The perfect escape you can have with your family is a boating trip with fishing and fun in the water.
To make this possible, you need to have the right boat for your family. In this article, I’ll list the best fishing boats and family fun to help with your search.
Our top 3 recommended family, fishing boats are:
- Boston Whaler 240 Dauntless
- Pursuit DC 325 Dual Console
- Aquila 44 Power Catamaran
There are of course many more boats we can suggest, but these 3 give a good starting point for what to look for. They provide safety, comfort, space, and are easy to operate.
Features to look for when choosing your boat:
- Roomy or Open Casting Decks
- Entertainment Electronics
- Ski Pylon or Swim Platform
- Dining and Drinking Accessibility
- Reasonably Low-Priced
- Simple to Operate
Many recreational fishing boats are quite expensive since they are built for dedicated fishermen and not ideal for family use. Make a spreadsheet, add the following features along the top, then list the boats you find on this spreadsheet.
You need to classify or check off each boat’s features to narrow down the best for you and your family. Once you trim down your choices, it’ll be easier to find a boat you really want and need.
Once you get your boat, you should know the top fishing spots to bring it to. The 5 best fishing spots in America are as follows:
- Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
- Mammoth Lakes, California
- Port Isabel, Texas
- Lake Pymatuning, Pennsylvania
- Black Hills, South Dakota
Read on to learn more about the best boats for fishing and fun with your family.
Also, for an excellent boat cover, take a look at our top pick, the iCOVER Trailerable Boat Cover:
What Features to Look for in a Fun, Fishing, Family Boat?
The first feature to look for in a fun, fishing, family boat is safety. You need to feel safe, especially if you have kids on board. The boat should include solid construction, non-skid surfaces, handrails at the correct height, recessed hinges, and wide footfalls.
Roomy or Open Casting Decks
A roomy deck is important not to get the line of you and your kids tangled on something. Having a spacious casting deck will let your family perform their casting freely.
Whether it’s a television, a laptop, or a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, these electronics will get the boredom out of your kids’ system, especially during long tours.
Your kids need to rest, especially the younger ones. If you need to hide from the heat of the sun, or you need to relax, a comfortable boat is a must to get some decent rest. The boat should also offer ergonomically designed seating that has accepted guidelines for height, angle, and support.
Ski Pylon or Swim Platform
Since you are already in the water, you might as well make the most of what you can do. A ski pylon or a swim platform can add some other exciting, fun activities for your family outing rather than just fishing.
Dining and Drinking Accessibility
Look for a fishing boat with features for food preparation, like a microwave, an onboard grill, and a comfortable dining table.
It should be reasonably low-priced because you are still learning how to run and operate a boat. Before buying one, try to search and compare prices first and choose the one that fits your needs.
Simple to Operate
Get the user-friendly one so you won’t have a hard time understanding how the boat should be maneuvered.
The boat should be versatile to enjoy different activities that can be done in the boat until you learn what you like best about boating.
The Best Boat for Fishing and Family Fun – Our Top 3 Picks
As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of fishing boats in the market, but here, we will give you three of what we think are the best boats for fishing and family fun to choose from so you can decide which one fits your necessities.
1. Boston Whaler 240 Dauntless
LOA: 23 ft. 11 in.
BEAM: 8 ft. 6 in.
DRAFT: 14 in.
DEADRISE: 16 deg.
MAX POWER: 300 hp
This boat is one of the most versatile boats on the water. It offers seating for up to eight people. It also has the ability to deal with outboards of up to 150 horsepower.
It presents a unique aft seating design that converts to a large elevated casting deck. You’ll also get a 54-quart detachable cooler, locking storage, and a reversible helm seat.
2. Pursuit DC 325 Dual Console
LOA: 34 ft. 6 in.
BEAM: 10 ft. 10 in.
DRAFT: 22 in.
DEADRISE: 20 deg.
MAX POWER: 600 hp
This award-winning 34 foot Dual Console is specially created with family fun, casual fishing, boating, and aquatic sport utility in mind.
The Pursuit DC has a comfortable bow seating, port side forward and rear-facing seats along with recessed port and stern seating, which can house your whole family and friends on all your boating trips.
This boat can offer endless potential for your adventures. The Pursuit DC 325 would be my top recommendation for an overall fun, family fishing boat at a reasonable price.
3. Aquila 44 Power Catamaran
LOA: 43 ft. 8 in.
BEAM: 21 ft. 6 in.
DRAFT: 2 ft. 8 in.
POWER: Twin 225-hp Volvo Penta D4 V-drive diesel inboards, swinging 20″ four-bladed bronze props.
If you have the money to spend on a next-level family boat, this catamaran would be a great choice. The Aquila 44 power catamaran boasts a hefty seating area, hidden TV storage, and lots of storage to make live-aboard or frequent boating easy and satisfying.
You will also appreciate the 360˚ view from the open salon and a galley that has Corian countertops, an electric fridge, and freezer, a stove, and stainless steel microwave oven, along with a double stainless steel sink.
With this boat, you’ll be incomparably living in luxuries. What’s more is that this boat has a huge flybridge with additional enclosure, electric grill, and sun pad seating on either side of the central helm station and Aquila’s revolutionary bridge to bow direct access.
This boat also has swim steps sized to do double-duty as seats built into the corners of the bow rails and an enormous cockpit lounge.
But then again, the flybridge in this boat is most likely where people would want to spend most of their time since it is easily accessed through a stairway to the cockpit or down to the bow. If you are looking for the best boat for fishing and family fun, this catamaran will deliver.
Is It Ideal to Buy a New or Used Boat?
To decide between a used or new boat, you should consider your experience level first. When you are starting, it is best to get a used boat. Why? Because when you still do not know what you’re doing, this used boat can be your “lab rat.”
You are experimenting and maybe going hard on the engine, especially when you are still learning how to shift and may even be ripping off the water ladder, losing the anchor, and forgetting some other items on the boat. Hence, spending less money and finding a good used boat is ideal for starters.
In terms of reliability, it is best to get a new boat than a used one. It depends on the quality of the engine, whether it be used or new. If you go for used, also consider how the previous owner took care of the boat.
Note that the boat engine plays an important role in how smooth you are going to sail in the water.
The thing with the new boat is brand new, and everything looks pretty in your eyes, but new or used, you can damage and abuse it. New boats will have the same problem as the used boat; it depends on how you care for your boat.
Remember, examine the engine closely if you opt to get a used boat.
Best Spots for Fishing and Family Fun
Since boating and fishing are seldom done with your family, we suggest you go to the best fishing spots and enjoy the scenery with them.
Here’s our list of some of the best places to check out for a fun, family, fishing adventure. So, get you and your family ready, and have the best time of your lives!
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
If you want to encounter a day in a fish-oriented place, then Kenai Peninsula is a go-to spot. This Alaskan fisher’s paradise would give you and your family an enormous halibut, a giant Alaskan salmon, and several other collections of fish.
Mammoth Lakes, California
The Mammoth Lakes in Eastern Sierra, California, has plenty of spots that offer a superb trout fishing experience with your family. The various lakeshores will provide you the opportunity of exclusive fishing. The plunging streams will give you plenty of wild trout.
Port Isabel, Texas
Port Isabel presents decent access to abundant fishing. You can also enjoy offshore fishing adventures or experience splashing sprees and dolphin cruises. The Lower Laguna Madre along the Texas coast is an excellent place to track speckled trout and redfish.
Lake Pymatuning, Pennsylvania
Lake Pymatuning provides generous bluegills, bass, walleyes, and crappies. The Pymatuning State Park even offers lakeside cottages and rooms for family camping at a reasonable rate, making it an ideal spot for family fishing vacations.
Black Hills, South Dakota
Enjoy a wholesome family fishing vacation in the Black Hills. The streams are packed with trout, yellow perch, and king-sized lake trout.
Conclusion – Best Boat for Fishing and Family Fun
Take note also that there are salesmen out there that want you to buy a boat, won’t help you with what you really need, and won’t educate you with the pros and cons of the different types of boats.
We hope we’ve helped you in your search for finding the best boat for fishing and family fun with what we mentioned here.
I also suggest you go out and rent a boat to try out a couple of preferences. Get yourself accustomed to operating a boat first. Good luck and have fun with your boating and fishing experience!