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Types of Boats With Cabins

Boaters who enjoy comfort often choose boats with cabins. Having a cabin on the boat provides protection from the sun, wind, and rain while on the water and gives the boaters, or their guests, a place to rest when they want to relax. Boats with cabins come in many different varieties from large cabin cruisers to smaller boats with pilothouse-type cabins. Finding the right types of boats with cabins for you and your family or friends requires knowing the differences between the various boat styles. 



cabin cruiser


Types of Cabin Cruiser Boats

Cabin cruiser boats are some of the most well-appointed types of cabin boats. They are designed for spending extended periods on the water and generally come with a sleeping area, a galley, and a small bathroom. These types of boats come in lengths ranging from 25 feet to 100 feet. Boaters tend to like them because they are easy to navigate in choppy water, they can be used in both fresh water and salt water, and they often have large swim platforms and sun pads for relaxing.

The most common types of cabin cruiser boats are express cruisers and pocket cruisers.


Express cruisers

Express cruisers, also called expresses, coupes, and sport cruisers, are designed for high performance with a low-slung hardtop and a V-shaped hull. They often have top speeds of more than 30 knots and cruise efficiently at speeds from 22 to 25 knots. The top makers of express cruiser boats include Boston Whaler, Formula, Monterey Boats, Princess, Pursuit, Regal, and Sealine.


Pocket cruisers

Pocket cruisers, also called sedan-style cruisers, are smaller than express cruisers and move more slowly through the water, making them ideal for couples and smaller families that want a relaxing ride. These cabin cruisers generally have a living area situated above deck with a cabin below deck to maximize space and comfort. They are generally chosen as recreational boats for weekend leisure trips. The top makers of pocket cruiser boats include Cutwater, Jeanneau, Ranger Tugs, and Sea Ray.


Types of Cuddy Cabin Boats

Cuddy cabin boats are boats with a small, enclosed cabin space that may or may not be large enough to stand up in. Depending on the model, they may also have a bathroom and a small galley. These boats with cabins tend to be small, ranging in length from 20 feet to 30 feet, and can hold up to eight passengers. Boaters can enjoy just about any activity that they would undertake with a larger boat, including fishing, cruising, and towing skiers, boarders, and tubers. However, they have limited storage space as they are not intended for long voyages. Some of the most iconic makers of various types of cuddy cabin boats include Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Grady-White, Jeanneau, and Sea Ray.


Bayliner VR6 Cuddy O/B

Bayliner VR6 Cuddy O/B. Photo credit: Bayliner


Types of Offshore Cabin Boats

There are many types of offshore cabin boats in a wide range of styles and sizes. Recent advancements in technology have made them a more economical way to travel, with larger displacement hulls offering the maximum amount of tankage and onboard storage space. Offshore cabin boats can also come with electric, hybrid, or solar motors to maximize fuel efficiency. 

Common types of offshore cabin boats include catamarans and trimarans.



Catamarans are usually made of fiberglass or carbon fiber and have two reinforced hulls with large motors for power and speed. These cabin boats currently represent the fastest-growing segment of the boating market, and they come in many sizes for various activities. Catamarans are more spacious than monohull cabin boats, having about 1.2 times more space, and enjoy greater stability in rough waters. Boaters tend to like them for their excellent maneuverability, shallow keels that allow them to be used in shallow waters, and fuel efficiency. Top makers of these offshore cabin boats include Barker, Calcutta, Insetta, Invincible, and World Cat.



Trimarans, also known as double outriggers, are similar to catamarans except they have three hulls: a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls connected to the main hull with lateral beams. Their design makes them exceptionally fast, so they are preferable for many recreational and racing purposes. They are often chosen for long trips with family and friends or for thrilling rides at high speeds. There are many manufacturers of trimarans, including Astus, Catri, Challenger, Corsair, Diam, Dragonfly, Farrier, Hobie, Multi 23, Neel, Radikal, Sea Cart, Sea Pearl, and SeaRail.


Corsair 880

Corsair 880. Photo credit: Corsair Marine


Types of Cabin Boats on Lakes

Many of the types of cabin boats on lakes are smaller and less powerful than the types of boats used offshore. They don't need to be as powerful because they cover shorter distances on calmer waters. While there are some sporty designs available, most of the cabin boats on lakes are geared more toward economical cruising and recreational fishing trips.

The common types of cabin boats on lakes include trawler cruisers, flybridge cabin cruisers, and downeast cabin cruisers. 

More information: The Most Popular Types of Lake Boats


Trawler cruisers

Trawler cruisers are designed for extended stays during long voyages. They tend to have relatively large cabins, can have displacement or semi-displacement hulls, and come with either one or two engines. Most will have at least one private stateroom, a full galley, and an enclosed bathroom. Most trawler cruisers range from 30 feet to 80 feet in length, although there are a few that fall outside this range. Top trawler cruiser brands today include Beneteau, Grand Banks, Nordhavn, Nordic Tugs, and Ranger Tugs.


Flybridge cabin cruisers

These boats are cruisers that have a tower on top and a second control station. They are a popular choice among boaters for their elevated perspective during cruising, along with their versatility and spaciousness. Flybridge cabin cruisers come in all shapes and sizes, including boats with a traditional full-scale deck and vessels with smaller recessed decks on a more compact design. Top manufacturers of flybridge cabin cruisers include Beneteau, Cranchi, Fairline, Galeon, Lagoon, Prestige, and Sealine.


Cranchi M44 HT

Cranchi M44 HT. Photo credit: Cranchi


Downeast cabin cruisers

Downeast cabin cruisers are exceptionally well-suited for overnight trips and day cruising. They tend to have a lower helm station in the main cabin, with accommodations and the galley positioned toward the forward part of the hull. These cabin boats can typically accommodate between 10 and 22 passengers and range in size from about 20 feet to nearly 70 feet in length. Leading boat manufacturers specializing in downeast cabin cruisers include Back Cove, Ellis, Hinckley, and True North.


With the many different types of cabin boats available, it can be difficult to choose the best type of boat for your needs. At Rightboat, we have a wide range of models of boats with cabins on our platform to meet various budgets and tastes. We’re confident that our new and used boats will bring your boating dreams to life. Browse our listings today to compare brands, models, and features.



Written By: Toi Williams

Toi grew up in coastal New England, Her parents had a second home on Newfound Lake, in New Hampshire. Because of this, Toi was able to enjoy boating at sea as well as in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Today, she regularly wakeboards and waterskis on her Malibu wake surfing boat. She also sailed at sea in Maine, and taken many trips to the Isles of Shoals.

More from: Toi Williams

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