catfish boat...center console?

Discussion in 'Boat Safety' started by ccat, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. ccat

    ccat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,744
    State:
    Fayetteville Ar
    BOC,
    I have a question.
    I am working on selling my big Ranger bass boat. This catfishing has taken a toll on me and after a weekend of fishing below the Dam on Grand Lake in Oklahoma, I know a bass boat isn't the boat to have on a river like that, especially when they go from 2 generators running down to just one. The bottom of the river started coming closer to me in a hurry........all I could think was: "there goes my resale value." I am looking to buy a good aluminum boat. I have looked at G3,Seaark, Alumacraft, Xpress and Lowe.
    My question is about those center consoles I see. I like the potential room they create by giving what appears to be more floor space. Can anyone give me specifics on how they handle while running down the lake/river? I would probably get a boat in the 17-18.5 foot range with 50-90hp. Most likely in the 50-70hp range.
    I have had a 19 foot bass boat for the past 21 years. I am ready for a boat I can take ANYWHERE.
    Thank you for any help/advice anyone can give.
    ccat (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
     
  2. catman4926

    catman4926 New Member

    Messages:
    1,602
    State:
    Texas
    I thank I would look at the Sea Ark Pro cat, lots of room, or Lowe's Roughneck series
     

  3. ccat

    ccat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,744
    State:
    Fayetteville Ar
    I agree with your list.
    I have really looked hard at the Roughneck. It appears to have lots of room to which I can easily add rod holders....etc.
    ccat
     
  4. lendog

    lendog New Member

    Messages:
    2,141
    State:
    berks, PA
    also a jet prop would be worth lookin in to:wink:
     
  5. whisker maniac

    whisker maniac New Member

    Messages:
    2,712
    State:
    arkansas
    I have been looking at the G 3 1860 CCT. It is a tunnel hull boat with a center console and the console is a little forward than regular center console boats. This gives you more walk around room in between both the back deck and front deck. It also lets you run in shallower water because of the tunnel hull design which lifts the motor up but still allows the water to reach the prop.

    Sea Ark has one design that is similar to this G3 but has no storage space at all. Both are very strong boats and would work well in both heavy deep or shallow swift waters.

    G3 also makes a jet version where the console is even more forward. It is a 1860 CCJ I believe. If you go to their website you will find it pictured next to the CCT.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. motard1

    motard1 New Member

    Messages:
    669
    State:
    TEXAS
    My opinion on center console boats...They don't give you more room. They use the same amount of room as a side console. The good thing is where the empty room is. You can walk 360 degrees around your boat. Fishing in trees,this helps alot. I personally love the cc boats. Also,they look way cooler.
     
  7. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    A center console does not give you extra room---it takes up extra room, compared to a side console. I've owned both types, and I can tell you from experience that there are only two reasons to have a center console. The main reason is that you are doing a lot of running on really rough water. The center console allows you to stand with your knees bent to take the shock of hitting the waves. And if you're doing much of this, you need to have a deep-V hull. I had a 20' Roballo center console, deep-V, that I used a lot fishing in the Pacific off the California coast in and above the Santa Barbara area. Being able to stand up while running 5'-12' seas was a big help. The often stated advantage, 'you can walk all around the console' wasn't that big of an advantage. With only an 8' beam, the space you have to walk between the console and the side of the boat isn't big enough that it's really any better than having to go around a side console. A friend of mine had a 19' Kenner Ski Barge with a center console; I have a 20' Kenner Ski Barge with the center console removed and a side console installed; the amount of extra room is unbelievable untill you actually see the difference. When I remove the chairs, I have room to put a king-sized bed or a tent in that boat in front of the side console, and still have room for 3 people in the back. Incidentally, I don't think they still make it, but Kenner made a really good looking all-aluminum deckboat a few years back. I'd love to have one of those!
     
  8. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    I agree with Jerry, I have a 20 ft. wareagle with a center console. It's great for running rough water and it looks good but it takes up a lot of floor space.
     
  9. illinois_angler

    illinois_angler Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    IL
    Unless you go with a 72" floored boat, a center console will take up alot of floorspace. Even on a boat that size I would stay with a side console. I've had both and would never go back to a center console because of the loss of space.
     
  10. ccat

    ccat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,744
    State:
    Fayetteville Ar
    Jerry and Dale, you bring up a good point. I am going to get to a dealer and stand in a center console boat. I think there is a Alumacraft and G3 dealer up in Springdale and Lowell. I was looking first at a 17' boat, but with you saying it will actually take up space, I will look at an 18 footer.
    I think I am looking at center console because both sides will be free for rod holders, which I know side mount consoles can still have. I guess I am thinking you can get to the side without getting into the console.
    I am now seeing pro's/con's of both. I think I also like the walking around space. But your comment Jerry, about putting a king sized bed in that boat of yours makes me also think. I like to jug fish and sleep out in my Ranger. That might be difficult with a center console.
    Jerry, do you see many center console boats down there towards Little Rock?
    I guess owning Bass Cat's and Rangers all my life, I am wanting to turn strictly to catfishing, and my mind thinks center console is the way to go. I don't know where I am getting that. I know guides often have those, but I am not at that status yet. You have to be able to catch fish to be a guide.....and I am still learning.
    Thanks boys.
    ccat
     
  11. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    I thought I liked center console too until I fished out of one and it was a 24 ft SeaArk. It just takes up too much room and going around it is a pain. The side console works much better I think. Also you might want to get a v-hull, it makes a BIG difference in the ride when it gets Choppy. You can't go wrong with SeaArk Boats!
     
  12. ccat

    ccat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,744
    State:
    Fayetteville Ar
    I went up to Waymack marine north of Springdale. They have G3 boats. I got in an 18 foot center console boat. Obviously that console in the center makes the floor space smaller, but it sure gives you access to both sides all the way down from bow to stern. If the consoles, both side and center are about the same size, the side console doesn't really take up less space, it just gives you a bigger floor to walk around in.
    I just liked the ability to get to both sides with the center console. I do like to sleep out in the boat too, and did everything except lay down in the center console boat to see if that would still be possible. It would all still work.
    I guess until my Ranger sells, I will just listen to the BOC advice and keep looking for pros/cons for both boats.
    Does anyone know much about the 90hp Yamaha 4 stroke outboard? This boat I looked at had that motor and another had a 90hp carb motor.
    I have a 150 EFI Merc and have never run anything but Merc.
    Thanks for any help.
    ccat
     
  13. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I guess the obvious comment is that the size of the console, side or center, makes a difference, too. But most of the center consoles I've seen are designed so that two people can sit behind them; most of the side consoles I've seen were only large enough for one person to sit behind it. One of the other problems I had with my center console boat was that when running the boat while fishing, it took one person to run the boat while someone else landed the fish....either the person holding the rod, or a third person in the boat. With a center console, the person running the boat can't very well do anything else at the same time. Not a problem if you're always fishing with someone.
     
  14. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,160
    State:
    NC
    Center console boats are built so that you can use the entire outside of the boat to fish without having to fish over consoles. They provide more floor space than dual console boats, which are designed to be fished from the front or mainly the rear.
     
  15. ccat

    ccat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,744
    State:
    Fayetteville Ar
    Wylie, I agree on the dual console. My Ranger has dual consoles and it is even an issue when two people decide to stand up at the same time after running down the lake.

    Jerry, did you say you moved your center console to the side on your present boat? If so, did you rivot it or weld it to the sides/bottom?
     
  16. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    The guy I bought the boat from had to refloor it, and he moved the console at the same time. The floor is wood covered with fiberglass, and the console is fastened to it. It has a single seat/livewell in front of it like a center console.
     
  17. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    I happen to have a 2007 2072 SeaArk with a 115/90 Yamaha Jet that I need to sell due to a divorce. I have well over $21,000.00 in this boat. Anyhow. Mine is a side console which allows me to place a chair next to the console and prop my feet up on it or throw a sleeping bag next to it. More space for sure (1 seat vs 2 on cc) I also sleep across the back of mine and have put a tent across the bow. There is a LOT more room in my opinion on the side console. I had a 21 foot Hydrasport Bass Boat with a 225 and my 20 footer has more room for stuff. I had a rod locker installed, the side console with aerated baitwell and front storage so I kept my open space maximized. My jet runs in 5 inches of water so depth is usually not an issue. I have 3 depth finders, 10 vertical rod holders, 12 driftmaster bases, 6 driftmaster rod holders, a trash trapper, etc... on this boat which I am going to list in the for sale section soon for $15,000.00 Hope this helps.
     
  18. ccat

    ccat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,744
    State:
    Fayetteville Ar
    Well, I have narrowed my next boat down to the G3 1860 center console, but the same boat in the side console is still a possibility. I think with either boat, I am going to put a 75 4-stroke on it. I am getting away from my bass boat with the 150hp, so I am thinking 90hp is too close to that big motor. I just don't need to run 60mph anymore.
    I will post pics after the new year when I get this boat.
    Thanks to all of you BOC members who have helped me in choosing my Catfish boat. I did look at all boats you all told me about and looked into the options they all had to offer. The one I am getting has more storage space and can have a lot added to it over the years as I figure this catfishing out.
    Thanks,
    ccat
     
  19. wylie catter

    wylie catter New Member

    Messages:
    675
    State:
    South Carolina
    Good luck with the new boat, I hope you enjoy it. You did the right thing by doing all that research. It helps keep that buyer's remorse to a minimum.:wink:
     
  20. great pappy cat

    great pappy cat Active Member

    Messages:
    728
    State:
    P.A
    I wish I waited thats what i paid for my 06 1872 sea ark.