail diesel engine. Its 270hp ought to push the top speed up to around 30 knots whilst burning much less fuel than the petrol V8s found in boats like this.

motor yachting for beginners

With a galley, four beds and a heads compartment, this has everything a family needs

Those high sides and relatively narrow beam are likely to give a little lean in a crosswind at high speed, but nothing the Lenco trim tabs can’t correct. A bow thruster would make close-quarters handling a little easier for a novice, but that’s a relatively inexpensive retrofit.

Length: 28ft 6in (8.7m) Beam: 8ft 6in (2.6m) Draft: 2ft 0in (0.6m) Displacement: 3.5 tonnes Fuel capacity: 315 litres Engine: Hyundai Seasail 270hp diesel engine

motor yachting for beginners

Built: 1994 Price: £29,995

Like the Cranchi, the Windy 7800 is very much aimed at the weekender market rather than the cruiser; its setup biased heavily toward style, performance and cockpit space. And there’s nothing wrong with that, especially for a first boat where cruising ambitions are initially likely to be tempered by lack of experience. What you get instead is a fun boat on the water.

Windy has been quite clever with a couple of aspects of the cuddy cabin style interior. Firstly, there’s a huge cut-out above the first part of the cabin as you go in, which means that despite the 4ft 6in headroom, you can stand at this end, handy for the compact galley tucked away to port.

motor yachting for beginners

Chunky helm seat sets the tone for this driver focussed sports cuddy design

Directly opposite, a flat worktop lifts through 90 degrees to separate off this corner of the cabin, which houses the sea toilet. There’s a curtain in front of it to preserve a modicum of modesty. Further forward is the usual hoop of dinette with a table that drops to create a double bed.

Despite being now 30 years old, this is a great looking boat. The hull flares out wonderfully through its forward sections, in the style of a classic Fairey, helping keep the spray down and creating more space above the relatively narrow and therefore easily driven two-metre waterline beam.

The sweep of curved screen segues neatly into side sections that shelter a cockpit with a simple layout. Helm to starboard, navigator to port, and pedestal seats that swivel to face the bench seat aft ahead of the sunpad. Pop-up tables on both sides facilitate dining.

Windy offered a wide range of engines, from a single 130hp through to a 365hp V8 Mercruiser petrol, and even a twin-engined option. This boat is fitted with an incredibly parsimonious 150hp AQ31, which should push the top speed up towards about 30 knots.

motor yachting for beginners

Large opening provides much needed standing headroom next to the compact galley

We ran one of these 20 miles through long swells decorated with a short chop. We might have expected a wet and bumpy ride but it was nothing of the sort even at high speeds, the boat keeping us dry and comfortable.

Length: 25ft 7in (7.8m) Beam: 8ft 2in (2.5m) Draft: 3ft 0in (0.9m) Displacement: 2 tonnes Fuel capacity: 298 litres Engine: Volvo Penta AD31 150hp diesel engine

4 of the best motor boats under £50k to buy right now

Absolute navetta gets a snazzy new makeover, fjord 39 tour: maximised space and amenities, latest videos, bluegame bgm75 sea trial: the €6.8m powercat that thinks its a monohull, cormate chase 32 tour: fast, stylish and practical weekender, axopar 29 sea trial: sun top vs cross cabin – which is best, sunseeker ocean 182 – see how this compact superyacht copes in a wet and windy sea trial.

WaterCraft 101

WaterCraft 101

Your guide to fun on the water!

Choosing the best starter boat for beginners.

The 6 Best Starter Boats For Beginners (Read This First!)

If you’re a beginner boater and looking for your first boat, it’s important to note that there are various types of vessels for different applications. Choosing the right boat for your interests can be a challenging exercise, given the amount of choices available to you. When researching what is a good starter boat, the information can become quite overwhelming! Fear not, we’re here to help!

Here are our recommendations for the best six starter boats.

  • Axis A20 in the watersports class.
  • Lund 2070 Predator in the hunting and fishing class
  • Ranger Z175 in the bass fishing starter class.
  • Bayliner 170 Bowrider in the bowrider class.
  • Stingray 208CR in the cuddy cabin class.
  • Sun Tracker 20 DLX in the pontoon boat class.

To assist you in finding not only a good new boat but the right beginner boat that matches your particular interests, we have done some of the research work for you. Below are our suggestions for great starter boats that will give you good service and provide a quality but cost-effective means to begin enjoying your favorite water activities.

Table of Contents

1. Best Starter Watersport Boat

One of the primary reasons that many people buy a boat is water skiing, wakeboarding, and other water sports that involve towing something behind the boat that someone else rides. Water sports have become very popular in recent years, and consequently, the type of ships that have come on the market to cater to this increase in demand has grown considerably.

These boats are generally purpose-built for the function of watersports and they are termed ski boats or wakeboarding boats. They also have hulls and designs made to accentuate the wake or wave generated behind the boat.

These boats’ key features are low-end power to lift a skier out of the water and good top-end speed.

Because of the powerful engines required on these boats and the specific adaptations to produce an enhanced wake for watersports, these boats are generally quite expensive, even in the starter boat category.

One of the best that we have found is the Axis A20 , compact enough to store in your garage during the off-season. Don’t let its compact nature fool you, however, since the A20 comes packed with features that are more common on larger, more expensive boats.

This smaller boat is a pleasure to drive. The digital controls are intuitive and easy to use, and the finishes inside the ship are luxurious. It can carry 11 passengers, and at the price of a little under $74,000, this well-priced boat is a great starter watersport boat. 

2. Best Starter All-Purpose Hunting And Fishing Boat

A versatile hunting and fishing boat requires ample space on deck for moving around with rods or rifles and a place to load your quarry once the hunting or fishing day comes to an end. The boat needs to be able to negotiate both shallow and deep lake water to get to the prime hunting or fishing spots.

When hunting and fishing from a boat, you want a stable platform, maneuverability, and plenty of storage space for your gear, be it rifle storage, rod, and tackle storage, or both.

Boat manufacturer Lund has an ideal range of boats in this category suitable for a dedicated hunter or angler.

The Lund 1660 Predator , coming in at $15,000, is a very basic design boat where the outboard motor is tiller controlled. For a little more versatility, we would recommend the Lund 2070 for $25,800, which is a larger boat with a center console control arrangement that is more versatile and popular, especially from a resale point of view.

The Mod-V hull on the Predator series is excellent for shallow water but still provides good stability in choppy water. The boats have steady, predictable handling and offer a comfortable ride. For these reasons, they are our recommended entry-level choice for an all-purpose hunting and fishing application.

3. Best Starter Bass Fishing Boat

If you are looking for a dedicated bass boat that is both versatile and compact, and that comes with an affordable price tag, then the Ranger Z175 is the boat that we highly recommend.

Ranger boats are renowned in the bass fishing community for making superb boats for this application. Their reputation is for great ships and boats that hold their resale value better than most other equivalent boats.

The features required for a bass fishing boat are speed, a stable fishing platform, the ability to negotiate shallow and deep, wide-open water, a trolling motor, live well for fish storage, and reliability.

The Ranger Z175 offers all these features and more, including its ease of towing and storage. The boat will fit comfortably with its trailer in a standard garage at your home, which eliminates the need to spend money on additional boat storage fees.

The Ranger Z175 comes in at a price of just under $33,000, and with the value for money you get in quality with this boat, it makes it one of the best starter bass boats available.

4. Beginner Bowrider Boat

Bowriders are so named because they can carry passengers in a compartment at the boat’s bow end. These boats are generally made for cruising and can also find use as a general water sport boat.

They are considered versatile all-rounder boats and can even be used for general fishing applications as long as they are not too shallow.

Many bowriders are made for pleasure cruising (i.e. family boat), so many do not have the specialized wake generation designs that a ski boat may have. However, they are still respectable boats for general family recreation, such as fishing and towing the family behind the ship on toys or skis.

Most vessels in this class have premium upholstery and large amounts of packing space to cater to their people carrying capacity.

Bayliner is a famous manufacturer in the bowrider type of boats, and their Bayliner 170 Bowrider fits the bill in this category. It comfortably fits six people in the boat and, with the 130hp capacity, works very well for towing-type watersports.

These boats are general-purpose family fun boats, making them popular with families who enjoy many different water activities.

The affordable price of the Bayliner 170 Bowrider at $22,300 and its multi-purpose capability make it a perfect choice as a recreational boat that will provide fun for the whole family.

5. Cuddy Cabin Boat For Beginners

Cuddy cabin boats come in all shapes, sizes, and price tags. A cuddy cabin gives some covered, sheltered space in the hull of the ship. This space can be as simple as providing an onboard head or spacious enough to accommodate a sleeping bunk or two.

The more space in the cuddy, the larger the boat needs to be. The larger the ship, the larger the price, in most circumstances.

If you spend nights out on the water, such as for late-night fishing, then a cuddy cabin boat is ideal for providing some shelter, especially in the cold early morning hours before dawn.

For this purpose, the Stingray 208CR Cuddy Cabin is a tremendous starter-type boat! It is a perfect boat for the boat owner that wants an all-round vessel that can go for a great day out on the water and into the night. While it may not be a full-sized cabin cruiser, the cuddy cabin can easily accommodate two adults who may want to catch a few hours of rest. On the boat deck, you can rearrange the cushions to make space for a third person to sleep behind the cockpit’s dual bucket seats.

The suggested retail price on the Stingray 208CR is a little under $45,500. For a boat in this class with the capacity to sleep two people in the cuddy, this is a reasonable price for an entry-level boat.

6. Starter Pontoon Boat

A pontoon boat is a type of ship that floats on two pontoons, and is a perfect choice as a cruising and family boat. A pontoon boat can be used for many water activities including fishing, towing inflatables, and pleasure cruising.

If you want to hit the water with friends and extended family, this may be the boat for you. Pontoon boats have plenty of deck space and the larger ones can carry up to 15 passengers. This is the ultimate party boat!

One of the best things about pontoon boats is that a great entry-level boat won’t cost you an arm and a leg. If you’re looking for pontoon boat for fishing and cruising, we recommend the Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX .

This boat is just under 22 feet long and can carry up to ten passengers at a time with plenty of seating and storage. There’s a nice swim platform area at the rear of the boat, and it also has a 7 foot Bimini top for when you want to get out of the sun.

The suggested retail price of the 20 DLX is just $19,995, making it the least expensive starter boat on our list.

Taking the step of buying a boat can be somewhat intimidating, especially for a first-time boat buyer. The best strategy to follow is to examine the purpose you want the boat for and then find an excellent entry-level boat within that class.

Most first-time boat buyers would be looking for something with some multi-purpose functionality to cater to a few different recreational activities focused around the water. However, if you intend to use the boat for one particular role more than others, it would be wise to choose a starter boat with a bias toward that type of function.

Whatever your boating needs, the best advice we can give you is to choose the best boat that you can for your budget. It is why the ships we have selected may not be the cheapest, but the ones that we felt give the best all-round value for money as starter boats.

motor yachting for beginners

Bryan is a Las Vegas resident who loves spending his free time out on the water. Boating on Lake Mohave or Lake Havasu is his favorite way to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. More about Bryan.

Similar Posts

Are Boat Fuses and Car Fuses the Same? (Explained)

Are Boat Fuses and Car Fuses the Same? (Explained)

If you’re familiar with boating, you probably already know that quality boat engines will hardly be affected by overcurrents; unfortunately, they’re just as likely as any fuse to get affected by short circuits. However, boat fuses are difficult to find, and many people will substitute them with car fuses instead. But are boat fuss and…

How To Tell Which OMC Outdrive You Have (Explained)

How To Tell Which OMC Outdrive You Have (Explained)

If you have an OMC boat and are looking to identify the outdrive on your vessel, you’ve come to the right place. The OMC outdrive is a necessary component to help run your vessel, and there might come a time when you will need to replace it. So, here’s how to tell what OMC outdrive…

Sailboat vs. Powerboat: Which Is the Give-Way Vessel? Understanding Navigation Rules on the Water

Sailboat vs. Powerboat: Which Is the Give-Way Vessel? Understanding Navigation Rules on the Water

Navigating the waters is an exciting adventure, whether you’re at the helm of a sleek sailboat or commanding a powerful motorboat. However, along with this thrilling journey comes the responsibility of understanding and adhering to the marine navigation rules, specifically those concerning the right of way or the “give-way” vessel. This aspect is vital to…

How to Trim a Boat Like a Pro (Beginners Guide)

How to Trim a Boat Like a Pro (Beginners Guide)

Properly trimming a power boat can help you adjust the stern and bow in such a way as to significantly affect the boat’s speed, fuel economy, and overall performance. It’s all about physics, as a properly trimmed boat can help you glide on the water more efficiently. However, a lot of beginning boaters want to…

How To Clean a Boat Engine After Salt Water Use (6 Steps)

How To Clean a Boat Engine After Salt Water Use (6 Steps)

Even though sailing in salt waters is a highly coveted experience, taking your boat out to the sea or ocean can significantly damage your vessel’s structural integrity and longevity. One of the components that will suffer the most if left unattended for too long is the engine itself. For this reason, not only is it…

9 Common Reasons Why an Outboard Dies at Idle (Explained)

9 Common Reasons Why an Outboard Dies at Idle (Explained)

Outboard engines are a convenient and practical way of propelling your beloved boat through the water. However, like all engines, outboard engines are prone to specific issues. One problem that many boat owners come across is the outboard motor stalling while at idle. Here are 9 common reasons why an outboard dies at idle: Keep…

motor yachting for beginners

100 Basic Yachting & Sailing Terms You Need To Know

100 Basic Yachting & Sailing Terms You Need To Know

  • No Comments

Yachting is an increasingly popular activity that involves exploring and enjoying bodies of water aboard sailboats or motorboats. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned sailor or brand-new to the sport; knowing the language used in yachting is crucial for efficient communication and secure navigation. We’ll look at some of the most often used terminology and expressions in the world of yachting in this list of 100 fundamental yachting terms, from boat parts to navigation and safety gear, and more. This list is an excellent place to start whether you’re seeking to brush up on your yachting terminology or are just beginning into the sport.

Aft – Toward the back of the boat

Anchor – A heavy object used to keep a boat in place

Ballast – Weight added to the bottom of a boat to improve stability

Beam – The width of a boat at its widest point

Bilge – The lowest point inside the boat where water collects

Bimini – A type of sunshade or canopy used on boats

motor yachting for beginners

Bow – The front of a boat

Buoy – A floating marker used to mark channels, hazards or anchorages

Cabin – An enclosed space on a boat used for sleeping and living quarters

Capsize – To tip over or turn upside down

Cleat – A metal or plastic fitting used to secure ropes or lines to the boat

Cockpit – The open area in the back of the boat where the steering and controls are located

Compass – A navigational tool used to determine the direction

Crew – The people who work on a boat, assisting with sailing or other duties

Deck – The top surface of a boat where people can stand or walk

Dock – A platform or structure where boats can be tied up or moored

Draft – The depth of a boat below the waterline

Fender – A cushion or bumper used to protect the boat from damage when docking

Flag – A piece of fabric used to signal or communicate on a boat

Galley – The kitchen area on a boat

Genoa – A type of sail that is used for cruising and racing

GPS – Global Positioning System, a navigational system that uses satellites to determine the location

Halyard – A rope or line used to hoist or lower a sail

Hatch – An opening in the deck or cabin of a boat

Head – The bathroom on a boat

Hull – The main body of the boat, typically made of fiberglass or wood

Jib – A small triangular sail located forward of the mast

Keel – A fin-shaped object located under the boat that provides stability and helps prevent drifting

Knot – A measure of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour

Lanyard – A short cord or rope used to secure equipment or gear on a boat

Latitude – A measure of distance north or south of the equator

Leeward – The side of the boat sheltered from the wind

Lifeline – A line or rope used to provide safety and support on the deck of a boat

Log – A device used to measure speed and distance traveled

Mast – A vertical pole or spar that supports the sails

Mooring – The process of securing a boat to a dock or anchor

Nautical – Relating to or involving ships, sailors, or navigation on water

Navigation – The process of planning and controlling the course of a boat

Oar – A long pole with a flat blade used for rowing a boat

Outboard – A motor located on the outside of the boat

Port – The left side of a boat when facing forward

Propeller – A device that uses rotating blades to provide forward motion to a boat

Pulpit – A railing or fence located on the bow of the boat

Rudder – A flat object located at the back of the boat used to steer

Sail – A piece of fabric used to catch the wind and propel the boat

Sailing is the practice of using the wind to power a vessel through the water

Sheet – A line or rope used to control the angle of the sails

Skipper – The person in charge of operating a boat

Stern – The back of the boat

Tack – The direction of a boat when it is sailing upwind

Throttle – The control used to increase or decrease engine speed

Tiller – A handle or lever used to steer a boat

Transom – The flat, vertical surface at the back of the boat where the outboard motor is mounted

Trim – The adjustment of the sails and other equipment to optimize performance

Wake – The waves created by a boat as it moves through the water

Windward – The side of the boat facing into the wind

Winch – A device used to pull or hoist heavy objects on a boat

Yacht – A larger, more luxurious type of boat typically used for pleasure cruising

Bilge pump – A device used to pump water out of the bilge

Boom – The horizontal pole or spar that extends from the mast to support the bottom of the sail

Bowline – A knot used to secure a line to a fixed object

Cam cleat – A device used to secure a line under tension

Catamaran – A type of boat with two parallel hulls

Centerboard – A movable fin located underneath the boat that helps improve stability and maneuverability

Chafe – The wearing away or damage to a rope or line caused by friction against another surface

Clew – The lower corner of a sail

Current – The flow of water in a particular direction

Dinghy – A small boat used to transport people or supplies to and from shore

Fairlead – A device used to guide a line or rope in a particular direction

Flotation device – A piece of equipment used to keep a person afloat in the water

Forestay – The wire or rope that supports the mast at the front of the boat

Gaff – A spar used to support the upper edge of a sail

Headway – The forward motion of a boat

Inboard – A motor located inside the boat

Jibsheet – The line or rope used to control the jib sail

Keelboat – A type of sailboat with a fixed keel for stability and maneuverability

Luff – The forward edge of a sail

Masthead – The top of the mast where the highest sails are attached

Navigation lights – Lights used to signal other boats of the position and direction of a boat at night

Outhaul – The line or rope used to control the tension of the bottom of the sail

Planing – The state of a boat when it is moving quickly across the water and partially out of the water

Powerboat – A type of boat that is powered by an engine rather than sails

Ratchet block – A device used to reduce the effort required to pull a line under tension

Reefing – The process of reducing the size of the sails in high wind conditions

Rigging – The system of ropes and wires used to support and control the sails and mast

Rudderpost – The vertical post or shaft that the rudder is attached to

Scow – A type of sailboat with a flat bottom and squared-off ends

Shackle – A metal fitting used to connect two pieces of rope or chain

Spinnaker – A large, lightweight sail used to catch the wind when sailing down

wind 90. Spreaders – The horizontal struts on a mast that help to support and spread the shrouds

Standing rigging – The fixed parts of a boat’s rigging system, such as the mast and shrouds

Stern light – A white light on the back of a boat used to signal other boats at night

Stowaway – A person who hides on a boat in order to travel without permission

Tiller extension – A device used to extend the length of the tiller to make steering easier

Topside – The upper part of a boat, above the waterline

Transom door – A door in the back of a boat that provides access to the water

Traveler – A device used to move the mainsail along the boom

Waterline – The level at which a boat floats in the water

Winch handle – A handle used to turn winches to control the sails and lines

Yawl – A type of sailboat with two masts, the smaller of which is located aft of the rudder post.

Leave a Review Cancel reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

You may also like

Sailing spots.

Discover the Uncharted Beauty of Iceland by Charter Yacht

Discover the Uncharted Beauty of Iceland by Charter Yacht

Cruising a Charter Boat Around Scotland's West Coast and the Hebrides

Cruising a Charter Boat Around Scotland’s West Coast and the Hebrides

Yachting basics.

yacht anodes

Yacht Anodes: Everything You Need to Know

What to Do If Your Keel Sailboat Runs Aground

What to Do If Your Keel Sailboat Runs Aground

Sailing routes.

Sailing Route from Split

Sailing Route from Split, Croatia: A Seven-Day Itinerary for Beginners

Sailing Route in Spain: from Barcelona along the Costa Brava

Sailing Route in Spain: from Barcelona along the Costa Brava

Yacht events.

No listings were found matching your selection. Something missing? Why not add a listing? .

Sailing News

Celebrating the New Year on a Chartered Sailing Yacht

Celebrating the New Year on a Chartered Sailing Yacht

Plastic Overshoot Day

Earth’s Looming Plastic Crisis: The Inception of ‘Plastic Overshoot Day’

Faces in yachting.

John F. Kennedy: The Yachtsman President

John F. Kennedy: The Yachtsman President

Hemingway and Pilar

Hemingway and Pilar: A Love Affair with the Sea

Boat reviews.

motor yachting for beginners

Sailing Click - search best yacht rental deals worldwide, discover new sailing destinations, find new yacht marinas. 
  • TOP Charter Deals (updated)
  • Advertising and Promotion
  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookie Policy

Please note that some links on our site are affiliate links. This means we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you if you click on them and make a purchase. We recommend products because we believe they add value, not because of the commission we receive. Your support helps keep our site running. If you have questions, please reach out to us.

Privacy Overview

cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional11 monthsThe cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional11 monthsThe cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-others11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.
cookielawinfo-checkbox-others11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.
cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".
viewed_cookie_policy11 monthsThe cookie is set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin and is used to store whether or not user has consented to the use of cookies. It does not store any personal data.
viewed_cookie_policy11 monthsThe cookie is set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin and is used to store whether or not user has consented to the use of cookies. It does not store any personal data.

Change Location

Find awesome listings near you.

motor yachting for beginners

The most fabulous yachts to charter this summer


There are an estimated 6,000 superyachts — vessels that are more than 100 feet long — at sea in 2024

Image for article titled The most fabulous yachts to charter this summer

As summer reaches its peak across the Northern Hemisphere, it’s hard to imagine a better way of spending a vacation than channeling your inner ship captain and sailing across the ocean.

In recent years, yacht companies have reported a boom in sales — far from the decline that many in the industry feared, due to both the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic realities of the Russia-Ukraine War.

“I spent my days [in 2020] doing worst-case scenarios and drawing up the budgets to go with them,” Giovanna Vitelli, chairwoman of Azimut|Benetti, the world’s largest yacht manufacturer, told the Economist in 2023.

Instead, her company reported a 23% growth in production value in 2023 —a reality that is not unique to just one yacht manufacturer. The luxury yacht market is expected to grow in value from $7.67 billion in 2023 to $17.33 billion by 2032, according to a recent report from Fortune Business Insights .

Analysts attribute the ships’ rise in popularity to the increasing number of extremely wealthy individuals . Yachts have long been considered a status symbol — a reality that has only increased as wealth becomes concentrated in the hands of a small group of high status individuals .

There are an estimated 6,000 superyachts —vessels that are more than 100 feet long — at sea as of this year. This is nearly quadruple the number of yachts seen in the ocean just three decades ago, according to Bloomberg .

Aside from an increase in popularity, the yacht industry has seen other changes in recent years. Increasingly, those in the market for a luxury ship are turning to alternate means of powering their vessels, as critics point to the excess emissions traditional yachts produce simply for recreational use.

In their 2024 report, Fortune Business Insights highlighted the growing trend of electrification as a significant area of growth in the coming years.

“A tough regulatory environment for traditional yachts and rising fuel prices will pave the way for the solid growth of electric yachts in the future,” the report reads. “Huge investments from various manufacturers and government support measures will accelerate the demand for electric yachts.”

Read on to learn more about the most luxurious yachts available for chartering in 2024.

Carinthia VII

Image for article titled The most fabulous yachts to charter this summer

Originally constructed in 2002, the award-winning Carinthia VII was recently remodeled and reimagined specifically for private charters. The 319-foot ship spans six decks and can accommodate up to 12 guests in eight staterooms. Among the ship’s amenities are two bars, a fully equipped gym and an outdoor projection screen that allows for an “immersive cinematic experience like no other.” The cost of chartering the Carinthia VII is $1,525,700 during both the winter and summer seasons.

Image for article titled The most fabulous yachts to charter this summer

The Lady S yacht boasts a number of exciting water toys, including jet skis, water skis, wakeboards and kayaks for athletic guests on the 305-foot ship. For those who prefer more indoor-oriented activities, however, you can also catch a film on the ship’s IMAX Dolby cinema — the first of its kind on any yacht in the world. Accommodating 12 guests, in seven cabins, the cost of chartering the Lady S begins at $1,743,328 a week.

Image for article titled The most fabulous yachts to charter this summer

The interior of the Ahpo yacht seems more reminiscent of a luxury hotel than a simple ship. Accommodating 16 guests and 36 crew members, the vessel features a full-size gym, a winter garden and a spa complete with a Himalayan salt sauna. The 378-foot long yacht was first manufactured in 2021 by the German shipyard Lürssen. Excited sailors can charter the Ahpo from superyacht broker Edmiston, beginning at $2,833,376 a week.

500EXP Para Bellum

Image for article titled The most fabulous yachts to charter this summer

This 154-foot-long yacht can accommodate up to 12 travelers in its six cabins, along with up to 10 crew members. The ship was specially designed to enable “guests a 360-degree experience and relationship with the sea” through its unique stern and sundeck that allow travelers to safely stand “almost at sea level,” according to its Italian manufacturer San Lorenzo . Interested travelers can rent the ship for $359,609 a week.

The Renaissance

Image for article titled The most fabulous yachts to charter this summer

The Renaissance lives up to its grandiose name by going beyond traditional private yachts and bridging the gap between a personal vehicle and a full-on cruise ship. The 367-foot long ship features five decks and can accommodate 36 guests in 19 cabins. The Renaissance’s amenities include a 19-seat movie theater, a sushi-bar, and a full spa deck featuring a wellness area, plunge pools and a hair salon. The cost of chartering the ship from Burgess Yachts ranges from $3,269,280 to $3,814,160 a week.

A beginner’s guide to the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Kirk Bell

  • The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a hillclimb, but much more
  • Goodwood Festival of Speed gets a theme each year
  • The weather at the Goodwood Festival of Speed can change on a dime

Auto enthusiasm spreads far beyond our borders. It’s a worldwide phenomenon, with car shows, races for old cars and new, gatherings, and clubs anywhere you go.

The U.K., however, has two of the best car events on the automotive calendar. Both are held in southeast England on the Goodwood Estate of the Duke of Richmond. I’ve experienced the Goodwood Revival on several occasions, but this year marked my first taste of the Goodwood Festival of Speed . Below, I break down what this event is, how it works, and how you can enjoy it.

2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed

2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed

What is the Goodwood Festival of Speed?

It’s a hillclimb racing event , but it’s more than just that. Unlike Revival, which is only for race cars from the 1930s to the 1960s, Festival is for street and race cars from the present day to the beginnings of the auto industry. It has also become a gathering of auto enthusiasts and a de facto U.K. car show with plenty of car reveals. This year’s Festival included several world debuts, including the Polestar Concept BST , Genesis GV60 Magma , Red Bull RB17 track-only hypercar, and limited-edition Ineos Grenadier Detour .

The event also has a rally stage, an off-road area, a supercar corral, a concours, an auction, and an exhibition for vendors. Like the Goodwood Revival, the enthusiasts who attend the event in their wide variety of classic cars, sports cars, and supercars make the parking lot one of the best car shows you’ll ever see. Each Festival also has an art installation called the centerpiece. This year’s was an homage to 100 years of MG, and featured an MG B on one side seemingly balanced by a new MG Cyberster on the other.

2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed

How does the racing work?

The theme of this year’s event was Horseless to Hybrid: Innovation Unleashed. It provided a convenient means to categorize cars by era, starting in the early 1900s with wonders like the Beast of Turin, a monstrous 1911 Fiat S76 that employed a 28.4-liter 4-cylinder to chug up the hill, and the 16-cylinder Auto Union Type 52 that Audi recently completed from a design from 1934.

Other classes featured race cars from the early post WWII era to the 1970s, turbocharged race cars from the 1980s, race cars of all stripes from the 1990s, hybrids and electric cars of the current era, 10 Niki Lauda F1 cars, Mercedes-Benz race cars from throughout the brand’s history, Shadow and Joest racers, drift cars, F1 cars from the 1970s to 2017, 20 years of Red Bull race cars, grand prix motorcycles, and dirt bikes, and more.

The various categories gave spectators the chance to get up close and personal with iconic race cars from Le Mans, F1, rallycross, NASCAR, and more.

2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed

The main attraction is the hillclimb , which is by our estimation, the only no-rules racing in the world. Well, there appears to be one rule: Don’t go too fast with too crazy of a setup. Just ask the team that fields the McMurtry Spéirling , which put up the fastest time ever at the event in 2022 with a time of 39.08. That car, however, is a 1,000-hp electric with 4,400 pounds of vacuum-generated downforce and a weight below 2,200 pounds. It was not allowed to compete this year.

Some of the hillclimb is real racing and some of it isn’t. The annual Shootout is the competition. About half the cars that run the 1.16-mile hill compete for the fastest time and they come from many of the classes. The event runs four days, and the competitors put up times each afternoon. Class winners are crowned during the Saturday session, and the Sunday session determines the overall winner.  The cars run in Sunday in reverse order of their Saturday finish, so the fastest car from Saturday runs last on Sunday.

2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed - Photo via Goodwood Festival of Speed Facebook page

2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed - Photo via Goodwood Festival of Speed Facebook page

2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Who won the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed Shootout?

Going into Sunday’s action, three vehicles appeared to be poised to take the crown: the Subaru Family Huckster driven by Travis Pastrana, the 2024 Subaru WRX Project Midnight driven by Scott Speed, and the Ford Supervan 4.2 with Romain Duman as the wheel. The Family Huckster is a built-to-the-hilt homage to the 1983 Subaru GL wagon with the craziest active aero you’ve ever seen. Project Midnight puts a downforce-focused carbon-fiber body on a rallycross race car with a suspension tuned for the tarmac. The electric Supervan put close to 2,000 hp to the pavement through all wheels with 6,000 pounds of downforce to keep it glued to the pavement.

In the competition on Sunday, the Supervan took the crown with a time of 43.987, about 1.1 seconds quicker than on Saturday, while Project Midnight finished second with a time of 46.075, about a second slower than on Saturday. Pastrana erred on the side of aggressive and put the Huckster into a haybale wall, failing to finish.

2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed

How to best enjoy the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Held in England in July , the weather can be great. It can also turn sour quickly. Expect temperatures in the 70s or 80s, but it can also rain and temps can drop quickly. Bring layers, a hat, and rain poncho or other type of water-resistant jacket (ask me how I know).

Be sure to walk the paddock, check out the parking lot, find a good vantage point for the racing, and look at the program for other displays that interest you. You will get to see your favorite historic cars up close, maybe get a quick chance to chat with one of your racing heroes, and see the coolest cars of yesterday and today in action. What more could an enthusiast ask for?

Subaru provided travel and lodging for Motor Authority to bring you this firsthand report.

2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Chaydon Ford photo


People who read this, also read:.

  • Goodwood Revival: Where the classics congregate, celebrate and sometimes collide
  • First ride: 2026 Polestar 5 performance sedan targets Tesla Model S
  • Czinger 21C passes Rimac Nevera as quickest production car at Goodwood
  • 2025 Porsche 911 GT3 RS MR spied with zero disguise

Share This Article:

Connect with the editor:.


Follow Us Today:

Most popular this week, motor authority newsletter.

Sign up to get the latest performance and luxury automotive news, delivered to your inbox daily!

I agree to receive emails from Motor Authority. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.

Follow Us on Instagram @motorauthority

  • Never Miss a Motor Authority Story I agree to receive emails from Motor Authority. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy. subscribe today


  1. Delta Yachting for beginners

    motor yachting for beginners

  2. A Beginners Guide to a Career in Yachting

    motor yachting for beginners

  3. How to: Mooring

    motor yachting for beginners

  4. Motor Boat & Yachting's Yachtmaster Training

    motor yachting for beginners

  5. Motor Boat & Yachting's Yachtmaster Training

    motor yachting for beginners

  6. Yachting Guide for Beginners

    motor yachting for beginners


  1. California motor yachting

  2. Powerboats for beginners, first steps in boating!

  3. Sailing Boat

  4. Living on a Boat: Amenities at the Marina Explained

  5. Belize 66 Sedan

  6. Marquis 420 from Motor Boat & Yachting


  1. Motor boats for beginners: Everything you need to know

    Boat training. The first step to enjoying motor boats is taking the necessary boat training that'll teach you everything you need to know about boat handling. The RYA has a number of courses on offer, ranging from complete beginners, all the way through to those looking to test their motor boat skills in more demanding conditions. The RYA's ...

  2. Motor Yachts: A Definitive Guide

    Motor Yacht Pricing. YachtWorld sells new and used motor yachts listed for an assortment of prices ranging from $22,000 all the way up to $504,000,000 depending on size, year, and model. Budgeting For A Motor Yacht . Lots of new boat buyers get caught out by the true cost of ownership. As a general rule of thumb, the annual cost of maintaining ...

  3. Yachting Guide for Beginners

    Here is a basic yachting guide for the different types of yachts and their definitions: Sailing Yacht: a yacht mainly propelled via wind and sails. Motor Yacht: a yacht propelled via one or more motors. Gulet Yacht: a hybrid yacht with both sails and motors.

  4. Motor Yacht Guide

    Best Motor Yachts for Beginners If you're new to boating or are buying your first motor yacht, consider getting a popular model like Sea Ray. This is because these boat brands have large dealership networks, meaning it's easy to find parts and certified mechanics to perform routine maintenance or repairs. Popular brands also come with large ...

  5. Best boats for beginners: 4 affordable options for your first boat

    Nick Burnham February 28, 2023. Our resident used boat expert Nick Burnham picks out four of the best boats for beginners from the likes of Fletcher, Regal, Axopar and Marex…. This morning was spent watching an old video of Smuggler's Blues 2 (my boat) while finding reasons not to get on with my proper work. I'd filmed it over a weekend ...

  6. A Beginner's Guide to Motorboating

    A speedboat is a kind of motorboat specifically designed for - you guessed it - speed. They are as streamlined as possible, with deep v-shaped hulls to powerfully cut through the waves at pace. Larger motor cruisers are built for leisure, and can drastically vary in size. Some are kitted out for day trips, and others are full holiday ...

  7. What is a good starter yacht?

    What is the best yacht to buy for a beginner? ... For cruising enthusiasts, a motor yacht is one of the best yacht types to buy. Again, staying in the lower 40-50 foot range is best for a starter yacht to get a feel for the lifestyle and performance. A motor yacht typically features an interior cabin, galley, private staterooms, and amenities ...

  8. Best Boats for Beginners

    Choosing the best boat for beginners can be a simple process once you narrow down your preferences. Some of the best starter boats include runabouts, dinghies, aluminum fishing boats, fish-and-skis and more. ... Start with a large motor yacht or power cruiser, for example, and you'll need to learn how to operate complex propulsion and ...

  9. Five Starter Boats that are Perfect for the Beginner Boater

    Jet Boat - Yamaha SX210. WE LIKE the all-new Yamaha TR-1 engine, which is 40-percent smaller and 20-percent lighter than the MR-1 it replaces. We're also impressed by the reduction in sound levels in this boat as compared to earlier models, which is a result of the TR-1's reduced RPM, a redesigned pump inlet, and increased engine box ...

  10. Boating Basics: 101 Guide For Beginner Boaters

    Slow is the name of the game. Boat Trader's Guide To Docking A Boat is a great resource for new boaters and those look for a bit of a review on the best practices when tying up a boat on a slip at the dock. Above: A used 2008 Ranger 2400 Bay Ranger at the dock in Naples, FL. Photo by Gulf Shores Marina in Naples, FL.

  11. Boating for Beginners

    Wherever you are in the boat buying journey or if you're wondering about boating for beginners, Argo Yachting has the expertise to help you make the best decision. As sister to the Princess Motor Yacht Sales company, we leverage over 50 years' experience in yacht brokerage, sales and highly esteemed aftercare covering bespoke servicing and ...

  12. 5 Best Beginner Boats: How to Choose the Right Starter Boat

    3. Aluminum Fishing Boat. 4. Center Console Boat. 5. Runabout Boat. Last Updated on April 6, 2022 by Boatsetter Team. Here's our best advice for any new prospective boat buyer or owner: Don't let the boat get in the way of learning how to be a boater. The easiest way to get frustrated or overwhelmed by boating is to start in a boat that's ...

  13. 15 Best Motor Yachts in 2024

    Smaller motor yachts (33ft - 50ft) typically range from $500,000 to $3 million. Mid-size yachts (50ft - 80ft) can fall between $3 million and $15 million. Superyachts (over 80ft) enter a whole new pricing category, reaching into the hundreds of millions and beyond, depending on size, customization, and features.

  14. A Complete Guide to Motor Yachts & Power Cruisers: All You Need to Know!

    A motor yacht or power cruiser relies on its design to categorize the vessel, with elements like cockpits or flybridges and outdoor areas defining the boat. You have plenty of options for diesel and petrol motors, and different hull designs, from planning to full-displacement, determining the speed and handling of the vessel. Motor Yachts.

  15. Guide to Motorboats

    This will help you get to grips with the basic motorboat controls. Courses are available for beginners which cover the basic areas of handling the boat. The Royal Yachting Association offers three levels of courses, from a two day helmsman course offering basic boat handling, helmsmanship and engine maintenance to a five-day coastal skipper course.

  16. Boating 101: A Beginner's Guide

    Motor Yachts; Catamarans; Sailing Yachts; Yachts by budget. $1 - $25,000 Yachts; $26,000 - $50,000 Yachts; $50,000 - $100,000 Yachts; $101,000 - $200,000 Yachts; ... Boating 101: A Beginner's Guide Some simple guidelines to help keep you safe on the water. Boating is a fun, educational, and stress-reducing activity that most people can ...

  17. Best Boat for Beginners

    Trusty Trawlers That Make Good Boats for Beginners - Island Gyspy 32. Best Starter Boat That's a Solid Bluewater Sailboat - Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34. Best Starter Boat for Family, the Small Cruising Sail Catamaran - PDQ 32. Small Cruising Power Catamaran - PDQ 32/34 MV. Best Types of Boats for Beginners. 1.

  18. Affordable Yachts: Best Boats For Your Budget

    Ranger Tugs tops the list in terms of affordable, feature-packed "pocket yachts" that can be great family boats and longer distance cruisers, that can also be easily trailered to different locations (and even used as campers along the way at RV parks). Prices start at US$ 149,000. 2022 Ranger Tugs R31 Command Bridge.

  19. 4 of the best beginner motor boats to buy right now

    Specifications. Length: 25ft 7in (7.8m) Beam: 8ft 2in (2.5m) Draft: 3ft 0in (0.9m) Displacement: 2 tonnes. Fuel capacity: 298 litres. Engine: Volvo Penta AD31 150hp diesel engine. Nick Burnham picks out four of the absolute best beginner motor boats on the market that deliver on this compromise hull form.

  20. The 6 Best Starter Boats For Beginners (Read This First!)

    Here are our recommendations for the best six starter boats. Axis A20 in the watersports class. Lund 2070 Predator in the hunting and fishing class. Ranger Z175 in the bass fishing starter class. Bayliner 170 Bowrider in the bowrider class. Stingray 208CR in the cuddy cabin class.

  21. The Beginner Guide to Buying a Yacht

    In this article, we go over our ultimate beginner guide to buying a yacht to ensure you get to enjoy the experience when purchasing your very own boat. Make sure you have a place to dock it. First things first, the most crucial part of preparing to purchase a boat is making sure you have a place to dock it. In some areas, finding a marina or ...

  22. 5 best first sailing yachts

    Yachts today can be much easier to handle than in the past, with sail handling systems that can be operated by one person in the cockpit and efficient self-steering systems. ... 25 best beginner sailing dinghies. 4. 15 Christmas gift ideas for sailors. 5. 5 great lifting keel cruising yachts. 30 footers with amazing accommodation. Elan 210 ...

  23. 100 Basic Yachting & Sailing Terms You Need To Know

    Stern - The back of the boat. Tack - The direction of a boat when it is sailing upwind. Throttle - The control used to increase or decrease engine speed. Tiller - A handle or lever used to steer a boat. Transom - The flat, vertical surface at the back of the boat where the outboard motor is mounted.

  24. The most luxurious yachts to rent

    The 378-foot long yacht was first manufactured in 2021 by the German shipyard Lürssen. Excited sailors can charter the Ahpo from superyacht broker Edmiston, beginning at $2,833,376 a week.

  25. A beginner's guide to the Goodwood Festival of Speed

    Auto enthusiasm spreads far beyond our borders. It's a worldwide phenomenon, with car shows, races for old cars and new, gatherings, and clubs anywhere you go. The U.K., however, has two of the ...