2024 Fishing Boat Buyer’s Guide

Discover what’s available for a new year and a new season of boating and fishing.

Discover what’s available for a new year and a new season of boating and fishing.

The idea that there is any boat out there that is better than all the rest is simply a myth. There is simply 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 2024 Boat Buyer’s Guide, you’ll probably find more than one “best boat” that can provide many seasons of enjoyment on the water.

Albemarle 41 Custom Carolin
In 2015, Albemarle and Carolina Classic united to become “Albemarle Boats, The Carolina Classic.” Albemarle builds 25, 30, 32, and 36 Express models, 27 and 31 Dual Consoles, a 41 Custom Carolina Edition, and a new 53 Spencer Edition.
Learn More About Albemarle Boats

Bertram Yachts28 XC
Bertram is known for making rugged, versatile, comfortable boats. Bertram Yachts’ lineup is made up of luxurious boats for serious fishermen, including a 28CC, 39CC, 35 Flybridge, 50 Express, 61 Convertible, and new 28XC dual console.
Learn More About Bertram Yachts

Blackfin 302 CC
The new generation of Blackfin Boats features yacht-like, high-end design and innovative construction. Expect classic design and modern conveniences throughout their lineup of center and dual consoles from 22 to 33 feet, with a new 39 coming soon.
Learn More About Blackfin Boats

Boston Whaler 280 Dauntless
For over 60 years, Boston Whaler has engineered reliable and forward-thinking boats. While their legacy is built upon simple, classic boats under 20 feet, improved facilities and technology have allowed for larger, more luxurious boats—including the flagship 420 Outrage.
Learn More About Blackfin Boats

Carolina Skiff 19 LS
Carolina Skiff boats are durable, versatile, and economical, giving you great value in both performance and comfort. With 16 models to choose from, you can find a boat that meets your personal needs, whether you wake before dawn to hit the best fishing spots or take the family for an all-day offshore adventure.
Learn More About Carolina Skiff Boats

Chris-Craft Catalina 24
Since 1874, Chris-Craft has been building boats with a passion for timeless design, meticulous details, and authentic craftsmanship. All 2023 dual- and center-console models come standard with the new Seakeeper Ride for the most comfortable cruise possible.
Learn More About Chris Craft Boats

Cobia 240 DC
Explore the Cobia 240 DC Cobia Boats mesh tournament capability, family comfort, and style into a single package. Every model is built to be safe, last a lifetime, and maximize every precious moment away from the dock. Cobia offers a full range of center console and dual console boats from 21 to 33 feet.
Learn More About Cobia Boats

Conch 33
The original Conch 27 was designed in the 1980s as an offshore outboard fishing boat that could withstand the toll of commercial abuse. Today, Conch also offers a 30, a 33, a 25 bay boat, and a new 41 high-performance center console.
Learn More About Conch Boats

Contender 44 ST
Explore the Contender 44 ST Contender’s clean lines and aggressive entry make it a good-looking, comfortable-riding, fast boat. With over 35 years of experience, have built a reputation for building high-quality, durable boats. Contender Boats offers fishing-focused boats in their Bay, Tourney, and Sport series.
Learn More About Contender Boats

Eastern 22 Sisu Hardtop
Explore the Eastern 22 Sisu Hardtop Eastern Boats uses modern building techniques to make fuel-efficient 18- to 27-foot semi-custom boats with classic downeast hulls. With center console and cabin options, you can find a smooth-riding hull for your family cruising, fishing, and lobstering needs.
Learn More About Eastern Boats

EdgeWater 262 CC
EdgeWater fishing boats are used by serious sportsmen who demand practical features, reliability, and durability. With their “Single Piece Infusion” construction, they achieve a strength-to-weight ratio that, when combined with their variable deadrise deep-V hulls, produces remarkable handling and performance.
Learn More About EdgeWater Boats

Everglades Boats 315 CC
Explore the Everglades Boats 315 CC Everglades builds premium boats of the highest quality on legendary Bob Dougherty-designed hulls. Their model lineup includes three bay boats, a 34 dual console, and seven center consoles, including their new 285CC.
Learn More About Everglades Boats

Fountain Powerboats Bluewater 34 TE
Fountain’s vaunted 34- and 38-foot Bluewater Series offerings are time-tested and competition proven. Look to Fountain Powerboats for high performance, fuel-efficient cruising, and thrilling top-end speed.
Learn More About Fountain Powerboats

Freeman Boat Works 43 CC
Freeman Boat Works‘ catamaran hulls can conquer the ocean on its worst day or cruise at 80mph through the bay. Choose among five models from 34 to 47 feet to get offshore with speed and fish hard all day in comfort.
Learn More About Freeman Boats

Grady-White Adventure 281 CE
Explore the
Grady-White Adventure 281 CE
Grady-White designs and manufactures an extensive lineup of center console, dual console, and cabin boats with innovative designs, exceptional attention to detail, and award-winning performance. The result is a boating experience that inspires unmatched customer satisfaction and camaraderie among those living “The Grady Life.”
Learn More About Grady-White Boats

Henriques Yachts 50 EX
For more than 40 years, Henriques Yachts has built luxurious, semi-custom sportfishing boats known to withstand the roughest seas. With traditional techniques and advanced methods, they produce solid vessels for chasing big game.
Learn More About Henriques Yachts

Hinckley Sport Boat 40 X
The Hinckley company started in Maine in 1928, building a legacy of beautiful, functional designs. Today, Hinkley Yachts uses modern technology to build lightweight, composite hulls and decks that are guaranteed for life.
Learn More About Hinckley Yachts

Intrepid 427 Nomad FE
From legendary center consoles and yacht tenders to powerful and versatile sport yachts, Intrepid Power Boats offers customization, luxury, and performance. Every boat is made one at a time and to the specifications of the customer.
Learn More About Intrepid Power Boats

Invincible 35 Cat
Invincible Boats builds both traditional monohulls and catamaran multihull fishing boats with a focus on achieving incredible performance. Their hybrid semi-asymmetric multihull provides an exceptional ride with loads of deck space.
Learn More About Invincible Boats

Jones Brothers Cape Fisherman 23
Jones Brothers makes tough big-water boats for light-tackle fishermen. Popular with fishing guides and hard-core anglers, they are economical to run and have plenty of freeboard and flare to keep you safe and dry.
Learn More About Jones Brothers Boats

Jupiter 38 HFS
Every Jupiter Marine is individually built to the specifications of the sportsman who demands the best in offshore performance. Their time-tested and proven deep-V hull design is built for running efficiently through all conditions in comfort, while also offering speed when you want it.
Learn More About Jupiter Marine Boats

Key West 239 FS
Key West boats are built for fishermen who place equal importance on quality and value. With bay boats, center consoles, and dual consoles from 17 feet to 26 feet, anyone can picture themselves fishing from the deck of a Key West.
Learn More About Key West Boats

Mako 214 CC
Since their introduction more than 50 years ago, Mako Boats have been renowned for being tougher than necessary. Their inshore skiffs and offshore center consoles are built to take on rough saltwater conditions to get anglers to their destination and back home safe and sound.
Learn More About Mako Boats

Maritime Boats 233 Voyager
Explore the Maritime Boats 233 Voyager Built in New Hampshire, Maritime Boats combine traditional New England looks with modern construction techniques and state-of-the-art design. Maritime’s original concepts of simplicity, fuel efficiency, and continued emphasis on function over form still guide the company today.
Learn More About Maritime Boats

NauticStar 332 Offshore
Explore the Nauticstar 332 Offshore NauticStar’s tournament-ready fleet of boat models ranging from 19 to 32 feet cruises comfortably, fishes hard, and takes on the open waters in confidence. Choose from super-stable center consoles, exhilarating deck boats, or America’s best-selling bay and hybrid boats in one of 64 color combinations.
Learn More About NauticStar Boats

NorthCoast 315 HT
NorthCoast Boats is a premier boat builder producing high quality fishing and recreational boats. Overbuilt for solid durability, NorthCoast Boats are designed to be strong and tough with no unnecessary “fluff.”
Learn More About NorthCoast Boats

Onslow Bay Boatworks 41 TE
The Onslow Bay Boatworks fleet offers expertly crafted offshore and tournament-edition center console boats ideal for fishing enthusiasts and professionals. Their models feature many thoughtful details and can be customized to your specifications.
Learn More About Onslow Bay Boatworks

Parker 2420 Sport Cabin
Explore the Parker 2420 Sport Cabin Parker Boats builds boats for “strength, simplicity, and seaworthiness” with an efficient hull design that allows them to plane easily and run economically. Parker offers center console and sport cabin designs.
Learn More About Parker Boats

Pathfinder 2700 Open
Pathfinder Boats are focused products born to do one thing: put dedicated anglers on fish and do it with comfort and safety. Today. the Pathfinder brand is made up of nine models, each carefully designed for specific inshore and nearshore fishing applications.
Learn More About Pathfinder Boats

Pursuit Boats OS 445
Explore the Pursuit OS 405 Pursuit boats are built on proven hulls matched to dependable Yamaha outboards. The company’s refined engineering leads their timeless design, innovative features, and manufacturing processes to consistently create quality boats.
Learn More About Pursuit Boats

Regulator 31
In 1988, Regulator Marine reinvented the deep-v center-console experience and engineered what is known today as the Legendary Ride. Built in North Carolina and tested against the challenging conditions of the Outer Banks, Regulator boats are seriously tough fishing boats known for their dry, soft, and comfortable ride.
Learn More About Regulator Marine

Robalo R360
Explore the Robalo R360 At Robalo, building world-class fishing boats is a passion and a way of life. A leader in the marine industry since 1968, Robalo is renowned for its heavy-duty construction, legendary ride, and unwavering desire to stay on the cutting edge of innovation.
Learn More About Robalo Boats

Sailfish 226 DC
Sailfish builds fishing boats, designed by anglers for anglers, to withstand the rigors of inshore and offshore environments and loaded with standard features for fishing enthusiasts. Whether cruising to dinner or fishing the canyons, Sailfish Boats provide a lifestyle worth dreaming of.
Learn More About Sailfish Boats

Savannah 220 IS
Savannah Boats was founded on the owner’s personal pursuit of his own perfect boat – a hybrid fishing boat that could be an inshore and offshore fishing boat or family boat. Center consoles from 19 to 22 feet feature 100% composite hull construction, V-hull entry, and soft chines for a smooth ride.
Learn More About Savannah Boats

Sea Chaser 24 HFC
Part of the Carolina Skiff family of brands, Sea Chaser’s skiffs, center consoles, and dual consoles offer great platforms for family adventures, fishing and cruising-all at competitive price points.
Learn More About Sea Chaser Boats

Sea Hunt Gamefish 25
Sea Hunt has become one of the best-selling boats in the country by building quality center consoles and bay boats with a wide range of options and offering them at affordable prices. The Gamefish series offers everything serious offshore fishermen demand in a center console.
Learn More About Sea Hunt Boats

Sea Pro 242 DLX CC
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 manufactures four bay boats and five center consoles to 32 feet at their South Carolina facility.
Learn More About Sea Pro Boats

Seavee 390 Z
Seavee Boats presents an award-winning line up of built-to-order center-console sport -fishing boats available with a wide array of features and options. Buyers can customize each build to fit their individual fishing and boating lifestyle.
Learn More About Seavee Boats

Seaway 24HT
Seaway Boats of Milton, New Hampshire builds classic, efficient boats with workboat roots. Classic, head-turning lines combined with modern layouts and composite materials result in traditional designs with sport boat performance.
Learn More About Seaway Boats

Explore the
Skeeter SX2550
Skeeter crossed over to the bay-boat market in 1992 and today is a major player with its SX line of saltwater inshore models. From the backwater to blue water, a Skeeter can get you there and back.
Learn More About Skeeter Boats

Southport 33 FE
Southport‘s hulls are designed to maximize the performance and power of modern outboard motors while using cutting-edge composite construction methods. The combination of legendary performance, beautiful lines, and modern construction make Southport a leader in its class.
Learn More About Southport Boats

Sportsman Open 282
Sportsman Boats manufactures a series of center console, dual console, and bay boats with deep forward entries that provide soft and dry rides. The Open series ranges from 21 to 35 feet and features angler-driven layouts.
Learn More About Sportsman Boats

Tidewater 380 CC Adventure
Tidewater boats have an impressive look, with clean lines and a Carolina flare in the bow, and an even more impressive price range. Their solid feel, dry ride and spacious cockpit will give any captain the confidence needed to take this offshore machine into the battle-tested Northeast waters.
Learn More About Tidewater Boats

Twin Vee 280 CC GFX
Manufactured with American-made products and an exceptionally skilled workforce, Twin Vee PowerCats embraces a modern technological approach in the way it designs and builds its boats. The 280 GF has more square feet of deck space than any boat in its class, providing ample fishing room to go with its exceptionally smooth ride.
Learn More About Twin Vee PowerCats Boats

Valhalla Boatworks V46
From the legendary builder of Viking sportfishing yachts comes Valhalla Boatworks with a line of high-performance center consoles. The stepped-V ventilated tunnel offers a soft, dry, and efficient ride. From the V-33 to the V-46, expect big-boat amenities and technology.
Learn More About Valhalla Boatworks

Wellcraft 302 Fisherman
More than 50 years of boatbuilding expertise makes Wellcraft Boats 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.
Learn More About Wellcraft Boats

World Cat 260 CC-X
World Cat boats deliver a smooth, soft, fast and dry catamaran ride in even the roughest, toughest conditions. Their dual hull designs deliver racecar like performance, and while traditional monohull boats slam you hard when coming down, World Cat’s smooth ride provides better boat control and less abuse on you.
Learn More About World Cat Boats

Yellowfin 34 Offshore
Yellowfin Boats’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. They build skiffs, bay boats, and center consoles to 54 feet.
Learn More About Yellowfin Boats

11 on “2024 Fishing Boat Buyer’s Guide

  1. Cynthia Hernandez

    I wonder why Key West Boats didn’t make the list. As an employee of theirs I know for a fact that they are good quality boats.

  2. Henk van Gerwen

    Some boats are not mentioned, like Boston Whaler. It’s a pity because you suppose to be objective!
    For the rest, very good listing.

  3. David Sartrys

    how do i tell if my subscription payment was received?

  4. TT

    Could anyone recommend a good beginner fishing/cruising boat for someone a bit shorter than average?
    Serious question! Thanks!

  5. Peter

    Good listing, FYI your link to learn more about Boston Whalers goes to the right website but the text says “Learn more about Blackfin Boats” it is a simple typo may want to correct that.

  6. Peter

    For the shorter than average boater there are features to look for in your ideal boat… 1) a helm riser step which you can fold down and stand on to give extra height when driving. Boston Whaler has these available in some models, others may also. 2) Advanced trim tabs and hull leveling control, which can raise or lower the bow again for better visibility, 3) Reduced sight obstructions like windshield framing or hardtop tubing. 4) Appropriately sized gunnel (gunwales or sides of the boat) height so you can easily access cleats to tie off at the dock and get onboard etc. 5) Safety features like boarding ladder that is easily accessible from within the water, note some ladders can’t be folded down easily if you fall in the water and need to get back in the boat and a shorter person will have a harder time boarding from the water in this case 6) Adjustable helm seating and 7) Compact design- easier to navigate and maneuver. I am most familiar with Boston Whaler and Key West Boats which are good choices, there are other considerations like how you will use the boat, family usage, etc. which a dealer can help narrow down your choices. It is great you are considering getting a boat! -Peter

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