2020 Boat Buyers Guide

Boating Magazine's 2020 Boat Buyers Guide features the top new boats on the market. Find all of the new boat reviews, boat pictures and boat videos.

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This year’s edition of Boating’s Boat Buyers Guide features as diverse a fleet of boats as ever. But there is one common thread that links all of these boats, regardless of what type of boating their designers had in mind at the drawing board. And, no, I am not referring to the fact that they all float!

That common thread is rate of advancement. Whether it’s a pontoon boat wired like a yacht; a center-console that runs and handles like a high-performance boat; a big, sterndrive-powered bowrider with interior appointments rivaling that of the most luxurious roadster; or a dedicated towboat intended to deliver watersports thrills for riders of all disciplines, boats of all types are a far cry from the “utilities,” “runabouts” and “ski boats” many of us might have learned on coming up through the boating ranks. 

Check out the touchscreen displays aboard the newest boats. Whether it’s a proprietary or private-labeled screen and system or one bearing the badge of a major marine-electronics-maker, fingertip access to navigation, engine data, accessory and lighting control is now the norm, not an exotic option. That you can stream the game or a movie to these screens from the devices we all now carry just adds that much more convenience. Sure, signal strength plays a part in that, but getting a signal was just as important back in the good old days, when we tuned in programming on a transistor radio powered by a 9-volt battery. 

Some things never change. I can speak from experience when I tell you that the fun of being afloat aboard a boat of your own is one of those things. 

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Runabout Boats

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