Boating is one of the favourite pastimes in Australia, with people taking to various waterways every weekend for fishing, watersports, cruising or visiting offshore islands.
If you’re looking to buy a family boat, then you can’t go wrong with the following family-friendly beauties. Always ensure that you are up to date with boating safety rules and have information on safety equipment for boats in Queensland.
Cuddy Cabin Boats
Cuddy cabins are ideal family boats and best for using on larger bodies of freshwater such as lakes, dams and weirs. But they also handle open water even if it’s a bit rough. They’re great for fishing, watersports and cruising and are easily manoeuvrable. Cuddy cabins are named as such because they have a closed deck over the bow. If the weather becomes fickle and you need shelter for the kids, then having a cabin they can hunker down in below, or take a nap in if they get tired of fishing, is useful. Having a cabin, however, does mean it cuts into your fishing space. So if you purely want to fish, then you may want something with more usable deck space.
Pontoon boats are a lifestyle boat and come in all kinds of sizes, power options and prices. They’re ideally suited to leisure cruising, and some are specifically designed for fishing. In general, they have wide stable platforms, high sides and lots of deck space which makes them a good choice for heading out on the water with a group of friends or with the kids. With additional extras such as Bimini tops and pop-up head compartments for sunbathing, as well as attachable water slides, a pontoon boat can be a floating water park for your kids no matter what their age.
Bowriders are crossover runabout boats that can be used as fishing boats or a family water sports boat for lakes and dams. They’re so named because they have spacious seating in the bow area which is fun to ride in. They usually come with flat platforms on the back for easy accessibility for waterskiing, wakeboarding or tubing, and can also be used for sunbathing or diving off. Bowriders can range in price, and some come with various bells and whistles. Depending on your lifestyle expectations; you can choose from padded seating or mini bars, which can hike the price up considerably.
Fish and ski boats
These boats are designed for families who want to go fishing one week and water skiing the next. They have convertible features, such as seating, so you can rearrange the boat for either a day of relaxed fishing or towing a water skier. The main criticism of these boats is that they don’t have a single focus, so you don’t get the power or efficiency of a boat set up for one activity. But many people appreciate the versatility and the large number of optional features these boats come with.