Many families have the luxury of enjoying the freedom associated with a boat for racing, fishing or relaxing on the water. Boats are a considerable investment so it is critical to make a wise purchasing decision when engaging in this large of a financial investment. Future boat owners should take the time and conduct thorough research prior to finalizing these types of purchases. Being knowledgeable of the leading boat manufacturers, their specialties and the features of each model is essential for the buying process.
The following is a list of the top 10 companies making speedboats to make your search a little easier.
With a slogan, “speed changes you,” it is clear that the focus of the Baja Company is on speed and performance with its boats. In online power boat reviews and discussions among industry professionals, Baja sets the standard for high-quality boating with durable and well-crafted products that last for many years.
First established in 1957, Bayliner is a boat manufacturer that has won many Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Awards including the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). The company focuses on smaller speed boats including overnighters, bowriders and deck boats. Bayliner produces long-lasting boats that are high quality and reliable at a reasonable price point. The manufacturer can even add on packages for wakeboarding and fishing which provide their own set of features.
Boston Whaler is on almost every boat enthusiast, magazine and expert top 10 list, especially in the power boat arena. The company is highly regarded as a result of their durability and craftsmanship. The company produces fishing and sport boats in addition to commercial boats under contract with the United States Navy and Coast Guard. This means that their boats are fast, power, tough and can handle any type of weather with ease.
The most popular types of boats produced by Boston Whaler include center console models, skiffs and cabin models. On-board options include satellite weather radio, GPS, chart plotters, fish finders and auto pilot navigation. The company is the recipient of numerous NMMA awards such as the 2014 Innovation Award for interiors and furnishings.
Founded in 1965 by William Buck Pegg in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the company’s bestselling boat during this time was the 15-foot Tri-Hull that cost only $675. In the past five years, Chaparral has introduced one lower price-point vessel and one luxury sport yacht. The H20 speedboat is a high quality model that appeals to the mass market. The Premiere 420 is a 42-foot sport yacht that appeals to the elite boating enthusiast.
With a focus on real powerboats for real people, Grady-White sells some of the largest and fastest powerboats ever created. The company focuses on seven areas that entice consumers to purchase their boats: attention to detail, heritage, design integrity, inspired leaders and workforce, award-winning performance, incredible customer service and an overall better boating experience. Founded in Greenville, North Carolina in 1959, Grady-White has earned a legendary reputation for producing elegant but high performing speedboats while building strong, long-lasting customer relationships. Even to this day, the company embodies the pride in a job well done, integrity and care for their customers and local community. These embodiments are part of the love of building every boat in their fleet.
Headquartered in Loudon, Tennessee, Malibu is another speedboat company worthy of this list. As a manufacturer of recreational boats, the company is best known for water sports boats for water skiing and wakeboarding recreation and competition. Founded in 1982 by a group of six friends with a passion for water skiing, the team began to build customized ski boats in a small shop. During the first year, the company was building two boats per week with a single-hull design.
By the end of 1984, the company paid back their loan and was manufacturing 400 boats per year. In 2012, the company sponsored the largest wakeboarding event to-date, the Red Bull Wake Open, in which tens of thousands of fans watched in Tampa, Florida. That same year, Malibu launched Surf Gate, an innovative technology that allows the speedboat to produce a wakesurfing wave that can instantly switch sides. Malibu’s most popular boats come from the WAKESETTER series that range in length from 20-24 feet. Also, their RESPONSE series of water ski boats has won many world records.
Established in 1968, MasterCraft has always specialized in small power boats with a focus on wakeboarding, performance and inboard ski boats. In 2014, the company received the Innovation Award from the NMMA for their X23 waterski boat. The company is so passionate about waterskiing and wakeboarding that they support teams, one of which won the Water Sports Industry Association Leadership award in 2015.
Founded in 1978, NITRO’s specialties include bass boats, multi-species boats and sport boats. The Z-7 NITRO sport boats is part power boat and park waterskiing boat. Every NITRO boat is NMMA-certified and the company has won a variety of award for their innovative hull designs and extensive on-board features.
Featuring sport boats, sport yachts, sport cruisers and small luxury yachts, Sea Ray promotes its brand as being a boating lifestyle with an owners club providing discounts on boating-related services and an application-based magazine. The company has won a variety of J.D. Power and Associate awards as well as from the NMMA and marine magazines including Boating. Additionally, Sea Ray is the recipient of a Five Star Diamond Award presented by the American Academy of Hospitality Science for their superb customer service.
For the more seafaring families, World Cat produces a variety of boating options such as dual console, cabin and center console speedboat models. With a focus on luxury, the cabin boat includes a 220/240-volt conversion for LED underwater lights and electronic steering systems as well as integrated Bluetooth stereo systems. The 290 DC model is considered by industry experts as being an incredible combination of family features and fishing add-ons so owners can enjoy the best of both worlds. According to Sport Fishing magazine, the design upgrades on the 295DC model are highly regarded among industry circles.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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