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Best Low-Maintenance Speedboats

By The Ahoy! Crew
Published December 1, 2022

I am a person that spends a lot of time on the water, out in the elements, and exposed to the sun.  Despite all the choices and information touting what is the best, the safest, and the healthiest sun protection, I used to find myself wondering, “What sunscreen should I choose for myself and my family?”  

Thankfully, years ago I met a dermatological surgeon who put it to me straight.  She removes people’s sun-damaged skin.  After some time getting to know one another and laughing as we watched our children play, I ventured to ask, “So, what do you think is the best sunscreen on the market?”

Her answer was simple and concise: “Whatever you will use.”

That response really stuck with me because I find this wisdom extends to so many of the choices in the market today including “What is the best low-maintenance speed boat?”  

Simply put, the best low-maintenance speed boat is one that will be used - no matter where you are, whether Sunny California, or four seasons in Minnesota, you buy a boat to have run. Further, it must be said that part of that use includes the care and maintenance required of the boat one has.  Boats that are used and maintained regularly have less overall maintenance because owners can see what is happening and stay on top of care little by little instead of allowing time and stagnancy to spawn sneaky problems.  Regardless of how basic or complicated a boat is, in general, the scope of a boat’s maintenance is tempered by regular use and a steady dose of care.  

Knowing yourself is key here.  Some boat owners are happiest getting off the water, hosing their boat down, and going home, topping up their fluids and getting back out there.  Others enjoy the material-specific cleaning products and a finer, detailed maintenance regiment.  Both boat owners may be perfectly content with the “low” maintenance of their boat.

Whether you are a beginning boater or an avid angler, an offshore enthusiast or a weekend pleasure boater there are some features that are worth noting and considering when evaluating the best low-maintenance speed boat for you.


Knowing that boats need to be used, the first quality of a boat to consider is how it will be used relative to what it will take to maintain.  The best low-maintenance speed boat is going to be one with the fewest and most basic systems relative to the intended use without extra glitz or glam that will not be used or readily maintained.  Boat systems include electronics, lighting, HVAC, Plumbing, assorted moving parts.  The more systems, the more maintenance required in your boat owner’s maintenance protocol.  The less superfluous gadgets and gizmos the less systems that can glitch or go awry and require maintenance.

In short, one may dream of gripping the fully heated steering wheel of their metallic flecked, fully carpeted bass boat decked with all the latest and greatest in lights and electronics, screaming across the lake at 70 mph to their favorite fishing hole.  And yet, the reality is that hitting the water in a 16’ aluminum, tiller driven, jon boat with a 9.9hp outboard motor is going to be easier all around to use and maintain.  A boat shopper will be wise to consider the maintenance required with any boat to keep it looking, feeling, and running like new.  

*The Boston Whaler Montauk is a great choice for a boat owner looking for a multipurpose boat designed and equipped to be simple to operate, clean and maintain.  


Additionally, when looking for the best low-maintenance speed boat one will do well to consider how the boat will be stored.  In general, boats stored in the water are constantly exposed to organic material that adheres to the boat at and below the waterline.  This process demands at a minimum more elbow grease than a simple washdown at the haul-out ramp and thereby more maintenance.  Therefore the boat that is trailerable and stored either indoors and/or under cover is the best lowest maintenance boat.  Trailerable boats are typically below 20’. There are bigger trailerable boats, of course.  However, boats over 20’ require heavier-duty trailers, more powerful haulers, and present advanced towing requirements than the average driver may be readily familiar with.  

*The 19 Ultra Elite Carolina Skiff is a center console fishing boat designed for saltwater bay fishing; it is easily trailered and streamlined for low maintenance.


A primary feature that impacts boat maintenance requirements is the hull material, layout, and the length of waterline. Assuming that the best low-maintenance speed boat is trailered and thereby stored under cover, good care and maintenance are reflected in regularly washing one’s boat after every use.  The shape and material of the hull have a large impact on the ease of a basic washdown.

*A modern aluminum or fiberglass hull that is unlined with a rolled gunnel like a Dusky 227 Fish Around Cruiser is simple to wash down and clean.  


Speed boats are propelled by either inboard or outboard motors.  In general, high-performance 4-stroke outboard motors are the lower maintenance choice for motors.  Twin outboards can provide more speed and an inherent backup motor if something goes wrong with one motor.  Twin outboards require all motor maintenance to be carried on both motors.  This can take twice the time.  No matter the motor/s, the best low-maintenance motors get basic and routine care to keep running reliably.  Basic and routine care keep maintenance lower than neglect which often leads to surprises that can be difficult to resolve. 

*The Axoparr 22 Spyder is an entry level speedboat that is winning awards on and off the water and is touted to be incredibly fun to drive when outfitted with a 200hp 4-stroke mercury outboard.  This high-performance, modern motor is designed for speed, efficiency and painless maintenance. 


Another boat feature that affects maintenance ease and requirements is the capacity the boat is capable of hauling comfortably.  Speed Boats carry fuel, water, crew, fishing gear and/or water toys.  Depending on the boat's intended use, the best speed boat will be able to comfortably seat and haul as much as desired plus a little extra in case of emergency without being overloaded.  Further, storage spaces that are well-ventilated, cleverly integrated, effortless to clean, and close securely are best.  Low-maintenance upholstery is marine grade, inhibits mold and mildew, wipes clean and zippers on and off easily.   

*A Starcraft Pontoon Boat or a Sea Ray Deckboat will haul toys and passengers quite comfortably.  Both boat designers offer large spacious deck configurations, comfortable seating, and ample storage spaces. 

All in all the best low-maintenance speed boat will be used by its owner/s, simple in its hull design and material, modest in its systems, undemanding in its interior spaces, and appropriately sized meaning not too big and not too small.  After narrowing down the pros and cons of different features, the best low-maintenance speed boat will suit the boat owner/s lifestyle, maintenance threshold, and be used often.  

There is a broad spectrum of boats available on the market today, from cabin cruisers to center console, wake boats and more.  Carefully, sifting through the choices with a realistic eye for what it will take to maintain is key to finding the best low-maintenance speedboat for you. 

While looking after your boat is key in order to keep its maintenance costs down, remember the unpredictability of life. Getting boat insurance with Ahoy! will give you the peace of mind of knowing we have your back when you need a tow, have been involved in an accident, affected by a storm, or had your boat stolen. 

Get a quote!


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