These Seven New Multipurpose Powerboats Offer Fun And Comfort For The Whole Family
There was a time when boats were just boats. If you weren’t a sailor, you were a powerboater, and if so, you were happy to have one any one, any size so you could buzz around the bay, cast a line, waterski, or do whatever you loved to do on the water.
Times change, and powerboats evolved into specialized niche designs specifically for lake or saltwater fishing, extended cruising, watersports, and more. When times were good, the lucky ones could afford multiple boats maybe one to go fishing with the guys on Saturday, another to tool around the lake or take a river cruise, then go for a swim with the family on Sunday.
Boat designers and builders have been trying to cram multipurpose utility into boats for years, but they’ve only recently refined them into truly multipurpose designs. One such trend, for lack of a better term, is the “family fish boat” a well-equipped fishing boat that has the creature comforts of a cruising day boat.
Sure, the integrated rod holders are there, but the freeboard is at the right height for leaning into with a rod, and those padded coaming bolsters at the transom fold down into a comfortable bench seat. In fact, there is a lot of seating all around, whether it’s a center-console or the re-emerging dual-console design along with a head and swim platform with freshwater wash down.
Whether you’re an angler who also likes to cruise or a cruiser who also enjoys casting a line, these new boats may offer the best of both worlds.
Determining A Safe Distance Offshore You Can Travel
On my test trip, I burned 30 gallons of fuel running from the fuel dock to a marker buoy and back again. The round trip distance is 40 nautical miles. The entire trip took 2 hours at an average speed of 20 knots.
Lets do the math 30 gallons divided by 2 hours is 15 gallons per hour. My boat burns 15 gallons per hour at 20 knots.
What about miles per gallon? 40 nautical miles divided by 30 gallons is 1.3 miles per gallon.
Now you know how far your boat can travel on a full tank of fuel. Write down these numbers and refer to them when youre planning a trip or youre out on the water. I always assume these numbers are ball park estimates and not absolute constants.
Remember. Things change, and you dont want to end up drifting miles offshore.
How Big Of A Boat Is Safe To Go Offshore
GeorgeStevens said:Hey there, first off let me say that I’m a newbie when it comes to boating. I have experience scuba diving and deep sea fishing, but only on charters/friends boats, which were all pretty big and pretty expensive. I’m looking into buying a boat myself and I’m just wondering how big of a boat, and what kind of boat is safe to take offshore, say over 10-20 miles out for fishing/diving.Would something like this be safe?
If you always do what youve always done, youll always get what youve always got.
Coastal Georgia – 2020 Santee 160 CC
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Choosing The Best Fishing Boat For You Depends On The Following
- Your budget: Obvious budget plays a huge role. $10,000 vs. $500K budget makes big a difference as to your options. See my boat costs article.
- Where youll use it: River, lake or ocean. Protected waters or open ocean?
- Where youll store it: Will you be towing and launching it for each outing or store it at a marina? If towing and launching, youre restricted to a certain size.
- How long youll use it per outing: If youre planning multi-day outings, youll need a fishing boat with sleeping quarters.
The above considerations arent always easy to answer. Our budget shifted upward once I started getting serious about buying a boat. Once you have a boat, you might want to venture out to different fishing locations. In other words, things change so its hard to anticipate how and where youll use it, especially if its your first fishing boat.
At the end of the day, there are many boats that can function as a fishing boat. Heck, you can fish from anything that floats really but if fishing becomes your thing, it helps to get a boat designed with fishing in mind. There are also many ways to categorize fishing boats such as lake vs river vs ocean, aluminum vs fiberglass, hull type, by size and so on. We decided to categorize fishing boat options by size since most people have a size in mind as a starting point.
We classify by boat size as follows:
What Kind Of Fishing Can You Do When Fishing Offshore
Offshore fishing means youll have access to deep sea fish, which can introduce a whole new type of fishing. But what specific types of fish can you expect to catch?
The best answer: it depends on where you fish. Where were basedDestin, Floridathere is a wide range of potential fish to catch, including a wide variety of Snapper, Grouper, Mahi Mahi, Mackerelthe list goes on and on. And because offshore fishing has such a degree of mobility, its possible to target different areas depending on where the fish are biting that particular day.
If you have an experienced captain like Captain Jason Mikelsomeone who has a sense of where the good spots areyoull have a much better chance of catching the fish you want.
Its also possible to catch a wide variety of shark. In Destin, Florida, some of the most common shark species include blacktip, mako sharks, and sandbar sharks. Overall, youd be amazed at the variety of fish you can catch on the Emerald Coast.
If youre fishing in shallow water inshore, you might have access to some of these fish. But youll also find that inshore fishing in inlets and rivers can dramatically impact the kind of fish you should expect to catch, which in turn will affect the types of bait you should bring.
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Have All Of The Necessary Safety Gear
It can be tempting to skip on some safety equipment, especially if youre on a budget, but if you want a safe journey, you need to have every essential aspect of safety gear on hand.
Safety Equipment For Open Ocean Fishing
- A flare gun and flares. If the worst should happen and you are stranded or your boat begins to sink, a flare gun can alert any boats in the area and make it much easier for the Coast Guard to find you.
- A VHF radio. Dont trust your cell phone with the important job of keeping you safe out on the open water. Cell phone signals can go in or out, and the help you need to call is likely to be the boat closest to you, not somebody you have in your cell phone.
- At least two engines. You probably only need to run one motor at a time to accomplish your fishing goals, so it can be hard to take on the burden of an extra motor no, but at least two motors are essential in case one of them has an issue.
- GPS or at least a compass. Most modern boats have both a compass and GPS, but youll want at least the compass at a bare minimum. Every boat that has a GPS should also have a compass. The last thing that you need is to get disoriented offshore and have trouble finding your way back.
- Life jackets. It doesnt matter how well you can swim, a life jacket is an essential safety tool if you find yourself adrift on the ocean.
Sea Fox 368 Commander
When you think of 35-plus-foot triple-engine center consoles you probably dont think of Sea Fox boats. At least, you wouldnt have prior to 2020, because Sea Fox didnt have any offerings in that range. But now they do, and when we got a ride on their new 368 Commander we liked what we saw. Serious fishing cred is instantly established with a huge tackle station in the back of the leaning post, a pair of twin 50-gallon pressurized transom livewells, and an aft-facing hard-top MFD. Comfort gets a boost with an extending aft sunshade and a huge forward console lounger. The clincher: 27 rodholders ring the boat, line the hard top, and grace the transom.
Visit Sea Fox for more information.
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Popular Offshore Destinations Around The World
Since the oceans cover 71% of the planets surface, offshore fishing is practically a given on Earth! However, several locations have capitalized on their bluewater bounty and have a strong angling infrastructure. Its like a well-oiled machine whose sole purpose is to put you on the hottest offshore bite.
Different Types Of Fishing Boats
We just bought a fishing boat to ferry us to our boat access cabin and to use for fishing. Its a Hewescraft 180 Pro V with a hardtop cabin to be specific. Its a mid-sized fishing boat with a pilothouse. Before choosing and buying the Hewescraft, I spent a lot of time researching boat options online and at boat dealers. There are many, many different types of boats to choose from. Moreover, there are many different types of fishing boats to choose from. Buying a boat for fishing is one of the most popular reasons for getting a boat.
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Inshore And Offshore Fishing Gear
Inshore fishing gear is relatively simple, but can seem overwhelming if you go into a tackle shop. The first step is to focus on the species you would like to target. If the goal is to catch anything and just have fun, consider using frozen squid or live shrimp as bait. Most inshore species feed on these and will bite. We have caught just about everything on these two baits including octopus and lobster!
If you are looking to catch something specific like flounder, California halibut, bass, redfish, etc. read up on what they like. Bring both live or frozen bait along with a few lures so you can get a feel for what they are biting that day. Remember, what works one day will not guaranty a bite on another day. Time of day, available food in the water, moon phases, tides, and many more things effect how fish are reacting on any given day. One presentation may work better than another.
We recommend a 6’5″ – 7’2″ rod and a spinning reel rated for up to 20 lb. line for inshore fishing. If you are interested and have the means, a second rig with a baitcaster or conventional reel is recommended for jigging. Multiple rods and setups will allow you to quickly switch and spend more time with your line in the water rather than re-rigging one rod and reel. For more detailed information on gear for inshore fishing, please check out our article Best Gear for Inshore Saltwater Fishing.
Rely On The Buddy System
Fishers tend to be an independent lot, but going out with another boat provides a significant safety net for both of you. You dont even need to fish within sight of each other.
Just knowing that youre both out on the open water within a few miles of each other is enough to provide both of you a lot of protection in case of equipment failure or another problem.
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The Difference Between Inshore And Offshore Fishing
A very common question in sport fishing is, what is the difference between inshore and offshore fishing? The terms inshore and offshore are used frequently in the fishing world. You will see them in magazines, articles, videos and more, so it is good to know the difference.
The difference between inshore and offshore fishing includes the proximity to land and species of fish you are targeting. It affects what gear, tackle and bait you should bring with you to have an effective trip. Inshore fishing takes place close to shore in shallow water like beaches, flats, harbors, bays, beaches, etc. Offshore fishing targets fish in deep water that tend to be much larger and more seasonal.
Below we will discuss the differences in more detail and what kind of gear you should be taking with you. Both types of fishing can be very fun and very different experiences. Also, depending on the season, you may want to consider one over the other. We’ll cover the best tips for both below.
Determining Your Boat Size Needs
With the price ranges in mind, how do you decide what size to buy? The most obvious first checkpoint is price. The prices above are reflective of new boat prices so keep that in mind before ruling out a larger vessel. At Yachts360, we rarely hear of anyone wishing they had bought a smaller boat.
Beyond price, consider the following list while you decide your boat size:
- Storage capabilities
- Amount of people you plan to entertain
- Offshore capabilities
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Power Choices: Outboards Inboards Stern Drives And Pod Drives
You want lots and lots of power on your outboard boat? That’s not a problem. Here, you see a center console with 2,228 horses – yikes!
Pod drives offer a number of advantages, and if they’re available on the fishing boat you’re looking at, should definitely be considered.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in November 2015 and updated in July 2018.
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Venture 27 Open 200713
At a Glance: The real deal in an offshore center console drop-dead gorgeous lines, a flawless finish, and a deck layout that splits the difference between fishing and cruising. Deep-V hull is vacuumed bagged and reinforced with Kevlar for added strength. A generous 9-foot beam results in a roomy cockpit with everything important close at hand. Although her purpose is fishing, molded bow seating allows the 27 Open to serve as a comfortable day cruiser as well. Two 30-gallon fore and aft in-deck fish boxes feature macerators.
A generous 9-foot beam results in a roomy cockpit with everything important close at hand. Although her purpose is fishing, molded bow seating allows the 27 Open to serve as a comfortable day cruiser as well. Two 30-gallon fore and aft in-deck fish boxes feature macerators.
The 45-gallon transom livewell is huge for a boat this size. Walk-in console comes complete with a sink, marine head, and near standing headroom. Fit and finish is second to none. Rated for up to 500 horsepower, twin 200hp Mercury outboards top out at 45 knots.
Price Range: Prices range from $6065K to over $90K for a newer model with trailer.
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Where Are You Fishing
Offshore means different things in different places. In some places, deep water channels cut very near to the shoreline, so you may be able to get into deep enough water for offshore fishing without going more than a mile offshore.
In these cases, youll likely see a storm begin to brew and have plenty of time to get to shore before you have to worry. In this case, you may be able to get away with a boat of only around ten feet.
In other places, you may need to travel miles to get far enough from the shoreline to be in deep water. In these areas, a much larger boat will be necessary.
Critical Equipment For The Offshore Vessel
As a starting point, you should look at what the Coast Guard requires for a vessel of your size. This should be considered the bare minimum and is a starting point for outfitting your boat properly. Here is a list of a few additional items you will want to consider.
- Fire extinguishers and a fire suppression system
- Bilge pumps of adequate capacity, because factory-installed systems are seldom enough
- Extensive medical and first aid kits, plus first aid training for the skipper and crew
- Type 1 offshore life vests for everyone on board
- VHF radio, plus SSB radio or satellite phone if youre out of VHF range
- Flares and visual distress devices appropriate for offshore use
- Liferaft and emergency supplies, including food and water
- Have an anchor with lots of rode on board in case your engine fails
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What Are Saltwater Fishing Boats
Saltwater Fishing boats are medium-sized, trailerable vessels frequently used for boating pursuits such as a variety of commercial and recreational boating activities. This type of vessel can range in size, with the smallest current boat listed at 15 feet in length, to the longest vessel measuring in at 55 feet, and an average length of 25 feet. They are built by a wide variety of boat building companies with hull types including deep vee, modified vee, sea-V2, flat and other designs. Boat Trader currently has 5,903 saltwater fishing boats for sale, including 3,002 new vessels and 2,901 used boats, listed by both private sellers and professional yacht brokers and boat dealerships across the country.