2024 Fishing Boats Buyer’s Guide

2024 Fishing Boats Buyer’s Guide Jun 10, 2024

While it is true that you can fish from any boat, purpose-built fishing boats are designed to maximize your angling pleasures.  Features to look for include large live wells, level casting decks, and plenty of rod and gear storage areas. Most fishing boats also include family-friendly non-fishing-related features like swim ladders, tow pylons, full canvas enclosures, and extra seating for guests to ensure that you get the most out of your time on the water. Easily trailer-able behind most vehicles, a fishing boat is where many start their boating journey.

* prices and specifications subject to change without notice

Alumacraft Competitor FSXAlumacraft Competitor FSX

By: Jarrett Matthews

The Alumacraft FSX has emerged as a compelling option for families seeking a versatile and high-performance boat. Promising “Built-In Versatility,” the FSX accommodates the needs of diverse water activities with its well thought out features.

Engineered with the Alumacraft 2XB™ hull, the FSX boasts a sharper bow entry that excels in slicing through wind-blown chop, providing a smoother and more enjoyable ride. 

The boat’s adaptability for various activities is a key selling point. The fold-down jump seats at the rear allow for easy configuration based on the number of passengers, seamlessly transitioning from fishing to water skiing. The optional ski-pylon, conveniently stowed in the starboard side storage, adds a recreational dimension without compromising fishing functionalities.

With an additional six inches on the rear deck, the FSX caters to anglers by offering more room for casting. The dual access aerated live well, integrated cooler, and rear deck comfort mat demonstrate a thoughtful design catering to both fishing and leisure pursuits.

The Alumacraft FSX’s industry-leading riveted, one-piece, V-hull design instills confidence in handling big waters. 


Length: 17 ft 8 in
Beam: 95 in
Weight: 1,375 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 34 gals
Passenger Capacity: 6
Max Horsepower: 150 hp
MSRP: starting at $33,824 CAD

CrestlinerCrestliner Commander 2050 Elite

By: Jarrett Matthews 

Crafted to tackle the challenging conditions of Lake Ontario and waters alike, the 2024 Crestliner Commander Elite stands as a formidable presence on big waters. The hull, featuring Crestliner’s patented variable-degree deadrise, ensures immediate planing and unparalleled stability. The innovative reverse chime design, complemented by an integrated spray rail, redirects water away for a drier and more comfortable ride. Every joint on the transom undergoes double welding, inside and out, guaranteeing enduring durability.

Designed with functionality in mind, the transom accommodates both the main larger Mercury motor and the kicker motor on the port side. 

The helm and co-pilot jump seats sit atop storage boxes, perfect for organizing tackle boxes and other essentials.

At the bow, the 2050 features an 18-gallon aerated live well integrated into the floor, with lockable in-floor storage just forward of the casting pedestal insert for anchor storage. The ultra-tough, all-welded windshield, with an optional wiper, separates the bow from the cockpit, offering protection against the elements and waves during challenging conditions. For those venturing into colder seasons, the full enclosure option is a practical addition. The optional wash-down and side bench seating further enhance the Commander Elite’s functionality, making them essential considerations.


Length: 19 ft 7 in – 21 ft 7 in
Beam: 94 in
Dead Rise: 17 degrees
Draft: 44 in
Fuel Capacity: 40 gal
Weight: 1,800 lbs
Horsepower Range: 115-200 hp
Passenger Capacity: 6-8
MSRP: Starting at $55,156 USD

LegendLegend XTE Series

By: Jarrett Matthews

Legend has raised the bar once again in 2024 for fishing enthusiasts with their latest innovations to the XTE series. Building on the success of the 18-foot XTE Sport, Legend provides five exciting models, each designed to cater to specific preferences and needs.

The XTE Sport, an 18-foot masterpiece, continues to stand out with its full walk-through and high-profile curved windshield, creating a seamless blend of style and functionality. The deluxe woodgrain finished dash, chrome, and back-lit gauges enhance the overall aesthetic, ensuring a beautiful ride for anglers.

Handling all fishing essentials, the XTE Sport boasts large, oversized storage in the front casting deck, port and starboard lockable rod boxes, and an in-floor rod box. The bow features a spacious 114-liter aerated live well and an integrated bait bucket, catering to the diverse needs of fishing enthusiasts.

Legend’s sharply angled bow, deep-V, and reverse chine contribute to smooth sailing, providing stability crucial for reeling in ‘the big one.’

With a Mercury 115 HP Pro XS, the XTE Sport can reach speeds close to 50 mph while maintaining excellent handling. The series also retains features like pre-wiring for electric trolling motors, a 95 L fuel capacity, automatic bilge pump, and a range of convenient storage options.


Length: 16 ft -18 ft
Beam: 82 in
Hull Weight: 675-1015 lbs
Horsepower: 60 – 90 hp
MSRP:      Starting at $31,999 CAD

Lowe FMLowe Fishing Machine 1800WT

By: Jarrett Matthews

Lowe presents the FM 1800 WT, a Deep-V fishing boat designed to redefine your angling adventures. Crafted to be the ultimate fishing companion, this vessel combines exceptional performance, abundant storage, and top-notch angling features to surpass your expectations.

Step aboard the FM 1800 WT, and you’re greeted by a spacious cockpit primed for your favourite electronics. The advanced console boasts stylish accents, 4:1 anti-feedback steering, and a soft grip wheel, ensuring a comfortable and efficient fishing experience. With ample space for mounting electronics, you can tailor the boat to suit your angling preferences.

The boat’s layout is optimized for fishing, featuring aft fishing decks, in-deck live wells with baitwells, and a rear aerated live-well. The Lowe Fishing Machine 1800 walk-through sets a new standard in tournament-level performance and fishability. Equipped with a protective tempered safety glass windshield, it shields you from the elements while cruising, yet opens to facilitate easy access to the expansive bow deck. With ten rod storage slots in the side-cockpit and center storage, you’ll never have to leave a rod behind. 

For those seeking additional enhancements, the FM 1800 WT offers optional upgrades such as a Lowrance® fishfinder and MotorGuide® trolling motor. 


Length: 17 ft10 in
Beam: 95 in
Weight: 1,718 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 26 gal
Weight capacity: 1,622 lbs
Maximum Horsepower:      150 hp
MSRP: Starting at $37,877 USD (Mercury 115hp)

LundLund 189 Tyee GL

By: Jarrett Matthews

The Lund 189 Tyee GL stands as a testament to the perfect amalgamation of comfort, style, and performance, encapsulated within an 18-foot fiberglass fish and ski boat. Tailored to meet the demands of avid anglers and thrill-seeking families alike, this non-aluminum fish boat effortlessly transitions from a serious fishing platform to a dynamic recreational haven. 

For Canadian lake enthusiasts, the 189 Tyee GL offers an unparalleled experience. Boasting two live wells and an in-floor rod locker, it caters to the needs of dedicated anglers, ensuring ample storage for gear and catch. Moreover, its seamless conversion into a family-friendly fish and ski boat, with features like a conversion front deck, rear flip seats, and a ski pylon option, makes it an ideal companion for leisurely weekends on the water.

The full windshield consoles provide space for mounting fishing electronics, ensuring convenience and accessibility during your angling endeavors. Meanwhile, the rear flip-up jump seats cater to families seeking both fishing and recreational pursuits.

Lund understands the importance of every square inch on board, providing plenty of storage solutions for fishing tackle and gear, ensuring nothing stands between you and your next big catch.


Length: 18 ft 9 in
Beam: 102 in
Fuel Capacity: 41 gal
Passanger capacity: 8
Maximum Horsepower:      200 hp
MSRP: Starting at $71,934 USD (Mercury 200XL 4STK)

PrincecraftPrincecraft 175 Max

“Family Energy, Sporty Intensity.”

By: Jarrett Matthews

Quality and the Princecraft name have been synonymous for over six decades. The latest addition to their lineup, the Princecraft 175 Sport Max, continues this tradition by seamlessly blending fishing functionality with family-friendly design.

Princecraft introduced the MAX lineup with inclusivity in mind, aiming to offer a distinctive look at an unbeatable price. The 175 Sport Max embodies this ethos, boasting a robust set of features tailored for both fishing enthusiasts and leisure seekers.

Crafted with a sturdy hull made of marine-grade aluminum alloy, the 175 Sport Max ensures durability and safety, certified by NMMA and Transport Canada. Its exterior shines with glossy urethane paint options, while the reverse chine hull design enhances performance on the water.

Storage is ample on the 175 Sport Max, catering to all your gear and equipment needs. Deep cycle battery compartments and large storage compartments provide ample space. Fishing enthusiasts will appreciate the rod storage, in-floor rod organizer, and electric-filled aerated livewells both at the bow and stern.

Comfort takes precedence on the 175 Sport Max, with fold-down seats, a driver seat on a slider, and bow rider seat cushions. The console setup includes twin consoles with a deluxe dash panel, glove box, and a no-feedback steering system. Additional amenities such as a stereo system, cup holders, and navigation lights add to the onboard experience.

What sets the Sport 175 apart is its focus on family enjoyment. Unlike traditional fish ‘n’ fun models, the Sport 175 excels not only at fishing but also at accommodating family outings. The main cockpit features an expansive U-shaped lounge, providing ample seating for relaxation. A removable pedestal-mounted table adds convenience for snacks and drinks.

The redesigned bow offers 30 percent more space than its predecessor, providing comfort and versatility. Angular seat cushions allow passengers to stretch their legs, while padded backrests ensure comfort during extended trips. With the optional filler cushion, the bow cockpit transforms into a playpen or sun bed, catering to various recreational activities.

Interior features include casting platforms, aerated livewells, and rod storage compartments, while upgrades like Simrad GO7 display and Humminbird GPS/fish finder enhance the boating experience. The hull, fabricated from corrosion-resistant marine-grade aluminum alloy, ensures durability and longevity.

Powered by a Mercury 115 Pro XS engine, the Sport 175 delivers a smooth and solid ride, reaching speeds of up to 42 mph. Thoughtful touches such as toe kicks and factory-installed snaps for mooring/camper canvas add convenience and functionality.

With its solid construction, smooth ride, and thoughtful design, the Princecraft Sport 175 sets a new standard for fish ‘n’ fun models, delivering on both fishing functionality and family enjoyment.


Length: 17 ft 5 in
Beam: 91 in
Max Depth: 39 in
Draft: 30 in
Dead Rise 15 degrees
Max Load: 1549 lbs
Max Capacity: 6-7 persons
Max Weight: 992 lbs
Max HP: 115 hp
MSRP: starting at $46,689 CAD with trailer.

For more information: www.princecraft.com

Smoker CraftSmoker Craft Adventurer 210 GLS Sport

A rugged and versatile boat for fishing and family outings.

By: Jarrett Matthews

The Smoker Craft Adventurer 210 GLS Sport beckons to those envisioning serene mornings at the water’s edge, casting lines into the mist-covered lake. Its rugged build, evident from the moment you grasp its gunnel, instills confidence for both fishing expeditions and family outings alike.

A standout feature of the Adventurer 210 GLS Sport is its Integrated Gunnel Track System, facilitating the easy customization of rod holders and fishing accessories to suit individual preferences. As you take in the hull’s vibrant colour options, each boasting a durable twice-baked urethane-paint finish, it becomes evident that Smoker Craft’s commitment to quality extends beyond aesthetics.

The boat’s robust construction, with a transom fortified by pressure-treated plywood and stainless-steel bolts, ensures longevity and stability on the water. The single-piece bottom design, coupled with a rugged keel, offers both directional stability and protection in rugged terrains.

Inside, the emphasis on functionality continues, with vinyl-covered decks and a spacious cockpit designed for easy maintenance. Casting platforms feature sturdy marine plywood flooring, while amenities like a fully aerated live well and standard stereo enhance the onboard experience.

Customization options abound, from electronics to canvas choices, allowing owners to tailor the Adventurer 210 GLS Sport to their specific needs. With its wide beam and ample seating capacity, this vessel offers both safety and comfort for extended fishing trips or leisurely family outings.

For those seeking a versatile boat capable of handling diverse water conditions and activities, the Smoker Craft Adventurer 210 GLS Sport stands as a compelling option. With its solid construction, thoughtful design, and array of customizable features, it’s poised to elevate any aquatic adventure.


LOA: 20 ft 8 in
Beam: 8 ft 6 in
Fuel Capacity: 48 gal
Weight: 2,080 lb. (approx.)
Passanger Capacity: 7/1,100 lbs
Power Range: 150 to 250 hp
MSRP: $90,016 USD (with a 250 hp outboard and trailer)

For more information:  www.smokercraft.com

Starcraft Starcraft 16 ft Stealth Fishing Boat

For anglers seeking incredible value and functionality.

By: Walt Jennings

For the angler looking to get into a reasonably priced fishing  boat, Starcraft builds a variety of aluminum boats designed with the angler in mind. Their Stealth line of boats from 16-21 ft comes in three varieties: a dual console, a side console, and a tiller model, and we here at Power Boating Canada magazine were impressed with their little 166 tiller model when we took a look at it due to its ease of operation and extremely low purchase price. 

The Starcraft Stealth 166 Tiller model comes with two removable passenger seats (a third optional seat is $675) that can be positioned in any of four different mounting positions on the main deck, and one mounting position in the raised bow deck. The decks are covered with a heavy duty vinyl and there is an integrated Gunnel Track System on the gunnels that is a universal track that will hold your rod holders, tool holders, cup holders, or rod trees.

Underneath the center of the raised aft deck adjacent to where the driver sits is the boats under deck and removable 13 gallon fuel tank, and in a separate area under the raised aft deck you will find the boats starting battery  and electrical compartment as well as a fuse block for the boats live well pump. The fuse block also has room to add other accessories that an owner might choose to install such as a trolling motor or fish finder.

Alongside the port and starboard gunnels are long lockable rod storage compartments that will hold rods up to 8 ft long, and the are carpeted inside – a nice touch to prevent your rods and reels from getting all scratched up. The boat also comes with an in floor rod storage compartment that will hold up to six 8 1/2 ft rods.

The raised front deck on the 166 Stealth has one of the five seat mounting brackets so an angler can move his seat post to the bow and fish from there. Another storage compartment under the main deck will hold six rods up to 8 1/2 ft in length. Below the bow deck you will find two storage compartments, the larger one houses the boats 25 gallon live baitwell and the smaller one directly in the bow has a preinstalled battery box tray that will hold your trolling motor battery if you opt to install a trolling motor prior to or after your purchase.

Several useful options on the Starcraft 166 Stealth would include a folding Bimini top, a sonar or GPS fish finder, a bow mounted trolling motor, small stern mounted swim platform (with three step stainless-steel ladder), and of course a trailer. The 166 Stealth comes pre-wired  for a trolling motor as well as a bow mounted trolling motor mounting bracket, and a battery tray in the forward compartment, ready for whenever an owner might want to install a trolling motor.

A variety of outboards are available on the Starcraft 166 including Mercury, Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki. We priced the boat in this review with a Yamaha 40 horsepower.


LOA: 15 ft 10 in
Beam: 7 in
Weight: 965 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 13 gal
Passanger Capacity: 6
Max HP: 60 hp
MSRP USD: starting at $19,978 CAD

For more information: www.starcraftmarine.com

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