• JBBW_banner
  • oceantamer_banner
  • switlik_banner
  • bluewater_banner
  • s2_banner
  • contender_banner
  • cuda_banner


Why Midsize Center Consoles May Fit Your

Boating Lifestyle

Waxman Leadin

    Not long ago, the only way to chase pelagic fish was the traditional inboard dual-diesel battlewagon. The names are familiar and iconic: Bertram, Hatteras, Viking, etc. Most were big and then they got bigger. They were comfortable and resembled seagoing condos with a flying bridge and two large diesels in the belly of the beast ... and they were complex.
    Cruising speeds went from 18 knots to 20; then the faster rigs cruised at 23-25 knots. Fuel burn? Well, let’s just say “neither fuel efficiency nor gallons per mile” were the drivers!
    Of course, many just could not be handled easily by the owner, thus they had captains or mates ... or both. Slip fees, insurance, maintenance all added to the complexity ... and the cost. But they caught fish and handled most seas comfortably and became the pride of their owners. Many still are today. And there always will be a place for the “big guns” in offshore fishing. The 65-footer is the new 50-footer, 75- and even 90-foot rigs are still evident in the top marinas and tournaments in the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic.
    These rigs are really only for a select few. The ante-up costs and maintenance and operating costs are out of reach for many folks who want to spend a day offshore, catch a few tuna, a marlin or mahi. For these folks, the midsize center console has become the new normal.
    The definition of the midsize center console is simple: 30 to 35 feet, two or more outboards, decent fuel capacity, outriggers and a full complement of electronics. With a rig that fits this description, you can comfortably fish 80 to 90 percent of the days when the big guns go offshore. On the days you cannot go? Well, my personal preference is to stay on the dock regardless, because even the big guns get banged around on rough days!
    If you look around today at most marinas, from the Northeast down to Key West, it’s likely that many of the boats that fish often and hard fall into the above category. They tend to fish with crews of three to five folks, run to the canyons, often do overnights and catch their share and more. Some may have triple outboards, but most have high-horsepower twins.
    Most cruise in the low- to mid-30-knot range, some faster yet. And all carry the gear, fuel, bait and ice they need to get out and back comfortably and safely.
    For maybe 10 years I owned a 46-foot Carolina custom boat, fully loaded, big Detroit power, everything for offshore fishing. But an offshore trip became a big undertaking, and then it became an ordeal. The question of “Do I have enough people” being the most difficult. And the daily costs of 300-400 gallons of fuel? More and more difficult. Then I retired and two things happened: first, the cost of fuel went through the roof. And second, I could then fish every nice day (not just on weekends when and if I could find enough folks to fish comfortably). Slowly, it became apparent that there might be a better approach, as midsize center consoles were just beginning to gain a foothold.
    After years of wanting to go bigger (and more costly), I re-evaluated what would fit my new objectives: offshore fishing, smaller crew, way less cost and complexity, efficient and easy to wash down and head home. I became more serious and then went off to the Miami Boat Show in early 2006. I looked at many, found three that fit the bill, sea trialed and then ordered the best fit for me. It’s a generic midsize CC with twin 300s, roughly 300 gallons of fuel capacity, level deck, easy to handle by myself or one other, surprisingly capable in rough seas and much more simple. Cruising speed: 35 knots. Wash down? 20 minutes! For me, it’s a sea change in boat useability.


Canyon Fishing
For The Little Guys


With smart planning and the right precautions, you can take your center console offshore.

How-To: Rigging For Wahoo


Sharp teeth and trolling at higher speeds mean adjustments to your typical rigging styles.