Best Boat Manufacturers and Brands in 2021

Do you have a tried-and-true boat manufacturer that you always tend to gravitate towards when you’re searching for your next boat? Want to know what other consumers are looking for? We’ve found the most popular boat manufacturers that our boat buyers are searching for on Boat Trader are often some of the best boats on the market that appeal to a wide audience of boaters and boat shoppers.

Top 10 Boat Brands – By Search Volume

When you’re looking at the list below of some of the best boat brands in the marine industry, keep in mind that this is a general roundup based on the volume of searches the brands receive every month on Boat Trader.

  1. Sea Ray – Sports boats, deck boats, bowriders & yachts
  2. Boston Whaler – Fishing boats, center consoles, cruisers & tenders.
  3. Yamaha – Watersports and center consoles.
  4. Grady-White – Dual & center console saltwater fishing boats.
  5. Chaparral – Waterskiing & fishing boats.
  6. Mastercraft – Wakesurfing & wakeboard boats.
  7. Ranger – Bass fishing boats, aluminum utility boats, saltwater skiffs & pontoons.
  8. Cobalt – Runabout boats.
  9. Contender – Fishing boats.
  10. Malibu – Wakesurfing, wakeboarding & waterskiing boats.

Source: Boat Trader – Searches by Make in 2020/2021

While the list above is a good indication for the popularity – and therefore merit of the builder – there are of course many smaller, more specialized and custom boat builders that may build boats that could meet your particular boating requirements more closely. As always, when buying a boat, you should know exactly what boat class and type would suit you best and then search for the brand and model that fit your needs best.

Best Boat Brands – By Shopping Interest

The most searched boat brands on Boat Trader include those listed above from major manufacturers such as Sea Ray Boats and MasterCraft. In comparison, when looking at the listings with the most views (a closely related metric), brands like Beneteau, Bayliner and Chris-Craft regularly feature in the top 10 replacing brands like Contender.

While the popular brands mentioned here can definitely help you find a boat, there is quite specific advice for buying a boat that helps narrow down the options as you consider who will be using the boat, what the boat will be used for, the size of the hull, deck and cabins. If you know the type of boat you are looking for, but not the manufacturers that build those class of boats, the boat types section on Boat Trader shows popular manufacturers by class and provides a helpful link to the listings available for sale.

Perhaps one of these manufacturers will give you the inspiration you need for your next purchase whether you’re looking for a Pontoon Boat, Fishing Boat or Ski & Wakeboarding Boat.

Written by: Ryan McVinney

C. Ryan McVinney is a film director, writer and producer. As an experienced boater he regularly produces and directs on-the-water video shoots for major boat manufacturers, yacht brokers and dealers, as well as independent film and media companies. He is president of the National Soho House Film Club with chapters in Miami, FL, Manhattan, NY and Los Angeles, CA and regularly contributes content to YachtWorld, and Boat Trader.


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