When you are planning a family trip out on the water, you want to make sure that you have enough space and seating for all of your passengers.
A boat with plenty of space and seating does not have to break the bank.
We have compiled the most affordable boats that feature plenty of seating for you and your passengers to experience a comfortable time out on the water.
3 Pontoon Boats With Plenty Of Seating
One of the most spacious personal watercraft is the pontoon boat.
These boats offer a large flat deck that allows for many different and customizable seating arrangements that will fit anyone’s needs.
Pontoons allow for wraparound seating, bow and stern seating, captain’s chairs, and even dining inspired seating with optional tables in the middle.
If sunbathing is more your speed most pontoons offer loungers, sunbeds, and other layout options.
1. Princecraft Jazz 180:
Pontoons are a great way to fit a large amount of seating on a small vessel and the Princecraft Jazz 180 does just that.
With a length of 19′ 6″, this boat can still fit up to 8 people comfortably.
Not only will your passengers be comfortable, but the seating also allows for face to face communication with seats that face the center of the vessel.
This boat also comes with an optional table to place between the two benches featured at the bow of the vessel. this is ideal for meals and even games while out on the water.
This boat is also very open and spacious on the deck. Princecraft is proud of the design, reliability, and safety that went into the creation of this vessel.
Like all new boats, customized options are available at the time of order.
The Princecraft Jazz 180 is very reasonably priced starting at about $15,400.00.
2. Bennington 21 SL
Bennington is a popular and well-known brand of boat manufacturers. One of their most popular entertaining vessels is the Bennington S Series. Among this series, the Bennington 20 SL has a great layout that has great potential for seating.
This vessel has an overall length of 21′ 11.5″ and can seat up to 12 people with the proper layout.
Not only does the Bennington 21 SL have a lot of seating, but there is plenty of storage space available as well.
Like the Princecraft Jazz 180, this boat also features an optional table.
This boat is a little more expensive but also affordable with a starting price of $25,749.00.
3. Lowe Ultra 180 Cruise:
The Lowe Ultra 180 Cruise is the perfect pontoon for families. Lowe works hard to ensure that comfort and quality are never compromised, even at a lower price.
The Lowe Ultra 180 Cruise has an overall length of 19′ 6″ and can seat up to 9 people.
This boat comes with a highly spacious deck and plenty of under the seat storage. This boat features a swimming deck on both the front and back of the vessel.
You can also set up a table in the back if you choose to.
This boat has a starting price of $21,125.00.
2 Bowriders With Plenty Of Seating
Bowriders are roundabout boats that offer seating in the bow of the boat instead of having a cuddy cabin.
Having open seating in the front can allow even more passengers than the typical roundabout that has a cabin. Passengers might be able to sit in the cuddy cabin while moving, but nothing beats riding a boat out in the open air.
Bowriders offer customization features and additional packages but are often limited in floorplans when compared with pontoons. They also have less open deck space for getting up and moving around.
As a previous owner of both types of vessels, I can say with confidence that multiple people trying to move around on a bowrider is more difficult than on a pontoon.
This should not discourage you, but it is something to consider when you are deciding which boat to purchase.
4. Bayliner VR5:
Bayliner is a popular manufacturer of recreational watercraft. One of their most popular go-to boats is the VR5 model.
This boat is smaller measuring in at 20′ 4″ overall and can comfortably seat 8 people.
This open bow boat has an open layout and a wide bow. This gives the boat a more spacious layout than some of Bayliner’s other models. In addition to more space and seating, this design also allows for more under-seat storage as well as more stability.
The aft also has a similar design and a swim platform that has been pushed back which allows for more room on deck. This boat features a generous sun pad on the aft as well.
This boat combines plenty of space onboard, without compromising its watersport performance.
This boat is also customizable if you choose to purchase it new.
The price of a new VR5 Bowrider starts at $28,399.00.
5. Bayliner Element E16:
Another great affordable option from Bayliner is the Element E16. This option is even smaller than the VR5 model.
The Bayliner Element E16 is only 16′ 2″ overall and can seat up to 6 passengers.
This boat also offers a wide bow design that is great for seating space in the bow.
The swim platform is smaller, but this boat can still handle all the watersports that you would find on the VR5.
The stern has a removable cushion that can create a sun lounge if necessary.
What you are losing in space choosing the Element E16 over the VR5, you make up for in price. This boat is even more reasonable at $15,099.00.
3 Deck Boats With Plenty Of Seating
6. Stingray 212SC Deck Boat:
The Stingray 212SC Deck Boat is the largest deck boat offered in the Stingray line of deck boats. This boat is just under 22″ feet in length and has a spacious floor plan.
This boat is perfect for families and can seat up to 12 people.
This boat also offers an onboard changing room that can double as a head compartment with a portable toilet.
This boat offers a lot of hidden storage with storage in the side entry steps, beneath the seats, and below the floor. The abundance of storage allows more space while on the vessel.
Stingray focuses on boats that require easy maintenance and easy to clean features.
There are also additional options available including a cooler, tinted windscreen, freshwater sink, and fish storage box.
This option is a little more expensive with a starting price of about $45,000.00.
7. Starcraft Star Step 220 I/O
The Starcraft Star Step IO is a watersport ready deck boat that also allows for plenty of passengers to ride comfortably.
The length of the boat is 20′ 4″ and can seat up to 12 people.
The Starcraft 220 I/O does not only offer high-quality watersports but it also has a large swimming platform on the back of the boat and can seat more than the average bowrider.
Thi boat offers a powerful 220 hp motor that allows for plenty of speed. This bow also includes a removable bow table, igloo cooler, plenty of onboard storage, and a freshwater system.
This boat can handle anything from fishing to skiing and other family-friendly activities. The large motor also has a large fuel tank that will make sure you do not run out of gas for a standard day of travel.
This deck boat is highly affordable with a starting price of around $30,000.00.
8. Tahoe 2150
The Tahoe 2150 is a 21′ 1″ vessel with a seating capacity of up to 11 people.
Tahoe boats have a good reputation for boats that have great value. Tahoe boats have a large number of amenities and comfortable features at an affordable price.
These amenities include boarding ladders on both the bow and stern swimming platforms, a wraparound bow seat, a portside refreshment center that comes complete with a freshwater sink with a 5-gallon tank, an in-floor locker, and removable table that can be mounted in 2 different places.
This boat also offers a bimini top with a drop-down changing curtain. This can also be used as a head with a portable toilet.
This boat is a good value with a starting price of $33,995.00.
Making sure you and your passengers are comfortable is key to having a fun day out on the water. Cramped and uncomfortable spaces can make your trip miserable, especially if you plan on being out all day.
It can be hard to know exactly how many people will be on your boat when you are purchasing it, but you will want to make sure you have an idea.
A good way to start is to make sure there is room for your immediate family and then some additional seating. It is not likely that you will not want to offer to take out friends as well as family on a nice warm summer day.
Make sure when you are picking your vessel you do not let size compromise the other features that you want. A pontoon boat is larger and can seat more people, but might not be able to facilitate all the watersports you plan on doing. Alternatively, a deck boat has less space to move around than a pontoon.
Knowing what your ideal boat can do before you go shopping can help you and the salesperson both find the perfect boat for you and your future passengers.
Shelby Sullivan is our specialist when it comes to pontoon boats and recreational watercraft. She is often found sailing the freshwater lakes of Michigan. She is also a light-traveler who enjoys camping and traveling the world. Read more about Shelby here.