Best Fishing Boat for Family – Our Top 7 Picks

One of the best activities for the whole family is boating. If you are considering buying a boat for your family excursions, it can be difficult to find the right one. In this article, I list the 7 best fishing boats for the whole family, including the specs and features for each boat.

Best Fishing Boat for Family – Our Top 7 Picks:

  1. Glacier Bay 22
  2. Boston Whaler 240
  3. Cobia 201 Center Console
  4. EdgeWater 280cx
  5. Grady-White 191 CE
  6. Everglades 243cc
  7. Mako 21 LTS

Read on to learn more about these best fishing boats for the family and the features and specs for each.

Best Fishing Boat for Family – Our Top 7 Picks

1. Glacier Bay 22

what is the best family boat

For beginners, the Glacier Bay 22 is one you’d want to take to the sea. It’s easy to learn and control – perfect for anyone starting out. The Glacier Bay 22 can brave through the toughest weather conditions.

This powerboat offers a smooth ride around the waters and reduces the impact of waves dramatically. In addition, its boxy shape provides you with a lot more deck space, and around six people can comfortably cast without bumping elbows.

This model is no longer in production right now, but you can purchase a used one from online listings.

2. Boston Whaler 240

best family fishing boat

The Whaler 240 is built by the Bost Whaler company – a team of outright boat designers who spend a lot of time with boat enthusiasts. They also mingle with owners of other brands to know exactly what the customers need for boat design. The designers aim to seek real-life stories to know where people go with their boats and what they do with them. 

As such, the designers are able to incorporate the main key points – comfort, safety, versatility, and “fishability”. To provide superior comfort, the seating is engineered to meet the accepted standards for support, angle, and height.

3. Cobia 201 Center Console

The Cobia 201 is a great contender if you’re a family with little kids. It may be one of the smaller family boats, but its gunwales are high enough to accommodate an adult at hip level, as well as keep your kids securely confined in the cockpit.

While this could mean a bit of difficulty during fishing, this outweighs the pros, considering your peace of mind. This boat is also built with a head right in the console. 

Other things to love about the Cobia 201 are its finish and fit. Both sides have fully finished hatches, while compartment interiors are lined generously. I also love how the hinges and cleats are flush-mounted to keep the lines smooth. 

4. EdgeWater 280cx

Designed as a crossover (hence, the model name), the 280cx offers more utility overall. According to Edgewater itself, the 280cx can take the place of many types of boats available to date. Made with a spacious cockpit, a characteristic staple to dual-consoles, it offers tons of versatility with its seating area with a fold-down style. 

You’d also love the wraparound lounge area, which allows for a family daytime picnic or romantic couple cruise. Added to the beauty of the 280cx are the cabin belowdecks, which come with a head, sink, and microwave (optional).

For fishing, you can use the hardtop with rod holders, LED lights, and electronics boxes on the bigger boats. Insulated fish boxes and long rod boxes also come in handy.

The 280cx is equipped with a large 28-gallon livewell, prep sink, and storage for three fish boxes and tackle. It also comes with flush-mounted rod holders and an undergunwale. 

5. Grady-White 191 CE

If you’re looking at boats as an investment,  the 191 CE is perhaps the best fishing boat for the family. While boat value tends to depreciate through time, Grady-White is one of the brands that efficiently maintain their value.

While you might have to stash a good amount of cash up front, you might love the fact that it comes fully rigged and ready at a value of $60,000. Not to worry, though, because you’ll get better returns in the future if you decide to sell the boat.

The 191 CE does a good job for tackle casting and bay angling. Moreover, it has other distinctive perks such as the bowdeck, which turns into a large sunpad, a wide seating that can accommodate seven people, and a Yamaha F200 with a speed of 50 MPH. The quality of the finish and fit is also at the top of its class. 

6. Everglades 243cc

Everglades is aware that family buyers prefer a boat with an uncluttered deck since they make movement safe and easy. Other qualities they’re looking for are easy accessibility and plenty of storage so that they can hop between fishing spots. These qualities, plus a whole lot of valuable fishing features, make the 243cc Everglade’s bestselling model. 

The 243cc is excellent for fishing. It has a huge 36-gallon livewell, two tackle lockers, a 67-gallon fish box, undergunwale power ports, four flush-mount rod holders, and lockable rod storage. 

7. Mako 21 LTS

If you are looking for a flats and cross-over bay boat that doesn’t cost a ton, the Mako 21 LTS will be a top contender. While the compartment and finish might not look very ‘high end’, it makes a  decent 21-foot fishing boat with a package that includes the boat, motor, and trailer all for an MSRP of $33,995. As you may already know, it’s cheaper than fishing boats with the same size and this earns the Mako 21 LTS serious credits. 

A lot of manufacturers to date make an effort to keep the MSRP low. They do this by adding a standard powerplant that would probably not get the boat onto the plane. However, this is not an issue with the 21 LTS. 150 horses are sufficient power, and it allows anyone to cruise in 30 and top out up to 40 mph. If you’re craving for more power, you could go up to 75 horses more.

What to Look for in a Family Boat

How you choose a family boat will determine the outcome of your next boating/fishing trip with your loved ones. To make sure you get only the boat that you need, look for the following key points.

Roomy Casting Decks

Fishing with children requires spacious decks, considering the fact that it can be quite hard to keep their lines in the water. To avoid fishing problems such as the lines getting tangled, a large casting deck is an absolute must.

Comfortable Cabin

Since you won’t spend the whole day fishing, you need a comfortable cabin. A good one allows you to escape from the heat and the sun. It also gives your family the rest and relaxation they need after a tiring day of boating. 

Swim Platform

While taking a break, your family might look for an activity other than fishing. And what better activity to do when you’re near a body of water other than swimming? A good fishing boat should also work great as a swimming vehicle. Having a swim platform at the back gives you an instant swimming dock, so you and your kids can enjoy a good dip in the water.

Dining and Drinking Convenience

Whatever you take to the water helps you create a pleasurable all-around experience for your family. Since your family will eventually crave food and drinks, your boat should have features for food preparation such as an onboard grill or oven and a right-sized dining table. You can also add extra features such as wine coolers and coffee makers for the grown-ups.

Ski Pylon

Aside from fishing and swimming, most families also enjoy skiing and tubing as they go. That said, it could be helpful to choose a boat with a ski pylon. This way, your family can take a break from fishing and add more thrills by pulling yourselves around on the water.

Entertainment Electronics

A parent knows exactly how easy kids get bored.  If you’re going on a water trip for a long period, remember to keep them occupied with your boat’s entertainment features. A lot of boats today have both standard and optional features, including TVs, Bluetooth connectivity, as well as DVD players. 

Conclusion – Best Fishing Boat for Family

To sum it all up, your family boat should be safe and have a spacious deck, a comfortable cabin, a swim platform, and extra features for food and beverage preparation.

When it comes to boat models, these are our top 7 recommendations for the best fishing boat for your whole family:

  1. Glacier Bay 22
  2. Boston Whaler 240
  3. Cobia 201 Center Console
  4. EdgeWater 280cx
  5. Grady-White 191 CE
  6. Everglades 243cc
  7. Mako 21 LTS

As a parent, it’s normal that your family is your primary concern. This is the exact same reason why your choices should revolve according to their needs. Any of the boats on our list will provide amazing boating trips that are memorable for a lifetime.