The best fishing boats are those that are specifically designed with the sport of fishing in mind. Fortunately, there are many boat manufacturers that have dedicated themselves to creating great fishing boats for all types of occasions. Today, the best fishing boat brands make boats chock full of fishing features in many shapes and sizes, and each year, new designs are being released. The countless options to choose from can make it difficult to determine which fishing boats are right for you.
That is why we created this handy guide to the best fishing boat brands in various categories.
Best Aluminum Fishing Boat Brands
Alumacraft Boat Co.
At the top of the list of best aluminum fishing boat brands is Alumacraft, one of the largest producers of aluminum boats worldwide. In business for more than 75 years, Alumacraft is well known for creating high-quality aluminum fishing boats that are incredibly durable and surprisingly affordable. The one-piece aluminum hulls of Alumacraft boats are created using a strong quality-control process, and many of their models come with specific fishing features, like large live wells and a locking rod stowage box. Alumacraft makes a wide variety of vessels to choose from and works with an extensive network of dealers to ensure that anyone interested in one of their boats can find one.
Crestliner has also been called one of the best aluminum fishing boat brands in the market today. The boats from Crestliner have many outstanding characteristics, including making their aluminum fishing boats with seams that are welded rather than riveted, increasing the overall strength of the vessels. After being in business for around for about 70 years, Crestliner has a good idea of what anglers want and incorporates some great touches that make their boats more user-friendly. Some of these features include plentiful storage lockers for fishing equipment, large live wells, twin rod boxes, and top-of-the-line electronics.
Lund is another popular brand for aluminum fishing boats. Lund boats are built from high-end materials and have layouts that have been meticulously thought out to use every bit of space efficiently. Their construction process uses high-quality closed-cell foam injected into the hulls for better flotation and increased durability. These boats are known to have superior performance and excellent handling and are versatile enough to be used for both fishing and family fun. Lund boats are prevalent in the American Midwest and Canada but can be found nearly anywhere due to their immense popularity with people who know boats.
1675 Adventure. Photo Credit: Lund Boats
Best Fish and Ski Boat Brands
Nautique is one of the most prominent fish and ski boat brands in the world. Their boats are frequently used in competitions, and their designs typically come out on top when compared to other premium fish and ski boats. The brand's reputation for high-quality boats and superb craftsmanship shows why it belongs in the best fish and ski boat brands category.
Since 1982, Malibu has focused on building high-performing fish and ski boats that can withstand the rigors of water sports like wakeboarding, skiing, and tubing. Malibu boats have an excellent reputation for reliability and performance, but can be a bit more expensive than other fish and ski boats of a similar size. One reason for this is that their boats include Malibu's Fiberglass Engine Chassis System (FibECS), which increases durability and strength. Another reason is their inboard engine, which was developed in-house by their engineers, giving Malibu one of the most reliable engines in the business.
Supra Boats is another high-end boat manufacturer that makes great fish and ski boats for a wide range of activities. The brand has earned multiple awards for producing some of the best wake boats you can buy and has developed a reputation for outstanding construction. They are also popular for their wake technology, called Autowake, which senses the boat's movement and automatically shifts ballast to redistribute the weight of the boat.
Ski Nautique. Photo Credit: Nautique
Best Freshwater Fishing Boat Brands
Hardcore anglers like freshwater fishing boats from Lowe because of their flexibility, which allows them to be used in various freshwater fishing situations. Their boats are known for having ample space and comfortable seating for multiple anglers and come loaded with lots of fishing features, including rod holders, live wells and factory-installed bow-mounted trolling motors. These boats are also great for multitasking with features like tons of stowage under the seats, a four-step boarding ladder, and enough power to pull tow tubes.
Smokercraft makes the list of best freshwater fishing boat brands for its designs that include the maximum amount of elbow room in its wide-open layouts. Their models are straightforward and utilitarian, making them easy to use and simple to maintain. Their boats come in both tiller and console-steering versions and have many desirable fishing features like rod holders and tackle tray stowage.
Thunder Jet is one of the best fishing boat brands for high-powered freshwater fishing boats. Their boats have thicker hull bottoms and hull sides than many other brands, making them more durable in freshwater fishing situations where boaters might encounter obstacles like rocks and logs in the water. Additional strength is designed into the boats with fully welded box stringers and a continuously welded heavy-duty keel guard.
186 Rush. Photo Credit: Thunder Jet
Best Center-Console Fishing Boat Brands
Boston Whaler takes the top spot for best center-console fishing boat brands. Their boats have a reputation for being unsinkable, as they can literally be cut in half and still float. Boston Whaler manufactures a diverse line of boats to provide options for all budgets, including one of its newest models, the 420 Outrage, which can be optioned with quad 450R outboards or triple Mercury Marine Verado V-12 600s for superior speed and maneuverability.
Another great brand for center-console fishing boats is Contender Boats, which has been making boats for more than 30 years. The brand has a considerable lineup of tournament-ready center consoles built for inshore fishing and beyond. Contender boats are powered by Yamaha outboard engines and range in size from 25 feet to nearly 44 feet in length. Different Contender models have different fishing features, so take a look at our selection to see which models may be right for you.
Freeman Boatworks is one of the newest additions to the list of best center-console fishing boat brands. Launched in 2007, the company focuses on building high-performance fishing boats that can be used in freshwater or the ocean. Their big power catamarans can reach speeds of more than 80 mph on the open water, gaining the brand the respect of charter captains from across the Southeastern United States.
Freeman 34 VH. Photo Credit: Freeman Boatworks
Best Offshore Fishing Boat Brands
This two-decade-old Florida-based boat brand is well-known for its superior offshore and bay boats. These dual and center-console boats, ranging from 23 to 45 feet, are constructed of high-quality thick materials, making them solidly built while still providing a smooth and stable ride. Despite their heaviness, the Everglades boats are fast and can withstand the pounding of offshore waves. There are currently nine different boat models in their lineup.
Xpress fishing boats are expressly built to withstand the marine environment. These boats have zippy performance and a tight grip in turns, making it fast and easy to get to popular fishing spots. Their construction features all-welded aluminum and injected foam in below-deck voids for added strength. Standard fishing features include live wells, rod boxes, rod holders, fish-finders, and electric trolling motors with foot controls.
Aquasport is a storied boat builder known for building fishing boats that are deceptively competent for their size. Producing some of the smallest offshore fishing boats, the company has not sacrificed performance for size. The size of their boats makes them good for fishing inlets and other shallow waters that bigger boats can't get to. These boats are also strong, with hand-laid fiberglass, Kevlar reinforcement, a foam-injected stringer system, and a composite core transom.
Aquasport 2500 Center Console. Photo Credit: Aquasport
Best Bass Fishing Boat Brands
Ranger Boats has been known as one of the best bass fishing boat brands for a long time, with some people calling the brand the pioneer of the modern bass boat. The company makes its boats based on their five-point philosophy of "Quality, Performance, Innovation, Safety, and Resale." Their excellent design and construction quality complement the numerous features added to enhance the user experience. The top-of-the-line details built into every Ranger boat provide maximum efficiency and comfort for anglers of every age.
Skeeter Boats Inc.
Skeeter has been in business for more than 75 years and has spent much of that time researching and designing high-quality bass fishing boats. Some of their most popular models have ultra-large raised casting decks with conveniently located storage areas beneath, dual windscreens, innovative rod stowage and tackle stowage options, and a fantastic electronics package. Other options include performance-designed seats, audio packages with multiple speakers, and various color options.
Tracker has a reputation for being one of the best bass fishing boat brands at an affordable price point. Their boats are sturdy with an all-aluminum, all-welded build and are equipped with Lowrance electronics and a Minn Kota trolling motor. Fishing features for their boats include an impressive rod-storing capacity, raised casting platforms, and abundant stowage. They also have boats that have a "tournament package" option for anglers looking for extra features.
Bass Tracker Classic XL. Photo Credit: Tracker Boats
Best Deep-Sea Fishing Boat Brands
When looking for the best deep-sea fishing boat brands, Caymas often appears near the top of the list. Caymas makes deep-sea fishing boats with a twin-step hull design that boosts the boat's efficiency and speed while smoothing out the ride. Some of their engines have up to 300 horsepower and can run at 60 mph. Fishing features for their boats include rod holders, live wells, a Lowrance electronics package, and multiple areas for rod storage. Their luxury CX 21 Pro model has the added comfort of multiple seating areas on a fully padded deck and an entertainment system with dual Bluetooth speakers.
Solace has the distinction of being named Boat of the Year by Boating Magazine and one of its models won an NMMA Innovation Award at the 2020 Miami International Boat Show. Their boats are some of the most durable boats on the market today due to their construction process that produces the lightest, strongest fiberglass possible. Pressurized live wells, electric reel plugs, and standard rod holders boost the boats' fishability reputation. The helm seats are mounted on shock-mitigation mounts to enhance comfort and help smooth out the ride.
Albemarle has focused its attention on building the best fishing boats since its inception 40 years ago. Many anglers with boating families choose Albemarle boats for the flexibility of their designs. Today, the brand has a lineup of deep-sea fishing boats that combines fishability with family fun in innovative ways. Its most popular model has a dual console deck layout, a 30-gallon transom live well, 56-gallon fish boxes in the cockpit, and an unusually tall wraparound windshield.
Albemarle 25 Express. Photo Credit: Albemarle
So, what sort of fishing boat would be best for you? At Rightboat, you can browse a large selection of fishing boats from the best fishing boat brands and see all of the details and features that make each boat special. Our filtering options can help you narrow down your choices until you find the ones that fit your needs. Take a look at our collection of fishing boats today, and see what options are available.
Related article: A Complete Guide to Family Fishing Boats
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