Buying a fishing boat is a huge step — but an extremely exciting one.
When you first start looking into it, you’re undoubtedly going to be overwhelmed by all the sizes, brands and features available. Try not to stress too much. We’re here to guide you through the ins and outs of these murky waters. Starting, of course, with how much they cost.
You can get a small fishing boat for as low as $10,000 or you can splash the cash and go for a huge, high-end one for around $400,000. On average though, you’ll be dealing with an $18,000 to $45,000 price range.
The chart below should give you a nice, general overview of what you should expect to pay.
|Small Vessels (16′ to 20′)||$10,000 to $50,000|
|Medium Vessels (21′ to 25′)||$50,000 to $150,000|
|Large Twin Engine Vessels (26′ to 30′)||$150,000 to $300,000|
|Large High-End Vessels (31′ to 36′)||$300,000 to $400,000+|
Is it still sounding scary? Not to worry, let’s break it down.
How Much Does a Saltwater Fishing Boat Cost?
Okay, we’re starting with the more expensive ones. This way, you can decide on your boat budget and needs as we go.
You’ll find that these typically come with fiberglass hulls, dual console cabins and a bucket load of other features that are made for treacherous saltwater sailing.
For safety, they tend to have two motors as well (if one fails, you can still get back to land). As sad as it is, having two motors does mean you’ll pay higher maintenance costs.
Have a gander at the chart below for the typical base cost of popular saltwater makes and models. The prices you see are for the boat, trailer and motor so any add-ons will boost the total cost!
|Boston Whaler 280 Outrage||$265,730|
|Sea Hunt Gamefish 27||$124,688|
|Boston Whaler 210 Dauntless||$98,257|
|Grady-White 191 Coastal Explorer||$86,729|
|Cobia 240 CC||$81,060|
|Tidewater 232 CC Adventure||$66,700|
|Sea Hunt Ultra 211||$49,900|
|Tidewater 198 CC Adventure||$31,550|
|Boston Whaler 150 Montauk||$31,154|
The most popular brands are Boston Whaler, Sea Hunt and Tidewater. If you’re up for splurging, you can’t go wrong with these. They’ll give you a wonderful saltwater experience.
How Much Does a Bass Boat Cost?
In the United States of America, these are the ones you’ll usually see out on the water. No matter what state and what type of water you’re in, there will be countless anglers going after bass.
This is a good thing for your bank account! Thanks to the hard competition, you see brands reducing prices just so you’ll go to them and not their opposition. Obviously, you can drop around $75,000 on high-quality ones but we think you’re better off spending $25,000 on a vessel with all the mod cons.
Here’s an idea on the prices for many angler’s top-choice bass boat brands:
|Skeeter FX21 LE||$70,485|
|Triton 21 TRX||$63,995|
|Bass Cat Puma FTD 20||$48,595|
|Lund 1875 Crossover XS||$36,651|
|Xpress X19 Pro||$31,995|
|Crestliner 1750 Bass Hawk||$31,338|
|Tracker Pro Team 190 XT||$22,495|
Ranger, Xpress and Tracker bass boat brands manufacture models to fit almost any budget. You’ll be hard pushed to find better value for money!
How Much Does a Pontoon Boat Cost?
These might not be super speedy or all that pretty but they’re extra comfy. Who cares about speed anyway when you’re taking in the views and fishing to your heart’s content?
Even though they’re not the most luxurious vessels, you’ll get a great deal of joy out of them.
Like with the bass and saltwater boats there are tons of brands and models to choose from. The table below sets out only a few options from the vast array out there.
|Avalon Catalina Quad Fish||$37,800|
|Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3||$33,755|
|Crestliner 240 Rally DX||$28,736|
|Lowe SF 234||$24,792|
|Bennington SF 20||$24,349|
|Avalon GS Fish||$24,000|
|Starcraft EX Fish 22 FD||$22,299|
|Crestliner 180 Sprint||$17,108|
|Lowe Ultra 162 Fish and Cruise||$14,695|
For those worried about the state of their bank account (don’t worry, we totally get it!) Lowe and Avalon are great brands. Their prices tend to be around the $15,000 to $24,000 mark for fully functioning vessels! We bet if you had known this you would’ve bought one sooner, right?
How Much Does Aluminum Multi-Species Boat Cost?
Versatile fishing boats are something that many anglers long for, but few actually get. Aluminium multi-species boats were made to fill that evident void.
They sport a classic shape that suits activities from crabbing to walleye fishing. You can do whatever takes your fancy with this boat.
So, let’s take a look at some prices, shall we?
|Legend 18 XTR||$39,999|
|Lund 1800 Sport Angler||$38,406|
|Crestliner 1750 Super Hawk||$34,271|
|Lowe FS 1900||$31,308|
|Crestliner 1750 Fish Hawk||$29,251|
|Smokercraft 162 Pro Angler XL||$27,495|
|Lowe FM 1800 SC||$27,026|
|Alumacraft Voyageur 175 Sport||$23,399|
|Alumacraft Classic 165 CS||$17,299|
Every angler has a different taste. But, we have found that Alumacraft and Crestliner make the most favoured aluminium multi-species boats.
Insider tip: you can usually find really good deals on these brands too. Make sure you look around before settling on a price.
How Much Does a Jon Boat Cost?
Are they super high-tech and modern? No. Are they extravagant? No. But do they have a group of hardcore fans? Yes, they do.
Jon boats may not be fancy (to tell you the truth, they are quite the opposite) but they’re loved by many anglers.
These vessels are really simple — an aluminium flat bottom with a few sizes to choose from. However, you can customise them extremely easily. And, you won’t find a boat that’s cheaper! We’ve seen some for just $200 on second-hand sites like eBay.
As we did for the others, we’ve created a chart that shows the prices for a few makes and models. Take a look (you’ll be pleasantly surprised; they’re truly unbeatable prices).
|Alumacraft 1448 Jon||$9,870|
|Lowe L1852 MT Jon||$3,612|
|Lowe 1648 MT Aura||$2,707|
|Tracker Topper 1236||$895|
The prices for the two Lowe boats and the Tracker you see here are just for the boat. They don’t come with the trailer or the motor. Then again, at such a steal, can we complain?
So, Which Type Boat Should You Buy?
By now, you’re at least one step closer to deciding which type of boat you want to buy. Even so, you might still be thinking, “yes, but prices aside, how do I know what kind of boat I need?”.
This is a pretty broad topic. For now, we’ll focus just on figuring out what size of boat to get. Deal? It’s quite a simple checklist and you’ll probably know your answers already!
Ask Yourself These Questions:
- How much storage do I need?
- What sort of storage do I need?
- How many people do I want to fit on my boat?
- What type of fishing do I want to do?
- What sort of offshore capabilities do I need?
- What engine do I want? Single, trip or twin?
Once you’ve decided on your answers, you’re well on your way to buying your dream fishing boat!
Hopefully, we’ve managed to make the whole process that little bit easier. After all, purchasing a fishing boat should be a fun experience!