The Story Behind the Four Best Boats for Fishing and Family Fun [Center Console Boats]

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Center console boats were designed for serious fishing enthusiasts.

It is a popular choice for sports fishing. These single-deck open hull boats have a console in the center; thus giving 360 degrees unfettered access for casting and reeling in your previous catch.

Often light, these boats were made to withstand rough waters. Coupled with
rod holders, storage, and large fish boxes, a fisherman can look forward to a day of serious offshore fishing.

Recreational boating is gaining more popularity in the U.S. There are 12 million registered boats in the U.S and statistics show that more than 80 million adults used a boat for sports activities such as fishing or water sports.

More families are spending time together on boating activities and in response to this trend, boat manufacturers are offering more family-friendly features on their boats.

What was once a fishing vehicle has now morphed into something that will be comfortable for the whole family to use.

There is no need to sacrifice function for design, however. Below are the four of the best center console boats that will not only make a fisherman happy but will keep the family contented too.

Southport 33 FE (Family Edition)

There is always a fine balance between having a boat for fishing and a day boat for the family, Southport is able to offer both in the 33 FE model.

The Southport 33 FE is a solid chunky boat, which easily rides through the white caps and rollers. Known as the boat of choice for a hardcore fishing enthusiast, a few added features make this a favorite for the family too. This includes the generous space for seating and entertaining. The bow sun pad provides lots of sunning areas.

The downside to this additional seating means there is less space for fishing and limited storage. The model has a pair of 75-gallon fish boxes and a cooler in the forward console seat, which should be plenty of space for your

The center console has a head compartment and a six-foot berth. The whole family will definitely be comfortable on board. If you need more space to stow away all the paraphernalia, some handy boat storage ideas include adding mounted cargo nets and collapsible canvas hampers

Key West 239 FS (Family sportsman)

The largest in the Key West FS series, the boat has more emphasis on family activities and water sports. There are plenty of family-friendly features. The large seating area has full-width well-upholstered seating.

The seats contain large storage compartments; a few are insulated to use as fish boxes. The leaning post contains a great convention center with a freshwater sink, cup holders, cooler, and utensil drawer.

With features like these, it is easy to see why the Key West 239 is a favorite for those wanting a great multi-purpose boat; but there is more.

There is a molded swim platform with stainless steel ladder and an option of adding a great sound system and shower station. More The Key West 239 comes with options including stainless steel Bimini top or a deluxe T-top, a tilt steering wheel, and a choice of seven hull colors.

Edgewater 280 CX (crossover)

Another option for the fishing family is the Edgewater 280 CX (Crossover). This is a family-style fishing boat, rugged and inbuilt but with family-friendly features.

The Edgewater is proud of its reputation as being unsinkable; thanks to its SPI (single piece infusion) construction. There is no other more solid boat, built to withstand heavy use. Despite this, the Edgewater 280 CX is a comfortable ride.

With over 65.6 ft of usable space, there will be loads of room for fishing and for the family. Socializing space in the cockpit consists of double-wide seats and a fold-out bench. The built aft-facing seat contains a removable cooler. The bow lounge seats four with drink holders and a built-in cooler.

There are great features for the fisherman in the family with 28 gallons live well coming as standard, plenty of built-in rod holders, and a 500-quart fish box. The bait prep station comes with a freshwater sink.

Boston Whaler 330 Outrage

Those familiar with the Boston Whaler range know what it could offer. The latest model is a wonder, geared for both offshore fishing and family recreation.

The Boston Whaler 330 has plenty of space, big on performance yet comfortable — How can a boat this luxurious can be equally functional and rugged?

The model offers a deluxe leaning post, rocket launcher-type rod holders, large huge fish boxes to haul your catch home, and even a tuna door.

Boston Whaler 330 Outrage
Boston Whaler 330 Outrage

With such amenities, you can certainly spend a day doing some damage to the fish stock offshore. It comes with a premium hard top, windshield wipers, and LED floodlights (Available on Amazon). 

The new model handles better and feels safe yet agile in the hand. It skims rather than plows through the waves.

While it has no problem handling the choppy waters, it is more comfortable at lower speeds.

For the family, there is plenty of entertainment space with an aft-facing bench seat for four. The seats have padded bolsters to use as backrests.

Storage is cunningly concealed and further storage ideas like adding compartment dividers will ensure you have all your clutter under control.

With a summer kitchen installed, spending some time away from the shore will be a simple and joyful experience.

Stick to Aluminium boat designs

There are various materials used in constructing a boat, especially for family and all sorts of entertainment. However, if you’re going to use the boat on the rough water for fishing or any activity, a pressed Aluminum boat is ideal for entry-level trailer boats.

These are made up of welded Aluminum hulls and there is pedestal seating to suit you. One of the benefits of this boat is they are lightweight and small enough to contain the family.


While the center console boats are mainly geared for serious fishing, there is no reason you cannot opt for one that could be both for you and your family. These luxurious models mean you don’t choose between the two and you can share the joys of fishing with them.

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