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Best Cheap Fishing Boat Brands, Affordable to Cheapest of All

Just what constitutes “cheap” is always open to interpretation, but in the world of boats there are few offerings on the market that meet most people’s definition—it’s difficult enough to find new models that most people would consider an affordable fishing boat, much less a cheap one. But tough job as it is, it’s not completely impossible. Just what might the average boat buyer consider cheap? Our definition is that it has to be below the average price of boats in the same size range, and represent a clear bargain and/or added value that makes it stand out from the crowd.


Cheap Fishing Boats

We’ll break out our selection of cheap fishing boats into more specific categories in a moment, but for a first look at top brands meeting our parameters, we’ll stick with fiberglass boats that make good all-around angling platforms yet aren’t necessarily targeting one specific type of fishing or another.



Bayliner boats are known for carrying low price tags, and their line of 18’2” to 24’0” center consoles certainly maintain that reputation. The T18 lists at $31,495 for the 2024 model year, and has a $4,500 discount that brings the number to $26,995—just a little more than half the average price of a new car. The T22CC, meanwhile, costs about a third less than most of its competitors. These are full-featured boats, with stock goodies like livewells, rod holders, stereos, and trailers included in the package. Bayliner boats for sale


Bayliner T22CC

Bayliner T22CC. Bayliner photo.


Carolina Skiff

Carolina Skiffs has always been known for offering fairly utilitarian fishing boats with relatively low price tags, but their new E-Series is what earns them a spot in this roundup. The E-Series boats range from 15’11” to 22’1”, and the E21 DLX and E24 DLX are both available in bare-bones kit forms. Either as tiller steers or with a console, you can get just a hull and motor and build out the boat from there the way you like it. That means you don’t pay one red cent for any feature or frill you don’t want to spend your hard-earned cash on. Carolina Skiffs boats for sale.


Carolina Skiff E 24 DLX

Carolina Skiff E24 DLX. Carolina Skiff photo. 



MayCraft boats have a reputation for being simple, straightforward boats with few cost-adding frills, and although judging specific pricing is difficult because they don’t publish specific MSRPs, a look at the listings of fishing boats for sale makes it clear that these are some of the most affordable fishing boats around. The lineup includes a wide range of fishing machines, too, including flat-bottom skiffs, center consoles, pilot house models, and bay boats. Each are available in a spartan base-boat form or can be customized with a list of additional options. As usual, however, checking all those options on the list will boost price accordingly. MayCraft boats for sale


Maycraft 25 Hancock Skiff

MayCraft 25 Hancock Skiff. MayCraft photo.



Tahoe is better known for its sport boats than its fishing boats, but they have several deck boats that come rigged to fish, plus a center console model, and all are sold with Tahoe’s “No Haggle No Hassle” advertised pricing. That pricing tends to be 20- to 30-percent below that of many competing brands, and Tahoe includes a long list of standard features that many other manufacturers consider cost-adding options. The 1950, for example, comes at base-level with a removable cooler, livewell, and fishing rod stowage, along with family features like a Kicker Bluetooth stereo system, ski tow pylon, and a removable dinette table. Tahoe boats for sale


Cheap Aluminum Fishing Boats

Aluminum fishing boats are an excellent option for many venues, and as a rule of thumb, relatively small aluminum boats tend to cost less than fiberglass models of the same size. Since they’re lighter, they also require less power, driving down not only initial purchase price but also operating expenses. If sticking to a limited budget is critical, these top picks should be on your must-see list.



Generally speaking, G3 boats are high-end for aluminum boats, and much of their line is going to be priced at or above some competitors. However, their Gator Tough Jon series is exceptionally affordable and still gets you a very well-built (if somewhat bare) fishing machine. Ranging from 14’10” to 19’10”, these boats are all-welded and feature 0.10” gauge hulls. Stepping into a new 15 FL can cost you as little as $12K with a 9.9-horse tiller steer and getting the boat with a 25-hp outboard price barely goes over $13,000. Added bonus: this surprisingly low price point includes a trailer. G3 boats for sale


G3 Gator Tough 18 CC DLX

G3 Gator Tough 18 CC DLX. G3 Boats photo. 


Lowe Boats

Lowe is one of the largest manufacturers of aluminum fishing boats, and as a result, it benefits from economies of scale. Their offerings regularly undercut the pricing of close competitors whether you’re looking at their Utility, Mod V, Deep-V, Bay, or Fish and Ski boats. Their range is so huge, it’s impossible to stipulate specific features or traits (there are a whopping 28 different offerings in the dedicated fishing boat lineup alone), but whether you’re looking for a bass boat or a fishing boat that’s also great for family cruising, you can bet that they offer it. Lowe boats for sale


Lowe Stinger 198

Lowe Stinger 198. Lowe Boats photo. 



This is another major brand that orders materials in bulk and passes on savings to customers. In fact, they offer a bewildering mix of boats ranging from pontoons to skiffs, not only in aluminum but in some cases in fiberglass as well. It’s the dual consoles (Renegade, Storm, Delta, Super Fisherman, STX, Fishmaster, Stealth, and Patriot lines), Freedom center consoles, and Alaskan, SL, SF and SF Delux skiffs that offer pricing that fits the bill for this roundup. Again, there are too many different options here to call out specifics. And in some cases the more gentrified models will creep out of affordable territory if you pile on lots of options and features. Those in search of an affordable aluminum fishing boat, however, should not miss checking these out. Starcraft boats for sale


Starcraft Patriot 16 DLX SC

Starcraft Patriot 16 DLX SC. Starcraft Marine photo. 


Tracker Boats

Tracker has a well-earned reputation for producing relatively inexpensive aluminum fishing boats, and once again it’s scale that makes it happen—in fact, Tracker claims to be the world’s best-selling fishing boat. Their lineup of Mod V, Deep V, and Jon boats includes 27 different options ranging from the 9’10” car-topping Grizzly 1036 Jon to the 21’5” Grizzly 2072 CC Sportsman. These are all sold with Tracker’s “No Haggle No Hassle” published MSRP pricing, and most of these models have a comprehensive collection of standard features (often including a trailer) with a very short list of cost-adding options. Tracker boats for sale


Cheap Inshore Fishing Boats

Inshore fishing can take many different forms, mostly varying according to geography—fishing in Alaska is quite different from fishing in Alabama, for example. And inshore fishing boats can be some of the most specialized types of fishing boats you’ll ever see. That said, all inshore angling machines need to be able to handle choppy waters, offer basic angling armaments, and in this case, cost less than the competition.



The Mako Pro Skiff lineup lands squarely into this roundup, with offerings from 13’6” to 19’4” that also sold as “No Haggle No Hassle” deals in complete boat-motor-trailer packages with a comprehensive list of standard features. The Pro Skiffs are designed around inshore shallow water fishing, with very low drafts (the 19 CC draws a mere nine inches of water) and angling accouterments like livewells, rod holders, and raised fore and aft casting platforms. They ride on the Inverted V hull form, which knocks down a chop and provides enhanced stability. Just how affordable are they? With a 90-hp outboard, the 19 CC listed at under $40,000 (2024 pricing), which is around 20- to 30-percent less than many similarly equipped competitors of the same size. Mako boats for sale


Sea Chaser

Sea Chaser boats are one of the brands owned by Carolina Skiffs, yet the model line is distinct because these are V-bottom boats designed for fishing in bigger inshore waters than a flat-bottom boat can handle. They come fairly well equipped but post pricing 15 or so percent below much of the competition (the 20 HFC started at $53,349 with a 150-hp Suzuki outboard (2024 pricing)). Angling basics like a livewell, a pair of flush-mount rodholders, and a raw water washdown appear in the standard features lists, and they also boast a few surprising standouts like coaming bolsters and underwater lights. Sea Chaser boats for sale


Sea Chaser 20 HFC

Sea Chaser 20 HFC. Sea Chaser photo. 



It will surprise many people to see the Sportsman brand on this list, because they certainly don’t build cheap boats. But appear here they do, because when you look at what Sportsman delivers, they offer far more bang for the buck than your average fishing boat. Look at competitors with a similar level of high-tech construction and equipment (such as Seakeeper Ride vessel attitude control, Sportlink integrated electronics systems with Garmin electronics, and digital switching) and you’ll see sky-high prices. Or look at other boats that merely have a similar level of equipment (items ranging from MFD/chartplotter/fishfinders to Sileather silicone fabrics) and again, you’ll see sky-high pricing. On the Sportsman line of deep-V and bay boats, you’ll get both for significantly less than other builders charge. Sportsman boats for sale


Sportsman Masters 267 OE

Sportsman Masters 267 OE. Sportsman photo. 


Cheap Offshore Fishing Boats

Offshore fishing boats need to run for dozens of miles at a time, to carry a full suite of fishing and navigational electronics, to haul hundreds of gallons of fuel, and to be built to handle oceanic conditions. OK, so let’s get real here, people—there’s really no such thing as a “cheap” offshore fishing boat. For most people it’s a stretch to find one that even qualifies as “affordable.” too. Truth be told, most of the best offshore fishing boat brands have price tags that would make Elon Musk shudder (or maybe think about getting into the boatbuilding biz). That said, some are less expensive than others. So, while acknowledging that these boats aren’t exactly inexpensive, we do want to call out the following brands for beating the others when it comes to not breaking the bank.



Dusky builds a number of boats that are offshore-capable, and they hold more or less with this brand’s simple-is-better approach. They tend to avoid piling on the cost-adding frills common to most modern high-dollar fishing machines, and since all are custom built, you can order a boat just as dressed up or dressed down as you’d like. Dusky boats are also known for their use of a motor bracket on all of their models. Most important for our purposes, they reduce cost by selling factory-direct, only, cutting out any middleman. Dusky boats for sale.


Dusky 33 Open Fisherman

Dusky 33 Open Fisherman. Dusky photo. 



Sportsman Boats gets a double-dip in this roundup, for the exact same reasons we mentioned earlier. Cheap? Uh-uh. But when it comes to bang for the buck and you stack their offshore offerings up against the competition, including them again here is a no-brainer. Sportsman boats for sale.


Sportsman Open 322

Sportsman Open 322. Sportsman photo. 


Good Offshore Investments

A few select boats may cost a lot upfront, but in the long run, represent a smart investment. Many offshore fishing boats will drop in value precipitously the moment you sign on the dotted line and your new boat becomes a used boat. In fact, it’s common for boats to lose 10 to 20 percent of their value right off the bat. And in some cases, just a few years later you may be out 30 or more percent of the initial purchase price. A few select brands, however, retain their resale value better than virtually all others: Boston Whaler and Grady-White. Buy one of these brands and while you’ll lay out a lot more for the purchase price, you’ll recoup a far higher percentage of that expenditure when you sell the boat down the line.


Boston Whaler 380 Outrage Grady White Canyon 386

Boston Whaler 380 Outrage and Grady-White Canyon 386. Boston Whaler and Grady-White photos. 


Cheapest of All Fishing Boats

If you’re a true spendthrift, it’s possible that you won’t consider a single one of the options above to be affordable fishing boats. We get it. If you’re willing to scale down your expectations along with your angling capabilities, maybe one of these truly cheap fishing boats will fit the bill.


Native Watercraft

Anglers who don’t want to spend one cent more than necessary and who don’t mind casting in solitude will gravitate towards pedal-drive fishing kayaks, and Native has a wide-ranging selection that includes one of the least expensive pedalers around: the Falcon 11, coming in at a mere $999. It’s rigged to fish with a pair of flush-mount rodholders, battery/transducer scupper access, and plenty of space for adding track-mounted goodies. And if you’re suddenly feeling flush, their lineup also includes Titan and Slayer models, which boost the cost as high as $3,599 yet come with just about every angling advantage known to kayak fishermen. Native Watercraft official website.


Native Watercraft Falcon 11

Native Watercraft Falcon 11. Native photo. 


Sun Dolphin

Sun Dolphin makes a line of rotomolded plastic mini-boats that range from 8’7” to 12’0”. They’re basic, they have few amenities beyond a pair of seats and a molded-in cupholder or two, and in the world of fishing boats they’re outrageously cheap. While Sun Dolphin doesn’t publish MSRPs, a quick online search produces shows for the Sportsman 8 for as little as $529. Added bonus: you won’t need to pony up for a trailer because these little gems will fit right into the back of a pickup truck. Sun Dolphin official website.


We’d be remiss not to point out that several of the brands we mentioned earlier, like Lowe, Tracker, and Starcraft, all have offerings at the low end of their lineup that will run neck-and-neck with these other uber-cheap options. Remember that 9’10” Grizzly? It MSRPs at $1,095. Lowe’s 15’8” Aura starts at $4,190 including a trailer (but no motor) and can handle up to four passengers, so if you fish in a group of four it’s no more expensive than outfitting your family with kayaks. Which of these options is best for you is, of course, a matter of your own personal preference and fishing locale. But one thing is clear: all the brands that make this list are stand-outs, and every one of them can help you get out onto the water without breaking the bank.



Written By: Lenny Rudow

With over three decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to dozens of boating and fishing publications and websites. Rudow lives in Annapolis, Maryland, and is currently Angler in Chief at Rudow’s FishTalk; he is a past president of Boating Writers International (BWI), a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.


More from: Lenny Rudow

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