Are you looking to purchase your first fishing boat or upgrade an existing vessel? As exciting as boat shopping is, it’s also a considerable investment.
So, how much does a fishing boat cost? A brand new, fully equipped midrange fishing boat will cost between $20,000 and $50,000, depending on the make and model. Boats in this price range usually come with a trailer, outboard motor, and standard features. On the other hand, good used midrange fishing boats cost between $18,000 and $35,000.
With so many different types of fishing boats, prices vary greatly, ranging from $10,000 to several million dollars. Let’s not forget that the brand, size, add-ons, and features make a huge difference in boat prices.
Read on to learn how much fishing boats cost based on their size and what type of boat is the best for you.
Fishing Boat Average Prices
Whether you’re into freshwater or saltwater fishing, there is a boat that will suit your every need. The type of boat you’ll get will depend on how much money you’re willing to spend to have the features, add-ons, and comfort you desire.
Here’s what you can expect in terms of boat cost depending on the size of the vessel:
Small fishing boats within the 16-to-20-foot range include skiffs, Jon boats, small central consoles, and dual consoles. Small boat prices range from $10,000 to $50,000 and more for high-end brands for brand new vessels.
Low-cost fishing boat brands include Sea Hunt and Tidewater. Boston Whaler and Grady White are high-end brands that specialize in crafting smaller fishing boats. Most smaller vessels are equipped with single-engine and essential fishing accessories like rod holders, basic electronics, and maybe even some family-friendly features.
A midrange new small boat will cost anywhere from $25,000 to $45,000. The final price tag will depend on the added features you decide to install. Factor in the cost of a trailer, power pole, and dual live wells if you choose to add them to the boat.
Within the mid-size range, you’ll likely find boats ranging from 21-to-25 feet long with basic offshore qualities. New mid-size fishing boats cost from $50,000 to over $100,000.
Mid-size fishing boats below 24 feet usually have a single-engine, but there are a few models within 24-to-25 feet range boats with twin engines. Having a second engine is a significant factor when it comes to price, as is the brand’s name and the quality of craftsmanship.
Most mid-size fishing vessels feature a center console or a dual console, and few other designs are available. These types of mid-size fishing vessels are an excellent choice for anglers looking for a reliable family-friendly fishing vessel.
Larger Twin Engine Fishing Vessels
Large twin engine fishing boats from 26-to-30 feet long are ideal for seasoned fishermen looking for the dependability of two engines. With the added bells and whistles comes a higher price tag, placing these boats in the $150,000 to $300,000 range.
Finding a used boat in this range is common as many anglers don’t have the budget to buy brand-new twin-engine boats.
Hardtops, full-size electronics, outriggers, and countless other features increase the price of fishing boats in this range. Regulator and Contender are well-known brands within this range, as are smaller end cuddy-cabin boats and central consoles.
Keep in mind that trailers for larger twin-engine fishing boats are also expensive, so don’t forget to factor the extra cost into your budget.
High-End Large Fishing Vessels
High-end large fishing boats ranging from 32-to-36 feet are suitable for tournament fishermen and offshore admirers. Depending on the setup, fishing boats in this range usually cost from $200,000 to over $450,000.
High-end brands such as Boston Whaler, Yellowfin, and Invincible are the most common in this range, and the price reflects that. Larger high-end boats typically feature trip engines, top-notch electronics, autopilot, and many custom fishing add-on options.
Buying used or high-end fishing boats on sale are popular in this category, as most anglers are looking to get the most for their money. Buying a new fishing boat in this range can easily cost you over $400,000. Still, you’ll end up with a dependable fishing vessel that will take you offshore for many years to come.
Cuddy-cabins, center console, and walkaround are the most popular types of large high-end fishing boats.
Types of Fishing Boats
There are many different types of fishing boats, from small Jon boats used in lakes and ponds to large offshore fishing boats that can carry you many miles off the coast. Which type of fishing boat is best for you depends on the species of fish you plan to catch, the type of water you prefer to fish in, and your budget.
Here are the most popular types of fishing boats based on the type of the water you want to fish in:
Freshwater Fishing Boats
As their name suggests, freshwater fishing boats are specifically designed to be used in freshwater only. Freshwater fishing boats are generally lighter, shorter, and have a slim profile, and shallower drafts than saltwater fishing boats.
Many freshwater fishing boats are made from materials that deteriorate quickly in saltwater. Still, they can withstand being exposed to freshwater without any issues.
Freshwater fishing boats are mainly used to catch different types of freshwater fish. But they can also be used for entertaining guests, watersports, or for a relaxing cruise on the water. If you’re mostly fishing in freshwater, there are several types of freshwater boats to choose from, including:
- Aluminum fishing boats
- Jon boats
- Bass boats
- Pontoon boats
Saltwater Fishing Boats
Unlike freshwater fishing boats, saltwater fishing boats are designed to withstand harsh ocean conditions. These boats are built from materials that can withstand the corrosive nature of saltwater.
Saltwater fishing boats vary in shape and size but are typically built with increased strength, stability, and durability to withstand open water conditions.
Besides being used for catching fish, saltwater fishing boats allow you to spend quality time with your friends and family or explore the open waters and enjoy the day in the sun. Whether you prefer deep-sea fishing or angling in peaceful coastal waterways, saltwater fishing boats provide an array of opportunities for recreational fishing or a family boating adventure.
Depending on the type of fish you like to catch and your needs, there are the best types of saltwater fishing boats to choose from:
- Center console fishing boats
- Dual console fishing boats
- Convertibles and sporting yachts
- Lobster and Downeast boats
- Multi-hull powerboats
What Type of a Fishing Boat Do I Need?
What is the best type of fishing boat for you depends on the type of water you want to fish in and the species of fish you want to take.
If you’re mostly fishing in freshwater, choose a freshwater fishing boat. There are several types of freshwater boats, so do some research and choose one to fulfill your needs.
On the other hand, buy a saltwater fishing boat if you like to go offshore and prefer saltwater fishing. Choose a type of saltwater boat based on the type of fish you’ll catch, and the time you’ll spend on the water.
What Fishing Boat Size Should I Choose?
The size of a fishing boat will greatly impact its price. Larger fishing boats cost more than smaller fishing boats as they are more expensive to manufacture. Building a large boat entails spending more material and using a bigger outboard motor and a larger trailer.
Buying a much larger boat than you actually need, will make a big dent in your budget and might be a bad investment if you don’t use the boat often.
On the other hand, choosing a smaller boat than you need is as illogical as buying a much larger boat. Buying a smaller boat means you won’t have enough room for your family and friends and fishing gear. The only way a smaller boat will work is if you don’t mind spending an entire fishing trip cramped.
In case you end up buying a smaller boat, chances are you’ll be looking for an upgrade sooner than you think. When it comes to the size of the boat, it’s all about finding the boat that meets your every need.
Fishing boats are expensive. Staying within a budget and buying a good fishing boat that meets your every need is harder than it may seem.
A good fishing boat can last you many years, so spend some time researching different models to find the one that meets all your needs. Don’t forget that a boat is a considerable investment for a vehicle that will spend most of the year in storage, so spend your money wisely.