The biggest problem with half the fishboats on the market today is that they arent even fishboats anymore. In our politically correct please-everybody world, many hard-core fishing machines have been feminized to the point that they are better suited for picnic cruises and sunbathing than they are for slime-laden bloodbaths.
Thanks a lot, you metro-sexual boat designers. What are you going to do next, spike my chum with estrogen?
The worst part of this design trend is the fact that women and kids who like fishing dont want all of that stuff, either. And those who do desire the frilly features are not very likely to get up at 4:00 a.m. for a full day of fishing in the first place.
Your wife wont pee in a bucket and demands a boat with a head? Sorry, bud, you should have chosen better. Your kids insist on having a cabin with a TV? Dont even bother training them to make a good gaff shot, because they will be too busy exercising their thumbs on the X-Box to bother with those stinky old fish.
Photo: a Dogs Life Photo, Canstock
If you want to be a serious angler who owns a serious fishboat, and put those hard-earned dollars towards maximizing length instead of leisure, its time to ditch Moms Mink and start shopping. While you are at it, look for these specific features that have been added to half the "fishing" boats being built today---and avoid them at all cost.
1. The Center Console Head - Get that thing out of my way, and let me mount my tackle boxes and rod racks in there. Why waste all of that perfectly good stowage space on a luxury item? Besides, going into a center console head makes a huge number of people sick, and they may well end up holding it in or doing their business on deck in a bucket, anyway. And what about those big, fancy center consoles that turn this compartment into a "cabin" with a teak and holly sole, berths, and entertainment centers? My aluminum rod butts, lead weights, and splattering bunker oil will make short work of that garbage; all its really good for is driving up the boats price and impressing babes at boat shows.
2. Winches - What do you think I am, a girly-man? Then let me get to work and use my biceps. Pulling up an anchor really isnt all that big of a deal, and putting a windlass on a boat provides you with one more mechanical item that can fail. And, yes, anchor winches do fail with startling regularity. Besides, when you are trying to pinpoint anchor on a wreck or reef, you can drop the anchor faster and monitor how much scope is out more accurately if you do it by hand.
3. Removable Leaning Post Backrests - That backrest slides into a pair of rodholders that act as receiver mounts. So what am I supposed to do, choose whether to take the backrest along or leave it in the garage and get an extra pair of rodholders? Like thats a choice? I have the best, biggest rods around and I want---no, I need---each and every rodholder I can get.
4. Bow Cushions - When I am on the water, I dont want to waste one single second of my precious fishing time. I dont even like to slow down to eat, much less rest. So, those bow cushions will only serve to get in my way when I try to access the foredeck fishboxes, or step up onto the bow casting deck. That slows me down, and thats unacceptable.
5. Transom Bench Seats - Get that damn thing out of my way! What in the world makes you think for a moment that I am willing to sacrifice cockpit space on my fishing machine, so some lazy-asses can sit down? You say that transom bench seat is removable? Great---then leave it off and dont charge me for it in the first place. You say it folds flush? Even so, it will keep me 8 or 10 inches farther back from the transom, which makes landing fish a lot harder. Besides, another big, fat cushion just provides one more item for me to snag my hooks on. And if my passengers are such wimps that they cant follow the "sit down, shut up, and hold on" drill when we are running to the fishing grounds, then I dont want them on my boat in the first place.
6. Eurotransoms - No. You didnt. Really? You designed that transom to be swoopy and curvaceous purely because it will look nice, and as a result, the boat will sell better? That makes me so mad I want to pop a 6/0 octopus hook through your nose. Squared transoms are a far more efficient use of space, and as a die-hard fish-killer, I put function far, far ahead of form. If I want to look at soft curves and pretty lines, Ill go to the beach---leave em off my boat.
7. Colored Gel Coat Hull Sides - Heres another example of you guys adding cost to my boat (thousands of dollars worth, in many cases) purely for looks. Yeah, I want my boat to look good, but its a fish-catching tool, not a piece of art I plan on hanging on the wall. Let me save that extra cash for bait and fuel, and leave the hull sides white.
8. Freshwater Systems - Oh yes, it sure feels good to rinse down with freshwater now and again. It keeps my skin feeling fresh. Oh, and pass me the moisturizing lotion please, Mr. Boat Designer---you wuss. If I wanted comfort, I would be sitting at home in the air conditioning, on the couch. And the space you would dedicate to a freshwater tank could have been used to hold more of the liquid I really care about, fuel.
9. Electrically-actuated Vents - If I was such a loser that I couldnt open up a windshield vent with my own two hands, I wouldnt deserve a boat in the first place. And, yes, you guessed it, the ability to open that vent at the press of a button drives up the cost of that "fishing" boat, yet again.
10. Built-in Cockpit Grills - Okay, I admit it, I would love to have one of these on my own boat---if it was a yacht! Recently I tested a 26-foot center console that had a grill built into the leaning post, right where a livewell and/or tackle center belonged. And, just how much did that 26 footer cost? Over $100 grand. Seriously, folks, do we need this sort of stuff!