Bowrider vs. Deck Boat: What Are the Differences?
Go for a ride on the water today, and you’re bound to come across a bowrider or deck boat.
Both have been around for decades, and both boat types make great choices for first-time boaters, families, and people who want a boat that they can use for almost anything.
Although many similarities can be found when comparing a bowrider to a deck boat, the difference between the two can make one or the other a better choice depending on the buyer’s boating lifestyle.
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How are bowriders and deck boats alike?
For those who don’t want a cabin for shade or to change in private, bowriders and deck boats offer the ability to take more people along to enjoy some time on the water.
These boats are typically built with traditional fiberglass V-shaped hulls and provide greater seating capacity and deck space for passengers. They also offer similar power options, such as outboard engines or inboard-outboard packages, and even twin engine configurations in bigger models.
Okay, but what are their main differences?
Bowriders and deck boats are different in many ways.
Bowriders are one of the most popular boat rentals in the market. People looking to buy a new boat typically pick up a bowrider for its modest size and price.
Pro Boat Type Tip: Bowriders can be hauled with midsized vehicles like a Jeep Grand Cherokee or Toyota Tacoma.
You can find them between 16 and 30 feet in length and even larger! Like any boat, a bigger bowrider provides more passenger capacity, features, and horsepower.
Bowriders look like runabouts; they share a sleek and sporty design with a windshield that covers the boat’s width and seating that can accommodate six or more people in the aft section, depending on the size of the boat.
Where bowriders differ from runabout styles is the feature that gives them their name – the additional seating in the bow or front of the boat, which can be accessed by walking forward through the open windshield. The bow seating in a smaller boat can offer space for an additional four or more people.
Often lighter and more agile than a deck boat, many bowriders can be the better choice when lower seating capacity and higher performance creates the best results.
READ MORE: Everything You Need to Know About Bowriders
One of the main distinctions of deck boats is the square bow which makes for more floor space and seating in the front. This design also makes it easier to enter or leave the boat from the bow.
Most deck boats have longer bow sections than bowriders, which can accommodate seating styles like lounges. A square bow design means an open floor plan, making it easier to move around.
While deck boats may have more space, they typically have a lower freeboard than bowriders, which are great for families with small children.
READ MORE: Everything You Need to Know About Deck Boats
There’s a lot to know before purchasing your boat, but there’s no better way of knowing other than first-hand experience. Rent a deck boat or bowrider for half-day or for a full day. When you buy your own boat, we’ll help you pay it off by listing it on Boatsetter.
Boatsetter is a unique boat-sharing platform that gives everyone — whether you own a boat or you’re just renting — the chance to experience life on the water. You can list a boat, book a boat, or make money as a captain.
Chuck Warren fell in love with boats at 9 years old while helping to restore his grandfather’s 1939 44-foot Elco cruiser. A lifelong boater, Chuck has experience operating large and small vessels on the waters of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and the Great Lakes.
During his 35-year marine industry career, Chuck has been the driver for several offshore powerboat racing teams, the chief engineer aboard a Caribbean research and salvage vessel, captain of a Florida Keys sunset cruise, and more.
Today, Chuck is a boating industry writer, copywriter, and captain who lives on his 40-foot boat in the summer when he isn’t delivering vessels around the Great Lakes or teaching new boaters to drive. Winters are split between the West Michigan lakeshore and wherever his travels take him.