What Is a Good Size for a Fishing Boat?

Fishing boats come in various sizes, each designed for specific purposes and preferences. Understanding what size of boat is suitable for your fishing needs is essential. Factors like the type of fishing you plan to do, the number of people on board, and your budget play a crucial role in determining the ideal size for a fishing boat.

Factors to Consider when Choosing the Size of a Fishing Boat:

  • Type of Fishing: The type of fishing you plan to do will greatly influence the size of the boat you need. If you are into offshore fishing, where you venture far from land in search of big game fish, a larger boat with more storage space and stability is necessary. On the other hand, if you prefer freshwater fishing on calm lakes and rivers, a smaller boat may suffice.
  • Number of People: Consider how many people will typically accompany you on your fishing trips. If you usually fish alone or with one or two companions, a smaller boat will be suitable.However, if you often fish with a larger group or entertain guests on board, a larger vessel with sufficient seating capacity is necessary.
  • Budget: Your budget plays an important role in determining the size of the fishing boat you can afford. Larger boats generally come with higher price tags due to their increased features and capabilities. It’s important to strike a balance between your desired boat size and your budget limitations.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Sizes:

Small Fishing Boats (12-16 feet):

Small fishing boats have their advantages for certain types of fishing:

  • Easy Maneuverability: Small boats are easier to maneuver in tight spaces, making them ideal for fishing in smaller lakes, rivers, and shallow areas.
  • Lower Cost: Smaller boats are generally more affordable, making them a great option for anglers on a budget.

However, there are some downsides to consider:

  • Limited Storage: Smaller boats have limited storage capacity, which can be challenging if you need to carry a lot of gear or plan for extended trips.
  • Less Stability: Due to their smaller size, these boats may be less stable in choppy waters or adverse weather conditions.

Moderate-sized Fishing Boats (16-20 feet):

Moderate-sized fishing boats offer a balance between maneuverability and space:

  • Versatility: These boats can handle both smaller bodies of water and larger lakes or bays, giving you more options for fishing locations.
  • Increased Storage: Moderate-sized boats usually have more storage compartments and space to accommodate fishing equipment and supplies.
  • Better Stability: Compared to smaller boats, moderate-sized vessels provide better stability in rougher waters.

Larger Fishing Boats (20+ feet):

Larger fishing boats offer several advantages for serious anglers:

  • Ample Space: Larger boats provide plenty of room for passengers, fishing gear, coolers, and other amenities. They often feature multiple seating areas and comfortable cabins.
  • All-Weather Capabilities: These boats are designed to handle various weather conditions and rough waters, making them suitable for offshore fishing adventures.

However, there are a few drawbacks to consider:

  • Higher Cost: Larger boats are generally more expensive to purchase and maintain, requiring a bigger investment.
  • More Challenging to Maneuver: Due to their size, larger boats may be more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces or congested areas.


Choosing the right size for your fishing boat depends on several factors. Consider the type of fishing you plan to do, the number of people you will have on board, and your budget limitations.

Small boats offer maneuverability and affordability, while moderate-sized boats strike a balance between versatility and storage space. Larger boats provide ample room and all-weather capabilities but come with higher costs. Evaluate your needs carefully before making a decision, ensuring that you find the perfect fishing boat size for your requirements.

Photo of author

Michael Allen