Boats in the 24- to 27-foot size range represent a real sweet spot for many prospective buyers. They’re not so large as to be budget busters but not so small as to be uncomfortable for family fun on the water. Speaking to that theme we’ve assembled three great boats from respected builders in the 24- to 27-foot range—all under $50,000.
This story will be available in the future as part of Boat Trader’s Best Boat Deals series, but the boat listings below may not be. If you click through to an expired link it means that someone nabbed the bargain — or the owner had second thoughts about selling.
– Boat Trader editors
2005 Monterey 270 CR
Monterey is known for its luxury-oriented, family-friendly express boats that pack a lot of versatility inside. If you take a look at the features included with this 2005 Monterey 270 CR, you’ll begin to see that it’s definitely a well-earned reputation.
This one has a single MerCruiser 350 MAG MPI inboard gas engine with only 220 hours, in fresh water, and has been maintained by a professional marina staff. Full documentation on performed services is available from the original owner. Trimmed up at full load you should expect top speeds in the 40-mph range with a cruise in the mid-20s.
The listing shows that this 2005 model is packed with all sorts of creature comforts, including reverse-cycle air-conditioning, a five-kW gas generator, 30-amp shore power, refrigeration, microwave oven, television, stereo, and hotwater heater. On deck are a custom bridge-deck canvas enclosure, stainless-steel ground tackle, an upholstered foredeck sunpad, swim platform ladder, custom cushions, and more.
Accommodations below include an enclosed head/shower, a guest berth situated midcabin under the bridge deck, and a queen-sized V-berth that converts to a dinette. A galley is situated to port with a sink, stove, the aforementioned microwave and refrigerator, and stowage space for galley gear. There’s plenty of light and ventilation below, thanks to well-situated hatches and opening ports. This express is well equipped for family cruising.
This 2005 Monterey 270 CR is listed at $48,500, which will appeal to the budget-minded, especially when you compare it to buying a new express cruiser in the 27-foot range. Pocket the change for your 401K. Essentially, the boat is equipped and ready to go. A trailer is included, too.
2002 Baja 232
Baja boats have a reputation for providing thrilling performance. So when we came across this 2002 model with 310 ponies’ worth of MerCruiser Bravo 1 power strapped to the stern, we decided to investigate further. Hold on to your hats.
Well-maintained and with a solid powertrain, this lift-stored 23-footer comes with a dual-axle, brake-equipped trailer tipped with custom mag wheels. Only a two-owner boat, this 232 has been professionally winterized each year and sports a like-new appearance, from the gelcoat down to the cushions and canvas.
Inside the 232 is a sporty seating setup for five, with twin captain’s chairs behind the console and a three-person bench aft. A heavy-duty bimini top with one-inch stainless-steel tubing is included to keep things cool while underway beneath the summer sun. Tunes come courtesy of a Kenwood head unit and an Alpine amplifier pushing four- to eight-inch Alpine speakers.
Below is a comfy cuddy with a bench seat and seating that converts to a full-size berth. A large opening hatch enhances lighting and ventilation, while a transformable space to starboard has room enough for a porta-potty. This provides plenty of excuses for Bohemian weekend overnighting anchored out or tied up at a cozy marina.
Getting back to the performance, this 232 should push top speeds in the 60-plus mph area, thanks to a 310-horsepower 7.4-liter MerCruiser V8 gasoline inboard-outboard. The owner has also installed a custom exhaust system that can be as boisterous or as quiet as you like, depending on your boating situation.
One of the best parts about this boat is its price, listed at $22,995. If pushing the limits of performance and speed are checkboxes on your boat shopping short list, then this high-performance speedster is probably worth a look.
2013 Yamaha 242 Limited S
A 24-footer that places a lot of emphasis on family fun, entertaining, and watersports is the jet-powered Yamaha 242 Limited S. Powered by a pair of powerful Yamaha four-stroke engines, the 242 Limited S was, and still is, the flagship of Yamaha’s jet boat fleet. That’s one of reasons this low-hour 242 Limited S listing caught our eye.
So, what does the “Limited S” designation get you? Well, in the 2013 model year it adds just about every option on the order sheet, including upgraded electronics, a Clarion stereo, teak-look decking throughout, a watersports tower with wakeboard racks, LED transom lighting, upgraded seating upholstery, and more. This boat also comes with a custom cover, Samson wakeboard tower mirror, and an upgraded steering system.
With only 85 hours on the clock, the twin Yamaha four-stroke engines on this 242 Limited S have only been used in fresh water, and have been professionally maintained, with full documentation. With plenty of power to spare, the 242 Limited S has a top speed of around 50 mph. An efficient cruise speed settles in around 27 mph. Kept covered when not in use and housed indoors during winter, this boat looks and feels brand new.
Inside there’s a clever layout with two aft-facing lounge seats molded into the transom that provide a first-row view to the action behind the boat. They also provide ample stowage, accessible from each opening seatback. Farther inside the gunwales is a clever seating layout both forward and in the cockpit that can comfortably accommodate around eight people.
Priced at $47,999 with those aforementioned low hours, this is sort of a steal, in our eyes. It will be worth checking out the listing if a high-quality jet boat has been on your shopping list.