Of all the types of liveaboard boats, power boats give you the most living space per foot of boat length.

They have a lot of space above the waterline which means good news for headroom and storage space.

All of this space is a disadvantage, however, in boat handling because of the windage caused by the tall deck house and hull.

Displacement boats (including sailboats and trawlers) can only go about 1.33 times the square root of their waterline length.

This provides decent fuel economy but slower speeds.

Displacement cruiser in Fort LauderdaleDisplacement Cruiser, Fort Lauderdale

For example, a displacement hull with a waterline length of 30 feet has a maximum theoretical hull speed of 7.3 knots or about 8.4 miles per hour.

If I won the lottery and could buy the power boat of my dreams, I'd get the comfortable displacement cruiser shown in the photo above loafing along the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale near Bahia Mar.

Planing Power Boat in Wiggins Pass, Naples, FloridaPlaning Power Boat, Wiggins Pass, Naples, Florida

A planing power boat like the one in the photo above, however, needs a lot of energy to get up on top of the water and flatten out for higher speeds.  It will gobble fuel at a horrifying rate.  If you plan on spending most of your time in a marina, you night not want to pay for all of that speed potential with its higher operating and maintenance costs.

There are also multihull power boats including quite a few good catamaran designs.  These are more economical to run than a monohull power boat of equal length, and can negotiate shallower waters because of their hull design.

PDQ Power Catamaran in Stuart, FloridaPDQ Power Catamaran in Stuart, Florida

The photo above is a PDQ Power Catamaran I spent a night with at a marina in Stuart, Florida.  I have seen many of these cruising in Florida, and they look like great liveaboards.  It was very windy that night in Stuart and the PDQ rode very gently at the dock when many other boats in the marina were pitching around quite a bit.

These catamarans are one of the types of liveaboard boats that allow you to live aboard and explore in shallow waters.


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