Best Boats Under 10k: Great Options for Anglers On a Budget

Many assume that all the “cheap boats” they come across are of poor quality compared to their pricey counterparts. Interestingly, you can find an inexpensive boat that’ll give you more value for your money than a sloppily-built expensive alternative would. Modern standards for building boats are high, and even though these boats look really simple, people actually love them. The best boats under 10k are also easy to operate and maintain. Moreover, you can also defray some of the expenses that you would have if you had bought a very expensive boat in the first place. You can even make a profit by letting other people rent your boat. Here is a quick overview of some of the best boats under 10k and a buyer’s guide to help you choose the ideal one.

Who Needs Boats Under 10k

Small boats are often the first thing people buy to teach them to enjoy the water. They are easy to transport and allow people to have fun without worrying about costly repairs. Small boats are relatively easy to get started with and are a great way to learn more about the world of boating and water sports. 

Browsing the internet and doing extensive background research about these affordable boats can be overwhelming and confusing. Aside from giving you a list of our top five picks, we share with you some of the best types of boat options you should consider and what to look for in a great boat.

Top Five Boats Under 10k USD

Here are our top 5 picks for boats under ten thousand dollars.

1. Pro-Line 20 Sport Center Console

Pro-Line has built a lot of Sports center console fishing boats since the 1980s. This means that the used boat market is full of great options for a boat that’ll fit your needs, especially if you’re looking for a boat in the 17 to 20 inches range. 

The boat has a 7-person capacity that is perfect for you and your family to take a fishing trip during the hot summer days. The machine is incredible if you’re looking for a boat under 10k that is great for waterskiing, a nice afternoon of fishing, and other water activities. 

They also come with outboard engines of different makes and sizes. However, unlike modern center consoles, it was considered impossible to fit a private head compartment into a 20-inch boat. If you wanted headroom for this boat, you’d need to build a larger boat. 


  • Large euro-styled console
  • Aft seating
  • Under gunwale rod storage 
  • Bluetooth stereo
  • 18-gallon lighted baitwell
  • Swim platform w/ladder
  • Plenty of storage
  • An enclosed head
  • Casting deck
  • Insulated fish box
  • Premium sunbrella canvas 
  • Universal fit for center console boats 
  • Folds twice for storage 
  • Installs in hours
  • No private head compartment

2. Carolina Skiff JV 13 Fishing Boat

It runs right at $10,000 and comes with a 20-hp outboard and a trailer, and it’s one of the few fiberglass fishing boats that appeared in our round-up. It’s becoming hard to find fiberglass boats at this price point if you want something solid and one that looks like you are fishing with glass. So, if you want a boat that looks nice and feels heavy, the Carolina Skiff is a great option. 

The Carolina Skiff JV 13 is a pretty stripped-down boat for the price, but it has a large sun deck, a pedestal seat base with an eight-gallon Livewell built in, and it has a deck with a folding table. It is made of 100 percent composite materials.


  • Swivel padded seats
  • Acrylic Livewell lid
  • Stainless steel cleats 
  • Gallon bilge pumps 
  • Led Livewell lights
  • Stainless steel base plates 
  • Remote stick steering system
  • Speckled interior finish
  • Horn
  • Instrumentation
  • Folding table on the deck
  • Comfortable padded swivel seats
  • A pedestal seat base for increased stability
  • With a 20-hp outboard and a trailer
  • Currently, only used boats are mostly available

3. Carver Montego

 Montego is a relatively new line of motor cruisers that was released in the 1980s. These boats are relatively small (typically in the 23 to 27 inches range and will cost you under $10,000) but are packed with big-boat features like air conditioning, microwave ovens, and full camper top enclosures. Montego is a stern-drive boat that can be driven by any number of engines – singles, twins, Volvo Pentas, and Mercruisers. Even the smallest Montego is large enough to accommodate four people comfortably.

They are suitable for reasonably sheltered waters and occasional runs to islands such as the Bahamas with a good weather window. But, when it comes to the Caribbean, it’s always a bit too much.


  • AC unit
  • Microwave
  • Camper enclosures
  • Heating
  • Hot Water
  • Refrigerator
  • Battery Charger
  • Depthsounder
  • Log-Speedometer
  • TV Set
  • Shore Power Inlet
  • Generator
  • Radio
  • Comfy air conditioning
  • Full camper top enclosures
  • Microwave ovens
  • Great for pretty sheltered waters
  • Not suitable for beginners

4. Gheenoe 16 Super

The Gheenoe 16 Super is kind of like a boat that is cross-posted with a canoe because it has a bow that extends aft to a beam of 4 ft. That gives it plenty of room to carry two people and to have a nice bow that sits well below the water. It’s big enough for a couple to sit on comfortably. 

Since the boats are used for fishing, the Super 16 comes with two swiveling seats and a rod holder. This boat costs $5,400, and a trailer adds another $1,300 to that price, so there’s plenty of cash left in the budget for an outboard that can power this boat up to 20 HP. It’s one of the few boats in this review that can be outfitted with a console (an additional $500) and steered with a steering wheel rather than a conventional tiller.

The LT25 can hold a center console and have a raised platform at the front and rear. However, the sides are very low, and it is not really safe to drive on lakes or other bodies of water unless no other craft is around. Most people consider the Super to be the world’s greatest flat boat.


  • Low front deck
  • Livewell aerator
  • Front pedestal seat & mount
  • Stainless eye bolt
  • Bilge pump.
  • Rod holders
  • Electrical
  • Front & rear lights
  • It can be steered with a steering wheel
  • Spacious enough
  • The sides are dangerously so low

5. Yamaha GP1800R

You can easily achieve speeds of up to 67 mph on these big boys. The Yamaha GP1800R and FX series are the fastest Waverunners ever made by Yamaha. The Yamaha GP1800R and GP1800FX have supercharged engine that produces around 250 HP and is capable of up to 67 mph speeds.

Because your WaveRunner is such a valuable investment, you want to protect it. The covers are made from the highest quality materials and feature a revolutionary design that allows you to keep the cover in place. Yamaha WaveRunner covers are specifically made to protect the looks of your personal watercraft. 

Each cover features superior construction and materials that allow it to last a long time and be a very comfortable fit. Matching covers in attractive colors and graphics help to keep your WaveRunner looking its best. The covers are constructed from extremely durable material to provide ultimate protection from fading and the elements. 


  • Super Vortex High Output (SVHO) engine
  • High performing clutches
  • Weighs 5.21 pounds
  • Easy to climb rear boarding rail
  • Generous storage area
  • Championship winning performance
  • Comfortable fuel filler cap
  • Handlebars are not height adjustable

Buyer’s Guide for Boats Under $10,000

Here are the factors to consider when choosing boats under 10k:

Boat Types

Here are the most common boat brands you can find affordable prices below 10K:

1. Freeman River Cruisers

You may want to look out for affordable boats, some of the smaller, older Freeman cruisers. The Freeman 22 Mark 2 and the Freeman 23. The freeman boats are wide beams and can reach 7ft 6in. They are not ideal for very narrow canals. Freeman makes good quality boats that are easy to look after and maintain, especially for people who are less experienced and less skilled. 

Pay attention to the age of any Freeman boat that you find, as some older boats may have some outstanding parts in them. However, if you find one of these boats, it is quite easy to operate. Furthermore, the parts for these boats are readily available. The F22 and F23 are spacious cruisers that are easy to handle and can easily be moved on a trailer to another river. 

2. Norman Boats

This is one of the cheapest GRP boats on the market that guarantees you a great time on the waters. The Norman 20, 23, 27, and 32 narrow-beam boats make great starter boats. The Norman range has stood the test of time and is much easier to operate. Their smaller Volvo diesel engines won’t cost you a lot in terms of fuel consumption.

3. Deck Boat

The boat has a wide deck that lets you enjoy the view of the water. In addition, because of their V-shaped hulls, you can comfortably host a party while you ride the boat. Deck boats are usually between 25 and 35 feet long. This type of boat is fast because its motor helps it to move quickly on the water. Similarly, the engine that powers the boat suits it perfectly for long-distance travel, watersports, and even fishing. Besides the luxurious yachts, you can rent a deck boat to host a party for your family. These boats are also very easy to operate and maintain. So, you can have multiple adventures on the boat.

4. Center Console Boat

Do you want to travel in a boat that will enable you to saltwater areas? If you are looking for a boat that can go anywhere in the world, then a boat with a center console is the best choice for you. This boat is unique because it has a very good fishing platform. It’s the lack of a boat cabin in the console’s hull that makes it a favorite among anglers.

This is very convenient because the control board is located in the middle of the boat. The ample storage space on the console makes storing many things or even having a small party accessible. It is pretty spacious and can comfortably accommodate six people. You can use this boat for sport or fishing in waters where the fish are abundant. Its engine is well-equipped and provides excellent power so that it can travel at high speeds. The boat has enough power on the deck that you can utilize for a music system or fridge.

5. Bowriders

Many people consider bowriders to be the most versatile boat designs available. They can be used for anything that you want to do. Many boat builders build bowriders, and they come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. You’ll need to compare several designs of bowriders before deciding which make or model is best for you, but if you have under $10,000 in your budget, it’s probably best to go for the Regal 1900 ES. The boat can hold you and your family and friends, plus other people, and it can be used for anything from fishing to day cruising.

Bowriders are great for families who love to speed around on the water. These boats are designed specifically for those who enjoy spending time on the water. This boat has a very large bow that allows you to accommodate more than eight people. You can buy one that looks like a runabout or a boat that looks like a deck boat hybrid if you are interested in buying one. If you’re keen on boating, you can also get a bowrider that looks like a runabout boat and a deck.

6. Skiffs

Skiffs are small boats that you can use for all kinds of different purposes. They are simple and affordable. Skiff is a catch-all term that is used to describe boats that are small and open to the water. These types of boats require very little maintenance. You only need to wash your boat every night and take care of the outboard motor when you do your daily routine. 

The boats are extremely reliable, and you won’t have to pay a lot of money to keep them running smoothly. It’s easy to navigate a skiff because it’s small and easy to tow with a motorized tow vehicle. Skiffs are really easy to use and are relatively inexpensive. Boats are extremely simple to own and are pretty easy to store. 

Many owners of skiffs just keep them in their garages or driveways. When it comes time to winterize a boat, it can be a bit more complex if the boat has multifarious fuel and plumbing systems. Skiff boats are very convenient, as they simplify everything that you need to do to own a boat.

Boat Size

The boat size you need depends on the number of people you want to fit comfortably on your boat and how you plan to use it. There is a big reliance on the first factor. Some boats can hold ten people, but not all boats can comfortably accommodate 20 people. Some boats that hold 2-6 people comfortably, like a ski boat or a bass boat, are ideal for smaller parties. 

For those who plan to cruise the seas or go on vacations where it is often rough, you should consider buying a boat 30 feet or larger. The best size for inshore fishing is 20 feet, while that for watersports is around 25 feet. This will allow you to traverse the rough waters and navigate safely. Boats of this size can handle rough and unpredictable water and currents and even make longer trips offshore. Dealers and factory reps will be able to help you decide what boat is right for you and your needs.

Boat Price

There are many different types of boats that you can buy, each with a different price range. Our focus here is reviewing the best boats under 10k. If the boat is longer, the price will increase with it, although that is not always the case. Once you’re sure about the type and size of boat you want to purchase, then it’s easier to find a boat under 10k that fits your specific needs. For instance, A Pontoon and Ski Boat have different pricing expectations.

Boat Maker

There are a surprising amount of boats available for sale today. Some manufacturers specialize in one type of boat, while others focus on many types of boats. Some boats are considered affordable, while others are considered luxury items. Some of the reputable brands you should check out include Bass Cat, Tracker, Four Winns, Bryant, Lund, Boston Whaler, Robalo, and Lowe, among others. Going with an established brand guarantees that you’ll get better quality than buying from a novice in the industry that has not been tried and tested.

New Vs. Used Boats

If you save money by buying a used boat, you will undoubtedly save money in the long run, but be sure the boat you are considering buying is in excellent condition. If you are considering buying a used boat, be sure to learn what to look for to ensure the boat is in good condition. Check out things such as rot, leakages, engine type, electrical systems, and stringer separation to be sure of the condition of the boat.


How much insurance will I pay for my boat?

Some states require boat insurance, but only a few states have passed laws requiring you to carry insurance. Depending on the size, year, and type of your new boat, it can cost anywhere from $300 to $500 per month. Shop around carefully until you get a comfortable quote for your pocket.

How much does a boater’s license cost?

Boating license requirements vary from state to state. Some states require that you take exams administered by a third party like NASBLA (National Association of State Boaters), though this list isn’t exhaustive. These third parties charge a fee for students to take their courses; the fee is usually charged once you have successfully completed the course. If your state requires a boater to have a license, you’ll be required to take some online courses and pass a few tests before you can register to receive it via email. 

Where can I purchase an affordable boat?

Many people start their boat-buying journey by doing online searches. It is great to start out by looking at boat websites. Some dealers will require you to leave your house and physically talk to people. Therefore, you should start at a boat dealer. There are many places you can look at used boats. Most boat dealers have a large selection of boats from various brands and specialize in a specific type of boat, such as wake boats, fishing boats, or pontoon boats.

There are many several different boat brands that you can check out on the maker’s website if you have narrowed it down that much already. Find a boat dealer that carries that brand near you. If you haven’t narrowed it down that much already, a boat show is a great place to start looking at boats.


Buying a new boat is exciting and expensive, just like buying a brand-new car. Once you start the engine on your new boat, the depreciation process begins immediately! You probably know that. That’s one of the reasons why many people buy used boats. And as these five bargain boats show, you can often get a lot more for your money if you shop around carefully or even opt for used boats. 

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