Minimum length fishing boat for offshore

taymagtaymag Posts: 675 Officer
Ok.. So I believe I have saved enough for a decent fishing boat. I was wondering what the minimum length would be and some basic info to look for when boat hunting. Lets say the minimum requirements to get out on day with 15mph (just incase a calm day turned into that) and I know the inlet gets crazy getting out so also trying to factor boat size into that. I obviously will do my research over the next month or so but figured I could get a jump start here. Thanks!


  • PiroguePirogue Posts: 48 Deckhand
    New/used? Location? How far are you planning on running? Some ppl's idea of offshore is 5 miles others 100. How many people do you plan on fishing with? It also depends on the boat, not length in some cases.
  • Paragon1Paragon1 Posts: 509 Officer
    Im in a 19 ft Boston Whaler Outrage with a verado 150. Regularly go 30+mi offshore, as long as its a long period swell things are fine, throw some chop on it and fishing becomes a lot of work. A lot has to do with how sharp the bow entry is. The sharper the entry, the smoother the ride. Scout, Cobia, and Grady White have much sharper entries than mine, but I like to think I have the advantage of versatility (only draws a foot). Frankly I dont care if I'm the smallest boat in the gulf stream, I have the lowest gas bill!
  • Oldfox1939Oldfox1939 Posts: 521 Officer
    Do you really want to go offshore, get in bad weather.........and have a MINIMUM boat?
  • SJCSJC Posts: 2,558 Officer
    There isn't a minimum. What you want to consider is how much stuff and people you are going to take. Shorter the boat less storage, less people can go comfortabley. Paragon goes 30 miles but you also have to think about fuel tank size. Smaller boat ave smaller tanks with smaller more fuel efficient motors. Bigger boats have the reverse effect in most cases.

    Me personally I want a boat between 25-28 ft. Thats just what I want, I like the room. Can also take more people with me to pay for the fuel:grin
    The Beatings will continue until moral improves!
  • project1project1 Posts: 347 Officer
    I have a 21' sea fox that does good up to 2 to 3 if you hsve ur sea legs and i would say 20 is about the min but if ur only offshore fishin and have the money id go 24 and up

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  • Paragon1Paragon1 Posts: 509 Officer
    Mine's got a 60 gal tank and about 300mi range at 25kts burning 5 gph at 4k rpm.

    Most important thing to consider is weather/sea states. It doesnt matter if you're on a 19ft boat or a 25 footer, when its rolling out there everyone is going to feel it. If you're new to boat ownership and offshore fishing I would strongly recommend having no more than one or two people accompanying you until you really learn the ropes. There's been a couple time's I wish ive gone for a slightly larger boat, but the truth is i wouldnt want to be out there getting knocked around all day just to burn 20gal and come back with a couple fish. Especially when i could burn a fraction of that while fishing inshore and bringing home a limit catch.

    It sucks having to look at fishing from an economics standpoint but its a reality every boat owner faces, or if they choose not to, will eventually.

    Finally, learn the weather charts, this site has great resources, I also use Surfline to get more precise info on offshore conditions (its just easier to read).
  • cprcpr Posts: 9,199 Admiral
    I'd want 25 minimum. I have a 19 footer now and with winds at 15 mph I get pounded. Sometimes I just turn around after going 50 yards out into open water. It just isn't worth it, to me.
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • nuclearfishnnuclearfishn Posts: 8,351 Admiral
    When the big storm can't have a boat that's big enough. Go out in 2-3 then 5-6 foot chop in a small boat then do it in a bigger boat. Anyone can boat when seas are smooth, but that can change in a hurry offshore.
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    I agree with nuclear, even though most the fishing I do is on my 21 foot deep v. Yes it takes 2-3 pretty nice, and I can still go over 30 in them. However, I have been out there when it changes real fast and you are running from a storm or can not and are stuck plowing through it. 24 and up with twins is my best suggestion. I do it the safest way I can for having a smaller boat. Epirb, vhf, 2 gps, 2 compasses, all the safety gear, spare food and water, spare batteries, spare fuel and oil, shade, and tools just in case. I have never had to be towed in(knock on wood) from offshore but I do not want to ever be stuck out there on any boat without safety gear. Twins give you that extra security if something fails in one motor. Just remember this is coming from someone who fishes in a 21 foot boat offshore 90% of the time spent on the boat. 150 yamaha, 85 gallon tank. Paragon you get 5 miles to the gallon? That's awesome... wish I got that.
  • Paragon1Paragon1 Posts: 509 Officer
    Yeah, varies between 4 and 5 depending on how anxious i get. But i was a bit off, i get 5 at 20kts, and 4.3 at 25. Generally im running at 25 though. Went out of sebastian wednesday, behind bethel shoal to 200 feet, trolled for 4 hours, then did a bit of drifting over the reefs. Burned about 15 gallons covering around 70mi. Also consider that im running a modified V hull, planes better, but SUCKS in any chop in seas over about 2 feet.
  • OnewolfOnewolf Posts: 655 Officer
    We still haven't heard what the OP considers "offshore".

    When I started fishing out of Port Canaveral 16 years ago I chose a 24' center console as my minimum size to fish 20-40 miles out.
    *** Tidewater 2100 Yamaha F150 ***
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  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    70 miles? 15 gallons of fuel? I guess I need a new motor.
  • fishboyfishboy Posts: 1,326 Officer
    Some people go kayak fishing offshore...
  • CaptainBarryCaptainBarry Posts: 151 Officer
    Had a 23' Sea Fox with a 114 gallon tank for about 5 years. If the sea were forcasted at 2-3 feet or less I would go out to 45 miles in the Gulf. I got caught in 5-6 footers one day and it took them pretty well. I only do inshore now but I think if I bought another offshore boat I wouldn't get less than 25'.
  • gdholbrookgdholbrook Posts: 480 Officer
    Ask Dreamcatcher on the forum
  • wpbthwpbth Posts: 443 Officer
    25 feet and you are fine all day, get twins and you will be even better. That being said 23ft with a single engine is going to be my next purchase, just wont go out in bigger than 5ft seas. For me It comes down to the ecomonics, being in my 20's I cant have a 50 or 60k 30ft boat that I use twice a month.
  • Derek ArsuaDerek Arsua Posts: 2,474 Officer
    If you are serious about offshore I would 22' min but we used to do it in a 16' sport cat and a 18' flats boat just have to pick your weather and the biggest thing to consider is storage space or open space gear and coolers and day bags for the ladies it all adds up rod storage is a big issue to you never want to just lay them down on the deck and gunnel storage sucks to beat your reels up bad
  • SlackerSlacker Posts: 1,335 Officer
    I fish a 22 Triton center console in the gulf. 110 gallon tank is more than enough, but I only go 45 miles. I do not go if the forecast is 2-4. I could but it is not as much fun and you can always fish inshore on those days. I fish up to 6 people, 4 comfortably. It has a deep v and lots of freeboard. The type of boat can be as important as the length. My 22 Pathfinder bay boat fished a lot of days offshore, but I did have waves come over the bow due to the lower freeboard and that's not fun.
  • PCFisherPCFisher Posts: 269 Officer
    I've taken my 16" kayak offshore, flat seas though. I've also seen jon boats out there.
  • taymagtaymag Posts: 675 Officer
    Thanks for all the answers. I have been kayak fishing ~1 mile offshore and really haven't pushed farther than that. The boats Ive fished on have pretty good luck under 4 miles out so I would say 10 miles? or so justttt in case. When I said minimum, I really don't plan on going out in choppy conditions so I said what would hold in 15-20mph winds (I assume you gauge on the swells, not winds, but that's what I do with kayak fishing so really all I have to gauge with) just in case I got caught in that.

    Would like to be able to have 3 people on board, comfortably. And I see a lot about tank size relating to distance. Cant you just carry extra gas? I didn't realize boats got that terrible of "gas mileage" hah not cool.
  • esteroestero Posts: 2,037 Captain
    Like someone said once it gets rough a bigger boat is always nice.

    You could be out only 5 miles and if a storm hits it will seem like an eternity to get back. The best thing is to watch the weather very close and know the signs of an approaching storm.
    ___Abraham Lincoln
  • Paragon1Paragon1 Posts: 509 Officer
    Agreed, because this sucked... 20mi out, and was stuck with a few other boats. Came outta nowhere but that far out you really have no choice. Just had to charge thru it. Not fun, until it we over that is :-)
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,098 Officer
    I saw a guy with a 16' tin boat with a 25hp motor 25 miles off the coast of San Diego, CA chasing marlin. He had his boombox on full blast and was smoking some funny stuff. Like others have said it's all about the weather.

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