6 things you should consider before purchasing a sports fisher
Here’s how you choose the right boat to suit your angling needs
While fishing is an activity that can be performed on almost any yacht, serious anglers know that better equipment can help in the sport. What piece of equipment can be more important than the boat that chases the fish and gets you back safely to shore? Here are a few things you should know before purchasing your next sports fishing yacht.
Where are you fishing?
The first thing to consider is the location where most of the fishing will occur. The lure of blue-water angling is strong – and it is more than a little bit romantic, isn’t it? – but such extensive excursions out to deep sea are lengthy and tiring. Fishing around calmer waters means you can budget for a smaller craft instead – and spend more money on other equipment, but spending more on a boat that is larger may be necessary if you are passionate about serious deep-sea fishing. The extra few feet of boat means more space for fighting larger fish, and the boat will have the extra space for storage of equipment, and more luxurious amenities too.
One of the things often overlooked by new boaters – and it’s something not usually stated on spec sheets either – is the hull of the boat. The design of the hull is the single greatest component that affects a boater’s experience of the craft. In sport fishing, V-hulls dominate most of the market, as these hulls are sporty and quick. Moreover, these hulls slice through water when on the move, so they are great in choppy waters. However, power catamarans are slowly gaining in popularity as well, due to their stability and fuel economy. They offer a better quality of life on board, but the trade-off is speed, which is highly necessary in sport fishing.
How far do you need to go?
Another great question to ask yourself if the range needed by the yacht. Most manufacturers will post fuel economy figures, but take it with a pinch of salt as these are taken without fully equipping the boat, or taken during calmer conditions. A quick search on forums will be able to answer this question more reliably, and these forums are filled with knowledgeable, friendly boaters as well who are usually delighted to give advice. Some boat builders also offer additional fuel capacity as options, and there are also a few ways to store extra fuel on board safely if necessary.
How deep is your draft?
Shallower waters are always a source of anxiety for boaters, and some fishing trips will take you to river estuaries and the like. The draft stated by manufacturers is always taken when the boat is at rest with the outboard motor lifted up, and with no load in the craft. A fully laden boat with people and gear, together with the outboard down, will have a noticeable deeper draft. For a clearer answer, try to ask manufacturers for the draft with the outboard down. What’s more, remember that the draft increases when the boat is accelerating, but decreases when it is planning.
More power = more better?
Nothing is worse than an underpowered boat, and this is even more important on a sportsfisher, as anglers have to get to fishing spots far out at sea sharpish, or get to another spot quickly. The extra oomph is particularly necessary to outrun worsening weather conditions out at sea too. In the course of saving money by getting ‘just enough power’, you just end up having to upgrade very quickly when the boat just doesn’t have her legs under her. Forums are your friend once again here, and you can always come to us for advice as well. Be forewarned, as you dive into yacht powertrains, you’ll come across discussions on different brands, different drives, different fuels, and much more, all with their own merit and disadvantages.
Do you really need to sleep on it?
Yes, you should sleep on any yacht purchases and think it through, but that’s not what we’re saying. Most anglers will return to port at the end of the day to sleep, even those who first envisioned closing their eyes under the stars out at sea. So, consider carefully if you really need a yacht that has fully outfitted accommodations, because a vessel with simpler berths may suffice. These unfussy sleeping facilites are useful to catch forty winks, but would not take up so much room that a much larger yacht is needed.
When it comes to sports fishers – and indeed all yachts – money well spent is better than money saved regrettably. The final advice we can give is to view and purchase the boat through trusted brokers, like Pen Marine. What’s more, Pen Marine is also an official distributor for Jeanneau yachts, and they have an excellent selection of sport fishers available as well.