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8 Top Center-Consoles For Fishing

  • By Yachting Staff
  • August 22, 2023

Formula Boats 387 Center Console Fish

For 60-plus years, Formula Boats has been known for creating luxury cruising vessels. The yachtbuilder’s 387 Center Console Fish leverages the company’s extensive experience to create this fishing-focused craft. The 387 CCF starts with the builder’s wave-slicing FAS3Tech hull, a deep-V form with 23 degrees of transom deadrise. A foam-filled structural grid adds strength without excessive weight. The 387 CCF displaces 22,500 pounds, so it’s got the hull form and the heft for rough-water running.

Fishing Mission

Notable equipment includes two 40-gallon pressurized livewells, two in-deck fish boxes with macerators, 18-foot Gemlux telescoping outriggers, a cockpit leaning post with slide-away mezzanine seating, a rigging station, a cutting board, tackle-box organizers and more. An optional Seakeeper 3 gyrostabilizer helps remove roll in big water.


Power options include triple 300, 350 or 400 hp Mercury Verados, triple 450 hp Mercury 450R racing engines or twin 600 hp V-12 Mercury Verados.

Sōlace 415CS

Efficient thinking.

Sōlace collaborated with Volvo Penta to create the twin-stepped hull 415CS center-console . The goal was to show that when powered with Volvo Penta’s D6-440 diesel Aquamatic drives, the Sōlace 415CS was a more efficient fishing platform than a comparably equipped center-console with outboards.

Did It Work?

According to Volvo Penta, the 415CS with the D6s has a 403-nautical-mile range at a 36.5-knot cruise speed on a 444-gallon fuel capacity, compared with a 221 nm range at the same speed for the same boat powered with quad outboards and a 555-gallon fuel capacity. Range advantage goes to the 415CS diesel boat. Additionally, the design allows for a full-beam swim platform and dual transom doors leading to the cockpit.

At the Helm

The glass-bridge setup has a modern look and provides the helmsman with intuitive functions. Garmin is the electronics package of choice. As shown below, this boat has 360 degrees of fishability and room for an armada of gunwale rod holders for kite-fishing, trolling, drift-fishing and the like.

Scout 260 LXF

Rigged and ready.

The Scout Boats 260 LXF—part of the builder’s 10-model luxury center-console series stretching from 22 to 53 feet length overall—may be on the smaller side of the spectrum, but it has the same stout, hand-laid build as its larger siblings. It also has the same high level of fit and finish, and options for customization.

Singles or Twins?

Maximum horsepower for the 260 LXF is 400, and it comes in the form of single or twin outboards from Mercury or Yamaha. Twin engines start at 150 hp apiece, and a single starts at 300 hp. Notable standard equipment includes a Seakeeper Ride, a Garmin 943xsv display, a fiberglass leaning post with a bait-prep station, tackle drawers, helm seats, a 45-quart Yeti cooler, a windlass and an integrated fiberglass T-top with spreader lights.

Online Shopping

The Scout Boats website lets prospective owners spec and price out a 260 LXF, including hull colors, autopilot, radar, FLIR cameras, VHF radio, outriggers, hardtop rocket launchers, steering upgrades and underwater lighting, to name a few of the available options.

Contender 44FA

Long-run comfort.

The Contender 44 Fisharound has the type of 360-degree fishability that’s usually found on a traditional center-console, along with the elements-eliminating cabin of an express boat—which should come in handy on overnight excursions and on extended canyon runs for pelagics. The belowdecks berth is queen size. There is also a head with a shower, and a galley with a fridge, freezer and sink.

Out and Back Fast

When powered with triple 425 hp V-8 Yamaha outboards, the 44FA tops out around 58 knots at 6,000 rpm. At 4,000 rpm, fast cruise speed is 34.6 knots. Dial the motors back to 3,500 rpm, and cruise speed is 27.6 knots, which is also the boat’s most efficient velocity with triples. Need more kick? Quads are available. Max total horsepower is 2,000. There are three bolster-style helm seats, along with a second-row bench seat for guests.

Fishing Features

Anglers will find standard amenities, such as a 300-gallon fish box forward, two 100-gallon in-deck fish boxes, twin 55-gallon livewells and four flush-mounted gunwale rod holders.

Intrepid 41 Valor 

Listening first.

Intrepid Powerboats is always surveying its owners to find out what they like and what they want. The 41 Valor is a model developed on the basis of customer input.

What’s Different?

The 41 Valor has a new stepped-hull form as well as a wider beam, and it’s penned to accommodate an owner’s desire for a variety of power options, including 425 hp Yamahas or 600 hp Mercury Verados. The builder says it designed the helm for larger electronics displays. Belowdecks are a queen-size berth, a galley and a head with a separate shower for longer trips. The 41 Valor is constructed on a deep-V hull form that is vacuum-bagged, foam-cored and resin-infused. A stringer grid system enhances strength and rigidity for use in tempestuous seas.

Options for Anglers

Because it is a semicustom boat, the 41 Valor is available with angling options such as port and/or starboard cockpit livewells, a helm-seat livewell upgrade, outriggers, gunwale rod holders, a hardtop and a splash well. Spearfishing enthusiasts can add dive tanks.

About the Ride

Like all Jupiter models, the super-size Jupiter 40 center-console has the builder’s deep-V hull form with a sharp, 24-degree transom deadrise and a Posi-Stern hull pad. Jupiter says the hull pad “creates a variable dynamic stern lift,” which, in turn, means a flatter running attitude as well as increased overall performance.

With regard to performance, the Jupiter 40 accommodates a maximum of 1,350 horsepower, which includes a triple 425 hp Yamaha, triple 400 hp Mercury or twin 600 hp Mercury outboard option.

Pursuing Pelagics

The Jupiter 40 is built with 360 degrees of coaming pads, a design feature that makes fighting a big fish around the boat more comfortable, especially at the rail. Standard angling amenities include two 100-gallon in-sole fish boxes with macerators, a 126-gallon fish box forward, a mezzanine bench seat with a 48-gallon bait freezer, a transom livewell and GEM outrigger bases with 22-foot carbon-fiber poles to optimize the trolling spread. A Seakeeper gyrostabilizer is optional.

Grady-White Canyon 306

Inshore or offshore.

Flexibility is at the heart of Grady-White’s Canyon 306. With a 21-inch draft, this boat is skinny-water accessible for chasing striped bass, redfish and the like. The broad-shouldered, 10-foot-7-inch beam and variable-deadrise SeaV2 hull form let it knock back chop and sprint offshore to pursue tuna and billfish.

Sprint Indeed

The Canyon 306 is designed for a pair of twin 300 hp Yamaha outboards, which provide a top hop of 44 knots and about a 30-knot cruise speed at 4,000 rpm. Dial it back to 3,600 rpm, and cruise speed is 26.2 knots, which is the boat’s most efficient speed with a fuel burn of 18.3 gph. Considering a 10 percent fuel reserve, maximum range at cruise speed is 373 nautical miles.

Angling Arsenal

Standard gear includes a 47-gallon livewell, a rigging station with a sink and an insulated bait box, two in-sole 150-quart fish boxes, a 304-quart transom fish box aft and four rod holders. The casting platform forward converts to seating when extra guests are on board. With a pair of 18-foot T-top-mounted outriggers, the only thing left to consider is where to start fishing.

Pursuit S 328

Underneath it all.

The Pursuit S 328 has a deep-V hull form with a 20-degree transom deadrise. The hull is hand-laminated fiberglass reinforced with an infused fiberglass structural grid, as well as a resin-infused transom reinforcement grid to handle the rigors of offshore duty. The Pursuit S 328 comes with a five-year structural hull warranty.

It’s Got Kick

Powered with twin 300 hp Yamahas, the Pursuit S 328 cruises at 28 knots at 4,000 rpm with a 24.5 gph fuel burn. At cruise speed, range is 308 nm considering a 10 percent reserve. Top hop is 43 knots. The S 328 has a knife-like entry to beat back the seas and run to the deep in comfort. There are four seating areas: dual helm seats, a bench seat aft, bench seating forward of the console and bow seating.

Time to Fish

The S 328 is outfitted with a 24-gallon livewell, insulated-sole fish boxes to port and starboard, five transom rod holders, four gunwale rod holders and rod stowage under the hardtop. For anglers who have to navigate under bridges to get to the fishing grounds, clearance with the hardtop is 8 feet, 2 inches.

  • More: Center Consoles , Contender , Fishing Yachts , Formula Boats , Grady-White , Intrepid , June 2023 , Jupiter , Pursuit , Scout Boats , Solace Boats , Yachts
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In 1998, far offshore, our legacy was born. Answering the call of a wild tribe hungry for something better. Something that could fill the void between performance and capability. Something that could be the best of all worlds. Something capable of out-fishing anyone and outrunning anything. Boats crafted to deliver a deeper level of experience.

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Viking's Game-Changing Fleet of Center Consoles

Since its inception in 2019, Valhalla Boatworks (VBW) has established itself as the world leader in semi-custom high-performance luxury center consoles. Created, owned and operated by the Viking Yacht Company, the legendary builder of the world’s finest sportfishing yachts, Valhalla Boatworks offers seven center consoles from 28 to 55 feet in its game-changing V Series.

Like the Viking fleet, the V-33, V-37, V-41, V-46 and V-55 deliver unmatched performance, engineering, comfort, quality and fishing capabilities. The V Series center consoles thrive as hard-core fishing boats, fun family sport cruisers or luxury yacht tenders. The recently announced V-28 and V-29 will also provide unmatched capability and accommodations.

The V Series is the result of the cooperative effort of the Viking Design & Engineering team and Michael Peters Yacht Design (MPYD). The V Series utilizes MPYD’s patented Stepped-V Ventilated Tunnel running surface that reduces drag while increasing speed, stability and efficiency.

“It’s the most advanced and proven stepped-hull design in the world,” says Viking Design Manager David Wilson. “The twin steps and tunnel not only give you fast and efficient performance but also precise handling and a very stable ride.”

The design traits of Viking convertibles can be seen throughout these center consoles. Proud bows, gently sloping S-shaped sheers, double forward chines, helm pods, raised toe rails and mezzanine seating are some of the hallmarks. Viking engineering and mechanical prowess shine through, with customized Seakeeper installations that maintain storage or deck space and mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems designed and built to unprecedented levels. You’ll be hard pressed to find a center console with a higher level of fit and finish than a Valhalla.

The same resources of Viking’s vertically integrated company are at the disposal of Valhalla Boatworks owners, so standard and custom components and systems of each build such as hardtops, marlin or gap towers and electronics packages are being designed and installed in-house by our experienced shipwrights to guarantee turnkey delivery. Hardtop packages can be loaded with top-shelf components in flawless installations.

Valhalla Boatworks offers outboards from both Mercury and Yamaha in twin, triple or quad applications depending on the model. The efficiency of the stepped-hull design combined with the advanced outboard technology provide best-in-class speed, fuel economy and range. Low engine-noise and vibration levels, electronic power steering and optional joystick helm control systems with GPS station-keeping make operating your V Series an enjoyable, stress-free experience.

Bottom Line: The V Series stands out as a truly unique fleet of center consoles in a market saturated with similarity.

Please contact Valhalla Boatworks for more information about any of these models.

[email protected]

Phone: 609.296.6000 • Fax: 609.296.3956

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These 10 New Center Console Fishing Boats Can Double as Luxurious Day Cruisers

For running miles offshore to chase billfish or cruising from port to port, these 10 super-luxe center consoles share the common denominators of open space and speed., howard walker, howard walker's most recent stories.

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Top Ten Center Consoles Valhalla 55

Not so long ago, the center console was all about chasing the big catch miles offshore. Today it’s as much about lounging on cushy sunpads with friends and family, firing up the grill and having a fun day anchored to a sandbar. The good news, with a decade’s worth growth, is that both US and European builders are pushing design boundaries, giving boaters more options than ever. Hard-core fishing machines and gentleman’s cruisers are equal parts of the new generation.

Despite the differences, the common denominator has always been performance. Which means these 10 new high-powered center consoles will all get you where want to go, exceedingly fast.

Midnight Express 60 Pied-a-Mer

center console fishing yachts

Ponder this stat for a second. Powered by a pair of 1,900-hp MAN diesels hooked up to surface drives, Midnight Express’ latest 60-ft. Pied-a-Mer can hit a blistering 90 mph top speed. And even with the more popular six-pack of Mercury Racing 450R outboards, it can run at 60 mph-plus. No wonder they call this center console The Beast. But what arguably sets the boat apart is its surprisingly spacious accommodations. Belowdecks, there are two equal-sized master cabins sprawled across 15 feet of beam, with a galley and lounge. A pied-a-mer indeed.

Valhalla V-55

center console fishing yachts

To tower. Or not to tower. That is the question. Aiming to use Valhalla Boatworks’ brand-new flagship V-55 as a pure offshore, fish-fighting machine, you’ll probably want the tuna tower. Using it more as a super-luxury, super-spacious weekender for blasting across to Bimini, then the tuna tower is redundant. Blast it will. Featuring a smooth-riding, twin-stepped deep-V hull from designer Michael Peters, the V-55 will slice through the whitecaps at 60mph-plus with its quad 600-hp Mercury Verado V12 outboards. And to give the center console the range to get places, it comes with a 1,200-gallon tank.

Wallypower 58

center console fishing yachts

The brand-new Wallypower 58 is a flying scimitar of a center console unencumbered by anything as trivial as handrails or even hull windows. As for the latter, the 58 features so-called “magic portholes” featuring outside cameras hooked up to screens inside the cabin to give a wide-angled view of the world outside. Inspired, design-wise, by the bonkers Wallypower 118, this plumb-bowed 57-footer features a similar massively-raked windshield and swept-back hardtop. Powering this Mad Max machine is a trio of either Volvo IPS 700s or 800s. Fast? Si.

center console fishing yachts

Next to ABBA, arguably the most famous Swedish ensemble is the powerboat powerhouse called Windy Boats. It recently introduced a brand-new performance center console, badged the SR44 SX, that trades inboard power for a set of 600-hp Mercury V12s or triple Yamaha 425XTOs. With more of a focus on family fun than hooking herring, this razor-nosed 44-footer has a spacious twin-cabin layout, multiple sunpads, and a large, U-shaped cockpit dinette for alfresco dining. Designed to tackle the often turbulent Swedish coastal waters, it’s reckoned to be one of the smoothest-riding center consoles out there.

Solaris 40 Open

center console fishing yachts

Lobster-boat-style center consoles don’t come any prettier than this new Solaris Power 40 Open from Italy. The hull shape alone is a work of art, with its bold, plumb bow, its sweeps and curves and well-defined side strakes. Add to these a curvy windshield and dramatic t-top supported by a single pillar. And there’s real elegance here, with its salty teak decks, classy upholstery and high-quality fittings. Below deck are twin cabins, with a spacious master in the bow that have interior volumes reckoned to match Solaris’ larger Open 44. Multiple power options range from gas, diesel or outboard, with Volvo D6 440-hp diesels with stern drives being the go-to package. 

center console fishing yachts

A fresh-faced entry into the burgeoning sub-40-foot offshore center console market is this innovative 37-footer from South Carolina-based Phenom Yachts. The new Phenom 37 rides on a raceboat-inspired, twin-stepped running surface the company calls NextStep. Add to this a forward section of the hull that features three deep, well-defined strakes for a softer, smoother ride, less pounding in big seas, and on-rails tracking. Power comes from either triple Mercury 400-hp V10 Verados, or a pair of Verado V12 600s, both offering a 70mph-plus top speed. One feature we’re loving: air-conditioned helm seats.

Intrepid 427 Nomad SE

center console fishing yachts

Who in the boating world doesn’t know Intrepid Powerboats’ mustachioed president, Ken “The Boat GOAT” Clinton from his almost daily Tik Tok, Facebook and Instagram social media posts? His latest posts from this year’s Miami boat show have focused on Intrepid’s brand-new 427 Nomad SE center console making its debut at the show. Based on Intrepid’s 42-foot Nomad FE, it features an all-new deck layout with an oversized hardtop covering two rows of seats, a bigger console cabin with side-entry—hence the SE badging—and a wider dashboard to accommodate the latest flat-screen electronics. Unchanged is Intrepid’s smooth-riding stepped hull and choice of two or four outboards.

Aquila 47 Molokai

center console fishing yachts

You don’t mess with the turbulent waters skirting the Hawaiian island of Molokai unless you have a serious boat. Which is why Florida-based Aquila Catamarans has christened its brand-new, twin-hulled fish-chasing cat the 47 Molokai. Designed to pound through the surf at speeds up to 60mph, this razor-bowed speedster just made its concept debut at this year’s Miami boat show, with the first production versions due in May. Engine options will include either twin 600hp Mercury Verado V12s, four of the brand-new 450-horse Mercury V10s, or a quartet of tried-and-tested Mercury Racing 450s. 

center console fishing yachts

When Jimmy Buffett went looking for a fast boat to head out to his favorite offshore fishing spots, he turned to South Carolina’s Freeman Boats for one of their tough-as-nails Freeman 42 power catamarans. Don’t be surprised if the son-of-a-sailor trades up to Freeman’s brand-new 43, with greater creature comforts, feistier performance from a quartet of Mercury Racing 450Rs, and added functionality. Did we mention the 50-plus rod holders scattered around the deck? With a modified version of the 42’s proven hull design, comfier seating with two rows of bucket seats, and even more livewells, tackle boxes and storage bins, this new 43 could be the ultimate fishing machine.

center console fishing yachts

Yes, technically, it’s a center console. But this classy Italian thoroughbred is as much a super-luxe weekender as a fisherman’s friend. Stretch out in the spacious master suite, or soak-up rays on one of the 50-footer’s huge padded sunpads on the bow and stern. Instantly recognizable from its wave-slicing, axe-like reverse bow, the P50 is a fixture of every major sunny boating hot spot, from Miami to Mallorca. Big brother to Pardo’s P38 and P43 center consoles, this flagship 50 comes with the choice of three Volvo IPS powertrains ranging from standard twin 600s, to optional 700s, or top-choice 600-hp 800 diesels, delivering a 40mph-plus top speed. Talk about a bella macchina.

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Center Consoles Featuring a timeless athletic stance and unmatched fishing amenities, the Everglades CC series is the benchmark in offshore fishing vessels. Available in sizes from 23' to 45', they perform with near-perfect weight balance and unimaginable agility. Explore Center Consoles

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Salt Water Sportsman

Best Center Console Boats

  • By SWS Staff
  • Updated: July 12, 2021

Top center consoles

Be it deep-V mono-hulls or multi-hulls, offshore, bay boat, or hybrid models, outboard-powered center console fishing boats have clearly become the most popular among saltwater anglers, outselling all other boat types by a wide margin.

Boat manufacturers around the country have responded to the demand, and today you can find hundreds of outstanding center consoles, ranging from 20 to more than 50 feet in length. In this list, we divided it by the best center consoles under 30 feet and over 30 feet, complete with each model’s specifications and top features.

You’ll find a good mix of inshore and offshore center consoles, as well as a variety of boats that can be categorized as affordable or luxury. No matter your style of fishing or budget, there is a boat on this list that’s built for you.

Best Center Consoles Under 30 Feet

Versatility leads the way in the best center console fishing boats under 30 feet. Larger models in the category offer seaworthiness to handle offshore demands; smaller and midsized hulls are scaled for comfort and efficiency on inshore fishing grounds.

Barker 26 heading out to fish

Barker 26 Open

The 26 Open from Barker features a Michael Peters-designed and patented Stepped-Vee Ventilated Tunnel hull that has the lowest drag coefficient of any monohull, according to Barker. This helps optimize speed, handing and fuel efficiency. It helps this center console hybrid bay boat ride smoothly in rough water as well. The Barker 26 Open features a deep cockpit with a relatively abbreviated aft casting deck.  There’s a 45-gallon livewell in the leaning post, a 15-gallon transom-well and another 15-gallon livewell in the bow. You can opt for a tower with a second station for spotting cobia, redfish, birds or weedlines.

  • Length: 25′6″
  • Fuel: 90 gal. 120 optional
  • Draft: 1′2″
  • Weight: 4,500 lb.
  • Max. HP: 627

Blue Wave 2800 Makaira running inshore

Blue Wave 2800 Makaira

The 2800 Makaira from Blue Wave is capable of offshore fishing , but with a shallow draft for those days when you want to stay nearshore. Noteworthy standards include: Garmin electronics, deluxe captain’s seats on a tackle station, three-sided tempered glass windshield, freshwater washdown, swim platform/boarding ladder, and a T-top with a finished edge. The no-splashwell layout maximizes cockpit space. Wrap-around seating up front transforms into a casting platform, and lockable rod storage built into both gunwales accommodates up to ten 8-foot rods. The entire aft jump seat lifts for easy access to the bilge, and all pumps are conveniently labeled for service or replacement.

  • Length: 27′ 10″
  • Beam: 9′ 2″
  • Fuel: 135 gal.
  • Weight: 4,150 lb.
  • Max. HP: 600

Boston Whaler 280 Outrage out in the ocean

Boston Whaler 280 Outrage

The 280 Outrage from Boston Whaler offers loads of features and the legendary, unsinkable design for serious saltwater angling and safety. Twin helm seats, a three-sided tempered glass windshield and integral hardtop offer superb comfort. A lounge on the forward console conceals voluminous stowage underneath. A transom bench seat folds down for fishing, and bow seating converts to a forward casting platform. A pair of livewells hold plenty of bait for a day of fishing. You can power this boat with up to 800 hp for the speed to get to the fish in a hurry on a smooth-riding hull.

  • Length: 28′
  • Beam: 9′ 4″
  • Fuel: 186 gal.
  • Weight: 6,200 lb.
  • Max. HP: 800

Cobia 280 CC in clear blue water

Cobia 280 CC

A mainstay at the top of the best center console category, the vacuum-infused 280 CC from Cobia offers superb running performance, tournament inspired fishing features, and a long list of family friendly amenities. Smartly laid out, with touches like a front entry head and an electric hideaway bow table, seen mostly on larger boats, the Cobia appeals to the serious angler with a large tackle station, twin in-floor fish boxes, tons of rod storage, and a 42-gallon livewell. Optional features include forward-facing backrests at the bow, a fully enclosed windshield below a color-matched hardtop, and a full array of electronics . Whether on the fishing grounds or at the sandbar, the 280 CC delivers with style, comfort, and performance.

  • Length: 27′7″
  • Fuel: 189 gal.
  • Weight: 6,610 lb. (w/ power)
  • Max. HP: 500

Contender 25 Bay running fast

Contender 25 Bay

The 25 Bay from Contender offers true offshore capability in a fast, fuel-efficient and family friendly package. Whether stalking fish in shallow water or making a run offshore, this boat is ready for action, with 340 quarts of dry storage, a 180-quart insulated fish box, 40-gallon livewell and 12-gallon baitwell. There’s also a 70-quart cooler in the forward console seat, forward seating with three storage compartments below, two rear jump seats, and a 10-inch jack plate and custom Lenco trim tabs also come standard. Additional custom options are available for tops, consoles, leaning posts, and electronics. Other fishing features include outlets for electric reel, trolling motors, shallow-water anchors, forward casting platforms, and more.

  • Length: 25′4″
  • Weight: 4,200 lb. (ready to fish)
  • Max. HP: 400

Everglades 273cc running at sunset

Everglades 273cc

The 273cc from Everglades Boats has long been regarded as a premier hybrid model designed for both inshore and offshore duties. The 27-footer boasts an innovative upper-station tower configuration with a helm aloft, plus trim-tab indicators, integrated forward rod holders, and a folding foot platform. Back on deck, the low-profile, powder-coated bow rails and pop-up cleats combine with the casting platform/bow seating to make cast-netting live bait a breeze. The stainless-steel rod holders flush-mounted on the gunwales are bedded and through-bolted. There are also under-gunwale rod racks, a lighted 31-gallon livewell, and more than 82 gallons of fish box space.

  • Length: 27′3″
  • Fuel: 157 gal.
  • Weight: 6,400 lb.

Grady-White Canyon 271 slicing through the waves

Grady-White Canyon 271

The Canyon 271 from Grady-White features Grady’s exclusive SeaV2 hull design for a super smooth ride. Combined with a true self-bailing cockpit, offshore runs are comfortable and safe. This center console is packed with fishing features, including recessed, low bow rails, lockable rod storage, deluxe lean bar with rigging station, tackle drawers, and a sizable livewell. Cushioned bow seating showcases the patented foldaway backrests, and includes 85-quart insulated storage boxes underneath. An optional casting platform insert doubles as a cushioned sun pad and can also convert to a table. Boasting a protective full-height windshield in the T-top, and a ventilated stand-up head, the 271 is perfect for fishing, snorkeling, towing water toys, or just cruising.

  • Length: 26′10″
  • Weight: 5,914 lb.

Parker 23 SE riding over the waves

Parker 23 SE

Common sense, time-tested, and a straightforward approach, combined with dedication to the highest quality construction practices, has earned the 23 Special Edition (SE) from Parker the reputation of strength, simplicity, and seaworthiness. This center console features a leaning post with rocket-launcher rod holders and a 30-gallon livewell, hydraulic steering, stern jump seats, transom platform with boarding ladder, self-bailing cockpit, and all stainless-steel hardware. A 98-gallon fuel capacity offers the range needed to fish far and wide. Simply put, it’s one of the best center console boats under 25 feet.

  • Length: 23′0″
  • Fuel: 98 gal.
  • Weight: 2,750 lb.
  • Max. HP: 300

Pursuit S 268 riding smoothly

Pursuit S 268

The S268 from Pursuit combines the traits of a sport boat with serious fishability of an offshore center console. The S 268 features Pursuit’s timeless styling, luxurious finishes and modern amenities. Foldaway seating in the cockpit quickly transforms the area from a social to a fishing-ready zone complete with port and starboard fish boxes, 28-gallon livewell, and more than enough room for the crew and plenty of gear. A three-sided tempered glass windshield and integral hardtop, combined with the superbly designed helm, make the S 268 a pleasure to run. With an overall length of 27 feet 4 inches, twin Yamaha outboards, and 139-gallon fuel capacity, this boat is designed to venture far offshore in quest of your favorite quarry.

  • Length: 27′4″
  • Fuel: 139 gal.
  • Draft: 1′10″ (motors up)
  • Weight: 6,770 lb. (w/ power)

Regulator 23 moving over reefs

Regulator 23

Whether you are ready for an offshore run or a casual day closer to shore, the 23 from Regulator has you covered, offering stability and comfort in true Regulator style. Powered by a single Yamaha 300 or optional twin Yamaha F150s, the Regulator 23 incorporates big-game fishing features, including a transom tuna door, 46-gallon fish box/livewell, and 350-quart in-deck fish box, along with a convenient rigging station and plenty of storage. Other big boat features, including a T-top with integrated wraparound windshield for added protection at the helm, and the factory-installed Garmin marine electronics also come standard. In addition, there’s abundant seating and built-in coolers. Options include an in-stem bow anchor chute/roller with windlass, and a head with electric tank pump-out inside the console.

  • Length: 27′6″ (w/ bracket and power)
  • Fuel: 149 gal.
  • Weight: 6,720 lb. (w/ single outboard)

Robalo R272 running nearshore

Robalo R272

The R272 from Robalo features an integral hardtop with a three-sided tempered glass windshield for outstanding protection from wind and cool temperatures at the helm. Twin helm seats, an aft-facing seat, fold-out transom bench, bow seating and a perch on the forward console offer plenty of places for the crew to take a load off. A 20-gallon transom livewell resides in the port quarter. A 100-gallon insulated fish box is nestled under the cockpit sole, and there’s a pair of 25-gallon insulated fish boxes under the fore deck. With 23 degrees of deadrise at the transom, this center console is designed to ride smoothly through rough seas, while the 180-gallon fuel capacity offers the range to comfortably fish well offshore.

  • Fuel: 180 gal.
  • Weight: 7,000 lb. (w/power)

Scout 277 LXF running towards the horizon

Scout 277 LXF

The new 277 LXF from Scout is loaded with standard features, such as a fully-walkable transom swim platform, a port-side swing-in door, forward seating with removable backrests and storage underneath, a powder-coated hardtop with integrated, frameless windshield and rocket launchers, and a private head with locking door. Notable options include your choice of upgraded upholstery, color packages, underwater lights, outriggers, teak removable bow table, and engine flush kit. Scout’s classic styling and flaring bow garner admiring looks, while the deep-V hull helps cleave mean offshore seas for a smooth ride.

  • Length: 27′6″
  • Fuel: 164 gal.
  • Weight: 5,650 lb.
  • Max. HP: 450

SeaVee 290B near downtown

SeaVee 290B

The 290B from SeaVee is a versatile and easy to trailer fishing machine—just the right size to comfortably travel to the best fishing spots and compete in the hottest fishing tournaments. Powered by up to twin 800 hp outboards, the resin-infused, composite-cored hull with 25 degrees of transom deadrise and a sharp angle of entry at the bow makes quick work of harsh offshore conditions, enabling passengers to enjoy the smooth, dry ride with surprising stability not often found in boats of similar size. Offered with a variety of seating arrangements and an extensive list of options, the 290B can be customized to match your personality, lifestyle and favorite types of fishing.

  • Length: 29′6″
  • Fuel: 234 gal.

Yellowfin 26 Hybrid just off the beach

Yellowfin 26 Hybrid

The Yellowfin 26 Hybrid is one of the builder’s most versatile models. It does many things well, including shallow-water fishing in bays and estuaries, and offshore trips far from the sight of land. Whatever your chosen mission, the 26 Hybrid has you covered. Available with single or twin outboards, and several livewell configurations, this boat is designed for maximum fishing efficiency. Forward seating and numerous T-top and tower options make it a breeze to build just the right 26-foot center console for family fun, hardcore fishing expeditions, or both.

  • Length: 26′
  • Fuel: 118 gal.
  • Weight: 5,000 lb.

Best Center Consoles Over 30 Feet

When the blue water beckons, the best offshore center console fishing boats over 30 feet get you there fast and efficiently, with a margin of seaworthiness and safety that takes unpredictable weather and rough water in stride, along with the features and amenities to maximize your days offshore.

Barker 40 HPFC running through the sea

Barker 40 HPFC

The 40 HPFC (High Performance Fishing Catamaran) from Barker boats a Michael Peters-designed double-stepped multihull. Standard power includes quad Mercury 300 hp Verado V-8 outboards with an Optimus 360 joystick control system. This center console fishing cat features 100 percent vinylester resin and composite coring.  Features include two 55-gallon livewells (one in the transom and another in the deck) There’s helm seating for three abreast, and an optional second row of seating. The console incorporates a three-sided tempered glass windshield and a forward lounge seat. Power upgrades include quad Mercury 450R V-8 or quad Verado 600 V-12 outboards.

  • Length: 40′4″
  • Beam: 11′10″
  • Fuel: 670 gal
  • Draft: 2′2″
  • Weight: 15,000 lb.
  • Max. HP: 1,800

Blackfin 302CC running to the fishing grounds

Blackfin 302CC

The Blackfin 302CC features a double stepped-hull for a smooth and efficient ride. U-shaped bow seating/loungers, and forward console seating come standard. A head compartment resides in the console, and there’s a dive door on the port side. The helm features a digital engine monitoring system, lighted weatherproof switches, power-assisted steering, helm seats with flip-up bolsters and an elevated helm platform. The 302CC also comes with two in-floor 54-gallon fish boxes with macerated pump outs and a 30-gallon transom insulated baitwell as well as fresh- and raw-water wash downs. A bow thruster is also standard.

  • Length: 30′2″
  • Fuel: 240 gal.
  • Weight: 9,000 lb.

Boston Whaler 380 Outrage fishing offshore

Boston Whaler 380 Outrage

The 380 Outrage from Boston Whaler delivers as an offshore fishing platform, an entertaining vessel, a yacht tender, or all of the above. Powered by triple or quad Mercury outboards, the 380 features a roomy bow with expansive seating and storage, and a cockpit with a new aft-facing couch with optional removable table and an optional summer kitchen. A lounger with stowage below resides on the forward console, and three-across helm seating is protected by the integral three-side tempered glass windshield and hardtop. Roomy fish lockers flank the aft deck, and there’s a 60-gallon livewell on the transom. The console houses a spacious, enclosed head compartment.

  • Length: 38′
  • Beam: 11′8″
  • Fuel: 445 gal.
  • Draft: 23.5″
  • Weight: 14,500 lb.

Cape Horn 34xs anchored

Cape Horn 34xs

The Cape Horn 34xs (“xs” stands for extra seating and extra storage) offers a towable center console fishing package that makes a big impression. From bow to stern, every detail is engineered and tournament tested for one purpose—to fish! The deep-V hull with 23 degrees of deadrise at the transom is designed to tame bumpy seas, and the huge floor plan provides an uncluttered workstation when the bite is on. Twin livewells afford a combined bait capacity of 110 gallons, and the 273-gallon fuel capacity offers great range. Power-assisted steering with a tilt-and-lock wheel is also among the many standard features.

  • Length: 31′10″
  • Beam: 10′3″
  • Fuel: 273 gal.
  • Weight: 5,400 lb.

Cobia 320 CC running nicely in the ocean

Cobia 320 CC

Cobia’s 320 CC combines a big-water hull capable of long-range offshore trips and tournament-ready fishing layout with a spacious interior, and the elegance, comfort and style of a family boat. And this center console can also be comfortably trailered. Fishing amenities include a large, unobstructed cockpit, tackle center with sink and bait-prep area, and twin livewells with a combined 70-gallon capacity. The boat also boasts seating throughout, electric bow table, inward-opening side door, and spacious walk-down head with 6 feet, 2 inches of headroom.

  • Length: 32′
  • Fuel: 275 gal.
  • Draft: 1′11″
  • Weight: 9,260 lb. (w/ power)
  • Max. HP: 850

Contender 44CB running on smooth water

Contender 44CB

The 44CB (Canyon Berth) from Contender combines the unparalleled fishability of the 44ST with cabin accommodations to escape the elements. Equipped with a center console berth, the 44CB provides both the comfort and functionality needed for long runs and overnight trips. With a maximum power rating of 2000 hp, the 44CB will get you to the grounds quickly and comfortably. Powered with triple or quad engine configurations, the boat offers outstanding speed, performance and reliability. Each CB is equipped with a freshwater sink, slide-away marine toilet, 70-gallon fresh water capacity, 400-quart under berth storage and optional a12-volt air conditioning system. Additional features include two 110-gallon aft insulated fish boxes, two 55-gallon transom livewells, a 340-gallon insulated forward fish box, and two 10-foot forward rod lockers.

  • Length: 43′10″
  • Fuel: 600 gal.
  • Weight: 19,600 lb. (ready to fish)
  • Max. HP: 2,000

Everglades 455cc rendering

Everglades 455cc

The Everglades 455cc is the builder’s new flagship, and boasts the brand’s largest command center to date, featuring three massive Garmin touchscreen displays to monitor and control a full array of onboard systems. Strategically placed gear drawers and rod holders, large, in-floor fish boxes and livewells are just some of the features that make the 455cc a hardcore offshore fishing machine. There are numerous touches of elegance and luxury, like leather-like upholstery, above- and below-deck climate controls, rich-looking wood accents, and two rows of supportive triple Release Marine helm seats. And within the console is a king-sized convertible berth, along with galley space, and separate head and shower.

  • Length: 45′
  • Beam: 13′3″
  • Fuel: 683 gal.
  • Draft: 50″ (engines down)
  • Weight: 28,000 lb. (w/ power)

Grady-White Canyon 456 cruising out in the ocean

Grady-White Canyon 456

The Canyon 456, Grady-White’s flagship, combines innovation, technology and luxury with the legacy of Grady’s superior SeaV hull performance, quality, and safety. The wide beam offers ample fishing room, and fishability is enhanced by two large recirculating livewells, huge fish boxes, abundant rod storage, and access for fish and people through port and starboard cockpit side doors. The unsinkable SeaV2 hull with true self-bailing cockpit, foam floatation, and overboard draining boxes offers unrivaled confidence when heading offshore. With quad Yamaha XTO 425s, the 456 Canyon has sportscar-like handling, and a yacht-like feel. An elegant, well appointed cabin, C-Zone controls, Seakeeper 6 and Zipwake system contribute to the ultimate boating experience.

  • Fuel: 616 gal.
  • Weight: 28,00 lb. (w/ power)
  • Max. HP: 1,200

Invincible 46 Cat running between bridges

Invincible 46 Cat

Invincible is one of the few major boat builders to offer a wide selection of both mono-hull and multi-hull center console fishing boats. The 46 Catamaran is both the largest of the multi-hull line and the brand’s flagship, and is built on a hybrid semi-asymmetrical catamaran hull developed by Morrelli & Melvin. With a 12-foot beam, it boasts sportfisher-level size and fishability, along with superb performance and horizon-crossing range. Top features include two rows of helm seats to accommodate a crew of six, lounge seating on the forward console, vertical rod stowage on both sides of the console, a massive transom livewell, plus two in-deck wells below the cockpit sole. Power comes in the form of quad outboards up to 1,800 hp total.

  • Length: 45′11″
  • Beam: 12′0″
  • Fuel: 1,000 gal.
  • Weight: 20,000 lb. (w/ power)

Pursuit S 428 going fishing offshore

Pursuit S 428

The Pursuit S 428 is not only the largest member of the builder’s Sport Boat series, it’s also the largest, most spacious and powerful Pursuit ever built, offering owners just about everything necessary to fish, cruise and entertain in comfort. Quad Yamaha 425 XTO engines provide abundant pep, and with the largest aft cockpit in its class and side doors on both sides, there is plenty of room to fish and haul aboard a big tuna or swordfish. An integral hardtop and three-side tempered glass windshield afford plenty of weather protection. Three-across helm seats let you cruise in comfort, while a contoured lounger on the forward console accommodates two, and a posh, full-featured cabin inside the console invites overnight stays.

  • Length: 43′9″
  • Fuel: 547 gal.
  • Weight: 23,600 lb. (w/ power)
  • Max. HP: 1,700

Regulator 31 from overhead

Regulator 31

The Regulator 31 is the model in the Regulator fleet – reaching top speeds of 64 mph with twin Yamaha 425 XTO outboards. Also available with twin Yamaha F300s, this center console is available with the Yamaha Helm Master EX option for the flexibility to handle in any waters. A Seakeeper 2 adds an element of stability when fishing offshore. The massive cockpit, oversized tackle center, fish box, livewell, optional Taco Grand Slam 390 outriggers with 20-foot carbon fiber telescoping poles, and transom rod holders keep you well equipped for a serious day of fishing. The starboard boarding and dive door is a standard feature on the Regulator 31.

  • Length: 36′5″ (w/ bracket and engines)
  • Beam: 10′4″
  • Fuel: 300 gal.
  • Draft: 23″ (twin F300 motors up)
  • Weight: 10,800 lb. (w/ twin F300s)

Robalo R360 crossing the channel

Robalo R360

With an overall length of 36 ½ feet and a beam of nearly 11 ½ feet, the R360 from Robalo is the brand’s biggest model to hit the water. Available with triple or twin outboards, this center console offers a 365-gallon fuel capacity, twin 100-gallon fish boxes, a pair of 30-gallon stern livewells, an integral hardtop with three-side tempered-glass windshield, three-across helm seating, aft-facing seating, fold-up transom bench, two boarding side doors, bow seating, lounge on the forward console, and in-console cabin.

  • Length: 36′6″
  • Beam: 11′4″
  • Fuel: 365 gal.
  • Weight: 14,000 lb. (w/ power)

Scout 530 LXF S-Class just off the coast

Scout 530 LXF S-Class

The 530 LXF S-Class flagship from Scout is designed for the luxury sportfishing center console category, and reflects Scout’s classic styling and aesthetics, while incorporating advanced marine technology, available quintuple outboard setup, and a cabin within the console that can rightly be described as posh. This big center console is built on Scout’s fuel efficient, epoxy-infused, double-stepped hull using the company’s carbon and E-glass building process, a technique frequently employed in the aerospace industry, to reduce the boat’s overall weight, countering the long-held premise that a larger boat must be heavy to perform. The wide beam extends to an even wider 17½ feet when the dual electronically-actuated beach platforms are deployed to port and starboard.

  • Length: 53′5″
  • Beam: 14′8″
  • Fuel: 875 gal.
  • Weight: 26,500 lb.
  • Max. HP: 2,250

SeaVee 370Z running at sunset

SeaVee 370Z

The 370z from SeaVee represents the next level of thinking for center console boat design. The result is a resin-infused cored hull featuring twin steps for maximum speed and efficiency, and 20 percent greater deck space and storage capacity than any other boat in its class. Capable of planing at low speeds, the 370z cruises comfortably through the roughest seas, and glides across tightly spaced waves at high speed. Designed for twin outboards, this center console fishing boat can be equipped with an extensive list of fishing features, including multiple baitwells (two 40-gallon corner wells are standard) and fish boxes, a tackle station, tower, and much more. A custom-ordered fishing machine, each 370z is built to meet the customer’s wishes.

  • Length: 32′9″
  • Fuel: 312 gal.
  • Weight: 6,900 lb.
  • Max. HP: 900

Valhalla V-46 shot from overhead

Valhalla V-46

The V-46 from Valhalla is considered one of the finest center consoles in its class. While a fairly new addition to the offshore center console ranks, it earns its cred for luxury, performance and fishability from Viking Yachts, its parent company. Built on a patented double-stepped hull designed by Michael Peters Yacht Design, the V-46 can be powered with quad Mercury’s Verado 400s or V-8 450Rs, as well as triple or quad Verado V-12 600 hp outboards. The V-46 thrives as a tournament fishing boat, a sporty day cruiser or a mothership tender. With nearly 700 gallons of fuel capacity, two rows of air-conditioned seating, and a pair of 50-gallon livewells, the big Valhalla has the range, bait capacity and comfort for long trips to the canyons or extended cruising in the islands.

  • Length: 47′7″
  • Beam: 13′4″
  • Fuel: 694 gal.
  • Weight: 29,731 lb. (ready to fish)
  • Max. HP: 2,400

Yellowfin 42 Offshore cruising near the shore

Yellowfin 42 Offshore

As the second largest boat in the Yellowfin fleet, the 42 Offshore offers world-class bluewater fishing capabilities. Available with triple or quad outboard power options up to 2,000 hp, this center console offers exceptional speed. The proprietary stepped-hull design also provides optimal fuel efficiency and a dry, smooth ride. A roomy cabin within the console enables comfortable overnighting, with an available generator providing the power for air conditioning on sultry days and nights. The 42 goes toe-to-toe with comparably sized inboard sportfishers, but will outrun and outmaneuver them all. Like all Yellowfins, numerous customization options let you build the perfect 42 for your needs.

  • Length: 42′
  • Fuel: 571 gal.
  • More: Boats , Center Consoles

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Best Sport Fishing Boats, Convertible and Express to Center Console

26th mar 2024 by lenny rudow.

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Of the many types of fishing boats on the water, few can capture an angler’s imagination as completely as the true sport fishing boat. Just which models qualify as sport fishing boats is, of course, up for debate. One could argue that a 21-foot center console trolling along the coast of Florida counts, even if it’s hardly in the same category as a 60-foot convertible. But for the most serious anglers looking for fishing machines designed solely for bluewater fishing, true sportfishing boats will be over the 35-foot mark, integrate must-have offshore fishing features like outriggers, bait freezers, and livewells, and have some sort of cabin for sleeping aboard at different tournament venues and overnight angling adventures. These are big, bold, and usually warrant being called yachts as well as boats. Working under these parameters, which are the best sportfish boats on the ocean? Here are our top picks.

Best Sport Fishing Center Console Boats

While sport fishing boats were historically powered by inboards, the majority of the new sport fishing boats for sale on the market today are outboard-powered center console boats. Just 20 years ago you wouldn’t have found more than a model or two that could meet our requirements, but in this day and age, they’re shockingly common. With three, four, or more engines stacked up along the transom and cabins inside the consoles, today a center console sport fishing boat is the top choice of countless anglers.

Boston Whaler

Boston Whaler has three models in the Outrage line stretching past 35’ that fit the bill as center console sportfishing boats, and the brand’s immense popularity and epic reputation land Boston Whaler on our list. First and foremost, these models are built just like other Boston Whaler boats, with their trademark fiberglass-foam-fiberglass construction method that creates an unsinkable boat. Cut an Outrage into 100 pieces (banish the thought!) and each and every one of them will still float. On top of that they offer console cabins with a surprising amount of room, factory options for towers and upper stations, and fantastic performance. When rigged with triple 600-hp Mercury Verado outboards, the 420 Outrage can hit eye-watering speeds over the 60-mph mark.  Boston Whaler boats for sale .

Boston Whaler 420 Outrage

Boston Whaler 420 Outrage. Boston Whaler photo. 

Scout Boats made our list of the best luxury center console boats over 40 feet and that was before they introduced their monstrous 530 LXF. They currently have five different models that make the grade as bona fide sport fishing boats, plus a sixth that falls short of the 35-foot mark by a mere inch but otherwise fits all criterial. All provide a level of accommodation that can only be described as luxurious. They also offer peak performance; that 530 LXF, for example, can be rigged with quintuplet Yamaha F425 outboards to cruise in the neighborhood of 50 mph and hit a top end in excess of 65 mph.  Scout boat for sale . 

Scout 530 LXF

Scout 530 LXF. Scout photo. 

Valhalla Boatworks

The Valhalla brand is a relatively new one, launched in 2019 under the umbrella of the Viking Yachts company. The boats quickly became known for utterly flawless fit and finish, topnotch luxury levels, and standout performance. Three of their offerings, the V-41, V-46, and V-55 meet our qualifications, and you’ll commonly hear the V-55 called the most luxurious center console on the water today. These boats are all built on the Michael Peters Yacht Design Stepped Vee Ventilated Tunnel (SVVT) hull, incorporating twin steps and an aft tunnel, said to boost speed and efficiency by 15-percent as compared to a common V-hull. Net result? That V-55 can reach the blistering pace of 73 to 74 mph when rigged with the maximum 3000 hp.  Valhalla boats for sale .

Valhalla V55

Valhalla V55. Valhalla Boatworks photo. 

Best Express Sport Fishing Boats

The express design, also sometimes called open sportfishing boats, will often represent the best choice for an angler who needs to find the best sport fishing boat under 40 feet but still wants plenty of space in the cabin. Unlike the center console it has an enclosed bow and thus more room inside, and you’ll see plenty of 35’ to 40’ express sport fishing boats for sale that have staterooms and galleys down below where a center console of the same size has half the cabin space. Many express owners also like the design because having the helmdeck down low means they can dart back into the cockpit and participate in the fishing action, whereas on a convertible they first must navigate a ladder before grabbing a rod.

Albemarle is one of the few builders around known more for their express boats than any other design, and they have a hard-earned reputation for building boats that are as solid and rugged as any on the face of the planet. There are currently two models in their line that land this brand in the running in the best express sport fishing boats category, the 36 Express and the 41 Express. Both are twin inboard diesel models, and both are built like tanks. Consider, for example, that the 36 Express tilts the scales at 25,000 pounds. That’s as much as 10,000 pounds more than some other express boats. Albemarles are known for shoving the seas out of the way rather than banging across the top of the waves, and this is one big reason why their express models deliver the ride and comfort of significantly larger boats.  Albemarle boats for sale . 

Albemarle 36 Express

Albemarle 36 Express. Albemarle photo. 


While Grady-White has just one express model in their current lineup that meets all our conditions (others can be found on the used market and one other new model is just short of our length requirement), the 370 Express and this builder’s reputation lands them in this roundup. Grady-Whites offer top luxury, an excellent ride on the SeaV2 variable-degree-deadrise hull, and a resale value that’s among the best in the industry. Note that they also have a center console model, the Canyon 456, that could easily place the builder on our list of best center console sportfish boats as well.  Grady-White boats for sale . 

Grady-White 370 Express

Grady-White 370 Express. Grady-White Boats photo. 

When you’re looking through all the different express sport fishing boats for sale on the market today, you’re sure to come across multiple models from Pursuit. They have a model range wider than most express boat builders in the current marketplace, with four between 37’11” and 46’6” plus one more model six inches under our minimum LOA mark. All are designed to accommodate the needs of an offshore angler while also delivering top-notch accommodations with a high level of luxury. Expect the cabins to be a bit larger and the cockpits a bit smaller than you’ll see on other express sport fishing boats, and also expect to see comfort-enhancing perks like air conditioning at the helm as well as in the cabin, electrically actuated fold-away TVs and tables, and adjustable chaise lounges.  Pursuit boats for sale . 

Pursuit OS 445

Pursuit OS 445. Pursuit photo. 

Best Convertible Sport Fishing Boats

Many offshore anglers consider convertibles to be the ultimate sportfishing machines. With a pair of diesel inboards tucked under the deck and a bridge high above, these boats are for pursuing pelagic species in offshore waters, period. Most easily attain yacht status and carry price tags measured by the millions.

Bertram Yachts

The Bertram name is legendary in the world of sportfishing boats, having first employed the C. Raymond Hunt-designed deep-V hull in a production boat when the company was founded all the way back in 1960. Today they have two convertibles that fit into our mold, the 35 Flybridge and the 61 Convertible. The brand has changed ownership and made many changes to their boats in recent years but the 61 has long been known as one of the best sportfishing convertibles in its class. The 35, meanwhile, boasts a classic retro Bertram look and took the world of sport fishing boats by storm when it was introduced in 2017.  Bertram boats for sale . 

Bertram 35 Flybridge

Bertram 35 Flybridge. Bertram photo. 

Hatteras Yachts

Another storied brand, Hatteras Yachts has gone through many changes through the years since it built its first boat in 1959. That boat was not only a convertible, but was also the first convertible over 40 feet ever built of fiberglass. In recent years, they’ve had three convertibles in their GT lineup, the GT59, GT65 Carolina, and GT70, and Hatteras has announced a new generation of yachts to be introduced in 2024. Hatteras convertibles are known for delivering opulent surroundings both inside and outside of the cabin, yet also being tough enough to take on the roughest seas the open Atlantic can dish out.  Hatteras boats for sale .

Hatteras GT65 Carolina

Hatteras GT65 Carolina. Hatteras photo. 

Viking Yachts

Viking Yachts is, without question, the most successful builder of convertible sportfishing boats of our age. They offer the most expansive lineup on the market, with 11 convertibles from 38’8” to 90’ plus seven convertible-style enclosed flybridge yachts from 68’7” to 90’. Founded in 1964 by brothers Bob and Bill Healey, the company is still family-owned today. Their boats have a well-deserved reputation for being topnotch in every regard, from fit and finish, to seakeeping, to luxury levels.  Viking boats for sale . 

Viking 80 Convertible

Viking 80 Convertible. Viking Yachts photo. 

Best Affordable Sport Fishing Boats

For many people there’s no such thing as an “affordable” sportfishing boat, at least not without targeting their attention on the used boat market as opposed to new models. Even then, the cost of mooring, fuel, and maintenance may well be sky high. Affordability is in the eye of the beholder, but those looking for a lower cost way to break into the world of sport fishing boats will often be seeking out older boats made by these brands.

This builder went out of business then was revived several times in the 1990s and 2000s, and it hasn’t launched a new boat in many years. Looking at 1970s and 1980s vintage boats, however, it’s possible to find a wide selection of models on the used market. Naturally, since these have a lot of age on them, hulls and powerplants in excellent condition are likely to be few and far between, and refit work will likely be needed. Egg Harbor boats for sale . 

The Luhrs brand ceased constructing new boats in 2008 and despite some attempted revivals, no longer exists. However, they built a huge number of boats through the 1990s up until the Great Recession, and these can be purchased at very reasonable prices on the used boat market today. Expect that many will be in need of repowering if they haven’t already had new engines put in, and are likely to need some level of repairs to be brought to top condition.  Luhrs boats for sale . 

Ocean Yachts

Ocean Yachts went out of business in 2015, but until that time (when Viking Yachts acquired their assets but didn’t continue the brand) built hundreds of expresses and convertibles. These were known for being lighter than most competitors and significantly less expensive than many other boats of the same size and type.  Ocean Yachts for sale . 

Other Options for Sport Fishing Boats

While the above categories represent the majority of the sport fishing boats used by offshore anglers nationwide, there are some other options, often specific to certain regions, which an angler might choose.

Downeast Sport Fishing Boats

While most of the modern downeast brands are dedicated to creating cruisers as opposed to fishing boats, several such as NorthCoast , Wilbur Yachts , Judge Yachts , and Eastern Boats have downeast-style models that can also fit the bill as sportfishing boats. They tend to be most popular in northeastern Atlantic states where their styling matches local tastes.

NorthCoast 415HT

NorthCoast 415HT. NorthCoast photo. 

Pilothouse Sport Fishing Boats

Pilothouse models are commonly seen in a wide variety of forms that serve well as sportfishers. Models like the Invincible 46 Pilothouse are built specifically for offshore fishing, while some others like the Axopar 37 or the G-Force 35 are more oriented to cruising but could be rigged to fish part-time. 

Truth be told, you can take just about any boat offshore, catch a fish or two, and call it a “sport fishing boat.” But the brands we’ve called out here are unquestionably serious sportfishing machines, and each and every one of them could potentially be the best choice—for you.

Written By: Lenny Rudow

With over three decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to dozens of boating and fishing publications and websites. Rudow lives in Annapolis, Maryland, and is currently Angler in Chief at Rudow’s FishTalk ; he is a past president of Boating Writers International (BWI), a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.

More from: Lenny Rudow

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Denison Debates: Center Console vs. Sportfish Convertible

Denison Debates: Center Console vs. Sportfish Convertible

December 3, 2022 8:02 am

The debate between fishing with a center consoles versus a sportfish can be complex, comparing different features, design elements, and function. Yacht brokers Conrad Vanderlely (Center Consoles) and Spencer Markatos (Sportfish Convertibles) share their respective thoughts.

Conrad Vanderlely: There are a lot of features that stand out in a center console, especially for tackle and storage. There are in-deck fish storage and livewells, as well as the option of above-deck livewells. There are also vertical and horizontal rod storage, built-in tackle drawers, a bait station, etc.

Most center consoles in the 35 to 40-foot range are equipped with creature comforts such as berths and air conditioning. Larger center consoles are now coming with tuna doors. Perhaps, the greatest feature of a center console is 360-degree fishing, where you can fish on the bow, on the sides, and in the cockpit. You can’t get that in a sportfish.

Spencer Markatos: Like a center console, most sportfishermen have built-in fish boxes and livewells. They typically also have a molded-in tackle and bait rigging center, bait freezers, and a transom door and gate to bring aboard large fish. Unlike the center console, the average sportfish is designed for longer fishing trips. It’s equipped with more comfort features and spacious living accommodations such as bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. The focal point, however, is the cockpit where the fighting chair is mounted, which is essential for battling large gamefish.

Conrad Vanderlely : A center console is equipped for speed, easily reaching 65-70 mph. With favorable ocean conditions, you can get out much faster than most sportfish.

Another great design feature of a center console is that it’s trailerable. You could fish a tournament in Miami one week and then go to Ocean City the following week. With a sportfish, you don’t have the ability to trailer the boat, so you have to leave ahead of time and spend a lot of money on the crew and fuel.

You also don’t need a captain for a center console like you need for a sportfish. Four guys on a center console can easily handle the boat with someone hanging near the helm to man the throttle.

Spencer Markatos: The evolution of the modern day sportfish has changed significantly, as recreational and tournament fishing are becoming more than a local sport. A modern, twin engine convertible sportfisherman has been laid out and designed on a computerized drawing board, her hull tank tested, etc., for the main purpose of running to the fishing grounds at high speeds and in comfort.

Sportfish convertibles are being built larger than ever to accommodate further distances. Fishermen are now running as far as 600 miles off the U.S. coast; plus exotic locations such as Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America, something you just can’t do with center consoles. In big money East Coast tournaments, sportfish convertibles can run at 30 knots plus and arrive before the competition, giving the anglers extra fishing time.

center console fishing yachts

Conrad Vanderlely : For fishing purposes and tournament fishing, the average center console is 35 to 40 feet, but they are building them up to 53 feet now. Anything larger, like a sportfish, would be difficult to maneuver. Some popular center console brands in the 35 to 42-foot range are Contender, SeeVee, SeaHunter, and Yellowfin.

Spencer Markatos: Size matters, depending on where you’re fishing geographically. You’ll see a lot of 40 to 45 footers in South Florida, but a small center console won’t fit all of the accommodations. Up in the Northeast and Carolinas, where the average run is 50 to 75 miles, you typically won’t see anything smaller than 60 feet. The average sportfish tournament boat used to be 40 to 50 feet, but it’s now 55 to 75 feet plus.

Conrad Vanderlely : Fiberglass boats are very safe. The most important thing is having a knowledgeable captain. A lot of center console companies are building boats with foam-filled hulls, which is a perk if the boat happens to roll. You have a better chance of being found with a 40-foot boat upside-down than you do floating alone in the middle of the ocean.

Spencer Markatos: Safety has a lot to do with the boat’s operator, but if you get stuck in nasty seas for some reason, you’re obviously going to be safer and more comfortable in a 60-foot sportfish than you would be in a 40-foot center console. You’re also more exposed to the elements in a center console, which is lower to the water.

When you’re running fast on a center console, you need to hang on tight because it’s a bumpier ride than a sportfish. A center console is a “younger man’s boat” since it can be rough on your body; you’ll feel sore from running at high speed after a few days of fishing. There is no place to escape bad weather or take a nap in an air conditioned cabin.

center console fishing yachts

Conrad Vanderlely: Center consoles are 65-70 mph top end. You rarely have an opportunity to hit that speed unless it’s completely flat. They will cruise at 40-45 mph all day long. Center consoles get you to your fishing destination quickly, especially if it’s a tournament. It’s not cheap, but you get can there and back very fast.

Spencer Markatos: The benchmark speed for the modern sportfish is a 30 knot cruise. Nowadays, most of the top production manufacturers like Viking, Hatteras, Bertam, Cabo, etc. have boats that will cruise 30 knots and top anywhere from 35-38, some even hitting 40 knots. Custom builders that use cold-molded construction techniques make boats that will cruise at high 30’s and low 40’s and bump the 50 knot mark wide open. It takes big motors and a lot of fuel to do that, but they’re capable of it if you’re willing to pay the price to get where you want to comfortably.

Conrad Vanderlely : Regarding the “younger man’s boat” comment, a center console actually fits the budget of a lot more people, young and old, than a sportfish. You could buy a 39-foot SeeVee, Contender, or Yellowfin for under $500,000. In the sportfish range, you’re looking at three to four times that cost. For most people, a center console is more affordable, and the resale value is higher. More people have set a budget for a center console than a sportfish.

Spencer Markatos: Sportfish are more expensive, but worth it for all the amenities. It’s not just the difference between a 40-foot and 60-foot piece of fiberglass. A 45 to 50-foot convertible will have at least two to four staterooms, two or three heads, usually a washer and dryer, refrigerator, stovetop, etc., while a 30 to 40-foot center console will have a helm, a couple of bench seats, maybe a small head under the console, and the rest is wide open. You’re comparing two different classes of people, with different needs and expectations about their fishing platform.

Fuel Economy

center console fishing yachts

Conrad Vanderlely : Center consoles are designed to be very fuel efficient. They burn a lot less fuel than a sportfish. On a 39-foot Contender with triple 300’s, you can cruise at about 30 mph burning about 20 gallons per hour, which is about 1.43 mpg.

Spencer Markatos: Center consoles run about 30 knots. They may burn less fuel than sportfish, but it’s probably more than 20 gallons per hour. There’s no doubt that a bigger sportfish will cost more to run because it’s more volume to push.

Conrad Vanderlely : Less equipment means it’s less likely to break. A center console is cheaper to maintain and repair. It’s also easier to clean. When you’re done fishing for the day, you can give it a quick bath.

Spencer Markatos: The equipment on a sportfish provides a more comfortable fishing experience. The sportfish also has amenities that make it very livable. Bigger boats like a sportfish will have a 30 to 40-foot set of outriggers, while a center console might have a 10-foot set of outriggers. The longer riggers give you the ability to run multiple baits, and spread them out farther for better visibility to the targeted species of gamefish.


center console fishing yachts

Conrad Vanderlely : You can’t beat 360-degree fishing. As far as live baiting, you have more room. It’s a lot easier to kite fish and live bait fish off a center console because you can utilize the bow of the boat, the stern, sides, etc. It seems like more and more South Florida Billfish tournaments are being fished on center consoles.

Spencer Markatos: Sportfish have a good reputation for raising fish. In South Florida, a lot of people fly live bait off a kite down into the water. Any platform will do fine for that type of fishing; however, trolling dead, natural baits or high speed lures are a different matter altogether. The boat’s harmonics are what attract the fish to the bait. The big diesel sportfish boats have what’s referred to as the “Hum”. The engines emit harmonic vibrations that go down into the water. The gamefish feel the vibrations and are lured by the white water of the big props (which looks like a feeding frenzy) and the baits being trolled. They come up to get in on the action, the act of “raising fish”.

This just doesn’t occur nearly as well on a center console boat with quiet gas outboard motors and small propellers.

Backing Down

Conrad Vanderlely : You chase a fish a lot faster going forwards than backwards. A smaller boat, like a center console, is easier to maneuver than a large sportfish .

Spencer Markatos: More people are using lighter tackle for large species of fish. The ability to back down, which is putting your motors in reverse and chasing the fish, is important. With center console outboards, you can’t do that effectively because of the small propeller and a low-cut transom on the motor. The modern sportfish with twin diesels has the ability to back down and maneuver easily, an advantage in any sea condition. In addition, when the fish gets close, your angler, wireman, and gaffman are all in the cockpit, ready to take the fish. In the pointy bow of a center console, there isn’t room for all of them to function efficiently at the most critical point in the battle, landing the fish.

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