Some brands live to build quality deck boats, others just dabble in deck boats.
Since the deck boat trend has started catching on a little, a few brands have felt compelled to offer their own model.
So, you want to make sure you’re buying from a dedicated brand. Not from a dabbler (unless, perhaps, they take their dabbling seriously).
After all, purchasing a deck boat, same as purchasing any other boat, is a big investment.
The first time I considered buying a boat, I didn’t even know where to start—and I ended up making the wrong purchase for my needs.
I thought I needed something simple, but it turned out that, only a year later, I needed something more. I had also settled for a brand that I wasn’t very familiar with, and this caused a lot more problems when it came time to fix any issues.
If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a deck boat, you need to know the right brands. You wouldn’t settle for no-name bottled water or macaroni and cheese, so why would you settle when it comes to such a large investment as a deck boat?
Today, we want to look at some of the deck boat brands shaping the deck boat industry, what they’re known for and some of their most notable models—all valuable information for those of you looking to make your first (or second, or third) deck boat purchase.
How to Choose the Right Deck Boat Brand
You might be thinking about buying a deck boat—or you might still be comparing deck boats to pontoon boats or runabouts—but either way, you need to know if a deck boat is right for you.
Well, there are lots of different deck boats out there. If you’re looking at models that don’t meet your needs, you might jump ship and focus on your pontoon or runabout options instead. So, before you rule out deck boats in general, let’s make sure you’re looking at the right deck boats for you.
Choosing to buy a deck boat is a big decision, and what you need is going to depend on multiple factors.
How much do you have to spend? Actually, the better question might be, how much more would you be willing to spend to guarantee your happiness down the road?
If all it takes is a few thousand more, you should go for it—it might be tight right now, but it will be so worth it in the end.
How many people do you want to be able to take out on your boat? At first, I thought only my family and a couple friends were going to head out on the water with me.
Once I got a boat, though, it felt like long-lost cousins were constantly resurfacing to try and get me to take them a journey.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, but I should’ve personally game-planned for more people being interested in hitting the lake with me (instead of underselling it).
Do you have somewhere to put your boat? The same way that you’d need to get your finances in order before you buying a house, you need to have all of your ducks in a row when it comes time to buy a boat.
Do you have somewhere to dock it and store it? How often will you take it out and where? Consider all of these questions before you even think about buying a boat altogether, much less choosing which brand.
Bottom Line: It might sound simple, but it’s anything but. All three of these factors aren’t only going to influence the kind of deck boat brand that’s right for you, but the one that you can afford to choose.
Based on your needs and your budget, you can choose the right one for you.
5 Proven and Reliable Deck Boat Brands Worth Investing In
There are five key brands that we should be considering when it comes to the best deck boat brands out there on the market.
Here they are, along with some key points (and great models) that you might need to consider.
There’s no doubt you’ve heard of Bayliner before. Heck, I’ve even written a thorough review of how the Bayliner stacks up against its competition.
The one thing you need to know is that Bayliner is one of the dominant names in the deck boat game. They’ve got a selection of models, they’re known for their strong motors, and while they might be on the pricier side, they’re as reliable as deck boats come.
Recommended Model: Bayliner 190 Deck Boat
Space has always been the name of the game when it comes to Bayliner boats, and this model is the perfect encapsulation of that idea.
- 150 HP
- Engine: V8
- Fuel Tank: 56 gal
Boston Whaler is also up there in terms of luxury, right alongside Bayliner.
The thing about this company is that they have a wide variety of models, of varying shapes and sizes, which makes them a nice choice for the boater who wants a little bit of everything.
They even have a model that makes for a pleasant fishing boat, which can be a bit harder to find when it comes to a lot of deck boat brands
Recommended Model: Boston Whaler 270 Vantage
Remember what I said about fishing boats? This model really shows off the fact that Boston Whaler boats can be versatile. While it might be sort of a one-trick-pony boat, it’s perfect for avid fishermen.
- 600 HP
- Engine: I-4
- Fuel Tank: 164 gal
Chaparral makes some of the flashiest deck boats this side of the Atlantic. While that might not necessarily be your thing, and it certainly isn’t mine, these are the kinds of boats that really make a statement at a party.
The problem with them is that they often have an elevated price, even though most of the improvements are merely for style. Your money could be spent elsewhere, but that doesn’t make this brand any less reliable—they’ve been in the deck boat business for quite some time.
Recommended Model: Chaparral 224 Sunesta
Holy red, Batman! This model is absolutely striking, and really gives you a good idea of how a Chaparral gives you a bit of an ostentatious edge out on the water.
- 350 HP
- Engine: V6
- Fuel Tank: 49 gal
As a deck boat brand, Princecraft is a great option if you want a really solid, middle-of-the-pack deck boat.
This is a do-everything company that has a nice selection of deck boats on offer, each with the ability to prove space, accessories, and everything else you could want (they’ve even been compared to pontoon boats in size, but we’ve talked about the difference before).
Recommended Model: Princecraft Ventura 222
Dependable, relatively stylish, and budget-friendly, the Pinecraft Venture might not have a heck of a lot of style, but it’s a great beginner deck boat to get you out on the water.
- 150-200 HP
- Engine: I-4
- Fuel Tank: 46 gal
Regal makes boats that are known for their speed. They’re agile, fast and have that get-up-and-go energy that makes them perfect for a weekend out on the lake.
The only problem with them is that the best models aren’t that big on size. When it comes to deck boats, we know the importance of size, so it all depends on your needs.
Recommended Model: Regal 24 Fasdeck
Low on space, high on speed, with an extended swim deck that makes jumping in and out of the water easy. Have a need for speed? This is the one for you.
- 300 HP
- Engine: V8
- Fuel Tank: 56 gal
The Right Deck Boat Brand for You
A deck boat can be a large investment, but only if you want it to be. You have to know, though, that when you go with bigger brands you’re getting more in the way of customer service and trust with your product.
When you purchase from a brand that has a reputation at stake for being the best, you’re more likely to receive service that’s reflective of that.
Take it from me. I’ve been around the market, and I’ve even made the wrong choices. Thankfully, later on, I went with a brand name that people respect.
It not only allowed me to buy from a company that I knew about, but it was also one that I trusted. Not only did it give me comfort when it came time to purchase, but it gives me relief each and every time I hit the water.
Thinking about buying from one of these deck boat brands?
Make sure you do your research, and learn more about the best deck boat brands out there, alongside other helpful topics that can make you a better boater today.