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The boats in Hydro Thunder, just like the tracks, are divided into 4 categories:

  • Easy
  • Medium
  • Hard
  • Bonus

The easy boats tend to be easy to control, but they do not have the speed of the other classes. Medium boats are in the middle, and Hard boats are usually very difficult to control but are very fast. Bonus boats are accessible by entering a combination to access the boat. They are also very hard to control. When using hard or bonus boats in the arcade version, it is hard to control because the steering wheel will rumble and turn itself, making it harder for the player to keep control of the boat. In the console versions hard to control boats only swerve from side to side if left unchecked. The bonus boats in Hydro Thunder are a little more "offbeat" when compared to the other boats in the game.

Easy boats[edit]

  • Damn the Torpedoes: A pink and purple boat.
  • Midway: A white and orange boat, named after the developer.
  • Miss Behave: A green boat with a fan instead of a propeller.

Medium boats[edit]

  • Banshee: A green and black boat that looks very similar to the real F1 powerboats.
  • Tidal Blade: A dragster-like boat with flames on its sides, that was the cover boat for the Dreamcast version of Hydro Thunder.
  • Thresher: A blue and black boat with shark-like fins.

Hard boats[edit]

Fun Fact
Selecting one of these boats will make the announcer say, "You're crazy!"
  • Cutthroat: A purple and yellow boat with a skull on its bow and a jet-like shape.
  • Rad Hazard: A gray UFO-like boat.
  • Razor Back: A red boat that was depicted on the cover of the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 versions of the game.

Bonus boats[edit]

  • Tinytanic: Literally a smaller version of the tragic luxury vessel the R.M.S. Titanic.
  • Blowfish: A purple and black hovercraft which uses two fans instead of propellers.
  • Chumdinger: A gray fishing boat with a dog that barks at other racers.
  • Armed Response: A police boat with mounted guns.