A variety of boats can be constructed in Shipwrecked DLC for exploring the Ocean biomes and moving between islands. They may also be found abandoned in the Ocean (possibly even with attached items). The boats lose durability over time when moving on water. The rate of the loss can be reduced by wearing a Captain Hat. The durability is also lost when the boat hits small Waves in directions other than the wave is traveling, and when hitting large Waves, regardless of the direction. While the player is on a boat, attacks against the player do not reduce Health, instead the boat loses durability. When the boat durability hits 0, the player drowns, unless they are wearing a Life Jacket.
Inspecting a boat without riding it allows the player to see the boat's durability, equip attachments if the boat allows it, and access its inventory in the case of a Cargo Boat and Encrusted Boat. All boats, except the Surfboard, can be Hammered to get back half of the resources used to create it, regardless of its durability. Any attached items will be dropped.
Boats can be repaired using Boat Repair Kits or sailing near a Sea Yard. Continuously repairing a boat requires more resources than using a Boat until it is heavily damaged, breaking it down to get half the resources back, and building a new one. However, waiting until the boat has been heavily damaged increases the risk for an unexpected attack or a large Wave to break the boat.
Different boats will give different map reveal bonuses. Wearing a Pirate Hat increases this bonus by 25%.
In Don't Starve Together, the Seafaring Tab was added in Return of Them, which allows the player to create Boat Kits along with other items to help navigate the Ocean. The boats in Don't Starve Together are much larger and are able to have multiple players on them at once, as well as allowing various Structures to be built on them.
- In the Hamlet DLC when player is hit by an attack at a precise moment while jumping on a boat at Lily Pond, the character will land and be able to move for brief moment on the pond. While character is at move, it will be teleported to the land towards where character is headed towards. This allows transitioning to an adjacent land that normally would not allow a player to cross to by foot.