Earlier iterations of the Tropic prior to GTA IV are essentially Flybridge motor yacths, evidently featuring living space on the lower compartment of the boat and the driver controls on top; in GTA: Vice City, a small kitchen is visible from the door in the back, while in GTA San Andreas, the front windows are semi-transparent, allowing the player to see a small living area with red curtains, tables and two sofas. Although it is the largest boat in the games, the Tropic is also the slowest due to its size and weight.
In GTA IV, the Tropic is no longer a houseboat, but a speedboat with moderate speed. The boat, however, is distinguishable from other speedboats by its optional accessories. In addition to a spoiler, retractable roofs may be further added on the spoiler itself. As the boat is reduced to a size smaller than even the Jetmax or Squalo, the title of largest boat now belongs to the Tug Boat, which is easily twice the size of the pre-GTA IV Tropic.