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10 of the Best Small Motor Boat Brands in 2023

If you’re in the market for a new or used small motor boat, the sheer variety on offer can be overwhelming. The thousands of different models, finishes and styles from dozens of different boat manufacturers can make finding the perfect one a bit of a needle in a haystack. Whether you’re looking for a weekend cruiser, a sporty motorboat, a nifty RIB, or a sturdy fishing boat, different small boat manufacturers will pop up on your radar and appeal to you. 

Creating the best of list of manufacturers comes with its limitations, and it’s important to remember that there are many smaller and more bespoke brands out there who might just make the perfect boat for you. As it’s impossible to compare boats of all sizes and uses.

Take a look (in no particular order) at some top manufacturers of smaller sized motorboats which fit within the categories of fishing boats, skiffs, watersports boats, bowriders, deck boats and day cruisers.

1. Sea Ray

No list is complete without Sea Ray, and it is undoubtedly one of the best-known and best-loved small boat manufacturers of sports boats, deck boats, bowriders and yachts in the world. With over 40 models in their impressive repertoire, and a legion of happy and loyal customers, Sea Ray are one of the biggest players in this category of boat. Their models range from the nifty 6 metre bowrider to a 20-metre luxury yacht, and both new and used Sea Ray boats feature highly on Rightboat.com. In fact, we currently have over 400 for sale, See small sea ray boats for sale


2. Boston Whaler

With a history dating back 60 years, Boston Whaler’s catalogue of fishing boats, centre consoles, cruisers and tenders is one of the most impressive on the market. Renowned for their sturdiness, excellent build quality and durability, they maintain their price in the second hand market and are highly sought after. From the towable 4-metre Boston 13 to the sleek 13-metre Outrage sport fishing boat, there are almost 40 models to choose from. Check out Boston Whaler boats for sale on Rightboat.com all across the world. 


3. Bayliner

Established in 1957 Bayliner have been on the scene for decades, creating some of the most popular deck boats, centre console boats, and bowriders on the market. Today it continues its legacy as part of Brunswick Corporation, offering customers a sleek and sporty range of boats which stretches from 5 metre models such as the popular Element at one end to a 14-metre family cruiser. Check out the whole range of new and used Bayliner boats for sale on Rightboat.com. 


4. Chaparral

Chaparral pride themselves on their range of sporty, fun and sophisticated-looking sports boats. With both outboard and inboard models, they are well-loved by wakeboarding and watersports enthusiasts who value an elegant profile as much as they do the very latest in technology. While Chaparral’s range includes 12 metre family cruisers and the popular 8-metre Signature, their towable Surf Series and Outboard models are top choices for smaller day boats. Check out the range of Chaparral boats near you on Rightboat.com. 


5. Yamaha

Yamaha needs little introduction, the world-famous jet boats often seen whizzing across the seas, especially in their main market in the United States. Well respected for their big range of bowriders and watersports boats, Yamaha has also recently entered the fishing boat market with an exciting and first-of-its-kind jet-powered centre console model. From their open boats and RIBs (and not forgetting their legendary jet skis) to their larger day cruisers, Yamaha are always pushing the boundaries when it comes to motorboat innovation. Peruse the wide range of Yamaha boats for sale on Rightboat.com.


6. Chris-Craft

American powerhouse manufacturer Chris-Craft haven been building boats since 1874, an impressive accolade in its own right. Their range of motorboats focus on a passion for the ocean and the boating lifestyle, with models ranging from an open bow ideal for socialising, or a larger cruiser with a cabin for extended excursions. The iconic vintage Sportsman would suit any budding James Bond with its long, sleek wooden profile, while the Catalina model of fishing boat packs a huge amount in for the price, whether new or used. Search through the range of models of Chris-Craft boats for sale on Rightboat.com to find the perfect one for you. 


7. Grady-White

When it comes to adventurous, well-equipped, sturdy fishing boats, Grady-White are big players in the market. Extremely popular in the United States, their saltwater range of dual and centre console models are some of the best family boats for the money and maintain good second hand resale prices. Described as rugged yet elegant, their latest models range from the 5.5-7.5 metre Fisherman series to the 8 to 13 metre Canyon series – both centre consoles – and walk around cabin models and the dual console Freedom models ranging from 6 to 11 metres. Check out these models as well as used models of Grady-white boats for sale on Rightboat.com. 


8. Bertram Yachts

Adventurous, rugged and versatile, Bertram Yachts have a following of loyal fans and many of their older models such as the Flybridge and Convertible are highly sought-after. Today, Bertram has condensed all its experience and knowledge into six timeless designs which focus on the smallest of details. Ranging from 8.5 to 18 metres, they are ideal weekend cruisers and well-equipped for fishing trips too. If you’re in the market for a used boat, browse through the Bertram yachts for sale on Rightboat.com to see just how popular they are!


9. Starcraft

Leaders in pontoon boats and with an impressive range of fishing and small pleasure boats, Starcraft pack fun, adventure and reliability into all of their models. Popular for coastal cruising and often considered one of the best small boat brands for lakes, Starcraft’s range appeal to families, fishing aficionados and watersports junkies. All of their models are easily towable, making them perfect for weekend forays to the inland waterways or launching in different coastal areas for exploring. These models can all be customized while you will also find a huge variety of used models on Rightboat.com. See Starcraft boats for sale for more details. 


10. Jeanneau

For over 60 years, Jeanneau have been crafting a wide array of motorboats and sailing yachts. Their partnerships with world acclaimed interior designer Andrew Winch, and the technical expertise of Philippe Briand has put them in the very top of small boat manufacturers and rightly so. Their motorboats range from 5 to 14 metres, with the new smaller Cap Camarat range of centre consoles perfect for fishing, water skiing and cruising and range up to the larger NC weekend cruisers. The mid-range Merry Fisher and Sport version stands as one of their most popular models, their innovative interior designs making them as perfect for family coastal cruises as they are for fishing. Check out the more than 700 Jeanneau boats for sale on Rightboat.com. 


This article was published in November 2021 and was last updated in December 2022.


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Written By: Samantha Wilson

Samantha Wilson has spent her entire life on and around boats, from tiny sailing dinghies all the way up to superyachts. She writes for many boating and yachting publications, top charter agencies, and some of the largest travel businesses in the industry, combining her knowledge and passion of boating, travel and writing to create topical, useful and engaging content.

More from: Samantha Wilson

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