We have researched a ton of boats and in this post, you will find some of the best options for family-friendly boats.
Let’s get started!
7 Bow Riders For Families
A bow rider is a type of runabout boat that features seating in the bow. This can be great for seating extra people without having them in an enclosed space.
A runabout boat is a smaller powerboat that usually seats between four to eight people.
These either have open bows or small cuddy spaces in the bows.
These boats can be used for a wide variety of things such as fishing, tubing, water skiing, swimming, and pulling up to the beach. This makes them an ideal and highly versatile family boat.
1. Bayliner Element E18
The Bayliner Element E18 is a bow rider that maximized space and power.
The Bayliner Element E18 can seat up to 9 passengers while remaining spacious and having a large amount of storage space.
They use an “M-Hull” design which allows for stability and level flotation.
This boat is ideal for seating a large family and still has the power to handle water sports.
This boat is highly affordable with a starting price of around $22,000 before any add-ons.
2. Bayliner 170 Bowrider
If you are not looking to seat up to 9 people you might want to consider the Bayliner 170 Bowrider.
This boat offers two cockpit seats and a broad bench across the back of the vessel. Depending on the package you select, there is also room for seating on the bow. This boat can seat up to 6 people.
This option can be tailored by purchasing a fishing package that would still allow enough room for families.
Like the other Bayliner option, this boat has a motor that can support water sports.
Depending on the package you choose, this boat price starts at about $23,000.
3. Chaparral 19 H2O Sport
The Chaparral 19 H2O Sport has a higher starting price than the previous options listed at about $32,500.
However, this option is more luxurious and offers more customization options, including an arch tower and a swimming platform.
This boat offers performance as its main selling point. The Chaparral website boasts about a “feather soft ride” while maintaining stability, efficient fuel economy, and agility.
This boat also offers to seat for up to 11 people or 1500 pounds.
4. Tahoe 2150 Deck
The Tahoe 2150 Deck offers spacious seating for up to 11 people as well as ample storage space that included an in-floor wakeboard and ski locker.
This boat includes plenty of amenities that are ideal for families. This includes a port refreshment center with a sink. There is also a drop-down changing curtain that is perfect for family boating.
They also offer a removable table that can be mounted in more than one place. A table is generally something you see for pontoon options and is not often an option for a bowrider or roundabout.
This boat is ideal for water sports and swimming. There are swimming platforms on both the bow and the stern.
Amenities do not come cheaply and this boat is on the more expensive side but is still affordable with a starting price of $34,000.
5. Yamaha SX195
The Yamaha SX195 can seat up to 8 people and also offers in deck storage that would be perfect for families.
This boat takes storage into account and offers much more storage space than other 19-foot vessels.
This boat also offers snap-in woven floor mats that will help to make sure the deck is not slippery. These floor mats can then be taken off for easy cleaning.
Like the Tahoe 2150 Deck, the Yamaha SX195 offers a mountable table, however, this one can only be mounted at the cockpit.
This boat also offers a swimming platform on the stern and even has a place for wet storage.
This boat, like the Tahoe and the Chapparall, is on the more expensive side with a starting price of $35,600.
6. Four Winns HD 180 OB
The Four Winns HD 180 OB seats up to 9 people.
This boat was designed with the details in mind. They offer small comforts such as a hinged sun pad so that you can board the boat without having to step on cushions. This can be annoying, especially when you are wet.
They also offer a lounger in the back, comfortable seating, and a large sunshade that stretches for the cockpit to stern.
The starting price of the Four Winns HD 180 OB is more middle of the line price compared to the others listed. The starting price for this vessel is about $30,000.
7. Hurricane SS188 OB
The Hurricane Sundeck Sport 188 OB can seat up to 10 people.
Like the Tahoe 2150 Deck, this boat also offers an entertainment center with a sink.
The layout of this boat is very open and spacious with plenty of storage space.
Like the other bowrider options, this boat combines spaciousness with power and is ideal for any family activity that you might wish to use it for.
3 Pontoon Boats For The Family
A pontoon boat normally is a flat surface resting on two metal pontoons. This allows it to be incredibly buoyant and sit high on the water.
Pontoon boats generally have a large deck area that is ideal for moving around with ease. You can also have tables, bars, lounge areas, and other luxuries on the deck of a pontoon boat.
Pontoons are often used for recreational purposes and are great for entertaining and fishing.
Most pontoons are not made to go at high speeds so they are not often ideal for water sports such as tubing or water skiing. There are exceptions and you are able to upgrade the motor or even add a second one to get more speed if that is what you require.
8. Bennington 20 SL
The Bennington 20 SL is a pontoon boat that can seat around 8-11 grown adults.
Bennington takes great pride in making sure their vehicles have high-end performance and are constantly improving their vehicles. They offer a wide variety of packages that can help you get the speed that you need for your vessel.
They also have options if for you if you intend to travel in salt water.
Bennington builds their models using the highest quality material and builds their models by hand with a meticulous level of care and attention.
They also build their vessels with a “THRU-BOLT” system and they offer a 10-year warranty from the bow to the stern and they cover the deck and hull for a lifetime.
It is an affordable option with a starting price of around $23,000 depending on where you purchase it and what year you intend to buy.
9. Bennington 208SF
The Bennington 208SF is also a great option for families. It too can sit around 8-11 grown adults. This option has different seating choices and allows the deck to feel more open.
The customization offered by Bennington, not only in performance packages but also in floor plans, make this pontoon series great for families.
You are able to pick a model that meets your family’s needs and budget.
The Bennington 208SF is even more affordable than the Bennington 20 SL with a starting price closer to $19,000.
10. Lowe SS210
Lowe is often recognized for their customer satisfaction, and the Lowe SS210 seems to be no different.
This model has a high seating capacity at around 11 to 13 people. This model also offers a large amount of storage capacity and additional amenities including a table on the deck.
Some available options include fishing add-ons, a ski tow, different stereo options, and many more.
This boat is also highly affordable with a starting price of about $17,300.
So, Which Do I Choose?
Any of the above options would make an ideal family boat and with a wide variety of choices, you should be able to pick the vessel that fits your family and your budget.
If one of these boats seems like the right choice to you, you are also not limited to the models that were listed.
Each of these companies offered high customization, as well as many more models to choose from that, might better fit your needs.
Another thing to consider when purchasing a boat is what is carried by the dealers in your area. They might have specials or incentives that would make these prices go down or vary greatly from what is listed on the manufacturer’s website.
Overall, boating is a great family-friendly activity and one of these boats would be the perfect choice for you and your family!
Shelby Sullivan is a freelance journalist who specializes in boating and recreational watercraft. She captains her family pontoon boat in her spare time with her fiancee and dog on the freshwater lakes of the United States. Shelby prefers swimming to suntanning, and you can most likely find her reading in the shade of the pontoon awning.