Author: Bullbuster Team
All The Information You Need To Know About Buying A Boat
List Of Center Console Boats For Offshore Fishing
Center console boats have rapidly become a standard boat for offshore fishing. These boats are not only less expensive than the traditional sportfish, but they are often faster and more versatile to fish offshore fishing grounds. These boats often use outboard engines and are designed to cut through rough seas to get to the zone. Below is a list of 5 well known center console boat manufacturers that make boats specifically designed for offshore fishing.
1) Contender Boats
Contender boats have been built for more than 30 years in Homestead Florida. These boats were well recognized in the late 90's early 2000's for dominating the South Florida Sailfish Tournament Circuits. Nowadays you will find these boats anywhere there is offshore fishing. This could be the Northeast Canyons, the Tuna Grounds of Venice Louisiana, some obscure Caribbean island, or central offshore central america.
2) Sea Vee Boats
Sea Vee Boats have a very similar structure to a Contender in that they are v-bottom boats designed to cut through offshore waves. These boats are also built in South Florida.
3) Freeman Boats
"The New Standard Of Offshore"
Freeman boats brought the catamaran style boat to the offshore market with a bang! Traditional catamaran boats were not really designed to go fast like center console deep vee boats. But the Freeman boats put in the deep vee and brought the stability of the catamaran to the offshore market. These boats are especially popular in Venice Louisiana for tuna and have been made very famous by Cpt. Nick Stanzyk in Islamorada for landing big swordfish.
4) Invincible Boats
Invincible boats upgraded the deep vee technology for boats by pushing the limits on size and speed of a center console boat.
5) Everglades Boats
Everglades boats are the luxury center console boats for offshore fishing. This is the kind of boat that will have an air conditioning unit in your center console. A hot summer day in the Bahamas and you are not going to regret this extra luxury.
What Should You Look For When Buying A Center Console Boat For Offshore?
1) Deep Vee -
All of the boats in this category feature a deep vee and for a good reason. This is the best design to cut through big waves offshore and go fast.
2) Fuel Capacity
How far are you going to be going with your boat. Are you buying this boat to go fish local offshore grounds or for making long runs to canyons or islands like the bahamas?
Storage on a boat is important. The more you have the better. But you know how you want to fish, so look for storage configurations that fit your style of fishing.
Do you need to get where you are going fast or be there before others? If so speed is a consideration for you.
If you know what you want and have had other boats you may want to work with a manufacturer that gives you the ability to have some level of customization.
When Would You Use A Center Console Boat For Offshore?
1) Kite Fishing For Sailfish
2) Fishing The Northeast Canyons For Tuna
3) Fishing The Mid Atlantic For Marlin
4) Fishing For Swordfish In The Straights Of Florida
5) Fishing Offshore Oil Rigs In The Gulf Of Mexico
6) Fishing In Central America For Billfish
7) Running To The Bahamas To Fish
8) Running And Gunning On Tuna In Southern California
List Of Bay Fishing Boat Manufacturers
Are you looking for a boat to fish the bay and that can get out offshore on calmer days? If so this list of manufacturers is for you.
1) Mako Boats
Mako boats are well known for their bay boats even though they have expanded into other lines such as center console boats for offshore fishing, as well as flats fishing boats. They make a great all around bay boat.
Robalo boats have been around since the 60's and makes a great bay fishing boat. Named after snook in spanish, this is a great boat to fish jetties and inlets and make the run offshore when the waters aren't to rough.
Cobia makes a great bay boat. It is now part of the Mako boat group as a sub brand.
4) Thresher Boats
Based in San Clemente in Southern California Thresher boats, a family owned boat company makes a center console boats that are great for fishing the bay and making the run offshore when it is calm enough. Take a look at their website.
5) Boston Whaler
Known for the "unsinkable boat", the boston whaler is probably the most well known bay fishing boat manufacturer there is. Like many of the older boat companies they have since expanded into different boat style markets as well.
List Of Flats Boat Manufacturers
Are you looking to purchase a flats boat and doing your initial research on which boat to buy? Below are 5 flats boat manufacturers that you should look into. Flats boats are designed for fishing in shallow water or the "flats". Many flats boats have a poling platform where one can push their boat along this shallow area of water to sneak up on fish like bonefish, redfish, tarpon, and permit.
1) Hells Bay Boatworks
"Building The Worlds Finest Skiffs"
Hells Bay flats skiffs are some of the original flats boats. They are some of the best designed flats boats in the industry and are used by the very best guides and flats fishermen. Their quality is reflected in their price, but you get what you pay for right?
Watch the video below to see some of the history behind this boat company. Also, see why it is so important to spend more time fishing.
2) Maverick Boats
"Fish The Legend"
Maverick skiffs are one of the most known flats boats in the industry. While not as high end as the Hells Bay, these boats will put you on the fish and are excellent for poling the flats for bonefish or heading deep into the Florida Everglades.
3) Egret Boats
"Flat Out Better"
Egrets boats make a great flats skiff. These boats are often a bit bigger than your average flats skiff, and are often powered to move FAST! These boats can pole on the flats, but many anglers use them to target inshore fish such as snook and tarpon. It doesn't hurt that these boats are made out of Carbon Fiber and are VERY light.
4) Beaver Tail Skiffs
Beaver tail skiffs is a newer flats boat company that has entered into the market and has had to innovate. Each owner of a Beaver Tail Skiff has input on to the specs of their skiff and therefore gets to customize their boat.
5) Dusky Flats Boat
Dusky boat company has been around for a while. This boat company is mainly known for its larger center console boats such as the famous "Bouncers Dusky 33" , but also has and 18 foot flats boat that is factory direct.
What To Look For In A Flats Boat
If you have looked into the above manufacturers and still need help comparing them use this guide on 12 Important Things To Look For In A Flats Boat to help you out. Below are some of the basics from this guide and from a bit of common sense around the topic of getting a boat to chase fish in shallow water.
1) Your Draft - This is how shallow your boat can go. Since a flats boat is specifically designed to get up on shallow water to chase fish, this is an important feature.
2) The Poling Platform - If you own your flats boat you are probably going to spend a lot of time of the poling platform. So before you buy your boat, make sure you like it!
3) The Livewell - Flats fishermen often use different live boat than an offshore fisherman, so this may require a different type of live well. Shrimp and crabs often need different water conditions then lets say a mullet or a threadfin herring. Your flats boat should have the live well, or live wells for the type of fishing you want to do.
4) The Warranty - Things may break, make sure your manufacturer has a good warranty to back you up if they do.
5) The Power - Different boat manufacturers have partnerships with different motor companies. Make sure that you like the motor behind your skiff because you are the one who is going to be out on the water with it and paying/doing the maintenance for it.
Fish That Flats Boats Are Most Often Used To Target
Flats boats are often used to fish shallow water areas in bays or around islands. Below is a list of fish that flats boats are often used to target:
8) Jack Crevalle
10) Giant Trevally
13) Black Drum
14) Sea Trout
16) Calico Bass
17) Spotted Bay Bass
List Of Types Of Marine Electronics
If you have ever noticed, boats have a lot of marine electronics. There are a ton of wires that run down to the battery area of your boat. So what type of electronics are there for boats and what do they do? Nowadays these electronics are getting more compact and advanced, but they still fall into a few different categories.
1) VHF Radio
Your VHF radio is probably one of the most important pieces of marine electronics on your boat. This piece of a equipment not only lets you listen get in on the local fishing report and participate talking with other boats, but it also will allow you to call in a may day if there is something going on. Channel 16 on this radio is for "Mayday". This is a very serious channel so this is not a channel to be chit chatting with your friends. This channel is life or death.
Marine VHF Antennas
Your radio will be connected to an antenna, which will give you a good signal to have more range.
Below is a video that countdowns the top 10 marine Antennas for VHF radios. This video posted by FishFindly is a bit robotic but it breaks down all of the features of each antenna which is great for you if you are the type of person that likes to compare these details.
2) GPS (Chart Plotter) / Depth Sounder
A GPS is another important piece of marine electronics for your boat. Having a GPS/ Chart Plotter on your boat helps you to navigate using the latest marine chips. It also helps you to mark your fishing spots. Nowadays a GPS system is usually linked to a number of other systems that require sensors. The most common one is a depth sounder which will require you get a transducer installed on your boat.
Below is a video posted by Youtuber Mike Shedly as part one on a series on how to properly read your depth sounder. It's a great series and if after watching this video you enjoyed it, then go ahead and watch the rest of the series.
A transducer is the piece of equipment that sends out the sound waves for your depth sounder. The transducer is usually mounted under your motor and chirps until the sound waves hit the bottom or fish along the way and bounce back.
Frequency of sensor signals and the reading that's they are going to give you. Hi frequency waves give you better resolution but don't go as far while low frequency waves can give you a reading that is farther away.
Below is a video posted on YouTube by "Mike Schedly" he talks about frequency for your depth sounder and when to choose each one. He also compares a regular frequency to chirp and what the advantages are.
3) Marine Radar
Marine radar is another sensor that can be connected to your Chartplotter/GPS system. This system gives you two important advantages. One you can see incoming systems like weather or a boat. The other thing is you can find schools of birds to help you find fish.
Below is a video posted on YouTube by Pacific Yacht Systems that talks a bit more about radar and its usage. One of the interesting points in the video is he says that you should be actively be using it when you dont need it so that you can have a better comfort level with it when you really do need it let's say in a foggy situation.
The video below posted on YouTube by "Overton" has a Garmin rep talk about their different radar systems and the advantages of different systems.
4) Side Scanning Sonar
Side Scanning Sonar- side scanning sonar has its own transducer. The job of the side scanning sonar, unlike the depth sounder is to send signals out to the sides of the boat whereas the depth sounder sends a signal straight down. With the side scanning sonar the captain sets the angle and the frequency. This helps the Captain to find schools of fish that their depth sounder is not picking up. While it is possible to have a side scanning sonar read our on your chart plotter, most offshore captains have a separate monitor often times a desktop computer monitor to display the read outs of this sensor.
Below is a video of a side scanning sonar in the bridge of the Tomahawk (a San Diego Tuna Fishing Boat).
Below is a youtube video posted by "Humingbird" showing a side scanning sonar view on a hummingbird fish finder.
5) Auto Pilot
Auto pilot is an advanced system that works with your chart plotter to actually steer your boat. This is an awesome setting if you are trolling or on a long trip, but make sure you still keep an eye out for debris and watch out in shallow waters if your boat has a deep draft.
Below is a video from "Atlantic Marine" that shows you the installation of an auto pilot. In this video you can see how it works. Pretty cool huh?
6) FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared)
A FLIR system lets you see ahead at night. This is not cheap, but definitely can be worth it especially if you are coming into new areas at night.
Below is a video put together by "Marine Max" that shows you a Raymarine FLIR system in action.
7) Audio Systems For Your Boat
Last but not least you want to listen to music on your boat right. Below is a list of the top marine audio systems of 2020 posted on Youtube by "The Tech Mag".
Big Guide Full Of Research On Boat Insurance
This guide is not a sale of insurance or a recommendation of any specific boat insurance. It compiles information on what insurance is and gives you the best resources to learn more
Why would you need boat insurance?
Aside for protection from liabilities from the damage of your boat trailer or medical issues induced from your boat. Some states actually require you to carry insurance on your boat. Also, if you want to dock your boat at a marina they may require you to have insurance. If you have a loan on on your boat you technically don't actually own the boat so the lien holder or financial owners of the boat will want it insured since they aren't operating it and they want to hedge their risk.
How Much Will Boat Insurance Cost?
Generally according to betterboating.com insurance costs around 1.5% of the cost of your boat per year. This can vary depending on a number of factors, so take. Look at the linked article to get a better understanding about this.
To get more information on what boat insurance can cost, take a look at the article below by better boating.com. This article covers not only the cost of insurance for boats but a few ways you can influence that cost.
This video talks more about the cost of insurance and the true cost of owning a boat, this is not to discourage you from owning a boat, but instead encourage you to be ready for the costs with owning a boat so that when you do buy it you buy a boat that you can use, instead of a boat that you are just working all of the time and never get to use.
What Questions Should You Ask Your Boat Insurance Agent?
The video below posted on Youtube by "BoatUS.com" covers this topic. The better questions that you ask, the better decisions that you can make when choosing a broker for your insurance. This doesn't just go for insurance, but almost any shopping decision.
What Companies Offer Boat Insurance?
As of August 2020 the following companies offer boaters insurance. This can be subject to change, so be sure to visit their websites to see their current offerings.
4) State Farm
5) Liberty Mutual
6) Farmers Insurance Group
8) Nation Wide
9) American Family Insurance
Boating Insurance Horror Stories
The reasons that we want to give you boaters insurance stories is so that you know reasons why you might want to be insured.
The article below from BoatUS.com has some of the wildest boating insurance claim stories. You never know what is going to happen.
Below is an article from Farmers Insurance how maintaining your boat properly can help you avoid claims and raise your premiums.
Boating Insurance Lawsuits
When choosing your insurance company, you may want to know some of the things to keep in mind to dot your eyes and cross your t's. The last thing you want to do is have boaters insurance and then end up paying for it, needing it and not getting the money you need to pay for your accident.
This insurance claim did not go through for the boater:
Below is a resource from Voss Law Firm on 4 reasons most insurance claims for boats do not go through, obviously its an article selling their services, but its something to think about with your boat. :
How To Save Money On Your Boat Insurance
Below is a guide from "Boat Buyers Secret Weapon" on saving money on your boat insurance.
Save Money On Your Taxes While Owning A Boat
We aren't CPA's so look talk with you accountant about this stuff, but we all know that boat ownership isn't cheap. So you may want to be aware of ways you can pay less taxes while owning a boat and talk to your CPA about them.
1) A Boat Can Be Considered A Second Home & There Are Tax Deductions For This:
Boats can be considered a second home if they have certain amenities in them. At the time of writing this, the boat must have a head, a galley, and sleeping quarters in order to be considered a home. Tax laws are constantly changing so this is something you may want to bring up to your CPA.
2) Using Your Boat To Make Income:
If you are using your boat to make income than boat expenses are business expenses. Ways you may be using your boat to make income include:
- Fishing Charters
- Entertaining Clients
- Home Office
- Newer Businesses Such As Youtube Shows & Blogs Should Have A Compelling Case As Well
* Documentation is important here. Talk to a professional when it comes to this area, but be sure to do your own homework as well.
3) Pay Less In Sales Tax For Your Boat
Depending on where you buy your boat there may or may not be sales tax. If you are buying a big boat, a small decrease in sale tax will be a big deal.
Get A Loan For Your Boat
Are you looking to get financing for a fishing boat? If so, there are several ways to do so. It is not recommended to take out a loan on a boat that will not bring you income. Below are some methods to find financing for your fishing boat.
Types Of Personal Loans For A Fishing Boat
With this loan you will give the bank something of value to secure the loan against. If you do not make your payments on the loan, the bank will have something to take from you to secure the value of their investment.
Typically for this type of loan, you will need to put down 10-20% of the boats purchase price.
Home Equity Loan
A home equity loan allows you to put your home equity as collateral against your boat. This works kind of like a collateral loan, but the collateral is your house. This type of loan, is obviously risky since the collateral is the house you live in.
Unsecured Personal Loan
If you have very good credit, you may be able to secure an unsecured loan for a boat. This type of loan is riskier for the lender, so a high interest rate will be attached to it.
Where You Can Find A Loan For A Boat
Dealers/ Brokers : Boat dealers can get you financing for boats and often provide in house financing. This is a good place to start when shopping for boat financing, since you have something to compare other offers to and you can use it as leverage for your negotiation.
Banks/Credit Unions: Banks and credit unions are one way to get financing for your boat. This may be the next place you want to shop after getting an offer from your dealer. It is a good idea to have a good relationship with your banker.
Online lenders are another option for getting a loan, that may have better rates if you have good credit history.
Below is a good resource for online lenders for boats.
Things To Think About Before Getting A Boat Loan
Cost Of Owning A Boat
Many first time boat owners are shocked at the costs of maintaining a boat. You want to figure out the true cost of owning the boat, so you can think about the cash flow implications while owning it. Below are several items to include in your estimates on the cost of owning a boat.
1) Purchase Price
5) Dock/Mooring/Storage/Trailer Upkeep
7) Safety Equipment
8) Towing Company Membership (Highly Recommended)
9) Interest Expense
Your credit score will determine the cost of your loan, so you may want to make sure that this is in tip top shape, before making your inquiry.
Getting The Boat Surveyed
The last thing that you want to do is buy a boat with a loan, only to find out that it has some problems in it that you were not expecting that totally throw off your numbers. Hiring a marine surveyor can help prevent surprises.
How Much Will A Boat Loan Cost Me?
Here is a link to a boat loan calculator.
Is It Hard To Get A Boat Loan?
No, it is not hard to get a boat loan. However, the lower your credit score is, the more that it will cost.
Can Your Boat Be Used As Collateral For Your Loan?
Yes, your boat most likely will be collateral for your boat loan.
What Is The Oldest Boat I Can Finance?
Boaters have financed very old boats. Be sure to run your numbers, as there may be some repair costs involved with purchasing an older boat. This is where your marine surveyor is your best friend.
Best Videos On The Web To Install Rod Holders On A Fiberglass Boat
This article puts together the best videos on the web for installing rod holders on your fiberglass boat. Installing rod holders on a fiberglass often requires drilling large holes in your boat, so you will want to measure twice and cut twice when getting into this project. There are also a number of angles a rod holder can be installed at. These angles make it easier for you as an angler to do different types of fishing, as well as to have a more customizable spread.
How To Install A “Zero Degree Rod Holder” On A Fiberglass Boat
Below is a video posted on Youtube by “Phil Conally” that shows you how to install a zero degree rod holder on a fiberglass boat. Phil shows you the entire process from start to finish including the tools he uses, how he goes about drilling and preparing the hole for the rod holder, as well as how to seal it to prevent water from leaking into the hole you have just created.
How To Install An Angled Rod Holder On A Fiberglass Boat
The video below posted by “Fish On Forte” shows you how to install an angled rod holder on your fiberglass boat. Depending on what type of fishing you are doing, various angles can be advantageous. Your goal may be to keep your rod out from the boat, keep it at good angle to connect your line to and outrigger, or to have keep your lines separated during trolling or drifting.
Sometime You Want To Put Your Rod Holders On Railings
The video below posted by Youtuber "Camboya Fishing" shows you how to mount a rod holder on a railing. His are square, many of the railings on your sailboat will be round, however the concept and installation techniques remain the same.
Build Your Dream Boat From Scratch
With Sportfish boats and mother ships (we have an obsession with motherships) costing millions of dollars brand new and often costing about 20% of the purchase price to maintain, one might wonder... is there a way to do this without putting down so much of your hard earned cash.
Well you are in luck, because there is a way to do it, but its going to consume a lot of your time. We figured we would give you a headstart here so that you might have a few resources you may need when getting started with this process.
The first few videos in the post are to show you a little bit about what is possible. The rest will dive into the detail. Hopefully by the end of this article you will be ready to take on your own project boat, whether it is a 30 foot center console or a 200 foot mothership.
A Converted Crabbing Boat Turned Mothership
Below is some footage of the Pacific Provider a kind of time share mothership that was converted from an Alaskan Crabbing boat. This video was posted by "FishRapNews".
Tips For Shopping For A Fiberglass Boat
The Survey Process
This video posted by Grampian Marine talks about things that you need to keep in mind when buying an old fiberglass boats.
One of the main points he makes is to make sure that there is no wood damage in the boat, this is something to look for when surveying your boat. Cpt. Nicholos Gonzalez from Double Threat Charters can tell you about wood problems after his impressive project remodeling an old Hatteras to become the new Double Threat Boat. He recommends to use a marine surveyor and to keep in mind that the marine surveyor may overestimate the value of the boat to satisfy the client. Having a marine survey can reduce your insurance bill!
Hiring A Marine Surveyor To Look At Your Potential Project Boat
In this video "Grampian Marine" gets out to the boat yard and shows you a little bit more detail on the boat surveying. This time he actually shows you footage of what he was talking about before:
This video posted by "Randall Burg" talks about what a survey should look like:
Check out a boat survey being done and posted by "boatinglocal"
Remodeling The Interior Of A Boat
There is one thing that you know you are going to need to renovate when you purchase an old boat and that is its interior. We hope we give you a good idea of what you are getting into with the interior with the selected videos below.
Take a look at the this video posted by "Barcroft TV" of a tugboat's interior completely remodeled and turned into a home. This goes to show you what can be made out of an old metal boat.
This video posted by "Ryan Wetzel" shows the remodeling of a 1966 50' Hatteras. These guys are going all out.
How To Remodel A Galley
This youtube video posted by "Ronin51670" shows gets in depth on how to remodel the galley of a bot.
If you are looking into a sportfish or a mothership and looking for engines then you are in luck. You see, unlike the outboard engines that go on center consoles, older diesel engines can pretty much live forever if you keep rebuilding them. There are plenty of places to find old diesel engines, old trucks, old buses, old boats etc. These engines can be taken apart and rebuilt to work just like new.
This video below posted by "Stanely D Williams" is a full length documentary on re-powering a power yacht.
Nowadays there are also companies that specialize in keeping these old engines alive, so you should not have a problem finding parts to rebuild an engine you find on a farm, boatyard, or even a junkyard for a fraction of the price of a new engine.
Below Youtube nomad couple, Technomadia rebuilds an engine from the 50's or 60's to keep their RV traveling around the country.
Rebuilding A Diesel Engine
If you are one of those people who like to understand things before you get started, take a look the video below posted on Youtube by "Repair Manuals".This shows you how an engine works at a lot larger scale that makes it easier to understand. Keep this video in mind as you look at the rest of the content below on rebuilding an engine.
Ok lets get started! You want to rebuild an engine to put in your dream boat right?
The engine above is a Detroit Diesel 8-71, yea this engine is going into a truck, but it can also be converted into a marine engine, there are minor modifications that you will need to turn a truck or trailer engine into a marine engine, we will get into that later.
The Engine Block
The main skeleton of the engine above is the engine block. Pictured below. You can start with an engine and disassemble it like above, or you can start with components and build your way up.
To give you an example the block below (which is already cleaned up, unlike the one above retails for about $3,200.00).
Other Main Components
Like the block, these are two main components that are pretty heavy duty so you probably won't need to replace them, but you may need to get them cleaned. Below we will talk about two important components that help you engine work, the camshaft and the Crank shaft. The video posted by 3D_Guy_2008 shows you them in action with an invisible engine block.
The engine below is a four stroke, unlike the engine in the video above but the general way that the Crank Shaft and cam shaft are used are similar in both engines.
The Crank Shaft
If you want components related to the installation of a crankshaft click the link. The crank shaft (pictured below) is the large component you saw in the video above.
If you want components related to the installation of a detroit diesel camshaft click the link. The camshaft itself is below.
The blower is shown below. Check out this discussion on whether a blower is necessary . (We recommend a blower a for any marine application).
Components To Rebuild A Diesel Engine That Break Often
A Inframe Rebuild Kit
Below is a standard kit for rebuilding a Diesel Engine often times referred to a a in frame kit, that is because you are pretty much filling in the frame of the block (see all the holes in the above picture, this is what you are going to be filling and replacing with this kit). The cylinders (which are the big components in the back of the picture below which is actually an inframe kit for an 8v71 detroit diesel and the engine you see in the above video) are what contain the explosions in the engines, so they get a lot of wear and tear and like in the video above often need to be replaced.
A kit like the one below costs between $1,600 and $2,500.00.
Injectors & The Cylinder Head
Injectors are one of the components that often need to be replaced, these are the components that "inject fuel" for the explosion. The injector has a nozzle that sprays mist of fuel for the diesel engines combustion. If you would like components related to the installation of a injector click the link.
Injectors Cost: $115-150.00
These go into the cylinder head which sits on the top of the block. Below you can see a cylinder head. The cylinder head has four holes (the bronze ones) where the injectors go inside. So an 8v71 which has 8 cylinders is going to have two of these heads and a total of 8 injectors to be replaced.
Cylinder Head Cost: $1500-3,000 depending on the level of completion.
Cylinder Head W/O Any Components
Cylinder Head With Components But Without Injectors
Now that you know a lot of the components, here is a video that shows you how to rebuild a Marine Cummins Engine by "Quepos Fishing Adventure".
We Help Millions Of Anglers Spend More Time Fishing
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