The evolution of the sportfishing yacht has changed significantly over the past few decades, not just from the materials used in the hull, or the advancement in construction techniques, but from its true capabilities. Anglers move up from center-consoles to larger sportfishing yachts for several reasons, but the main one is that you can simply fish farther out and for longer periods of time. All sportfishing yachts were once entirely made of wood, and while some custom boat manufacturers still build wooden boats, the vast majority of sportfishing yachts sold today use a high-quality composite that is resin-infused for maximum durability and performance. Hulls are larger, lighter, and stronger which means today’s sport fishing boat can go faster and fit more on it. Many of the Viking Yachts or Hatteras Yachts today feature 3 to 4 staterooms, each with their own head along with oversized salons, enclosed bridges, flybridges, and more creature comforts to make your time on the water more enjoyable. The most popular style of sport fishing boat today has to be the Convertible Sportfish due to its versatility of having the open bridge, along with the amenities of a motor yacht.
There are thousands of yachts available on the United website through our MLS services, many of which are sportfishing boats. There are many different brands, styles, features, and capabilities of both custom and production sportfish sold today, and the team at United has years of experience both selling sportfish and working with the manufacturers on new builds. Our brokers will share with you what they think is the best sport fishing boat available on the market. Let the United team help you in your search to find the perfect sportfishing boat, call our main office today at (772) 463-3131. United is also a dealer for new Hatteras Yachts and Cabo Yachts.
The improvements in construction and added space have paved the way for larger, more powerful engines to be used in sportfishing yachts. Whether tournament-fishing or just a weekend warrior, getting to the fishing grounds quickly is imperative. Today’s sportfish boats can cruise anywhere from 20 to 30 knots and exceed speeds of 50 knots with big twin diesel engines. It’s the amenities on board though that generally appeal to the owner who likes to fish with his family. Comfortable, air-conditioned salons, full galley’s with lots of storage for extended trips, hot showers in en suite bathrooms can make any extended fishing trip more enjoyable with kids on board especially.
Below are several prominent custom and production sportfishing boat brands:
As the name denotes, sportfishing yachts have their main task set up for them —to fish— but the bonus here is that you’ll have a second use for these ‘fish-catching’ machines —a true yacht you’ll enjoy using to experience the excitement of the yachting lifestyle too.
The primary focus for a sportfishing yacht is to be able to cruise off far away from the sight of land to seek out big game. Due to their commonly having gigantic fuel tanks, there’s never an issue when planning a faraway fishing trip. You’ll even find some long-range sportfishing yachts that are designed for extra long trips that can go for days on end. The hulls of these fishing beasts are designed to maximize seaworthiness as well as comfort. Their impressive mass allows for its owners and guests protection from those mountainous waves which a different style boat of the same size would have no chance in doing. The first step in choosing the perfect sportfish yacht for you, is to hone in on the type of fishing you’ll be mostly doing as there are a variety of custom sportfishing yachts with endless special features created solely for different angling styles and tactics.
Size doesn’t necessarily matter when choosing your favorite sportfishing yacht as this type of boat allows for a half-dozen to even a dozen anglers (on many) with good volume throughout.
There’s another bonus for those fishermen owners with family begging to join as a sport fisherman is always ready for guests with their comfortable cabins. Some even have several private staterooms, each with their own private heads. This comes in handy when there are back to back fishing tournaments allowing the owner and his friends to travel up and down the coast in luxury with sumptuous accommodations throughout suited for living aboard for many days or even weeks while fishing competitively. Offering faster speeds then a cruiser, she tends to consume more fuel – but you’ll hit 30 mph or more! The guests will appreciate this when looking to hit more islands in less time! You’ll find sportfish yachts range in size from 26 – 100 feet so there’s no worry you won’t find the right size to fit your needs.
Once you decide a center-console isn’t quite cutting it anymore, there will be decisions to make – and a tough one at that. What type of sportfish makes for the perfect fit for your use? Would you rather have an open express, convertible, an enclosed bridge sportfish? Since many manufacturers build all three, we thought we would educate you on the difference between them all.
To start, convertible boats big advantage when comparing are their larger cabins. They enclose what would be the helm-deck on an express and turn it into a salon. This gives her lots of interior space. And even though the flybridge is used to run the boat, it also is used as an extra entertaining area since you’ll find many guests will enjoy riding up on top. This extra room translates into additional berths as well, perfect for those overnighters.
Convertibles also have the advantage of height from their flybridge. This height allows the captain the ability to see exactly what’s needed for some big catches. You can add a tower to an express, but better yet, if you add a tower to the convertible on top of the flybridge, you’ll have one the height match!
The convertible’s flybridge moves the helm station far away from the engines, providing a buffer from their vibrations.
When studying the layout of the express, you’ll find she is easy to get around being there aren’t any bridge-deck ladders and their engine rooms are often easily accessed via lifting helm-decks, and the helm is adjacent to the cockpit. It’s an easy trip from the wheel to the rods and reels making it an easier for the captain to get in on the action, when the fishing is real. On an express, the captain can often do double-duty cutting down on the crew needed from three to just two – in most circumstances.
The expresses – with their lower center of gravity – have been known to be a bit more stable than convertibles of the same size. Those without the tower, also tend to cost slightly less than convertibles of the same size, too.
The enclosed flybridge sportfisherman design has gained much appreciation among captains and owners who enjoy being out of the weather in the boat’s comfortable, climate-controlled command center.
Enclosed flybridges have been around for decades on yachts and party boats but, until more recently, they weren’t an option on sportfishing convertibles. A few Carolina charter captains were the first to include this enclosed flybridge feature as an “add-on” so to extend the summer fishing season into winter. In 1978, the first sportfisherman with an air-conditioned enclosed flybridge was introduced when Hatteras —using naval architect John Chadwick of Jack Hargrave Yacht Design in Palm Beach —got the idea to offer this feature on their 60-foot convertible.
On the engineering side, it was a feat that many were unsure of — to create a forward and aft command station with added comfort features in this enclosed bridge such as refrigeration, seating, heating and air, all with access from the interior salon and the mezzanine deck. The key to building a successful enclosed flybridge sportfisherman is integrating the bridge design with the deckhouse below.
Whatever sportfisherman type suits your fancy, we stand ready to assist you with as much additional information to ensure you are most comfortable in your choice and sitting pretty catching many fish in your near future!