Discover Types & Styles

Center Console Boats

Center console boats are versatile and popular vessels designed for a variety of on-water activities. These boats typically range in size between 18 and 40 feet, with an average price of around $97,000. Powered by outboard engines, they are well-suited for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, as well as day cruising adventures with family and friends.

The primary feature of a center console boat is the placement of the steering console and helm at the center of the vessel, offering 360-degree access around the boat. This design aspect allows for easier fishing and improved maneuverability, as well as providing ample storage and seating options for passengers. Some popular center console boat models include Yamaha 190 FSH Sport, 255 FSH Sport E, 222 FSH Sport, and 252 FSH Sport.

Furthermore, center console boats often come with a variety of cutting-edge technologies, advanced navigation systems, and user-friendly features that cater to both seasoned boaters and first-time boat buyers alike. As a result, these boats continue to attract individuals who appreciate their blend of functionality, ease of use, and recreational appeal.

History of Center Console Boats

The concept of center console boats can be traced back to the early days of the fiberglass boat industry. They were originally built for the consumer market with the aim of providing a versatile platform for recreational activities like fishing and cruising. One of the early pioneers in this category was the company that introduced the first line of center console boats for consumers and pioneered the fiberglass stringer system, as well as the concept of the "tuna tower" often seen on modern boats today. (Source)

Over the years, center console boats have evolved to become more sophisticated, accommodating the needs of different boating enthusiasts. Modern center console boats have grown in size, speed, and features while maintaining their core advantages. Boat manufacturers have continued to innovate in order to create center console boats that are increasingly adaptable to different fishing and boating situations. (InTheBite)

The improvements in construction, speed, and onboard comforts have made center console boats dominate the boating market. These advancements cater to diverse requirements, making these boats popular choices for various water-based activities such as fishing, water sports, and family outings. (Tampa Magazine)

Design and Features

Center console boats are versatile vessels designed primarily for fishing activities but can also be used for other water-based recreational purposes. Their distinguishing feature is the centrally located console with a steering station, which provides unobstructed access around the entire boat for anglers.

When it comes to hull design, center console boats often come with various options, depending on the type of water and intended use. Some boats, like the Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless, have a deeper v-hull, providing stability and a smoother ride in rough waters. In contrast, others have a more moderate or shallow v-hull, which allows for better maneuverability in shallow water.

Construction materials used for center console boats also differ, with some manufacturers choosing fiberglass for its durability and low maintenance requirements. Others may use aluminum, which is lighter and more cost-effective but may require more frequent upkeep. 

For angling enthusiasts, various key features make center console boats an attractive option. Some boats come equipped with ample rod holders, baitwells, tackle storage, and fish boxes to cater to various fishing needs. Additionally, some larger center console boats can accommodate features like outriggers or downriggers, enhancing the fishing experience and expanding the range of fishing techniques that can be employed.

Comfort and convenience are also important when spending long hours on the water, so center console boats often provide seating options and amenities such as a head compartment, beverage holders, and built-in coolers. Some boats even offer sunshade options, like T-tops or canvas, to protect from sun exposure and provide some relief from the heat.

Sizes of center console boats can vary significantly, with smaller models starting around 17 feet and larger ones reaching up to 65 feet. This wide range of sizes means that there are center console boats available for different budgets and functionality preferences.

Popular Uses and Activities

Center console boats are renowned for their versatility, making them suitable for various activities on the water. One of the primary uses of these boats is for fishing. Their design is ideal for different types of fishing boats and allows anglers to move around the boat easily while casting and reeling in their catch(Boat Trader Blog).

Another popular activity that center console boats are often used for is family time on the water. Their spacious design and flexible layout make them ideal for accommodating family and friends, whether they're out for a day of swimming, picnicking, or just soaking up the sun.

In addition to fishing and family time, center console boats can also be utilized for day-cruising and port-to-port travels. With their luxurious yet functional design, these boats offer a comfortable ride and the ability to explore new destinations with ease(Robb Report).

Watersports enthusiasts also appreciate center console boats for their adaptability. Many models are equipped with powerful engines and features designed for towing, making them ideal for activities such as wakeboarding, water skiing, and tubing.

Overall, center console boats are a popular choice for those who value versatility, comfort, and the capacity to engage in a wide range of on-water activities.

Best Brands and Models

When it comes to center console boats, several brands and models consistently stand out for their quality, performance, and features. Some of the top brands in the market include Boston Whaler, Grady-White, Pursuit, Regulator, Scout, SeaVee, and Valhalla.

Among these reputable brands, we've compiled a list of some of the best center console boat models that cater to a variety of budgets and preferences:

  • Everglades 455CC - A versatile offshore champion day boat with uncompromising fishability.
  • Boston Whaler 350 Outrage - A high-performance model that offers a balance of luxury and functionality.
  • Cobia 350 CC - A premium choice with advanced features and superior craftsmanship.
  • Bayliner Trophy T22CC - A best budget pick that provides exceptional value without sacrificing performance.
  • Sportsman Open 262 Center Console - A reliable and versatile option perfect for fishing enthusiasts and leisure boaters alike.
  • Grady-White Canyon 456 - A feature-rich boat designed for offshore fishing and recreation.
  • Invincible 33 Catamaran - A sleek and powerful catamaran offering excellent stability and speed.

While these models are top picks, it's important to consider one's individual needs and preferences when selecting a center console boat. With so many great options available, you're sure to find the perfect boat that fits your unique boating lifestyle and requirements.

Section 6: Buying Tips and Considerations

When purchasing a center console boat, deciding whether you'd like a brand new or used vessel is critical. Assess your budget, preferences, and intended use before making a decision. To find the perfect boat, it is important to shop around and explore various options.

Pay attention to the boat's hull design. Opting for a deep-V hull can provide a smoother and more comfortable ride, while a sufficient amount of bow flair ensures a dry ride. Additionally, a heavier boat typically offers a better riding experience.

Consider the following features when evaluating center console boats:

  • Size and layout: Choose a boat that fits your desired fishing style and can accommodate the number of passengers you typically have on board.
  • Performance and efficiency: Research the boat's power, speed, and fuel consumption.
  • Storage and fishability: Check for the presence of live wells, rod holders, tackle storage, and casting space.
  • Electronics and navigation: Review the available equipment, such as GPS, fish finders, and radar systems.

Lastly, always inspect the boat thoroughly before finalizing your decision. This includes checking for any signs of damage, corrosion, or mechanical issues. If possible, take the boat for a sea trial to ensure its performance meets your expectations.

Maintenance and Storage

Maintaining your center console boat is an essential task to ensure its longevity and performance. Regular maintenance involves checking various components, such as fuel connections, steering connections, battery connections, and hoses [source]. Additionally, thorough cleaning is necessary, particularly for saltwater boats, to prevent buildup and corrosion [source].

Here is a brief checklist for maintaining your center console boat:

  • Inspect fuel connections for any leaks or wear.
  • Check steering connections to ensure smooth operation.
  • Examine battery connections for signs of corrosion or damage.
  • Inspect hoses for cracks, leaks, or stiffness.
  • Wash and dry the boat after each use, especially in saltwater environments.
  • Apply anti-corrosion agents to metal components as needed.

Proper storage of a center console boat is also crucial, especially during the offseason. Make sure to follow these steps:

  1. Drain water from the bilge and other compartments.
  2. Flush the engine with freshwater and store it in a dry place.
  3. Remove any valuables, electronics, and perishable items from the boat.
  4. Cover the boat with a high-quality, UV-resistant cover to protect it from the elements.

By following these maintenance and storage tips, you'll help ensure that your center console boat remains in optimal condition and is ready for use when needed.


Center console boats have gained popularity among boating enthusiasts due to their versatility and ease of use. The ease of operation, maintenance, and mechanical simplicity make these boats an attractive option for various activities, including fishing, cruising, and water sports.

One of the key advantages of center console boats is their maneuverability and functional storage options in the forward, central, and aft areas. This design allows for efficient use of space while providing convenient access to all parts of the boat.

Offshore fishing enthusiasts also appreciate center console boats for their adaptability to larger sizes and increased power capabilities, accommodating a growing demand for high-power outboard motors. With a main steering and helm station situated in the middle, boaters experience optimal visibility and overall control of their vessel.

In summary, center console boats provide a combination of maneuverability, functionality, and versatility that appeals to a wide range of boating preferences. Investing in a center console boat can offer numerous benefits for various water-based pursuits.


SeaMag's Center Console Buying Experience

As I made his way through the bustling Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, I couldn't help but notice the sea of center console boats for sale. From commercial to recreational vessels, it seemed like every boat dealer in Florida had something to offer.

But I was a man on a mission: to find the best center console boat for sale in Fort Lauderdale. I knew that this type of boat was perfect for freshwater fishing and that experts in the center of console reviews often rated them as some of the best recreational vessels on the market.

I spoke to both traders and professional yacht brokers, but it was the boat dealerships that really caught my attention. They had the widest selection of center consoles boats and could provide all the information I needed on propulsion systems, fuel systems, and more.

I was particularly interested in a center mounted console boat, as it offered both protection from the elements and easy access to controls. I had heard great things about Sea Hunt boats and was impressed with their deep Vee and air conditioning options.

As I continued my search, I came across a modified V medium-sized Hydrosports boat that caught my eye. The boat was trailerable, which meant I could easily transport it to places like Key West and the St. Johns River for some serious fishing.

But I was focused on finding the perfect family boat that could serve all my needs. I wanted a boat that was both gas and electric, with more power and the ability to trailer frequently.

After a thorough search, I finally found the best center console boat for sale in Lighthouse Point, FL. It was a beautiful cabin boat with commercial-grade controls, perfect for deep-sea fishing and protection from the sun. The FL Yachts builders had truly outdone themselves with this masterpiece.

As I sat on my new boat, I couldn't help but feel grateful for the professionals who had helped me find it. I had a crew that I could trust to take care of all my needs, from the propulsion system to the fuel system. And he knew that I had found a boat that would serve me and my family for years to come.

Q&A With The Motor Boaters Association

Welcome, Steve, from the National Boat Buyers association. It's great to have you here today to talk about center console boats for sale. There's a lot of buzz about the best center console boats out there. Let's dive right in!

Steve: Thanks, Charlie, I'm excited to discuss the featured center console brands and explore what’s available, especially in South Carolina, a hub for boating enthusiasts.

Charlie: Fantastic! Can you tell us about some of the leading brands like Boston Whaler and what makes them a Class Center console boat?

Steve: Certainly. Boston Whaler is renowned for their unique hull types, including the popular modified V design. They offer a variety of lengths, with the average length ranging from 20 to 40 feet. The hold designs are carefully crafted to enhance stability and performance.

Charlie: Speaking of filtering boats, is there a way to categorize them by length, from shortest to longest, or even by price, from highest to lowest or vice versa?

Steve: Yes, Charlie. On our website, buyers can filter boats by price from lowest to highest or highest to lowest, length from shortest to longest, and even length from longest to shortest. We offer gallery view and list view options to make it easier to browse.

Charlie: Fantastic! Now, I'm aware that some of our readers are visiting from the UK, and they might want to know about currency options. How does your association handle international inquiries?

Steve: Great question! We handle various currencies including USD US dollar, KR Norwegian Crone, FT Hungarian forint, K Czech Koruna, KR Swedish Krona, Zeel Polish Zloty, PY6 Russian ruble, KR Danish krone, Fr Swiss franc, New Zealand dollar, British pound, and Canadian dollar.

Charlie: That's comprehensive! Let's talk about some cases where a request cannot be completed or there are no results matching a search. How do you assist customers then?

Steve: Well, Charlie, in cases where there are no results matching a search or a request cannot be completed, we provide immediate assistance. Sometimes, the server is temporarily down, or the user may have entered incorrect information. We prompt them to check the highlighted fields and try again or reload the page and try again.

Charlie: If someone wants to contact the seller directly, is that possible? And what's the process for posting messages?

Steve: Absolutely! Buyers can communicate directly to sellers. If they’re unable to post their message, we guide them to release it properly and provide additional information if needed. We even have a 'make a to Z' option, to view sellers alphabetically.

Charlie: Excellent. What if someone wants a more curated view of boats, say, in a certain country?

Steve: We have options to filter by country, boat type, and even make Z specific filters. If a visitor gets a "sorry no results matching" message, our team is there to assist and make sure they find the perfect match.

Steve: It's been a pleasure, Charlie. For anyone looking to buy, sell, or just explore the world of center console boats, we’re here to assist at the National Boat Buyers association. Thank you for having me!

Charlie: Thank you, Steve. Happy boating to all!

© 2023 SeaMag. All rights reserved.