One of the best purchases you will ever make is a boat. Owning a boat provides the opportunity for endless amounts of adventure, fun, and relaxation for the whole family.

But with so many different types of boats to choose from, it can be difficult to find the right kind. While many boats are highly specialized for activities like fishing, tow-sports, or deepwater exploration, others are more versatile and can do a little bit of everything.

If you are looking for a do-it-all, family-friendly boat, consider getting a bowrider boat. Bowrider boats are approachable for new boat owners and those who plan to take their kids out on the water with them.

With ample seating and a comfortable deck, taking your family or friends out for a day on the water is easy to do. Keep reading to learn why bowrider boats may be the perfect choice for you.

What Is a Bowrider Boat?

Bowrider boats are affordable, family-friendly boats that can do a little bit of everything. The reason they are called bowrider boats is due to the additional seating located at the bow, or front, of the boat. These seats are located in front of the helm, where the captain drives the boat.

This allows for plenty of passengers to come along. Kids love sitting at the front of the boat while cruising around, particularly at higher speeds. Adults also love to soak up the sun and the uninterrupted view of the water in these comfortable seats.

They are perfect for cruising around your local lakes. Because they are small and don't offer a cabin or solid roof, they shouldn't be used in rough weather conditions or choppy waters. They are well-suited for calm lakes on pleasant weather days.

Bowrider Boat Uses

Bowrider boats offer something for everyone. If you have kids, these boats are perfect, as they can usually seat six or more passengers without feeling cramped.

Likewise, if you want to take the grandparents out on the water, the boat is comfortable enough to spend many hours cruising around. Or use the boats to take your friends out for an evening on the water watching the sunset. These make for great boats to dock and dine in, which is common in many coastal regions. 

You can use bowrider boats for tow-based watersports as well. Wakeboarding, water skiing, and inner-tubing make for great fun on a bowrider boat.

And of course, you can use the boat for fishing. While they aren't specifically crafted with fishing in mind, like bass or other types of fishing boats, you can definitely bring your rods and cast from these boats. Ample storage space makes it easy to keep your gear tucked away until you find the perfect fishing spot.

However, if your main goal is fishing, these may not be the best boats for you. Without a dedicated casting platform or fishing seats, it can be awkward to fish for more than an hour or two on bowrider boats. Though you can find specific bowrider models that cater to either fisherman or watersports enthusiasts.

How Much do Bowrider Boats Cost?

One of the main benefits of a bowrider boat is how affordable it can be. You can find comfortable, versatile bowrider boats for less than $20,000, making it possible for most families to make boating a regular part of their recreation.

Of course, there are always top-of-the-line models available, which can cost upwards of $50,000 or more, too. If you are looking for a specialized type of bowriders, such as one geared towards anglers or those with faster engines for watersports, they will cost a bit more than the all-purpose boats.

Regardless of the price range, you are looking in, boat financing is available to make your boat-owning dreams a reality. Look for boat dealers that offer in-house financing. Or contact your current bank to see if they offer boat loans. As an existing customer, you may qualify for better rates or terms.

If you're willing to buy a used boat, you can save a lot of money, though you might not be able to get financing. Aside from financing the boat purchase itself, there are a few other costs to expect when buying your bowrider boat.

You'll likely need to pay sales tax on your boat purchase, as well as an annual personal property tax. And when you bring your boat home, you'll need to pay to register it with your home state. Depending on where you live, these expenses might only be a few dollars or could add up to the thousands. 

You're probably going to need to buy a boat trailer as well. Plus, you'll need a place to store the boat, which can be a local marina, a boat storage facility, or a self-storage unit if you can't keep it at home.

And don't forget boat insurance. The last thing you want is for your boat to be damaged or destroyed and not be covered.

Important Features of a Bowrider Boat

So what makes bowrider boats worth it? The ample amount of seating is one of the most important bowrider boat features. With a comfortable, V-shaped couch in the front of your boat, you can keep kids or friends entertained for hours.

Some bowrider boats provide more of a bed upfront, allowing passengers to lay out in the sun and even take a nap onboard. The rear of the boat is wide and usually contains additional seating. Depending on the specific model, the rear platform can be used for fishing, or to climb in and out of the water after swimming or waterskiing.

The fact that these boats are super versatile is their main appeal. It's hard to find a boat that can do everything, but bowrider boats can pretty much make it happen.

They are easy enough to operate, allowing you to get into waterside restaurants without bumping other boats. The narrow front and wide back make these boats easy to turn and handle in questionable conditions.

They are fast enough to pull skiers and wakeboarders. And the ample amount of space makes entertaining and fishing a breeze. Plenty of storage space allows you to bring coolers, food, fishing gear, towable sports equipment, and much more.

The Perfect, Family-Friendly Boat

So are bowrider boats right for you? If you want an easy-to-drive boat that can fit the whole family and provide a full day of fun, then bowrider boats are an excellent choice.

With many different models, some more general, and some specialized to suit the needs of anglers or waterskiers, you'll be able to find a bowrider boat perfectly suited to your needs and budget.

And if you are new to boat ownership, make sure to study up on best safety practices to avoid accidents and keep your boat in good working order.

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