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. Likewise, there is 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 2018 Boat Buyer’s Guide, you’ll probably find more than one “best boat” that can provide many seasons of enjoyment on the water.
Featured New Boats
A timeless classic has received an impressive upgrade. The Boston Whaler 210 Montauk is the new flagship of the beloved Montauk family, with features designed to enhance comfort and versatility. Standard and optional amenities for fishing let you tailor the Montauk to meet your needs, while expanded seating and storage capacity increases the boat’s sense of spaciousness and ease. Optional fishing package includes 94-quart cooler seat, rod holders and tackle drawers, while the deluxe leaning post option adds 30-gallon livewell and raw-water washdown.
The new Cobia 240 CC is the latest Cobia to seamlessly mesh tournament capability, family comfort, and style into a single package. Built on a proven hull with superior fuel efficiency and open-water running performance, the contemporary deck layout maximizes form and function. A wide-open cockpit with level floor from bow to stern, twin 40-gallon in-floor fish boxes, a 28-gallon livewell, and a standard aft tackle station meet the needs of the most hardcore angler. The 240CC is equally adept as a platform for hosting an elegant sunset cruise or spending a casual day sandbar hopping.
Crevalle boats are family-friendly fishing platforms built with a focus on reliability, durability, and excellence in design. Head offshore, fish inshore, or sandbar hop with the family in the new Crevalle 26 Bay, a larger version of the popular 24 Bay that includes integrated trim tabs, a larger console, 83-gallon fuel capacity, and up to 350 horsepower capability. This boat offers incredible versatility for the family fisherman. Standard features include two removable 72-quart coolers and Crevalle’s trademark gunmetal grey helm that knocks down secondary glare and reduces eye fatigue. For serious fishermen, there are two 28-gallon release wells, lockable rod storage, and a powder-coated leaning post.
The new 340DC marks Everglades’ reentry in the dual console market, and while it is a departure from the models that make up the rest of their center console fleet, the Everglades DNA is evident throughout. Luxury and comfort take center stage, with a spacious 96 square foot cockpit and double-wide seating at the starboard helm and port companion seat. Unlike most boats of this type, the port companion seat features a fold-down portion, making it easily convertible into a chaise lounge. The expansive bow seating of the forward lounge sports a built-in insulated cooler and an adjustable bow table, which removes and stores easily.
Fountain Powerboats was launched in 1979 with the single-minded goal of building the fastest, smoothest, safest, best-handling and most dependable boats on the water. Their new 39 NX is the first in what will be a series of Fountain’s Next Generation center consoles. Among the biggest difference in this line is the use of the infusion process for lamination. The hull is based on the 38 center console running surface, but with greater beam and height. There’s also a cabin with a double berth inside the console, which will appeal to the broader market of center console purchasers who want serious fishing and serious fun.
Grady-White has re-imagined the luxury sportfishing yacht as an incredibly spacious, technically sophisticated, and richly appointed outboard sportfishing boat. Their new flagship, the Canyon 456 center console, is crafted with exceptional attention to detail and superbly engineered for an entirely new level of elegance. It has by far the widest beam in the category and is also the largest unsinkable boat of its kind. It epitomizes Grady-White’s storied legacy of 59 years of building comfortable, well-engineered, superior-quality boats that are fine-tuned for the highest fishing functionality.
The 65-foot Estrella is now the world’s largest center console yacht, taking that distinction from its sister ship, the 53-foot Sueños. It offers buyers in the sport-fishing yacht market a more versatile alternative to cabin-style yachts in terms of performance, ride, and overall maintenance, but without sacrificing luxury or comfort. Its harmonious use of high-grade materials, custom cabinetry, a cockpit-mounted projection TV, and triple Garmin touchscreen helm station are all yacht-caliber features.
The Maritime Boats 23 Defiant, with its deeper and more aggressive hull, was designed with offshore capabilities in mind. The 23 remains on plane as slow as 10mph while still capable of speeds in excess of 45mph. Deck space on the 23 is amazing, allowing you to easily walk around, with plenty of room for coolers and accessories. The large step-down area adds additional storage, the use of a porta potti, or a quick change of clothes. Flush-mounted stainless rod holders, a large anchor locker, and under-gunwale rod racks make the 23 a perfect fishing platform. Built in New Hampshire, Maritime Boats combines traditional New England looks with modern construction techniques and state-of-the-art bottom design.
Inshore or offshore, the new NauticStar 265XTS is a beast of a bay boat and the largest in the Extreme Tournament series family of boats. It is the culmination of years of innovation and advanced engineering, with a collection of all the latest bells and whistles, evolving into the ultimate fishing vessel from customer feedback. With its large forward and aft decks, ample rod storage, 43-gallon bow fish box, three livewells/baitwells, 35-quart YETI cooler, and plenty of tackle storage, the 265 is an amazing fishing platform. The engineers, designers and craftsmen at NauticStar are rich in boatbuilding knowhow. Their popular Nautic Bay boat series offers bay boats from 18 to 26 feet, an XS series of fishing-first center consoles, and a line of deck-style boats.
The recently launched NorthCoast Boats 280CC is a rugged 28-foot center console built for serious offshore fishing with range to get to the canyons and back. A solid fiberglass hull bottom and grid system provides rigid structure for longevity and a true deep-V with 24-degree dead rise offers confidence and control in the worst of conditions. There’s plenty of headroom in the head and storage compartments for rods, bags, and a ton of extra gear. In the rich tradition of New England boatbuilding, NorthCoast blends classic lines with solid performance and function. The boats are built by C&C Marine in Bristol, Rhode island, in a semi-custom fashion, always with the customer in mind.
The new Pursuit S288 Sport model offers sport-series styling, including oversized fiberglass integrated hardtop and windshield system, updated classic sheer line through-stem anchor system, and integrated transom extensions. The console features a fully enclosed head; on deck, there is plenty of seating, with storage available in the bow area and aft in the cockpit. For more than half a century, three generations of this family-owned business have built distinctive outboard-powered fishing boats with a reputation for luxury combined with sport utility, providing the ideal platform for adventures on the water.
Whether you’re trolling with spreader bars in the water or running through rough seas in search of breaking fish, Robalo’s new Robalo R272 center console flagship sparks an adrenaline rush. With unique style, phenomenal performance, and a dry ride, it’s primed to tackle any fishing adventure. A Kevlar-reinforced hull combined with a lifetime limited hull warranty and 5-year component warranty will allow you to enjoy complete peace of mind on the water. The R272 offers a combination of durability and toughness, along with the comfort and luxury that Robalo Boats are known for.
For 30 years, Sailfish has been dedicated to building quality saltwater fishing boats at an affordable price. The new flagship Sailfish 360CC features yacht-like amenities, including chaise lounge seating ahead of the console, a stand-up shower and pilot’s berth, and wood accents in the head. Serious fishing amenities include 34 rod holders, twin insulated aft fish boxes, and a tuna door. Fishing-focused but family friendly, a Sailfish can be a hard-core fishing boat one day and a family-fun boat the next.
The Southport 33 Dual Console is designed on the proven platform of the Southport 33, but with added amenities for the owner whose focus is family cruising and entertainment. The DC remains true to the fishing DNA heritage of Southport and delivers the exceptionally dry, safe, and economical performance of much larger cruisers. Enjoy a day of relaxing, swimming, viewing the sunset, or make a longer trip to a favorite island with no worries about the ride home, even when the ocean turns angry. Unlike many other deep-V hulls, the classic Southport hull is steady at rest. The variable deadrise of its hull slices through waves with little commotion, and the Carolina flare tosses spray back into the ocean where it belongs.
More than 50 years of boatbuilding expertise makes Wellcraft 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. The Wellcraft 302 Fisherman is a brawny 30-footer built for serious offshore fishing with a safe, rugged hull that slices through chop. It comes with standard fishing-friendly features including twin 23-gallon livewells and loads of tackle and rod storage. Even with a fishing-first deck layout, there are plenty of comfortable seating options including an optional bow-seating package that increases the versatility of this well-designed center console.
The 280DC-X is World Cat’s newest entry, combining the smooth ride of a catamaran with the features and versatility that only a dual-console design can offer. Following on the breakthrough design of the 280CC-X, this new boat loves to run, looks great, and is ready to take you and your family on whatever adventures you can cook up. Huge seating capacity including innovative cockpit flip-flop seat and spacious bow.
2019 Fishing Boat Buyer’s Guide
Albemarle is taking full advantage of their boatbuilding experience and history to position themselves as a leader in high-quality sportfishing boats. The new Albemarle 27DC was designed to meet the demands of boating families interested in a variety on-the water activities. A deep-V hull and solid fiberglass construction offer the soft, dry ride Albemarle is known for, while comfortable seating provides ample room for the family.
Allied Boat Works designs and builds high-quality stock and semi-custom Downeast-style boats with an emphasis on safety, efficiency, and affordability while maintaining elegant, classic lines. Every hull and fiberglass component is hand-laid. The 24’ Explorer is the newest addition to the Allied lineup. This model is customizable so that you can get the layout you prefer. With options like the U-berth, full plumbed head, and bimini top, this boat is ready to accommodate the whole family for weekend fun to serious fishing.
The legend lives on in the new generation of Blackfin, with brand-new models that feature yacht-like, high-end design and innovative construction. The result is an exceptional watercraft designed for fishing, family and fun. The all-new Blackfin 332 CC features a LOA of 33’2” and offers one of the smoothest rides in its class. It’s loaded with standard features and amenities, including two 100-gallon insulated fish boxes, a fiberglass hardtop system, and loads of storage.
Since the late 60’s Cape Codders have been regarded as a quality built, rugged boat suited for the rigors of every day commercial fishing. They are also regarded by many sport fishing anglers as exceptional inshore striped bass fishing boats. The Cape Codder CC19 was born in 1968 as a boat that incorporated all the elements of the most seaworthy boats at the time. Its heavy, rugged hull with an 18-degree deadrise, lifting strakes, and a hard chine exhibits excellent performance.
Contender offers fishing-focused boats in their Bay, Tourney, and Sport series. The Contender 39 Fisharound has the fishability of a center console, and the convenience of a sport fish or express model. Powered by triple Yamaha 350hp engines, the 39FA tops out at over 70 miles per hour, and with a standard 460-gallon fuel tank capacity, even the far east canyons and seamounts are in range. The creature comforts added to this 39-footer include Microwave, TV, refrigerator, fresh water sink, and bed in a comfortable cabin, making it a serious tournament vessel that the whole family can enjoy.
Longtime New Hampshire builder Eastern Boats, known for their rugged, classic Downeast-style boats, has expanded into the runabout market. The new Eastern 21 Pilot blends classic lines with a modern layout and composite materials, resulting in a traditional dayboat with sport boat performance. Two floor plans offer the choice between lounge seats with flip-back backrests or a more traditional cruise-centric seating package. Standard features include an adult-sized head, V-berth with cushions, and an outboard engine bracket.
EdgeWater fishing boats are used by serious sportsmen who demand practical features, reliability and durability. With their proprietary Single Piece Infusion construction, they achieve a strength-to-weight ratio that, when combined with their variable deadrise deep-V hulls, produces handling, performance, fuel efficiency, and range better than many other boats of the same size. The EdgeWater 230CC is the first in a new line of offshore center console models designed to be the perfect blend between fishing and family cruising. It boasts a fully finished bilge and more standard features than other boats in its class.
Hatteras Yachts is recognized as a world leader in the construction of convertible sportfishing and luxury motor yachts. Based in North Carolina, Hatteras began production of its first model in 1959 and pioneered the production of large offshore fiberglass powerboats. With performance and amenities not typically found in a mid-40-foot yacht, the Hatteras GT45X with Flybridge Option is ideal for the owner-captain ready to for longer offshore adventures. Tournament-ready, it features a state-of-the-art upper helm, full tower, battle-ready outriggers and top-end speed in the mid-40s.
When Jack Henriques immigrated to the United States, he brought with him four generations of Portuguese boatbuilding experience. He founded Henriques Yachts in 1977, and 40 years later, the company builds to order at their factory in New Jersey. The Henriques 30 Express closes the size gap between the 28- and 35-foot models, taking a departure from previous hull configurations with its newly designed deep-V hull. The shallow draft and resulting ride are exceptional.
The Invincible 42 Center Cabin is available with triple or quad outboards. With top speeds in excess of 65mph (with triples) the 565-gallon fuel capacity will get you to the farthest fishing grounds and back with speed and comfort. The 42 CC is the perfect fit for those wanting to stay out overnight and extend their fishing trips or have a nice place to get out of the weather.
Every Jupiter is individually built to the exacting specifications of the sportsman who demands the very best in offshore performance. Jupiter’s Flagship 41 starts with a time-tested and proven deep-V hull design built for running efficiently through all conditions in comfort, while also offering speed when you want it, courtesy of triple 350hp Yamaha V-8 outboards. The boat is equally at home cruising with friends and family or trolling the canyons.
Mako’s reputation for being rugged and durable has attracted Northeast fishermen for years. They incorporate super-strong transoms plus a unique stringer grid system that’s bonded to the hull to create tremendous structural rigidity. The whole assembly is foam-filled to produce a boat that’s incredibly strong. The Mako 334 CC offers unsurpassed flexibility in its interior plus the overbuilt durability that Mako has provided for half a century. It’s built for sportfishing in safety and style with an abundance of custom creature comforts.
Monterey Boats are all about the waterborne recreational lifestyle, and that includes skiing, wakeboarding, cruising, and fishing. Sleek, refined, luxurious, and powerful are just a few of the words that will come to mind when you step on the M-65. Spacious seating arrangements, special dedicated storage options including rod holders, and powerful engineering make it easy to spend long, unforgettable days aboard it.
Parker builds solid boats with an efficient hull design that allows them to plane easily and run economically, and designs include center consoles, walkarounds, and sport cabins. The Parker 2520 Sport Cabin can extend your Northeast boating season with its enclosed cabin that offers protection from the sun, rain, heat, and cold. Standard windows that open/close, lockable cabin door, and upholstered seating sets the cabin models apart. Optional features such as Garmin electronics, second station, and rocket launchers customize these boats to your needs.
Regulator makes classic deep-V center consoles designed for challenging conditions. Their line of sportfishing boats is designed and engineered for the most discriminating anglers in the world. The Regulator 23 is now offered with a complementing engine package of “Twin” Yamaha F150’s along with the standard single F300. The addition of a second engine provides increased maneuverability in and around the dock while also increasing top speed. Buyers of the 25 Regulator now have a choice standard Yamaha F200’s or upgrade to the F250’s.
Sea Fox Boat Company is South Carolina owned and operated with more than 50 years of boatbuilding experience. They offer a full line of fishing boats including center consoles, walkarounds, bay boats and dual consoles. The 288 Commander center console is equipped with everything you need for some serious offshore fishing action or fun trips with the family. Side-door access in the cockpit makes entry into the vessel as easy as possible.
Originally founded in 1987, Sea Pro Boats was recently relaunched as an all-new line of bay boats and center console offshore fishing boats. The company has introduced eight models, including a 259 Deep V Center Console unveiled in late 2017 and a 309 scheduled for spring 2018. The new Sea Pro 219 Deep V Center Console delivers the same fantastic value and standard features that drove the success of the 239. Popular features include a 52-inch folding transom seat and reclining bow backrest.
Seaway Boats of Milton, New Hampshire, builds classic, efficient boats with workboat roots. Their 21 Sportsman was designed to be both sturdy and elegant. The construction of this center console is strong and rugged enough to take on challenging conditions, but it’s also the right size to let you safely beach or easily tow it. It’s fuel efficient, thanks in large part to its hard-chine hull, buoyant bow, and sharp-hull entry. Boaters who like extra shelter can add a T-top and a folding dodger to cover the bow area.
Skeeter crossed over to the bay boat market in 1992 and today is a major player, with an SX line of saltwater inshore models. Skeeter’s SX2250 is a clean-looking, sharply appointed bay boat with ample fore and aft decks. Deeper freeboard provides better security for those who wish to take advantage of the SX2250’s offshore capability. A tapered deadrise featuring a 24-degree V entry ensures a smooth, dry ride, making it the ultimate multi-purpose inshore, offshore, and family-fun fishing vessel.
Sportsman Boats manufactures an intelligently designed series of center console, dual console, and bay boats with deep forward entries that provide soft and dry rides. Sportsman’s flagship Heritage series center consoles offer intelligent offshore fishing features with yacht-caliber components. The open series, which includes the new Sportsman 242 Open center console, is designed for the more serious angler, but lacks nothing for family outings.
Long Island-based Steiger Craft was founded in 1972 and continues to produce fiberglass boats in six different sizes and various models ranging from 21 to 31 feet. Their 23 Block Island is a perfect example of form meeting function. A solid teak windshield encases the helm, plus there’s a large couch to port, aft-facing bench seat, and full fold-down transom seat to offer plenty of comfort. Above deck, a 40-gallon circulating livewell in the stern, gigantic cockpit, and ample rod storage transform this classic into a sturdy fishing platform.
Stur-Dee Boats is a family-run shop in Tiverton, Rhode Island, where mother/daughter team Heidi and Mackenzie Reid continue the tradition of their father/grandfather, Ernie Gavin. All boats are produced in-house from hand-laid fiberglass in the molds Ernie made from his original wooden boat. The Stur-Dee Boat Amesbury Dory 16 is an inshore-fishing platform with an offshore pedigree. Its incredibly deep hull design and high-sweeping bow give it the ability to manage rough seas. At the same time, it is an incredibly efficient boat for inshore fishing.
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 where only the strong prevail. The new Tidewater 320 CC is filled with luxury, from the yacht-style helm station and backlit aluminum carbon-fiber dash panel to the wrap-around bow seating with flip-out backrests.
Trackers have been the top-selling fishing boat for years, and for good reason. In 1978, these boats were the first to be offered as a complete package for a nationally published price, and it didn’t take long for their popularity to skyrocket. Tracker makes aluminum bass and panfish boats, deep-V boats, and jon boats. The Tracker Pro Guide V-16 SC is sized and equipped just right to meet the needs of serious freshwater bass fans and those who revel in the excitement of working back-bay flats.
Started by brothers Bob and Bill Healey in 1964, New Jersey-based Viking Yachts has grown to become a world leader in semi-custom fiberglass yacht production. The Viking 52 Sport Tower runs strong on the popular resin-infused Viking 52 Convertible hull while incorporating a stylish three-sided fiberglass deckhouse. The 142-square-foot cockpit is a versatile workspace for fishing and other water sport activities, with a walk-through transom door and lift gate, recessed in-deck fish box and stowage bins, a transom fish box, insulated coolers and twin mezzanine seating.
Yellowfin’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. The Yellowfin 39 Offshore is a premier large center console built for ultimate performance in conditions that keep most other fishermen at the dock. Designed for triple or quad outboard power, hard-core anglers will appreciate the extra-wide beam of 11’6, which allows the 39 to offer a spacious and well-designed platform. In addition, it features a standup head and shower, and a surprising level of comfort.