Boating Tips: Center vs Dual Console Boats

Welcome to Boating Tips with MarineMax! Center consoles and dual consoles each have unique advantages and cater to different on-the-water pursuits. Captain Nick breaks down each vessel in this week’s episode. Ask your questions, make comments, and learn a thing or two about your favorite outdoor activity.

Center Console Boats 

These boats are typically in the 18-40 foot range and are great for both fishing and family fun. Normally they are outboard powered which means that you get speed and power, yet can cruise right up to the sandbar and trim up your motor. 

These vessels were designed and laid out to provide maximum range of motion when fishing. You are able to go from bow to stern and all around the console so that if a fish makes wild, crazy runs, you can move with it.  

If you’re interested in a center console boat, we have plenty available as well as a number of resources to help you learn even more about them. 

Dual Console Boats

Most dual console boats are roughly the same size as a center console, 18-40 feet, and certainly have great fishing features, but they are more of a family focused boat. You can fish from them, but fishing is not the primary focus. 

Unlike a center console which is as the name sounds, the console and helm station are in the center of the boat, a dual console boat has shifted the helm to the side. Having the helm off to one side or the other essentially clears a path down the middle of the boat for easy bow access. 

As we said, these vessels really focus on comfort, they will provide more more shade than a center console and will have more seating. Additionally, they are typically outboard powered which means you can enjoy cruising to and from your destinations and easily trim up to enjoy an afternoon at the sandbar. 

In Sum

Both of these boats are great in their own right, however, which one is right for you will depend on what you want to do out on the water. Once you have a goal in mind of how you want to spend your days, we can help you find the right center or dual console for you. We’ll see you out there. 



You can see or hear more episodes of Boating Tips and our sister podcast, From the Helm Boating Broadcast, on The MarineMax Blog, accessible on the website or via mobile phone through the MarineMax App. You can also access more episodes on Amazon, Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcast news. See you out on the water! 

Looking to find your perfect boat for summer fun? Check out available inventory!

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