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Outboard Fishing and Cruising Boats
OUTBOARD BOATS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Outboard boats are among the most popular on the water today. HMY’s team at the all-new Outboard Boating Center are experts in outboard boating. When you have questions about a fishing or cruising outboard boat, turn to HMY for answers, we are your industry resource.
What is a center console outboard boat and how do people use it?
A center console has the helm/steering station located in the center of the boat and has open space around the center steering station. Center consoles are known to be used for a wide range of activities like fishing, cruising and for general on-the-water fun. The majority of center console boats are under 36 feet and have a single or twin outboard engine; however, there are some that eclipse the 60-foot range and have as many as 5 outboard engines.
Where and how are outboards / center consoles most commonly used?
There is virtually no wrong way to use your outboard boat. These boats are typically used on saltwater and for offshore fishing. However, inland freshwater lakes are also very common for these types of boats. Recently, cruising outboards have seen more popularity and can be used in both fresh and saltwater.
Have Center Consoles grown in popularity?
Yes. In fact, since 2014, center consoles have increased in sales year after year and have become the most popular type of boat on the water.
What are common engine configurations?
Depending on the size of outboard boat, common horsepower engines can be between 150hp – 300hp. However, in the recent years, boat owners have been buying much larger outboard boats and outboard engines have grown in size and power to keep up. You can now see engines in the 450hp to 600hp range on 40 foot and larger outboard boats.
Are Helm Controls evolving with the boat innovations?
Yes, helm controls that fully integrate with navigation, engine information, joystick controls and autopilot are now available and becoming more innovative and technologically advanced.
What fishing friendly features are commonly seen on center consoles?
Many center consoles come equipped with fish-ready features like gunwhale rod holders, storage for gear, tackle, and equipment, and a livewell. Some have additional options like a rocket launcher, outriggers, tower and more. Many center consoles have a cockpit area well configured for space while fishing.
Are Outboard Boats designed for an owner’s changing needs?
Style, innovation, functionality and efficiency are all common traits with today’s outboard boats. Many are designed to be multi-faceted vessels to accommodate a boater’s wide range of activities.
What are some common questions owners ask when buying a center console?
Buyers typically want to know details about: range, top speed, fuel efficiency, maximum horsepower, docking ease, speed when on-plane is achieved, dry ride (or not), handling in rough seas, equipped with a head, what is the visibility like while at the helm, and or course trailering. This becomes more important the larger the vessel.
If you’re buying an outboard/center console for fishing, what are some features that are very convenient to have but not always thought about during the buying process?
Retractable or recessed cleats are great for snag-free fishing. Additionally, Grab bars have to be in the right place. When fishing, split-second decisions are common, and these bars should be on the boat in areas where fishing action happens the most.
Does pedigree matter when buying an outboard/center console for fishing?
When considering the Pedigree of a boat brand it can play a role. However, as long as an outboard/center console meets the needs of the buyer it may not be mandatory.
If an owner is looking for a boat builder with a proven history of tournament trail success, there are boat brands out there that offer this. But that is not to say that the proper team and fishing equipment will not deliver on an outboard/ center console that meets all of the angler’s needs as well.
There are many builders in the market today and it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable sales professional when discussing if a boat’s pedigree is important to your fishing ventures.
How many livewells do you need?
Typically, one or two will be sufficient for most of your fishing needs. However, if additional livewells are needed on deck livewells can be set up on most vessels for tournament fishing.
How much rod storage should I have on my outboard/center console?
Space for 7-12 rods is commonly seen if you are using your boat for offshore fishing.
Do you need gunwhale rod holders?
Some people like them, some do not. However, if you are fishing, you can’t fish without them. A lot of boats come with at least 8.
Why do some owners use wet slips or dockage?
Dockage (aka wet-slips) are used to put your boat in the water at a marina and provide convenience for owners who want to get onboard and out on the water fast. This is more common for boats 35 feet and up.
Why is it important to have multiple engines?
Should you have an engine fail and you are far offshore, you have the peace of mind that your other engines will get you back to the dock.
Can I add accessories and options when buying a used boat?
Yes. In some cases, new owners want to make changes to the boat’s accessories based on their anticipated usage.
Do I need a Trailer?
Did you know, trailers represent one of the most popular ways to store an offshore center console? Especially if it is under 35 feet. Trailers can also be important for pulling your boat out for service.
If you are going to fish on your boat should you get an express or walkaround design?
In some cases, these two design types can hinder fishability because they include overnight cabin features. This reduces deck space and reduces your ability to maneuver around the boat while fighting fish. Overall, this is a preference question. Some owners prefer a style like these because they provide a lifestyle a center console is not commonly known for providing.
What are some common features for offshore outboard boats?
- Anchor windlass with controls at helm
- Transom door (with ladder)
- Gunwhale and shotgun rod holders
- Extra rod storage
- Clear livewell lids
- Forward seating
- Stowable seating
- Built-in utility tackle boxes
- Comfortable helm seating for both standing or sitting
- Footrests at helm
- Deep-V hull design
- Fish boxes
- Tuna door or dive door
- Transom livewell(s)
Is a deep V Hull design important if you are taking your boat offshore?
The short answer is, Yes. This clever design makes vessels extremely efficient when they are designed this way. Additionally, cutting though rough seas is much easier with a deep-V.