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Best Yacht Brands: Discovering the Top Choices Today

Yachting is big business, and reports state that in the United States alone the recreational boating industry is worth approximately $170 billion. With boating on the rise all across the world, we take a look at the best boat brands of 2023 in several different categories. 

 

 

What are the Top 10 Yacht Brands in the United States?

 

The boating world spans one of the greatest ranges of any industry, with everything from the tiniest of skiffs up to the largest of luxury superyachts in its repertoire. Yet terminology and classification is often a gray area, with lots of overlap. A yacht could be a sailing yacht or a motor yacht, and from there further sub-categorized into superyachts, trawler yachts, sport fishing yachts, and so many more. When we look at the top 10 best yacht brands on the market, it’s easy to end up comparing apples and oranges. The best in one category might not make it onto the best in another, purely because of the style of yachts they produce. So here we have listed – in no particular order - the Top 10 best yacht brands in the United States by their popularity and quantities of yachts sold. More information: An Overview of the Many Types of Yachts

 

Boston Whaler

Photo credit: Boston Whaler

 

1. Boston Whaler: There isn’t a marina in the US that doesn’t have a Boston Whaler in it, such is the huge popularity of this American born manufacturer. With a big inventory of fishing and cruising yachts, and an impressive safety record, Boston Whaler’s are in high demand both new and used. 

 

2. Grady-White: Established in 1959 in the US, Grady-White are pioneers in the sportfishing and walkaround yacht category, specializing in dual and center console saltwater fishing boats. Renowned for being reliable, safe, elegant and offering high performance, they provide long-term value in both the new and used markets.  

 

3. Sea Ray Boats: Sea Ray have been building some of the best sport cruiser yachts in the US since their founding in 1959. Today they remain one of the most popular, with a strong focus on customer service and satisfaction, as well as attention to detail. 

 

4. Regal Boats: Orlando-based Regal Boats have been manufacturing high quality sport cruiser yachts, bowriders, watersports boats and express cruisers since 1969, and in 1995 launched their revolutionary FasTrac hull which set industry standards and won many awards. Today it continues to form the backbone of their designs. 

 

5. Carver Yachts: Another all-American company with roots in the 1950s, Carver Yachts specialized in spacious, highly functional, and dependable world-class cruising yachts which stand the tests of time. While they closed their doors in 2021, their yachts, which range from 34 to 50 feet, are highly sought after on the used market. 

 

6. Bayliner: The super popular Bayliner brand produces some of the smallest boats on this list with their range of luxurious deck, fishing and center console models, but with state of the art engineering and elegant profiles, they are always sought after whether new or used. 

 

7. Viking Yachts: Based in New Jersey, USA, Viking are a legendary American yacht brand best known for their sportfishing yachts and motor boats in the 37-92 ft. range. For over six decades they have made a name for themselves as world leaders in luxurious, high performance cruising yachts. 

 

8. Chris-Craft Boats: Chris-Craft is an American cultural icon with nearly 150 years of heritage in creating recreational boats. Today they continue their legacy with their ranges of day boats, overnight cruisers and center consoles which offer timeless elegance and impeccable craftsmanship. 

 

9. Westport Yachts: The largest yacht builder in North America, Westport have been leading the industry since 1964. They specialize in the production of large motor yachts, and were pioneers in the use of composite material in boats. 

 

10. Ocean Alexander: Originally based in Taiwan, Ocean Alexander operates out of its home base in Merritt Island, Florida and has been one of the world’s best loved yacht brands since 1977. Their inventory ranges from the 45 foot Divergence Coupe, a yacht crossed with a sport boat, all the way up to some of the most acclaimed superyachts ever built. 

 

What are the Best Luxury Yacht Brands in the World?

 

The superyacht industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the boating world, and the number of superyachts gracing our oceans has more than doubled in the last 10 years. Categorized as yachts (both motor and sail) over 78 feet, they are the largest and most luxurious vessels in the world costing millions of dollars. The heart of the superyacht manufacturing industry is in Europe, with many of the world’s top superyacht brands based in Italy, France, the Netherlands and Germany, but with builders in the United States, United Kingdom and Asia also making big waves. Superyachts set the bar for the entire boating industry, constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation and engineering. Here we list (in no particular order) some of the top superyacht manufacturers in the world.

 

superyachts

 

  • Feadship
  • Oceanco
  • Princess Yachts
  • Nobiskrug
  • Jeanneau
  • Beneteau
  • Bennetti
  • Ferretti
  • Lurssen
  • Azimut
  • Sunseeker
  • Riva
  • Westport
  • Heesen
  • Royal Huisman
  • Ocean Alexander
  • Riva
  • VanDutch
  • Mangusta
  • Numarine
  • Sunreef
  • Broward
  • Dynamiq
  • Richmond

 

Difference Between a Superyacht and a Megayacht

 

What are the Best Trawler Yacht Brands?

 

The slow, sturdy trawler has had one of the most impressive make overs of any vessel. Once considered a workhorse of a fishing boat, today they are one of the most sought-after long-distance cruising yachts on the market. These impressive ocean-going yachts offer luxury, comfort, space, speed and fuel-efficiency in one highly capable and attractive package. Where they once would have been left in the wake of sportfishers or motoryachts, today’s trawler yachts are differentiated only by their iconic silhouette resembling a mini superyacht. 

 

Nordic Tugs

Photo credit: Nordic Tugs

 

1. Nordic Tugs: These American-built trawler yachts are the epitome of what today’s trawlers can be: luxurious, long-range and jaw-droppingly spacious. They are anything but a tug boat, and built with meticulous attention to detail creating reliable, adventure-bound cruisers that offer a real home on the water. 

 

2. Grand Banks: One of the pioneers of the cruising trawler, Grand Banks have brought these hugely popular yachts to superyacht levels in a compact package. They have six decades of boat building under their belt, offering reliability, customer service and forward-thinking ideas. 

 

3. Beneteau: Beneteau’s Swift series saw the slow trawler turn into a mini superyacht, and with over 1,300 sales to date, it is one of the most popular brands on the market. Beneteau are world leaders in creating large superyachts, and they have put all of that expertise into this smaller range which culminates in the Grand Trawler 62. 

 

4. Ranger Tugs: American-born Ranger Tugs brought their expertise of building small cruisers and designed a series of trawlers. And forget pocket yachts, these are full-scale trawlers which promise adventure and long-range exploration. With their CB range, they created a unique flybridge which is home to an upper helm, galley and dinette and pushes conventional trawler design. 

 

5. Nordhavn: Nordhavn produces well-engineered, high performance trawler yachts ranging from 41 foot pocket cruisers to 120 foot superyachts. Yet each one always retains its trawler image, Nordhavn’s signature look for several decades. 

 

What are the Best Affordable Yacht Brands?

Yachts are a luxury asset, and where we talk about affordability it ultimately comes down to a buyer’s personal budget. Of course, buying a used boat is always going to be more cost effective than a brand new one, but there are yacht brands which focus on offering quality, affordable yachts including: 

 

Chris-Craft

Photo credit: Chris-Craft

 

1. Carver: Carver Yachts have long been known for their affordability, and even though the company closed in 2021 their used yachts make boating accessible to a wide range of American families. They offer spacious, highly functional, and dependable world-class cruising yachts which stand the tests of time. 

 

2. SeaRay Boats: Sea Ray have been building some of the best sport cruiser yachts in the US since their founding in 1959. Today they remain one of the most popular, with a strong focus on customer service and satisfaction, as well as attention to detail. While new SeaRays don’t come cheap, their popularity means there are plenty on the used market which can be bought very affordably. 

 

3. Chris-Craft: Chris-Craft’s center console yachts offer excellent value for money, as well as high performance and plenty of extras. In fact, since the beginning of the 1900’s, Chris-Craft have dedicated themselves to offering boats for the everyday family, whether it was a small skiff or something more luxurious. 

 

4. Cutwater Boats: Functional, reliable, fun and affordable, Cutwater Boats offer an impressive range of trawler-style cruising boats which do it all, whether that’s cruising off-grid, fishing with friends or spending a day on the water with family. 

 

5. Ranger Tugs: Ranger Tugs are one of the most affordable yacht brands of 2023, with a great choice of family-friendly pocket yachts and long distance cruisers and trawlers. The R-23 in particular has been built with price at the forefront and allows buyers to purchase an excellent trawler boat at well under the price of most competitors. 

 

What are the Best Sport Fishing Yacht Brands? 

The United States leads the way when it comes to sportfishing yachts, and their popularity is only gaining. Whether you’re looking to buy used or new, there are some top brands out there producing boats designed for serious fishing pros. Sportfishing yachts need to be fast and reliable, offer plenty of fishing amenities and extras, offer comfort and a great driving experience, and look downright cool in the process. There are many brands out there to choose from, with major players including Grady-White, Boston Whaler and Viking, but here are some of the other top contenders: 

 

Hatteras Yachts

Photo credit: Hatteras Yachts

 

1. Huckins Yachts: Huckins pride themselves on creating some serious mean machines, and they were one of the first manufacturers to use fiberglass composites for their hulls. Today they produce a unique range of sportfishing boats that are ultra-sleek and ultra-fast. 

 

2. Hatteras Yachts: Hatteras Yachts focus on what they do extremely well, and that is making some of the best sportfishing convertible boats in the world. With just four models in their current range (but others on the used market) they have fine-tuned every aspect of their boats to suit the serious angler. 

 

3. Tiara Yachts: Another major player in the sportfishing yacht sector are Tiara Yachts, who manage to combine a serious fishing vessel with a luxury yacht. The results are a range of mid-sized motor yachts which are modern, beautiful and at the forefront of engineering. 

 

4. Luhrs Boats: While no longer in production, no sportfishing yacht list would be complete without Luhrs Boats on it. With plenty of models to be found on the used market they offer an affordable and reliable vessel with all the fishing bells and whistles you could need. 

 

5. Bertram Yachts: If you’re looking for a versatile, reliable and powerful sportfishing yacht then look no further than Bertram Yachts. While they take inspiration from traditional fishing boats, they offer a range of rugged sportfishing and flybridge yachts which can tackle any conditions. 

 

 

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.

Get in touch:Linkedin

More from: Samantha Wilson


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