Trying to find the best boats for families can be a challenge, as the industry is chock full of different models to suit different needs. To help you on your way, we’ve put together a list of 10 of our favorites.
Boating is all about family time and making memories on the water. But with a market full of hard-core fishing boats and tournament-level wakeboard rigs, it can be tough finding versatile family boats that can do it all. Here are 10 of the best boats for families.
Boston Whaler Dauntless 180
With seating for up to eight people and the ability to handle outboards of up to 150 horsepower, Boston Whaler’s Dauntless 180 might just be one of the most versatile boats on the water. Standard features include a flip/flip reversible helm seat, a 54-quart removable cooler, locking storage, and a unique aft seating arrangement that converts to a large elevated casting deck. Personalize it with an available Bimini top, or select from available engine and electronics upgrades.
Chaparral 19 H2O Sport
If your family tends to bring a lot of stuff everywhere they go, then you’ll appreciate the 19 H2O Sport’s massive storage capacity. There’s plenty of room to keep valuables safe under the seats, while a large storage locker located in the passenger console gobbles up bulky gear. Have a wakeboard? Stow it in the dedicated in-floor storage compartment. You’ll find a cooler tucked beneath transom seat, a big rear sun pad with a walk-through transom, and a large rear swim platform with boarding ladder among its standard features. Popular options include a Bimini top, engine upgrades and stereo upgrades.
Cobalt 23 SC
Cobalt’s big, luxurious bowrider offers a versatile reversible transom seat that lets you face forward when underway and look out over the water when drying off after a swim. There’s a full swim platform of course, plus a Bluetooth stereo with six speakers, 40-ounce carpeting, an on-board head with a Porta-potti, a walk-through transom, LED bow docking lights and both bow and stern boarding ladders. Spring for an optional Bimini top or a sport tower to personalize this ride.
Crestliner 1950 Super Hawk
With seating for nine people, a massive 40-gallon fuel tank and the ability to handle outboards of up to 225 horsepower, Crestliner’s 1950 Super Hawk makes just about anything possible. Standards include a full walk-through windshield, raised bow and stern decks for fishing, plenty of bow seating and storage, an oversized in-floor storage locker for wakeboards and other bulky gear, and hidden jump seats in the rear casting deck. A ski pylon, and a swim platform with a boarding ladder are popular options.
MSRP: $40,756 with Mercury 150XL four-stroke
Larson LX 195 S
With an emphasis on comfort, Larson’s LX 195 S blends plush seating with sporty comfort in a compact and easily towable package. You’ll be welcomed aboard by twin bucket seats, a large rear bench seat, and a massive rear sun pad. Of course there’s in-floor storage for bulky gear, a boarding ladder on the rear swim platform, and a ski pylon as standard equipment. Popular options include wakeboard tower packages and engine upgrades.
Lowe SS 210
Have a growing family and need just a bit more space? Lowe’s attractive SS 210 can accommodate up to 11 people on its sprawling bow and stern lounge seats, offering plenty of space to stretch out in comfort. Beneath your feet you’ll find plush 22-ounce carpeting, while a sun pad, a stereo system and a round pedestal table keep everyone on board happy. There’s also tons of storage space for personal gear in the seat bases. Options include a Bimini top, fishing packages, and engine choices up to 150 hp.
MSRP: $18,395 with Mercury 60 four-stroke
Powered by a Raptor by Indmar 400 engine, Moomba’s Helix might just be the best value on the water for active families who enjoy wake surfing, wakeboarding, and other water sports. With its Flow 2.0 wake control system and its ability to manage more than 2,100 pounds in ballast, the 12-passenger Helix generates massive surf waves and crisp wakeboarding wakes for all-day fun on the water. Standard features include its unique convertible rear sliding seat, snap-in carpeting, LED accent lighting, an A2 tower, Bluetooth Kicker stereo, pop-up ski pylon and the company’s Smart Plate 2 wake shaping system.
With seating for 12 people and a huge 57-gallon fuel tank that provides enormous range, Stingray’s 212SC is the company’s largest deck boat and one of its best sellers. Its open floor plan, side entry steps, built-in cooler with overboard drain and self-bailing cockpit are appreciated by active families almost as much as its on board changing room, which can double as head compartment with an optional Porta-potti. Spring for stereo upgrades or a fishing package and you may just have the ideal family boat.
MSRP: $43,489 with Yamaha F150 four-stroke
Tahoe 2150 Deck
Tahoe has a reputation for delivering great value on the water, and boats like its 2150 Deck are a big reason why. The standard feature list is very long, and includes a number of amenities like four-step boarding ladders on both the bow and stern swim platforms, a comfy wrap-around bow seat with integral 15-gallon live well, convenient port-side refreshment center with sink, pull-out sprayer and five-gallon fresh water tank. You’ll also find a Bluetooth MP3 stereo, large in-floor wakeboard locker, removable table with dual mounting locations, removable 36-quart cooler, color-keyed Bimini top with drop-down changing curtain, and removable ski pylon.
Jet power lets the eight-passenger Yamaha SX195 operate in super shallow water while keeping propeller blades away from little feet. This boat’s 1.8L Yamaha SVHO engine delivers plenty of torque, making it ideal for cruising or water sports. Riders enjoy twin bucket seats, a stern wrap-around bench seat, a spacious bow, a marine stereo, snap-in carpeting and even a Bimini top. Best of all there are no less than nine beverage holders and a self-draining cockpit for easy end-of-day cleanups.