How to Buy a Fishing Boat

About 90% of us live less than an hour or so from a navigable body of drinking water. That means that boating is a great way of entertainment that requires just a little travel period. Believe it or not, boating can greatly reduce the quantity 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 have all been told that fish is good for you. Learning how to buy a motorboat allows you to catch your own fresh seafood thus improving your health as well.

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

Bass Boat

These boats are the most common of ‘fishing boats’. The majority of fishing boats are powered by outboard motors and many have a trolling electric motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminum or fiberglass. Aluminum is lighter and simpler to maneuver, needing a smaller motor than the usual fiberglass boat. An aluminum ship is easier to transport and requires a smaller sized vehicle when towing on a trailer. The most common size of fishing boats range between 16-20 feet long and provide between 50-200 HP. Almost all have live wells for storing your catch as well as separate compartments to shop rods, reels, and tackle. Light weight aluminum boats can be a little cheaper than fiberglass with prices between $5, 000 and $30, 000 new based on the bells and whistles. The most popular size of light weight 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 so are capable of much higher speeds than light weight aluminum boats.
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Fiberglass boats can handle tough waters more easily and are high performance vessels. If you want to fish professionally, you want a fiber glass boat. The price range for buying a new fiberglass boat is usually $10, 000-$75, 000; depending on options. Most popular is definitely an 18 foot boat with a 150 HP motor.

Pontoon Boats

They 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 particular consideration in choosing the right fishing boat. Pontoons are lightweight and designed to create maximum use of space. They have open decks with lots of seating so they can support 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 utilize a pontoon boat for skiing or tubing as well. These boats can also be very appealing because they are usually less costly than other boats and have a variety of uses. They are easy to customize to your exclusive needs as they are made in a variety of versions. 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 plus channels where the big fish hang out are usually inaccessible for fishing. For me, this is the greatest of ‘all-around’ boats.

House Boats

House boats are created to be a home away from home and are most often used as weekend getaways for families and friends. They are floating houses with a 360 degree swimming pool surrounding them. They are best suited for inland waters and lakes. This makes ideal for fishing open waters, much like on a pontoon. Many houseboats have all the comforts of home. There are sleeping cabins, a kitchen or even galley, even air conditioning. Common dimensions of houseboats range from 20′-65′ with the average cost for a new ship at around $60, 000. They may be ideal for long vacations and slower cruising. For fishing they have exactly the same size restrictions as a pontoon.

Ski Boats

Also known as speed boats or motor boats, these are made for snow skiing, inner tubing or wake boarding. They can have either outboard or even inboard motors alike and are capable of fast speeds. They make a minimum of wake that is ideal for skiers. Ski boats range from 18′-22′ and can cost an average of about $25, 000 new. These are generally used on lakes, but they can also be taken on larger bodies of water. If you want boat for fishing as well as entertainment, this is a great boat. However , cost and storage are strong considerations to think about. Ski boats are designed to stow fishing gear.


This vessel is traditionally called a “runabout”. They are popular with many boaters because of the versatility. They range in size plus features, some having a freshwater supply and bathroom. They are perfect for drinking water sports including skiing and wakeboarding as well as cruising. Top speeds can vary from 30 mph to 70+ mph. Some manufacturers have hybrids that include fishing features. Bowriders are usually between 16′-24′ long with prices of $8, 000-$40, 000, to get a new boat. Most have an inboard motor, but some can have outboard engines as well with between 50-400 HP. Very nice boats, but not laid out perfectly for the fisherman.


These motorboats are powered by the wind that will hits their sails and generally doesn’t have any type of mechanical propulsion program. Sailboats come in three categories: Time sailer – A day sailer is really a small boat designed for comfortable cruising but without sleeping accommodation. They have a roomy cockpit and can have an outboard auxiliary engine. Cruiser – A cruiser is a medium-sized or even large boat that has a cabin along with sleeping quarters, toilet, and galley and generally has an auxiliary motor built inside. Racer – The racer is a boat designed for velocity and ease of handling, often in the expense of comfort. The two popular styles are the racer-day sailer created primarily for racing and second of all for day sailing, and the cruiser-racer designed mainly for overnight cruising and secondly for racing.

In mastering how to buy the right fishing boat, you will first want to consider what types of other activities you can be doing. Do you want to get into waterskiing? Are you going to only be fishing in your ship? Would you like to take overnight trips have got large amounts of people along with you? Another thought when choosing a fishing boat is to be sure that it is affordable for you. You won’t want to strap yourself with a payment which will cause financial problems for you. Figure out how much you want to spend and find the best boat within that range.

This is a quick look at what you might anticipate to pay as a boat owner as well as the cost of the boat and trailer. This is VERY important since you need to make sure that you’ll be able to operate your boat once you get it, so factor in these costs before you decide to even start making a choice. Costs may vary by your region, but this can give you a rough estimate. · Damage/liability insurance: $400-$800 year · Dragging insurance $100/year · State registration $50-$200/year · Routine mechanical upkeep $1000/year · Major mechanical maintenance $500-$4, 000/year · Fuel $100-$1000/month (although at the time of writing this fuel was nearing $4. 00 per gallon, so add around 25%) · Miscellaneous expenses $750/year · Marina storage $200-$800/month · “Dry” marina storage $200-$400/month · On-trailer storage $60-$120/month.

Remember to match your own boat to your skill level so that you usually are stuck with a boat you can’t generate easily. You will also need to think about what type of water you are going to be boating upon before you buy a boat. If the only place close to you is a small lake, you don’t want a 30′ cabin cruiser. Then again, if you want to cruise around the sea, a 15′ power boat is not a good idea either. If you have the money or even plan on keeping the same boat for a very long time, go ahead and buy it brand new. However , often your best bet is to purchase an used boat.