Boats with enclosed cabins are great for boaters who want to spend a little more time out on the water. Unfortunately, they are often out of the price ranges of most people.
However, just because most boats with enclosed cabins tend to be expensive, it doesn’t mean that they all are.
In this post, we’ll talk about nine affordable boats with enclosed cabins that you can buy today!
Cuddy cabins are great boats for people on a budget who are looking for a boat that offers an enclosed sleeping space. These little boats provide their owners with an interior cabin at the front of the boat that can be set up to sit in or to sleep in.
However, they typically do not offer any other amenities such as galleys or heads.
This makes them great for day trips, weekend adventures, and boat camping excursions, but not very good for full-time living.
The Bayliner VR5 Cuddy
The Bayliner VR5 Cuddy is a 20’4” boat with a hull length of 18’4” a beam of 8’, and a draft of 2’10”. A 150HP or 250HP engine can be attached to it, and a 33-gallon fuel tank is built to fuel these engines.
While this boat isn’t very large, it can still hold up to 8 people.
Of course, these eight people would not be able to move around freely in a boat of this size, but they would have plenty of seating options as this boat offers them in abundance.
One of the best features of this boat is its weight. With the 150HP engine, the boat only weighs 3,131 pounds, and even with the 250HP engine, it only weighs 3,351 pounds. This means the boat is easily towable for people with small trucks, SUVs, and even some minivans with towing packages.
The main area of this boat has comfortable wrap-around seating, and the captain’s chair swivels around to lineup with an optional teak dining table. This makes this little cuddy cabin perfect for cruising around on lakes, rivers, the bay, and even through small channels.
2020 models of this boat sell for around $71,000.00. However, this model isn’t completely new to Bayliner, so if you want to reduce your expenses, you could get an older used VR5 for a bit cheaper.
Stingray 208CR Cuddy Cabin
The Stingray 208CR is another 20’ long boat with an 8’ beam. This boat is a fiberglass boat, and it sports a V6 4.3-C 200 SX engine. A 34-gallon fuel tank is used to fuel this boat.
Nine people can ride on the 208CR, and two people can sleep inside it. It even has a freshwater tank of 6 gallons and a 25qt icebox. With the 200HP engine, the dry weight of the boat is only 3,078 pounds, so it is definitely able to go on a trailer.
Up on deck, you’ll find two captain’s chairs and a bench that could realistically seat three adults. This area is covered by a small bimini top and a front windshield.
At the stern of the boat, there is a nice little area for launching tubers, water boarders, water skiers, and even swimmers. To get back onto the boat, one just needs to climb up the extendable ladder.
Move to the front of the boat, and you’ll find a small cabin that offers seating and a little place to sleep. This area can also house a small portable toilet, but personally, I wouldn’t want to use a toilet in the same area that I intend to sit in and sleep in, so it’s best left for emergencies.
I couldn’t imagine being on this boat with eight other people, but it is perfect for a group of four or five people who want to have a nice day out on the water. Passengers can rotate between doing water sports and resting in the cabin, and a couple could even spend the night out on the water from time-to-time.
This boat is very reasonably priced at $39,180.00 for a brand new 2020 model.
Atlas Boat Works Pompano 23
The Pompano 23 is 23’ long and has a 7’ beam. The dry weight on it is only 2,100 pounds, so it is easy to tow. It has a small fuel capacity of only 30 gallons, but this should be plenty considering how light the boat is. Also, the engine capacity is only 115HP max, so the engine won’t be eating up a lot of full either.
One of the nice features of this boat is that the cockpit can be enclosed with a canvas enclosure. This gives the boat an additional indoor area on top of the small cuddy cabin. You could use this to get changed in or simply to get out of the wind and sun. Also, the stern of the boat is completely covered with a bimini top, so you never actually have to expose yourself to the hot midday sun.
Inside the cabin, you’ll find a small vee berth and a portable toilet. The berth can be converted to a small sitting area, but most people probably won’t use it as it is quite small.
Campion Allante 635
The 2019 Campion Allante 635 is a 22’ long fiberglass boat with a 200hp outboard gas engine. This engine is fueled by a 60-gallon fuel tank, which is massive for a boat this size. The larger fuel tank would be perfect for owners who want to spend a few nights out on the water in their little cuddy cabin.
Up on deck, there are two captain’s chairs and a small sitting area for four to five people behind them. This sitting area has a round table attached to it with two built-in cup holders. Move through this area, and there is a nice opening that can be used to access the rear of the boat.
Head inside the cabin, and once again, you’ll find a small sitting area that can be converted into a two-person sleeping area. There is also a portable toilet that fits in between the sitting area.
The only dry weight listing I could find for the boat was 2,800 pounds, but it doesn’t list whether or not this weight includes the weight of the motor.
However, even if you add a couple of hundred pounds for the engine, you’ll still have a boat that is light enough and small enough to be towed easily.
Pricing for this boat is in the neighborhood of $50,000.00.
Cabin cruisers provide a lot more usable interior space. They make wonderful weekend getaway boats and can even be used for extended vacations. Some people even use these boats as full-time homes, but they are a bit limited in space for this purpose.
A cabin cruiser will feature at least one berth and will usually offer a head and a galley. It may even offer multiple berths and even a lounge area. You can often find these with air conditioners and heaters, and a generator can even be added to power these amenities when the boat isn’t running.
People who want a yacht but can’t quite afford one just yet often turn to cabin cruisers as they offer many of the benefits of a yacht but in a smaller package.
Boston Whaler Conquest 285
The Boston Whaler Conquest 285 is a smaller cabin cruiser.
Its length is 27’10,” and its beam is 9’6” The dry weight without the engine is 7,300 pounds. This is light enough that the boat could be trailered with a larger truck, but the width would make it difficult to tow around realistically.
With the high weight of the boat comes a large engine. The engine on this is a 500HP engine. This engine is fueled with a 200-gallon fuel tank.
The outside features a few captain’s chairs and a nice standing area that could be used for fishing. This area also features a fridge and a small sink as well. At the bow, there is a small door so that the rear can be accessed for water sports.
The cockpit is completely enclosed, and there is seating for three. Head through the cockpit, and you can enter the main salon, which features a berth that converts to a dining table, a small head, and a small kitchen. There is also a cabin inside as well, which has a berth that can convert to a small seating area.
A thirty-gallon freshwater tank supplies the bathroom and kitchen with clean water, and a 6.5-gallon wastewater tank provides black water storage. There is also a 26 gallon live well as well.
This boat sells new for several hundred thousand dollars, but you can buy them used for less than $50,000.00.
Grady White Express 330
The Grady White Express 330 is a 33’6” boat with an 11’7” beam. It weighs 10,840 pounds without the engines. The engine capacity is 850 HP, which comes in the form of two rear outboard motors. To fuel these motors, there is a 331-gallon fuel tank.
The exterior of the boat is set up for cruising and for fishing, and the deck can be converted to be used for either purpose as there are foldaway benches built into it. There is also a side door with a boarding ladder that could be used for swimmers and divers.
Inside the cabin, you’ll find a forward vee berth, a double aft berth, a seating area with a 28” television, a port side galley, and a head with a 10-gallon holding tank. With all of these items inside the cabin, there really isn’t a lot of room to move around. This being said, you do have everything you could need for a long weekend or even a minimalistic full-time life out on the water.
A new Grady White Express 330 is going to cost over a quarter of a million dollars.
However, you can buy used models for less than six figures. Also, remember that a fiberglass boat can easily last a lifetime, so an investment in a 20-year-old Express 330 could be a great alternative to buying a summer vacation home.
Rinker 270 Express Cruiser
The Rinker 270 Express Cruiser is a 28’10” boat with an 8’6” beam. It has a dry weight of 7,095 pounds and can sleep up to four people.
One of the best features of this boat is that it is small enough to be put on a trailer and large enough to live in. This makes it very desirable for weekend adventurers and for people who wish to travel around the country with their boat in tow.
On top of this, the boat’s cabin offers 6’5” of headroom, which is more than many campers have to offer these days.
Inside the cabin, you’ll find a vee berth as well as a double berth on either side of a galley kitchen and a small head. This kitchen contains a one burner electric stove, a microwave, and a 2.3 cubic foot fridge. For entertainment, there is a built-in Bluetooth stereo system.
On the outside, the cockpit features seating for three, and it is all covered with a bimini top. Behind this, there is a section that contains dual benches that face each other. Just past this is a back deck that would be easy to jump on and off of. It also houses an extendable ladder that can be used by swimmers.
What I love about this boat is that you can find used models for as little as $20,000.00 and even brand new, you won’t have to sell your house to buy one.
Center Console Fishing Boats
Many boat manufacturers have caught onto the fact that it’s easier for anglers to sell their families on the idea of buying a fishing boat that’s also comfortable for passengers. For this reason, they’re now building center console fishing boats with cabins and seating areas that rival cruising boats.
These boats are great for anglers because they have a full 360-degree area that they can fish from. On top of this, they can bring their non-fishing family members with them, and they can hang out in the lounge areas or get some rest inside the cabin.
Here are a few examples of center console fishing boats with cabins.
Scout 350 LXF
The Scout 350 LXF features a large open bow with bench seating and a tanning deck. The benches and the deck are both padded for additional comfort.
At the rear, there is rearward facing bench seating and plenty of open space for fishing. This is partially shaded by the center console’s overhead cover.
The center of the boat features a cockpit with a roof and comfortable seating. It also houses the door leading into the main cabin and adds some additional interior headroom for the shower and galley areas.
There isn’t a lot of room inside the cabin, but you will find a vee berth that converts to a dinette, a small galley kitchen with a sink and a microwave, and a head that houses a toilet and a shower. These amenities are filled with a 30-gallon freshwater tank.
You could spend a day or even a weekend inside this cabin, but most would probably be reluctant to live inside of it full-time. This being said, the outside decks are nice enough that you could stay out there in nice weather and never feel like you’re depriving yourself.
The boat comes in at 34’11” with a beam of 10’9”. It has a deep draft of 23,” and a weight of 10,800 pounds with two twin Yamaha 350 engines included. Powering the twin engines is a 334-gallon fuel tank.
This boat comes in at over $300,000.00 and might seem unaffordable at first. However, you have to realize that both fishing boats and cabin cruisers often cost this much, and this boat actually combines both of them into one.
Dusky 227 Fish Around Cruiser
The Dusky 227 is a 22’7” longboat with an 8’2” beam. This makes it a trailer-safe boat that can be used for fishing, cruising, and even sleeping in. The engine on the boat is a 230HP engine with a 60-gallon fuel tank. This fuel capacity is much lower than some of the cabin cruisers we discussed, but it is on-par with the cuddy cabins.
This boat is a lot less plush than some of the other boats we’ve looked at, but it appears to be a lot more functional in terms of fishing capabilities. The bow features a small bench and an area that could be used for sitting against the rails. These areas do not have any padding and are molded into the boat, so they should be ridiculously easy to clean, even after a full day of fishing.
There isn’t any seating at the stern or in front of the center console, which would make running around the boat to get to fishing poles a lot easier. Move into this center console, and you’ll find a small bench that can be converted into a small vee berth. Inside the bench is a storage compartment.
For people who want a little more luxury, a bench seat can be added behind the center console, and overhead cover can be added as well. Additional padding can also be purchased to add over the built-in bench upfront.
A brand new Dusky 227 is very reasonable and can be had for as little as $55,000.00.
There are affordable boats with enclosed cabins at all levels.
The key is to decide how much you want to spend and choose a boat that meets both your needs and your budget!
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Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.