One of the greatest joys of boat ownership is to gather together your close friends and family and head out to sea to party the night away on the waves. What could be better than sitting drinking ice cold G&Ts under the light of some moody LEDs whilst the sun sets, and the soundtrack plays? As veteran crooner Dean Martin once sang, “Memories are made of this.”
Any boat with a large deck and reasonable carrying capacity can be pimped out for partying but in reality, it takes more than just a sun lounger and a disco ball to really make a true party boat. When you’re considering what is the best party boat to buy there are a several factors to consider. Firstly, a true party boat needs to have copious seating and deck space, a decent swim platform, a fridge and head compartment and a serious sound system.
Extras such as LED deck lights and a degree of weather protection such as biminis all add to the party vibe. The best party boats to buy also offer a degree of layout versatility enabling you to customise and configure the craft to your specific party requirements. There are plenty of great party boats available and in this guide, we’ll look at a few of the very best on the market.
The best party boats to buy have great deck space and one of the best ways to free up space aft is to opt for a craft that uses outboards. The Explosion X44 utilises this layout with a triple rig of 350hp outboards which deliver an impressive a top end of 43 knots. Whilst the market may be saturated with RIBs, the Italian built Explosion X44 achieves maximum quality and innovation in a crowded market place. The customisation options are phenomenal and even in standard mode, the inboard space is pretty impressive. The cockpit features 2 square metres of two independently movable retractable tables which deliver enough space to sunbath, dine with friends, watch TV or even play table tennis. But it’s when you expand the aft deck by means of fold-out sections that the Explosion X44 really becomes a party boat. This increases the beam by more than a metre thus transforming the X44 into a more than adequate bathing and lounging platform. This also increases the craft’s stability at anchorage. The owner’s cabin is beautifully fitted out with a 2-metre bed, wardrobes and drawers, a dressing table and TV. There’s also a two bed/double guest cabin and head and shower. To get the party really rolling, the X44 has an external hifi system and electric barbeque. With a maximum capacity of 20, the Explosion X44 is a great choice of party boat for those who seek both style and practicability.
SACS Strider 18
Another Italian built RIB, the Strider 18 is the flagship model from the Milan boatyard and is a cut above the average boat next-door. Coming in at 17-metres in length with a 5-metre beam, the Strider 18 offers a vast platform area of ten square metres and seating for up to 22 people. The Strider 18 doesn’t fall short in performance with the option of 2,400hp of diesel power allied to Arneson surface drives which power the craft to 50 plus knots. However, the main focus is to maximise the usability of its deck space. The lavish and leather-trimmed helm station is protected from the elements by a rigid hard top with two exits which lead to the side decks. These feature three generously proportioned primary living areas; one in the cockpit, one at the stern and one in the bow. The stern section has a two-part sunpad above the engine bay. This leads to the swim platform via a teak-lined walkway. The deep set cockpit has a large, twin-table dining area framed by lavish wraparound seating on all sides delivering a safe and well-appointed ten-man gathering area. The bow deck has a seating for a further eight with a combination of forward and inward facing benches. Below deck there are three key areas – a master cabin in the V of the bow, a heads compartment and a three-man guest cabin. Whilst all this doesn’t come cheap, the Strider 18 is well worth considering when looking at the best party boats to buy. View more from SACS.
When it comes to ingenuity, the Wider 42 is pretty hard to top. By utilising Wider’s trademark expanding cockpit, the 42 offers double the surface area of a conventional 42-foot craft. With a combination of performance and economy, the Wider 42 is capable of over 50-knots with its twin 480hp Cummins engines. Much of this performance is down to the stepped hull designed by offshore racer Mark Wilson. However, the Wider’s true party trick comes at the push of a “magic” button. Once at anchor, the craft can be transformed by simply pressing the button and 12 seconds later the deck space is transformed into 18 square metres of party playground. This transformed area can fulfil a variety of functions. The carbon-fibre dinette can be swiftly turned into a comfortable sundeck of stylish chaise longue and benefits from a fitted outdoor galley with a teppanyaki griddle and an icebox for chilling drinks and snacks. The versatile stern can be configured as a sunpad or stowage area or even for a fighting chair for game fishing. A lightweight central carbon-fibre stairway leads to the bow and additional large sunpads. With a galley consisting of a sink, a single ceramic burner and worktop and a head featuring a crystal shower unit, glass washbasin and carbon toilet, the Wider is fully equipped for most essential party ingredients. If you’re after a craft that can be fully customised to your needs, then the Wider 42 is well worth your consideration. View more from Wider.
Bayliner Element XR7
Proving the old adage that size isn’t everything, the Bayliner XR7 is a modest user-friendly deck boat that is deceptively spacious with a rated capacity of 16 people despite its modest length of around 25 feet. This is achieved by Bayliner’s utilisation of an expanded version of the same trimaran-style cathedral hull featured across the Element range. It uses a virtually taper-free beam of eight-and-a-half feet which generates a remarkable amount of deck space. The spacious deck layout consists of plush upholstered lounges forward and aft and deep freeboards and high gunnels to keep ensure partying guests safety and security. With a choice of power options from the standard 150hp four stroke to the 200hp Verado and a 40-gallon fuel tank, the XR7’s fibre-glass monohull is designed for both coastal and inland waterways. The XR7 offers the inboard space and versatility of a pontoon boat but with the performance and style of a monohull. Fully specced up with the bimini top, portside entertainment system including a waterproof 120-watt AM/FM stereo, ski pole, toilet, fridge and wet bar, the XR7 is a great choice of party boat for both the novice and the more experienced sailor. View more from Bayliner.
The Alen 55 is a real head-turner. Conceived to be sociable, safe and stylish with a capacity of 16 people, the Alen 55 is a traditional design with built-in practicality and stunning lines. The elevated flare enables the inclusion of a deepset 360-degree walkway wrapped in powerful bulwarks which surround the central deck furniture creating the feel of being “in” rather than being “on” the boat. Whether your guests are at the helm, cooking or simply relaxing, the layout ensures that everyone can be together. Up to eight can be seated at the extending table which is situated near the open designed galley. The ethos of “intelligent inspiration” is continued by the design of the boat’s interior space which can be fully customised to the owner’s requirements. These can include a crew cabin or extra bedroom although the lounge sofa converts into a double berth. This is complemented by teak flooring, leather wall panels and lacquered surfaces. The Alen 55 has a variety of engine options with either twin 800hp D13 Volvo or twin 800 Volvo IPS powering the boat to a cruising speed of 30-knots and topping out at 35-knots. All in all, the Alen 55 offers the demanding customer a degree of upmarket exclusivity and a high degree of customisation potential. View more from Alen.
THE Mastercraft X55 is the most luxurious and largest wakeboard boat in the company’s fleet and if you’re looking at the best party boats to buy, is well worth consideration. Complete with a wet bar and a pumping sound system and with a class-leading capacity of no fewer than 18 people, it’s one of the most comfortable wakeboard boats on the market. Coming in at 25-foot in length and being fully customisable, the X55 is an instant status symbol. Powered by a turbocharged Volkswagen diesel engine, the X55 delivers pillow-soft landings and gradual ramps as you power into the wake. The main lounge area is a more than generous 73 square feet whilst the platform is 14 square foot of partying bliss. The X55 features contoured rear seat backs, whilst the starboard seat bench converts from forward to rear facing. There’s a wet bar, head and a top-quality sound system to ensure the party will go with a blast. To add to the party vibe, the X55 comes with an array of glittering LED lights guaranteed to keep the party swinging into the small hours. View more from Mastercraft.
Fjord 48 Open
The Fjord 48 Open is all about open deck entertainment and alfresco partying. Fitted out with the standard power plant of twin Volvo IPS 600s, the 48 has a maximum speed of 30 knots. This can be boosted to 40 knots if you chose the triple Volvo IPS option. Three words sum up the Fjord 48 Open – Seductive, glamorous and extravagant. Designed by Patrick Banfield and featuring Fjord’s trademark characteristics such as the vertical bow, angular lines, clean surfaces and T-shaped roof, the 48 boasts a frameless windshield which offers unobstructed panoramic views and leads to an unlimited and open feeling. The lavish and large stern sundeck has more than ample room for relaxing and simply chilling whilst the fully fitted galley includes a barbeque, wet bar and fridge. The dining area has room for ten and can be converted into a single, unbroken sunbathing platform via the sinking of the tables and the flipping of the backrests. Below decks the craft boasts two elegant double cabins with maximum headroom. When the sun sets, switch on the LED mood lighting and the party will go on long into the night. Finished in high-end materials such as teak, leather and stainless steel, the Fjord 48 Open is the epitome of style and practicality. If you want to stand out among the crowd, then the Fjord 48 Open may well be the boat for you. View more from Fjord.
Riva 100 Corsaro
When it comes to picking the best party boats to buy, few in the world can match the Riva 100 Corsaro as a party platform. Essentially two layouts in one, the Corsaro features a full-length open deck placed directly on top of a full-length covered deck. Both being open plan and benefitting from an airiness more familiar to that of an open powerboat. The design features five cabins, all en-suite, ensuring there’s plenty of space for partygoers to stay the night. In addition to the guest cabins, the Corsaro also has three crew cabins. The Corsaro has a range of 320 nautical miles and comes in at 98-feet in length. The sheltered aft dining space on the main deck is superbly integrated with the multi-tiered space of the bow and the magnificent dining spaces, lounging areas and ranks of sunbeds. The Corsaro is rated for up to 20 on board and has a cruising speed of 23-knots. If you want to make a statement and stand out in the marina then the Corsaro is definitely one to look out for. View more from Riva.
Interboat Neo 7.0
Available in three basic configurations, the Neo 7.0 utilises a broad, weighty monohull with a generous bow flare, elevated freeboards and an open deck. With a philosophy of keeping things simple and a serious range of power options, it’s easy to make the case for the Neo 7.0 as a contender for one the best party boats to buy. The modular deck layout options help with customising the base platform to your party needs. Every centimetre of the 2.55-metre beam is optimised to the utmost, generating near on 18 square metres of inboard accommodation. Option 1 is the Lounge Line which is designed for sociability and comes with the steering position right in the centre of the aft space meaning the helmsman can be seated on the stern bench and maintain contact with all their guests at all times. Option 2 is the Comfort Line. The steering position is located to the starboard side amidships whilst option 3, the Sports Line, is designed to emulate a conventional RIB with a central steering position and an open transom for easy-access watersports. All three options allow massive bow space with a full complement of wraparound seating and elevated stainless-steel guardrails. There’s plenty of further options to enable the owner to tweak the boat for their requirements. The Neo 7.0 has a huge variety of power options from a modest 27hp rising up to 200hp. The standard 60-litre fuel tank can be upgraded to a larger tank if required. The Neo 7.0 is a great party boat for those on a budget who wish for a highly customisable platform and affordable running costs. View more from Interboat.
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