A powerboat is a great way to experience an adventure on all sorts of water bodies, be it from narrow canals and rivers to the vast, open oceans around popular beaches. It is a lightweight, shallow-drafted, and fast vessel that allows experiencing the South African waters to the fullest. So, should you buy a powerboat in South Africa? If your budget allows, definitely! The best decision you will ever make.

In this article, we will mainly talk about the pros and cons of owning a powerboat to help you decide whether it is something that you would absolutely love or hate.

Should I buy a Powerboat in South Africa? – The Pros and Cons

Powerboats, the boats with engines. Easy to handle, relatively easy to manoeuvre, and requires less training to master its handling. In the modern age, despite fuel prices soaring, people have been increasingly switching to powerboats for conveniences and better access to narrow or shallow waterbodies. In fact, we would encourage you to read this article; a story about a couple deciding to switch from sailboating to powerboating.

Not to mention, they are relatively faster than their kinetically-powered sisters. Let’s understand the pros and cons of having a powerboat.


a. Convenience

Due to its low-clearance built and shallow drafts, you can take a powerboat in shallow waters without any worries about getting stuck. Its shallow draft allows docking the boat closer to land masses compared to other vessels.

b. Speed

An engine-powered boat is bound to be faster. Powerboats come with multiple engine options, the most common being one fitted engine or twin engines. Also, a powerful engine allows you to carry more equipment and other luggage without slowing your boat down.

c. Spacious

Powerboats are spacious, unlike sailboats, hence making them a better choice for an ocean joyride. Better space management means a powerboat allows you more dynamic and flexible options to customise it.

d. The Learning Curve

There are numerous powerboat courses out there that teach you how to drive a powerboat efficiently just within 2 days. Once you understand the basics, it becomes really easy. You can drive a powerboat without any offshore experience even. However, you will still need a license.

Related: Skippers Training Course

e. Easy to dock/stow

As powerboats are lightweight, fast vessels, you can easily retrieve them out of the water and stow them on a ‘dry slip’. A dry slip is basically an out-of-the-water parking space for boats in the marina. They can be used to store your boat off-season or you can use a dry slip truck carrier to safely store the boat in your personal space.


a. High Maintenance

With convenience, comes maintenance. Powerboats are lightweight vessels that need constant upkeep. Apart from fuel costs (which are soaring), you will have to carry out periodic hull repairs and maintenance. The same goes for the engine. If there are any critical issues such as engine failures, you will be costing yourself a small fortune to get your powerboat back on track again.

b. Fuel Limitations

A powerboat will only go as far as its fuel allows. People do not use powerboats for long-distance travel. And of course, as mentioned previously, it is costly to keep your fuel tank filled all the time, hence you have to limit your trip according to your budget.

c. Unsteady

As powerboats have a shallow draft and a higher centre of gravity, they may not be ideal for windy situations. It is easy to let your boat get capsized on stormy seas or in windy canals. The experience can be more scary than fun and it certainly is not an adventure you are looking for.


However the pros and cons may play out for you, it is important to note that powerboats really bring plenty of adventures right to your doorstep without having to learn extensively about safety and handling the powerboat. If you are someone who loves to chill and thrill on the waters, you should definitely buy a powerboat in South Africa.

Owning a powerboat is one thing. However, if you are to drive one around, you need to have a license. In South Africa, vessels are categorised based on their length and so are the licenses. Consult with us today if you require a powerboat license or a SAMSA powerboat course.

Should I buy a Powerboat in South Africa? – The Pros and Cons