Best Boats for Lake Erie

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Updated on April 2, 2022

Lake Erie is the fourth-largest among America’s Great Five Lakes. Boating in Lake Erie requires boats with a durable design, as some areas could be quite turbulent. 

The best boats for Lake Erie should have its size pegged at a minimum of 6.4 meters. Suitable boats for Lake Erie should also have the right hull design and beam length to support against tipping. 

Selecting the best boats to sail through Lake Erie involves massive investment and shouldn’t be a lighthearted decision. That’s why this guide provides relevant information on the best boats to navigate through this great lake. 

And if you’re keen on the best boats to purchase, several options below make your shopping easier than ever. 

What Kind of Boat is Best for Lake Erie?

A boat over six meters and considerable width should be enough to navigate through Lake Erie. However, it’s better to purchase a boat that has a fiberglass hull. 

Many fiberglass boats that have closed bows are excellent to deal with the tough conditions experienced sometimes at Lake Erie.

Best Boats for Lake Erie

Before purchasing any of the best boats for Lake Erie, make sure everything checks out, especially for used boats. It’s also vital to have ample boating experience before venturing into the most turbulent areas of Lake Erie.

1. 27’ Blackwood

The 2020 27’ Blackwood is a suitable boat for Lake Erie with its twin Mercury engine and custom hull design. It features several durable parts and a handy 10-foot power pole. 

Common price ratings for the 2020 model Blackwood currently hover around $240,000

2. 27’ Robalo

A 2022, 27’4” Robalo R272 could be the best choice for boating in small groups through Lake Erie. The boat has ample space to accommodate 4 – 6 people and boasts a powerful Yamaha F250XSB, 250HP engine. 

One order for this Robalo should set you back around $200,000. However, the less-powerful, 1980 version of this boat with a smaller engine should go for about $30,000.

3. 25’ Scout 255 LXF

Boaters keen on a durable option for saltwater fishing will undoubtedly love the Scout 255 LXF. The boat comes with a potential to serve serious anglers and luxury boaters. 

An 8.9ft beam, 499-liter gas capacity, 400HP performance rating, and 19” draft makes this machine powerful enough for Lake Erie. A Scout 255 LXF should go for $109,500 to $190,000 based on specifications made available with your order. 

4. Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless

The Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless is a preferred option for boaters keen on a premium engine and great specifications. She comes with a 700HP Mercury Verado 200 base engine and an outboard drive propulsion system. 

The boat sells for around $130,000 to $255,000 based on where you shop. Some used boat stores may also have a 270 Dauntless for sale at prices as low as $70,000

5. Baha Sunchaser 288 (with 10’ beam)

Boaters keen on a standard-sized, high-performing boat will fancy the Baha Sunchaser 288. It comes with a powerful Volvo engine and most models are on the market for $48,000.

6. 25’/27′ Boston Whaler 250 Outrage

The Boston Whaler has a 20° Transom dead-rise and an 8ft, 4-inch bridge clearance with hardtop. It comes with a powerful Mercury 250 V-8 DTS engine and costs about $125,000.

7. 27’ Grady White

A 2019 27’ Grady White should exceed 30 miles per hour and get about 0.65 miles for each gallon easily. The Grady White is made with premium materials and meticulous construction to promote sailing ease across Lake Erie.

A Grady White Freedom 275 could sell for as low as $99,000 and as high as $282,000

8. 23’ Steiger Craft Pilothouse

The 2022 Steiger Craft 23 DV boasts a mix of efficiency and performance to boost boating ease. It is an excellent fit for day and night boating to ease cruising through Lake Erie. 

The 2022 Steiger Craft 23 DV sells for about $120,000. A 2014 23’ Steiger Craft sells for about $80,000 in some locations. 

What is Required to Boat on Lake Erie?

Boaters on Lake Erie are required to have a Visual Distress Signal tool approved by the United States Coast Guard. The tool should be on board at all times and must be active for night and day boating.

Also, federal and state law might require specific lighting on boats to use boats on Lake Erie. 

Are Pontoons Safe to Boat on Lake Erie?

Pontoons have a slightly higher level of stability than rafts but are not safe for boating on Lake Erie. The sheer size of Lake Erie could make it difficult for a pontoon to stay afloat for several hours. 

It is better to choose deep-hulled, bigger boats to navigate through Lake Erie for passenger safety. 

What is the Minimum Boat Size for Lake Erie?

The minimum boat size for Lake Erie should be around 21 feet (~6.4 meters). Investing in a bigger size boat could be better, especially when you’re boating with friends and family. 

Most boats within 23 – 30+ feet could be excellent for Lake Erie too and can handle expected turbulence with ease.