Which Boat Is Right For Me: Center Consoles

Which Boat Is Right For Me: Center Consoles

Which Boat Is Right For Me: Center Consoles

Clients new to boating might wonder, “Which boat is right for me?” We are going to break down the benefits of each type of boat over the next few weeks. Types of boats include center console boats, motor yachts, cabin cruisers, sportfish boats, and bowriders. In this blog, we dive into center console boats. While there are many factors you should consider before purchasing your next vessel, these are basic guidelines regarding their main uses.

Center Console Boats

If you are from the southeast region, you are at least familiar with center console boats. One of the most popular boat types, especially in the Wilmington, North Carolina area, these “fishing” vessels are very versatile.

The main benefits of center consoles include:

  • Built for Fishing
  • Performs in rough conditions
  • Easy clean up
  • Large fish boxes
  • Low draft

Center consoles generally have a similar layout with the console being close to the midpoint of the vessel and the boat offering various fishing-oriented options. These can include multiple rod holders, fish boxes, live wells, rocket launchers, and larger vessels that have outriggers and advanced electronics.  Though there are exceptions, most center consoles have an outboard motor.

Center Console Sizes:

15-19′ Skiffs and Inshore 

On the smaller end of the spectrum, boats 15-19 feet in length are perfect for inshore fishing, cruising, and some fishermen will take this size offshore. The limiting factors on a boat this size are seating capacity, engine power, and fuel capacity. It would be rare to find a boat this size with twin engines, so offshore capabilities are limited to fuel and how comfortable one would be going offshore on a single-engine.

20-26′ Fishing and Family

Center Console Boats in this range are very popular around our region. Whether you want to go offshore fishing, pull a wakeboarder, or simply cruise over to a sandbar, boats in this range are perfect. Starting around the 24′ range is where you will find dedicated fishing boats such as Regulator incorporating twin engines. This allows for more confidence in offshore journeys and a quicker ride.

For the offshore fisherman, this is also the range where you will find boats with a deeper V-hull which will cut through rough seas with ease. Many boats will also give up forward seating for increased fishing room/storage and offer curtains for protection from wind and sea. T-tops also are an option and offer storage, rod storage, more electronics room, and protection from the sun.

27-36′ Serious offshore fishing

Most Center Console boats in this range have twin engines trips, T-tops, and are loaded out for Gulf Stream fishing. Outriggers, flared-out bows, and even a sleeping room in the console allow for extended trips. If you are serious about fishing, this is the way to go.

Names like YellowfinJupiter, and Regulator are well-known competitors in this realm, and all offer top-of-the-line vessels. Many boats this size will require a larger truck and trailer to haul out so that is a factor to consider.

37+ Offshore fishing and more 

Recently there have been much larger center console boats being produced by companies such as Hydra-Sports which offer a 42′ and a 54′. These boats are usually built custom and offer to sleep, maxed out fishing options, and sport at least 3 engines.

Choosing the right size 

So you are set on a center console but do not know which size to buy? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How many people will I be taking?
  2. How far offshore will I be going?
  3. What size trailer/weight can my car handle?

By answering these three questions, you can narrow down at least a minimum requirement for your vessel. There are other factors to consider as well, but knowing beforehand how you will be using the boat will save you lots of time in the long run.

Need help?

We come across thousands of boats a week and are experts at helping our clients narrow down that perfect boat. Please leave a comment, message us on Facebook, email, or call with any questions you may have and we will get back to you ASAP. 910-239-9344 | info@offthehookys.com.

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