A Guide to the Best Powerboats for Ocean Cruising


It’s difficult to resist the call of the sea, and there’s no better way to experience the open water than aboard a powerboat. But when you’re finally ready to buy a boat, the number of different options available may seem overwhelming. What should you look for in a new boat, and where do you even start?

In this guide, we’ll uncover the “hull” truth about powerboats and review some of the best powerboats for ocean cruising.

What is a Powerboat?

The word “powerboat” can mean different things to different people, but it can be used to describe any boat with an engine. Whether it’s a small flats boat for fishing, a versatile center console the whole family can enjoy, or a high-performance boat outfitted with every amenity you can think of, they all fall under the powerboat umbrella.

These watercraft come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so deciding on the best powerboat requires a bit of research. However, it’s well worth it for an investment of this size.

Types of Powerboats & Their Uses

There are dozens of different types of powerboats and each one is designed with a specific purpose in mind. If you’re looking for an offshore boat, here are the types you’ll want to know:

  • Center Console

Center console boats are highly versatile – their design and high fuel capacity allow for smooth rides over long distances, and some larger center console models are even equipped with spacious cabins. This makes them ideal for families and serious anglers alike.

  • Cabin Style

Cabin-style powerboats, which include walkarounds and cuddy boats, are designed for family outings and overnight trips. Cabins range from small storage spaces to roomy V-berths with plenty of space to relax and sleep.

A walkaround boat has side decks that, as the name suggests, allow you to walk around the cabin. This type of powerboat is primarily designed for fishing and family cruising. Walkarounds have become increasingly popular for offshore fishing over the years because they allow better access to the bow for a cabin boat.

Larger walkaround boats are often equipped with spacious overnight accommodations, making them great for spending extended periods of time out on the water with family.

Cuddy boats are very similar to walkarounds, but tend to have more cabin space and narrower side decks.

  • Sport Yacht

A sport yacht is a sleeker and faster version of a traditional yacht, but still has more than enough cabin space for overnighting and extended stays. Whether you want to race to the party or be the party, this type of luxury powerboat is ideal for entertaining, cruising and traveling long distances.

What to Look for in a Powerboat

Boat shows are great places to get up close and personal with a boat you’re considering. If you’re able to take the boat or one like it out on a sea trial, that’s even better.

However, you may not always have the opportunity to see the boat in person before you buy, especially if you’re planning to have it custom made. In this case, you’ll want to look carefully at online reviews and photos from multiple sources to get your facts straight.

Whether you’re buying a new, used or custom-made boat, there are a few essential things you’ll want to look for or ask about while you’re comparing powerboat models:

  • Engine accessibility: Is it easy to check fluid levels and access the battery?
  • Owner satisfaction: There are dozens of boating forums online where you can read about the powerboat models you’re interested in. Do the owners of a specific model or brand have good things to say?
  • Visibility: If you’re able to see the boat in person, do you have good visibility from the helm?
  • Electronic needs: Is there enough real estate for your desired electronics package?
  • Customization: How much freedom do you have to customize your watercraft? Is the manufacturer willing to meet all of your custom needs?
  • Service after sale: Lastly, you’ll want to find out if the boat dealer or manufacturer offers comprehensive service after sale. Do they continue to have a direct relationship with their clients?

How to Find the Best Powerboats for Cruising with Family

You might dream of weekly fishing trips with the whole family, but they may prefer to just cruise and relax. If you’re buying a boat for the whole family to enjoy, the whole family should be involved in the decision.

Comfortable Cabin Space

When your family needs to get out of the sun for a little while, you’ll be glad that you chose a powerboat with a spacious and comfortable cabin. Air conditioning is an especially important feature for boaters off the coast of Florida, Texas, and California.

Ample Seating

Cruising with friends and family is much more enjoyable when everyone can sit on the deck and relax. Intrepid Powerboat modelscan be customized with a multitude of seating options, such as sundecks and wraparound seating with electronic backrests.

How to Find the Best Powerboats for Offshore Fishing

The best powerboats for offshore fishing are typically equipped with the following features:

Deep V-Shaped Hull

If you’re looking for the best boat for offshore fishing, you’ll want to pay attention to the hull design. A deep V-designed hull will let you cut through rough seas with ease. And if the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse, you’ll be able to get home safely.

High Fuel Capacity & Efficiency

Higher fuel capacity will take you farther and keep the fun going longer, and you won’t have to spend as much on fuel if your powerboat is designed to be fuel-efficient.

Angler-Friendly Storage

From rods and reels to hooks and lures, you’re going to need somewhere to store all of that equipment (and the fish you catch with it!).

The best powerboats for fishing are equipped with angler-friendly storage options like rod racks, baitwells, and coolers.

Spacious Deck for Casting

An open space where you can cast unhindered is essential, especially if you plan to fish with a friend or two. And you don’t have to choose between space or comfort – Intrepid boats can be customized with bench seats that fold away instantly, giving you plenty of room whenever you need it.

Design Your Dream Boat

Choosing the best powerboat can be challenging, but you don’t have to compromise on the features you want – Intrepid’s fully customizable models allow you to pick and choose exactly what you want, exactly how you want it.

Click here to see all of our customizable powerboat models, or contact us to get in touch with a representative.