What Size Fishing Boat Do I Need?

What Size Fishing Boat Do I Need?

March 22, 2024
What Size Fishing Boat Do I Need?

Size is an essential consideration when purchasing a fishing boat. An undersized boat can lack the necessary space for passengers and fishing equipment. It can also increase your risk of capsizing when fishing in deep waters or storms.

Likewise, a boat that’s too large for your fishing applications can be an impractical investment. A bigger boat may not make sense if:

  • You only plan to fish in shallow, light-duty waters.
  • You fish independently or with a maximum of two passengers.
  • You have limited space to store your vessel.
  • You lack the time and desire to maintain a large boat.

How do you determine the ideal boat size for your fishing endeavors? Here’s your guide to the best fishing boat sizes for different uses, including offshore, inshore and bay fishing.

What Size Boat Should I Use for Offshore Fishing?

What Size Boat Should I Use for Offshore Fishing?

Offshore fishing occurs several miles away from the shoreline. Water exceeds depths of 100 feet, which is why it’s often called “deep sea fishing.” Offshore fishing targets larger fish that swim in deeper waters.

As you can likely imagine, these heavy-duty waters call for larger, more durable boats. Your boat should be sturdy enough to handle intense waves and unpredictable weather. If you use a smaller vessel for offshore fishing, open waters can toss and turn your boat, putting you in danger of capsizing.

Opting for a larger boat size will keep you and your passengers safe during your deep-sea excursions. An offshore fishing boat should be 30-40 feet long or larger. That way, it can withstand rough weather conditions and long-distance travel.

Offshore fishing vessels have robust construction and horsepower to take on challenging waters. They also offer ample storage space for fishing supplies and equipment.

What Size Boat Should I Use for Inshore Fishing?

While offshore fishing calls for longer vessels, you can use slightly smaller boats for inshore fishing. Inshore fishing takes place within a few miles of the shoreline in waters 100 feet deep or less. To that end, you’ll need something that can tackle shallow areas and cut through tight corners.

Inshore fishing warrants a boat that can:

  • Fit in more compact, hard-to-reach coastal locations.
  • Navigate shallow water.

A vessel size of 17-22 feet is suitable for this type of fishing. This boat length allows easy maneuverability for tight turns. Passengers can also enjoy a comfortable ride.

What Size Boat Should I Use for Bay and Lake Fishing?

When it comes to bay and lake fishing, it’s key to strike a balance between size, versatility and comfort. While bays can have large and choppy waters, their waves aren’t nearly as powerful as the deep sea. Bays also tend to have more obstacles like buoys, markers and other boats.

With that in mind, you’ll want a vessel that can easily maneuver crowded bays and migrate into the open water on calm days. A boat size of 20-30 feet is perfect for most bay and lake fishing applications. This versatile size can withstand various weather conditions. It’s also roomy enough to accommodate multiple riders and offer a comfortable experience on the water.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fishing Boat Size

Several variables go into picking a fishing boat size. Think about where your primary fishing spot will be and how many passengers will accompany you. You’ll also need to account for boat storage and transportation. Consider the following factors when determining the right boat size for your fishing adventures.

1. Weather and Water Conditions

Think about the type of water you will use the boat on. If you plan to journey beyond the coast and take on the open waters, a longer vessel designed for offshore use is a must-have.

Water and geological conditions will influence your fishing boat size. For example, say your area is prone to large waves and storms. In that case, you’ll want something large and robust to protect you and your passengers during inclement weather. However, a smaller boat size will suffice if you plan to fish in milder waters and shallow areas closer to the coast.

2. Storage

Boats take up significant space. You’ll need to make storage arrangements before selecting and purchasing your vessel.

The last thing you want is to find your dream boat and complete the transaction, only to find out you don’t have enough room to store it. If you’ll be keeping your boat in a garage or another storage facility, measure the space to ensure it will accommodate the length of your boat.

Wet storage — such as keeping your boat at a marina — could be an option if you’re in an area where temperatures don’t dip below freezing. However, you’ll need to rent a marina slip unless you own the dock. A marina slip is essentially a parking space for your boat.

3. Travel and Transportation

Consider how you’ll transport the boat on a typical fishing day. For instance, if you purchase a larger boat, you’ll likely need a truck and trailer to tow it. You may be limited to a smaller vessel if you don’t have a vehicle big enough to tow it.

Transportation will determine where you can fish, so it’s important to plan accordingly. Of course, travel will be less of a concern if you store your boat at a marina full-time and frequently fish in that area.

4. The Number of Passengers

Think about your average crew size when selecting a fishing vessel. Perhaps a typical day will consist of you and your partner or three to four immediate family members. Do you anticipate a party of five or more out on the water?

If you regularly plan to host a large group, you’ll naturally require a longer boat with abundant seating. A smaller model with fewer seats may be better if you frequently hit the water solo or with a more intimate group.

Find the Right Fishing Boat Size With Formula Boats

Whether you need a sizeable boat for offshore fishing or you’re starting with a smaller model, Formula Boats can help you find what you need. You’ll find an extensive inventory on our website, from bowriders and sport cruisers to center console boats.

Best of all, we can customize our products to your unique fishing needs. You can personalize your boat to your desired number of passengers, size and fishing conditions. You can also customize features like your engine, cabin accessories and interior colors.

Design the perfect boat for your fishing expeditions with Formula Boats. Browse our catalog or find a dealer near you today! You can also contact us if you need help determining the right fishing boat specifications.

Find the Right Fishing Boat Size With Formula Boats
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