So catching fish has become one of your favorite activities on the lake, and you are now thinking of buying a bass boat.
Then you wonder how wide is a bass boat and which one is the best for you.
You also know the fact that most boats are built to specific measurements for efficiency in performing different activities.
But you are asking yourself, aren’t bass boats light weighted and pretty simple boats for fishing?
Well, you’ll be surprised to know that the best-selling bass boats follow precise measurements that make them more effective and safe for catching fish.
So why do bass boats have to follow these specific measurements?
And how will I get the best deal when buying the best bass boat that’s right for my needs? Will the purchase be worth it?
Keep reading to have all of these questions and even more about bass boats answered right in this article.
I’ve been involved with these boats for the past few decades, and I’ll share everything I’ve learned about them to help you make a sensible purchase.
My bass boat is the biggest recreation purchase I’ve ever made, and I never regret it.
Sure, I don’t fish daily, but I always look forward to it, knowing that I have the right bass boat for the sport.
So let’s talk about the right bass boat width and how to buy the best one for you!
Most bass boats typically have a width of about 95 inches. Obviously, there are some variations because not all boat manufacturers follow specific bass boat measurements.
To give you more detailed information, here are a few examples of the best selling bass boats:
- Lowe 20 Cat fish – 95 inches wide
- Xpress Boats Bass X21 Pro – 95 inches wide
- Bass Cat Puma FTD – 94 inches wide
- Lund Pro-V 1875 – 96 inches wide
- Crestliner PT 20 – 96 inches wide
- Skeeter FX21 Apex – 95 inches wide
- Nitro Z17 – 90 inches wide
- Nitro Z21 – 95 inches wide
- Tracker Pro Team 195 TXW – 98 inches wide
As you can see from these examples, the most popular boats have a width ranging from 90 to 98 inches. But this doesn’t mean that there are no other fishing boats with lesser width than this range.
You can still find smaller, narrower boats measuring even 75 inches wide. However, you don’t want to go for the smaller options, especially if you are after more efficiency and stability when fishing.
I used a smaller aluminum boat a few years ago, and somehow I didn’t feel safe catching fish with my son in there.
The experience was somewhat scary as I felt that the boat wasn’t as stable as I wanted it to be.
While this is a matter of personal preferences, I wouldn’t recommend buying the smaller aluminum bass boat models, especially if you are a beginner.
I think a big boat measuring anywhere from 17 to 20 feet long with a beam width of 90 to 98 inches is a great deal for an enjoyable fishing experience. And there are many other reasons why such boats are so popular, from stability to decent speed.
Want to know why the beam width matters a lot in bass boats? Read on to find out!
Why Does the Bass Boat Width Matter?
While you may think that capacity and length are the most important things to consider when buying a bass boat, the width also matters a lot.
It’s important to keep in mind that some bass manufacturers do not follow specific boat measurements when making boats, which means there are some variations.
But in most cases, you won’t hear sellers classifying a bass boat based on its width. Most of them will tell you how long a boat is.
I often hear people comparing and contrasting boats as 20-foot, 19-foot, or even 17-foot boats. Only a few people will use the beam width to categorize their boats.
So, why does the width matter anyway? Or what does the boat’s beam width mean for you?
Well, I think the beam width is equally important as the length when it comes to bass boats. And the wider the boat’s beam, the better.
Having a wide beam means that you will have more room inside, giving you the freedom to bring your kids and catch more fish without worrying about storage.
Ample storage also ensures that the boat can accommodate larger outboards with ease.
Wide bass boats are also more stable with excellent balance, which is what you need most when you want to fish in larger water bodies.
I also realized that wider aluminum boats for bass fishing run way better in shallow waters than those with narrow beams.
Not to mention how easy it is to steer them as they glide effortlessly through the water. We both agree that every fisher craves streamlined boat movement to avoid scaring fish.
So, if you are to choose between two same-sized (length) bass boats, my advice is that you go for the wider one. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it every time you go fishing.
Tips for Buying the Best Bass Fishing Boat
While bass boats are not really luxurious watercrafts, buying the right boat can make you feel like you have the most expensive fishing equipment in the world.
So, you want to ensure that you get a bass boat that will suit your needs perfectly. Here are some essential tips for buying the best bass boat:
Check Boat Beam
Most popular bass boats are categorized in terms of their length. But the width also matters a lot, and the beamier, the better.
A wider bass boat will give you more storage room and let your boat sail with better balance and stability. But of course, the stability will also vary, depending on the boat’s length.
In my personal experience, wide-beamed boats glide and fish better in shallow water than those with narrow beams.
However, for extremely shallow waters, Jon boats will sail better.
If you are a starter, you also need to ensure that you choose a boat that will fit in your garage and trailer.
And while wider boats are the better options for fishing, you may find that the bigger ones do not fit in your garage space.
But this doesn’t mean that you are out of options. Boats measuring about 90-inches offer plenty of deck space without exceeding your garage size when coupled with the trailer.
So, whether you want a 17-ft, 19-ft, or 20-ft bass boat, it’s important to check the ones within the 90-ich range.
Consider the Hull Weight
It’s also worth comparing the hull weight of several boats before making your buying decision. You should find this hull weight information on the boat’s spec sheet.
The hull weight should tell you more about the construction and design of the boat. For example, you expect a 20-ft bass boat to weigh about 1,500 pounds. So, a 20-ft boat weighing a thousand or fewer pounds is a bad sign.
The material used is also another factor that affects the boat’s overall weight. Boats made of aluminum or wood are usually lighter than those made of fiberglass.
Talking of construction, I prefer hand-laid boats as they come in a more even design. While they tend to cost more, they are usually more durable.
Boats that are very light can perform poorly when weighed down with batteries, a full fuel tank, or fishing gear.
At the same time, a needlessly heavy bass boat won’t glide right as you would want.
So, you need to compare several dry hull weights to ensure that you choose a boat that will deliver top-notch performance.
Have Your Boat Customized Upfront
If you are looking for comfort and convenience when fishing, you need to ensure that your bass boat has every accessory you want before taking it home.
You probably want some cool features added to your boat, like a trolling motor control enhancer built-in cooler or hydraulic anchor.
If you buy a boat only to haul it back to a dealer to have it customized, you’ll have to pay more for labor.
Getting the customizations upfront will ensure that you enjoy unmatched convenience with your boat while still saving on costs.
And if you want to pay for the boat in installments, the accessories will be a part of your monthly payment.
Check the Boat Trailer
Many bass anglers will rush to make a bass boat buying decision and forget to consider the trailer. And some dealers will quickly accept your low offer and plop the bass boat on a cheaply made trailer.
My advice is that you insist on surge brakes on any rig measuring about 19-ft or even more to be on the safe side.
A tandem-axle trailer is perfect for big bass boats, like 20-ft models. The two axles can adequately support the boat’s weight better and reduce the bounce transmitted when towing it with your car.
Extended Warranty is Better
Today, popular bass boats come with extended warranties, which is a good thing to guarantee quality.
A good warranty is essential for the hull and the major bass boat parts. The outboard motor will usually have about a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Not everyone will agree with me here, as some people can argue that extended warranties aren’t really worth it.
But the truth is, a bass boat is not something you can compare to your fridge or any other home appliance. It’s crucial to leverage the warranty policies to protect your investment.
Keep in mind that repairing some boat’s parts may cost you lots of money than what you’d even pay for the cheap insurance from your dealer.
I’d recommend considering an additional 4-year warranty for the rig on the outboard, which will cost about $1,000. You’ll be grateful when you realize that repairing such a significant component can cost you up to $3,000.
Attend a Boat Show
Buying the best boat can be quite a hectic task as you need to compare more options before making a decision.
This could mean moving from one dealer to another in search of the specific features you are looking for in a bass boat.
The most efficient way to avoid the stress and get your dream bass boat within a short time is by attending boat shows.
In most big cities, there is at least one outdoor boat show every year, especially towards the end of winter and early spring.
Manufacturers and dealers display their boats for the show, giving you a chance to a wider variety under the same roof.
If the crowded show frustrates you, avoid weekends and visit the show during the week to ensure that you get close enough to the boat and check everything you want. This way, you’ll save time and make an informed choice.
Q: How Wide is an Average Boat?
A: Most boats measure about 18 to 20 feet with an average width of 95-inches. However, you can still find some longer boats within the 90-inches beam, measuring 22 to 30 ft.
The boat’s width differs between brands as different manufacturers do not follow specific measurements.
If you are looking for stability and a better fishing experience, you can go for a big bass boat for excellent balance, even when sailing on rough waters.
Q: How Wide is a 16 Foot Bass Boat?
A: A 16-foot bass boat can have a width range of 70 to 80 inches, depending on the brand. But there are some fishing boats that are quite narrower, measuring about 66.5 inches.
Q: How Big Are Most Bass Boats?
A: Generally, bass boats vary in terms of length from 16-ft to 26-ft, with the popular ones ranging from 17-ft to 20-ft.
The average width of most bass fishing boats is 95-inches, which offers a greater storage ability.
Whether you want a small bass boat for recreational fishing on a local lake or are in search of a competitive bass boat or professional angling, you can be sure to get a decent rig.
However, if you are in search of something that is incredibly spacious for family and friends, you may want to check pontoon boats.
Pontoon boats are large enough for people to leisurely stroll down the water and have much fun. They can carry up to 10 people or even more.
So, how wide is a bass boat? The average beam width is 95 inches. As explained above, the bass boat’s width ranges anywhere from 70 to 98, depending on the length.
While some manufacturers do not follow a specific beam width when making a new boat, many best-selling bass boats in the market have a beam measuring within the 90-inch range.
Such beam width is ideal for more deck space and greater sailing stability. You may not enjoy these benefits when sailing a pontoon or Jon boat on rough waters, rivers, or lakes.
It also makes it easy to fish in shallow waters and allows the boat to glide seamlessly when properly set.
Hopefully, the tips explained above will help you easily get your dream bass boat. Good luck in your search!