For years, you’ve dreamed about owning a boat. You’ve scrimped, saved, and borrowed. Now, you’re finally ready to do some serious bass boat shopping. Whether you're going to buy today or you're just comparing brands and options, there are a few factors to consider before you buy your first bass boat:
When you buy a boat, you’re not just buying the boat—you’re buying an entire fishing system. In 1978, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris revolutionized bass boats by selling them as package deals: ready-to-fish rigged boats with a motor and trailer.
Today, Bass Pro Shops sells these boats at retail stores and dealerships nationwide. Sister company Tracker Marine carries seven different boat brands, including TRACKER®, NITRO®, MAKO®, TAHOE® and SUN TRACKER®.
The good news? At Bass Pro Shops, you can buy your boat today online and take delivery through your nearest dealer! The one-stop shopping experience is more enjoyable, and the overall price is more affordable. Bass boats can run from $10,000 to more than $50,000. Aluminum boats tend to be a more economic option, while fiberglass is standard on the higher end models.
Each bass boat is different, with a wide variety of features and specs. However, there are a few standard measurements that you should give a little extra attention: beam, motor size, fuel capacity and dry storage.
2. Boat Beam:
Basic boat options are comparable by their length, but a boat’s beam—its width—is just as important. A simple rule of thumb: The wider a boat is, the more stable the fishing experience.
Stacy King shows you what "fish-ability" means when you're talking about bass boats. From boat deck to gear storage, it's all about efficiency.
3. Motor Size:
It's important to select the right motor size, as an undersized motor will have to work harder to properly power your boat and, thus, will require more maintenance. Do research to be sure your motor has enough power to pull the weight of your boat -- plus passengers and cargo.
4. Fuel Capacity:
Do you fish on large waters, rather than small lakes? Look for a rig that has a tank capacity of 40 gallons or more.
5. Dry Storage:
This factor might seem less important, but bass fishing is the sport of gear-gluttons. Buy a boat with too little storage, and you may regret it later. So, before you buy a boat, lay out all your equipment to give yourself a visual sense of how much storage you’ll actually need.
6. Trailer & Accessories:
Get your boat safely from point A to B with the right trailer. Some key elements to look for are safety features, load guides for easy loading, and corrosion-resistant materials. Here is a buying guide to help you make sure you have the proper boat trailer accessories. Also, check out this article to learn about boat trailer maintenance.
Watch these simple and effective tips to launch your boat safely from Boat Ed!
7. Boat Cover:
Protect your boat from the elements with a boat cover. Boat covers deter theft and help keep your craft clean. Choices range from custom to universal styles in polyester or poly-cotton blends. Peruse our handy boat cover buyers guide to get the skinny on these accessories.
The most important tip for buying a bass boat? Enjoy the experience. Schedule a stretch of time to consider your options and view various models. Don’t rush. And have a good time.
Want to learn more? Give our boat buying guide a look. Ready to start shopping? Check out America's #1 selling fishing boats view TRACKER boat catalog here, and the performance fishing boats view NITRO boat catalog here.