Center Consoles Are Becoming More Luxurious

Center console boats are the most popular type of boat on the water.  They are a “do-everything” boat with an emphasis on fishing.  That seems to be changing of late.


This year’s Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show had a growing trend of center consoles that catered to entertaining and relaxing and were much more luxurious than in years past.  The boats had large lounges, drink holders everywhere, wrap-around bow seating with backrests, beautiful tables that electronically lifted in place and thoughtful sun shades that cover the entire bow and stern.  In addition, some of the boats had optional electric grills for cooking out.  Some of the boats that stood out were the following:


The Yamaha 425hp Horsepower Motor is a Hit

It appears that Yamaha hit the sweet spot with the addition of their 425hp outboard motor.  Their previous flagship engine was the 350 and while it was used on many boats, it had serious service issues regarding the flywheel.  As a result, many were reluctant to mount it to their boats and Yamaha had to enhance their warranty coverage just to keep the owners happy and the motors selling.

Enter the 425hp.  It seemed like every big boat (over 34 ft) had them mounted on the transoms.  I even saw some smaller boats like the Jupiter 26 FS with a single 425 on it. That boat normally takes twin 200’s.

Another reason the new Yamaha is popular is because it can free up room on the transom.  I noticed a Jupiter 34 HFS with twin 425’s at the boat show.  That boat normally is powered with either twin 350’s or triple 300’s. Because of the flywheel issues previously mentioned, the 300’s were the engines of choice.  Only having two 425’s instead of three 300’s has allowed more room on the transom which translates into more room to use for swimming, diving, fishing, boarding, etc.  It’s a big benefit and a reason I expect to see these engines around for a while.


Eye-Popping Costs and Good Values Too

Sticker shock is one thing you can’t avoid when viewing the boats at FLIBS.  I’m not talking about the huge, 100ft yachts – of course, those are expensive!  I’m talking about boats in the “normal” range — the 23-40 footers.

For example, a new Boston Whaler 330 center console was about $300,000, the Jupiter 34 HFS was around $400,000 and the Edgewater 230 CC went for $106k.  The Pursuit 408 had a show price of $860,000!

Despite the lofty prices, there were boats being shown that seemed like great bargains.  One example was the Cobia 344CC.  That boat had a price of $330,000 – still, not inexpensive but about $70,000 less expensive than the Jupiter with many of the same features.  Sportsman boats also looked nice and had similar features found on the more expensive boats had but were significantly less expensive.

Also, never forget that even better deals can be found if you purchase a used boat.  Here’s one example.  It’s not uncommon to find used boats that are in almost new condition and are thousands of dollars less than new ones.  Boats are depreciating assets so the more you spend the more you can lose.  Start small and work your way up instead of making the mistake of many and buying too much boat right out of the gate.

Read about why The Classic Boston Whaler Outrage is One of the Best Used Boats Ever

As with everything, it’s generally true that “you get what you pay for”.  That would mean that the more expensive boats are the better quality boats.  Although that is a good rule, it’s not necessarily true if you really compare.

If you’re looking to buy a new boat in the near future be excited about the many luxurious amenities, the revolutionary outboards and be prepared to spend a lot of money!

For more information on new boats, view our “BEST BOATS FOR FLORIDA“.