10 Truly Affordable Boats In 2021: Budget-Friendly Picks

We’ve all been a little envious at one time or another of a stranger’s yacht cruising by us in the summer sun. And if you happen to be stuck on the shore boat-less, left with nothing but the rippling waves of their wake as you gaze longingly out to sea, it can be even worse. But truth be told, you don’t actually need to be a millionaire to own a boat. In fact, far from it. With the latest advancements in marine technology and an unprecedented interest in boating, there are many incredible affordable boat options out there covering a plethora of interests at often surprisingly accessible price points.

Here’s a quick list of ten of the best affordable boats in 2021 – including some red hot new 2022 models – that can easily get you, your family and friends out on the water and well on your way to having many unforgettable boat adventures, forging memories that will last a lifetime!

1) 2021 Tracker V-16 SC Aluminum Fishing Boat

Featured in a recent episode of Boat Trader’s Stomping Grounds video series, the 2021 Tracker Super Guide V-16 SC is one of the top-selling boats in the country simply because she is hands down one of the best affordable fishing boats on the market today. And the 2022 looks to carry on that record. She’s ideal for those on a budget who still need a capable fishing machine that can take a beating and keep on ticking. Plus, in typical Tracker fashion, she comes rigged up and ready to go with a 50HP Mercury outboard and a matching galvanized trailer.

Tracker Aluminum Boat Super Guide V-16 SC. Photo: Boat Trader.

Above: A 2021 Tracker Super Guide V-16 SC aluminum fishing boat as seen in Stomping Grounds Episode 001: The Tin Boat Mafia. Photo: Boat Trader.

This boat offers an economical package designed to get you out on the water safely and in style, with great fishing features, including two move-able fishing chairs that can be anchored to any of 5 pedestals strategically placed throughout the vessel’s deck. Tracker’s “no haggle no hassle” price for this boat is $20,995 USD.

View Tracker Super Guide V-16 SC boats for sale on Boat Trader now.

2) Boston Whaler Super Sport 160 and 130 Skiffs

If you know boats, you know Boston Whaler. The builder is carrying their storied heritage into 2021 by continuing to build what many still regard as the absolute best boats under 20 feet on the market with their 2021 Super Sport 160 and its little sister, the Super Sport 130. The 160 is a small runabout up to nearly any task you throw at her plus she’s easy to drive, easy to trailer and easy to store. The company’s keel-up redesign of this series has resulted in two side-console-driven boats that deliver affordable durability, effortless operation and low maintenance in a always clever layout.

The 130 can handle up to 40 HP horses on her transom making her a compact yet speedy vessel for the bay, estuary fishing or just as a family bang-around fun boat! Despite their modest size, these boats can truly take a beating and keep on ticking.

2021 Boston Whaler Super Sport 130

Above: The 2021 Boston Whaler Super Sport 130 is a sturdy, sport and compact affordable boat that makes a great starter boat or bang around boat for the family and kids. Photo by Boston Whaler.

The bigger 160 can handle up to 100 HP and makes for a nearly perfect small fishing skiff, popular for fishing bays, harbors and flats as well as tooling around with family and friends. Both come in a variety of seating configurations and options to suit fishing, water sports, cruising, lounging and more. As most experienced boaters know – not all vessels are created equal, and these two Super Sport series boats set the bar for durability, safety and seaworthiness in their class – plus they aren’t too bad on the wallet either. With either model, buyers can rest assured they’re getting a great bang for their buck. A 2022 Super Sport 130 starts at $15,363 USD MSRP, while the 2022 Super Sport 160 starts at $23,826 USD MSRP.

View Boston Whaler Super Sport boats for sale on Boat Trader.

3) Starcraft CX 21 R Pontoon Boat

Pontoons continue to be the staple boat for many families to enjoy long days on lakes, rivers and inland waterways in comfort and luxury. Stable, luxurious and roomy, best of all these boats can often be had for less many than you might expect. Starcraft’s CX pontoon boats are everything you’d hope for from one of the best pontoon boat builders out there, including countless layouts and numerous options to choose from. Plus, they offer great value in affordable packages tailored to the desires of various boat owners and boating styles. From the stylish fencing and rail accents to premium consoles, the CX 21 R delivers incredible comfort, style and value. Depending on your options, you can likely get into a 2021 CX 21 R pontoon for under $30,000 USD and have enough money left over to fill her coolers with some beverages and snacks for the whole crew.

View Starcraft pontoon boats for sale on Boat Trader now.

4) Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX

The 2021 PARTY BARGE 20 DLX from Sun Tracker is perfect for those who want a spacious recreational pontoon boat that’s big enough to handle a crew of up to 10, but isn’t so big it can’t be towed and launched by just two. Regardless of your crew’s size, this pontoon boat packs the right amount of features for a full day of fun. To start, check out the dual bow couches and midship L-lounge, all with the STOW MORE™ seat storage system to provide plenty of space for gear (the seat-back compartments can even be accessed safely while cruising!). Or, crank up the Bluetooth® stereo and take a cooling dive off the full-width swim platform—there’s even an extra-large ladder for easy reboarding. So, load it up with gear, load up the family and head to your favorite lake for some quality family time. With a 40 ELPT FourStroke Command Thrust Mercury FourStroke outboard, you should be able to get a boat-motor-trailer package for around $25,000 USD depending on your local dealer and inventory.

View Sun Tracker pontoon boats for sale on Boat Trader now.

5) Walker Bay Generation 450 DLX RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat)

Built as a yacht tender for larger vessels, the 2021 Walker Bay 450 DLX is an extremely capable, deep V-hull rigid inflatable boat in her own right. She has elegant European styling and a sporty wide-body frame that provides ample space for people and gear. Rated to handle up to 75 horsepower she can carry 8 passengers in her 15-foot hull. Featuring a smart layout, ample storage and an integrated ski pole and boarding ladder she is equipped for maximum fun on and in the water. Plus at a mere 633 pounds, she is easy to trailer and maneuver on the water. Starting around $30,000 USD depending on your location and package.

View Walker Bay Generation Series RIB boats for sale on Boat Trader now.

6) Bayliner Trophy T20CX Center Console

Bayliner revived an older name with their recent Trophy series and their 2021 T20CX center console in this lineup offers the perfect balance of fishability and comfort and a very nice price. Highlights include a deep V-hull, a broad bow for casting or lounging, livewells, aft bench seat and a dry-riding interior that makes the ride to your favorite fishing spot or waterfront restaurant a lot more comfortable. Families enjoy its user-friendly design and conveniences like a self-bailing cockpit for easy cleanup and an enclosed head compartment at the center console. Additional options like a ski tow pylon adds extra versatility for adventure-seekers. Starting at $35,046.00* USD or $336.10 a Month*

*depending on options, credit and loan terms

View Trophy T20CX Center Console boats for sale on Boat Trader now.

7) Bayliner Element E16

Bayliner appears twice on this list for a reason: the company focuses on constructing quality, well-built vessels at reasonable and truly affordable price points that many families can afford. These boats are a great way to get out on the water and they’re very easy to handle too, making them ideal for first time boaters. The 2021 Element E16 bowrider boat features familiar automotive-style handling, numerous modern stability and safety features and the power and comfort to get families and friends to the fun spots while enjoying every moment along the way. This is a solid boat, brimming with family-friendly amenities. She’s not only affordable but also fun and unlike the most expensive yachts in the world, you really don’t have to be a millionaire to afford one. In fact, the price cannot be beat! Starting at $15,806.00* USD or $143.33 a Month*

*depending on options, credit and loan terms

View Bayliner Element E16 boats for sale on Boat Trader now.

8) Lund 1650 Angler Sport Fishing Boat

The full-windshield 1650 Angler Sport remains one of Lund’s best 16-foot fishing boats in 2021 ideal for hardcore anglers. Versatile enough to fish small lakes, yet large enough for safety in rough windy water, this aluminum Lund fishing boat is loaded with features including a spacious cockpit, front and rear fishing platforms, lockable rod storage, a livewell and ample storage compartments for fishing gear. Starting at $18,247* USD or $165.60/month*

*depending on options, credit and loan terms

View Lund fishing boats for sale on Boat Trader now.

9) Chaparral 2021 19 SSI

The Chaparral 19 SSI is a classic bowrider runabout with sleek lines, stainless steel hardware, abundant storage and seating that comes with a premium audio system, swim platform, folding arch tower and non-skid flooring. At an overall length of 19 feet and four inches, she has an 11-passenger capacity, luxurious bow seating and hand-stitched upholstery. In 2021 Chaparral added an all-new helm design featuring a custom hand-stitched brow and aluminum-faced gauges accented with stainless steel bezels and fog resistant instruments. Prices starting at $34,195 USD (including trailer)

View Chaparral boats for sale on Boat Trader now.

10) Sea Ray SPX 190

With base models starting in the 40k-range, the Sea Ray SPX 190 can get pricier with options, but it remains a great economical, entry-level family boat with some wonderful amenities and features. A comfortable, roomy interior with classic Sea Ray® styling, the SPX 190 is an athletically-gifted performer that helps ensure you make the most of your time on the water.

2021 Sea Ray SPX 190 OB

Above: The 2021 Sea Ray SPX 190 OB makes a great economical, entry-level boat with many add-ons and optional features. Photo by Sea Ray via Lynnhaven Marine in Virginia Beach, VA.

With the affordable price tag and a variety of available options to suit your lifestyle, the SPX 190 makes the good life more attainable than ever before, brining that quality Sea Ray standard of boating at a family-friendly, affordable price. Starting around $45,000 USD depending on options, location and dealer inventory.

View Sea Ray SPX 190 boats for sale on Boat Trader now.

Written by: Laila Elise

Laila Elise is a former fashion model, writer, actress and entrepreneur, with an affinity for a life on the water. She has a Masters in Finance and a Bachelor's in Business Education, and has traveled extensively around the world working with top agencies and designers. She writes regularly about her passion for the sea on her blog: www.theboatingbabe.com