Skip to Content

6 Must-Have Features for the Best Lake Boat

6 Must-Have Features for the Best Lake Boat

If you’re in the market for a lake boat, it’s essential to consider the features that will make your boating experience safe, enjoyable, and comfortable. With so many different types of boats and features available, it can be challenging to know what to look for. However, there are some must-have features that can make a significant difference in the quality of your time on the water. In this article, we’ll discuss six essential features that the best lake boats should have. Considering these features, you can narrow your choices and find the perfect boat for your needs.

The six must-have features of the best lake boats

Size and Capacity

Size and capacity are two important considerations when choosing the best lake boat. Depending on the size of your crew and the type of activities you plan to do on the lake, the size and capacity of your boat will play a major role in ensuring you have a safe and enjoyable experience. For instance, smaller boats may have limited storage space, so you may need to choose a larger model to accommodate all your items.

On the other hand, a large boat may require a bigger engine and more horsepower than smaller models, so you’ll need to consider this as well. Lastly, if you plan to anchor your boat, you’ll want to make sure the anchor is strong enough to hold the boat in one place, so you should research the type of anchor and its weight capacity. By considering all these factors, you can determine the size and capacity requirements for the best lake boat.

Safety Features

When it comes to safety features needed in lake boats, there are several essential items to consider. A first aid kit with a solid case should be stowed on board, as well as a fire extinguisher, dock lines, buoys, boat fenders, anchors, a VHF radio, a knife, a snorkel mask, a heavy-duty flashlight, a skier or diver down flag, working running lights, and a way to get weather updates. Additionally, it is crucial to ensure the boat has enough life jackets for all adults and children on board and to wear UPF and quick-dry clothing such as a sun shirt, sun hat, and comfortable bottoms. To ensure the highest level of safety, it is also recommended to take a boating course.

children wearing life jackets on vacation to an island before entering a boat for island hopping

Comfort and Convenience Features

When selecting a boat for lake cruising, it’s important to consider comfort and convenience features that will make your time on the water more enjoyable. Modern pontoon boats come with several features to make them more comfortable and convenient for passengers.

One of the essential features is a bimini top, which provides shade from the sun and allows you to escape the heat. Many pontoons also have powered biminis for even more convenience. Other amenities, such as cupholders at every seat, LED lighting, and rear loungers, also give passengers an enjoyable experience.

Finally, many modern pontoons come with USB chargers standard throughout the pontoon, as well as wireless charging pads for the driver to use. This ensures that you can always have access to a charged cell phone whenever you need it out on the water.

Comfortable Seating

When it comes to lake boating, comfort is vital. Comfortable seating can make or break the quality of your experience, as it affects the amount of time you can spend on the water without feeling uncomfortable or tired. Comfortable seating also helps ensure your safety and enjoyment, as a good seat allows you to focus on the activities without worrying about your position in the boat. Pontoon boats are perfect for lake cruising thanks to their wide, stable design and ample passenger seating. Other boats, such as cabin cruisers, bowriders, yachts, sailboats, and deck boats, are also great for lake cruising and should offer comfortable seating, shade for passengers, and a swim platform with ladders.

A woman with a water flask seated on a motorboat travelling along a waterway.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is an important feature to consider when buying a lake boat, as it can significantly reduce annual fuel, storage, and maintenance costs. Fuel efficiency is significant for larger boats requiring more fuel, as these costs can add up quickly. Trawlers are an excellent choice for lake boating, as they feature a displacement hull for smoother navigation and fuel-efficient engines. Additionally, certain boats, such as pontoon boats, are designed to be more economical to operate, as they don’t require much horsepower or fuel to travel across the lake. When selecting the best lake boat for your family, fuel efficiency should be taken into consideration to ensure you get the best value for your money.


While aesthetics may not be the most important factor when choosing a lake boat, they are still important. Aesthetics can influence how enjoyable your boating experience is and how much you use and enjoy your boat.

One reason why aesthetics matter in a lake boat is that a boat that looks good can make you feel good. A boat with an attractive design, color scheme, and overall appearance can create a sense of pride and satisfaction in the owner. This can lead to a more positive boating experience and encourage you to use your boat more often.

In addition to the emotional benefits, aesthetics can also impact the boat’s functionality. For example, the boat’s color can affect its visibility in the water, making it easier for other boaters to see and avoid. The boat’s design can also impact its performance, such as its speed, handling, and fuel efficiency.

Aesthetics can also influence how other people perceive your boat. If you plan to use your boat for entertaining or socializing, a well-designed and attractive boat can create a positive impression on your guests. It can also make your boat stand out on the water and make it easier to find among other boats.

Catamaran motor yacht on the ocean


How do I make my boating experience more fun?

Having the right equipment on board is a great way to make a boating experience more fun. This includes items for safety, maintenance, and recreational activities. For safety, make sure you have life jackets and other safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers. To keep your boat running smoothly, have the necessary tools and essential items for maintenance, such as a bottle opener, wine corkscrew, and other small tools. For recreational activities, items like water guns, sand toys, balls, Frisbees, and other toys can provide entertainment while out on the water. Additionally, don’t forget to bring a cooler with food, drinks, and plenty of water to stay hydrated. Finally, familiarizing yourself with local laws and regulations and taking a boating course can help you stay safe and have fun on the lake.

What are the best features to look for in a lake boat?

Several features are essential for a comfortable and safe experience when looking for a great lake boat. Look for a boat that is the right size for the lake, with plenty of seating and adequate power and range. Additionally, if you plan to spend time waterskiing, wakeboarding and other watersports, ensure the boat has a swimming platform and ladders for easy re-entry. Boats with large decks, premium sound systems, and plenty of comfort features are ideal for lake cruising, while flat-bottomed boats are best for shallow water. Consider the transportation and storage options for your boat, and if you plan to take trips in the ocean, opt for a sturdier boat with a deeper draft than freshwater. When deciding on the best boat, consider the consumer satisfaction reports, overall boat performance, great features, and boat functionality.

What is the difference between a pontoon boat and a bowrider?

Pontoon boats and bowriders are two of the most popular boat styles today. Pontoon boats are great for cruising and entertaining, offering plenty of seating and room for activities. They have flat hulls that make them incredibly stable, perfect for families with small children. Additionally, Scout Boats offers luxurious and comfortable rides. On the other hand, bowriders are sleek and versatile, making them well-suited to a range of activities. The rounded V-shaped bow of a deck boat gives it more space, allowing for more seating and making it great for entertaining, fishing, or enjoying the sun. Bowriders can also be more expensive than other cruisers like the pontoon, and their open seating area limits the boat to lovely weather days.

What type of outboard motor is best for lake cruising?

When it comes to outboard motors for lake cruising, the best type is one that is reliable, powerful, and fuel-efficient. These motors are designed to offer an outstanding balance between power and fuel efficiency, making them an excellent choice for lake cruising. They are also designed to be low maintenance, so they won’t require costly repairs. Yamaha is an excellent option for outboard motors on a lake, as their engines are built to last and are backed by a solid warranty. If you want a powerful motor that won’t break the bank, Yamaha is a great choice.

What is the best hull design for lake cruising?

When choosing the best lake boat for cruising, one should consider the type of hull design that is best suited for the lake. Pontoon boats are excellent for lake cruising because they provide a wide, stable platform with plenty of seating and comfort. Additionally, deck boats, bowriders, and cabin cruisers are also great for lake cruising due to their sleek hull designs that allow for comfortable and luxurious rides on the lake. A flat-bottomed boat designed for shallow water would be best for those looking for a boat to perform watersports.

Are pontoon boats better for cruising or watersports?

Both! Pontoon boats are incredibly versatile, offering a relaxing cruise and the option of fishing, watersports, and more. Pontoons are well known for their spacious seating and standing areas, making them perfect for entertaining and use in inland lakes, rivers, and small bodies of water. For those looking for comfort, stability, and versatility on the lake, pontoon boats are the leading choice for various activities, from skiing and tubing to fishing and cruising. With a pontoon boat, you can enjoy a day of watersports, freshwater fishing, and cruising on the lake in luxury and comfort.

How do center console boats compare to other lake boats?

Center console lake boats are famous for their versatility and comfort, offering a tremendous recreational boat for family and friends. These boats are designed to part waves, providing a safe and comfortable ride over longer distances. They are equipped with extensive fishing accessories, bait wells, rod holders, fish lockers, outriggers, and comfort and family features like cushioned seating, stereo systems, USB ports, and cup holders. Dual console boats are also popular, providing a helm console on one side and a companion console on the other with plenty of family-friendly features and comfort. Pontoon boats are another excellent option for lake cruising and offer wide and stable seating, shade for passengers, and a swimming platform with ladders. These boats are great for lake activities and provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

What type of materials are used for lake boats?

The materials used for lake boats vary depending on the manufacturer and the boat’s intended activities. Most boats for lake activities are made from fiberglass and wood, as these materials are affordable and durable. Fiberglass is a lightweight but strong material that offers superior protection from corrosion and is often used to create the hull, which is the main body of the boat. Wood is a more traditional material that is often used for the decks and interior of the boat. However, some newer models may also use composite materials such as carbon fiber. In addition, some boats may feature metal components such as stainless steel or aluminum, often used for frames and supports.

What is the ideal size for a lake boat?

When looking for the ideal size for a lake boat, it is important to consider the size of the lake, the activities you plan to pursue, and your budget. Smaller boats, such as runabouts, are great for use on smaller lakes, while larger boats, such as cabin cruisers and cuddy cabins, are more suitable for larger bodies of water. Yamaha produces good boats ranging from 19 to 24 feet long and features a central console well-suited for fishing and other outdoor activities. The Regency 250 LE3 is a great lake boat with a 10.8 ft length and 300HP motor, with plenty of seating and comfort features. Ultimately, the right size and type of boat for your lake will depend on the specific conditions and the activities you plan to do.