Fishing Gear of Florida Fishing Journal
Welcome To Florida
Here is a list of different
types of boats
Glide in very shallow water and typically are used for seeing
nature and fishing. Power is usually an aircraft engine with
propeller for pushing. 18 to 26 ft. long. This is the most common
type of boat people think of when they talk about an everglades
All-Purpose Fishing Boats
For those who fish from a boat for everything that bites, these
are "generalist" craft with space for fishing gear, several bench
seats or a few pedestal chair-back seats, a simple steering
station or steer-by-tiller. They can be aluminum or fiberglass,
are almost always outboard-powered, and are 15 to low-20s ft.
Specialty craft for getting to the bass, fast. Accommodate larger
outboards. Have lots of storage space for rods and gear. Outfitted
with electronics and livewells. Usually feature a raised-deck
casting platform in the bow (and often the stern), with provision
for an electric trolling motor. Most often fiberglass, but
aluminum models are available. Range from 16 to mid-20 ft. If you
are near a TV on a Saturday morning, these are what you see the
professional tournament fishermen using when bass fishing.
All-purpose runabouts with extra seats and forward access to the
bow, a convenient spot to relax and sun. Outboard or stern-drive
power. Smaller versions are fine for water skiing; larger versions
allow some camping. All are suited to short-distance cruising.
Mid-teens to upper-20s ft. long. Also known as runabouts.
Paddle-powered craft for exploring shallows to running white
water. Great for fishing techniques. All-purpose aluminum to
high-tech composites. Easy to use and enjoy. Range from about 10
to 22 ft.
The two-hull design offers added stability, less hull resistance
and a larger load bearing capacity. When under way, air flows
between the two hulls creating lift just like an airplane wing. As
a result power catamarans tend to gently slice through waves,
instead of pounding down on them, offering a smooth comfortable
ride at any speed.
Center-Console Fishing Boats
Allow angling from any place on deck, since the control station is
located in the center. Generally outboard powered, some have small
cabins for the "porta-potty" or to escape a squall. Depending on
size, can be used offshore as well as near. Length from mid-teens
to high-20s. I use a
22 ft center console for most of my saltwater fishing here in Palm
Bring the comforts of home and engine-powered travel options to
sailboats, offering open-cockpit seating for entertaining above
decks and one or more cabins below decks to accommodate family and
friends on overnight or extended cruises. Cruising sailboats start
at about 30 ft. and keep going up to the "yacht" range at about 60
Small cruisers with compact cabins to camp, do some simple
cooking, and get out of the weather. Outboard or stern-drive
power. Great day cruisers and overnighters for small groups. Also
used on big water for trolling for fish. High-teens to about 30
Small sailboats suited for short day outings on small lakes or
calmer waters, ranging from dinghies (with a centerboard) to more
substantial boats with a fixed keel. At about 20 ft., day sailers
often include a small cabin or "below decks" area for dry storage.
So-called "pocket cruisers" range from 21 to about 29 ft., have
cabins ample enough to accommodate berths and amenities for basic
Feature a one-level deck throughout and often rails or gunnels all
around, all built on a performance hull. Multi-purpose craft that
serve anglers, swimmers, sunbathers, evening social cruisers, and
folks at the dock. These are stable craft. A number of guests will
find room to enjoy being aboard; six friends on smaller versions,
eight to ten on larger ones. Some have small cabins. Most often
outboard powered, though some feature stern drives. Range from
mid-teens to upper-20s.
Small sailboats with a centerboard (a retractable fin) for use off
the beach, around the harbor, or for small-lake sailing and
racing. Mostly open-cockpit boats commonly come with just one sail
(a mainsail) under 12 ft.; above that they are likely to have two
sails and a covered foredeck area for gear stowage. Many dinghies
race in popular "one design classes" where all boats in a class
are of the exact type and measurement and sailed with equal crews
(from one to four).
Rather fish than sail? Get the rowing dinghy to get around the
harbor and wet a line. Small, car-topable at eight to 12 ft. or
Fish and Skis
Interior layouts of these craft allow boaters to enjoy the two
most popular on-water activities. Have enough power, usually
outboard, to pull a skier or two, and to get to the fishing spot
in short order. Storage allows taking skis and tackle. Three or
four can ride and fish in lengths from teens to upper 20s.
Shallow-draft hulls, mostly fiberglass, with tilting outboard
engines. These craft allow angling access to saltwater flats fish.
Each boat features a "poling platform" that allows navigation and
fish spotting. A casting deck gives the angler stable control.
Upper-teens to mid-20s ft.
Made to store, then unfold and float, these consist of lightweight
frames that are covered by fabric or plastic. Usable by one or
two, they range from about seven to just over 10 ft.
Designed for speed, these can be deep-vee or catamaran-hulled
craft with big power. Creature comforts are included in the
cockpit and below decks; fishing craft are more spartan. Outboard
and stern-drive power, often sophisticated engines, can push even
larger craft to speeds in the 60-mph range, sometimes faster. Size
starts in the mid-20s and tops out in the 50s.
These are the recreational vehicles of the water, with wide beams
and cabins that cover most of the deck. Inside are private
staterooms, a head or two (with shower), a big galley, and eating
and entertainment areas. Generally used on calm bodies of water,
though some with modified vee-hulls are found on big rivers and
the Great Lakes. Fiberglass or steel hulls are common. Even the
small house boats that start about 30 ft. are spacious;
hotel-sized craft range up to the 50s and 60s.
Short five- and six-footers are used as dinghies. Mid-sized models
in the 12- to 18-ft. range are more durable, have more interior
space, and can handle an outboard; such mid-sized models can carry
several passengers and serve as runabouts. Newer, hard-hull (or
rigid) types of 20 ft. and over take moderate power and work well
near and offshore. The "smalls" are easily transported; the "bigs"
can be trailered.
So described because they are powered by jet pumps linked to
engines. Fun and usually wet, small versions starting at about 12
ft. can take two or three along; larger versions ranging to 18 ft.
can accommodate a couple more folks or pull tubers or skiers.
Multi-purpose camping, freshwater fishing and hunting craft,
typically aluminum and powered by a small to moderate outboard or
oars. Length in mid-teens to low-20s; accommodates three to five
on bench seats, plus gear.
One- or two-person craft traditionally used for short- distance
transportation, now expanded to include whitewater rapids duty and
some for "sea kayaking" on bigger lakes and along coasts. This is
a rapidly growing market in Florida. I have been using an
Town Loon (16 ft Tandem) for about a
year now and love how easy it is to get to some very remote
All the amenities of home in a traditional vee-hulled craft for
gracious cruising or entertaining at the dock. A number of design
variations offer more aft deck space for fishing, private aft
cabins, sunning space on flybridges or on front decks. Fiberglass
and aluminum hulls, sophisticated electronics, choice of gas or
diesel inboard power in singles or twins. Typically range from 30
ft. to the 60s and 70s. Accommodations range from five or six to a
dozen or more.
Called "catamarans" when they have two hulls and "trimarans" if
they have three. Come in a variety of sizes, ranging from the
popular 14-ft. and up "cats" launched from the beach, to
high-speed ocean racers of 70-ft. or better. The lightweight hulls
make these boats quicker under sail and well-suited to cruising
and anchoring in shallow waters. Wide cockpit and deck layout in
the back and "trampolines" in front provide lots of lounging
options. Larger multihulls come with substantial cabins.
Offshore Sportfishing Boats
Combine the comforts of motor yachts and the functionality of
large aft cockpits to work trophy fish and bring them aboard.
Classic, durable deep-vee hulls in fiberglass and aluminum, often
with twin inboards, large fuel capacities for long range,
sophisticated electronics, cabin space for crew and guests. Range
from the mid-30s to 50s and 60s.
Leg-powered, two- or three-seaters for lazy small- water
excursions. Classic lake boat, great diversion for the kids and
not-so-serious anglers. Eight to 12 ft. or so.
More often known by brand names such as "Jet Skis" or "Sea Doos."
Two varieties include stand-on or sit-on; latest versions have
gotten a bit bigger to accommodate three adults. Fun, fast, wet.
Range from about six to 10 ft.
Two tubes, usually aluminum, under a stable deck surrounded by
railings and powered most often with outboards. Often covered with
a canopy, featuring plenty of seating space (sometimes convertible
to sleepers). Good for fishing, swimming and sunning. Start in the
high-teens and go to the upper-20 ft. range.
Span a wide variety of possibilities from high-performance
dinghies with spinnakers and trapezes to a newer crop of offshore
one-design classes, ranging from 30 to 70 ft. These
performance-oriented boats trade off weight and luxury for speed
and maneuverability, and are generally more spartan below decks
with utility berths, head and galley equipment available over 22
Feature open or closed bows, outboard or stern-drive power, and
mostly vee-hulls. Fun for water skiing and wakeboarding, fishing,
cruising, sunning throughout the day. Some add camper canvas to
allow overnights. Probably the most popular fiberglass boat made,
though some are aluminum construction. Range from about 16 to
upper 20 ft.
Surfboard with a sail for those who like to work waves and wind
for an "athletic" form of solo sailing. Like water and snow skis,
sailboards and sails are specialized for different windsurfing
styles and skill levels, from easy gliding to stunts and jumps.
Wider, more stable options are user-friendly to beginners. Range
from eight to over 12 ft.
These sit high in the water, atop stable hulls that get there in
comfort, leisurely. Boast big cabins and all the creature
comforts. Handle big rivers, lakes and oceans on moderate days.
Mid 30s to upper 60s in length.
Powered by inboards, these "throw" a perfect wake for very serious
water skiers and wake boarders. Used at tournaments and for
training. Passengers usually include the driver and a "spotter."
Range from about 18 ft. to the mid-20s.