new boat advice, center console or side?

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by Catfish Pursuit, Dec 22, 2008.

center or side console?

  1. center console

  2. side console

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  1. Catfish Pursuit

    Catfish Pursuit New Member

    Messages:
    1,081
    State:
    Missouri
    Hi, looking around at boats online and have decided on nothing shorter than a 20 footer. Looking at the Jon style, I like the G3 deluxe jon's, also like the Crestliner models, as well as Alumacraft. Problem is, I think I would like the center console but am not sure. Be using this boat for alot of catfishing but also crappie and white bass. Also not going with anything smaller than a 115. I like my 14 foot Lowe big jon and 25 Johnson but it gets old holding on to that tiller handle on long trips, plus more room is always a plus. Any input appreciated! Chris
     
  2. MRR

    MRR New Member

    Messages:
    4,947
    State:
    Louisiana,Mo.
    Personally if I could afford to have one built the way I wanted it I think I'd have the console moved forward as much as possible.JMHO!! Never seems to have enough room in middle to back of boat.Hate being crowded in the back.Best of luck on your finally choice.
     

  3. SHOWME

    SHOWME Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,605
    State:
    Nixa, Mo
    Chris I have a 18' bass boat with a 115 on it, I would love to have a 18 with a center con., you can use all the sides instead of fighting the wheel and the seat.:tounge_out:
     
  4. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Everybody's got their own ideas, and that's fine; here are mine.
    Advantages:
    Having owned a 20' deep-V with a center console, I can say that nothing beats them for really rough water. I usually fished mine in 6'-8' waves; the worst was in 10'-12' swells with 4'-5' wind waves behind them...just as you came over the top of the big one, the bottom of the boat would smack into the small one. The center console allows you to stand up and keep your knees bent to abshere is usually a seat for two in front of the console, with some kind of storage underneath; but a side console can have the same thing for one person. They also provide more space for electronics, if you plan to have a couple of depthfinders, radio, CB, GPS, etc. And yeah, they look cool.

    Disadvantages:
    The 'walk all around the boat' feature isn't as great a feature as it sounds like. There is literally 'room to walk' alongside the console, not room to fish. I seem to remember that there was about 12" between the sides of the console and the sides of the boat. I've got an old 20' Kenner Ski Barge that originally had a center console, but has been converted to a single side console with a single seat in front with a live well underneath. That configuration provides much, much more room in the cockpit. I now have room to put a king sized bed....or several fishing chairs. To me, the side console isn't in the way nearly as much as the center console. I can reach the water while running the boat, so if I'm fishing alone, I maintain control of the boat while fighting the fish and netting it. Or while running jugs. But you can't reach the water while running the boat from a center console. Period. If you don't have a helper on board to net the fish, you just have to let the boat run itself for a while. Same thing if you plan to do any jugfishing. Of course, you could always stop the outboard and chase the jug with the trolling motor, but personally, I'd hate to have to put down the TM for every jug I picked up or put out.

    In a nutshell, I'd recommend a single side console unless you plan to run some really big bad rough water. Notice that I said single console, NOT a double console!
     
  5. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    State:
    mo
    I had a 18 ft center console john and hated it ,the center consoles take up too much room for me .

    I got a 22 ft sea ark with the side console moved all the way to the front deck , got like 9 ft of open floor space in the back . we also went with a 115 chris and for a 20 ft boat is plenty ours planes out very well and run around 50 mph, we went with a 4 stroke suzuki .

    chris i have a buddy down home who has a 20 ft express john its really open floor plan , its a cool boat they way its set up with live wells and storage .

    shot me a pm and after the first of the year if you want to ill show ya both boats , may give you some ideas
     
  6. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Mine was a side console and I changed it to center console. I like the center console a lot better. Boat is balanced better with my big self dead center in the boat. Also, I run the MO at night a lot and it's much easier to see standing up behind the center console and probably a bit safer than standing behind a side console. Much easier when you're fighting a fish as well. I've got about 2' clear between the console and sides of the boat, so plenty of room to walk between.
     
  7. catfishcrazy256

    catfishcrazy256 New Member

    Messages:
    2,648
    State:
    Indiana
    I like the center console
     
  8. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Sounds like you've got a single width console. Obviously, that would take up a lot less room than a standard 2 seater. If I really felt the need for a center console ever again, I'd prefer a single, rather than a double.
     
  9. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    My Kutters Katter is a 18 ft G3 River Jon w/Center Console. I would never go back to a side console. I have a bad back & couldn't handle the jarring a side console gives ya. As was said, in a CC, you stand up and never lock your knees. So far, my back has had no problems even in bad wave action. Mines a 60 in wide jon, I would recommend the 72 in if at all possible. that extra 6 in's on each side would make a lit of difference.

    Check both pages:

    http://www.catfish1.com/gallery/browseimages.php?do=member&imageuser=210
     
  10. micus

    micus New Member

    Messages:
    524
    State:
    Lake St. L
    It depends entirely on where & how you're going to use the boat. In my case, I have a single side console. I fish alone a lot plus I'm disabled and need the addition usable room the side gives.
     
  11. catchaser19

    catchaser19 New Member

    Messages:
    221
    State:
    UTAH
    I actually prefer a dual side console with a walk thru windshield. I usually fish in the front or off the back. so far works great, no complaints. I think its all about personal preference though and what your goin to be usin for and what your fishin style is.
     
  12. lendog

    lendog New Member

    Messages:
    2,141
    State:
    berks, PA
    i have a side and like the room that is opened up in the middle, the centers do look cooler, but i like the room
     
  13. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    With a center console, the wider the boat, the better. Personally, I'd want a full 8' beam if I had a center console. The 20' center console I had had an 8' beam, and that was none too wide; actually, I often wished it was 10' wide.
     
  14. lwarren

    lwarren New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    alabama
    I currently have a 1650 center console Alumacraft but am going to upgrade to a 20 Sea ark. I love the center because my back gets sore after to many hours of pounding waves sitting down. I am looking at both as I intend to purchase a new to me boat in the next week or so and have found a side and center console boat in my price range. I would say if you have to run for extended periods and fish harsh weather to get to the honey hole get a center but if you dont have a lot of running to do get the side console...
     
  15. micus

    micus New Member

    Messages:
    524
    State:
    Lake St. L
    If the boat floats and runs, it's the BEST boat!:tounge_out:
     
  16. lissaannjon

    lissaannjon New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Dubuque, IA

    ahhmen brother ....I wouldnt give up my walkthrough windshield for anything. especially when its cold out, or buggy, or raining, or.....:cool2:
     
  17. lance

    lance New Member

    Messages:
    2,658
    State:
    kentucky
    If you jug and ever have to pick them up by yourself I suggest a side console . My 2 cent's worth . Seems you can walk around a center console but I think your giving up room for storage coolers and such may depend on the brand of boat .
     
  18. roadkill636

    roadkill636 New Member

    Messages:
    551
    State:
    warrenton misso
    when I was looking arround for a NEW jon, they all were $450 - $500 more for the center consol to be added, I love it in my 2472 sea ark
     
  19. Catfish Pursuit

    Catfish Pursuit New Member

    Messages:
    1,081
    State:
    Missouri
    Thanks guys, I ended up going with a Crestliner 1870 side console with a 90hp 4 stroke Mercury. Got it loaded with 2 extra seats lake ready for $17,000, new never been on the water. They're gonna install my new Lowrance also for free. Sign papers on it tomorrow. Chris
     
  20. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Congrats on the new boat Chris.