What is a Pleasure Craft?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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The pleasure craft is any type of boat that is used specifically for the benefit of the owner. As such, such a craft is enjoyed for recreational purposes only, and is not utilized in any type of business or moneymaking venture. It will include a motor and full steering controls that make it possible to use the craft on lakes, rivers, and in canals. The pleasure craft may also be used as a temporary or permanent residence for the owner, and often is equipped with amenities that are not unlike those that are found in a home, albeit on a smaller scale.

Generally, a pleasure craft is understood to be a small to moderate size boat, with the length usually under eighty feet. A pleasure boat of this size provides ample room for the owner to create comfortable spaces that can be enjoyed for the weekend or a longer period of time. Often, the boat will have a sleeping bunker, some type of small kitchen area, and enough room for the owner to enjoy fishing and sunning in comfort.

The pleasure craft is also usually small enough to be docked at a marina for extended periods of time. Requiring only a moderate amount of space, just about any marina can accommodate craft like these, such as a yacht. Monthly fees for housing a pleasure craft are often reasonable, especially if the owner chooses to make the craft his or her permanent residence.


A pleasure craft does not necessarily have to cost an exorbitant sum in order to be comfortable. Newer models with more amenities will carry a higher price tag, but it is also possible to buy a well-maintained older boat for a modest figure. As long as the pleasure craft has a solid motor, a sturdy frame, and is in generally good working order, the boat is likely to provide an excellent hideaway for weekends and summer vacations.

Pleasure boats do require upkeep and maintenance in order to remain seaworthy. However, many types of pleasure crafts can be maintained with a minimal amount of care for most of the year, and be pulled in for hull scrubbing and other maintenance work on an annual basis. Larger marinas will offer these types of services, or at least maintain a listing of reputable professionals who can provide upkeep on a regular schedule.


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Post 3

@croydon - I don't know how people can afford to have a boat that isn't intended to put dinner on the table somehow. A boat is very expensive to keep and maintain. You've got to register it and clean it and possibly pay for docking fees if it's a big enough boat. This isn't the kind of thing you'd want to skimp on either. If your boat isn't in good repair then you might end up in big trouble out on the water.

I mean, I could understand a little row boat or something like that, but the idea of buying an entire boat for no reason except to occasionally take it on a spin around the lake just seems like a huge waste of money to me. If you have such an urge to do that, it would be cheaper to just hire a boat instead.

Post 2

@browncoat - I always thought of a pleasure craft as one that wasn't even really used for fishing. It was just used for going out on the water without any intention to do anything constructive except relax and maybe swim a little bit.

Although I guess a lot of people see fishing as recreational rather than as a means of putting dinner on the table necessarily, so I guess it depends on the motive of the owner.

Post 1

My step-father has a boat with a few of his friends. They take turns keeping it in their driveways and get together every month or so to go out fishing on lakes and at the ocean if they have the time.

It's actually a pretty good investment, because my mother always has fish in the freezer and that's usually pretty expensive.

I don't know if he'd describe it as a pleasure craft, but it definitely is one of his favorite things in life.

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