Boats of Thailand – Overview of the different types of boats that are most used in Thailand.
- Long Tail Boats
- Thai Speedboats
- Thai Motor Boats
- Escort Boats
- Scuba Diving Boats
- Sailing Yachts
- Motor Yachts
The long-tail boat, in Thai called “ruea hang yao”, is a handmade wooden vessel native to Southeast Asia and very common in Thailand.
The engine is always attached to an inboard rotation device and the propeller is mounted onto the drive shaft which is a few meters long, protruding from the engine at the back of the boat, and that of course is why they are called “long tail”.
The long shaft grants great steering capabilities and allows the captain to easily lift the propeller to the desired height at any time, making long tail boats the perfect kind of vessel to cruise in areas where the water is very shallow, like for example Phang Nga Bay.
Long tail boats are great fun and are simply a must for those of us with a more adventurous nature, but also perfect for families with children and elderly alike since the cruising is smooth and easy. They are also the most cost-effective solution for a high quality private tour.
Boats of Thailand – Thai Long Tail Boats Sample Images
Most long tail boats, especially those that carry people, are for the most part (center and back) covered by a canopy roof which provides shade and protection from rain, while the front part remains uncovered so those who like can enjoy the sun while cruising.
Longtail Tours with Easy Day Thailand
- Private Phi Phi Island Sightseeing Tour
- Private Phang Nga Bay Sightseeing Tours
- Koh Talabeng and Koh Phee Tour
Long Tail Boats in Thailand are used for many purposes including fishing, though visitors to Thailand will see them mostly being used as water taxis moving people around from beach to beach and they are fantastic for island hopping too.
Speedboats in Thailand are usually fitted with outboard engines, as they can be lifted allowing to “park” the boat directly beach.
This makes it very popular for Tour operators who offer Island Hopping Trips as they can more or less stop for sightseeing or snorkeling where ever they want, making it easy for the guests to get in and out of the boat. Their fast speed also allows to visit several different islands and beaches in a single day trip.
Thai speedboats can be made of different materials depending on the model, usually either wood, fiberglass or for the most modern ones even aluminium. They are all very similar in shape and layout, with a main seating area in the center/back covered by a canopy roof that provides shade and protection from rain, and a smaller seating area in the front which is perfect for those who like to enjoy the sun and the wind while cruising. Most Thai speedboats even have a small marine toilet on board, not the most comfortable due to the narrow space but still useful in case of emergency.
Boats of Thailand – Thai Speedboats Sample Images
There are several different speedboat sizes available to cater for all kinds of groups, the smaller speedboats usually have one or two engines and can comfortably carry up to 10-20 guests, while the bigger ones can have up to three, four or even five engines and easily carry up to 30-40-50 or even more guests.
Thai Speedboats are also a more affordable alternative for private charter compared to the luxury Motor yachts which are normally a lot more expensive.
Speedboat Tours & Charters with Easy Day Thailand
- Private Phuket Island Hopping
- Phi Phi Islands Sunrise Tour from Phuket
- Phang Nga Bay Tour by Speedboat from Phuket
- Similan Islands Tour from Khaolak
- Surin Islands Tour from Khaolak
- Speedboat Tours from Koh Lanta
Thai Motor Boats for tours
This category is for those boats that are used for various kind of tours and are neither speedboats nor long tail boats. They are usually medium-large wooden vessels, basic but spacious and comfortable.
They can be perfect solutions for families or groups who like to have a private charter at a budget-friendly price, getting great value for money.
A nice example is our MV Thainess, which is a great solution for private charter as it can cater for many different purposes, be it simply enjoying the cruise and snorkeling, or game fishing, or even a nice sunset cruise with dinner or party on board.
Boats of Thailand – Thai Motor Boats Sample Images
Cruises by Thai Motor Boat with Easy Day Thailand
Escort Boats – Sea Canoe
The so called “escort boats” are those used for the Sea Canoe Tours in popular destinations like Phang Nga Bay (from Phuket, Krabi or Khaolak) and Ang Thong Marine Park (from Koh Samui).
The escort boats are usually large wooden vessels with two decks, the lower deck is dedicated to storing all the canoes, other equipment and the kitchen area, while the upper accommodates the guests with plenty of space to seat, walk around and enjoy the great views during the cruise.
Boats of Thailand – Escort Boats Sample Images
The fact that the boat carries all the canoe equipment on board allows to enjoy kayaking at more secluded and beautiful locations where otherwise it wouldn’t be possible due to lack of facilities or providers to rent equipment on-site.
Sea Canoe Tours by Escort Boat with Easy Day Thailand
- Phuket Phang Nga Bay Sea Canoe Day Trip
- Khaolak Phang Nga Bay Sea Canoe Tour
- Krabi Phang Nga Bay Sea Canoe Tour
- John Gray’s Hong By Starlight Tour
- Ang Thong Marine Park Tour from Koh Samui
Phuket Scuba Diving Boats
Phuket Scuba diving boats can be differentiated between Day Trip Boats and Thailand Liveaboard Boats.
Day Trip Boats – Scuba Diving Phuket
While the Phuket Diving Day Trip boats can be different in size, they usually all have similar layout. The back of the boat on the lower deck features a “wet area” where divers keep their equipment and get set up for the dives, as well as the dive platform where divers get in and out of the water. In most cases at the front side of the lower deck is where we find the captain’s seat and helm, as well as an air conditioned saloon where the guests can rest. The upper deck is usually the “living area” with plenty of places to seat and enjoy the breeze, most of it is covered by a canopy roof that provides shades and repair in case of rain but most boats also have an uncovered part for those who like to sunbathe during navigation.
Phuket Diving Day Trip Boats can have different sizes and carry smaller or bigger groups depending on the Dive Center’s policy and standards of quality & service. The boat MV Sea Fun (see below), our favorite, carries a maximum of 20 divers in order to provide the best service and keep everyone comfortable on board. On the other hand there are also low-cost dive centers that have bigger boats and carry much larger groups sometimes exceeding 40-50 guests.
Phuket Diving Day Trips with Easy Day Thailand
Boats of Thailand – Phuket Diving Day Trip Boats Sample Images
Thailand Liveaboard Boats – Overnight Diving Cruises
The Thailand Liveaboard Diving Boats are usually similar layout to the day trip boats with the main difference of being bigger in size and most importantly having cabins to accommodate the guests overnight.
Also in this case, the level of comfort, quality and service varies depending on the budget. The upper range Thailand Liveaboards like our MV Giamani carry a maximum of 10 guests in 5 spacious cabins each with its own private bathroom, while the lower range boats usually have a bigger number of (smaller) cabins to carry groups often exceeding 20 guests or even more, and rather than en-suite bathrooms they only have 2-3 bathrooms to share between all the guests everyone.
Thailand Liveaboard Diving with Easy Day Thailand
Boats of Thailand – Thailand Liveaboard Sample Images
A yacht is a leisure boat or ship. There are two different classes of these vessels, sailing and power boats. Yachts tend to be different from working ships as they are primarily used for leisure activities. Sailing Yachts are considered the most beautiful boats of all, and although they can run on engine, are best used when the wind is in the sails, such a fine sight to see.
Sailing yachts can range in size from about 6 metres (20 ft) to well over 30 metres, and this is where the division between yachts and ships can become a little blurry around the edges.
Many privately owned yachts tend to fall into the range of 6 metres up to 16 metres; these crafts tend to accelerate in price quite quickly after the length increases – and so does renting a Yacht like this. Some yachts can easily stretch into the millions of dollars to buy.
Some people tend to confuse Motor Yachts with Sailing Yachts, to clarify; vessels fitted with a diesel or petrol engine are classed as Cruising or Motor Yachts.
A motor yacht usually has a more relaxed and comfortable look and feel. The typical model offers a couple of cabins for sleeping (berths) also depending on size of course will have a living area in between; there may also be a small galley (kitchen).
The typical cruising speed for a motor yacht is around the 16 knot and up range, depending on sea conditions. Some Motor Yachts can hit up to and over the 25 and 30 knots barrier.
Motor Yachts are a popular way to see the islands around Thailand, although as they are mostly luxury yachts they are more expensive to run and noisier than their quiet sailing yacht cousins. Motor yachts are great fun, allowing the fun seeker to move from site to site much quicker, also the storage capabilities make scuba diving and snorkeling easier too.