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Top Lake Boats for Large Groups: A Complete Guide to Choosing the Right One

Top Lake Boats for Large Groups: A Complete Guide to Choosing the Right One

Are you looking for the perfect boat to take your large group out on the lake? There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a boat for yourself and your friends or family. This guide will help you choose the right one for your needs so that everyone can have a great time on the water.

Here are some of the top boats for large groups:

Pontoon boats

When choosing the best pontoon boats for large groups, it’s essential to consider size, performance, amenities, and stability. Pontoon boats have grown increasingly popular for lake boating due to their varying sizes and features, and some models can now be equipped with powerful engines that can tow tubes and skiers at speeds of up to 40 MPH. Pontoon boats offer plenty of internal room and can comfortably transport larger groups. As they are pretty stable in the water and relatively easy to handle, they are an excellent option for those looking to spend time on the lake with family and friends.

When it comes to pontoon boats, the best option for large groups is a traditional pontoon boat, also known as a tritoon, which is designed with three large aluminum logs that offer plenty of deck space. The pontoon boat will also come with a powerful outboard motor that is quiet, easy to maintain and provides a comfortable ride on the water. Meanwhile, deck boats, fish-and-ski boats, and watersports boats are other terrific options for larger groups, as these boats are designed for multiple seats and more amenities. However, all these boat types lack the stability and easy handling of a traditional pontoon boat.

1. Princecraft Vectra 21 RL: This pontoon is simple, practical, and affordable, yet still regal in its three distinctive colors. Its sundeck is spacious enough to satisfy sun worshippers, and it has a boating ladder, ski tow bar, and plenty of storage space for rods and water toys.

2. Hampton 2680 DC: This spacious and luxurious pontoon boat is perfect for larger groups of up to 12 passengers. It boasts a beam of 8 ft and an overall length of 26 ft, with a Yamaha V8 350 HP engine that can reach speeds of over 50 MPH. It also features a Simrad display and a sporty title steering wheel.

3. Starcraft SLS Series: This pontoon boat has plenty of storage for bags and gear, with comfortable heat-resistant stretch seating, Bluetooth sound system, and HMX tubes underneath to stabilize choppy wake. It is a great way to spend a day on the water for a large group.

4. Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 DLX: This boat is made for hosting large groups, of up to 14 passengers, with a beam of 8’6” and a weight capacity of 2,400 lbs. It has a 24-foot length, a front-to-back lounger, and a luxurious sun deck with two built-in refreshment centers.

5. Bennington 2552 QCWA: This pontoon boat is great for a large group of up to 13 passengers, with a length of 25’6” and a beam of 8’6”. It features Yamaha controls, a luxurious reclining captain’s chair, and a Bimini top to keep your group cool and comfortable.

Pontoon boats

Deck Boats

Deck boats are great for larger groups looking to enjoy the outdoors. Their wide beam and V-shaped hull offer plenty of space for several people to comfortably sit and move around. Deck boats also offer many amenities that make them an attractive option for entertaining. These include comfortable seating areas for up to 15 passengers, an open deck area for different activities, and a stern power drive for easy maneuvering. Additionally, deck boats tend to hold up well in rough waters, making them great for navigating choppy waters.

Deck boats also come with a variety of accessories that make them perfect for parties and other social events. These include Bimini tops, ski tow bars, a stainless-steel boating ladder, and plenty of storage space for water toys, fishing rods, and other recreational items. Furthermore, these boats are typically outfitted with Yamaha gauges and industry-leading Simrad displays, providing an enhanced driving experience.

1. Princecraft Vectra 21 RL: The Princecraft Vectra 21 RL is an ideal deck boat model for large groups of people. This boat measures 21 feet in length and has a wide square-shaped deck, making it spacious enough for 15 passengers. It comes in three colors and is equipped with a stainless-steel boating ladder, a ski tow bar, and a Bimini top for all-day comfort.

2. Hampton 2680 DC: This luxurious deck boat is 26 feet in length and has a beam of 8 feet. It features a powerful Yamaha V8 350 HP engine and is capable of reaching speeds of over 50 MPH. The boat has a stunning interior with plenty of room for up to 12 passengers, making it the perfect choice for larger groups.

3. Glastron GT 205: The Glastron GT 205 is a 20-foot family boat with an open bow. The boat has a large cockpit with seating for up to 8 passengers, and the interior offers plenty of storage space for water toys or fishing gear. It is equipped with a Volvo Penta 4.3L V6 engine, delivering power and performance without compromising fuel efficiency.

4. Chaparral H2O 21 Sport: The Chaparral H2O 21 Sport is a 21-foot deck boat with a deep-V hull and a beam of 8 feet 4 inches. It features a powerful Volvo V6 engine and a luxurious interior design. The boat has comfortable seating for nine passengers and plenty of storage space.

5. Sea Ray SPX 210: The Sea Ray SPX 210 is a 21-foot deck boat with a beam of 8 feet 6 inches. The boat has plenty of storage space and a sleek design for a comfortable ride. It is equipped with a MerCruiser 4.5L 250HP engine and has a spacious cockpit with seating for up to 8 passengers.

Top Lake Boats for Large Groups: A Complete Guide to Choosing the Right One- 1


Houseboats are floating homes that offer the luxury of living on water and provide excellent recreational and holiday accommodation facilities. They are usually equipped with modern amenities such as entertainment, fine dining, and proper sleeping arrangements, making them ideal for family vacations or getaways. On the other hand, houseboats come in different shapes and sizes and can also be motorized or stationary.

They are ideal for large groups of people as they provide plenty of room for everyone to relax and enjoy water-based activities such as swimming, fishing, and water sports. Additionally, they feature ample seating and cabins for storing gear and sleeping overnight. Pontoon boats are also great for large groups as they are wide, flat, and stable; plus, they come with a raised helm, which is perfect for hosting parties.

houseboat with smoke coming from the roof anchored on the serene idylic lake.

Catamaran Boats

Catamaran Boats are multi-hulled watercraft that feature two parallel hulls of equal size. Catamaran Boats feature less hull volume, shallower draft, and higher displacement than vessels with a single hull. They are excellent for fishing purposes and even for leisurely cruising abilities.

Catamaran Boats offer more space which makes them perfect for large families. They also provide a safe and comfortable ride, which is perfect for families with younger children. Furthermore, they offer plenty of room for a crew of five or more, enabling the entire family to enjoy the experience.

1. Catana 47: This luxurious catamaran offers a spacious cockpit and interior, making it ideal for larger groups. It features a large galley, five cabins, two heads, and ample storage for supplies. The hulls are designed for increased stability, allowing for smooth sailing even in choppy waters. The Catana 47 is perfect for a weekend getaway with family and friends.

2. Lagoon 450F: The Lagoon 450F is an excellent choice for large groups looking to explore the open seas. It offers a large, open cockpit that can accommodate up to sixteen passengers, a cozy saloon with plenty of seating, and a fully-equipped galley. It also has four double cabins and two heads, making it great for overnight trips.

3. Nautitech Open 40: This sleek and modern catamaran is equipped with four spacious cabins and two heads. The cockpit is open and comfortable, and the saloon is perfect for up to 16 people gatherings. There’s also plenty of storage space for all your gear. The Nautitech Open 40 is an excellent boat for larger groups.

4. Fountaine Pajot Saona 47: The Fountaine Pajot Saona 47 is an excellent boat for larger groups. It offers four cabins and two heads, a spacious and comfortable cockpit and saloon, a fully-equipped galley, and plenty of storage. The boat also has plenty of amenities, like air conditioning and an electric dinghy, making it perfect for long trips.

5. Bavaria Cruiser 41: This catamaran is perfect for larger groups looking for a comfortable and luxurious sailing experience. It offers three cabins, two heads, a spacious saloon and cockpit, and a fully-equipped galley. It also has plenty of amenities, like air conditioning and an electric dinghy, making it great for weekend trips.

Aerial drone photo of catamaran boat at blue clear ocean water

Bowrider Boats

When it comes to boats that can accommodate large groups, the best type of boat to go with is a bowrider. Bowriders are designed with flexibility, and their open bow cockpit, helm, and cockpit area can easily accommodate eight or more passengers. These boats are also great for family trips and water sports, as they come with a swim platform and a classic V-shaped bottom that provides a smooth ride in different water conditions. When it comes to power, bowriders are usually powered by sterndrive, but outboards are gaining popularity.

If you have a large family and are looking for the best bowrider boats, some of the top options include the Formula 330 Crossover Express Cruiser, Four Winns H440, Sea Ray SLX-R 400e, and Cobalt R5 surf boat. These boats are large enough to accommodate large groups yet still offer plenty of amenities. They are also well-suited for a variety of waterborne activities, from day tripping to skiing. Just remember to check out all the critical considerations before you buy, as bowriders are better for versatility than specificity.


What to consider when choosing a boat for a large group?

Size and capacity

When choosing a pontoon boat size and capacity for a large group, there are several important factors to consider. First, you need to determine where the boat will be stored, how many people are coming, and what activities you plan to do. You should consider the deck size and seating arrangements for relaxed activities like lounging. For activities like water skiing or scuba diving, it’s important to consider storage space and the motor’s power. If the boat is used to pull an object, the motor should have at least 90 horsepower to do so effectively. Additionally, you should look at the boat’s carrying capacity to ensure it can accommodate both your gear and people. Considering all these factors, you can ensure you have the right size and capacity boat for your group.


When choosing a boat for a large group, there are several amenities to consider. Depending on your family’s interests, you’ll want to look for a boat with enough space to sleep and ample storage. Considering weekend trips, consider amenities like kitchen facilities and entertainment options. For activities like swimming or snorkeling, you’ll need to make sure your boat can accommodate the size of your group. For water sports like wakeboarding or water skiing, look for a motor that has at least 90 horsepower. If you want a boat that provides creature comforts like air conditioning, a cabin cruiser might be a good option. If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience, you’ll need to find a boat with a large deck and comfortable seating. For even bigger groups, you may need to look at boats that are 21 to 28 feet long.


When choosing a boat for a large group, it is essential to consider both safety and capacity. Boat capacity is an important safety factor because boats can become overcrowded and unstable, resulting in the risk of capsizing or sinking. It is essential to adhere to the capacity limits stated by the boat’s manufacturer. Additionally, the Rules of the Road must be followed at all times to ensure the safety of those on board. It is also essential to be aware of the weather conditions and ensure that the boat is equipped and maintained. When fishing, it is essential to be aware of the tackle and equipment used and its possible environmental effects. Finally, it is important to be aware of the risk of hypothermia, especially during the colder months, and take the necessary precautions to protect against it.


When choosing a boat for a large group, it is essential to consider the budget. Factors to consider include the number of guests and the type of boat desired. For example, a larger boat may be more expensive but may also provide more space and amenities. Additionally, catering and entertainment options can add to the total cost, so it is important to evaluate the options to ensure that the budget is not exceeded. Comparing different boats and services offered can help identify the best deal for a group’s budget. Ultimately, weighing the cost against the desired amenities and services is essential to select the best boat for the group.

Brand and reputation

When choosing the best boat for a large group, it is important to consider the brand and reputation of the boat. This is because the boat needs to be of the highest quality, have enough space to accommodate everyone comfortably, and have the necessary amenities to make the experience enjoyable. Additionally, if you plan on boating on large bodies of water, such as the intercoastal or a large lake, you will need a boat with enough power and range to handle the choppy conditions.

Therefore, it is important to select a brand with a good reputation for making reliable, quality boats that can handle open water. Furthermore, if you are boating in salt water, you must look for a boat specifically designed for saltwater environments. This means you must find a brand with features like large anodes, saltwater-safe components, and reinforced nose cones to ensure your boat is up to the challenge. By taking the time to consider the brand and reputation of the boat, you can be sure you are investing in the right boat for your needs.

Group of friends having fun in boat in river


What types of boats should I consider for large groups?

Pontoon boats are a great option if you plan to travel with a large group. They come in various sizes, so you can get one that is big enough to accommodate your group of up to 10 people comfortably. They are bigger than runabouts and offer a galley and berths for up to 10 people. Pontoon boats also offer fun activities like swimming and snorkeling. Additionally, they can be outfitted with a motor of at least 90 horsepower, which is strong enough to pull any watersport equipment you may have. Alternatively, cabin cruiser boats are great for dockside entertaining and overnight stays. There are also cuddy cabin boats, which are about the size of a runabout but have an enclosed bow for shade and storage.

What size pontoon boat should I get for a large group?

If you’re looking for a pontoon boat to accommodate a large group of people, you should opt for a model that is at least 21 to 28 feet long. This size is suitable for rivers and lakes and can comfortably handle up to 13 people. You should also look for a pontoon boat with plenty of storage space if you bring extra gear like fishing rods, coolers, and other items. If you’re mainly planning to use the pontoon boat to relax with friends and family, you should focus on getting a boat with plenty of deck space and comfortable seating. Finally, suppose you plan on using the pontoon boat for water skiing, wakeboarding, or scuba diving. In that case, ensuring you have enough room to accommodate your gear and passengers is essential.

What are the advantages of a pontoon boat for a large group?

1. They have a raised helm, allowing the captain to keep an eye on the passengers and providing a better view of the open waters.

2. They are usually less expensive than regular front deck boats, though some of the less expensive pontoon boats may be smaller and have a less powerful engine.

3. They are very safe to drive due to their shape and design, which allows them to stand a little taller than most cruisers and not tilt as much when driving.

4. They come with many accessories, so you can get creative and customize your boat.

5. They have plenty of storage space, with the basic rectangular shape providing enough room for all the necessary items.

6. They are great for beginners, being slower and easier to handle and dock than other boats.

7. They are great for parties and small gatherings, as the deck is flat and offers plenty of open space to accommodate many people.

8. They can be used for fishing, water sports, and being taken into the sea.

9. They are great for families, as they are wide, flat, and stable and provide a platform for swimming and fishing.

10. A quiet and easy-to-maintain outboard motor powers them.

What type of hull shape is best for a boat for a large group?

When looking for a boat for a large group, the best hull shape is one that can handle various water types and provide enough space and amenities for all passengers. Catamaran boats are an excellent choice, as they feature two parallel hulls of equal size, less hull volume, shallower draft, and higher displacement than vessels with a single hull. These characteristics make them well-suited for fishing and leisurely cruising, providing ample space for many passengers. Ski boats are also a good option for large groups, as they are large and powerful and typically have towers for ski ropes. Additionally, ski boats have large, open decks with optimal seating configurations, making them ideal for groups of skiers or spectators.

What type of boat is best for watersports with a large group?

When it comes to watersports with a large group, there are a few different types of boats that are great options. For water skiing or scuba diving, you’ll need to find a boat with enough room to accommodate your gear and everyone on board. Jetboats provide a bonus for safety-minded parents: they have no propellers and offer higher speeds than other options. For wakeboarding, water skiing, or anything else that requires the boat to pull an object through the water, you’ll need a motor that has at least 90 horsepower. If you’re looking for a boat with higher speeds, a jet boat or bowrider is the best option. But a pontoon boat is an excellent choice if you want more space and amenities. It offers plenty of space for storage and sleeping, as well as kitchen and entertainment options. The Cobalt R5 surf boat is an ideal option for waterskiing. Regardless of which type of boat you choose, make sure you get out on the water and try them out first to ensure it’s the best fit for your family.

What type of boat should I consider for freshwater fishing with a large group?

If you’re looking for the best boat for freshwater fishing with a large group, you should consider a multi-species boat, a pontoon boat, or a fish-and-ski boat. Multi-species boats are great because they offer a wide range of fishing capabilities, while pontoon boats offer excellent stability and a large amount of space. Fish-and-ski boats are great for fishing and watersports and provide a great combination of fishing and family features. The Boston Whaler 370 Outrage is an excellent choice for those looking for a top-of-the-line boat for freshwater fishing, while the Carolina Skiff 218DLV is an excellent option for those on a budget. No matter which type of boat you choose, you’ll be sure to have a great time out on the water.

What accessories should I consider for a boat for a large group?

If you plan to bring a large group out on the water, you’ll want to make sure you have the right accessories for everyone’s safety and comfort. To make sure your boat is equipped for a large group, here are a few items you should consider:

1. Life Jackets: It’s essential to ensure every passenger has a life jacket that fits properly and is in good condition.

2. Anchor and Line: An anchor and line will help keep your boat in place while allowing you to move around in the water.

3. Navigation and Communication Equipment: You’ll want to ensure you have the right navigational and communication devices on board. This could include a GPS, marine radio, and binoculars.

4. Diving Equipment: If you plan to dive, you should have the gear for everyone in your group, including tanks, regulators, and wetsuits.

5. Water Skiing/Wakeboarding Gear: If you’re planning to use your pontoon boat for activities like water skiing or wakeboarding, you’ll need a tow rope, ski rope, and other accessories for the sport.

6. Fishing Gear: Fishing requires various items, from rods and reels to tackle boxes. Make sure you have enough gear for everyone in your group.

7. Coolers and Drinks: A good rule of thumb is to bring at least one cooler and one or two cases of drinks for every four people.

8. Safety Equipment: In addition to life jackets, you’ll want to bring other safety items, including a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and flares.

Once you have all the necessary accessories, you can enjoy a safe and fun day out on the water with your large group!