How to Buy a Fishing Boat

About 90% of us live less than an hour from a navigable body of water. That means that boating is a great means of entertainment that requires just a little travel time. Believe it or not, boating can greatly reduce the amount of stress in your life as well. A National Marina Manufacturers Association survey of over 1,000 American households listed boating in the top-three of all stress-relieving activities. One of the top activities among boaters is fishing. We’ve all been told that fish is good for you. Learning how to buy a fishing boat allows you to catch your own fresh fish thus improving your health as well.

Many people would love to have a boat in their garage, but they think they can’t afford it. While buying a fishing boat can be expensive, there are actually many options out there when buying a boat. Almost all boat dealers offer financing for your boat, and lots of the time, you can get payments under $200 a month. Many new boat owners will buy used as their first fishing boat. A lot of times people upgrade their boats and sell their old boat. This can be a great way to get into your first fishing boat without spending a lot of money. Let’s look at what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the types can get lost on beginners and not all boat are well suited for fishing, so we’ll look at some of the most common boats.

Bass Boat

These boats are the most common of ‘fishing boats’. Most fishing boats are båt powered by outboard motors and many have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminum or fiberglass. Aluminum is lighter and easier to maneuver, needing a smaller motor than a fiberglass boat. An aluminum boat is easier to transport and requires a smaller vehicle when towing on a trailer. The most common size of fishing boats range from 16-20 feet long and provide anywhere between 50-200 HP. Almost all have live wells for storing your catch as well as separate compartments to store rods, reels, and tackle. Aluminum boats can be a little cheaper than fiberglass with prices between $5,000 and $30,000 new depending on the bells and whistles. The most popular size of aluminum fishing boat is 17′ with a 50 HP motor. Fiberglass boats are designed to be flashier. They come in a range of colors and are capable of much higher speeds than aluminum boats. Fiberglass boats can handle rough waters more easily and are high performance boats. If you want to fish professionally, you want a fiberglass boat. The price range for buying a new fiberglass boat is usually $10,000-$75,000; depending on options. Most popular is an 18 foot boat with a 150 HP motor.

Pontoon Boats

These are great boats if you like to enjoy relaxed boating with a lot of people, but still want to be able to fish. This is a definite consideration in choosing the right fishing boat. Pontoons are lightweight and designed to make maximum use of space. They have wide open decks with lots of seating so they can accommodate large numbers of people or several fishermen at the same time. Depending on the size of motor you have, it’s not uncommon to be able to use a pontoon boat for skiing or tubing as well. These boats are also very appealing because they are usually lower priced than other boats and have a variety of uses. They are easy to customize to your unique needs as they are made in a variety of models. Pontoon boats are great for socializing and can be used on lakes or even larger bodies of water. One drawback is that due to their size; the smaller inlets, backwaters and channels where the big fish hang out are usually inaccessible for fishing. In my opinion, this is the greatest of ‘all-around’ boats.