Buyer's Guide - Center Console Boats

If you are in the market for a center console boat and are feeling a little overwhelmed by all the information you have been given or have found, then you have come to the right place! While there are many pros of center console boats, buying one is not as easy as simply walking into a store and picking out the boat that looks the best – there are a number of things that you need to think about before settling on what you think is the right center console boat for you.

To make your decision easier we have put together a list of basic tips that you can use to guide you through selecting your center console boat.


Naturally the first thing you will need to figure out and be sure about is how you will be using your boat. The three main uses of personal boats are fishing, cruising and water sports. Owing to their utility power, superior performance and sea going lifespan center console boats dominate the fishing, cruising and general-purpose towing arenas. Depending on where your interests lie, you will need to decide on what you plan to use your boat most for, as this will influence the type of center console boat you choose. Will you be using your boat for small day excursions or will you require it for overnight fishing trips? Will you need room for lots of family and friends or just enough room for 2 or three fishing buddies and gear?


The type of usage of your center console boat will, to some degree, dictate the size of the boat you will need. Bigger boats accommodate more people and gear while smaller boats will be easier to take out on a quick day trip. Something else to bare in mind is that the larger the boat the more extras you can have such as sleeping cabins, toilet areas, and storage. However, before you settle on buying the biggest boat based on added extras the downside you need to consider is that bigger boats are more complex to understand and operate, are not always trailerable, and cost a lot more to operate.

Other Specs:

While you are considering size, a number of other specs will enter your decision making process such as weight, beam, draft, and ideal cruising speed.

  1. Weight: It is important to remember that while a weighty boat may be stronger and have a better ride it will require a larger engine to power it, while a lighter boat will require a much smaller engine to reach the same speed.
  2. Beam: boats with beams bigger than 8’6” require a special permit to be trailered.
  3. Draft: You need to know whether the draft will be sufficient for the water you will be boating in.
  4. Ideal Cruising Speed: Knowing what the ideal cruising speed is will determine your fuel consumption


Another factor to consider is the noise level of the boat. Different boats have different noise levels and depending on where and how you will be using you your boat, noise level may be a very big consideration. For example if you plan to use your boat in highly populated areas or during the very early hours of the day you may want a boat that has a lower noise level so as to not disturb other people in the area.


Finally consider the other various features of a center console boat. Bigger boats come with more features such as extra storage and sleep areas. While they can add more cost to your boat, having the right features on your boat will make your boat owning career far more enjoyable. A good idea is to invest in high-quality stainless steel fittings and hardware as these last longer. Other small features to look out for (that often get over looked) are good nonslip deck surfaces, strong weather resistant windshields, good quality door locks and struts, and rugged handrails.

These tips will help you make your decision much easier in terms of selecting the right center console boat for you. Just remember that when buying a used boat there will be a number of other factors you will need to take into account. At Boat-Max we have a large variety of new and used center console boats available to suit the wants and needs of everybody – feel free to contact us for more information.