The truth has finally come out – boating is not the exclusive domain of the super-wealthy.

Fresh industry data released this spring shows that 79% of boat owners in the US earn household incomes of less than $100,000 per year. In fact, a majority of boat owners – 62% of them – earn household incomes of less than $75,000 per year. The message here? Boating is not just for the crazy wealthy – it’s a popular family activity that can be enjoyed by anyone.

There are some incredible runabouts available that won’t break the bank. Here are 10 of the best runabouts you can find for under $30,000.

Note – the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) shown for each boat should be treated as a rough guide only. Factors like optional equipment, the engine that it’s paired with and the freight cost to ship it to the dealership vary widely. Go talk to the dealer – you might be surprised to learn just how affordable all of these boats are.

Bayliner 170

Bayliner 170 OB

Bayliner 170 OB

Bayliner 170 Specs

  • MSRP: $19,199
  • Length: 17’ 6”
  • Beam: 6’ 11”
  • Passengers: 6
  • Maximum power: 130 hp

With its dual bucket seats, aft bench seat, telescoping swim platform and available fishing package, Bayliner’s 170 Bowrider is a versatile family runabout that offers great performance with a fuel-sipping 90 horsepower outboard. Add an optional ski pylon and a wakeboard rack, and you’re set for any kind of summer fun.

Boston Whaler 170 Super Sport

Boston Whaler 170 Super Sport

Boston Whaler 170 Super Sport

Boston Whaler 170 Super Sport Specs

  • MSRP: $24,345
  • Length: 17’ 0”
  • Beam: 6’ 10”
  • Passengers: 7
  • Maximum power:  90 hp

The legendary, unsinkable Boston Whaler 170 Super Sport features an open design that gives it maximum versatility for fishing, exploring or pulling the kids of a ride on the tube. Add the available stereo or select an available bow cushion package with a stainless steel bow railing to maximize the fun.

Chaparral 18 H2O Sport

Chaparral 18 H2O Sport

Chaparral 18 H2O Sport

Chaparral 18 H20 Sport Specs

  • MSRP: $22,495
  • Length: 18’ 4”
  • Beam: 7’ 6”
  • Passengers: 8
  • Maximum power: 135 hp

With its elegantly curved windshield, cockpit drainage system, large rear sun pad and abundant storage space, Chaparral’s 18 H20 Sport is equipped for all-day fun on the water. Add an optional Bimini top and snap-in carpet to take this ride to a whole new level of comfort.

Four Winns Horizon 180 OB

 Four Winns Horizon 180 OB


Four Winns Horizon 180 OB

Four Winns Horizon 180 OB Specs

  • MSRP: $27,053
  • Length: 17’ 11”
  • Beam: 7’ 7”
  • Passengers: 8
  • Maximum power: 135 hp

The Four Winns Horizon 180 OB is built with water sports in mind, as evidenced by its generous swim platform and deep-reach, angled boarding ladder, its stylish walk-through windshield, upgraded seating and AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth connectivity and MP3 ports. Opt for a Bimini top and a stereo upgrade if you really want to impress the kids.

Glastron GT 180

Glastron GT 180

Glastron GT 180

Glastron GT 180 Specs

  • MSRP: $24,738
  • Length: 17’ 10”
  • Beam: 7’ 5”
  • Passengers: 8
  • Maximum power: 150 hp

The performance-oriented Glastron GT 180 runs on the company’s SSV hull design for maximum thrills under way. A standard Kicker stereo, tilt steering, and an in-floor ski locker are sure to please every member of the family. Add bow fill-in cushions and a Bimini top to complete the package.

Larson LX160S OB

Larson LX160S OB

Larson LX160S OB

Larson LX160S OB Specs

  • MSRP: $17,861
  • Length: 16’ 2”
  • Beam: 7’ 4”
  • Passengers: 6
  • Maximum power: 115

For a 16-foot runabout, Larson’s LX160S has a huge amount of storage space – including a big in-floor ski locker – so you can bring everything needed for a full day of exploring the lake. Its standard AM/FM stereo has MP3 and USB inputs, retractable boarding ladder and carpeted fiberglass floor are made for family fun. Add a Bimini top or a fishing package and this boat is ready for anything.

Hurricane SS188 OB

Hurricane SS188 OB

Hurricane SS188 OB

Hurricane SS188 OB Specs

  • MSRP: $26,714
  • Length: 18’ 10”
  • Beam: 8’ 5”
  • Passengers: 10
  • Maximum power: 200

With its full wrap-around seating, Hurricane’s SS188 accommodates 10 people with ease, meaning no one has to stay behind. Bow and stern swim platforms each come with a retractable boarding ladder, plus there’s  an AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth connectivity and even a live well as standard equipment. The option list is extensive, including goodies like a sink, fishing packages and canvas tops.

Nautic Star 193 SC Super Sport

Nautic Star 193 SC Super Sport

Nautic Star 193 SC Super Sport

Nautic Star 193 SC Super Sport Specs

  • MSRP: $26,038
  • Length: 18’ 9”
  • Beam: 8’ 6”
  • Passengers: 10
  • Maximum power: 150 hp

With its roomy cockpit seating, integrated 22-gallon bow cooler, huge in-floor ski locker and galley with sink and AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth, Nautic Star’s 193 SC Super Sport comes fully equipped for summer fun. Add options like a ski pylon or a fishing package to tailor this boat to your own needs.

Starcraft Limited 1915 OB

Starcraft Limited 1915 OB

Starcraft Limited 1915 OB

Starcraft Limited 1915 OB Specs

  • MSRP: $19,001
  • Length: 19’
  • Beam: 8’ 6”
  • Passengers: 10
  • Maximum power: 200 hp

With abundant seating for up to 10 people, both bow and stern swim platforms with retractable boarding ladders, removable cockpit table and abundant beverage holders, Starcraft’s Limited 1915 OB really does offer something for everyone. The standard feature list is long, but options like a live well, stereo upgrades and even a Porta-potti enhance its value even more.

Tahoe 1950

Tahoe 1950

Tahoe 1950

Tahoe 1950 Specs

  • MSRP $27,995
  • Length: 19’ 5”
  • Beam: 8’ 6”
  • Passengers: 10
  • Maximum power: 150 hp

With standard features like a ski pylon, a removable cockpit table, rod holders, an 11-gallon insulated cooler and a Bluetooth stereo, Tahoe’s 1950 is a nicely equipped runabout that does a lot of things well. A long option list includes goodies like a fishing package with a sonar and electric motor, bow filler cushions, stereo upgrades and a refreshment center with a sink.

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