Walkaround or center console

Thread starter #1

bjorns4

Senior Member
I am a west coast boy and I love the idea and comfort of walkarounds. Out here I notice that most boaters have center consoles. Is there a reason that center console is favored so much down here? Is a walk around platform not suited for fishing in Florida or off the Georgia Coast.
 

Stonewall 2

Senior Member
By walk around sim assuming you mean the boats with a cabin. Center consoles have a lot more fishing casting area than a walk around more bow storage. Also a lot of guys use trolling motors for flats fishing which wouldn’t be possible with a walk around. If all you do is offshore fishing or trolling the walk around would be fine. If more inshore fishing the center is the way to go. At least that’s my opinion.
 

WayneB

Senior Member
a walkaround would have a cabin/ berth area with a little catwalk around the outside. Usually will have a grabrail to hold onto that is mounted to wall. Really made to provide a place to get out of weather.

Runabouts are usually pleasure boats with seating for riding and swimming, not fishing specific.

Center console is fishing specific, very minimal seating but a wide open deck to move quickly.
Some will have a head tucked in under the console if they are large enough.
 
Thread starter #6

bjorns4

Senior Member
being able to stay in the boat and make a run to the keys or islands would be nice. they are designed for staying out of the weather. I would think that it would be a plus in the Florida heat. I guess my question is are they practical for offshore fishing. Is being able to run around a boat chasing fish that necessary
 

Stonewall 2

Senior Member
Type of fishing? Bumping the bottom or trolling walk around is fine casting cc. If you are inshore fishing or fishing good weather days for offshore a center console with a ttop would be much better than a boat with a cuddy cabin. You mentioned Florida heat you want to be in that cabin with no air conditioning? I would prefer to stand in the rain or ride with a rain suit.
 

WayneB

Senior Member
having room to run around is handy when you hook something as big as the boat and has teeth.

I've had a walk around, a wellcraft 22 ft weekender. It was miserably hot with virtually no ventilation. You would roast in the cabin in daytime, nightime, sunshine or dark.
Ultimately sold it as it was too small to store a generator or install a marine A/C neatly.

Only benefit I know I can honestly say it rode rough seas better than any other boat I've had. You'd almost need two trucks to tow it, but it rode big water great.
 

spearjunky

Senior Member
a lot of cc and walk arounds have the same hull just different cap so draft would be the same now if you have a cc then a lot of times they have T-tops witch take up casting space so to me what kind of fishing do you do then go from there
 

pottydoc

Senior Member
99% of folks with walk around or small cuddy cabin boats don't use the cabins for anything other than storing stuff. And collecting mold. Unless you're getting a 28' or above the cabins are tiny. Maybe they'd be more practical up north but they're mostly not useable in Florida.
 
Walk around is going to usually be a smoother drier ride..but I personally would go with a center console..it runs shallower plus a lot more comfortable fishing from and if it's to choppy for a cc I'm going to the boat ramp or staying home for the day anyways
 
In my experience the walk-around rides smoother and drier but the cabin is totally useless 75% of the time except for growing mold and storage. I'd rather have a center console with more room to fish and a Bimini top for shade when needed, mainly to keep my wife shaded since she's fair skinned. My current boat has a walkthrough windshield and I find it to be more annoying than useful.
 

Rabun

Senior Member
To me it's all about versatility based on the areas/species I target. CC bay boat w T-top works best...good compromise for lakes, inshore and near shore...trolling down riggers, deep dive planners and side planners. Lots of casting room, bait wells, rod storage, gear storage and comfortable versatile seating for friends and family. Trolling motor is a must...for me. I think a fishing boat with a cabin has more appeal if your trying to stay out of cold weather...not the stifling heat we have down here....just my opinion. It is important to get what You want and what you will be most comfortable with.

Let us know what you end up going with.
 
Thread starter #15

bjorns4

Senior Member
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest so I do have a bias based on those conditions. My primary reasoning was to have a toilet and storage for the kids. After doing some research I found that a lot of center consoles have those now. What is a good length for the average person for fishing deep in Florida, and maybe on a nice day making a run to the Bahamas? Would a 23-26 be adequate? I haven't spent much time on the Atlantic
 
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest so I do have a bias based on those conditions. My primary reasoning was to have a toilet and storage for the kids. After doing some research I found that a lot of center consoles have those now. What is a good length for the average person for fishing deep in Florida, and maybe on a nice day making a run to the Bahamas? Would a 23-26 be adequate? I haven't spent much time on the Atlantic
For what you stated, 26' would be a minimum, 32' would be my preference.
As finicky as the Atlantic can be your time on water will be limited in anything smaller than a 26.
Twin outboards for sure and I wouldn't attempt a Bahama crossing in any weather without a chase boat.
 

WayneB

Senior Member
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest so I do have a bias based on those conditions. My primary reasoning was to have a toilet and storage for the kids. After doing some research I found that a lot of center consoles have those now. What is a good length for the average person for fishing deep in Florida, and maybe on a nice day making a run to the Bahamas? Would a 23-26 be adequate? I haven't spent much time on the Atlantic
I made the crossing in a boat about that size, never again. Young, Dumb and.. invincible. (yeah go with that!)
35ft or larger, or a motor sailer and I would not hesitate.
The gulfstream can be fickle and go from near calm to 40ft seas almost instantly. We used to fish the Bahamas every other weekend when I was a kid, in a 43 foot inboard twin. This was with dead reckoning and a sextant along with 1950's and 60's era charts..
We've towed back many who thought it would be a good idea to go out in anything under 28ft and got swamped.
 

pottydoc

Senior Member
25 plus times to the islands in a Dusky 203 with a single 175 Evinrude. More times than I remember in a 25 pursuit with a single 225 Evinrude. Bunches more in other less than 30' single engine powered boats. Almost all of them cc's. Almost never with a buddy boat. It's 52 miles from the mouth of Boynton Inlet to the entrance to the channel at West End. That means if I'm 26 miles out, I'm as close to the Bahamas as I am home. If someone told you they were fishing 26 miles out, would you tell them they're under 30' boat was too small. There are thousands of small boats that cross safely to the Bahamas everyday. Literally hundreds on any summer weekend day with decent weather in South/Southeast Florida. Watch the weather, maintain your boat, file a float plan, and have the necessary safety gear on board. Then go and have a good time. By the way, when I started crossing, there was no such thing as GPS, or Loran C. We did know how to navigate with a compass and a watch, though. Most of the folks running around in 30' plus boats now probably can't.
 

pottydoc

Senior Member
I made the crossing in a boat about that size, never again. Young, Dumb and.. invincible. (yeah go with that!)
35ft or larger, or a motor sailer and I would not hesitate.
The gulfstream can be fickle and go from near calm to 40ft seas almost instantly. We used to fish the Bahamas every other weekend when I was a kid, in a 43 foot inboard twin. This was with dead reckoning and a sextant along with 1950's and 60's era charts..
We've towed back many who thought it would be a good idea to go out in anything under 28ft and got swamped.
Calm to 40' almost instantly? You're a funny guy, Wayne. I'm thinking you probably have never used a sextant either. No real reason to, when navigating to and from the Bahamas. A compass, yeah. A chart and a protractor? yup, if you don't already know the course. As in been there before. A sextant? Oooooookkkkkkkk.

Another little tidbit: Today's small outboard powered boats are way more reliable than a 50's or 60's twin inboard was. And a dang site faster. It took me about 1 1/2 hours from dock to dock in my last offshore boat to cross in decent weather. My buddies boat takes an hour, maybe a hair less. The amount of small boats that cross everyday, with any kind of issue being almost unheard of, gives lie to your post.
 
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Thread starter #20

bjorns4

Senior Member
Thanks for all of the information and good points. I had been thinking about the distance many people go for the swordfishing and deep dropping in small to mid size boats. I guess it all comes down to common sense and good judgement on finding a decent window to make the run.
 
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