Five Boats for $35K

Yamaha SX210

Jet Set: Yamaha SX210 Base Price: $34,599
(with twin 110 hp, 1,052 cc Yamaha Marine engines) LOA: 21'3" Beam: 8'6" Displacement: 2,875 lb.
yamahaboats.com; 800-962-7926 A different take on the bowrider, the new Yamaha SX210 uses a pair of 110 hp, 1,052 cc four-stroke engines matched up with a pair of the manufacturer’s high-pressure jet pumps. The retail price of $34,599 includes a color-matched painted trailer, removable carpet and a Bimini top. The biggest advantage of jet propulsion is that you’re never worried about people swimming near the boat hurting themselves if they bang into the propellers. A side benefit is that you can navigate shallower waters than an outboard- or sterndrive-propelled boat can. Yamaha says the SX210’s draft is 1 foot 4 inches, compared with about two feet for most 20- to 21-foot bowriders.
Yamaha

Yamaha SX210

In addition to having the space to seat up to nine people, the SX210 offers mucho convenience. The SX210’s transom area has a two-tier swim platform upholstered for comfortable reclining. A small cocktail table fits in a pedestal, and there’s a telescoping stainless-steel ladder.Yamaha

Yamaha SX210

Construction highlights feature composite coring for the hull and deck. Yamaha bonds the fiberglass liner to the hull and stringers with polyurethane adhesive and fills all voids with foam. The deck is also fastened to the hull with mechanical fasteners.Yamaha

Yamaha SX210

The SX210 rides on a modified deep-V with 20 degrees of deadrise at the transom. Putting the 220 hp jet propulsion system to work, the boat hits about 45 mph at 8,000 rpm. It planes in around three seconds, which means it’s more than ready to pull skiers, boarders and tubers. Older versions of recreational jet boats were a pain to drive in no-wake areas, but Yamaha has the No Wake Mode that sets engine rpm at 2,500 for consistent thrust.Yamaha

Yamaha SX210

Notable & Boatable
Carrying the boat's beam farther forward makes the bow seats inviting even for long-legged crew.
Yamaha

Cobalt 200

Family Time: Cobalt 200 Base price: $35,847
(with 220 hp MerCruiser 4.3L MPI Alpha sterndrive) LOA: 20'10" Beam: 8'6" Displacement: 3,500 lb.
cobaltboats.com; 800-468-5764 Still the most popular boat on the water, the family bowrider offers the seating space you need for the kids, the performance you desire for towing and just cruising, and the deep-V hull to handle chop. When I was researching this story and found a Cobalt that met our financial parameters, I was pleasantly surprised. For as long as I can remember, Cobalt has been among the brands most often compared to high-end luxury automobiles. The Cobalt 200 retails for $35,847 (once you see this boat you’ll come up with the other $847) in its base dress without a trailer and powered by a 220 hp V-6 MerCruiser 4.3L MPI with an Alpha One drive. So equipped, the boat should run speeds nearing 50 mph and have the punch to pull a skier out of the water.
Cobalt

Cobalt 200

Among the features that set the 200 apart from other small bowriders is a walk-through transom with removable cushions that fill in the passageway. The driver and co-pilot ride in bucket seats that swivel and adjust fore and aft. Finally, up front, even adult-size passengers sit nice and deep in the bow, so you’ll feel secure when the kids are hanging out up there. Of course, there are drink holders everywhere.Cobalt

Cobalt 200

Construction highlights include composite reinforcements in the cockpit sole and transom in addition to molded fiberglass stringers. Rigging details such as double-clamping all plumbing connections, lining all storage compartments with rubber mats or carpet, and using backing plates on every fastener ensure that the well-built and finished 200 will last for years.Cobalt

Cobalt 200

Cobalt

Cobalt 200

Notable & Boatable
A 20-foot bowrider with stowage for your scuba tank and fins? Pretty cool.
Cobalt

Tahoe 228

Switch-Hitter: Tahoe 228 Price: $35,999
(with 220 hp MerCruiser 4.3L MPI Alpha sterndrive) LOA: 22'5" Beam: 8'6" Displacement: 3,950 lb.
tahoe-boats.com; 417-873-4555 If you like the idea of all that space on a pontoon but still want a planing hull, check out a deck boat like the Tahoe 228, which basically takes the semi-V bottom of a runabout and marries it to a more passenger-conscious layout. The 228 is rated for 12 passengers with spacious lounges forward of the windshield and a large L-shape seating area in the cockpit. The driver and co-pilot travel in bucket seats that swivel and adjust fore and aft. If you want to keep drinks and snacks chilled, there’s a removable cooler under the aft bench seat and an insulated locker beneath the nonskid fiberglass sole. Dry stowage is available in two additional large in-sole lockers as well.
Tahoe

Tahoe 228

When the time comes to break out those snacks and drinks, a removable table can be installed in the cockpit, and you can enjoy your lunch beneath the color-matched Bimini top. If you like to beach your boat and relax while the kids swim, the 228’s bow ladder that stows in its own locker makes reboarding simple. For easy passage to the stern, there’s a walk-through transom gate.Tahoe

Tahoe 228

Tahoe

Tahoe 228

Tahoe’s PowerGlide hull design features reverse chines that lift it up on plane quickly and let the boat ride smoothly through lake chop. The smooth ride is enhanced by the boat’s construction, which features a fiberglass stringer system. The quick planing times make the boat a great candidate for towing skiers, tubers and boarders, and when you’re done with your run, you can access the locker for stowing your board right from the transom.Tahoe

Tahoe 228

Notable & Boatable
Flip-up armrests for the bow seats make the lounges feel even more like chaises.
Tahoe

Aqua Patio 240 SL

’Toon Time: Aqua Patio 240 SL Base price: $33,495
(with Yamaha 115 hp four-stroke outboard) LOA: 25'1" Beam: 8'6" Displacement: 3,296 lb.
godfreypontoons.com; 574-522-8381 Pontoon boats are the capacity kings when it comes to hauling a crowd on the water, and the Aqua Patio series from Godfrey Marine is a great example of the increased amenities and luxury that customers have been requesting from this breed of boat. For $33,495 with a Yamaha 115 hp four-stroke outboard, the Aqua Patio 240 SL (for sun lounge) can carry 14 people. The aft-facing chaise-style lounges are the best seats aboard, and the forward couches are deeper inboard to outboard than on competitive boats. This means that an adult can stretch out on them without fear of flopping onto the cockpit sole.
Aqua Patio

Aqua Patio 240 SL

Aqua Patio

Aqua Patio 240 SL

People frequently use a pontoon boat as a swim platform, and the AP 240’s stern ladder extends deeply into the water, but with a plus. There are small pegs on the fronts of the legs that keep the ladder from swinging too far under. At the end of the day, when you want to change out of your suit, a changing curtain pops up out of the stern lounge. At the helm, the master power switch is another great idea. Hit the single button and it kills power to all electronic accessories, except the bilge pump, so you won’t accidentally kill the batteries.Aqua Patio

Aqua Patio 240 SL

You can pull tubers with an AP 240 with the 115 hp Yamaha. The boat will top out in the low- to mid-20 mph range, and it takes lake chop and boat wakes surprisingly well. Godfrey builds the boat with full bulkheads in the pontoons. Additionally, the fronts of the twin pontoon logs overlap up to three layers, providing plenty of protection against collisions with docks.Aqua Patio

Aqua Patio 240 SL

Notable & Boatable
Need a cup holder? They can be moved wherever needed aboard the 240 SL.
Aqua Patio

Boston Whaler 190 Montauk

Fishy Business: Boston Whaler 190 Montauk Price: $35,358
(with 115 hp Mercury 115 EXLPT EFI four-stroke outboard) LOA: 19'0" Beam: 8'0" Displacement (no motor): 1,900 lb.
bostonwhaler.com; 800-942-5379 Some people consider a center console the sport-utility vehicle of the marine world, and Boston Whaler’s 190 Montauk is one of the most revered center consoles on the water. The boat features a wide beam carried all the way to the squared-off bow. For convenience, a removable aft bench slips into the aft rod holders, while a filler cushion for the bow lounge creates a giant sun pad where your spouse and kids can stretch out and nap protected below the deck lines.
Boston Whaler

Boston Whaler 190 Montauk

If you do head offshore, it’s nice to know that you’re doing it in a boat that won’t sink. Boston Whaler’s unibond hull consists of a thick sandwich of foam between two layers of fiberglass, making the hull one big flotation device.Boston Whaler

Boston Whaler 190 Montauk

If you are a fisherman, the 190 Montauk has plenty of fish-fighting space on a nonskid sole, and rod holders are properly placed for trolling. For $35,358, the 190 Montauk comes with a trailer and a 115 hp Mercury EXLPT EFI four-stroke outboard that pushes the boat to speeds approaching 40 mph. When the kids don’t feel like trolling anymore, you can toss a tube over the stern and let them have some fun.Boston Whaler

Boston Whaler 190 Montauk

For stowage, the locker under the bow seat makes a good insulated fish box. Another compartment under the helm seat, plus the other locker inside the console, holds a ton of gear. Finally, a third under the stern seat provides storage or can also be plumbed from the factory as a livewell/baitwell.Boston Whaler

Boston Whaler 190 Montauk

Notable & Boatable
The 72-quart cooler that secures in place with chocks aboard this unsinkable boat is removable.
Boston Whaler