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Dual Console Boats: The Ultimate Guide to Versatile Vessels

Dual console boats offer versatility and functionality for boating enthusiasts who value comfort, performance, and ease of use. These boats strike a balance between fishing, cruising, entertaining, and watersports, making them suitable for families and anglers alike. Known for their spacious layouts and capable performance, dual console boats have proven to be a popular choice for those seeking a multipurpose watercraft.

As manufacturers continue to innovate, dual console boats now incorporate more fishing amenities such as rod holders, extra storage, insulated fish boxes, and advanced electronics, while maintaining the comfort of a closeable cockpit and spacious forward seating. With options spanning budget-friendly models to unique, bespoke choices, there is a dual console boat on the market to cater to virtually every boating need and preference.

When considering a dual console boat, it is important to keep in mind the cost of ownership, and to explore the variety of options and features available from various manufacturers. Whatever your boating lifestyle may be, a dual console boat could be the perfect fit to facilitate countless memorable experiences on the water.

Types of Dual Console Boats

Dual console boats offer a versatile and balanced experience for boating enthusiasts. They are available in various models and sizes, catering to the specific needs and preferences of their users. In this section, we will explore some of the popular types of dual console boats that are popular in the market.

1. Boston Whaler 320 Vantage - Designed for rough open-water conditions, the Boston Whaler 320 Vantage is an award-winning boat, known for its reliable performance and innovative design.

2. Grady-White Freedom 375 - Regarded as one of the best overall dual console boats, the Grady-White Freedom 375 combines luxury with functionality, offering a smooth and enjoyable ride.

3. Edgewater 280CX Crossover - As a premium choice for dual console boats, the Edgewater 280CX Crossover boasts of features such as ample storage, comfortable seating, and a well-equipped cabin area.

4. Scout 175 Sport Dorado - A budget-friendly option, the Scout 175 Sport Dorado is suitable for smaller families or those just starting their boating journey.

Among the numerous dual console boat models available, it's crucial to consider factors such as intended usage, preferred features, and budget when selecting the ideal boat for you. Each of the aforementioned options offers distinctive characteristics, catering to different requirements of boating enthusiasts.

Features and Benefits

Dual console boats offer a versatile and comfortable experience for both anglers and leisure-seekers alike. These boats often combine the features of a center-console fishing machine with a sportboat design, providing entertainment, cruising capabilities, and fishing features all in one package (Sport Fishing Mag).

Among their most notable features are spacious seating areas suitable for several guests, air conditioning inside the console area and at the helm, and sunroof options to shield passengers on sunny days. These amenities ensure that everyone on board has an enjoyable time regardless of their preferred activities (Boat Safe).

When it comes to fishing activities, dual console boats often include fish boxes, live wells, and ample storage for tackle and equipment, eliminating the need to carry heavy tackle boxes on and off the boat each time (Sport Fishing Mag). Additionally, these boats are characterized by their outboard propulsion, which provides a smooth ride and easy maneuverability when navigating offshore waters (Century Boats).

Another advantage of dual console boats is their flexible and functional design, which allows them to efficiently perform several tasks such as cruising, watersports, snorkeling, and fishing. Known as the "SUV of boats," they cater to various on-water activities and offer a versatile boating experience to meet the needs of different individuals and families (Century Boats).

Popular Brands and Models

Dual console boats have gained popularity among anglers and recreational boaters alike, thanks to their versatility and comfort. Numerous manufacturers offer outstanding options in this category, with some standout brands and models worth mentioning.

Grady-White Freedom 375: Known for its excellent performance and great build quality, the Grady-White Freedom 375 is an ideal choice for those looking for a well-rounded dual-console boat. This model offers exceptional comfort features, rigging for serious fishing, and a stylish design.

Edgewater 280CX Crossover: As a premium option, the Edgewater 280CX Crossover combines the best of both comfort and fishing capabilities. With its modern design and impressive performance, the 280CX is a fantastic choice for those willing to invest in a higher-end dual-console boat.

Scout 175 Sport Dorado: For boaters on a budget, the Scout 175 Sport Dorado offers a great balance of affordability and functionality. This model is perfect for those who want to enjoy the benefits of a dual-console without breaking the bank.

In addition to these popular models, there are other noteworthy options available in the dual-console boat category. For instance, the Cobia Boats lineup offers large, unobstructed cockpits perfect for a wide range of on-water activities. Remember to research each brand and model thoroughly to find the best boat that suits your needs and preferences.

Buying Guide

When considering a dual console boat, it's important to carefully evaluate features to ensure the boat meets your specific needs. Below is a buying guide to help you choose the right dual console boat.

Fishing Features

Dual console boats should offer a range of saltwater fishing features to make your angling experience enjoyable. Look for boats that have ample rod storage, baitwells, and fish boxes. A large, unobstructed cockpit is crucial as it allows for versatile fishing activities and ease of movement. Sport Fishing Mag highlights the importance of combining both fishing and family-friendly features in dual console boats.

Family-Friendly Amenities

One of the distinguishing factors of dual console boats is their ability to cater to both fishing and family activities. Look for boats that offer comfortable seating, water sport options, and ample storage for recreational equipment. A full windshield and hardtop can offer protection from the elements and make the boat more family-friendly, as mentioned by Marlin Magazine.

Size and Layout

Consider the size of the boat relative to your needs and how it will be used. Evaluate the layout of the boat, ensuring there is adequate space for passengers and gear, as well as easy access to essential controls and amenities for both fishing and family outings.

Performance and Handling

It's crucial to choose a dual console boat with reliable performance and handling on the water. Take into account factors such as horsepower, fuel efficiency, and overall maneuverability. Research each boat's specifications and, if possible, test drive the boat before making a decision.

By evaluating these features, you can make a well-informed decision when choosing the perfect dual console boat for your fishing and family adventures.

Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance is essential for keeping your dual console boat in top condition. It ensures a smooth sailing experience and prolongs the life of your investment. Here are some general maintenance tips for your dual console boat:

1. Uncover, Clean, and Inspect: Before launching your boat, uncover it and give it a thorough cleaning inside and out. Use this opportunity to inspect the hull for any cracks, gouges, or missing rivets. Fix any issues you notice before your boat hits the water (Pursuit Boats).

2. Fiberglass and Gelcoat Care: The fiberglass and gelcoat on your boat require regular cleaning, waxing, and polishing. This not only improves the appearance of your boat but also prevents oxidation that causes dullness and chalkiness (

3. Engine Maintenance: Keep your boat's engine in top shape by checking the oil and drive lubricant regularly. Ensure fishing line isn't wrapped around the prop shaft, and clean all moving parts and fittings (BoatUS).

4. Electronics Care: Inspect and clean your boat's electronics, including GPS and trolling motors. Keep them in good working condition to ensure proper functioning during your time on the water (Sport Fishing Mag).

Remember, regular maintenance can go a long way in helping your dual console boat last longer and provide a more enjoyable experience on the water.


In summary, dual console boats provide versatility and functionality for a wide range of boating activities. These boats cater to serious anglers, families, and those who enjoy various water sports. With improved fishing features, comfortable seating, and advanced electronics, dual console boats have become an increasingly popular choice among boating enthusiasts.

As the market for dual console boats continues to evolve, manufacturers are incorporating new features that enhance both comfort and functionality. Some popular dual console boat models for 2023 include the Grady-White Freedom 375Edgewater 280CX Crossover, and Scout 175 Sport Dorado.

When considering a dual console boat, it is essential to focus on factors such as size, price, and amenities that suit your specific needs. Depending on the intended usage, varying features can play a significant role in determining the right boat for you. By evaluating different models and gathering information from reliable sources like Boat Bub and Marlin Magazine, you can make an informed decision about the best dual console boat for your unique lifestyle.

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