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Bay boat vs center console

Old 05-16-2020, 01:57 PM
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Default Bay boat vs center console

Hello. Appreciate any opinions. I live in Clearwater Fl. I’ve chartered in the bay w mostly bay boats. Tarpon reds snook. I have two kids and a wife that won’t fish but would want to joy ride and tow a tube maybe ski in a lake.
I doubt I would get really interested in deep sea. Thoughts on bay boat vs a center console.
Old 05-16-2020, 02:03 PM
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Hi Jim, to be honest I think you answered you own question....most center consoles are fishing first boats. There are exceptions to every rule so look around. But if I were more of a sand bar guy with a luxury/tubing family I'd start with bay boats. Hit a couple boat shows and have a look and feel around. But I think you will find the amenities you are looking for in a dual console type of setup.

Good luck,
Old 05-16-2020, 02:06 PM
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CC will probably have higher gunnels draft deeper and provide a better ride. Bay boat will have lower gunnels draft less and not ride as good. If you do a lot of casting and inshore fishing bay boat. Offshore fishing CC. I find that bay boats make for great sandbar cruisers if that’s high on your list.
Old 05-16-2020, 02:45 PM
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Happy Wife is a happy life. I second the idea of a dual console boat. You get a more family friendly fishing machine with greater sun and weather protection. As they often have larger surface area in terms of a Bimini top versus a tee top on a center console or bay boat.
Old 05-17-2020, 11:45 AM
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How do bay boats do for towing kids tubing skiing etc.
Old 05-17-2020, 12:11 PM
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I have a 22 sportsman masters. 3 kids under 10. Tubing is good. Sandbar trips very easy. Considering move to center console but hard to give up bay boat.
Old 10-27-2020, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimredsox View Post
How do bay boats do for towing kids tubing skiing etc.
I'm in a similar spot, I just sold my old flats boat, a very small 15' flat, so for me offshore was out of the question. I don't want to give up inshore fishing, and it is hard to say no to a good casting desk with a trolling motor.
I'm thinking of a hybrid boat, (the angler grande bay 22 ) but I can't afford a new one and there are not much used for sale. on the other hand, the market is full of good 20-22 cc boats for a good price.

What do you end up buying?

All the best
Old 10-27-2020, 02:24 PM
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To me center console is where the steering wheel is located, a center console can be either a bay boat or an offshore boat.

For example the SeaHunt BX22 is both a center console and a bay boat where as the Sea Hunt Escape 235 se is both a bay boat and a dual console.

Old 10-27-2020, 03:34 PM
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I also live in Clearwater. I think it really depends how you plan to use the boat. Most of our fishing isn’t that shallow, even on the flats. There are a few redfish holes what do require getting skinny, but otherwise I rarely am in less than 2-3 feet of water.

Had a Scout 201 bay boat, now have a Parker 25SE mod-v center console. The Parker is better in every way. I can fish nearly all my inshore spots, but have also been 50+ miles offshore, and everything in between. Handles the chop better. High gunwales are so much better with small kids, compared to the bay boat were you were sitting more on top of the boat than inside it. I can still get into 18” water with a trolling motor, which is plenty shallow for me. Personally I would go with a 21-25 CC for the area with a moderate deadrise (maybe 20 degrees or so). Some of the hybrids would work as well. You can pull a tube off any boat, but the CC is going to generally be more comfortable for the family. Even though you don’t plan on it now, there are is a lot of nearshore fishing to explore, and doing so in a CC might be a bit more enjoyable with the kids.

Last edited by Yacht Huckleberry; 10-27-2020 at 03:57 PM.
Old 10-27-2020, 04:13 PM
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Maan, if Parker had put a bracket on the 23SE, I woulda been all over it.
Old 10-27-2020, 09:50 PM
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A center console with forward seating will offer you more (and safer) seating, being more in the boat rather than on it.
Old 10-28-2020, 09:48 AM
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I have a 21' CC that is more of a skiff hull than a deep vee. Can run in skinny water and is great for taking the family (wife, 2 daughters) out to cruise the Chesapeake. I own a BW Montauk 210. It, or something like it, might fit the bill for you too.

Old 10-28-2020, 10:06 AM
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Look at some of the hybrids where you'll get a blend of inshore and offshore capabilities. The Pioneer BaySport 220, which I own, is a cross between a bay boat and a traditional center console. Lots of seating, and a more substantial hull than a pure bay boat. There are a bunch of other companies making similar styles in varying sizes and price ranges. Boating on Tampa Bay with its frequent chop, it was a perfect compromise for us.
Old 10-28-2020, 10:27 AM
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I was looking at similar boats, going between dual console/center console deeper V/bay boat. We had a Yamaha jet boat, that I turned as best I could into a dual console. After renting CC's down in the Fl Keys the family much preferred the CC. you lose some shade space, but much more open and easy for the 5 of us to move around. I love the ability to have people standing/leaning near you at the helm under way.

I was between a deep V CC and bay boat. I went fishing a few times in the Chesapeake bay on my friends Bluefin and while it was a great boat, it was not the nicest ride and you got very wet. Plus the seating for those in the bow was a bit cramped and with little to no gunnels was a concern. The CC's do not draft that much more than the bay boats I was looking at, and found the deeper V's to be better all around. Couldn't afford new so picked up a used Pursuit 2470. We've done a lot of bay/river/lake/inner coaster cruising in her. Bunch of near shore fishing as well. A friend has the same boat and he takes it out 70 miles, but I'll never go that far. One day I'd like to go 15-20 miles out for Mahi but thats about it. I love the fact that the forward deck is very large and very easy to cast from. Eventually I'll get a trolling motor to make it easier in the shallows, but that's after new outboards one day.

I'd vote for deeper V CC. Newer ones have alot of luxury in them, and just great layouts.
Old 10-28-2020, 12:34 PM
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I currently have a Carolina Skiff 26 Ultra Bay Boat. Similar usage as you, except more of a lake and bay guy with some farther out nearshore excursions. I think all of the boats listed have their pros and cons, and Im not saying the CS is "the one". But the CS has front seating, 3 jump seats and a good console changing/porta potty area. I left a 23' Maycraft and find this to be a much more family friendly boat, which makes my life happy, wife happy. They make a 24' in the same line which would run a few k less. The 26 Ultra clocks in at 3700 empty which is heavier than most of your 23' deep v boats. And it has a nice front seating area with higher sides than your typical bay boat.

Last edited by n559br; 10-28-2020 at 02:31 PM.
Old 10-28-2020, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tunavision View Post
A center console with forward seating will offer you more (and safer) seating, being more in the boat rather than on it.
This was a big deal when we were looking at Bay vs Center console. We agreed it was safer in a CC for young kids. Ive seen plenty of kids in Bay Boats sitting right up on the edge.
Old 10-28-2020, 02:19 PM
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Look at some of the Bay boats that are a little heavier and have a little more deadrise and it will give you a better ride than some of your shallow oriented Bay boats and probably close to as good as a typcial CC of same size. Haveing the lower gunnels is nice and better for social and sand bar use as well.
Old 10-28-2020, 02:36 PM
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A CC does not mean it is a "offshore fishing boat". There are CC's that are more for lounging than fishing. I would agree to the above comments about a Dual Console being great for your needs. In my opinion you get very little boat in a bay boat for some of the really high prices they go for now (but i guess thats par for the course with boat prices) In my opinion unless your on a lake or a glass looking bay, a bay boat will be uncomfortable, especially since you can get alot more amenties on a nice DC (private head, showers, sinks, etc)

Of course, its all boat specific. A rough budget and idea of new vs used and what are must haves would help alot with recommendations.

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