January 8 - 12, 2025


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Built to be versatile and durable, these boats can be used in most freshwater and saltwater applications. Generally built from thin gauge (.100 metal thickness or less) lightweight aluminum, these boats can be riveted or welded with a range of interior layouts including open, center console or windshield designs.  These boats can range in length from 12’ to 22’.  Very popular in the Northwest.

Purpose built for use as a casting platform for fishing, these boats are generally constructed from fiberglass with a sleek, low-to-the-water design built for speed and stability. These boats reflect the very highest standards of fishing boat technology and style with onboard livewells, sophisticated storage, bow mount electric motors, power poles for anchoring and high tech electronics.

Also known as “pleasure boats” these fiberglass boats are configured with a walk-through windshield that allows easy access to the bow which is recessed and upholstered for use as a seating or lounging area.  Bow Riders can range in length from 16’ to 25’ and can be used for a range of uses including waterskiing, wakeboarding, fishing and cruising.

Designed for use in big, open water settings, cabin cruisers can range in length from 22’ to 40’ or even longer. These boats can be equipped with galleys, sleeping areas and a variety of heads (bathroom configurations).  They are intended for cruising and day or weekend use primarily.

In most parts of the country these boats are designed as hardcore offshore fishing boats intended for use in saltwater or big water fisheries.  Their configuration affords plenty of interior and walk-around fishing space in an open design with a center console for steering and running the boat. Though primarily fiberglass in the Northwest this boating type also includes large aluminum boats too.  They can range in length from 18’ to 40’.

These fiberglass boats are ideal for day cruising and use as family runabouts for use in a variety of inland settings but generally not for offshore use.  They feature a vee-berth or sleeping area under the closed bow which distinguishes them from bow riders. The word “cuddy” literally means small or cozy hut. These boats come in a variety of lengths generally starting at 20’.

This style of boat has really come on strong the past decade in the Northwest for inland waters.  Capable of carrying 8 to 12 passengers, the open design matched to wrap-around seating and/or upholstery makes these ideal family fun boats.  Available in inboard and outboard models they are powerful and can be used for waterskiing, wakeboarding, cruising or fishing.  Deck boats sold in the Northwest range in length from 18’ to 30’.

Small, easy to transport craft, dinghies are most often used as small transport boats from yachts or cruisers to shore.  Most often built from fiberglass, they can also be constructed from wood and are generally 8’ to 10’ in length.  These boats are generally mounted on yachts using a davit system that makes launching and retrieving easy.  It’s common that oars are used for power but sometimes small 2 or 3 hp outboards are used too.

A versatile, multi-use design, this boat style has evolved from modified bass boats with full, wrap-around walk-through windshields to deeper vee models in both fiberglass and aluminum.  Rigged with a livewell(s), seating for 4 or more and a stanchion for waterskiing or wakeboarding, these are ideal family boats that serve both purposes, fishing and skiing, nicely.

Unique to the Pacific Northwest, there are more heavy-gauge welded aluminum boats sold in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Northern California than anywhere else in the world.  Characterized by a thick aluminum bottom, often .190 thickness or heavier, and sidewalls that are .100 or thicker, these boats are all-welded using a variety of construction methods.  They can range in length from 14’ to 30’ and larger. Most will fall between 17’ to 25’ and can be powered by outboards or inboards with either jets or propellers.

You won’t see many of these in the Northwest but there are a few.  These are the fast, sleek, fiberglass, high-tech, high-powered race cars of the boating world. They range in length from 35’ to 60’ with most running 40’ to 50’ in length with inboard or outboard power.  Popular in offshore settings, especially Florida, you’ll find plenty at Lake Havasu and other large impoundments where boats can open it up and run in excess of 100 mph or faster…sometimes much faster.

Ranging in length from 8’ to 30’, most inflatables you see in the Northwest will be on the smaller side, often 8’ to 16’ using either an outboard or oars for power.  And as the name implies, these boats are inflated for use and are constructed (generally) from rubberized material in either a single or multi-chamber design.  Some have floorboards and amenities that can make them quite versatile and comfortable for fishing and cruising.

Designed to be “liveaboards”, motor yachts are a home-on-the-water capable of supporting multi-day or longer, on-water adventures. Ranging in length from 40’ and longer, these boats are equipped with a range of amenities, power options and sleeping quarters depending on the length.  They can range in price into the millions of dollars.  There’s a fertile and enthusiast yachting community in the Northwest with lots of cruising occurring from the Columbia to Puget Sound and far away destinations to the north and south.

Incredibly stable, “multi-hull powerboats” are either a catamaran (double hull) or trimaran (tri-hull) design.  Catamarans have proved supremely seaworthy with trips from Puget Sound to Hawaii logged in boats of this type as small as 25’.  Some configurations rely on a combination of sail and engine power.  Many designs have living quarters, galley, stand-up head and sophisticated navigation systems.

As the name suggests, these small watercraft are designed to carry one or two people.  Constructed from fiberglass, they have small inboard jet propulsion systems, steering and throttle similar to a motorcycle and can accelerate quickly and reach speeds in excess of 65 mph. New designs have been built for fishing with rod holders and tackle storage.  This style of watercraft is quite popular across the Northwest.

Stable, open and comfortable, pontoon boats are platforms buoyed by large (18” to 25” diameter) cylindrical sealed aluminum tubes, or pontoons, that serve as the boat’s floatation.  Most have two pontoons, some have three, and can be laid out for cruising, fishing or both.  Powered by outboard motors, these boats can be rigged with soft or hardtops. Ideal for families, these boats can accommodate 10 or more people and are well-suited to a variety of inland waters.

Purpose-built, each style of these boats is designed to develop a certain type of wake.  Ski boats lay out the smallest wake and achieve plane quickly.  Wakeboard boats produce a larger wake ideal for wakeboarding which often involves jumping wakes.  Surf boats are designed to create an even larger wake that produces a wave that’s best for surfing.  In all cases, the bottom design and weight or ballast used to create more weight have a bearing on the wake size and shape that’s being produced.

You’ll find these boats 50 miles or more off the Oregon/Washington coast in search of albacore tuna.  These boats can be liveaboards with staterooms, a galley, head and salon, but are characterized by large rear open decks that afford plenty of space for fishing.  These boats range in length from 40’ to 70’ and can be outboard or inboard powered.

These boats range in length from 35’ to 60’ and feature a raised pilot house or offset deck house and displacement hull.  Most designs are single engine and include a galley, stand-up head, sleeping area(s) and dining area. Trawlers are intended for multi-day offshore and open water inshore cruising.

Designed primarily for fishing, these largely fiberglass designs have a narrow deck that wraps around the entire boat so when an angler is hooked-up to a fish they can literally “walkaround” the entire boat to fight and land the fish.  Walkarounds come in a variety of lengths ranging from 20’ to 40’ and inboard or outboard power.  Some have cuddy cabin or vee-berths for sleeping or storage.  For the most part, these are day-use boats.

Portland Boat Show