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Top 5 Best Boats for Lake Michigan

Top 5 Best Boats for Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is a breathtaking freshwater lake located in the northern United States. With its crystal-clear waters, stunning shoreline, and ample boating and water sports opportunities, it’s no wonder that many boating enthusiasts flock to this beautiful destination. If you’re planning to explore the wonders of Lake Michigan, choosing the right boat is crucial for an enjoyable and safe experience. In this article, we’ll discuss the best boats that are well-suited for Lake Michigan and the factors to consider when making your decision.

1. Axopar 28 Cabin

Dressed in an impressive blend of contemporary style and outstanding performance, the Axopar 28 Cabin is no less than a marvel on water. Equipped with state-of-the-art design, it showcases an aesthetic that merges sophistication with a dash of daring. One of the key highlights of the Axopar 28 Cabin is its exceptional fuel efficiency, thanks to the twin-stepped 20-degree V-bottom hull design. Notably, its galvanizing ability to glide over the waves makes it a winner among seafarers. Furthermore, its low-end torque offers swift acceleration and impressive top speed, ensuring the smoothest possible voyage at all times.

The invitingly broad walk-around deck of the Axopar 28 Cabin truly embodies luxury seafaring. The helm station is nothing short of next-generation sophistication, outfitted with Simrad navigation equipment for a seamless cruising experience. The boat houses a grand cabin with plush accommodations, equipped with comfortable seating for five individuals, making it perfectly suited for a journey of leisure and contagious joy. The eye-catching cabin also features a retractable roof, allowing passengers to tailor their experience based on the conditions of the sea and sky.

Lastly, the Axopar 28 Cabin is all about smartly crafted amenities – tailored to meet your innate needs. The separate head, placed discretely below the console, adds to the convenience, including a foredeck seating area that transforms into a sun bed, simply heightening the leisure quotient. Its innovative and thoughtful design caters to your desires, whether you’re a hard-core fisherman, a thrill-seeker, or someone who truly appreciates the blend of style and functionality. Put simply, the Axopar 28 Cabin, with its avant-garde design, stellar performance, and luxurious comfort, is your floating weekend getaway.

Axopar 28 Cabin

2. AR250 – Yamaha Boats

Discover the thrill of lake adventure with the remarkable AR250, a special boat designed by Yamaha. This boat is driven by two powerful Yamaha 1.8L engines, making it both quick and steady on the water. It’s perfect for all kinds of weather and water conditions on Lake Michigan. With its winning blend of speed and stability, it’s always ready to take you on a safe and fun ride.

The AR250 stands out from the crowd with its generous space and luxurious design. It has a spacious bow area and a flexible rear lounge for friends and family to relax. Plus, it features a built-in swim platform. This means you can easily and safely enjoy all the water activities offered by Lake Michigan. Whether you want to swim, sunbathe, or admire the view, the AR250 has something to offer everyone onboard.

Yamaha has equipped the AR250 with smart features for a comfortable and enjoyable ride. The boat deck includes a smart control system, Connext®, that ensures safe and smooth sailing. Also, it has a technology called Quiet Cruise. This reduces noise, letting you enjoy the peaceful sounds of the waters of Lake Michigan. From its dependable performance to its stunning looks, the AR250 is ready to make every journey across the lake a memorable one.

AR250 Yamaha Boats

3. Riva 66′ Ribelle

The Riva 66′ Ribelle is a breathtaking symbol of nautical brilliance, crafted by the renowned Riva Yachts. With its power and grace, the Ribelle rules both calm and rough waters. Beneath its elegant exterior rests two mighty engines, offering impressive speed and smooth sailing. Intricate features and top-notch engineering make it a superstar on any water body, turning heads and drawing admiring glances wherever it goes.

Space and luxury go hand in hand in Ribelle’s thoughtful design. Every inch of this yacht screams comfort and grandeur, from the spacious deck and lounge areas to the plush cabins. Invite friends for a sunset dinner or enjoy a serene trip with your family; the Ribelle is there to make every moment count. The generous swim platform further enhances fun maritime activities, allowing safe and easy access to the water.

However, the Ribelle isn’t just about performance and aesthetics – it’s also about a seamless, enjoyable experience on the water. Its intelligent control system makes navigation seem almost instinctive, and its quiet cruise technology ensures a peaceful journey free from disruptive noises. Benefit from the Ribelle’s advanced technology while soaking up the luxury of its well-appointed interiors. Floating on the Ribelle is an encounter with elegance — an experience that leaves lasting memories.

Riva 66' Ribelle

4. Pershing 70

Experience an oceanic adventure like no other with the awe-inspiring Pershing 70, a masterwork of Pershing Yachts. Production of this spectacular motor yacht started back in 2014, marking a significant milestone in the world of naval design. The Pershing 70 is an imposing figure on the open seas, boasting a substantial length of 21.44 meters. Its hardtop and semi-enclosed saloon ensure luxury and comfort while cruising the waters, providing an unmatched sea experience.

The yacht caters to your every need with three meticulously designed guest cabins. It also manages to maintain grace and agility with an optimal 1.35-meter draft. Hitting speeds of up to 46 knots, the Pershing 70 redefines the meaning of speed in luxury yachting. It brilliantly melds the thrill of high-speed sailing with serene cruising capabilities.

Built with a robust fiberglass hull and carrying a CE certification class (A), this yacht reassures safety and robustness. It can effortlessly handle the diverse moods of the open ocean, ensuring your peace of mind throughout every journey. Please note that the Pershing 70 is no longer in production, and the price varies for any surviving models. 

Pershing 70

5. Ferretti Yachts 550

Launched at the prestigious 2014 Cannes Yachting Festival, the Ferretti Yachts 550 represents a pivotal achievement for Ferretti Yachts. This 55-footer beauty bears the mark of collaborative excellence between the AYT&D and Studio Zuccon International Project, showcasing a brand-new hull and overhauled layout designs for the engine room, main deck, and interior.

The Ferretti Yachts 550 hypnotizes with its sleek, streamlined silhouette, infused with a sporty charm. The yacht’s design punctuates space and functionality, boasting spacious interiors and technologically advanced onboard features. It flaunts an array of relaxation spaces, made remarkable by the unique Made-in-Italy style that runs through the yacht’s décor.

Engineered for maximum production efficiency and optimal weight balance, the Yachts 550 ensures top-notch performance even with its compact, light engines. Its seamless indoor-outdoor design and luxurious relaxation areas on the flybridge redefine comfort, making the Ferretti Yachts 550 an impressive choice for those seeking a high-quality, unforgettable seafaring experience.

Ferretti Yachts 550

Key Considerations for Selecting the Perfect Boat for Lake Michigan Adventures

Before we explore some of the top boat options for Lake Michigan, let’s first examine the critical aspects to keep in mind that can significantly shape your decision. These thoughtful considerations include the size and style of the boat, its stability and ease of navigation, resilience to changing weather conditions, and integrated safety features.

1. Lake Michigan’s sheer magnitude, spanning approximately 22,400 square miles, naturally requires a boat proportional to its vastness and suited for your intended water activities. Opt for compact boats like bowriders or pontoons for a casual day of cruising or fishing. On the other hand, for extended stays on the lake, consider larger vessels like cruisers or cuddy cabins, offering additional comfort and space.

2. Given Lake Michigan’s expansive nature, stability, and maneuverability become key traits for your ideal boat. Choose a boat that can confidently tackle the lake’s waves and varying wind conditions. Boats boasting deep V-hull designs or hulls engineered specifically for choppy waters enhance stability and secure a smoother nautical journey.

3. The dynamic weather patterns of Lake Michigan necessitate a sturdy and adaptive boat. Those constructed from robust materials such as fiberglass or aluminum hulls are well-prepared to weather the lake’s unpredictable climatic shifts. Additionally, features like cabins or bimini tops offer protection from unexpected showers or intense sunlight.

4. Finally, safety should be considered when choosing your Lake Michigan boat. Seek out boats equipped with essential safety gear such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, navigation lights, and a trusty communication system. For added protection during turbulent weather, consider a boat equipped with a self-draining cockpit to keep water build-up at bay.


In conclusion, investing thoughtfully is essential when choosing among the best boats for Lake Michigan. Considering the lake’s expanse, the boat’s size, stability, resilience to changing weather, and safety features can significantly enhance your boating experience. Whether you’re embarking on a leisurely cruise, a fishing adventure, or planning for overnight stays, the right selection will ensure memorable experiences on the waves of Lake Michigan. Remember, your ideal boat should be a perfect blend of comfort, safety, and adaptability to let you enjoy every second of your nautical adventures.


What size boat should I get for Lake Michigan?

The size of the boat will depend on your specific needs. If you want to go fishing, then a smaller boat is needed. You will need a larger boat to take a crowd out on the water.

The boat size also depends on how far out you want to go. The further you want to go, the bigger the boat needs to be. The size of the boat will also depend on how many people will be using it. You will need a smaller boat if only one or two people use the boat. If many people use the boat, you will need a larger one.

The size of the boat also depends on how many amenities you want in the boat. If you want a lot of extras in your boat, you will need to get a larger boat. The size of the boat also depends on how often you will be using the boat. You will need a bigger, more durable boat if you use the boat a lot.

What do you need to operate a boat in Michigan?

To operate a Michigan boat, you must have a few things prepared. You need a boat that is at least 20 feet in length.

It would be best if you avoided boats smaller than 15 feet in the off-season and during the season to avoid being tossed around. Make sure you have a lot of preparation before you go out on the water, especially if it is rough.

What do I need for my boat to be legal in Michigan?

You must have all your safety equipment, including a fire extinguisher, life jackets for each person on the boat, and flares. In addition, you must have your registration number displayed on the bow of your boat.

Operating a motorboat must be registered with the state and display a number on each side of the bow. You must also have an identification number on the motor.

How long does it take to drive a boat across Lake Michigan?

Driving across Lake Michigan on the Great Lakes takes about three and a half hours.

How do I get a boat on Lake Michigan?

You can bring your boat, or you can rent one. You must have a driver’s license to operate the boat. If you rent a boat, you must sign a rental contract. The person who rents the boat must be at least 18 years old.