sportfishing boat

5 Key Tips for Buying a Sportfishing Boat

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Many of us spend our days thinking about the next time we can take our sportfishing boat to the open sea…or even when we can buy our next one.

From experiencing the freedom of cruising under the blue sky with nothing to disturb us to the excitement and satisfaction that comes from a good fishing session – a sportfishing boat will do it all.

You can’t always find that perfect boat…but with a little homework and understanding of the pros and cons of what’s available, you can get pretty close. The joys that you can experience after a great day of fishing can disappear in a flurry of unnecessary bills when you purchase the wrong boat.

Before you go and invest in a high-end boat, here are 5 key tips that we’ve picked up over the years to help you make sure you get the sportfishing boat that fits your needs perfectly:

5 Key Tips For Buying a Sportfishing Boat

Key Boat Buying Tip #1: Design

For you to have an enjoyable fishing experience, your boat needs to be designed and built for handling the various weather conditions you may meet on the water.

Different sportfishing boats are designed with different types of fishing in mind. For example, the different hull designs affect the stability of your boat in different fishing scenarios.

The design of the boat will determine:

  • How the boat handles difficult weather conditions such as swirling winds and treacherous currents.
  • Whether or not the boat has good visibility in various areas is very important – as well as the safety factor of a walkaround.
  • If your boat has enough room to fight a fish without tipping over.

Key Boat Buying Tip #2: Efficiency

Sportfishing is all about efficiency now – so a high-end sportfishing boat needs to be nimble and built to fight those stubborn fish.

The key to winning any fishing tournament is to boat the fish as efficiently as possible. The longer the fish is on the line, the better the chances are of losing the fish.

Bonus points if your boat is also fuel-efficient since you do need to get back to shore safely after reeling in your catch.

Key Boat Buying Tip #3: Equipment

Your sportfishing boat needs to be equipped properly when you go out on the water.

Everyone has different tastes and wants their boat to have something different than the next person – especially if they have experience owning and fishing in production boats.

You may want your boat to have towers that make it easier to spot fish, outriggers, fighting chairs in the main deck area or cockpit, and rod holders. You also may require extra fuel for extended range or desire unique cabin and deck layouts.

Specific equipment requirements like these are why purchasing a custom boat is the way to go. Custom boats are built with specific design and style features that create the classic and timeless custom-boat look that is specific to each custom-boat builder.

Key Boat Buying Tip #4: Financing

Before you decide to buy a boat – you’ll need to know how you are going to pay for it.

If you can write a check for the full amount, it can work in your favor to help expedite a deal. There’s nothing better than going to the table with pre-agreed terms and a big check for a fast closing.

If you plan to finance your boat purchase – then you should aim to work out the pre-approval details with your lender before making an offer. By getting a grip on your budget, you’ll help your broker come up with flexible terms for the purchase of the boat.

Financing a boat can be difficult in today’s financial environment unless you have a high net worth and substantial verifiable income. Many dealerships have an in-house finance and insurance department that can assist in the financing process, and you can also turn to outside sources that specialize in marine lending.

When financing, we recommend that you put down as much of a down payment as possible.

For example, a lender may only require a down payment of 20% – but it’s best to try and put down closer to 50%. You can finance the difference from there, and you’ll likely get a better interest rate and lower monthly payments.

Overall – the financing process is a big decision that should be fully explored, as well as the estimated cost of the total operational and maintenance budget.

Key Boat Buying Tip #5: Registration

Once you purchase your new boat, you’ll need to register the vessel.

There are several options to choose from, including:

  • U.S. Coast Guard documentation: required for larger vessels that are financed by U.S. banks to register and record the ship’s mortgage.
  • Foreign flag registry: offers owners an additional layer of liability insulation, and certain corporations can get tax benefits.
  • A state title and/or registration: each state has its own set of laws, rules, and registration requirements that must be followed to operate the boat legally in its territory. Buyers should consult with a yacht documentation specialist or the vessel registration office for the state where they plan to operate the boat.

Even if you are a long-time boat owner with years of experience – you will benefit greatly from working with an experienced yacht broker. Experienced yacht brokers will save you loads of heartache and money in the long term because they are active brokers who work with the latest boats and equipment on the market daily.

Buying a boat is a team effort – not unlike what goes into a crew organizing and putting together a great fishing trip. The buyer, captain, surveyors, and broker must cooperate and work together to get the job done efficiently.

Boat designs, models, and technologies change faster and faster every year…and a good yacht broker stays on top of all the trends while tying them all in together.

sportfishing boat

Our brand new Release 43′ Quad Outboard Walkaround may just be the sportfishing boat of your dreams.

By following these 5 key tips when shopping for a high-end sportfishing boat – you’ll be able to find the perfect companion for your open sea adventures quickly.

If you haven’t heard – we launched our new Release 43′ Quad Outboard Walkaround Boat at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2018 last weekend.

For exclusive info on our new Release 43′ Quad model – check out our new press release or fill out our online form here and we’ll be in touch.

You can also give our founder Jim Turner a call at 786-909-2455 or by emailing him at

We wish you luck during the boat buying process. Let us know how Release Boatworks can help you customize the boat of your dreams!