Spirit of Durban: Guide to different types of boats and their use

Whether you are a fan of fishing or you simply enjoy the calm of the sea, Spirit Durban will show you the best boats fit for your adventure in South Africa. The boat types that we will introduce you to can fall into either of the three major categories which are fishing boats, water sports boats and cruising boats. 

When selecting your boat, you need to consider what you intend to do in it, how many people you want to come on board with you and how much time you would be spending on the coast. Once you figure all of this out, it is time to select the perfect boat for you in the list below: 

Aluminium fishing boats 

For those who like no fanfare on the sea and are eager to get in the water to experience everything it has to offer, aluminium fishing boats are perfect for you. This type of fishing boat is often designed with a slender body and a streamline. The outboard is also steerable and thus it is easy to navigate through the water. 

Since it has a no-frill design, you can purchase this boat for a low price. Albeit not as expensive as other boats, it is durable and easy to drive making it the perfect boat for beginners. 

Bass boats 

If your goal is to catch largemouth bass, then the bass boat is the boat you are looking for. This boat has a high-horsepower trolling motor that can be easily operated. Adding to its perfection as a bass fishing boat is its small body that can navigate through any canal, river or lake. 

This kind of boat often has a broad platform that allows you to cast off your fishing rods in both the back and the front. The low-profile bottoms of this boat make it easy to move on shallow waters without alerting the creatures beneath. 

The bass boat is considered one of the best fishing boats for the amount of space that it has for you to store your catch along with the fishing chairs and rods on the floor space. The aerated onboard tank for the fish makes it so that the fish is still fresh the moment you arrive on shore. 

Bay boats 

Bay boats bear some similarities to flat boats albeit it has a shorter profile designed to float around leisurely on shallow waters. What makes this different from your regular flat or bass boat are the higher sides and deeper hulls that ensure you would have a smooth ride in the coastal waters.

On the back of this boat, you will find an elevated platform that would allow you to move through shallow waters using a pole. The short stature of this boat makes it easier for you to look at the ocean life directly below you or take a peek at the fish beneath the boat. 

Another thing that makes this boat wonderful is that it is versatile and fun to drive. However, it isn’t too beginner-friendly and you might struggle a bit if you are not used to stirring with a pole. This kind of boat is perfect for a nice cruise along the coast of South Africa along with fresh and saltwater fishing. 

Bowrider boats 

The bowrider boat got its name for its unique, expansive bow area. This is a boat that borders between luxury and affordable making it one of the most popular boats for families. This kind of boat can also be classified as a runabout boat, which is known for its open bow space and small size. 

This kind of boat often comes with a sterndrive engine as well as ample seating behind the cockpit where you, your family and friends can have fun sipping your drinks and chatting as you watch the sun dip on the horizon. It’s the perfect boat for a small gathering by the sea. 

The V shape design of the bottom of this ship is perfect in making it easy for you to explore the sea through different water conditions. You can use this kind of ship for fishing as well as for water sports. You can even use it for day cruising. It is flexible and can accommodate whatever activity you might need your boat for. 

Cabin cruiser 

A cabin cruiser is a boat for anyone who is looking for comfort and luxury in the sea. This type of boat often comes with its own amenities and spacious and comfortable space for guests to lounge around. It is essentially a power boat that you can live on and bears a resemblance to houseboats or yachts. 

This kind of boat comes with its own toilet, kitchenette and sleeping area making it suitable for overnight trips. It also has enough seating for a small gathering of friends and the v-shaped hull of the boat ensures that you will have a smooth ride no matter the water condition. 

What makes this even better is that there are multiple cabin cruisers that you can choose from including the pocket cruisers, convertible cruisers and the express cruisers. 

Centre console boats 

Centre console boats are small but hardy and reliable when it comes to island hopping and even diving. These kinds of boats are also ideal for sport fishing since they are fast and can be easily stirred. The deep V hull of the boat also makes it possible for you to ride offshore smoothly. The durable bodice of the boat also allows it to handle choppy waves without a problem. You can also use this boat for a day cruise, but since there are only seats, it might not be as fun as with a bigger boat. 

Deck boats 

The deck boat offers the same sleek design as the bowrider, except it has more seating capacity and it has a rounded bow instead of the regular v-shape. The change in the design of the bow gives the deck boat a bigger space making it perfect for a cruise with friends, fishing or simply spending your time out in the sun while on the sea. 

You can use this kind of boat for day cruising, water sports and even freshwater fishing. What makes it unique is how stable it can be in the water due to the flat hull of the boat. It also offers a lot of storage space and seating capacity. 


Dinghies are one of the least expensive boats you will find out there. It is either a rowing boat or an inflatable, which is typically small and can act as a helper to bigger boats. It can even act as a rescue or emergency boat. The flat bottom of this boat allows it to move easily across the surface of the water without getting stuck in shallow waters. 

Some dinghies come with an outboard motor for faster water transport while some only come with paddles to move them around. Dinghies differ when it comes to materials with some of them being made with marine plywoods, fibreglass and aluminium. 

This is the perfect boat for different recreational use in lakes or rivers. It also works best as a companion boat, a workhorse vessel and even fishing if you are looking for fun. 

Pontoon boats 

If you are in it for cruising and not for fishing, then pontoon boats are just right up your alley. These boats are designed to accommodate guests in luxurious seating to give them the prime comfort they need as they wine and dine with the sunset on the horizon as the background. 

What we love about pontoon boats is that they can give the boarders a gentle cruise on the water as the entertainment goes on. Even better is that it is flexible and can also be used for fishing and water sports although you wouldn’t get much action from a pontoon as you would with a power boat. 


Sailboats are often used as either sports boats or a cruiser. It is the type you would imagine seeing on the horizon. What’s even better is that sailboats can come in all sizes, which means you can pick a sailboat that would fit your lifestyle with friends and family. 

Aside from the size, you can also select different hulls for your sailboat. A single-hull sailboat is called a mono while the two hulls are called the catamarans. Three hulled sailboats are called trimarans and are currently rising in popularity for their style and speed. 

The speed of this boat mainly comes from the wind that the sail picks up. However, if the wind isn’t in your favour, you can also use the inboard or outboard motors of sailboats. 

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