Fishing Boat Reviews
Fishing boats come in all shapes and sizes for both freshwater and saltwater purposes. They range from small kayaks meant for freshwater lakes and streams to full-on trawlers and sport fishing boats. Many freshwater anglers start with simple, flat-bottomed aluminum boats that are easily transported by trailer directly to the lake or stream. They typically have durable and lightweight aluminum hulls with bench-style or swivel chair seating. Their low draft allows them to venture where other larger boats cannot, to the shallow waters of coves, inlets, and backwaters where the fish tend to lurk. These boats typically run off outboard electric (sometimes gas) motors, though use of front-mounted trolling motors and manually operated paddle/oar is also common. Though smaller, flat-bottomed fishing boats cannot go the distances or achieve the speeds of much larger boats, their advantage is their versatility in a variety of freshwater fishing situations. They make great starter boats as they are easy to transport, easy to operate, and low profile enough as to not disturb the fish you’re after, even in the shallowest of waters.
Fishing Boat Buying Guide
You’ve decided that it is time for you to purchase your own fishing boat, but before you set out to find the right boat, there are a few very important considerations that must first be made. There are quite a few out there to choose from. They come with a range of brands, sizes, features and options. Each has its own price tag as well. Before you jump off of the dock and swim in the waters of boat ownership, you’ll need to consider pricing and what you can comfortably afford, and the range of other considerations which can be overwhelming if this is your first time purchasing a fishing boat. This guide will help you to plan ahead so you can more easily find the best fishing boat that will best meet your fishing needs and land within any budget limits you may have.
Where do you plan to use the craft?
The type(s) of fishing that you plan to do will help you to determine what size and type of boat that you need to purchase. How many people must the boat accommodate? You will want to make sure that your boat will have seating enough for all of the people who will regularly go with you.
Will you be taking the boat out on a lake, river or in the ocean? If you plan to do any deep sea fishing you’ll need to ensure that the boat you purchase is seaworthy. Another consideration that you’ll need to make is the power of the motor.
Will your boat have inboard or an outboard motor? Consider all of the possible uses you’ll have for the craft and try to plan ahead by getting the craft with all of the features and accommodations that you will need. If you’re going after some of the larger species of fish, make sure that you have plenty of room for storage compartments as well. Another consideration is storage of food and beverages while out on the water.
It is also wise to consider what type of accommodations you will need to make. For example, if you plan to be out for hours at a time, or overnight even, you may want to check out a few cabin cruisers with sleeping accommodations. If your plans include taking it out on a lake for a few hours at a time, you may not need to have all of the bells and whistles.
Consideration for all of the associated expenses
When purchasing a brand new fishing boat, it’s a good idea to get a price range in mind that is within your budget. Pre-arranging financing with your bank or other lending institution is also an important step to take prior to wheeling and dealing with the sales reps. It’s a lot like buying a new car and it can be just as expensive, sometimes more so.
When it comes to expenses, the purchase price of the boat is just the beginning. You will also need to consider annual licensing fees, insurance, maintenance and the cost of fuel. Being prepared for these things will help you to avoid regret or frustration later.
The size and weight of the boat must be considered when it comes to transporting it from one place to another. You will need to have a vehicle that can handle pulling the trailer with the boat fully loaded including any equipment that will be onboard, with the appropriate trailer hitch and hookups for the trailer lights.
The layout of the boat inside is another consideration to be made with respect to the type of fishing that you’ll be doing. Will you be doing cast netting? If so, you’ll need a bow that allows for enough access to this area. Will you need an anchor? Also, consider any guests which will be on board and their comfort with regard to fishing and additional seating and dual consoles, drink holders and other accommodations such as cooking and refrigeration needs.
Technical aspects of fishing boats
Digital instrumentation and fly by wire throttle and shift are available of several of the newer marine engines. Automatic engine synchronization and auto speed control is also available for trolling. Some models come equipped with fish finders and depth finders or you can add them later, but you’ll need to have the room to place them.
You’ll also need to make the choice of which type of hull you will want. There are a few choices out there including V hulls, which are the most popular, and catamaran or multi hull options. The V hulls are most often chosen for fishing boats as they cut the water more efficiently.
What to look for in a fishing boat
When you have your financing in order and an idea of what you will need to suit your fishing needs, start looking at boats that are the size you will need. Make sure that the boat has a strong enough engine to handle the type of uses you will have for it. It also must be something that you can easily tow with the vehicle that you have available. Check out the features and options that each have to offer, and when you have identified 4 or 5 different boats that are suitable in terms of size, space and accommodations, start making price comparisons.
Purchasing a new fishing boat can seem like a daunting task, but it becomes much easier when you do a little pre-planning so you are fully prepared when you begin comparing them.
When you know precisely what it is you are looking for, you’ll be able to hone in on a few different brands and models to compare the pricing and find the best deal. It’s always best to sleep on it, for perhaps a few nights before you make the commitment for the final purchase. By following the tips and recommendations made in this guide, you will have taken all of the important aspects of boat ownership into consideration and will be prepared to make the best selection that will meet your fishing boat needs for years to come.