What makes a good family center console? Aside from the basics like a seaworthy hull, large (and deep) cockpit, and a full array of fishing amenities, the most important component to look for in a family-focused center console is seating—the more, the better. (Also useful might be a small cuddy cabin with V-berths where kids can go to get out of the sun.) There are many boats that satisfy these criteria, and they run the gamut from inexpensive to expensive, high quality to low. Listed here are ten popular models that should easily meet the needs of active famailies looking for a versatile center console for fishing and cruising.
Boston Whaler 320 Outrage Cuddy
Intrepid 356 Cuddy
Edgewater 318 Center Console
Pursuit 3070 Center Console
World Cat 330 TC
Sea Hunt 27 Gamefish
Sailfish 30-06; 3160-320
Intrepid 322 Cuddy
Regulator 29 FS
Mako 284 Center Console
At a Glance: A unique Boston Whaler design when she was introduced in 2006. Same boat as the popular Whaler 320 Outrage with a versatile cuddy cabin. The standard leaning post includes a 45-gallon livewell, freshwater sink, three tackle boxes, and bait prep station. L-lounge forward to port of the console is opposite a refreshment center with refrigerator and freezer. Walk-in console contains marine toilet. Extended fiberglass hardtop shelters the forward cockpit area as well as the console. Well-appointed cuddy includes convertible U-shaped dinette, hardwood flooring, and overhead rod storage. Note molded steps to foredeck. Foldaway bench seat spans transom. Unsinkable hull construction. Verado 300hp outboards top out at 40+ knots.
Best Feature: Functional cuddy is perfect for overnighting or just taking a break from the sun.
Price Range: From the low $100s to $200K-plus.
At a Glance: Muscular, sleek, and finished to very high standards — one of Intrepid's most popular models during her production years. Built on a high performance stepped hull with integrated outboard bracket. Multipurpose layout with L-lounge seating forward of the helm, and full-size cabin with convertible dinette and enclosed head/shower leans more toward family cruising and entertaining than serious fishing pursuits. A semicustom boat, standard featues include a removable full-width stern seat, in-deck fish boxes, livewell, bow thruster, twin dive platforms. In 1998, the cabin height was slightly increased for more headroom below. Most came without a protective windshield forward of the lounge seat. Hullside dive door makes boarding easy.
Best Feature: Lounge seating area forward of the helm — perfect for socializing.
Price Range: From about $80K to $100K-plus.
At a Glance: Versatile fishing platform with great lines, unsinkable hull, and full range of premium features. Biggest boat in the Edgewater fleet when she was introduced in 2006. Large walk-in console houses a fully plumbed head, sink, handheld shower. Comfortable U-shaped bow seating with backrest cushions and adjustable hi-low table makes the 318 an exceptional day cruiser. Notable features include twin transom livewells (66-gal. centerline main and 28-gal. tank in port corner), in-deck bow fish box, foldaway stern seat, frameless windshield, power helm and companion seats, deluxe leaning post with backrest. The lockable (and lighted) rod storage lockers in port and starboard gunnels are a nice touch.
Best Features: Superb finish, unsinkable hull.
Price Range: From the low $100s to the mid $200K range for a new model.
At a Glance: Pursuit got it right with this popular 30-footer, a rock-solid center console whose generous 10'6" beam and forward seating makes this boat a great choice for offshore fishing or family outings. An oversized console houses a roomy head compartment with Vaccu-Flush toilet, storage bin, and sink with hand-held-shower. With a large aft cockpit, wide walkways, and space-efficient layout, the 3070 is a big 30-footer with plenty of storage. Fishing amenities include a 40-gallon transom baitwell, leaning post with rocket launchers, lockable rod storage (forward gunnels), and transom rigging center with sink and cutting board. Dual electric helm chairs, integral bow pulpit and cockpit bolsters are standard. A popular and proven family fishing boat with tons of eye appeal.
Best Feature: Tons of storage.
Price Range: From $40K–45K to the low $100s.
At a Glance: Beefy center console cat combines an ultra-stable platform with an extremely spacious deck layout. Designed for serious fishing — the "TE" stands for Tournament Edition — the 330’s efficient cuddy, forward console seat and deep cockpit allow her to double as a family cruiser. Standard fishing features include two 45-gallon lighted livewells, leaning post with backrest, twin tackle centers, and molded-in toe rail. Each sponson has an in-deck fish box with a third fish/storage box forward of the console. A step-down head is below the console. The cabin includes port and starboard sleeping berths and rod storage. The 330's semi-displacement hulls provide excellent fuel economy. About 35 knots top with 225hp Yamahas.
Best Feature: Huge cockpit and forward deck.
Price Range: Between $80K and $150K used.
At a Glance: Popular 27-footer with wide 9'4" beam and tons of standard equipment is a lot of boat for the money. The console is positioned well forward to make room for a multipurpose seating pod aft of the helm complete with tackle storage, rod holders, and an aft-facing bench seat with a 40-gallon livewell under. A filler insert converts the bow seats into an elevated casting platform. The 27's affordable price (new) includes factory T-top w/lights, bow cushions, cockpit bolsters, marine head, pull-up cleats, low-profile bow rails, and recessed trim tabs. Hullside dive door became standard in 2016. About 40 knots top with Yamaha F150s.
Best Feature: Low price — the Sea Hunt 27 is arguably one of the best deals on the market.
Price Range: From $75K–85K used to low $100s new.
At a Glance: More than just a top-tier fishing boat with gorgeous lines, the Sailfish 320 (called the 30-06 in 2006–08 and 3160 in 2009–12) pays a lot of attention to creature comforts and amenities. Highlights include a large walk-in console with marine head and sink, pull-up rear bench seat, rear cooler seat, U-shaped bow seating with backrests, and bow pedestal table. Helm layout was updated in 2013 to accommodate larger electronics. Note well-flared bow and tall forward freeboard. Lightweight hull is very fuel efficient resulting in greater range than many 30-footers. With tons of room for fishing and seating for up to 10 people, this is a great family fishing machine. A surprisingly fuel efficient boat, twin Yamaha F250s top out at close to 45 knots.
Best Feature: Top-quality construction.
Price Range: From the mid $70s to $150K-plus.
At a Glance: Sleek, go-fast fun machine with slender 9'1" beam and integral outboard bracket combines performance and luxury with serious eye appeal. Semicustom boat — no two are exactly alike. Small cuddy for overnighting or storage has facing seats with sitting headroom, V-berths, and marine toilet with holding tank. Standard features include two in-deck storage boxes, transom livewell, wraparound coaming. For cruising, many of these boats were set up with a full-width transom seat and L-lounge seating forward of the console. Hullside dive door makes boarding easy. Custom fiberglass T-top with electronics console was a popular option. Excellent range with optional 300-gallon fuel. About 50 knots top with Yamaha 250s.
Best Feature: Exemplary fit and finish.
Price Range: About $50K to $120K more or less.
At a Glance: Hardcore fishing machine with forward seating ("FS"), roomy cockpit, and standup head compartment can easily double as a great weekend cruiser. A focal point of the 29 FS is the large helm console that offers a full array of electronics storage. The aft cockpit is wide open with ample room for the crew to fish and work together. A molded leaning post with tackle center is standard. With a 30-gallon transom livewell, twin 200-quart in-seat fish boxes, and 520-quart in-deck fish box, the 29 FS has the storage capacity of many larger boats. The fish box forward in the cockpit doubles as an eight-unit rod locker. Yamaha F250 4-stroke engines deliver a top speed of about 45 knots.
Best Feature: Seaeating deep-V hull designed by legendary architect Lou Cordega.
Price Range: Prices start around $80K–$90K.
At a Glance: Beefy mid-tier center console with wide 9'10" beam and molded bow seating remains one of Mako’s most popular models of recent years. Affordably priced with standard T-top, bait prep center with sink, cushioned leaning post and 50-gallon livewell, the 284 is what brokers call a lot of boat for the money. Storage includes two 390-quart in-deck cockpit fish boxes, two 214-quart forward boxes, tilt-out storage bins in both gunnels, and convenient (lockable) glove box. Step-down head features electric toilet and sink. A fold-away transom seat is a popular option. The 284's tall forward freeboard keeps the cockpit dry when the seas pick up. No lightweight, Verado 250hp motors top out at 40+ knots.
Best Feature: An affordable price.
Used models start in the mid $30s.
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