The Most Popular Types of Boats in Australia

There is nothing better than cruising the Australian waterways on your weekend! If you’re in the market for a boat, but are unsure where to start, we’ve got you covered with our guide to boat types in Australia.

Are you looking to invest in a boat, but unsure what type of boat you should buy? We have you covered with our guide to boating in Australia. The vessel you require will depend on many things including which recreational activities you wish to undertake, amount of passengers you’ll have and most importantly, your budget. 

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6 Most Popular Types of Boats in Australian Waterways

1. Dinghy boats.

Dinghys are an extremely popular boat in Australia, often seen cruising through suburban canals and fishing in local creeks. Their often simple design, of a tin or fibreglass hull and small outboard engine, makes them easy to transport, store and maintain. 

Owners of larger vessels tend to also have a dinghy attached to the side of the boat, which allows them to navigate smaller or shallower waterways.

In Australia, a dinghy can set you back anywhere between $1,000 to $8,000, depending on the features and make.

2. Motor yacht boats. 

The motor yacht boat is made for leisure, with the motor yacht boat’s unmistakable sleek and luxurious design. You can not miss a motor yacht on the water, with the standard length measuring 12 meters or more.

Powered by dual engines, these yachts are not cheap to run. The general rule of thumb is the vessel will cost the owner 10% of the purchase price annually. This estimate includes insurance, registration, maintenance and running costs. 

Motor yachts are one of the newer boat designs available on the market, second only to the super yacht. Their designs often encompass all the latest bells and whistles including self-docking technology. Their advanced technology makes them the perfect weekender, making for a safe and enjoyable ride for family and friends. 

However, this type of boat is not for those on a tight budget, with a base model motor yacht costing around $1,000,000. If you do have your heart set on a motor yacht, but the price is too steep, look into used boat sales, as they will be a little easier on the wallet.

3. Trawler.

Trawler boats are one of the more popular vessels seen cruising waterways across the world.  Characterised by their displacement hull, this type of boat is made with practicality in mind. 

The distinctive displacement hull allows trawler boats to travel though the water without creating much disturbance. This is achieved by pushing the water either side of the hull, rather than harshly breaking through the water surface. Not only does this allow for more successful fishing trips, but also reduces fuel consumption. 

Commonly used as fishing boats, trawlers vary greatly in size, with some boats measuring in excess of 20 meters in length. Trawlers can set you back between $20,000 and $700,000 for a commercial-grade boat.

4. Houseboats.

Houseboats are exactly what the name suggests; boats which are lived in on the water. They’re an extremely popular holidaying choice for many around the world, allowing visitors to cruise through canals and between tropical islands with ease. 

Also known as ‘float houses,’ house boats have all the amenities you’d find in a home, including entertainment, proper sleeping arrangements and bathroom facilities. However, they are designed for use on calm waters and don’t function well in rough seas or at high speeds.

As with any home, pricing is heavily dependent on size and features. An older second-hand house boat with two bedrooms will set you back around $150,000, whilst a more luxurious vessel will be around $800,000.

5. Bowrider Boats.  

Known as the classic family boat, bowriders are very popular amongst Australians. Traditionally, this type of boat has room for eight or more people, perfect for a day on the water! In fact, many bowriders come with a swim platform, allowing owners to attach a wakeboard or other water sporting equipment. 

Arguably the most versatile vessel available on the market, bowriders have the ability to travel at high speeds comfortably, whilst also maintaining a smooth ride cruising the lakes at a more leisurely pace. If you’re new to boating, bowriders are one of the most popular types of boats for beginners. They’re easy to drive, maintain and not too large to store.  

Looking to invest in a bowrider boat? Depending on the features and size of bowrider you’re after, be prepared to pay between $30,000 and $300,000. There truly is a bowrider to fit every budget.

6. Cuddy cabin boats.

Cuddy cabin boats are versatile, used for almost anything, including fishing, water sports or simply cruising with friends and family. This type of boat is easily recognisable, as the name suggests, due to their small cabin like design over the boats bow. Their design makes navigation a breeze and also provides a safe and dry storage solution to riders. 

Cuddy cabin boats are normally constructed from aluminum and fiberglass, making them easy to maintain and store, measuring between 5 – 9 meters on average. 

A cuddy cabin boat will set you back around $40,000, brand new. However, this price fluctuates drastically depending on features and make of the boat.

Contact your local boat sales and service specialists for more information on the best boat for you.


Katrina Stapleton

Senior Digital Content Specialist

Katrina Stapleton is a Senior Digital Content Specialist at Localsearch with a background in social media and marketing. Although most of her experience lies in the entertainment sector, Katrina has written content for a vast array of industries including tourism, hospitality, retail and property development. Katrina is an avid dog lover, who finds a way to weave her fur-baby, Mylo, into most conversations. Aside from being a self-confessed bookworm, Katrina can often be found checking out the Gold Coast's latest coffee nook, paddle-boarding or baking up a storm in her free time — all with Mylo by her side, of course! As a Senior Digital Content Specialist, Katrina enjoys sharing her knowledge and passions on the Localsearch Blog.