Types of boats: there are at least 18. Here are features and differences


Give or treat yourself to a subscription to Boats in Motion print + digital and for only 39 euros a year you get the magazine at home plus read it on your PC, smartphone and tablet. With a sea of advantages.

Powerboats are many, and in this review we have collected the 18 basic types of boats that everyone should know about. And we haven’t counted catamarans (MULTISCAFIs) and inflatable boats (ALL NEWS ON INFlatable boats).

  1. Pure Open
  2. Motorboat
  3. Classic motorboat
  4. Daycruiser
  5. Fast Commuter
  6. Express Cruiser
  7. Hard top
  8. Lobster
  9. Pilotina
  10. Gozzo
  11. Trawler
  12. Flybridge
  13. Fisherman open
  14. F. Convertible (fly)
  15. F. Cabinets
  16. Motor Yacht
  17. Explorer
  18. Superyacht

18 types of motor boats: characteristics and differences

Pure Open

This boat is designed exclusively for day trips, and with dimensions that can be as large as close to 10 m, this type of boat offers more and more amenities today. Larger models often have a bar/kitchenette and a compartment with a toilet, concealed under the driving console. One of the now indispensable accessories in these boats are awnings for shelter from the sun. There are all kinds of them.


Equipped with a forward pontoon, the speedboat offers a “mini cabin” that is useful both for shelter from sudden rain, a siesta in the shade, and for children’s naps. Many, however, use it more as a storage compartment where bulky equipment and personal belongings can be stored.

motor boats Cranchi E26

Classic Motorboat

Beyond all fashions, the charming retro style of a powerboat continues to win wide acclaim, without generational limits. In addition to the historic shipyards, there are many others feeding this “sought-after” market segment with design proposals and interpretations, supported by the latest technology.

Day cruiser

It is the ideal boat for those who also want to spend the night on board and have a first approach to cruising. In fact, it is able to offer good comfort and a minimum of privacy for up to 4 people; its maximum dimensions within 10 m allow those who wish to avoid its registration. For the past couple of years this category has expanded its boundaries with the development of new types of boats. It is a phenomenon born of all-Italian ingenuity, thanks to which a true metamorphosis has occurred, transforming the open conceived for day trips into a perfect day cruiser.

Ranieri International Next 370
Ranieri International Next 370

Fast commuter

Born from “competitive” boats designed to race and offer breathtaking performance, these boats have a very small maximum beam and a hull characterized by a very pronounced V. Propelled by powerful engines, they nimbly exceed 50-60 knots. The interior has small volumes.

Express cruiser

Larger than 10 meters in size, it is a vessel designed for medium- and long-range cruising and equipped with all comforts even for extended stays on board. Bathrooms, even in smaller models, are now generally two, and cabins are becoming more spacious and numerous. Recently, the introduction of a hard top integrated with the roll bar has also begun to catch on in our market.

Magnum 60
Magnum 60 by Magnum Marine

Hard top

Open (or express cruisers) equipped with hard tops are boats that continue to gain wide acceptance so much so that the range of offerings is becoming wider and wider. Indeed, the advantages of the hard top are indisputable: the cockpit, from an area for open-air living, is transformed in seconds into an enclosed space, well sheltered from sun and weather. In short, the hard top type is all the rage and is being adopted even on smaller hulls.

Rio 56

Lobster boat

Slightly retro lines, that understated elegance that evokes classic seafaring style, and the extensive use of mahogany and teak have marked the success of these boats inspired by the traditional lobster fishing boats of the American east-coast, revised and corrected for modern, recreational use. Recently, some Italian shipyards have reinterpreted the Lobster with more elegant lines and more rational solutions.

Photo courtesy: Hinckley Yachts


It originated as a fishing boat, also known as a “pêche promenade,” or port work boat and was distinguished by its superstructure whose main purpose was to repair the wheelhouse. Its size is generally small and its hull has no particular speed ambitions. The hull is normally semi-planing and the motorization is single- or twin-engine diesel inboard.

Jeanneau Merry Fisher 605
Jeanneau Merry Fisher 605


Quintessentially the most traditional fishing boat in the Mediterranean, the gozzo, once built of wood and with a strictly displacement hull, has now evolved to conquer the world of pleasure boating. While reminiscent of the original lines, they also have planing fairings and offer very comfortable interiors. In addition, the lengths have increased to sizes up to 20 meters. Due to the round shapes with large maximum width these boats are very habitable.

Nautica Esposito Positano 27


Inspired by traditional overseas workboats, the trawler is a boat designed for relaxed cruising. Boasting a displacement or semi-displacement hull that can handle challenging sea conditions with ease, it offers great on-board comfort and a high cruising range. For those who just don’t want to give up performance, trawlers with planing hulls are also produced.

Grand Banks 60
Grand Banks 60

Flying bridge

It was born as a cruising boat in the absolute sense, with enclosed main wheelhouse and open-air secondary wheelhouse on the upper deck. The latter, called the fly, is now increasingly better equipped to make living on the “terrace” dinette, sundeck and bar/kitchenette pleasant.

Fisherman open

Center console and strictly outboard engines, coupled with reliable, high-performance hulls, are the highlights of the open fishermen, almost all of which are “made in the USA.” There is also no shortage of capacious live and catch tanks on board, as well as dedicated areas for those who prefer relaxation to fishing. Plus they are very fast.

Pursuit S328 Sport motor boats 1
Pursuit S328 Sport

Convertible ( fisherman fly)

They are very distinctive, typically American flying bridges designed to take on challenging deep-sea fishing trips in total safety. They are distinguished by the absence of the windshield and consequently, the internal wheelhouse. The new generation of these boats offers in the interior all the comfort needed for cruising.

used fisherman

Fisherman cabin cruisers

Designed for deep-sea fishing, below deck they offer a cabin with a separate bathroom, galley, and, of course, resting rod holders. The cockpit is strictly divided into two levels: a lower aft level dedicated to fishing, and the other, sheltered by a hard top, dedicated to the wheelhouse and guests.



Flying bridges from 18 meters and up are defined by this name. Generally these are boats, planing or displacement, made custom or semi-custom to better suit the needs of each individual owner and to allow him to have a unique yacht, created to his taste.


Then there is what can be called the “Explorer” phenomenon, which used to affect almost exclusively the superyacht sphere and now affects all boats. They too are inspired by historic workboats designed for long ocean voyages. The trendy ones prefer to restore original specimens of the period. However, the supply of the new is quite extensive.


In the large family that includes mega yachts, superyachts and gigayachts (above 100 meters) there are yachts of all kinds(THESE ARE THE 25 BIGGEST BOATS IN THE WORLD). Unbridled luxury and many amenities such as swimming pools, gyms and cinemas dominate aboard these vessels.

Courtesy of Lürssen


To stay up-to-date on all the boating news, selected by our editorial staff, sign up for the Motor Boats newsletter! Just click the link below, accept the Privacy Policy, and click the “Subscribe Me” button. So you can get the best powerboat news to your email, twice a week! It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time, no obligation! CLICK HERE.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you already a subscriber?

Sign up for our Newsletter

Join the Sailing Newspaper Club

Powerboats, its stories, from small open to motoryachts. Sign up now for our free newsletter and receive the best news selected by the editorial staff each week. Enter your email below, agree to the Privacy Policy and click the “sign me up” button.

Once you click on the button below check your mailbox



You may also be interested in.

Dracan 42 Sport Top

Dracan 42 Sport Top (12 m), the super-spacious weekend boat

Catamarans, of all sizes and for all uses, are now an increasingly common feature of the power boating market. And on closer inspection. Admittedly, there are notable differences from more traditional solutions, but the gain made in terms of onboard

Ranieri Cayman 33.0

Ranieri Cayman 33.0 Executive (10 m) is the new day boat

The rib scene is a vast one, populated by inflatable boats of all sizes and dimensions, from small tenders to maxi-cabin cruisers, from purely service hulls to those designed to meet every need required by even the simplest daily outing.