Fishing Boats

Because of their versatility and comparative affordability, used and new recreational fishing boats are on the top of the list of boats most often purchased by boaters. They range in size from the smaller dinghies to larger charter cruisers and have a variety of uses including, but not limited to, fishing.

eBay Fishing Boats

History of Materials

The make, model, whether it is new or used, and year of any given fishing boat will determine its basic design and features. However, there are several commonalities among them depending on when they were made.

Standardization of fishing boat materials and designed was not put-in-place until after the 1950’s. Prior to that date design and materials would vary with each boat builder, with the only commonality being that they were constructed of wood. Afterward, standardization became more common and fiberglass began to be used on smaller boats, while steel was used on larger ones. Recently, aluminum has become more popular as the primary construction material because it is stronger, easy to repair, more resistant to leaks, corrosion, rot, and is more power efficient.

Types and Features

When deciding on the new or used fishing boat to buy, it is good to consider the basic categories that are available:

Jon boats (or Johnboats) are flat-bottomed boats that are generally used in ponds and lakes. These boats vary in size from 8-18 feet, seat two people comfortably, are generally made of aluminum, and can be equipped with up-to a 10 horsepower engine.

The term dinghy refers to a variety of small boats that can serve as rowboats, outboard powered boats, or sailboats. They can be hauled on larger ships, or used independently, range in size from 6 to 29 feet, can be constructed of various materials. There are several types of dinghies:

  • Rowboats have semi-v or modified-v hull design that has benches on either side. Traditionally, they have been powered the old fashioned way - with oars. However, in recent years it is more popular to fit them with less labor intensive outboard engines. Generally, they are constructed with aluminum, but can also be made of wood.
  • Whaleboats have a bowed belly that tappers down to a narrowly pointed tip on each end, providing it with the maneuverable capability to move both forward and backward. They can also include a centerboard for sailing. These features make it popular for use along beaches and inlets.
  • Dories are designed with high sides, a flat bottom, and narrow ends, which allow it to cut through water with ease. Dories can range from 16-23 feet in length, and are most commonly used in the open sea, or along coastal waterways.
  • Prams are similar in design to dories except that they have wider bodies and tapper down to flattened, or rounded, afts and sterns instead of points. They can generally seat up to 4 passengers.

Fishing kayaks have recently started to become popular for fresh water and salt water fishing due to their affordability and low maintenance costs. Specially designed models include hatches, rod holders, and compartments for gear storage.

Runabouts are adaptable boats that can be used in water sports or fishing.

Bass boats are designed with a low, sleek, profile that provides maximum maneuverability in salt and freshwater. They are between 16-26 feet, often made of aluminum, can seat three people comfortably, and are commonly equipped with a trolling motor and outboard motor in the front of the boat. Most have compartments for storage of bait, gear, fish, and other items.

Center console boats have a console in the center, allowing for free movement on the surrounding boat deck, and can range from 13 to 45 feet in length.

Cabin cruisers are power boats that can accommodate passengers and crew. Built to fish in rough ocean waters, they usually range from 25 to 45 feet in length. Most contain compartments for storing gear, other items, and fittings to hold rods.

Deck boats most commonly consist of a single flat-deck that is constructed over multiple pontoons, providing enough space for between 8 to 20 people to fish.

Cruising yachts generally are powered by up to two diesel internal combustion engines. They have sufficient cabin space and amenities for living on board for extended periods of time.

This basic overview of recreational boats used for fishing should provide enough information for buyers to narrow their options down to just the right new or used boat that they can buy to meet their boating needs and preferences.

Boat Parts

Fish and Depth Finders
Navigation Lights
OEM and Addon Gauges
Boat Covers
Bimini Tops
Bilge Pumps