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Sportfish Boat Buying Guide
What Are Sportfish Boats?
Sportfish boats, also known as sportfishing boats or sportfisher, are powerboats designed for the open ocean. Owners of sportfishing boats are looking for the ultimate recreational fishing experience. These large boats are built for those looking to chase big-game fish like marlin, tuna, and wahoo. They can withstand rough conditions and come with galleys, cabins, enclosed bridge areas and berths needed for deep-sea fishing.
Although sportfishing boats have massive fuel tanks and powerboat features needed for long-range fishing trips, they also come with luxury yachting amenities. They are great to enjoy a full day of fishing while exploring the deepest parts of the ocean with family and friends. Some of the top sportfish boat models include Bertram, Boston Whaler, Grady-White, Hatteras and Viking.
What Are The Different Types of Sportfisher Boat Hulls?
Sportfisher hulls are boats designed with seaworthiness and comfort in mind for long distance cruising while ensuring they can cruise through any sea condition.
- Monohulls include flat-bottom skiffs, moderate-V, and deep-V boats.
- Multihull sportfish boats are known for their deck space and stability at rest.
- Flat hull boats have even more stability and are easier to build, but they tend to handle waves harshly.
The vessel’s ride is improved by an increase in the design of the hull’s angle to form a V.
Variable-deadrise hull boats have the lowest or deepest section of the hull form a steep angle, and each subsequent section between the longitudinal strakes (the ridges that run fore and aft) angles less and less. This graduated deadrise is said to lessen the impact because of the deep angle at the keel. Flattening the deadrise as it approaches the chines (where the hull bottom meets the sides) provides some of the stability benefits of a flatter hull.
What Equipment Do Sportfish Boats Come With?
Many sportfish boats come with the equipment needed to fight and catch the biggest fish, including kill boxes, outriggers, towers, ice makers, tuna towers, live bait wells, large tackling stations, and much more. On top of fishing boat specific equipment, boats designed for sportfishing, such as Boston Whaler or Viking brands, also include enclosed bridge spaces for protection against the elements. Sportfisher model boats are powered by sterndrive, pod drives, big outboard, or inboard diesel engines. These fishing yachts can cruise at 30 knots or faster.
How Fast do Sportfishing Boats Go?
While the speed of a sportfishing fish boat will depend on the size and engine power, on average, most will be able to reach a cruising speed of 25 knots and up, with a maximum speed of around 30 knots so make excellent choices for saltwater fishing and overnight trips to some of the best fishing grounds. When traveling at speed to your destination, the enclosed bridge will keep the operator of the boat dry and provide excellent visibility.
What is the Range of a Sportfisher?
Similar to the speed, the range of a sportfisher will depend on a few factors. What is the size of the engine onboard? Do you have extra space for fuel storage? How fast are you driving (the faster you go, the more fuel you’ll consume)? To err on the conservative side, most sportfishing boats will be able to travel a few hundred miles, to thousands, so make excellent choices for traveling long distances. If you have additional room for fuel storage, you’ll also be able to fuel up on the go, meaning you can leave the dock for more than a few days at a time.
Why are Sport Fish Boats so Expensive?
Comparatively speaking, sport fishing boats (especially those by a custom builder) can be more expensive than yachts of a similar size and capacity. Usually, sport fishing boats use the latest design and technological innovations and need to be exceptionally seaworthy for traveling at great speeds or hauling in heavy fish from time spent in adventurous fishing grounds. Some of the reasons why sportfishing boats are so expensive are:
- Design – In order to be able to travel long distances for saltwater fishing and overnight cruising, sportfish boats have to be built with sturdy hulls and constructed of reliable materials.
- Engine Power – Sportfisher models usually require a hefty engine in order to battle the sea conditions and to be at sea for longer periods if used for saltwater fishing and overnight trips.
- Electronics – Like many vessels these days, sportfishing boats will require the latest technology to run. However, they will also require additional technology and electrical requirements when being used as a fishing yacht. If you’re looking for sonar or added tech to help you find the best fishing grounds, the costs will rise. But don’t worry, most sportfishing yachts will come with an enclosed bridge to keep all of your expensive equipment protected from the elements.
- Custom Builders – Boats designed by custom builders (such as Boston Whaler) will also carry a higher price tag (across all yacht types). The same is true for sportfish models and yachts looking to go saltwater fishing and overnight cruising.