Finding the best fishing boats for your needs is no small task — even if you limit your search specifically to the best offshore fishing boats, only. Truth be told there are always a number of trade-offs to make with any boat. Design a deeper V in the hull and you may improve ride characteristics, but you’ll likely reduce stability. Make a lighter boat and it’ll be more fuel efficient, but it’ll also be tossed around a bit more by the waves. The list goes on and on, and the best offshore fishing boats are those that attain a measure of balance in both critical and peripheral elements.
That said, some features are more important than others and we can boil down the most important to the following main characteristics:
- Hull design
- Deck layout
- Power system
Considering these among the most important attributes an offshore angler is likely to consider, our top contenders for best offshore fishing boats of 2020 (ranked alphabetically) include:
- Albemarle 27 DC
- Bertram 61
- Caymas 34
- Grady-White Canyon 336
- Sea Fox 368 Commander
- Solace 345 Center Console
- Sportsman 352
- Valhalla 41
- Viking 38BF
- World Cat 230
Albemarle 27 DC
A dual console may seem like an unlikely pick to include as one of the best offshore fishing boats, since the deck layout is less ideal than that of a center console for fishability. But truth be told many anglers with boating families will be wise to choose a DC. The flexibility this design provides can keep non-angling family members happy and onboard with the boat-buying decision. Unfortunately, the vast majority of dual console boats are built with little attention paid to maintaining maximum fishability. Not so, with this Albemarle. The company has never built anything other than fishing boats, and it shows. The livewell holds a hefty 40 gallons, there’s a 60-gallon macerated fishbox in the deck, coaming bolsters line the cockpit, and the helm is designed to house a pair of 12-inch MFDs. The clincher: an unusually tall wrap-around windshield provides far more protection than you’ll find on most DCs.
For more, read the boats.com review of the Albemarle 27 DC.
See Albemarle 27 DC boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Visit the Albemarle Boats website for more information.
When the Bertram 61 hit the water last year we were impressed – very impressed – and it remains a top pick among best offshore fishing boats as we move into 2020. From the 188 square foot cockpit, to the mezzanine MFD, to the electric reel outlets under the gunwales, this boat lacks nothing in the fishing department. But the real stand-out feature is its construction. This is a vinylester resin-infused boat with Kevlar reinforcement, so it’s light for its size (if you can call 88,000 pounds light) yet it’s also uber-strong. Plus, with a pair of C32 ACERTs in the engineroom it can cruise at over 40. The clincher: the comfort factor is off the scale. Seriously. Book-matched grain woodwork, gyroscopic stabilization, and three en-suite staterooms are all in the mix.
Read a full review of the Bertram 61.
See Bertram 61 boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Visit the official Bertram website for more information.
Caymas 341 CC
Caymas 341 Center Console. Photo by Caymas Boats.
Offshore anglers who don’t like to burn up all their fishing time with a long cruise will love the Caymas 341 CC, which can run at 60-mph with a brace of triple Mercury V-8 300-hp outboard engines on the transom. And it can do it in surprisingly tough conditions, too, thanks to the aggressive 23-degree, twin-step hull it rides on – which also gives it an additional boost in the comfort department.
The Caymas scores high for fishing features, too, including a 70-gallon transom livewell plus the option for 60 more gallons in the deck, 125- and 60-gallon fishboxes, coaming bolsters, toe rails, six gunwale rodholders, and 10 rocket launchers. The clincher: the hardtop has a pass-through hatch so you can get up on the hard-top and spot fish from an elevated position whether you opt for the upper station or not.
The Caymas 34 is so new we haven’t reviewed it yet, but check out boats.com’s review of the 28 HB to get some insight into how these fishing machines are designed and built.
See Caymas boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Visit Caymas Boats for more information.
Grady-White Canyon 326
The Grady-White Canyon 326 was a surprise introduction, since Grady-White already had another model very close in size, the 336. However, that boat is just large and heavy enough that it needs a pair of Yamaha F425 outboards or triple engines to perform up to Grady-White’s standards. By shaving off a bit of size and weight, the 326 is able to run quite well with a pair of 4.2-liter Yamaha F300s and comes close to 50-mph at top-end — yet gets 1.6-mpg at a 30-mph cruise. As is true of all Grady-Whites it also checks the fishability box, and scores high for comfort. The clincher: The 72-gallon fishbox in the transom is literally big enough to climb inside of.
See listings for the Grady-White Canyon 326 on Boat Trader.
Visit the official Grady-White website for more information.
Sea Fox 368 Commander
When you think of 35-plus-foot triple-engine center consoles you probably don’t think of Sea Fox boats. At least, you wouldn’t have prior to 2020, because Sea Fox didn’t have any offerings in that range. But now they do, and when we got a ride on their new 368 Commander we liked what we saw. Serious fishing cred is instantly established with a huge tackle station in the back of the leaning post, a pair of twin 50-gallon pressurized transom livewells, and an aft-facing hard-top MFD. Comfort gets a boost with an extending aft sunshade and a huge forward console lounger. The clincher: 27 rodholders ring the boat, line the hard top, and grace the transom.
See Sea Fox 368 Commander boats for sale on Boat Trader
Visit Sea Fox for more information.
Named Boat of the Year by Boating Magazine and awarded an NMMA Innovation Award at the 2020 Miami International Boat Show, the Solace 345 isn’t just among the best offshore fishing boats around, it’s also one of the most unique center consoles ever built. Fishability gets a massive leg up due to the cockpit extension which goes back aft of the outboards, while touches like a pair of flanking 45-gallon pressurized livewells, electric reel plugs, and 18 standard rodholders make this boat battle-ready right out of the box. Construction is cutting edge, too, and the boat’s built with Innegra and epoxy infusion. It gets cured in a heated, oven-like mold, which produces the lightest, strongest fiberglass part possible. The clincher: helm seats are mounted on Shockwave S5 shock-mitigation mounts, to help smooth out the ride and seriously enhance comfort levels.
See Solace 345 boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Visit the Solace Boats website for more information.
Sportsman Open 352 Center Console
The Sportsman Open 352 Center Console naturally has that center console deck layout we anglers love, spiffy performance including a top-end of over 58-mph, and all the fishing features one could want including a pair of pressurized 30-gallon livewells, a 22-inch Garmin MFD and CHIRP transducer, and a pair of macerated in-deck fishboxes. Where we get wowed, however, is when it comes to pricing. Bottom line: not everyone can drop half a mil on a 35-foot center console, and while many competitors run this much, the Sportsman starts at a far more reasonable $295K.
Even more impressive is that piling on features causes the price to build about half as fast as it does with some other boats. The clincher: Comfort is through the roof thanks to a surprisingly large console cabin, which has a berth and dinette, a head, and a huge light-providing side window.
See Sportsman Open 352 boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Visit the Sportsman Boats official website for more information.
What happens when yacht builder Viking decides to build a no-holds-barred center console fishing machine? You get the Valhalla V-41. When we ran the V-41 this rig – with quad Mercury Verado 400 engines – blew past 73 mph. Cruising through a two- to three-foot chop at 45-mph presented no problem, and the Michael Peters-designed SVVT hull proved smooth and spray-free. Performance? Off the charts. Comfort? Off the charts. Add to that touches like a Jacuzzi-sized 90-gallon pressurized livewell, a mammoth 192-gallon fishbox, and gobs of open deck space, and you have an offshore angler’s dream boat. The clincher: didn’t you see the part about breaking 73-mph?!
We don’t have a video yet of the V-41, but checkout the V-37 to get an idea of what these Valhalla center consoles are all about.
See Valhalla V-41 boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Visit Valhalla Boatworks for more information.
Launching the Valhalla line certainly didn’t occupy all of Viking’s bandwidth, because at the very same time they also developed the new 38 BF. Like others in their Billfish line, rather than have a closed saloon under the flybridge this area is open to the cockpit. The design supercharges the boat’s fishability factor since you can choose to run it from up top, or from a (optional) lower station as though it were an express – giving the captain the flexibility to easily move into the cockpit and partake in the action. Plus, the 38 has about 25-percent more cockpit deck-space than the older model 37 Billfish.
Oh, and don’t worry about the comfort factor, either. This is after all a Viking, and the lower cabin is just as luxurious as you’d expect. The clincher: that open saloon can be hosed out, so after getting splattered with fish gore you can go in, sit down, and rest without worrying about ruining anything.
See Viking 38 BF boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Visit Viking Yachts for more information.
World Cat 230
The World Cat 230 CC has the honor of being the smallest boat we’d qualify as offshore-capable in this round-up, which gives it a number of big advantages: it costs far less than the other boats we’ve included here, it costs less to run and maintain (a pair of 115-hp outboard give it a cruise of around 30 mph and it gets well over 2.5 mpg at that speed), it can be fished with a minimal crew, and you can easily trailer it from port to port and launch it wherever you’d like. Fishability is up to snuff with a 30-gallon livewell in the transom, a pair of 37-gallon fishboxes, four gunwale holders, and eight rocket launchers on the T-top and leaning post. The clincher: the boat’s diminutive nature should mean comfort levels take a big hit, but the catamaran hull design runs much smoother than almost all monohulls in its class.
See World Cat 230 CC boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Visit World Cat for more information.
Are any of these contenders the perfect offshore fishing boat? Which one is the best of the best? That depends on you, your needs, and your financial wherewithal. But we can say one thing for sure: no matter who you are, if you buy any one of these 10 offshore fishing boats your 2020 is about to get a whole lot more exciting.