The unfortunate truth is that a boat that is clearly the best does not exist. You would be wrong to think that there is the best bay boat, best center console, best fishing boat, best family boat, etc.
However, there are certainly better boats than others when it comes to catering for your budget, comfort, fishing, and cruising needs. When you’re truly certain what features you would want, then you could find the best boat for you. We’ve listed the most highly regarded boat manufacturers so that you can find the best boat for you that can provide many long days of leisure on the water.
Before you set your sights on a serious investment when buying a fishing boat, you should also consider starting small by buying and trying out a boating raft. We present to you, a shortlist of solid boating rafts available on Amazon.
6 Solid Fishing Raft Picks
Intex Excursion 5
A solid vinyl boat with a 5-person capacity, the Intex Excursion 5 can fill and empty very quickly thanks to its novel design. Whether you’re looking to fish, camp, or have fun with family, the Intex Excursion 5 is ready to take to the waters in a snap.
Classic Accessories Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float
The Cumberland Inflatable by Classic Accessories offers a good float design for the lone angler. It has an extra-large front-entry float tube with hydrodynamic hull shape and unique sculpted design for improved tracking and steering when in the water. Its comfy seat and ample storage allow for long and memorable fishing trips.
Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat
The Colorado XT by Classic Accessories is a 9′ pontoon boat with truly solid construction and a gracious 400-pound capacity, flexible storage options, an integrated transport wheel that aids in moving the Colorado XT to the water and stows when you are fishing, and removable gear bags (with included shoulder strap) that provide customizable storage with 20 pockets and two insulated drink holders.
Intex Seahawk 4 Inflatable Boat
Whether you’re looking for recreational boating or fishing on lakes and calm rivers, the Intex Seahawk 4 has got you covered with everything you need to set sail at once. The inflatable boat–which fits up to four people–is made of super-tough 30-gauge PVC vinyl that resists damage from abrasion, impacts, and sunlight, letting you boat with confidence even near rocks or logs. A truly solid design.
PEXMOR 7.5/10FT Inflatable Dinghy Boat
The PEXMOR inflatable dinghy is made from 1100D 0.9mm PVC fabric with a wooden floorboard. It is a safe and reliable design. Every dinghy comes with a certified nameplate. The PEXMOR is good fishing, surfing, or boating with your friends or family. It offers the perfect leisure time for any angler.
Intex Explorer 200
The Intex Explorer 200 is a solid choice for the fishing enthusiast looking to have fun. Great for one or two passengers to enjoy a relaxing day on calm waters. The Explorer 200 pumps up in a flash and has a pair of 48″ French Oars to get you going where you want with little effort.
Our 43 Best Fishing Boats Picks
With 42 years of history and boatbuilding experience, Albemarle boasts top quality sportfishing boats. If you’re looking to do everything on the water with your family, you should wait for the new Albemarle 31DC which will be unveiled this fall. In addition to a full-beam berth made for comfortable overnighting, great protection from the elements, a single-piece solid fiberglass hull, and a 24-degree deadrise makes for a very capable and comfortable ride.
In its new 2020 selection, Aquasport has two bay boats, three center consoles, and the new Aquasport 2300 DC that provides a comfortable cruise for families and also has a fishing-friendly design. The Aquasport 2300 DC is a truly all-in-one design that is good for some early fishing, watersports with family at noon, and a nice dinner cruise in the late hours. Under each bow seat, in the head, and behind the helm, you will find vast storage space. You will have access to floor lockers and entertainment center tackle drawers for storing your fish tackles.
The new lineup of the venerable Blackfin designs features high-end designs with yacht-like construction and incredible performance while fishing. You will find that these are great boats that are made for fishing, family, and fun. The Blackfin 272 CC is a truly solid design that will let you brave the strongest waves and also elegantly stride through calm waters. The massive center console, large freeboard, and flip-down transom seating have got you covered whether you’re looking to sand hop, make a run to local dockside bar, or traveling to distant fishing grounds.
The Boston Whaler Conquest lineup provides saltwater fishing and sophisticated entertaining thanks to its wide beam and sleek deep-V hull. The 2020 lineup features the first appearance of the 405 Conquest. Much like the rest of the Conquest lineup, it has all the state-of-the-art technology and fishing amenities that would leave no fisherman wanting for more. It also has luxury amenities and core comforts that will make pleasure cruises real joy. Whether you’re cruising or fishing the Boston Whaler is a great pick.
Century has been in this business for over 90 years. It is a legendary American brand. Their focus is on building great fishing boats with ample room for luxury with a model ranging from 22 to 32 feet. The Century 24 Resorter comes with a high-end dual console that provides versatility and amenities, and also features everything you need for serious fishing trips, high-octane family watersports and day cruising excursions along with great performance.
Cobia Boats combines style, family comfort, and mesh tournament capability into a single great design. Cobia focuses and on building safe, long-lasting boats that maximize its seafaring time. They build boats with smart, user-friendly designs and use high-quality materials and expert craftsmanship. Cobia has a great selection of family-friendly boats and center console and dual console fishing.
The Contender boasts sleek lines and aggressive entry makes for great looking and highly fast and comfortable boats. The Contender Bay, Tourney, and Sport series provide fishing-focused boats. The Contender 39FA is an excellent combination of tournament fishing comfort and knowledge. Providing great speed, optimal fishing, and cabin console, it can reach a cruising speed of over 60mph. The convenience of a sport fishing boat along with the versatility of a center console combined into one great package.
Crevalle builds reliable, durable, and excellent boats that are also family-friendly fishing platforms. Whether you’re looking to sail offshore, do some fishing on the coats or go sandbar hopping with the family, the Crevalle 26 Bay is a great to pick. It has a larger design of the great 24 Bay that also includes a larger console, integrated trim tabs, 83-gallon fuel capacity, and up to 350 horsepower capability. Along with Crevalle’s iconic gunmetal grey helm, you also get two removable 72-quart coolers.
Eastern’s great Downeast-design boats are great both for cruising with family or doing some serious fishing. The Eastern 248 Tournament focuses heavily on providing a great fishing experience. You can fish efficiently, effectively, safely, comfortably, and happily. The forward cabin features a V-berth, head, and hanging locker. You will find an L-shaped lounge across the pilothouse. The rear of the lounge is a part of a multi-drawer tackle center that also has a cutting board and sink on top.
Reliable and durable, EdgeWater fishing boats are favored by serious sportsmen who need practicality in design. With a proprietary Single Piece Infusion construction, EdgeWater boats have a great power-to-weight ratio. Along with their variable deadrise deep-V hulls, Edgewater provides fuel efficiency, handling, performance, and range that is excellent when compared to similar-sized boats. With its specially designed “ClearView” windshield, the EdgeWater 280CC has a superb line of sight. Other features include a pull-out shower and a plush walk-in console.
Everglades Boats recently revealed its all-new Everglades Boats 395CC at the 2019 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. It’s a great new selection for fishermen looking for something between the Everglades 355 and the Everglades 435. With a great design focused on a good experience with superb comfort, Everglades Boats does not disappoint. The venerable Dougherty-designed hulls lend itself to superbly high-quality designs by Everglades Boats.
Grady-White is a brand that makes sure every design has a sporty and sleek appearance while also providing all the amenities and luxuries for your needs. The new Grady-White Canyon 326 is no exception and is a great modern center console. 24-rod holders, 32-gallon lighted Livewell and three insulated fish boxes are included in this design. In addition, it’s also great for family cruising and entertainment thanks to its many comforts such as plush bow seats with foldaway backrests and a lockable console with stand-up cherry-accented head compartment and stainless-steel sink. The Grady-White’s award-winning SeaV2® hull ensures truly solid performance.
Jack Henriques has brought four generations of Portuguese boatbuilding tradition to the United States market. Henriques Boats was founded in 1977. After 40 years, Henriques Boats has opened a factory in New Jersey that builds great boats according to your needs. The new Henriques 50 Express HT can be tailored to your needs with a wide variety of options regarding its layouts, power packages, and specific features. It’s a semi-custom that is a superb fishing platform.
Invincible provides maneuverability, safety, and an exceptional ride with its hybrid semi-asymmetric multihull. The Invincible 35 Catamaran is a great example of this. With its 565-gallon fuel storage and lightning-fast speeds over 65 miles per hour, you will arrive where you want with speed and comfort. It is also available with triple or quad outboards. While it may be shorter, the deck space is even greater than many comparable 39’ monohull designs.
Jones Brothers Boats
Jones Brothers boat design tough and capable boats for light-tackle fishermen. The new Cape Fisherman 23 is a very economical design that can even brave the open seas when it’s calm. It’s the preferred boat for fishing guides and hard-core anglers and can comfortably handle large gatherings of anglers. A good amount of flare and freeboard keeps everyone safe and dry. You will find seating for kids and storage capacity for camping and beach gear in the forward casting deck.
Catered to the aficionado who needs the very best offshore performance, Jupiter Marine individually builds the best for every sportsman. The new Jupiter Flagship 41 has a tried and true deep-V hull design that runs efficiently in all situations with great comfort, in addition to the ability to cruise at great speeds thanks to triple 350-hp Yamaha V-8 outboards. Whether you’re cruising with friends and family or trolling the canyons, The Jupiter Flagship 41 has got you covered.
Northeast fishermen have shown great interest in Mako’s reputable, rugged and durable design for years. Incredible structural rigidity is achieved through a unique stringer grid system with super-strong transoms. The boat is very strong thanks to its hull and assembly being foam-filled. The Mako 284 CC has a 228-gallon fuel capacity and packs 700 horsepower. You can fish longer and farther with this boat that is well-equipped to fish.
Traditional New England looks are combined with state-of-the-art construction and design thanks to Maritime Boats. An aggressive, stable V-hull along with solid offshore capabilities are combined in The Maritime 250 Voyager. You will stay protected from the elements thanks to its full walk-around center pilothouse that allows for extended season fishing. You can fish hard with great comfort thanks to a transom live well, fold-down bench, and bow seating with insulated fish boxes.
When it comes to recreation whether it’s skiing, cruising, wakeboarding, or fishing, Monterey Boats provides great designs. The Monterey M-65 is a sleek, refined, luxurious, and powerful design that will certainly impress anyone. Long and unforgettable journeys are easy thanks to its spacious seating arrangements, special dedicated storage options including rod holders, and powerful engineering.
NauticStar delivers comfort and state-of-the-art style in its designs. The new NauticStar 32XS is the largest offshore center console NauticStar has to offer. The NauticStar 32XS has great performance in water and provides everything a serious fisherman would need. Plush wrap-around seating and a large forward lounge in the bow provides good space and comfort. In the head console, you will find SeaDek floor, a stainless-steel sink, a completely lined interior, and an electric flush porcelain toilet. It comes with both a 12-inch or a 16-inch dual display option in the large helm station. Inside the leaning post, you will find seats with flip-up bolster and pivot arms, a slide-out 35-quart YETI cooler, tackle storage, a sink, and also an optional refrigerator. A large portside dive door, a starboard in-floor fish boxes, and aft flip-up jump seats make for a roomy fishing deck with ample capabilities.
NorthCoast Boats are all about rigidity and versatility without all the clutter. The new NorthCoast 255HT is a great pick for serious anglers. Two large macerated in-deck fish boxes decorate the massive and functional cockpit. The hull is specially designed to stay dry and soft even in the worst conditions. The boats are built in a semi-custom design by C&C Marine in Bristol, Rhode Island. Thus, both inshore and offshore anglers can find what they’re looking for with a tailored design. The boat also includes a private stand-alone head below and a comfy cabin for two to sleep in. A truly versatile cruiser that will give absolute confidence to keep fishing when you’re offshore with friends or family.
You will find that Parker Boats offers easy to use and economic designs that are both solid and have an efficient hull design. Parker Boats has a sport cabin, walkaround, and center console designs. Whether you’re family boating, fishing or scenic cruising Parker Boats provides a supremely comfortable, spacious, and solid walkaround design with its Parker 2510 WA. The optional aft folding seat will allow for relaxing sight-seeing on the water while the comfortable forward berth seating is highly comfortable for lounging or taking a nice nap.
Strong Yamaha outboards are combined with solid hulls thanks to Pursuit boat designs. Pursuit’s Groundbreaking Dual Console lineup now features the new Pursuit DC 326 with a starboard hull sider door, spacious storage capacity, and a fully integrated fiberglass hardtop with tempered glass windshield. Friends, family, and crew will have plenty have space thanks to a port side wrap-around lounge, rotating helm seat, forward bow, and foldaway cockpit. Additional rod holders, recirculating Livewell and dedicated tackle storage means that you will always be ready to fish.
Regulator Marine Boats
Challenging conditions are easily braved thanks to Regulator Marine Boats’ venerable deep-V center consoles. Regulator Boats are known for their comfort, fit, finish and ride. And the new 26XO is no exception. Sportfishers can fish in great comfort in the 26XO. Ranging from designs between 23 to 41 feet, you will find that Regulator Boats offers ultimate comfort and great fishing experience.
You fish easily and in style thanks to Release Boats’ great designs. The Release 208RX has a foam-filled box-beam stringer grid and all stainless or bronze through-hull that is a hand-laid fiberglass composite construction. While the 208RX is best suited for shallow waters due to its draft of 12 inches, it can also sail on the coasts. Aft bench seating for three with individual folding backrests, a T-top with canvas canopy and spreader light, leaning post with cooler storage, bow cushions, cockpit bolsters, and Porta Potti all come standard with each configuration.
Robalo Boats offers a good selection of lineup of durable, dependable, and comfortable center consoles. The new Robalo R230 features more of everything at a smaller cost. Whether you’re looking to cruise to coasts or sail in the open seas, the R230 has got you covered thanks to its Robalo’s Kevlar-reinforced hull combined with a lifetime limited hull warranty and 5-year component warranty. Sail with style in the Robalo R230 which provides plenty of fishing features and luxurious amenities.
Sailfish builds solid and rigid fishing boats that can sail in both shallow waters and open seas. It has plenty of standard features for fishing enthusiasts. The Sailfish 320 Express is a sporting fishing boat with a solid performance on the open seas as well as a fully appointed cabin with berths for 6 or more. Enjoy a state-of-the-art design whether you’re cruising to dinner or fishing the canyons. 14 upright rod holders, 30-gallon live well with high-speed pickup, 2 deluxe tackle stations, and much more are included as standard fishing amenities.
Scout Boats offers models ranging from 17’ to 53’, all with the best luxury designs and manufacturing coupled with groundbreaking features, technology, and innovations. The Scout 255 LXF is a truly beautiful luxury center console that’s also easy and fun to sail with. The 255 LXF provides access to an innovative fold-out table and extra hide-away cooler along with lots of space to move around the boat, making it great for entertainment or simply relaxing on the open seas. A wide range of selections is available when it comes to upholstery color upgrades and beautiful hull color options.
Sea Fox Boats
Sea Fox Boats offers a large selection of center consoles, bay boats, side consoles, and dual consoles. Innovative features and multiple leading-edge technologies are combined with the power of Yamaha outboards. Twin Yamaha F300/F350s propel the Sea Fox 328 Commander at a great speed of at least 57 miles per hour. With a huge 10’ 8” beam and a wide Carolina flare at its bow, it combines both agility and solid design along with a lot of standard features.
Seaway Boats builds efficient boats with proven designs from its shipyard with workboat roots in Milton, New Hampshire. The Seaway 24HT offers a traditional dayboat design that has the performance of a sport boat. It combines proven and beautiful designs with a modern layout. A traditional cruise centric seating package or lounge seats with flip-back backrests are among your choice for floor plans. An outboard engine bracket, a cushioned V-Berth, and an adult-sized head are part of the standard features that are provided.
SeaVee Boats has an award-winning selection of sportfishing boats that are built in a semi-custom setting. A multitude of features and options will meet the needs of both fishing families and serious fishermen. The SeaVee 430FA is the pinnacle of offshore sportfishing boat design and is truly a game-changer. The 430FA combines the best of both Express and Center Console to provide a design that can do everything with good performance. You will have the choice between triple or quad outboards when laying out the 430FA.
Skeeter Boats is a relatively new but successful entry into the market. The SX saltwater inshore models have proven to be popular. With its clean looks and sharp appointment with spacious fore and aft decks, the Skeeter’s SX240 is a solid pick. Whether you’re backwater fishing or cruising on the open seas, the SX240 will be equally at home. With the Skeeter SX240, you can fish for backwater stripers one moment and fish for tuna in the next
The Dougherty family legacy of hull designs lives on with Solace Boats’ groundbreaking designs. Focusing on achieving perfection, every detail and line of the Solace 345 has been meticulously designed and redesigned in order to create the best center console boat. Modern techniques are combined with aesthetically designed interiors in a fishing boat that is quite unique and revolutionary.
Southport Boats is known for its modern design and spacious layout. The new Southport 30FE is a center console built on a cutting-edge 30’ hull. The 30FE is a further refinement of the original Southport 292 with a new design that combines a modern design and a generous space on deck. Newly designed mezzanine seating, rear swim decks, and an insulated transom fish box complement a very comfortable console interior. Additionally, the 30FE provides increased aft and forward cockpit space for fishing and entertaining. Whether you’re beach hopping, harbor cruising, offshore fishing, or cruising with family, the Southport 30FE has got you covered. The 30FE will make its first appearance in October at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. It will also be on display during the winter and spring at regional boat shows.
Sportsman Boats offers a center console, dual consoles, and bay boats with modern designs and with deep forward entries that result in smooth and dry sailing. The open is the flagship series of Sportsman Boats and includes designs ranging from 2’ to 31’ series. The new Sportsman 242 Open has ideal deck space and storage along with an angler-driven cockpit. It is a good choice both for hardcore fishermen and family cruising. Other features include a side-entry door and an integrated windshield that protects the helm.
Steiger Craft Boats
Steiger Craft Boats offers fiberglass boats that range from 21’ to 31’ with their six different sizes and many models. Steiger Craft offers a huge fishing platform in a very safe and rigid vessel with its flagship, The Steiger 28 Miami. A massive 80 square feet cockpit and a 10-foot beam are part of its defining feature. A 200 Gallon fuel capacity means an impressive 400+ mile range and an equally impressive top speed of 54 mph.
Striper Boats focuses on fast and maneuverable hand-built V-Trac hulls with deep, wide bows and self-bailing decks. Striper Boats offers an impressive vessel with spacious storage, generous headroom, and large deck space with the Striper 270 WA. It is ideal for both inshore and offshore anglers. Thanks to all the space provided, you need only to think about fishing and baiting.
Mother and daughter Heidi and Mackenzie Reid continue their family-run tradition in Tiverton, Rhode Island with Stur-Dee Boats. Boats are produced from hand-laid fiberglass in the same molds the founder Ernie Reid has made from his original boat. Their Stur-Dee Boat Amesbury Dory 16 design is a fishing boat designed for shallow waters but is also capable of the open sea. Open seas can be conquered thanks to its incredibly deep hull design and high-sweeping bow. It also retains its great performance while fishing in shallow waters.
Beautiful design, sleek looks, and Carolina flare in the bow is the hallmark of Tidewater Boatworks designs. Tidewater Boatworks is designed with the rough seas in mind. Their spacious cockpit, solid feel, dry ride, and spacious cockpit does not disappoint. Tidewater Boatworks has recently unveiled the new Tidewater 272 CC Adventure. A design that is easy to sail while also being quick and nimble. Its many features include a generous console room for electronics, split fishing boxes, large live well, rod storage, and freshwater washdown.
Valhalla Boatworks is famed for its venerable Viking sportfishing yachts. Its new line of cutting-edge designs includes the Viking V-33. The Viking V-33 sports the patented Stepped-V Ventilated tunnel in a soft, dry, and efficient ride that is an ideal choice for owners looking to get into their first Viking-built boat and experience all its legendary features. The V-33 shares nearly all the features with the V-37 and V-41, along with possesses big-boat technology and robust standard equipment. All three options are a solid choice for any serious angler.
Vanquish Boats offers beautiful luxury center console, runabout, and dual console bay boats that are both efficient and under 30 feet. The Vanquish 26 Center Console is a truly durable and smooth sailing boat thanks to its superior materials, advanced engineering, and innovative hull design. It has generous storage capacity both fore and aft, along with an enclosed head that makes the Vanquish 26 a spacious design. The Vanquish 26 is a great design for any serious angler who needs a high performing, quality vessel.
Viking Yachts focuses on building top-notch semi-custom fiberglass yachts from their shipyard in New Jersey. The venerable Viking 52 Convertible has combined with a cutting-edge three-sided fiberglass deckhouse thanks to the Viking 52 Sport Tower. The Viking 52 Sport Tower has a spacious 142 square-foot cockpit that provides a versatile space for both fishing and other activities. Other features include twin mezzanine seating, insulated coolers, a transom fish box, recessed in-deck fish box stowage bins, and a walk-through transom door.
Wellcraft Boats has been building vessels for family time, fishing, fun, and more for over 50. Wellcraft Boats are capable of every fishing situation in the Northeast from Lake Ontario to offshore fishing. The new Wellcraft 352 Fisherman is a center console that is all about luxury, performance, and catering for the hardcore angler.
Yellowfin Boats has a line of premium vessels that are simply the best fishing boats many can buy. It’s all-new Yellowfin 34 Offshore is a highly flexible fishing vessel that has an optimal size hull. A 55-gallon transom lives well and an optional 55-gallon floor well makes for a vessel that is highly capable in all fishing situations. A 10-foot beam means that there is plenty of room for friends, family, and crew. Other standard features include many options for forwarding seating that is a great choice for any angler.