When we make a significant investment to purchase a boat, whether new or used, we want it to meet all of our needs for how we intend to use it. This can be a tall order because for many boating families, they enjoy a wide range of on the water activities. These include fishing, dayboating, cruising, watersports and more. To ask a boat to do some or all of these things well, is difficult. Now for most of us, we tend to put the emphasis on a couple of these areas and are willing to prioritize some over others but still want our cake and eat it too.
In the last few years, there have been the introduction of multipurpose boats. This new style of boat is typically 32-38 feet long, outboard powered and offers the ability to do a range of water activities. They can host ten of your friends all day at the beach and cookout in the evening or they can take a small family of four for the weekend or longer to a fun cruising destination. There is an old adage that says you want your boat to host 6, feed four and sleep two. By that measure this new breed of vessel excels.
Some boats in this category include the new Galeon 325 GTO, the Searay 320 Sundancer, the Regal 33 SAV and the cruisers 338 outboard. Each of these boats offer a slightly different take on this dual purpose theme. The Searay for example has the largest cabin consistent with their Sundancer heritage. The Regal SAV looks more like a center console with a raised deck to allow for space below. This boat adds fishability to its repertoire of activities but compromises on interior room. There ara number of variations on this theme to fit your particular lifestyle and boating needs.
As with the current trend, most boats in this class are outboard powered with the exception being the Searay Sundancer which is offered as a sterndrive as well. Outboards offer a lot but in this application, they do take up room at the transom which would otherwise be used for water activities and to carry a dinghy.
Additional common features include good shade from the sun either as a hard top or a convertible top and a summer kitchen. A summer kitchen usually includes an electric grill, a sink and refrigerator located in the cockpit. However it is important to note that to use an electric grill, 110v AC power is necessary either from a generator or shore power. You can have a large batterbank with an inverter but that is uncommon on this size and type of boat. If using the grill is the only reason for the generator then a stand along gas grill may be a better option and skip the generator altogether.
Having the ability to comfortably overnight, take a shower and feel refreshed, can materially extend the use of your boat. Turning a day trip into an overnight or a weekend opens up a world of use possabilities when you do not have to return to your home port at the end of the day. Boats in this size range generally carry enough fuel for several days of boating and bring destinations of 100 miles away or more into range.
Having visited the Newport Boatshow recently, I came away with an appreciation for the creativity and innovation builders are adding into boats of all sizes. Re imagining what is possible from small vessels to yachts has expanded the possibilities of how you can use your boat.