The idea that there is any boat out there that is better than all the rest is simply a myth. Likewise, there is no such thing as the best fishing boat, best family boat, best center console, or best bay boat.
What does exist, however, is a “best boat” for you – for your fishing needs, your cruising needs, your comfort, and your budget. In fact, somewhere among the 60-plus boat manufacturers featured in our 2018 Boat Buyer’s Guide, you’ll probably find more than one “best boat” that can provide many seasons of enjoyment on the water.
Featured New Boats
Boston Whaler, the “Unsinkable Legend,” is celebrating their 60th year with an all-new 380 Outrage offshore fishing platform, a modern edition of the classic Montauk 170, and an all-new model family with the 350 Realm. The Realm family will combine the open cockpit of a center console with the convenience of a cabin boat, redefining the express cruiser to better achieve a balance of capability, comfort, spaciousness and convenience. Versatile seating solutions include a wide lounge seat forward of the console and a clever new mezzanine seat that converts to face forward or aft. Fishing features in the cockpit include large in-floor fish boxes and optional rod holders, a standard transom livewell, a convenient portside dive door, and a cockpit prep area with sink and grill or optional additional livewell. Below deck, the 350 Realm’s cabin delivers considerable comfort and a double berth to accommodate overnight stays. Performance and handling reflect Boston Whaler’s remarkably soft, safe, dry ride.
The new Cobia 301 CC has everything that made its predecessor, the 296 CC, the top-selling 30-footer in the country, and more. There’s an inward-opening side door for hauling aboard a big fish or easy dockside boarding. There’s added space in the cockpit, and the tackle station now has a freshwater sink and rigging station. A new console situates all operational controls and screens to maximize form and function, and the dash can be stylishly color-matched to the hull. Combine all this with popular features like the electric bow table and the hull’s silky-smooth ride, and the 301 CC is sure to be the next Cobia that stands atop its class. Currently, Cobia offers eight center consoles, along with a capable bay boat and two family-friendly dual consoles. Check out a Cobia and expect to find high performance, luxury, and fishing smarts all wrapped in a stunning package and delivered at a tremendous value.
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Crevalle boats are family-friendly fishing platforms built with a focus on reliability, durability, and excellence in design. Head offshore, fish inshore, or sandbar hop in the new Crevalle 26 Open, a crossover-style boat that offers incredible versatility for the family fisherman. Standard features include two removable 72-quart coolers and Crevalle’s trademark gunmetal grey helm that knocks down secondary glare and reduces eye fatigue. For serious fishermen, there’s two 28-gallon release wells, lockable rod storage, and a powder-coated leaning post with rod holders. Design details include livewells that minimize dead water and maximize available dissolved oxygen, and electrical systems that feature tinned copper wires with their functions printed every 12 inches.
Bob Daugherty’s boat-building prowess is legendary. With 17 models—ranging from a 21-foot center console to a 36-foot luxury cruiser—Everglades has every boating lifestyle covered. The Evergldes 253cc is a completely redesigned hybrid bay/offshore boat that includes the best features of Everglades’ 243cc and 273cc. It’s equipped with two Yeti Hopper holders to easily load and unload coolers for drinks and ice, in addition to the massive built-in 87-quart EverCooler beneath the forward console seat. The low-profile, powder-coated bow rails and pop-up cleats combine with the 91-square-foot cockpit to give you all the space you need. Under-gunwale port and starboard rod storage and dry storage, lockable rod storage with cushioned protection under the forward bow seating, a 26-gallon livewell, and a 69-gallon in-floor insulated fish box make the 253cc ready to fish in any conditions. Comfort is easy to find with two foldaway stern seats and forward-facing bow seats with detachable backrests.
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Fountain Powerboats was launched in 1979 with the single-minded goal of building the fastest, smoothest, safest, best-handling and most dependable boats on the water. Their Bluewater series of offshore fishing machines includes a 34CC and a 38CC that will get you to your fishing spot fast with remarkable efficiency and all-out comfort. The Fountain 34CC is descended from trophy-winning hulls and at 40mph with twin Mercury 300 Verados can achieve a fuel range unmatched by most in this size. Step up to a triple-engine configuration and you’ll reach eye-watering speed. Add the optional bow seating, and you’ll have one of the hottest family runabouts on the market.
The latest addition to Grady-White’s popular dual-console series, the innovative Grady-White Freedom 215 features a forward-looking design and timeless style. A roomy 8’ 6” beam combined with spirited SeaV2 hull performance makes a head-turning, dry-riding, versatile fishing boat. The 215 has many innovative features, like swing-away aft-seat backrests that pivot out of the way to access the swim and dockside boarding platforms. There’s also a lockable starboard console compartment with tackle storage trays, four vertical rod holders and horizontal rod racks, plus a recessed cockpit shower, and a 64-quart cooler that can be plumbed as a 16-gallon livewell. The Grady-White line has a great-riding hull built on the design of C. Raymond Hunt Associates’ SeaV2 hull. A pioneer in cabin-style boats since 1959, Grady-White has also built center console boats for nearly 40 years, with 10 models from 18 to 37 feet.
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Mako’s reputation for being rugged and durable has attracted Northeast fishermen for years. They incorporate super-strong transoms plus a unique stringer grid system that’s bonded to the hull to create tremendous structural rigidity. The whole assembly is foam-filled to produce a boat that’s incredibly strong. The Mako 334 CC has ushered in a new era for Mako—an era of empowered performance, elevated style, and enhanced fit and finish. This offshore craft offers unsurpassed flexibility in its interior plus the overbuilt durability that Mako has provided for half a century. Powered with twins or triples up to 1050 horsepower, the 334 slices through the heaviest chop, rides dry and smooth, and has the range to handle any offshore quest. Far from a “standard” offshore boat, it includes a full Garmin electronics package, two innovative 34-gallon baitwells, a leaning post with freshwater sink, a cooler, massive storage capacity, two 290-quart in-deck coolers, a walk-in head, and an inward-opening tuna/dive door.
New for 2017, the Maritime Boats 23 Defiant, with its deeper more aggressive hull, was designed with offshore capabilities in mind. The 23 remains on plane as slow as 10mph while still capable of speeds in excess of 45mph. Deck space on the 23 is amazing, allowing you to easily walk around with plenty of room for coolers and accessories, and the large step-down area adds additional storage, the use of a porta potti or a quick change of clothes. Flush-mounted stainless rod holders, a large anchor locker, and under-gunwale rod racks make the 23 a perfect fishing platform. Built in New Hampshire, Maritime Boats combine traditional New England looks with modern construction techniques and state-of-the-art bottom design. These wide-beamed, unsinkable boats are easily maintained, operate efficiently with low-to-moderate-sized engines, and are convenient to rig and service.
Inshore or offshore, the new NauticStar 265 XTS is a beast of a bay boat and the largest in the Extreme Tournament Series family of boats. It is the culmination of years of innovation and advanced engineering, with a collection of all the latest bells and whistles. It has evolved into the ultimate fishing vessel from customer feedback. With its large forward and aft decks, ample rod storage, 43-gallon bow fish box, three livewells/baitwells, 35-quart YETI cooler, and plenty of tackle storage, the 265 is an amazing fishing platform. The engineers, designers and craftsmen at NauticStar are rich in boatbuilding knowhow. Their popular Nautic Bay boat series offers bay boats from 18 to 26 feet, an XS series of fishing-first center consoles, and a line of deck-style boats.
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The recently launched NorthCoast 24CC is a rugged 24-foot offshore center console loaded with big-boat features, such as a console with standing headroom; the boat also has enough sleeping room for two adults. Other key amenities include a large forward lounging area, leaning-post helm seating, transom folding bench and raw-water wash-down. Anglers will appreciate the deluxe rigging station option with sink, livewell and storage drawers, the 72-gallon fish box, rocket-launcher rod racks, and transom door. NorthCoast boats are built by C&C Marine in Bristol, Rhode Island. In the rich tradition of New England boatbuilding, NorthCoast blends classic lines with solid performance and function. These boats are built in a semi-custom fashion, always with the customer in mind.
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The all-new Pursuit DC365 takes the sport-utility experience of their dual-console line to the next level. Features include wide walkways from bow to stern, forward bow and port side lounge seating, a swivel seat at the helm, and plenty of large storage compartments. The helm is ergonomically engineered and the cabin is easily accessible via a fiberglass door and features solid wood accents with modern finishes, a full berth forward and a comfortable aft berth. Foldaway seating quickly transforms a social venue to a wide-open, fish-ready cockpit with side door, livewell, gunwale-mounted rod holders and insulated fish boxes in the floor. For more than half a century, three generations of this family-owned business have built distinctive outboard-powered fishing boats in offshore, center console, sport and dual console configurations, in models from 18 to 40 feet. Pursuit boats have a reputation for luxury combined with sport utility, providing the ideal platform for adventures on the water.
The biggest Robalo ever has arrived with the 31-foot dual-console Robalo R317. A perfect blend of versatility for die-hard fishing enthusiasts and family-minded anglers, it has sleek lines and comes loaded with standard features. Under the helm is a large head station complete with storage, sink, and toilet. The cabin features a full fiberglass liner, opening port light, secure rod storage, and a sleeping area. For fishermen, the R317 is equipped with a huge 50-gallon fish box under the aft seats, rod holders, a 36-quart removable cooler, and a 25-gallon cooler/livewell with LED lighting and clear plexiglass lid. With open-concept seating in the cockpit, the R317 offers the combination of durability and toughness along with the comfort and luxury that Robalo Boats are known for.
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The Sailfish 245DC is the latest entry in the company’s very successful dual-console line. Like its big brothers the 275DC and 325DC, it combines Sailfish’s solid fishing focus with family-friendly attributes. With both cockpit and bow fish boxes, a livewell, strategically placed rod holders, and plenty of in-floor rod storage, the 245DC is a fishing machine. Comfortable seating for 12, a spacious step-down head, a retractable ski pole and an optional cockpit galley area make it a fantastic family-fun boat. Its 8’6” beam is easy to trailer and ready to run in all types of water and weather conditions. The cockpit is roomy, with high gunwales to keep people in and water out. Deep, comfortable, full bow seating makes for great times with friends. For 30 years, Sailfish has been dedicated to building quality saltwater fishing boats at an affordable price. Fishing-focused but family friendly, a Sailfish can be a hard-core fishing boat one day and a family-fun boat the next.
Sea Born’s 2017 LX 24 all-composite-construction center console fishing machine is designed for both serious angling and family fun. With higher sidewalls than Sea Born’s bay boats, it offers improved passenger safety in rougher seas. Inside, forward lounge-style seating is included for added passenger comfort, with considerable storage capacity below. A plush rear flip-down bench and a large console inside a practical space-saving layout makes it feel much larger than similar boats within its class.
Sea Born boats are manufactured by Composite Research, Inc. (CRI) in Blackshear, Georgia. Since 1994, CRI has created top-quality, affordable bay, center console, and offshore boats. The Sea Born brand was launched in 2012, and every boat is backed by a 10-year transferable limited warranty. Sea Born now has a full lineup of five bay boats and four center consoles ranging from 19 to 25 feet.
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The Southport 272 TE (Tournament Edition) is designed and built for one specific purpose: catching fish in most any condition. With a deck layout featuring a large macerated forward coffin box, ample livewell space, and below-deck insulated and macerated fish boxes, it has all the features a serious offshore tournament angler needs. In addition to storage and livewell space, it can be outfitted with nearly two-dozen rod holders, including rocket launchers, ready racks behind the helm seats, and in-gunwale rod holders.
Southport Boats was launched in 2003 by a team of seasoned boatbuilders whose goal was to build a boat that would maximize the performance and power of modern outboard engines. The variable deadrise of the Southport hull slices through waves with little commotion, and the Carolina flare tosses spray back into the ocean where it belongs.
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The new World Cat 280 CC-X is sleek, aggressive, and loaded with advanced technology. It offers bow seating for seven, including a forward-facing seat on the console door and a spacious head with fiberglass interior, bright lighting, mirror, and Corian counter. Fishing-friendly features include twin insulated 180-quart storage compartments and an insulated 36-quart cooler compartment in the bow. A large electronics area can hold two 12-inch screens, there is multi-compartment tackle and tool storage, and the leaning post has a 30-gallon livewell.
In 2015, the World Cat brand consolidated, with Carolina Cat folding into World Cat, and Glacier Bay becoming Glacier Bay Edition. World Cat’s mission is to deliver the smoothest ride on the water—making boating more enjoyable and giving boaters the comfort and confidence to cruise, fish, and explore.
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More than 50 years of boatbuilding expertise makes Wellcraft the landing place for fun, fishing, family time, and more. You can find a Wellcraft to handle every type of fishing in the Northeast, from trolling Lake Ontario for salmon to heading offshore for tuna. The Wellcraft 302 Fisherman is a brawny 30-footer built for serious offshore fishing with a safe, rugged hull that slices through chop. It comes with standard fishing-friendly features including twin 23-gallon livewells and loads of tackle and rod storage. Even with a fishing-first deck layout, there’s plenty of comfortable seating options including folding bench seats in the stern and an optional bow-seating package that increases the versatility of this well-designed center console.
2018 Fishing Boat Buyer’s Guide
In 2015, Albemarle merged with Carolina Classic to form “Albemarle, The Carolina Classic.” The company is taking full advantage of the combined 60-plus years of boatbuilding experience and history to position themselves as a leader in high-quality Express sportfishing boats ranging in size from 25 feet to 41 feet. The 2017 Albemarle 29 Express offers the ultimate in hardcore fishing amenities in a compact express package. Serious anglers will appreciate its offshore ability, exceptional handling in rough seas, and fuel economy.
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Since the late 60’s Cape Codders have been regarded as a quality built, rugged boat suited for the rigors of every day commercial fishing. They are also regarded by many sport fishing anglers as exceptional inshore striped bass fishing boats. The Cape Codder CC19 was born in 1968 as a boat that incorporated all the elements of the most seaworthy boats at the time. Its heavy, rugged hull with an 18-degree deadrise, lifting strakes, and a hard chine exhibits excellent performance.
Allied Boat Works designs and builds high-quality stock and semi-custom Downeast-style boats with an emphasis on safety, efficiency, and affordability while maintaining elegant, classic lines. Every hull and fiberglass component is hand-laid. All Allied boats maximize the use of high-density, closed-cell, USCG-certified foam flotation. The 24’ Unlimited is the newest complete addition to the Allied lineup. This model is customizable so that you can get the layout you need. With options like the U-Berth, Full Plumbed Head, and Bimini top, this boat is ready to accommodate the whole family. From weekend fun to serious fishing machine, this boat is great all around!
Originally a bare-bones, affordably priced work skiff, the Carolina Skiff company has incorporated styling and a quality fit and finish, while still providing durable, versatile, and stable boats at low prices. Carolina Skiff’s new Hybrid Fish and Cruise series includes the Sea Chaser 27 HFC, a multi-function boat that comes with a suite of standard features including fold-down cleats, LED lighting under gunnel, a fully insulated lockable fish box, and tilt steering wheel, just to name a few.
The legend lives on in the new generation of Blackfin with brand-new models that feature yacht-like, high-end design and innovative construction. The result is an exceptional watercraft designed for fishing, family and fun. The Blackfin 272 CC is a battlewagon of a ship with built-in finesse. Prepared to take on the toughest seas, it will slice through any shred of wave while still offering all the creature comforts you want. Whether headed to the tuna-fishing grounds or sandbar hopping, the large freeboard, flip-down transom seating, and massive center console will do the job.
Since 1926, Century Boats has a history of building high quality, classic boats for both anglers and families who demand innovation, luxury, and reliability. Century offers a full line of saltwater boats from 22 to 32 feet. Designed for offshore fishing, luxurious day cruising and family-friendly watersports activities, the new 24 Resorter reignites the popular Century Boats model of yesteryear, updated with all the latest innovations and today’s technology. The cutting-edge dual console design delivers the versatility you demand with the amenities, features and performance needed for hardcore fishing trips.
The Contender’s clean lines and aggressive entry make it a good-looking boat and a comfortable-riding one, too. Contender offers boats ranging from the 22 Sport to the 39 Fisharound. The Contender 22 Sport keeps with their 30-year heritage of building tournament-grade fishing machines. It comes equipped with a wide array of fishing features including a 26-gallon elevated transom livewell, a 94-gallon in-floor fish box forward, and twin 30-gallon fish boxes in the cockpit. For family-friendly appeal, it boasts a custom console that can be equipped with a head, and the forward cockpit quickly converts to a large seating area
Fortier Boats has been building semi-custom boats for over three decades. A classic Eldridge-McInnis design makes their product an exceptional sea boat, and today’s Fortiers have been updated to incorporate the modern conveniences expected by buyers, including the expected fuel economy of diesel inboard engines. The Fortier 26 is an honest sea boat for fishing and cruising. With a standard Volvo electronic diesel inboard engine, economy and performance is outstanding, offering cruising speeds of up to 20 knots. The full-molded keel and skeg offer exceptional stability and excellent protection for the shaft and rudder.
The Eastern is a rugged, classic Downeast-style boat available in lengths from 18 to 35 feet and built by hand in Milton, New Hampshire. Bob Bourdeau purchased the company in 1993, bringing 35 years of boating experience and making Eastern a family boat-building business with tremendous pride in craftsmanship. Eastern Boats builds Tournament, Explorer, and Center Consoles that allow boaters to fish, work, and play in comfort. If you are looking for a boat with loads of room, the Eastern 35 is your choice. Each Eastern is custom-built to meet the owner’s exact needs and taste, so you can choose single or twin engines and whether you want your boat finished as a state of-the-art sportfishing rig.
Hatteras Yachts is recognized as a world leader in the construction of convertible sportfishing and luxury motor yachts. Based in North Carolina, Hatteras began production of its first model in 1959 and pioneered the production of large offshore fiberglass powerboats. With performance and amenities not typically found in a mid-40-foot yacht, the Hatteras GT45X with Flybridge Option is ideal for the owner-captain ready to take offshore adventures to newer lengths. Tournament-ready, it features a state-of-the-art upper helm, full tower, battle-ready outriggers and top-end speed in the mid-40s.
Edgewater fishing boats are used by serious sportsmen who demand practical features, reliability and durability. With their proprietary Single Piece Infusion construction, they achieve a strength-to-weight ratio that, when combined with the sea-keeping ability of their variable deadrise deep-V hulls, produces handling, performance, fuel efficiency, and range better than many other boats of the same size. Designed to perform with a single outboard, the EdgeWater 248CX is equipped with a reliable Yamaha F300 four-stroke. It features a redesigned bow seating area with plush amenities, including forward-facing seat backs.
When Jack Henriques immigrated to the United States, he brought with him four generations of Portuguese boatbuilding experience. He founded Henriques Yachts in 1977, and 40 years later, the company builds to order at their factory in New Jersey. The Henriques 35 Express tournament sportfisherman is beautiful, fast, and extremely well laid out. The hull design is derived from the dry-riding 38 Henriques, which has won many top tournaments. The huge, 100 square-foot cockpit features a walk-through transom door, two in-deck fish boxes, and plenty of storage for your rods and tackle.
While keeping all the angling appointments correct, Hydrasports Custom concentrates on their customers’ comforts. The results are obvious in beautifully finished, tournament-ready, angling-correct boats. The new Hydrasports Custom 39 Speciale can be outfitted as a pure open fisherman deck or with seating port and starboard including the additional option of seat backrests and fish boxes depending on the angler’s style. The oversized cockpit has an aft-facing seat that holds a rigging station as well as 12-volt refrigerators, tackle drawers, and a freshwater sink. With a 526-gallon fuel capacity, it has nearly unlimited daily range.
The Insetta 45 is a 45-foot center-console, tunnel-hull boat designed and built by Insetta Boatworks. It fills the need for a boat between smaller center console boats and large sportfish yachts. Top-quality design, materials, and construction techniques make it a robust and superbly thought-out vessel. This ultimate center console boasts an enormous amount of deck area, while her smooth ride and tight handling can outperform any other boat in her class.
The Invincible 42 Center Cabin is available with triple or quad outboards. With top speeds in excess of 65 MPH (with triples) the 565-gallon fuel capacity will get you to the farthest fishing grounds and back with speed and comfort. The 42 CC is the perfect fit for those wanting to overnight and extend their fishing trips or have a nice place to get out of the weather.
As a limited production builder, Jupiter Marine is committed to yacht-level quality, with execution and precision from start to finish. The
Jupiter 34 HFS is an example of this core company principle and is considered one of the most attractive center consoles on the water today. The hull is designed not only to look great at the dock, but to provide a fast, smooth, and dry ride in various sea conditions. This model can be personalized to fit individual preferences, and is capable of accommodating the offshore tournament angler while at the same time provide the room, comfort, and amenities for today’s boating lifestyle.
KenCraft Boats have been proudly manufactured in North Carolina for over 43 years and has been independent and family owned from the beginning. Their experienced craftsmen build quality, functional boats at a reasonable cost that allows the entire family to enjoy boating. The new Challenger 21 Blue Water is one of the largest center console boats in its class. It incorporates KenCraft’s signature high Carolina flared bow coupled with high freeboard height, making it safe and dry.
Since 1986, the goal of Key West Boats has been to provide high-quality, high-value products enhanced by a commitment to customer service. Their line of outstanding boats is designed primarily for saltwater use, both inshore and offshore. The Key West 239DFS is their largest dual console. Like the rest of the fleet, this big runabout is self-bailing and foam-filled to provide level and upright flotation. Standard features include a forward, in-floor fish box with overboard drain, a freshwater shower station with 9-gallon tank, and a molded-in swim platform with telescoping ladder.
Scout builds sportfishing, fish ‘n ski, walkaround, flats, and bay boat models ranging from 17’ to 42’. Since its founding over 25 years ago, Scout Boat’s goal has been to manufacture the best-built boats in its distinctive niches. The recently debuted Scout 215 XSF combines comfort, style and performance into one center console beauty. The boat boasts a wide comfortable beam of 8’ 6” with an overall length of 21’ 6”. A notable standard feature is forward seating in the bow with a forward sun lounge/coffin box complete with a cushion, making this fishing boat a comfortable family cruiser.
Parker builds solid boats with an efficient hull design that allows them to plane easily and run economically, more than compensating for their heavy construction. Parker offers center console, walkaround and sport cabin designs. The Parker 2320 Sport Cabin can extend your Northeast boating season with its enclosed cabin that offers protection from the sun, rain, heat, and cold. The standard opening windows, lockable cabin door, and upholstered seating sets the cabin models apart. Optional features such as Garmin electronics, second station, and rocket launchers customizes these boats to your boating needs.
Pioneer Boats is a family-owned and operated business that produces center console, fish and ski, and bay boats. They use a high-quality resin/gelcoat system to ensure each boat is built with outstanding strength-to-weight ratio. The hulls are 100 percent composite and filled with pressure-injected flotation foam between the hull and deck. The Pioneer 222 Sportfish, with its tournament-inspired 32-gallon livewell, 96-gallon fuel capacity, and twin insulated fish boxes, is a fishing machine. Its clean, open deck configuration allows for flexibility and roominess.
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Sea Fox Boat Company is South Carolina owned and operated with more than 50 years of boatbuilding experience. Sea Fox offers a full line of fishing boats including center consoles, walkarounds, bay boats and dual consoles. The new for 2018, the Sea Fox 248 Commander is loaded with impressive fishing features and creature comforts. The helm station has smart seating options and LED lighting, and there are rod holders in the gunnels, transom, leaning post and hard top.
Regulator makes classic deep-V center consoles designed for the challenging conditions of the Outer Banks. Their line of sportfishing boats from 23’ to 41’ is designed and engineered for the most discriminating anglers in the world. The Regulator 31 is equipped with twin 300 Yamaha engines, a massive cockpit, oversized tackle center and fishbox, plus every feature needed for a day of serious sportfishing. Taking a cue from the prized Regulator 41, the 31 also features a starboard dive door, integrated forward seat backrests, and other amenities designed to maximize comfort offshore.
Originally founded in 1987, Sea Pro Boats was recently relaunched as “The Next Wave,” an all-new line of bay boats and center console offshore fishing boats. The company has a new manufacturing facility in South Carolina has introduced eight models, including a 259 Deep V Center Console unveiled in late 2017 and a 309 scheduled for spring 2018. The new Sea Pro 219 Deep V Center Console delivers the same fantastic value and standard features that drove the success of the 239 Deep V Center Console. Popular features include the 52-inch folding transom seat and reclining bow backrest.
Seaway Boats of Milton, New Hampshire builds classic, efficient boats with workboat roots. The SeaWay 21 Sportsman was designed to be both sturdy and elegant. The construction of this center console is strong and rugged enough to take on challenging conditions, but it’s also the right size to let you safely beach it or easily tow it. It’s fuel efficient, thanks in large part to its hard-chine hull, buoyant bow, and sharp-hull entry. Boaters who like extra shelter can add a T-top and a folding dodger to cover the bow area.
Skeeter, a Yamaha boat company, first crossed over to the bay boat market in 1992 and today is a major player, with an SX line of saltwater inshore models ranging from 20 to 24 feet. The Skeeter SX2250 is a clean-looking, sharply appointed bay boat with ample fore and aft decks. There’s an amazing amount of storage, including four vertical rod holders on either side of the console and a forward rod box. A tapered deadrise featuring a 24-degree V entry ensures a smooth, dry ride and the ability to fish in 13 inches of water, making it the ultimate multi-purpose inshore, offshore, and family-fun fishing vessel.
Sportsman Boats manufactures an intelligently designed series of center console, dual console, and bay boats with deep forward entries that provide soft and dry rides. Sportsman’s flagship Heritage series center consoles offer intelligent offshore fishing features with yacht-caliber components. The open series, which includes the Sportsman 232 Open center console, is designed for the more serious angler, but lacks nothing for family outings.
Long Island’s last large-volume boat maker, Bellport-based Steiger Craft was founded in 1972 and continues to produce fiberglass boats in six different sizes and various models, ranging from 21 to 31 feet. Their Steiger Craft 23 Block Island is a perfect example of form meeting function. A solid teak windshield encases the helm, and a large couch to port, aft-facing bench seat, and full fold-down transom seat offer plenty of comfort. Above deck, a 40-gallon circulating live-well in the stern, gigantic cockpit, and ample rod storage transform this classic into a sturdy fishing platform
Stur-Dee Boats is a family-run shop in Tiverton, Rhode Island, where mother/daughter team Heidi and Mackenzie Reid continue the tradition of their father/grandfather, Ernie Gavin. All boats are produced in-house from hand-laid fiberglass in the molds Ernie made from his original wooden boat, and completed with furniture-quality mahogany and oak for the seats and gunnels. The Stur-Dee Boat Amesbury Dory 16 is an inshore-fishing platform with an offshore pedigree. When matched with a four-stroke 20 or 25 horsepower engine, it is an incredibly efficient boat for inshore and back-bay fishing.
Tidewater boats have an impressive look, with a Carolina flare in the bow, clean lines, and an even more impressive price range. Their solid feel, dry ride and spacious cockpit will give any captain the confidence he needs to take this offshore machine into the battle-tested Northeast waters where only the strong prevail. The Tidewater 230 CC Adventure is designed to be the little brother of the popular Tidewater 250 CC and is available with most of the same features. The 8’ 10” beam and large Carolina flare help make this 23-foot boat feel like a larger offshore fishing machine. It’s fast, responsive and a pleasure to drive
Trackers have been the top-selling fishing boat for years, and for good reason. In 1978, these boats were the first to be offered as a complete package for a nationally published price, and it didn’t take long for their popularity to skyrocket. Tracker makes aluminum bass and panfish boats, deep-V boats, and jonboats. The Tracker Pro Guide V-16 SC is sized and equipped just right to meet the needs of serious freshwater bass fans and those who revel in the excitement of working back-bay flats.
Started by brothers Bob and Bill Healey in 1964, New Jersey-based Viking Yachts has grown to become a world leader in semi-custom fiberglass yacht production. The Viking 52 Sport Tower runs strong on the popular resin-infused Viking 52 Convertible hull, while incorporating a stylish three-sided fiberglass deckhouse. The 142 square-foot cockpit is a versatile work space for fishing and other water sport activities with a walk-through transom door and lift gate, recessed in-deck fish box and stowage bins, a transom fish box, insulated coolers and twin mezzanine seating.
Yellowfin’s philosophy is to offer serious fishermen the best fishing boats money can buy by using high-quality materials and the best construction methods regardless of cost. The Yellowfin 39 Offshore is a premier large center console built for ultimate performance in conditions that keep most other fishermen at the dock. Designed for triple or quad outboard power, hard-core anglers will appreciate the extra-wide beam of 11’6, which allows the 39 to offer a spacious and well-designed platform. In addition, it features a standup head and shower and a surprising level of comfort.