How to find the right boat for retirement

Yes, setting off in a camper van to explore the Australian wilderness sounds cool. But the beautiful waters of Australia are an incredible experience too. If you’re planning on a retirement brimming with boating pleasure, we’ve blogged some top tips for finding the right boat for you.


Here’s what you need to know.


What are you into?

Before considering what type of boat is right for your retirement years, you’ll need to take stock of what you want to do most on the water. Will you be boating with the family? Are you looking to spend most of your time fishing? Or do you want to get out on the water skis? (Plenty of retirees do!)


You’ll also need to consider your experience and budget. Luckily, there are plenty of boats that don’t cost the world, and resources for honing your boating skills, so you can enjoy the water safely. We’ll go into each of these factors more as we explore each possible boating option.


Is a big boat right for me?

Cruising the coast of Australia is an amazing experience, so if you have the capabilities and the budget, a larger vessel could be the right choice for you. A ‘big’ boat is typically at least 10 metres or more in length. The three main types of big boat are:


The trawler

These are typically displacement crafts, which means they push through water and displace it, unlike faster vessels that skim across the surface. Trawler boats are perfect for boaties who aren’t in a hurry, and want to enjoy the journey.


Trawler boats are generally very spacious, making them a great ‘home away from home’, with main decks to enjoy the sunshine and comfortable sleeping quarters. If you’re looking to live onboard or enjoy weekends on the water, a trawler boat is a great choice.



Flybridge crafts are popular with people who love to fish offshore, as they make it easier for anglers to notice movement in the water and identify fish. They also give the skipper the right view to effectively backdown on larger fish after they’re hooked.


A boat with a flying bridge is only really necessary if you’re going to fish. So if you’re not interested in casting a line, rule out this design. Also, heading up and down steps to a flybridge can be challenging, especially when seas are rough.


Sports cruiser

Known as the ‘sedan’ of big boats, the sports cruiser has some excellent selling points. For one, most of the design exists on the same level, which means you may only have to navigate a couple of steps to access the accommodation, cockpit, galley and saloon.


Sports cruisers are stylish and versatile boats, but if you’re planning on spending a good amount of time onboard, be sure to check there is enough space to comfortably sleep everyone.



If you have the budget and know how to handle a larger vessel safely, a big boat could be the right choice for you. A boat with a flying bridge is a great choice for serious anglers, while those who want to cruise in style would be well suited to a trawler. Sports cruisers are also amazing crafts, and their design makes them more accessible.


What about powerboats?


Aluminium ‘tinnies’ are lighter in weight, which means launching, retrieving and towing them is easier. Their light weight also means they require lower horsepower, in order to perform at the same level as a similarly sized fibreglass power boat.


Aluminium boats don’t fare well in salt water though, as corrosion can easily set in. So, if your heart is set on salty sea adventure and want to minimise maintenance, a tinny is not the right choice for you. If fresh water is where you want to be, then an aluminium boat could be your perfect match.



Fibreglass boats tend to be quieter and smoother to run than their aluminium counterpart. They also weigh more, which makes them more stable, especially in windy conditions. This also means they drift at a slower, more predictable pace, making them a good choice for anglers.


Fibreglass boats are also known for their eye-catching aesthetics, since it’s easier to manufacture sweeping curves and complex design features. As a result, you’re more likely to find cool accessories like seating modules and tackle stations built into a fibreglass vessel.



Both fibreglass and aluminium boats are great options for retirees on a budget. However, if you’re looking to enjoy freshwater boating, and want the convenience of a manoeuvrable little boat, then the tinny is a great choice. If you want that little extra style and stability, and plan to boat in salt water, then a fiberglass boat is probably a better option for you.


To sail or not to sail?

If you’re looking to enjoy your retirements years on a sailboat, you’ll need to have experience with operating this kind of vessel, especially if you’re looking to sail solo. Luckily, there are great sailing clubs all around Australia, with experts who can show you the ropes safely, at a pace that works for you.


If you’re not an experienced sailor, it may be worth attending lessons before buying a sailboat. That way you can be sure that a sailboat is the right choice.


Found the boat of your retirement dreams?

We can support you with finding the right cover for your craft, with comprehensive marine insurance that covers you for the stuff that really matters, so you can stay focused on enjoying your retirement on the water.


Head here for an obligation-free quote and stay safe out there!


white and blue yacht on sea under blue sky during daytime