Boat Size Classifications

Updated November 21, 2016

Owning a boat gives you the chance to explore your nearby lake, river or ocean. Although, it is a great feeling to set sail, it is not great when you purchase the wrong boat for your circumstances. Besides considering the way you will use the boat and the prices, you may want to review some of the different classifications of boats.

Class A Boats

Class A boats span 16 feet or less in length. A dinghy is a type of Class A boat. You can haul it on top of your vehicle, and it is ideal for camping trips and fishing in small bodies of water. These types of boats tend to range from 5 to 12 feet in length and some can accommodate five people. Some anglers may opt for a Jon boat. It is an aluminium boat with a flat bottom, bench seating and places to hang your catch of the day. Jon boats range from 8 to 20 feet in length. Therefore, Jon boats 16 feet and less are in the Class A boats category, while the larger Jon boats fall under Class 1 boats.

Class 1 Boats

Class 1 boats extend from 16 to 26 feet in length. A variety of all-purpose fishing boats are Class 1 boats. Boat manufactures consider the all-purpose fishing boat the SUV of boats. This type of boat seats five people and has a maximum length of 20 feet. Keep in mind, some all-purpose fishing boats may fall under the Class A boat category, since the minimum length of an all-purpose fishing boat is 15 feet in length. An all-purpose fishing boat comes equipped with an outboard engine, rod lockers, a front bow and has the ability to chase a variety of fish.

Class 2 Boats

Class 2 boats range from 26 to 40 feet in length. Trawlers are a type of Class 2 boat. They are ideal for family gatherings and long range cruising. These boats have a sleeping area, cooking area and plumbing. A trawler minimum length is 26 feet, while the maximum length is 50 feet. Therefore, trawlers that are over 40 feet are Class 3 boats. Some walkaround boats also fall under the Class 2 category. This type of boat has livewells, fishing rod holders and steps leading to the forward deck. Additionally, walkaround boats may have stowaway seating and plumbing for sinks or toilets.

Class 3 Boats

A Class 3 boat extends at least 40 feet in length. Many types of boats fall into this category as well as Class 2. For example, motor yachts range from 26 to 100 feet in length. A motor yacht is ideal when you desire to entertain guests or sail large rivers or lakes throughout the world. These boats, powered by diesel fuel, come quipped with two motors, a generator for electricity and luxurious living quarters. Some commercial anglers opt for sportfishing boats. However, this type of boat is also suitable for a family or group of people who enjoy fishing. It usually has plumbing, sleeping quarters and a cooking galley.

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