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Pros&Cons which style to buy-Center Console or Walkaround


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I am researching my options preparing for the purchase of my next boat. I currently have a 17' aluminum dual console that I troll the Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie. I also have it set up for bass and pike fishing. 

I am looking to upgrade to a 21'-23' fiberglass boat within the next year. I assumed the right setup was a walkaround and never gave CC's much thought. Western New York doesn't have a very long boating season and we spend a lot of time fishing inclement weather in Spring and Fall. 

WA's offer a lot of protection from the weather with the console, top, and curtains. They also appear to have much more room than a CC in the cockpit for fishing. 

CC's have recently caught my eye, but I've never fished on one.

Can I have some help from you guys as to what the pros and cons are for each style? 

Thanks for your help.

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Years ago I had an 18' starcraft cc. Very wet and cold boat, but I didn't

have all the enclosures. Have a 23' Seaswirl walkaround now, love it!

Still can walkaround to dock, anchor, etc, but have the hard top/vinyl



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I've fished out of a couple Center consoles when I was in high school. I agree with what John said above, not much protection from the elements.

The other thing I would consider is with most CCs the console and seat is so far towards the back of the boat, it's right in the bussiness area when trolling. I think for trolling for salmon a walk around is a much better choice. Lots of room at the bussiness end of the boat.

I think CCs would are better when set up for casting, drifting and spot fishing. Just my 2 cents.

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I have had 2 center consoles since 1988. First a 19 foot with no t-top. Then a the boat I have now that is a 22 foot hull with an integral bracket and bow pulpit to make 24 ft. I like the cc for ease of moving around the deck, and it is handy when useing dipsy rigs to be able to move freely towards the front of the boat.

It's main downfall is the exposure to elements, but I am not bothered by that much since most of the time I'm at the back rigging or reeling anyway. I do have a t-top on this 22 ft boat and a winterfront that I leave on for spray protection and wind deflection, it works well for that. If I was going to get another cc I would be sure the t-top was of adequate size so you could get curtains for it.

Storage is always below the deck in hatches so they need to be dry, look for channeling to scup water away from holds below deck. In console head with adequate headroom is a plus.

As for ride in heavy seas the hull should have 21 degree deadrise, and an aggressive Carolina flair in the bow area for a dry ride. Side winds in rough water will blow water spray into the cockpit so a flair and t-top closure is desirable.

Most walkarounds I have been on have a cabin or sleeping berth that can be of some shelter but not something for extended stay in inclement weather unless the boat is significantly wide beamed, more than 8.6 ft, and at least 26 ft long. The helm area is easier to protect on a walk around where you can sit out of cold wind or rain. But if the fishing is going hot then you will be outside anyway.

It's a matter of preference, I just like the cc platform and the multitude of arrangements on different brands. There are definitely many choices out there and some are much better than others. If I had the right money and looking for another cc it would be Regulator or Scout, or the new Mako 284......these are big bucks but the market is good for the buyer right now. Lightly used is the way to go , lots of them listed used for sale.


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