What Boat Size is Best for the Family


Owning a boat is an exciting adventure that the entire family can enjoy. But newbies to boating may need help deciding which boat size suits their needs. There are a few things to consider when you decide to buy a boat, such as:

  • Experience
  • Location
  • Towing/Storage
  • Activity
  • Dock Space
  • Budget

Factors to Determine the Best Boat Size for a Family


The ideal boat size for your family depends on the level of experience you have with boating. If you/’re new to boating and don/’t yet feel comfortable handling larger vessels, it may be best to start with a smaller boat that is easier to maneuver. As your skill and confidence increase, so could the size of your boats.


Another factor to consider when selecting the size of your boat is the location where you/’ll be boating. 

If you prefer spending time in calm inland waters or lakes, a smaller boat size of 17 to 22 may be sufficient for your needs. But if you plan to venture out into choppy waters, a larger boat size of 23 to 28 with more power and stability may be necessary.

Also, you need to remember that some waterways may have specific size limitations, so make sure you are aware of such regulations when selecting your boat or simply ask the boat dealers for advice.


Your boat size will also depend on the type of activities you plan to do with it. The main thing that you need to consider here is accessories. If you plan to use your boat for fishing, water skiing, tubing, or other water sport activities that require additional equipment, make sure you get a boat big enough to accommodate them.


The size of your boat will also be determined by the towing capacity and storage you have available. Smaller boats are great if you don/’t own a trailer or don/’t want to deal with the hassle of hauling it around, while larger boats typically require more space for storage when not in use.

Dock Space:

If you plan to keep your boat docked somewhere, make sure that the size of the boat and dock are compatible. A larger boat will require a bigger dock space for safe mooring or storage. You must also factor in any additional costs of renting a bigger dock space.


And finally, we come to the budget. Regardless of your wishes to own the biggest boat for sale, you/’ll need to be realistic about how much you can afford to spend. Don/’t forget that you will also need to factor in additional registration, insurance, and maintenance costs.

Boat Size for Different Activities:


Offshore Fishing Boat Size:

If you plan to use your boat for offshore fishing, you should look for a boat size of at least 30 feet long with plenty of storage capacity to store your fishing gear. Such a robust vessel will be able to handle larger waves and provide you with a comfortable ride.

Inshore Fishing Boat Size:

The best boat size for inshore fishing is a small boat of 18 to 22 feet in length. This type of vessel can easily navigate smaller and shallow waters such as rivers and estuaries, making it ideal for catching fish close to shore. It should also have a shallow draft to reach the hidden spots without getting stuck.

Family Cruising Boat Size:

For cruising and sailing, the ideal boat size is between 20 and 30 feet. This type of vessel should have comfortable lounge seating, a large front deck for sunbathing, a swim platform, and enough space to store food and supplies.

Water Sports Boat Size:

Water sports boat size falls between 15 and 25 feet. To enjoy watersports activities such as tubing, wakeboarding, and skiing, you need a boat with enough horsepower to pull the skiers or boarders but not too large to turn quickly. Since this vessel has no storage space, you can decide on its length depending on the number of people you plan to accommodate.

Related Reads: Which boat is best for boating at the lake?

This brings us to the crucial factor:

Boat Size Per Passenger


When buying a new boat, one has to remember that although boats may be of the same length, they will vary in capacity. For instance, a full-size 20-21 feet long bass boat will be most appropriate for a family of five. However, same size pontoon boats can comfortably accommodate more than five people.

For a family of three, a boat of 12 feet would be just the right size, while an average family of 4 will need a boat of 15 feet in length. If you are a lucky soul with a large family of 10 or 12, you should opt for models ranging from 25 to 30 feet.

But as mentioned above, the capacity may vary depending on the type of boat you plan on buying. Also, remember that people on board will not just be sitting; they will move around, so always add extra cushion to your boat size selection.

Buying The Right Boat Size From the Experts:


Buying your first family boat comes with many questions, and we have tried our best to answer them through this article.

But if you still need clarification or have doubts, feel free to contact Premier Watersports, the professional boat dealers in Knoxville, TN. We stock a variety of new and used boats from leading manufacturers, so whether you are looking for bowriders boats or a wake boat, you are sure to find something that suits your needs and budget. You can also visit our showroom for a tour of the different boats and get expert advice from our knowledgeable staff. 

Contact us today and get ready to hit the water in style!

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