Are Deck Boats Good in Rough Water?
Deck boats are incredibly versatile and can accommodate more passengers than most powerboats. They are great boats for family cruising and having fun with a group of friends on the water.
But are deck boats good in choppy waters? Can their extended bow handle rough water effectively?
I’ll answer this and more in the guide below.
Are Deck Boats Good in Rough Water?
Yes. Deck boats are good in rough water. They come with a wide beam, making them more stable and reducing the capsizing risks.
However, it’s important to know the type of hull your boat has since not all deck boats can handle rough water so well. Some deck boats’ hull designs are better in rough water than others.
Let’s look at the different types of hulls that deck boats use and how they handle rough water:
V-Hull Deck Boats
V-hull deck boats are the most common and can perform better in rough water than boats with other hulls. The bow usually extends outwards to create more passenger space.
They can handle choppy waters and bowriders since the triangular shape ensures smooth water displacement.
With a V-hull deck boat, you may not get the stability of a flat-bottomed boat, but you can sail at higher speeds even when carrying more passengers.
Tri-Hull Deck Boats
Tri-hull deck boats come with a bow that extends outwards and downwards on both sides. This makes such boats look like they have three hulls.
Since they have a larger deck and more passenger space, tri-hull deck boats tend to be more stable. However, given the flatter sides, they may not handle choppy waters so well.
Catamaran/Two-Hull Deck Boats
Catamaran deck boats have two hulls that ensure greater stability and more space. They are rare and expensive.
While two-hull deck boats are great in calm water and can accommodate more people, they can easily keel over in choppy waters since they can’t cut through the waves with ease.
Good Alternatives to Deck Boats
The best alternatives to deck boats include pontoon boats, bowriders, cabin cruisers, and speed boats. If you still want the convenience, space, and versatility of a deck boat, a pontoon boat comes the closest.
Pontoon boats are more fuel-economical and can carry even more passengers. You can also use a pontoon boat for water activities like fishing, wakeboarding, and tubing.
A bowrider is a great choice if you are looking for a boat that can handle choppy waters better than a deck boat. It may not provide as much space or accommodate more passengers, but you’ll have better ocean voyaging capabilities.
For a boat that can handle the worst ocean conditions and remain stable, a cabin cruiser will not disappoint.
Lastly, you can choose a speedboat if you want great acceleration and top-notch performance and don’t mind compromising space and comfort.
Does the Size of a Deck Boat Matter?
Yes, the size of a deck boat matters a lot when handling rough water. Large deck boats perform better than small ones when the weather gets bad.
Small deck boats can easily bounce off the waves and sway around in choppy waters since they lack a greater balance.
What to Do When You Suspect Rough Weather While Out There
If you are cruising with your family or friends on a deck boat and suspect bad weather, the best thing to do is to head back. You never know how tough things can get!
Cruising on rough waters will leave your passengers wet even if you have a V-hull deck boat that cuts through the waves.
If you hit the waves head-on, it will help ensure all your passengers wear a life jacket for safety.
You should also ensure that the bilge pump is in the right condition to get rid of any excess water that gets into the boat and remains afloat.
Deck Boat vs. Pontoon Boat: Which is Better?
Both deck and pontoon boats are great vessels with advantages and disadvantages. The best one for you will depend on your needs and how you want to use the boat.
Here is a comparison of the two boats based on various essential aspects:
Speed: Deck Boats can travel up to 70 miles per hour, while pontoon boats sail at an average speed of 30 miles per hour. If you are looking for a faster boat that will cut through waves efficiently, you are better off with a V-hull deck boat.
Stability: Pontoon boats are more stable in the water while still or in motion, thanks to their flat, multi-hull design. Greater stability makes pontoon boats better for fishing than deck boats. However, tri-hull and catamaran deck boats can also provide better stability.
Rough Water Handling: V-hull deck boats are great in rough water. They slice through currents effectively when riding at high speeds, though this can be a wet experience for your passengers. On the other hand, pontoon boats ride over the waves smoothly rather than cutting through them, but this poses a higher risk of capsizing in case the boat rides under the current. While rare, it can still happen, especially if you are riding on extremely choppy water.
Cost: Deck boats tend to be more expensive than traditional pontoon boats. Even so, some luxurious pontoon boats can cost almost the same as deck boats.
Space and Size: This can be quite hard to debate since both types of boats are roomy and can accommodate more passengers. Nonetheless, pontoon boats tend to win since larger models accommodate up to 16 passengers, while large deck boats accommodate about 12 passengers.
Activities: If you are a sporty person, you’ll want a boat with better performance, and in this case, a deck boat is the best choice. You can use it for wakeboarding, water skiing, water tubing, and more. However, a pontoon boat is a great option if you are looking for more relaxed adventures. It’s the perfect choice for boaters who wants to engage in activities that require stability when boating.
Both deck and pontoon boats are great for relaxed and thrilling boating. They offer excellent space and comfort for families and large groups to enjoy.
You don’t get as much pontoon walking space with a deck boat, but you’ll love its impressive performance and speed. So it all comes down to what you want.
Q: What Deck Boat is Best for Choppy Water?
A: V-hull deck boats are the best for choppy water. They can handle wavy waters better than catamarans and tri-hull deck boats.
Two-hull and tri-hull deck boats may be more stable in calm water, but they do not cut the waves effectively like V-hull deck boats.
However, you must ride the V-hull boat at a higher speed to slice the waves effectively. Otherwise, the boat will ride over the waves and making the ride difficult. It could even capsize.
Q: What is the Advantage of a Deck Boat?
A: The advantage of deck boats is that they are usually more spacious to carry passengers and more gear. Deck boats are also comfortable and amazingly versatile. You can use them for various activities, from fishing to water sports.
Q: Can a Deck Boat Pull a Skier?
A: Yes. A deck boat can pull a skier. The good thing about deck boats, especially V-hulls, is that they can ride at higher speeds, allowing you to pull a skier.
To achieve the best speed for water skiing, you should avoid overloading your deck boat and ensure balanced weight distribution.
Besides water skiing, deck boats are ideal for water sports like tubing, wakeboarding, and fishing.
Q: How Fast Do Deck Boats Go?
A: The average speed of deck boats is about 50 to 70 miles per hour. This is faster than pontoon boats, which have an average speed of 30 miles per hour, with the fast ones riding at 60 miles per hour.
If you are looking for a faster and more versatile boat to let you enjoy the various watersports with less hassle, a deck boat will be a good investment.
Deck boats provide unmatched versatility, making them hard to beat for family and large group entertainment on the water. They are good in rough water too!
If you want a deck boat that will not let you down in choppy waters, you should ensure that you get a V-shaped hull, as it handles the waves better than multi-hulls.
Be sure to consider your boating needs carefully to ensure that you get the right boat for the type of experience you want.