35 Foot Boat Guide: How To Find Your Perfect Vessel

Whether you’re considering downsizing from a larger yacht or upgrading from a smaller bowrider or center console, a 35 foot boat is an excellent option for boaters seeking the ability to do a wide range of activities on the water while still owning and operating a very manageable vessel. Safely handling your boat is of utmost importance and most experienced boaters can handle a 35 foot boat. Moreover, when jumping in size to, say, over 40 feet in length, insurers may request new boaters utilize a captain for a period of time. Typically this isn’t an issue for 35 foot boats.

Is this size right for you? The primary factors to consider when answering this question are your planned uses for the boat and the number of people you plan to regularly have aboard the vessel. Depending on the type of boat, a 35 foot boat can typically handle most boating activities such as offshore fishing, cruising and more. As you get up in size, boats can also accommodate more guests on board, and typically a 35 foot boat is sufficient for most families and groups. If overnighting is planned, you’ll want to ensure you’re narrowing down your options to those with the appropriate accommodations. 

What type of boat is best for you? If fishing is your love, a center console boat is ideal, but dual console boats are gaining in popularity even for dedicated anglers due to the enhanced versatility. A 35 foot center console or dual console is a sturdy boat that can handle offshore conditions easily. If cruising and pleasure boating is your scene, boats that get into the size range of 35 feet and up can begin coming with more spaciousness and amenities for your enjoyment. Some boats like the Carver C34 Coupe are an incredible couples boat with luxurious accomodations for a couple that spends their time cruising and overnighting.

What else should you be considering as you plan a 35 foot boat purchase? Propulsion is an important consideration. Outboard engines are quite popular, but some boats will have inboard, sterndrive and jet propulsion systems. 

Other questions you may want to record answers for include:

  • Will you be doing more day boating or long range cruising? The range of a particular vessel can be important depending on how you answer this question.
  • Where do you plan to keep the boat?
  • Is speed important to you? 
  • Are there bridge height considerations you need to factor in where you will be keeping the boat?
  • Are there depth and draft considerations to factor in based on where you will be keeping and operating the boat?

New vs. Used Boats

Once you know the type and general size of boat you plan to purchase, the question of new vs. used is one that must be answered. Often times, new boaters purchase new boats while experienced boaters might opt for a used vessel more frequently. And it’s not terribly difficult to see why that might be the case. Buying a new boat gives a new boater more comfort and security, and it limits the unknowns that come with jumping into boating. The boat won’t have any broken down components and will come with a warranty. It’s certainly an easier path to start boating than with a used boat.

Experienced boaters can pursue the used boat market easier. They’ve likely taken a depreciation hit on a newer vessel previously. Maintenance and repairs is a less intimidating arena for seasoned boaters, and perhaps even more importantly, they can navigate the used market and know what to look for based on previous experience. Of course, navigating the used boat market is much easier with a knowledgeable broker regardless of the boater’s experience level, but still the comparison here between new and experienced boaters holds.

If you’ve purchased an automobile, a similar dynamic exists when choosing between a new and used boat. New boats are more expensive, come with the latest features and technology, come with the security of a warranty, won’t require repairs for a while, but also tend to depreciate more quickly. While a used boat (or automobile) costs less on the front end, the cost of ownership on an annual basis will typically be higher due to higher maintenance and repair costs. If you plan to own the boat for a number of years, it can be advantageous to buy new since you’re extending your ownership through the worst part of the depreciation curve and it can be a number of years before major repairs or other costs surface.

If you scour the used boat market, you’ll find some impressive vessels for cheap! These boats are often quite old, however, and the perceived value of these boats can be misleading. While there can be good value in the used boat market, this is typically only true to a certain point. As boats age many years, their value on the used market drops considerably. When planning your purchase, it’s typically better to go with a smaller, newer boat than a very old, large boat. Sticking with higher quality will often yield a better ownership experience over time.

If you do go the used route, be sure to get a survey from a reputable surveyor. If you don’t know a good surveyor, ask other boat owners at a local marina. Not only will the survey tell you quite a bit about the boat you’re considering for purchase, but the surveyor can help you get the problems fixed prior to taking delivery of the boat.

Lastly, if you purchase used, you’ll want to thoroughly review the maintenance records to determine if there is any deferred maintenance that will fall on you. Not all boat owners keep their boats maintained as they should, and if you’re getting into a situation with deferred maintenance, your cost of ownership is likely to be higher than normal.

Purchasing & Insuring Your Boat

If you’re planning to finance part of your boat purchase, lenders will typically want between 10 and 20% of the boat purchase as a down payment. If you’re borrowing more than $150,000, lenders will generally want more documentation such as tax returns, proof of income and proof of liquidity. Interest rates are typically based on the size of the loan and the credit score of the buyer, though every situation is unique. 

You’ll need an insurance policy for your boat, and it needs to be factored into your total cost of ownership. A general rule of thumb is that insurance premiums will run 1.5-2% of the value of the boat. You can read more about boat insurance here.

35 Foot Boat Options

The Well-equipped Day Boat: The Cobalt R35

Regardless of where you want to go, Cobalt’s R35 is everything you’re looking for in a day boat. Equipped with a 5kw generator, air conditioned overnight cabin, head and cockpit air conditioning and you have a boat that’s capable of longer distance cruising. Powered by twin, Volvo-Penta 380hp engines, complete with joystick docking controls, Ocean-X, closed cooling package, this Cobalt R35 tops 50mph, while cruising comfortably around 30mph. This well-equipped boat, also has a hydraulic swim platform, extendable cockpit SureShade, windlass, cockpit refrigerator and more. Learn more about the Cobalt R35.

The Day Boat with Overnighting: The Cobalt A36

The A36 is at home in the waters of Tampa bay and its surrounding areas. This Cobalt can do it all, from a day trip through the waters of downtown Tampa and Davis Island or doing over a night trip for the Clearwater Jazz festival, your options are endless. The all new A36 sets itself away from the crowd combing the A40’s overnight ability and R35’s luxurious day boat abilities into one amazing vessel. 

Powered by twin Volvo 430hp engines, and equipped with cockpit galley, grill and cockpit A/C, this Cobalt A36 has the right equipment for a day at the sandbar, or long weekend to Sarasota. Learn more about the Cobalt A36.

The Need For Speed: The EdgeWater 370CC

The EdgeWater 370CC is the evolution of EdgeWater’s hugely successful 368CC. This must-see boat is powered by triple Yamaha 300hp engines, and she will top 60mph with ease, and cruise comfortably at 36mph while getting better than 1.3mpg. For those boaters with the need for speed, lean on the throttles a bit more and you’ll cruise at 45mph while still boasting fuel efficiency better than 1mpg! A cabin with A/C, private head and shower, berth that sleeps 2, television, microwave and refrigerator await you inside the console. The appointments and details inside the cabin are similar to those of a luxury private jet. The hydraulic table at the bow raises and lowers at the push of a button. With 2 cavernous fishboxes and 2 massive livewells, no fish is safe. The standard side door and walk-through transom provide added comfort and convenience. With unmatched range and fuel economy, this boat will take you further than the rest. Learn more about the EdgeWater 370CC.

The Angler’s Dream: Everglades 355 CC

There are no compromises when it comes to the 355cc Everglades. At a very sought-after size in the center console market, measuring 35’4″ and a beam of 10′ 8″, the 355cc can run 400 miles on Saturday and go to the sandbar on Sunday! The patented RAMCAP hull design gives the owner a powerful, smooth and quiet ride throughout all seating areas. The fishability of the 355cc is outstanding. With more than 24 standard rod holders, outrigger options, abundance of tackle storage and endless options for modern electronics, the 355cc will do everything you ask…short of putting the fish in the boat for you! Learn more about the Everglades 355 CC.

The Couple’s Cruiser: Carver C34 Coupe

While you can sleep up to six people on it, there is a configuration where the entire lower level is one big owner’s suite. No bulkheads, just wide-open space giving the feeling you are in the stateroom of a much larger yacht. Its high freeboard along with the plumb bow extends the 11’ 6” beam well forward and provides an incredible 6’ 5” of headroom. 


Finding the right 35 foot boat (or other size) can be a challenging process especially if you’re new to boating. Whether you plan to purchase new or used, the professionals at Tom George Yacht Group can help educate you on your options to maximum the chances for long term ownership and operational satisfication. Our goal is to help ensure a great boating experience for years out on the water. Please let us know how we can help you in this process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of boat should I get?

The type of boat you purchase will be mostly dictated by how you plan to use the boat. If you want to get offshore for fishing, center consoles and larger dual consoles might be worth considering. For dayboating, consider a runabout or open bow type vessel. If overnighting is key, larger runabouts with small cabins or express cruisers with better accommodations are likely your best bet.

Should I buy new or used?

This is a common question regardless of the type or size of boat. With a used boat, your upfront cost is less, but your cost of ownership will often be higher due to higher maintenance and repair costs. Buyers new to boating often go with a new boat due to ease of ownership and included warranties.

How can I learn more about potential boat options for me?

A boat show is often a great starting point to see a lot of boats. After that, building a relationship with a reliable sales person at a local boat dealer or working with an experienced broker is a great way to get advice on options worth considering.