Bowriders may be the quintessential family boat, with room for typically eight or more passengers spread between the main seating area, or “cockpit”, and an additional forward seating, or “bow cockpit”, located forward of the driver’s seat, or “helm”. That added real estate forward of the driver not only adds passenger space, it creates two distinct areas for socializing. The bowrider’s classic V-shaped bottom, or “hull”, also provides a confident ride in a variety of water conditions.

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… which activities you'll most enjoy
Versatility is the hallmark of most bowriders. They can be used for entertaining friends on a shoreline cruise, joining the crew at the nearest cove or sandbar, towable watersports, stopping at your favourite waterfront eatery, even fishing. Look for a wraparound windshield to shelter passengers in the main cockpit from the elements, onboard cooler (or designated cooler storage) to bring food and drinks along for the ride, and plenty of storage below the seats. For watersports, a secure location to tie the rope between the boat and the rider (the towrope) is essential. Many bowriders feature a small, round metal attachment on the back on the boat, also called a transom tow eye. Another option is an elevated watersports tower that positions the towrope higher off the water and provides additional rack space for skis and boards.
… which engine is right for your boat.
Sterndrive power is the go-to engine for most bowrider manufacturers. Sterndrives tuck the engine below a lounge area (sunpad) or the engine box at the back of the boat, and allow for an easily accessible and uninterrupted swim platform.

Jet power is another popular alternative. Jets have no exposed propeller, relying instead on an enclosed impeller and jet nozzle to deliver the engine’s thrust. Jets typically can venture into shallower waters, boast rapid acceleration, and feature nimble handling.

Outboard power has seen a resurgence in recent years. Quiet and easy to service, outboards create additional cockpit room and storage space by positioning the engine behind the back of the boat off the transom. Outboards can also be fully lifted or “trimmed”, out of the water.

Quick Stats

  • watersports
  • day cruising
  • 10 max
  • 4.9 - 10.7 m (16 - 35 ft)
  • outboard engine
  • sterndrive engine
  • jet engine
  • trailerable