Best Yacht Brands by Type.

Best Yacht Brands by Type

Written by Zuzana Prochazka
July 8, 2023

Last Updated on July 12, 2023 by Boatsetter Team

Qualifying something as “best” needs an explanation. Is it considered to be the best because it’s the largest or most popular, has the highest quality, is the best value, or is perfect for a specific use?

That’s why it’s hard to decide which are the best yachts on the market today. Beneteau may be the largest volume boat builder in the world, and Viking may be best known for sportfishing designs but how do we qualify what’s “best” in each category?

For our purposes here, let’s delve into the best yacht brands by type and then mention some brand names in each group that you’re most likely to see on the water.

Post summary:

  • Sailboats
  • Multihulls
  • Runabouts & bowriders
  • Cruising motor yachts
  • Distance cruisers & trawlers
  • Center consoles
  • Sportfishing yachts

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Sailboats, also known as a sailing yacht or a sailcraft, is a water vessel designed to harness the power of the wind to propel itself across the water. These vessels come in various sizes and configurations.

  • Nautor’s Swan
  • Hallberg-Rassy
  • Oyster
  • J-Boats
  • X-Yachts
  • Hanse
  • Beneteau
  • Jeanneau
  • Dufour
  • Moody
  • Dehler
  • Grand Soleil

Pro Tip: You can search for boats by brand on Boatsetter. Once you select the location you’d like to browse for boat rentals, you’ll see a filter bar at the top of the results. Click ‘Filters’ and scroll down until you see ‘Boat manufacturers.’ Click on all you’d like to see.

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Multihulls come with two (catamarans) and three (trimarans) hulls and can be either sail or powerboats (some brands build both):

  • HH Catamarans
  • McConaghy
  • Balance
  • Kinetic
  • Outremer
  • Xquisite
  • Nautitech
  • Fountaine Pajot (both power and sail versions)
  • Leopard (both power and sail versions)
  • Lagoon
  • Excess
  • Sunreef
  • NEIL (sail trimaran)
  • LEEN (power trimaran)
  • World Cat (smaller power fishing)
  • Aspen (smaller power cruising and fishing)

Runabouts & bowriders


Small open boats come in many flavors with open or closed bows and on-deck amenities. They may be used as standalone boats or even tenders to superyachts and they can’t be pigeonholed into one type or one use:

  • Sea Ray
  • Chris-Craft
  • Cobalt
  • Four Winns
  • Chaparral
  • Scout
  • Formula
  • Regal
  • Monterey
  • Fairline

Learn more about bowriders

Cruising motor yachts

Cruising motor yacht.

This category generally includes motorized yachts 40-80 feet. Lots of boats (not all designed for an identical purpose) share this space including cabin cruisers, express cruisers, sedans, and so forth:

  • Azimut
  • Absolute
  • Sunseeker
  • Jeanneau Prestige
  • Jeanneau Leader
  • Beneteau Monte Carlo
  • Cruisers
  • Tiara
  • Sabre
  • MJM
  • Axopar

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Distance cruisers & trawlers


Distance cruisers, trawlers, and expedition yachts are usually slower but have an exceptional range as they travel the coastlines or the oceans of the world:

  • Nordhavn
  • Grand Banks
  • Krogen
  • Outer Reef
  • Ocean Alexander
  • Beneteau Swift
  • Ranger Tugs
  • Nordic Tugs
  • American Tug

Pro Tip: Yachts are one of the most popular boats, and boat-sharing makes it possible for anyone to get on one for a fraction of the cost. If you own a yacht, this is good business for you! List your yacht and start making an extra income by renting it out.

Center consoles

Center console.

Center console boats are typically used for fishing although many today are doing double duty as family entertainers:

  • Boston Whaler
  • Grady-White
  • Everglades
  • Intrepid
  • Pursuit
  • See Vee
  • Valhalla
  • Yellowfin
  • Contender
  • Regulator

Rental local center console boats

Sportfishing yachts

Sportfishing yacht.

These offshore boats tend to travel great distances to their fishing grounds and hunt for bigger species:

  • Hatteras
  • Bertram
  • Viking
  • Albemarle
  • Bayliss
  • Cabo

Check out the hottest boats in the market at Boat Types, and make sure to scroll through Boat Guides to find your next boating destination.

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