Do you prefer sailing to camping? (Who wouldn’t – no bugs!!) Then you need a boat with a sleeper cabin. It doesn’t have to be a big boat. Even cuddy cabin boats have a tiny sleeper under the bow. You might be a mostly solo sailor looking for space to nap between trips.
Or a waterfront college kid seeking a pocket-friendly boathouse. Or a teen trying to convince your parents to let you move into the backyard parking bay. Let’s check out some small boats with cabins. They offer style, transportation, pleasure, and affordable accommodation.
Small Boats With Cabins
1. Bayliner 285 SB
Whichever boat you end up buying, we recommend avoiding used boats that are sunken salvages, haven’t run in years, or have older jet engines. You should also avoid force outboards, OMC drives, or XDP drives. Keep all this in mind if you’re looking for a Bayliner.
These classy boats are no longer built or sold locally. The last US version was released in 2017, so if you’re buying one on US soil, it’s either used or snuck in from their factory in Brazil. The 285 in the name tells you the boat is 28 feet long, with a cabin that fits 6 people.
The cabin is quite roomy, with a foldaway dinette that converts into a bed for two. A second bed has an optional privacy curtain around it. This single-engine boat also has a full-sized galley complete with a microwave, fridge, stove, pantry, drawers, and a big kitchen sink.
The Bayliner 285D is known for its natural lighting. It achieves this through side windows and multiple hatches. The boat also has an extra dining table, sink, and fridge up top. The back has a mounting platform, a towing arch for water sports, and a stainless steel propeller.
2. Jeanneau 1095 NC
If you want a small boat with cabins large enough to fit your family, consider the Jeanneau. You can get a two-cabin or three-cabin version of this 35-foot boat. It’s a bit on the bigger side for a ‘small boat’. But its fuel efficiency is remarkable, you’ll save a lot at the gas pump.
The boat has recessed side decks that neatly fold out of sight to give you more working space. And while it’s a spacious boat to begin with, the sliding door and L-shaped lounge layout make the boat feel even roomier. The four-seater dinette easily folds into a double bed.
In terms of performance, the boat has a bow thruster that can weather the choppiest waters. The boat has glass windows on all sides and sunroofs that slide open, so the cabin is flooded with natural light. Downstairs, the bathroom has a separate shower and toilet area, so yay!
3. Sea Ray Sun Sport 230
When we’re looking at small boats with cabins, the dimensions vary. Some experts say a small boat is anything under 64 feet though, and Sea Ray cruisers range in size from 19 feet to 40 feet. And unlike the two boats we just looked at, Sea Rays are still being made in 2022.
But what’s so special about this model? For one thing, it was voted boat of the year in 2020. This 23-foot boat has a 50-gallon engine and a 19° hard chine hull. Its proprietary Vesselview tech allows onboard management on any smartphone, whether it’s an Apple or an Android.
The boat also has an electric windlass below deck so you can easily control the anchor. The 9” digital dashboard and Fusion sound system offers a cushy cabin party. It’s a bowrider with cushy seats both above and below the cabin. European versions have different specs though.
4. Pro-Line 20 Express
This 20-foot cabin cruiser is built with fishing in mind, so it has dedicated features that include an 11-gallon bait-well, and a 27-gallon fish box aka live-well. The boat has a 68-gallon fuel tank with a 200hp engine. Its 19° hard chine deadrise has a medium draft of 15 inches.
The boat may seem tiny, but it can fit 7 people and has overnight accommodation below the bow. But it has a higher bridge than some boats in this class, so you do need 5 feet of clearance for that guardrail and those antennae. The boat also has a built-in fishfinder.
For easy access, the boat has a small ladder beside the motor. And while the cuddy cabin is adequate, it only has two small side windows and a square one at the front, so it’s not as well-lit as some of the other cabin cruisers we’ve looked at. But its fishing features are top-notch.
5. Sting Ray Cuddy Cabin
String Ray makes cuddy cabin boats in different sizes, but we’re going to focus on the 208, their 20-foot model. Some of the older models were marked as 207 (20 feet 7 inches vs the newer 20 feet 8 inches). It has a 34-gallon fuel tank, a 6-gallon water tank, and an icebox.
This is a hard chine v-bottom boat with a steep deadrise of 20° so it planes beautifully. The sleeper cabin is on the shorter side, but the boat is designed with a wider bow so you can laterally fit up to three people in there. You can also order a few free features for the boat.
These add-ons include an Italian steering wheel, a removable cooler, and a stereo. If you get them as part of the brand’s convenience package, you’ll save at least a thousand dollars. The cabin is fairly dark though, with only a single sunroof that lets daylight in through the bow.
6. Atlas Boat Works Pompano 21
This 21-foot boat has a stocky footprint and a centralized bridge that make it seem smaller than it is. And unlike all the other boats we’ve looked at, the Atlas 21 has a hard-top. The advantage is you can expand your sleeping space by stretching a fabric cover past the bridge.
You can add a slip-cover on the side of the bridge too. It’ll keep the wind and waves out of your eyes since the windshields only protect the front. The windshield does have wipers though, which is a nice touch. The Pompano 21 reaches a top speed of 17 knots.
The boat has an acute angular bow and a hard chine hull, with a relatively deep draft of 2 feet. Everything submerged is bronze. Its cabin has four port holes that open, and they each have insect screens. Since the hull is so hard, the cabin has customized v-berth cushions.
7. Dusky 227 Fish Cruiser
Here’s another hard-top model you could check out. It’s a center console boat that’s 22 inches long has unfettered 360° access from the cockpit. It can also be categorized as a walkaround boat because there’s a clear path along the perimeter plus guardrails at the bow.
Behind the Johnson 200, Mercury, or Suzuki engine, the boat has a proprietary boarding bracket called a Dusky Drive. This fiberglass platform makes it easy to step on and off the boat as you load your catch. It makes a suitable and sturdy diving platform and loading bay.
This boat can sail relatively skinny waters since its draft is only 12 inches. But it does have a hard chine with a 20° deadrise. The fuel capacity is 60 gallons and the tiny cabin is tucked beneath that bridge. The boat also has rod holders and a storage cubby for your trawling nets.
8. Campion Ex 18 OB SC
Campion is a popular brand, but it was sold to a private equity firm that now puts out explorer boats like the EX 18 OB SC. This Canadian company offers an 18-foot cuddy cabin boat that retains the fame and features of its predecessors. Start with the bow walkaround.
This gives you complete accessibility as you grapple and wrangle big fish. Other helpful accessories include built-in rod holders and tackle boxes. The cabin might be tiny, but it has a porta-potty. And since it’s mainly for fishing, you can adjust the seating to make room.
By tweaking the seating sections, you allow additional space for your catch and any extra fishing gear. The seats aren’t luxurious, but they’re comfy enough for extended fishing sessions. And every time you dock, you can use the built-in pump to empty your sewers.
9. Jet Capsule Mini Yacht
Jet-powered boats are going out of fashion because their spares are rare, which makes them hard to maintain. So people opt for personal watercrafts or PWCs instead (aka jet skis). But if you want a space-age boat that skims the water like a dream, try the Jet Capsule Mini Yacht.
It’s a 24-foot contraption that looks more like a space pod than a boat. But it does float, and it looks extremely cool. The boat is molded from vacuum-infused carbon with a sliding door and windows on all sides. These windows are photochromatic, meaning they go dark or light.
Their opacity or transparency depends on the levels of external light. And while the yacht has no cabin as such, you can customize it to have benches, recliners, or sofa beds, so it’s definitely safe to sleep in. The boat can hit 40mph (35 knots) and handle rough waters too.
10. Rinker 270 Express Cruiser
Let’s look at some slightly longer boats with cabins. The Rinker is a 27-foot model, so the sleeper is spacious enough to hold four people. And you can stand upright in the cabin since it has 6 feet 5 inches of headroom. The galley has a cooktop, a fridge, plus a Bluetooth stereo.
The boat has an arch that supports the bimini cover, turning the entire deck into a camper with extra sleeping space. The stern has an extended swim platform with a shower set-up, an optional barbeque grill, a concealed ladder, pop-out cleats, and a hidden storage trunk too.
Meanwhile, the bow has walkaround guardrails for access and a spotlight for night-time fishing and visibility. It doubles as a security light when you sleep on the boat. The cabin has a sink, a cooktop, air conditioning, with removable round tables both above and below deck.
11. Four Winns Vista 238
As you make your way down this list of small boats with cabins, you may feel uneasy. How come? Because so many of these boats seem to be out of production! This doesn’t mean they’re bad boats. It means technology has improved and people want bigger boat cabins!
Still, the models we’re looking at are largely cuddy cabins with a tiny sleeper spot under the bow. But this Four Winns Vista is a good option, with its massive sleeper space – the boat has four whole berths! It’s a 23-foot boat with an obsolete OMC engine, so look out for that!
The cabin has two twin berths and a bathroom that has a toilet, a shower, and a hand basin. And the boat can reach a top speed of 38 knots. The galley has a cooktop, a sink, and a fridge plus carpets and curtains. Outside, the boat has a swim platform, a ladder, and a bimini top.
12. Azimut Magellano 43
Remember, the upper end of small boats is 64 feet, so this 43-foot luxury yacht still falls within the category. It’s an Italian vessel, and is the smallest in its class, with its elder siblings being the Azimut 50 and the Azimut 64. So yes, this is technically their small boat.
This three-tiered boat has rooftop seating, a covered bridge, and a cabin below deck. This bowrider boat has a walkaround platform with guardrails and a sundeck at the front. The covered mid-section of the boat has a full-size galley, sink, and dining area with tables.
Below deck, the boat has luxurious rooms that rival any AirBnB. It was based on a trawler, which is why the internal space is so open. Despite all the bells and whistles, this boat is complex enough for sailing veterans yet simple enough for first-time boaters. Bellissima!
13. Monterey 355SY
Let’s downsize a bit for this 35-foot yacht. It comes in hard-top or soft-top options, though of course, that will affect the price point. And the massive cabin has three oval port holes on each side. But there’s a 33-foot version of the boat with two port holes and a smaller cabin.
Said cabin is quite large, with 6 feet 4 inches of head room. It’s a hard-chined 17° boat with a deep draft over 3 feet. It has large tanks too – 210 gallons for fuel and 28 gallons for water. It also has a 28-gallon holding tank for the boat head and bathroom. Astern, there’s a platform.
It’s ideal for swimming and diving, but it also gives access to the sun island, a specialty rear-facing seating area that’s built for basking. The boat has appliances both above and below deck, including sinks, fridges, and cabinetry. It gives off a feeling of hi-tech luxury and space.
14. Tiara 43LE
If you’d like a boat that’s fresh off the mint, you could try the 2022 version of this Tiara 43LE. It’s on the bigger side at 43 feet and has a 600hp engine that has 3 motors and can reach speeds of 58 mph. The boat has a hard-top and swiveling armchairs for varied layouts.
The rotating seats have built-in footrests, and the Tiara 43LE has an outboard so there’s more internal space in the aft. Even better, the rear terrace can fold in and out to create additional room. And there’s a chaise lounge for front seating at the bow as well as the back.
Downstairs, the toilet and the shower are separate, and you can host four or more people between the queen-size berth at the back and the double bed berth in the middle of the cabin. The boat runs on Garmin Marine tech and has other components in its electronic package.
15. Micro-Plus 16MK IV
We don’t often recommend buying used boats, and we explained why at the beginning of this list. But some high-quality boats are no longer in production, so if you really want that model, you’ll have to get a pre-loved one. This red weekend cruiser falls under that category.
It was built in the 1970s by a company that’s long dead now. At 16 feet, the boat is on the smaller side. It has a centrally positioned steering wheel designed with a door beside it. Behind the door sits a sizeable cabin that’s roomy enough for two people to sleep at a time.
The cabin has two front windows and two side ones, and the boat has a Johnson 70 engine fitted at the back. A retro windshield protects your eyes while driving, but the deck of the boat is on the cozier side meaning you can only fit a limited amount of gear back there.
Where did you last see small boats with cabins? Tell us about it in the comments section!