If you’re looking for a boat to go cruising, the cabin cruiser is a great option. These boats come in various styles, designs, and lengths, with many configurations for driver setups, cabins, below-deck utilities, and motor options.
The cabin cruiser is ideal for spending a few days out on the water without coming back to land. Take long cruises around islands or up and down the coast. Typically, the larger models are for the ocean, with the smaller boats being suitable for trailering between inland and coastal waters.
A cabin cruiser is suitable for fishing, and the smaller models are good for watersports as well. However, the larger luxury models have characteristics that make them more akin to yachts than boats. Depending on the manufacturing brand and model, you could end up spending a small fortune on your cabin cruiser for customizations.
This post gives you everything you need to know about cabin cruiser boats. We’ll unpack the characteristics of this vessel to provide you with an idea of whether it’s the right option for your new boat.
- What Is a Cabin Cruiser?
- Benefits of Cabin Cruiser Boats
- Disadvantages of Cabin Cruiser Boats
- Types of Cabin Cruiser Boats
- Top Cabin Cruiser Brands and Models
- Wrapping Up
What Is a Cabin Cruiser?
Cabin cruisers have a design for traveling long distances. They also generally have living quarters in the V-berth of the boat, found towards the vessel’s front. The V-berth gives you all the same options as you would find in a cuddy cabin model, but they typically have more room, standing space, and better amenities, depending on the model.
The cabin cruiser is ideal for traveling between islands or up and down the coastline on longer boating trips that last a few days. The cabin cruiser has a small deck compared to the space available on the boat.
However, the living quarters are usually spacious, offering you setups for couches and beds, with plenty of luxuries like TVs, stereo systems, fridges, toilets, showers, air-conditioning, and galleys. You have everything you need onboard to enjoy your time on the water without the need to go back to land.
The cabin cruiser is one of the larger models of boats available. Most cabin cruisers range between 20 to 45-feet in length. The bigger boats offer you more luxury on the water, and some models even look like small yachts.
Benefits of Cabin Cruiser Boats
Is the cabin cruiser the right choice for your boat? Let’s look at some of the benefits of owning this vessel and how it can benefit your time on the water.
Cabin for overnight adventures
The cabin cruiser has a large v-berth in the vessel’s front, with a cabin over the driver cockpit. The cabin setup makes it easy to navigate the boat through rainy conditions, keeping you dry. Cabin cruiser models in the shorter range below 35-feet might have less luxury and more practicality to them.
However, when you get to the longer models, the price tag starts escalating thanks to the customizations and features of the boat. For example, the longer models may include generators to power amenities like showers and fridges.
The cabin cruiser comes with a setup for fishing, and they are popular diving boats for spending days out on the water doing research projects or taking tours. The cabin is a full enclosure with a hard roof, and some models may also offer enclosed cabins with air conditioning to control the climate.
Cabin cruisers have deep hulls allowing for easy cruising through all ocean-going conditions. The V-berth may include sleeping quarters and a dining area on larger models. Some of the larger cruisers may also have split v-berths, offering you separate living and sleeping quarters.
Cabin cruisers come in many options, from basic models with small cabins the large boats that look like yachts. Typically, the boat starts at around 24-feet in length, with some models reaching up to 45-feet or longer.
Fittings and Customizations
As mentioned, the cabin cruiser comes with plenty of customization options, especially on larger boats. Some models may have heating and air conditioning, along with options like complete bathrooms, multiple v-berths, and generators.
You also have different options for driver configurations, with the center console design being popular for these models. Some boats come with split levels, providing the captain’s deck on top, and a lounge or living area below the cabin, leading into the berth.
Speed and Handling
The cruiser comes with powerful motors, but it’s more of a cruising boat than a high-performance model. These boats are ideal for lazy cruises, and they offer a stable platform out on the water, even in rough seas.
While they can reach high speeds, the longer models lack the maneuverability and tight turning arc of smaller boats like bowriders. They offer a very smooth driving experience, and they are suitable for beginners or experienced captains.
Trailering Small Models
The larger models of cruisers are not trailerable, and they require docking in a slip. However, the smaller boats under 28-feet are usually suitable for trailering.
However, the boat’s width might be a problem, and you’ll need to get a special permit for trailering the boat if it’s wider than 10-feet.
The cabin cruiser is a powerboat, and it comes with a dual or quadruple motor setup, depending on the model. Many larger boats rely on outboard or jet propulsion motors to provide the power the boat needs to cruise along without straining the engine.
There are plenty of motor configurations, with the jet propulsion system being the most expensive option. However, the jets run quiet, and they offer excellent power. It’s a great choice for serene cruises in waters where you want to go diving.
Disadvantages of Cabin Cruiser Boats
Cabin cruisers are fantastic boats, but they don’t suit all activities on the water. Here are some of the drawbacks of owning a cabin cruiser over other models.
The cabin cruiser can be a very expensive boat, especially for the larger models.
Most start at around $100,000, with the luxury models costing up to $500,000 or more. The price depends on the finishes and customizations you order for the watercraft.
Less Seating Room
The smaller versions of cabin cruisers have less seating room than you would expect. The large v-berth area in the hull takes up plenty of space on luxury models. However, you can fit anywhere from four to nine people on the average cabin cruiser model.
No Trailers for Large Models
The large cabin cruiser model over 35-feet may struggle with trailers. As a result, they require docking in a slip, and you’ll have to pay fees for this service.
Cabin cruisers are expensive boats to purchase and maintain. They come with advanced engines and multiple configurations. The luxury models will be costly to service, so consider those costs when settling on the right model for your ocean adventures.
Types of Cabin Cruiser Boats
Cabin cruisers come in several models with different setups for the cabin and v-berth areas. Typically, you’ll find that cabin cruisers fall into one of three categories.
These models have an open design without any roof. Some smaller models may have a sunshade, and open models usually feature a windscreen to keep the spray out of the driver’s face.
These models feature a solid roof overhead. Some boats may also feature sealed climate-controlled cabins. These boats are more expensive than open-cabin models, and they often come in split-level designs, similar to yachts.
Top Cabin Cruiser Brands and Models
Four Winns Vista 255 OB
From the exterior, the Four Winns Vista 255 OB looks like a small boat. However, the clever design of this vessel utilizes every square inch of space available on the boat. As a result, you get a surprising amount of space on board, with plenty of functionality, allowing you to take long, overnight cruises.
You have several options for driving and seating configurations, with setups including sun pads, wide rear seats, or L-shaped seating for your guests. The driver seats come with swivels and extra padding to reduce driver fatigue on longer trips.
The cockpit on the Four Winns features all the creature comforts you need for life out on the water. You get a dining table, hot plate, a galley, and a built-in cooler included for storing fish or drinks.
This Four Winns model features Yamaha or Mercury outboard motors, offering your efficiency and speed out on the open water. The living area is bright and spacious, featuring seven windows in the v-berth.
The Grand Banks Eastbay 44
This boat features outstanding build and design quality. You get excellent performance and plenty of useful amenities for living out on the water over a long weekend or a holiday. The Eastbay 44 by Grand Banks comes with a teak cockpit and dining/seating area featuring electric windows.
The boat has a wide beam, several cabin configuration options, and room for six people to sleep in the v-berth. The main cabin on the boat features a queen-size bed and a large wardrobe. This model is ideal for longer cruises around North American coastlines or the Great Loop, with its extended fuel tank.
There’s a deep V-hull for ultimate stability, even in rough ocean conditions. The design and length also offer excellent maneuverability, similar to what you would expect from a smaller cuddy cabin model.
Rinker 270 Express Cruiser
If you want the best balance of functionality and comfort, the Rinker 270 Express is a great choice for your cabin cruiser. This boat features a 6’5″ headroom in the cabin for standing, and it’s a trailerable design. You also get a fully-equipped kitchen with a fridge and stove and a toilet with a shower.
The sleeping quarters are ideal for two or three people, but you can fit four people in at a stretch. While it’s one of the smaller models, the boat’s design lends itself to a spacious feeling for its size. The boat has plenty of power for cruising, and the deep V-hull adds stability out on the open ocean.
The Rinker 270 Express Cruiser comes with your choice of Volvo Penta OceanX Drive or MerCruiser SeaCore Drive for gas-powered or diesel engine options.
Back Cove 34O
This model comes with the perfect balance of comfort and performance, with a setup ideal for couples that enjoy cruising the coastline on weekends. The boat’s hull is unique, featuring the patented “Trailing Edge Lifting Surface (TRELIS)” design, fitted with the standard bow-thruster.
The 34O model offers you a high-performance model compared to the traditional single diesel Back Cove, with cruising and top-end speeds that are around 10-knots faster. This model is the entertainer’s dream, featuring a cockpit with a salon and comfortable couch. There’s a fully-equipped galley, and the rear-facing seating converts into a U-shaped berth or dinette.
The Back Cove 340 comes with a double outboard configuration, featuring twin 300-hp Yamaha motors, and you have the option to upgrade to the more powerful 350-hp option made by Suzuki. When you open up the engines, the boat feels a lot like a ski model with excellent maneuverability.
The innovative helm design is one of the highlights of the Back Cove 34O. You get superior visibility to other models, with plenty of storage space below the deck.
Pack away your fishing gear and watersports equipment out of sight without encroaching on cabin space. The master cabin features a queen-size bed and a toilet with a shower.
The cabin cruiser is a great choice if you spend a lot of time out on the ocean. These boats are ideal for spending the night out on the sea, and they come with all the living amenities you need to enjoy the life aquatic.
While they are an expensive boat, you get what you pay for with a cruiser. These boats can come in basic or luxury models to suit your taste, boating requirements, and budget. Set the boat up any way you want, with custom configurations for v-berths, driver cockpits, and roof and cabin designs.