It is very easy to be torn between a pontoon boat’s deck space and the flashiness of a runabout. Each of these options comes with its fair deal of benefits that any boat lover would wish to enjoy. Unfortunately, if they are the only two options available, you have to settle on one. Luckily, a third market cropped up to resolve the stalemate between the two. This is the boat deck market. Deck boats are designed to combine the pontoon boat’s positive features and the sportiness of a runabout. It has the performance and handling capabilities of a runabout and enough room for gear and people onboard.
If you are a boater looking for an alternative vessel from the conventional boats, deck boat offers all the qualities you would wish to have in a modern boat. Given that the demand for these boats has been on a steady rise, some manufacturers have felt the need to build their own brand from scratch while others replicate existing designs. The difference between these two is huge as one is committed to producing a unique product for you. Therefore, you need to find a dedicated manufacturer where you will buy a deck boat from and satisfy your need for having a reliable water vessel.
Tips for Choosing a Deck Boat
Most first-time boat buyers often do not know where to begin their search for the right deck boat. Their quest is made more difficult by the fact that there are many deck boat brands in the market. This cannot be very clear. When you find more of what you do not like in deck boat models, you might be tempted to revert to pontoon boats or runabouts. Therefore, going to the market with an idea of what you want to buy is a good way of ensuring you only look at what pleases you. Here are some of the factors that you need to look for when finding a deck boat.
Before you set out on a journey to find the best boat deck for you, you need to determine the number of people you will want on your boat at any given moment. Ideally, you will plan for your family and a few friends. However, some long lost friends and extended family members will come by for a ride when you have the boat. It is, therefore, essential for you to plan for additional members.
Determine the amount you wish to spend before you actually go to the market. When budgeting for a boat, make sure you factor unforeseen costs that might accompany purchasing the boat. Have more than you need because the cost of buying a boat always boils down to the extra amount you are willing to spend on a vessel. Set a maximum amount that you are willing to add on your budget. While this might seem strenuous at first, you will be grateful for this decision in the long run.
You have to know the docking location of your boat beforehand. It would be best if you also determined where you will store the deck boat and the number of times you will take the boat out. All these questions will help you narrow down on a specific boat that will satisfy your needs exhaustively.
Best Deck BoatsConsidering that the market is full of different brands of deck boats, it is crucial to have a list of best boats. This guide lists the best deck boats from which you can find the right boat for your needs.
Sea Ray SDX 250
Sea Ray is one of the leading players in the deck boat manufacturing space. The manufacturer produces unique boats geared to suit the modern customer. SDX 250 is proof of the manufacturer’s quality work with its unique and unconventional design. The boat comes with a flipped seating arrangement. The boat’s bow lounge ports arranged to the starboard as opposed to the traditional fore and aft. Even with this arrangement, passengers are able to stretch while the boat is in both motion and at rest. In addition to this, the boat has plenty of space for children who would like to be up in the front. And if all these do not excite you, then the boat’s deep bow will.
Behind the SDX 250’s windshield are a Sea Ray’s “glass cockpit” helm and double-wide helm seat. Under the dash of the boat is a head compartment. The boat’s port side seat can accommodate two passengers. In addition to this, it has a backrest, which adjusts to face aft or fore. The aft bench backrest also allows people to face forward when in motion, and face the aft when the boat is at rest. This design is by no means conventional.
The Sea Ray SDX 250 will set you back $89,525. You can also customize your unit at an additional cost. However, this boat is still great in its standard state. It comes with all exciting features both in terms of speed and comfort.
Regal 22 FasDeck
Regal is also an exceptional manufacturer. Its products have been raising the bar in the deck boat market with its exciting designs. The Regal 22 FasDeck has a great design and has excellent functionality. Some boaters argue that this boat has one of the best designs among deck boats of its size. This makes it even more pleasing.
The Regal 22 FasDeck features an exciting cockpit seating where the observer’s seat backrest adjusts, allowing the driver to face the aft or forward. In addition to this, the backrest also folds down to create a port side sun lounged hidden from the sight of passers-by. The boat’s rear seat also blocks the view of a passer’s by to the full-width swim platform that also comes with an aft-facing bench that allows you to keep a close eye on your children as they swim. The boat also features a telescoping ladder strategically positioned below the platform for good aesthetics and easy access.
Regal also caters to the needs of boaters who wish to have a boat with outboard power. However, this version is dubbed the 23 OBX. The Regal 22 FasDeck retails at a minimum price of $54,075.
Chaparral 191 SunCoast
The 191 SunCoast is one of Chaparral’s later models after their legendary 250 SunCoast that was launched at the Miami Boat Show. This manufacturer releases deck boats suited for coastal boaters. The 191 SunCoast is a practical but rugged boat with all the right and exciting features you would want in a deck boat. It features huge platforms, fore, and aft, which are great for swimming and beaching. These decks are self-bailing. Additionally, the boat has a spacious cockpit and seating area for large families.
The manufacturer offers several options for the 191 SunCoast. However, even at its standard form, the Chaparral 191 SunCoast serves all the comfort, speed, and functionality that you would wish to have in a deck boat. The 191 SunCoast standard powder-coated trailer boat option comes at $32,090. It also has an optional $585 bimini top that increases its usability. Let’s face it; the bimini top (view on Amazon) is great, especially in the hot summer sun.
Stingray 192SC introduces a completely different dimension to deck boats. This boat lets you in on engineers and designer’s views on boats. It has many features in this relatively small boat. This is a single-console deck boat with walk-through to the boat’s swim and bow platforms, boarding steps, as well as the port side sink. In addition to this, the Stingray 192SC comes with stowage beneath the seats and its bow walk-through as well as the swim platform. Its doors make it easy to walk all the way to the port side from the boat’s starboard walk-through.
The boat has a Z-plane hull design, which utilizes the vessel’s standard 115-horse Suzuki outboard power. You can get the standard option at $34,406. However, you can spend more to get additional features like the exciting color on the boat’s hull.
Four Winns HD 180 OB RS
The Four Winns HD 180 OB RS has an easily recognizable design that catches your attention as soon as you lay your eyes on it. The futuristic design is sleek. It comes at an affordable price of $35,067, comprising of a custom trailer. It comes as a full package.
The boat features all the right components that you would want in a vessel. It has a convenient aft deck that provides a walk-through all the way to the twin swim platforms. It also has a very spacious and wide cockpit, just like its walk-through to the bow that provides a wrap around the boat’s seating as well as an optional playpen filler cushion.
The boat has bold colors and superior quality materials, which gives the boat a general look of sophistication. The Four Winns HD 180 OB RS looks expensive.
Bayliner Element E21
Bayliner has brought many people into boating through its user-friendly boats. Apart from ease of use, their boats are affordable and of good quality. It is the best option for someone with a little budget and a need to get a new vessel. The Bayline element E21 has a nice smell and a great warranty offer that makes it irresistible to many buyers.
The Bayliner Element E21 comes on a tandem-axle trailer with a folding tongue. This feature allows the owner to store the boat in their home garage instead of a boat storage facility. The four-stroke 115-horse Mercury outboard trailer serves its functions well. The boat has an exciting deck with new and exciting designs. While the boat’s rear and front filler cushions are optional, they convert the Bayliner Element E21’s fore and aft sections into playpen-style seating areas. This turns the Bayliner Element E21 into a very exciting deck boat. You can also get rid of the cushions to get a conventional deck layout that is not only open but also very spacious.
Hurricane SunDeck 187 OB
The Hurricane SunDeck 187 OB is a popular vessel among the boating community. This boat comes at a standard price of $31,000 and can increase with the standard 115 horse Yamaha engine. It has an ample deck space for a boat of its size. It also has a wide and very spacious seating. While the boat’s standard features are not as much as that of other deck boats on this list, you can choose additional features to have a boat with all the features you need.
This guide provides all the insights you need to find the best deck boat. While the process might seem overwhelming at first, you need to simplify it by defining what you need beforehand. Remember to plan for extra expenses while budgeting as the price of your desired boat might be higher than expected.