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Fishing Boat Size - Does it Really Matter?

Fishing Boat Size - Does it Really Matter?

A first-time fishing boat purchase may leave a buyer a little lost when it comes to choosing the right size boat. Those who have been fishing a long time from their boats will surely understand that size does matter. But why… and how does someone choose the right size watercraft?

This is a great question and one we often see at Blackfin. There are a few factors to consider when trying to decide what size boat to purchase, and it does come down to more than just personal preference. Let's talk about the factors one by one and get this “size topic” handled once and for all.


Where Will She Roam?

One of the first questions that a boat sales professional will ask is where the boat will travel and reside. Whether rivers, coastal or offshore fishing is in the future, the size of the boat will matter for your comfort and safety.  

  • First

    - Determining the length overall (LOA) is important depending on where the boat will be kept. For example, a storage facility may have restrictions on how long/big the vessel can be to keep it onsite.  

  • Second

    - If the boat needs to be able to travel on the road from lakefront to sea-shore and everywhere in between; the size should be conducive to that sort of hauling in and out of the water regularly. A bigger vessel, staying in the water at a marina, may make more sense since there are likely fewer size restrictions.    

  • Third

    - If the vessel is going to be on riverways and likely never to see a massive body of water, smaller vessels may be a better fit. Anyone who plans to motor out 3 or 4 miles offshore, however, is going to need size and power to handle adverse sea conditions.


Some Basic Boat Sizing

There is a basic size chart (for lack of a better term) where a buyer can determine what size fishing boat suits them. Every boat buyer will be different and have different needs, but this is an excellent place to start.


Offshore Fishing = 30+ Feet

Offshore fishing vessels are designed to take on the unpredictable conditions that can often be found in our oceans. The offshore fishing vessel is built to be more robust and likely equipped with the right horsepower to handle rough water.


Inshore and River Fishing = 17-22 Feet

Inshore fishing boats allow for tight turning and shallow depths that are often found in coastal areas. They run fast, as these boats need to cover a good bit of distance, but also have a shallow draft so they can get close to coastal locations with ease.


Bay and Lake Fishing = 20-30 Feet

Bay and Lake fishing vessels are designed to be in larger bodies of water, but may not have to have over-the-top horsepower to get around. Bay and Lake fishermen may spend countless hours on their boats with their families and might need additional room and amenities for comfort.


Need more help in determining what size vessel to go with? The Blackfin family would be happy to assist. Stop by one of our dealerships to check out size options and talk with a professional about specific needs and options.

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