Best Boat Deals: Expert’s Choice—Boston Whaler, Twin Vee, Mako

We’re celebrating center-consoles this month for our Expert’s Choice installment, having pored over many dozens of listings to find a couple of true classics and a sort of odd-ball that deserves a heck of a lot more respect than it gets. Read on to discover the fruits of our labor—a trio of great center consoles—and they all come with price tags that won’t give you hypertension.


1968 Boston Whaler 17 Eastport
1968 Boston Whaler 17 Eastport

Boston Whaler 17

It doesn’t get more classic that Boston Whaler’s 17-foot hull, which has had many configurations ride on it—including the iconic 17-foot Montauk—over the years. This Eastport’s a bit different than the Montauk, having a larger and more substantial mahogany center console and additional seating accommodations—also in bright and shiny mahogany. The best part about this fishing boat is that it’s completely restored and ready to go.

  • This custom Eastport model features more substantial seating inside, including a mahogany bench at the stern and a mahogany helm seat.
  • The hull is unsinkable, built with foam sandwiched between layers of durable fiberglass laminate.
  • Boston Whalers tend to maintain value regardless of their age, so devaluation on an older model is generally not a problem.

See Boston Whaler 17 boats for sale on Boat Trader.

2013 Twin Vee Baycat 19
2013 Twin Vee Baycat 19

Twin Vee Baycat 19

Not considered a classic, but one heck of a great boat for fishing, crabbing, and just poking around, the Twin Vee 19 has an efficient and stable hull, and is remarkably fuel-efficient. (We owned one a few years back. In a full day of crabbing we would burn only 10 gallons of fuel). Read on to see what else there is to love about this bargain center-console cat.

  • The cat design of this center-console means much more deck space than you’d normally find in a boat this size. We’ve had four folks fishing aboard quite comfortably.
  • The hull is remarkably stable and seaworthy—we’ve had one out in quite a blow and never once doubted we’d make it home okay.
  • A 115-horsepower outboard  produce a top end in the 30s and a cruise in the 20s.
  • Her open layout makes her great for fishing and additionally capable for crabbing. We’ve stowed a couple of dozen traps on her deck with no problem and still plenty of room left.

See Twin Vee 19 Bay Cat boats for sale on Boat Trader.

1990 Mako 171 Center Console
1990 Mako 171 Center Console

Mako 171

The 17-foot Mako hull is a classic in sport fishing circles. It’s got a tough and smooth-riding hull that most 17-footers only dream of having, and a no-nonsense deck layout that makes it a great fishing or crabbing boat. That utility also makes it a good family boat, and its wide availability on the used market puts it within reach of many who might not otherwise be able to afford a boat.

  • The Mako 17 debuted in the late 1960s, and is still responsible for safely taking many thousands of people fishing each day.
  • Their deep entry and moderate deadrise at the transom gives them a smooth, comfortable ride while their solidly built hull stands up to just about any beating.
  • There’s a fold-back canvas Bimini top and forward bench seating.
  • A trademark of the 17 is its bow stowage area, where all sorts of gear can be tucked away out of the weather.

See Mako 171 boats for sale on Boat Trader.

Written by: Gary Reich

Gary Reich is a Chesapeake Bay-based freelance writer and photojournalist with over 25 years of experience in the marine industry. He is the former editor of PropTalk Magazine and was the managing editor of the Waterway Guide. His writing and photography have been published in PassageMaker Magazine, Soundings, Fly Fishing in Salt Waters, Yachting Magazine, and Lakeland Boating, among others.

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