IN MANY WAYS THE RUNABOUT IS GENESIS — the historical foundation of the recreational boating industry. During the post-war boom, and later, when fiberglass brought boating to the masses, the simple, versatile 15- to 18-foot runabout was the boat of choice. Easy to trailer and push with the modest horsepower engines then available, many boating families can
trace their roots back to an old runabout. Marked by a windshield far forward, a
seated driving position, and frequently a rear bench at the transom, the design
basically hasn’t changed in decades, except to open up the bow for additional
seating, making a bowrider.
Today bowriders remain many families’ top choice – particularly on protected bodies of
water, such as inland lakes, impoundments, and rivers – because they make great platforms
for watersports, fishing, and just enjoying
time on the water. There’s also been a huge
amount of growth in pontoon boats, with
changes that include an additional “toon” in
the center for extra stability and higher and
higher horsepower engines strapped to the
transom. Today’s pontoons can fulfill many
of the same roles of a bowrider, and a few
that they can’t.
With all this in mind, here are some of
our favorite lake boats, ranging from affordable to extravagant, any of which will bring a
smile to your face the next time you drop in
at your chosen lake.
SMALL BOATS, BIG FUN!