best deck boats

Finding The Best Deck Boat

Written by Boatsetter Team
August 17, 2021

If you’re someone who lives for the pleasure of boating and the feeling of the wind in your face as you zip around your lake, chances are you’re not in the market for a pontoon or little fishing boat. You’re looking for something that has enough power to take your friends out skiing, wakeboarding, or tubing while still providing plenty of space to hang out and go for a swim. What you’re looking for is a deck boat. 

What is a Deck Boat?

deck boats

A deck boat earns its name from having a very large deck space. It has the most deck space you can find on a recreational boat, rivaled only by pontoon boats. They’re designed for entertainment and sports purposes and usually come equipped with appropriate accessories. The large open spaces allow you to take a decent amount of passengers out on the water.

If you’re someone who appreciates fast, agile vessels, you’ll appreciate the deck boat. Their hulls are designed to add extra speed; their v-shaped hulls are pointed and easily cut through wake and waves. Also, their motors will generally be more powerful than your typical pontoon boat or flatboat. 

While deck layouts vary between brands and models, most deck boats hold most of their entertainment features near the front of the boat. Features of a deck boat usually include excellent sound systems, board racks, and swim platforms. The more luxurious models will have features like refrigerators and even vanities. 

Deck boats are also perfect for boaters who are more sports-minded. Many come specifically customized with features to create the perfect skiing, wakeboarding, or tubing experience. These sport features include things like full ballast systems and surf tabs. 

Some deck boats are even made with fishers in mind. They’ll have extra accessories just for the occasion, such as livewells, fishing seats, and rod holders. Because of the variety of roles deck boats can fill, they’re usually considered to be “jack of all trades” boats. 

Features of the Best Deck Boats

The features of a deck boat depend on who is going to use it and for what purpose. Not every deck boat will be the same, so you must figure out what matters to you as you peruse the different brands and models. 

That being said, we can give some pointers as to what things are on the best deck boats for certain activities. 

Leisure/Recreation: 

Starting with deck boats that are intended to take family and friends out for a ride, or trip to a swimming hole, you should look for any features that can make your cruise enjoyable. We’d especially pay attention to any deck boats that come with a marine sound system (especially Bluetooth), plenty of cupholders, large enough space, a swim platform, and even a table. 

Water Sports:

 For anyone looking for a boat that’s good for skiing, wakeboarding, and other watersports, you’ll need to look for a few things. First of all, you’ll need a good enough motor to provide the towing power. Luckily, many deck boats come with such motors. 

As for accessories, you should keep an eye out for anything that would add convenience and create a better water sports experience for your passengers. Surf controls, ballasts, and transom showers are perfect for these sorts of activities. 

Fishing: 

There isn’t too much to discuss when it comes to deck boats specifically for fishing. You should keep an eye for smaller, more agile models that come with plenty of storage space, livewells, and rod holders. 

Example of the Best Deck Boat – Hurricane SunDeck OB

Pinning down a single deck boat that is the best on the market is a difficult task. There are so many different brands and models that can fulfill many different roles. Unfortunately, there’s no one model of boat that includes everything. However, we can still provide an example of what is undoubtedly one of the best deck boats out there, the Sundeck OB by Hurricane. 

The Sundeck OB is an amazing deck boat with lots of different models, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs. They have smaller models around 19 feet all the way up to yacht-certified models over 26 feet long! Each model comes with plenty of features that will certainly satisfy all your needs for an enjoyable voyage. 

For this particular example, we took a look at the 187 model. This model definitely provides the most bang for your buck without sacrificing any features. 

Even for a boat that is a smaller model, the Sundeck 187 OB provided plenty of space. Even when we had the maximum number of people on it, it wont feel overcrowded. And, for those wondering, you can fit up to ten people in this very spacious deck boat. It’s excellent for large families or friendly gatherings.

The upholstery and seating on this boat were very high-quality. The front of the boat has a special feature known as a sunpad, which is essentially a sunbathing area. It turns the front deck of the boat into one big, very comfortable cushion. The spacious areas are a joy to lounge around in, not to mention that it has a very nice speaker system.

This boat also has plenty of storage space. There is a locker in the back of the ship, stowage under the windshield cowl on either side and, most importantly, a 25-quart cooler! Additionally, there is a wet locker on the port side if you need a place to store wet clothes.

You can get a few other things, leisure-wise, that are included in different packages when you buy the boat. These features include snap-in carpeting, removable mini-dining tables, and some other electronics. These minor additions should only be bought if you want the most luxurious experience with your boat. 

Driving this boat is an excellent experience. Deck boats are already swift and easy to maneuver because of their hull design, but because this model is so much lighter than the others, it makes it that much easier to control. You’ll be able to carve your way through tight turns and take lightning-fast trips around the lake in this boat. If you’re a driver that loves a fast boat, you’ll get plenty of enjoyment out of this one. 

For water sports enthusiasts, this boat comes with a ski tow line. An optional package for the boat includes a wakeboard tower, board racks, and a bimini top. 

For anglers, there is a package just for you. It only comes with an optional fishing seat as well as a trolling motor. Sadly, this boat doesn’t come with any other fishing features such as rod holders, but the optional package is enough for casual fishers. 

Something we were surprised to see that wasn’t immediately included with the boat was some sort of swim platform. It comes with a ladder, but a swim platform had to be purchased in an extra optional package. 


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