You’ve been perusing our Boat Buyer’s Guide, trying to find the perfect pick for a brand-new boat in 2022? When you match the model year up against price tags, you’ll discover that finding affordable boats is not a problem. In fact, these 10 top picks all cost less than the number of the new year showing on the calendar.
From bowriders and center consoles, to personal watercrafts (PWCs), aluminum fishing boats and everything in between, here’s 10 new boat models for 2022, all with a price tag under $22K.
1. Alumacraft Escape 165 CS
If you want to zip around the lake the Alumacraft Escape 165 CS lists at $19,591 with its top-end powerplant, a 50 HP outboard with power trim and tilt. And although the Escape 165 CS is one of Alumacraft’s smaller models, it still has their 2XB twin plated bow with double thickness from the bow to amidships, a hardened center keel, and spray rails.
The Escape 165 CS is a relatively simple platform, which is ideal for angling. No surprise, then, that it has a 20-gallon livewell, a locking rod box, and twin swivel fishing seats on pedestals. The boat also has Alumatrac track mounting so you can add all the rodholders you want plus goodies like cup holders, tackle stowage pouches, or even a tablet holder.
Visit Alumacraft to learn more.
2. Bayliner Element M17
Last year the Bayliner Element M15 made our list of Top 12 New Boats Under $21K for 2021, and this year they have a new addition to the Element line: the M17. At a base price as low as $18,995 Bayliner has manager to deliver two more feet of length, 11 more inches of beam, and 20 more stock horsepower while maintaining rather amazing affordability.
Like others in this model line the M17 features Bayliner’s M-Hull, which boasts excellent stability and handling. It can also be rigged with fishing options like a fish finder, trolling motor, and livewell, so you can cast a line when the mood strikes. Or, outfit it with a ski tow pylon and you can enjoy some watersports. Either way, the M17 can carry up to seven passengers so the entire family is in for a treat.
Visit Bayliner to learn more.
3. Beneteau First 14
Price: Contact Beneteau for exact pricing.
If sailing is your passion and $22K is the price cap, you’ll certainly want to take a look at the Beneteau First 14. Although the company doesn’t publish an MSRP this boat comes in well below our cap, and is ideal for either sailing solo or with a friend. Plus, at 14’1” long and weighing just over 160 pounds, this is also an easy boat to handle.
The First 14 has a vacuum-infused hull and flies Dacron main (82.8 square foot) and jib (31.2 square foot) sails, plus a nylon gennaker (142.1 square feet). It features two centerboard positions and an aluminum rig, and the jib is furling and self-tacking. Whether the breeze is up or the air is light, this is one fun and fast planning dinghy.
Visit Beneteau to learn more.
4. Kawasaki Jet Ski SX-R
While it’s true that the Kawasaki Jet Ski SX-R holds only a single rider, it’s also true that with a base price of $10,999 you could buy two of them while remaining in this price category. So, couples with a taste for thrills will certainly want to consider this high-octane option.
The Jet Ski SX-R is a stand-up model, which provides the ultimate in adrenaline rushes. A 1,498cc, 160-horsepower engine pushing water through a 148mm axial-flow jet pump delivers speeds up into the 60 MPH range and acceleration best described as head-snapping. If you want a wild ride, this one’s your ticket.
Visit Kawasaki to learn more.
5. Lowe FS 1625
With a 20-horse Mercury on the transom the Lowe FS 1625 starts at a mere $16,615 so there’s room in the budget to upgrade to a bigger powerplant and add some extras. Put 60 horses on the transom (which takes the MSRP to $19,510) and you’ll have the juice to pull the kids around on tow-toys or jump a water skier out of the hole.
The FS 1625 is in the Fish-and-Ski genre and is perfect for those who want to split their time between fishing and watersports. It boasts an all-welded deep-V hull with reverse chines for smooth running, and has the standard features anglers need like a 14-gallon livewell, a rod box, and options for trolling motors and fish finders. You can also drop the ski pylon into the base and you’re ready to give those kids some thrill-rides.
Visit Lowe Boats to learn more.
6. Ranger VS1665T
Anglers who need an aluminum V-hull boat that can handle big waters will want to see the Ranger VS1665T, which starts at $21,595 with a 40-horsepower outboard and a Ranger Trail trailer. This model has a wide-open cockpit and foredeck with tiller controls and movable pedestal seating, maximizing interior volume.
The fishing features needed for multispecies pursuits include twin locking 8’6” rodboxes, a 20-gallon livewell, a fishfinder, a 55-pound thrust bow-mounted trolling motor, and an onboard lithium-capable battery charger. Note that this is also a garage-ready package with a swing-away trailer tongue and a 19’1” storage length.
Visit Ranger Boats to learn more.
7. Sea-Doo Switch
If you can’t decide between a jet boat, a pontoon boat, and a personal watercraft, you can more or less get all of the above in an all-new platform from Sea-Doo, called the Switch. Starting at $17,999 with a trailer included for the 13-foot base model (note that the 16-footer also comes in under our price ceiling at $20,999), the Switch has a 100-horsepower Rotax 1630 ACE waterjet powerplant, a tri-toon-like hull made from Sea-Doo’s Polytech material, and PWC-like handlebar steering at the helm station.
One of the most unusual aspects of the Switch is that you can enjoy changing deck layouts thanks to the modular design and Sea-Doo’s LinQ system. It allows you to unlock items ranging from furniture to coolers, move them to different positions on the deck, and then lock them back in place. If you want a jet-pontoon-PWC, the Switch is the ticket to all of the above.
Visit Sea-Doo to learn more.
8. SunChaser Vista 16 LR
Pontooners who want a small, simple, easy-to-handle pontoon boat will love the SunChaser Vista 16 LR, which starts at just a hair over $20,000. The classic layout has two couches forward plus one aft and a pedestal seat at the helm, so there’s plenty of room for up to six passengers to sit or stretch out.
Despite the low barrier to entry the Vista 16 LR comes with Sea Weave flooring, blue paneling and a blue Bimini top, a five-step retractable boarding ladder, and a Torcello Lite steering wheel. Plus, there are plenty of options for customizing with features like stereo systems, ski tow-eyes, and dinette tables. SunChaser also offers this model in a fishing version, which replaces the forward couches with pedestal fishing seats.
Visit SunChaser to learn more.
9. Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW
Dedicated bass boats have a reputation for being expensive, but Tracker proves it doesn’t have to be that way with the Pro Team 175 TXW. Coming in under the wire at $21,995 the Pro Team 175 TXW comes rigged and ready for bass fishing competition right out of the box.
The rig includes a trailer and a standard 60-horsepower outboard that gets you speeds in the mid- to upper-30s. It’s also a garage-ready package with a swing-away tongue that requires just 20’3” for storage. Fishing features include a tournament-style elevated bowdeck, tackle organizers and tacklebox stowage compartments, and a 21-gallon livewell with a timer and divider. And unlike many stock models the standard equipment list for this one includes big-ticket items like a 12-V 45-pound thrust electric trolling motor at the bow and a fishfinder at the helm.
Visit Tracker Boats to learn more.
10. Yamaha FX HO
Boaters in search of a luxury personal watercraft with seating for up to three people may be surprised at just how affordable a top-end model can be, with the Yamaha FX HO starting at $14,299. This is a large, comfortable waterbike that tips the scales at 840 pounds and is almost 12 feet long.
Boasting a 1812CC, four cylinder, 1.8-liter High Output Yamaha four-stroke in its belly, the FX HO blasts water through a 155mm high-pressure jet to deliver speeds over 60-mph. That may be impressive performance but even more impressive is this PWC’s ability to keep you comfortable over the long haul. It has 44.5-gallons of stowage capacity for your gear, tilt steering, a beverage holder, footwell drains, and auto-trim. The FX HO is thoroughly teched-out, too, and the audio system communicates with your cell phone to make and receive phone calls (there’s a USB port for that phone inside the watertight glove box) while a five-inch touchscreen at the helm provides controls.
Visit Yamaha WaterCraft to learn more.