Small Fishing Boat Buyers Guide
Small Fishing boats vary in size style and fish designed to catch in some cases. For example mini bass boats, crappie boats are examples of small fishing boats taking on the identity of a certain type of fishing. Of course these boats can be used for much more than just fishing so this analysis is going to be based on mainly the boat construction and overall value you as a shopper should be interested in.
Mini Bass Boats or small pontoon boats are some of the most popular small fishing boats on the market because of the stable platform they offer in such a small area. Speed and controlled driving at faster speeds is not what these boats are known for. They will list to the outside with an outboard so speeds are limited. However it is the most stable platform you can buy in a small boat. Many people like to stand up once in a while to stretch their legs. The most popular way of getting around in a small pontoon boat is an electric trolling motor. Many will add a gas motor later if they find they can't go far enough with the electric motor.
Self bailing in a small pontoon boat is boats that have floors above the waterline and sealed pontoons. Sealed meaning water can't get trapped in the boat and cause it to become heavy. This is the ultimate desire with most small boaters if you have ever owned one. There are some manufacturers that do a good job of sealing their boats on the outside and we would consider a quality seal. Floors may not be above the waterline when people are in the boat, that is because people vary in weight these days.
Double hull boats vs single hull boats
In double hull boats to get the water out you must turn it up on it's bow (usually) with 200lbs or so of additional water weight in it. So call a neighbor or two and lean it against a tree, and that is just the start of the problems. Even if you store it upside down, many of the hull and deck seams wear down and then the water gets into the boat all the time, no matter if it's stored upside down or not. To learn more about plastic double hull boats flaws, give us a call and we will let you know which boats are of the best construction. There are a few models that don't have this problem, but the key is to look for a drain plug on the bow. Most of the time it would be to bad to store the boat upside down if the seals didn't wear out.
On a single hull boat the material is probably the biggest concern. Since the problem of trapping water is not an issue, the material used for what water conditions is of utmost importance. To read up on different hull materials read up on our material compare page.
The most important things to look in a small fishing boat is construction type of material, type of seam seals if any, and lastly the weight and location and application being used for. Many things are not evident from a picture and specifics listed, and customers often times give bad reviews on products that they purchased for use in the wrong environment, and is a result of mis-informed customers. So if you want to make sure you purchase the right boat call our un-commissioned salesmen at DirectBoats and ask for advice.
My USCG sticker says my boat has different capacities than the DirectBoats.com web site, why?
If you see a United States Coast Guard sticker on a boat it means the coast guard regulates the person capacity. Some boats are not required to have a USCG sticker for example most canoes and kayaks are not. Most of the capacities we post on the web site are manufacturer max capacity numbers which include persons motor and gear. Some customers get the person capacity mixed up with the max capacity, the USCG stickers read X persons OR Y lbs. The "OR" means you can put either that many people OR that much people weight. The coast takes the highest mortality rate boats then puts a rating on them with safety factor built in to help protect the public. Mini Pontoon boats have USCG stickers on them which means they will unofficially hold a good bit more weight than is shown.