Choosing the right boat for you

Whether you are new to boating or an old salt, choosing the right boat can be tough. Spend some time here finding the right boat for you.

Wilmington Boats logo

Choices, so many choices. Before you start shopping for a new or used boat consider a few things to narrow down your search. A good starting point is your budget. Once you have determined your budget, consider what primary activities you plan to do with your boat: Do you plan on short rides to the sand bar? Pulling the kids around on tubes? Evening Cruises with family and friends? Fishing? Overnight stays? Once you have an idea what you want to do with your boat and how many people you plan to have on board, take a look at our Boat Glossary. We hope it helps you settle on what kind of boat you need. When you have that sorted, check out the local Boat Dealer inventory or head over to our used boat classifieds.

Center Console

It is no surprise that Center Console Boats are among some of the most popular boats in Wilmington. The Center Console boat offers fun and flexibility on the water. From an 18 foot single engine skiff to the worlds largest Center console, the 65 Estrella, a center console boat has a lot to offer.

Fishability. Originally, fishing was the Center Console’s primary function. Even todays family friendly CC’s offer lots of fishing friendly features. Unobstructed movement from bow to stern, plentiful rod holders, live wells and easy to clean decks are sure to keep anglers happy.

Sea Hunt 234 Ultra
Sea Hunt 234 Ultra

Entertainment. You will find many Center Consoles with removable cushions in the bow to create comfortable seating for the whole family. Larger CC’s offer plush amenities such as a flushable head tucked under the console, cooktops, sinks and refrigerators.

Boston Whaler 420 Outrage
Boston Whaler 420 Outrage

There is nothing quite like the exhilaration of zipping across Wilmington’s waterways in a Center Console Boat. Outboard power comes in a wide range of horsepower. Quiet and reliable four stroke outboards can push even the largest Center Consoles above 60 mph.

Boat Dealers in Wilmington offer some of the greatest center consoles on the market today. View our local Boat Dealer listings and check out their inventory or browse our classifieds to find your Center Console Boat.

Bowriders

Also called runabouts or sport boats, bowriders feature an open bow and lots of seating. Ranging from 18 feet to around 40 feet the Bowrider is an excellent choice for a family boat.

Sea Ray SLX 250
Sea Ray SLX 250

With large open seating areas and expansive swim platforms a Bowrider will bring smiles to the whole family. If you want to explore Wilmington’s sand bars and beaches or pull tubes and wakeboards in comfort and style you should consider a Bowrider.

Powered by either an outboard, sterndrive or jet, these boats are fast and nimble. Quick to plane and easy to handle, a Bowrider is simply a joy to captain.

Yahaha 212S
Yamaha 212s

Luxury. Step up to a Bowrider like Sea Ray’s SLX 400 for a fold down terrace, queen size bed and state of the art controls.

Bay Boats and Flats Boats

Bay Boats are a popular choice in Wilmington. A fishing focused, yet family friendly Center Console with a shallow draft and low freeboard. With lengths of 18 to 24 feet, a bay boat lets you slide into the shallows chasing Drum in the morning and run offshore in the afternoon.

The Scout 251 XSS is a great example of fishing meets family Bay Boat.

Scout 251 XSS
Scout 251 XSS

For the more serious angler, consider a fishing machine like the Yellowfin 24 Bay.

Yellowfin 24 Bay
Yellowfin 24 Bay

Drafting as little as 6″ of water, flats Boats are designed to get into the skinny water other boats just can’t reach. Also known as technical Poling Skiffs, you are more likely to find them stalking the back country waters of the Florida Keys.

Hewes Redfisher 18

Skiffs

Skiffs are some of the most popular boats in Wilmington. Small, light weight and basic with a shallow draft, these are great boats for fishing or making your way to the sandbar for some sunshine and fun. A skiff is a great way to learn boating with out all the complications that come with larger boats. Whether you choose a skiff with tiller steering or a console, this is boating at it’s simplest form (with an engine).

Jones Brothers Bateau 23
Jones Brothers Bateau 23

Cabin Cruisers and Express Boats

Designed for overnight stays and relaxing day cruises these boats are great fun. Ranging from 23′-50′ most of these boats are well enough equipped for serious cruising missions. Featuring a small galley, an enclosed head with shower and several sleeping berths Express Boats are like the RV of the Seas. If you are going to spring for an Express cruiser, you are going to need a boat slip…or a really big truck.

Sea Ray Sundancer 320
Sea Ray Sundancer 320

Pontoon Boats and Tritoon Boats

Designed to entertain a crowd. Ranging from 20′ to around 30′ Pontoon Boats are no longer the lumbering AstroTurf covered party barges of yesteryear. Today’s Pontoon Boats are fast, elegant and packed with features. Dine, cruise, fish and ski all on one easy to operate boat.

Bennington Pontoon QX 25
Bennington QX 25 Fastback

Tugs

These elegant, efficient, long range cruisers are the seaworthy descendants of yesterday’s trawlers. When the journey is just as important as the destination or you ever thought about completing The Great Loop from Wilmington, consider a Tug.

Nordic 40 tug
Nordic 40 tug

Power Catamarans

The most common Power Catamarans spotted on the water around Wilmington are the center console configuration. These boats offer stability, comfort and more deck space then comparable length center consoles. Dual outboard engines, stability and efficiency make Catamarans at home offshore and on the sandbar. If you’re in the market for a yacht – Aquila Power Catamarans are 70′ of dual hull luxury.

World Cat 320
World Cat 320
Aquila 70
Aquila 70

Walkaround and Cuddy Cabin Boats

Capable of heading offshore, Walkaround boats are offer all of the fishability of a Center Console boat with the added benefit of an enclosed cabin. The open fishing deck also provides plenty of space for a family cruise. Cuddy Cabin boats feature a vee berth, enclosed head, and galley. Think of it like a smaller sport fisherman or convertible boat.

Grady-White Marlin 300
Grady-White Marlin 300

Convertible Sport-Fisherman

Convertibles are the ultimate offshore fishing machines. These boats are built to take rough seas while chasing big game fish off shore. Sport-fisherman feature an open cockpit complete with a fighting chair, bait station, fish boxes, live bait wells and a mezzanine to watch the action. Climbing the ladder from the cockpit will land you in the flybridge, the brains of the whole operation. Guests can ride comfortably in well appointed salons. The average length of a convertible is just under 50 feet although they can exceed 80 feet with a 22 foot beam. Many of these yachts boast extreme horse power. Standard in The Hatteras GT 70 are twin CAT Diesels pushing 1,800 HP each.

Hatteras GT 70
Hatteras GT 70
Jarrett Bay 90
Jarrett Bay 90
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