affordable boats 2024

10 Cheap, Affordable Boats for 2024

Written by Lenny Rudow
May 3, 2022

Last Updated on May 22, 2024 by Boatsetter Team

Say ‘cheap boats’ and many people get the wrong impression, because they often think that ‘cheap’ equates to poor quality. That’s too bad because in reality, the most affordable boats on the water today are usually quite well built.

Modern standards are high and although these boats may be very simple and utilitarian, their owners tend to love them. Plus, simple, inexpensive boats are easy to maintain, easy to operate, and have very low operational expenses. On top of all that you can defray what expenses there are—and potentially even make a profit—by allowing other people to rent your boat. But, what constitutes a cheap boat in the first place?

While $10,000 isn’t exactly chump change it’s a tiny sum in the world of boat-buying. So for the purposes of this post, we’ll use that as our price ceiling and stick with looking at boats under 10K (listed alphabetically from A to Z).

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1. Bass Pro Shops Pond Prowler 8

Bass Pro Shops Pond Prowler 8

With a list cost of $619.99 this is just about the cheapest boat you’re likely to run across. True, you’ll want to spend $300 or so to get an electric trolling motor and a battery, but for anglers who fish alone on small bodies of water the Bass Pro Shops Pond Prowler 8 will get the job done.

It has a swivel seat, recessed beverage and tackle holders, bow and stern motor mounts, and is pre-wired for electric motors. The polyethylene hull and deck material is virtually indestructible, and with a footprint just eight feet long and four feet wide, you can slide this 100-pound fishing machine right into the back of a pickup truck.

  • MSRP: $629.99

Visit Bass Pro Shops to learn more.


2. Gheenoe 16 Super

Gheenoe 16 Super

The Gheenoe 16 Super is sort of like a boat crossed with a canoe, with a canoe-like entry that widens aft to a 4’7” beam. That gives it plenty of room for a pair of people, and since these boats are most commonly used for fishing, the 16 Super comes with swiveling pedestal seats, rod holders, and an aerated livewell.

MSRP is $6,100 and a trailer adds another $2,525 so there’s some cash left in the budget for an outboard, and the 16 Super can take up to 40 HP. Note that this is also one of the few boats in this roundup which can also be rigged with a console (an additional $625) and can be steered with a wheel as opposed to a tiller arm.

  • MSRP: $6,100 (without a motor or trailer)

Visit Gheenoe Boats to learn more.


3. Hobie Mirage Compass Duo

Hobie Mirage Compass Duo

The Hobie Mirage Compass Duo may be svelte with a beam of just under three feet, but its 13’6” length is capable of handling bigger waters than one might imagine. It’s propelled by human power via Hobie’s Mirage Drive pedal-and-fins system and with two people pedaling, can move along at jogging speeds. Plus, since you don’t need to buy a motor this tandem kayak’s list cost of $3,999 is all you’ll need to spend.

The Mirage Compass Duo also comes with four tracks installed so you can add items like fishing rod holders or cupholders to customize the boat as you please.

  • MSRP: $3,999

Visit Hobie to learn more.


4. Lowe 1032 Jon

Lowe 1032 Jon

The Lowe 1032 Jon is one of the most affordable aluminum boats you’ll ever find. True, it’s very small with a length of just 10’3” and a beam of four feet. Capacity is limited to 180 pounds, and maximum power is a mere 3.5 HP. But price is off-the-charts affordable with an MSRP of $1,089.

Spend a few hundred dollars for an electric motor or closer to $1,000 for a miniature gas motor, and you can afford to buy an entire fleet without breaking our price ceiling. Wait a sec—what about a trailer? Why bother with one? At 80 pounds it’s easy enough to shove the 1032 into the back of a pick-up, or even on top of a car’s roof rack.

  • MSRP: $1,089

Visit Lowe Boats to learn more.


5. Lund 1648 Jon Boat

Lund 1648 Jon Boat

Boatbuilder Lund is known for making aluminum boats of all shapes and sizes, and while they have smaller, even more affordable boats, their 1648 Jon goes for a hair over $4,000 and has a lot of capabilities for the price. Add in a trailer and a 20 horse outboard, and you’ll still be well under the 10K mark while enjoying a roomy 15’9” Jon boat with two bench seats and enough power to cruise at over 20 MPH even with a couple of people aboard.

This boat has a flat bottom design so it’s stable (though it could be a bit bumpy in open waters when the waves kick up), and its light 275-pound weight means that you could also power it with an electric motor for use on small bodies of water.

  • MSRP: $4,076

Visit Lund Boats to learn more.


6. Sea Eagle 14 SR

sea eagle 14 sr

Sea Eagle builds inflatable kayaks, fishing boats, and tenders, and their 14 SR can be had on the cheap. Plus, no trailer is necessary because when your day of boating is done you can simply deflate the boat, roll it up, and stuff it in the trunk of your car. Features include five air chambers, an aluminum bench seat, oars, a carry bag, a patch kit, and a foot pump. The 14 SR has an unusual perk, too, in that it has a patented inflatable drop-stitch keel that assists in tracking and handling. Sea Eagle sells their boats in different packages so in this case you could go stripped and pay the bare minimum, or choose a complete package (which includes a 9.9 HP Honda outboard and additional seating) for $5,999 and still go home with money in your pocket.

  • MSRP: $3,149

Visit Sea Eagle to learn more.


7. Sea-Doo Spark

seadoo spark

Personal watercrafts count as boats, too, and the Sea-Doo Spark is an eminently affordable PWC. Starting at a $6,999 MSRP, the Spark was improved for the 2024 model year with a new look and styling, an 4.5-inch LCD gauge display, and padded reboarding points to make climbing on more comfortable. The base version blasts across the water’s surface with up to two people aboard thanks to a 60 HP Rotax 900 ACE engine. The Spark’s Polytec hull is rugged and light and has an integrated 0.71-gallon glove box.

Pony up another $1,300 and you can get the “3 Up” version, which has seating for three people and boasts a larger 900 HP Rotax engine. Both models also have a tow hook so you can pull the kids around the lake on tow-toys.

  • MSRP: $6,999

Visit Sea-Doo to learn more.

8. Princecraft Starfish 156 WT

While the Princecraft Starfish 156 WT is a simple, straightforward, modified-V aluminum boat, it also is a cut above the norm for boats of this nature. It has unusual seating with two benches aft, a split center bench, and one bench seat in the bow, plus an integrated stowage compartment, a deployable reboarding ladder, and a fish ruler. It’s also built from 5052 H36 marine grade aluminum that’s .072” thick in the bottom, .061” thick in the sides, and features double plating at the chines. True, you’ll need to spend a couple thousand more to power the boat, but 15 horses will be plenty of juice so you can put together the package and still come in under the $10,000 budget ceiling.

  • MSRP: est. $6,672

Visit Starcraft Marine to learn more.

9. Sun Dolphin Pro 120

Sun Dolphin Pro 120

Boats made of rotomolded polyethylene have an advantage over aluminum or fiberglass in that they’re nearly indestructible and essentially maintenance-free. One such utility craft that can take heavy-duty abuse, be put away wet, and will still look and work great is the Sun Dolphin American 12 Jon. This 110-pound, 12’ long poly Jon boat comes with a limited lifetime warranty and has several molded-in features like bench seats, drink holders, oarlock sockets, and fishing rod holders. You can power it with an electric motor and a battery or drop on a gasoline outboard up to six HP then add in a trailer, and the entire package shouldn’t get much north of $5,000.

  • MSRP: est. $699

Visit Sun Dolphin to learn more.

10. Tracker Grizzly 1648 Jon

Tracker Grizzly 1754 Jon

The all-welded Tracker Grizzly 1648 Jon costs just a hair under $7,000 with a trailer and you can complete the package by adding a 15-hp outboard (which generally costs under $3,000). While the boat won’t exactly be a speed demon you’ll be able to get on plane with a couple of people aboard and head for the fishing grounds.

This model has a lockable bowdeck compartment, 0.10” thick aluminum plating in the hull and a 0.190” thick aluminum deck, a seven-degree modified-V hull, and the interior is coated in textured Sure Tread nonskid liner. This is one of the few options within our price range to include a lockable stowage compartment, and the 1648 Jon also has fore and aft pedestal seat bases.

  • MSRP: $4,995

Visit Tracker Boats to learn more.

No matter what your financial status may be, there’s a very good chance that you’ll find one or more of these cheap boats affordable. And don’t forget, if the finances are tight or you just feel like making an extra buck or two you can always rent your boat to help cover the cost of buying it.

Learn How to Offset the Cost of Boat Ownership by Listing Your Boat with Boatsetter

Editor’s Note: Pricing is accurate as last date of publish, May 3, 2022. Please contact each boat manufacturer or your local boat dealer directly for the most updated pricing.

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