boats 38 bowriders

As boaters know, bowriders are essentially runabouts with the lid taken off. Really, they are the same style of boat, however where there's a cabin or covered storage area in a runabout, the same area has been opened up in a bowrider so that seats or bench-style, cushion-covered seating is used.

In a bowrider, the helm is amidships. Where it is located depends on the manufacturer and the buyer's tastes. For example, if you're like most American drivers, you'll probably want the helm on the left of the boat with the throttle and engine controls to the left. If you're adventurous and don't mind the extra expense you can have those controls mounted to the right of the wheel, but that's probably overkill as having the controls to the left in a bowrider seems natural.

In a bowrider, you also will find that the windscreen will wraparound the entire cockpit to provide the boater and people riding back there, once you've planed, more protection from wind and spray, especially if the weather and wind are up.

Accessing the bow area is usually through the center where you will likely have to open a small hatch and move the windscreen. Otherwise, the windscreen is in two rounded pieces.

For 2012, bowriders have a bit more freeboard and tend to be wider, although their V-shape is also more pronounced. This makes them more stable when used as a diving platform or just for a day's trolling.

Bowriders can be rigged to mount either standard outboards or sterndrives. You'll find the outboard-outfitted bowriders tend to be a tad less expensive than the sterndrive models because the stern is an enclosed unit.

A stern drive requires an opening in the stern for the drive section and requires a separate area where you mount the motor. It does make the the sterndrive a bit more complicated to work on but given today's four-stroke engine requirements, it's unlikely that you will be doing much more than changing the oil and filter, if that, because today's engines are pretty much sealed units.

The same is true of outboards. Speaking of outboards, by the way, mounting dual outboards does increases the weight factor over the rear and does make planing easier, but, by the same token, you have to watch out just how far below the boat the run and you have to recognize the types of bottom you may be sailing over.

One other reason you may want an outboard setup, rather than stern drive which does offer more balanced handling but not by much is that outboards can swing up and away for proper transport while, a fixed stern drive will require a crane to pull it out of the water for transport. This does raise costs.

Bowriders run from about 20 to 30 feet.